What is Disaster Capitalism and Why Should we Care About It?


Matt Gusmerotti

This episode from Olivia Heifetz in fall 2020’s ANTH 405, Public Anthropology and Global Environmental Challenges, class at Colorado State University examines the idea of disaster capitalism. Heifetz proposes ways to view disaster capitalism and highlights who and what it affects the most. Heifetz collects numerous examples as to why humans should care about decorporatizing disaster and ways humans can move to prevent it in the future. Heifetz explains the difference between slow-onset and acute disasters and how they affect communities, both in the U.S. and abroad. Even disaster relief programs sometimes participate in disaster capitalism or disaster politics. Heifetz breaks down the difference and expands on where some of these disasters come from and suggests some possible solutions.