Through revisions to the law that define land as ‘dangerous and not suitable to live in’ due to disasters, the wealthy can legally deprive the poor of their land.
In her 2007 book “Shock Doctrine”, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein names this phenomenon visible in the neo-liberal world ‘disaster capitalism’, and warns against reconstruction grounded in neo-liberalism.
In particular, she refers to the deprivation of land in the wake of natural disasters such as tsunamis as a ‘second tsunami’.
Applying this concept to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, interventions such as the establishment of disaster risk areas, fisheries industry revival special zones, and construction of enormous seawalls show typical examples of the ‘shock doctrine’ piggybacking on disasters.
However, from joint field work along the entire length of the Miyagi prefectural coastline that the author has been involved in, this paper finds that disaster recovery called the ‘inner shock doctrine’ is in practice.
That is, rather than merely recovery from a disaster, efforts are being made in each locale under their distinctive circumstances to address the structural problems (such as of succession,
fishing rights, over-intensive aquaculture, and tsunami vulnerability) in each community. Increasing wealth of productive means via emergencies is referred to as ‘creative destruction’, as it involves temporarily disrupting the normal daily order until that time.
It is clear that the inner shock doctrine, as a consequence of this creative destruction, acts to prevent the emergence of neo-liberalism.
This paper discusses regeneration in devastated communities and the possibilities therein.