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Katrina and Solidarity

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NOAA-Hurricane-Katrina-Aug28-05-2145UTC

My good friend Jacob Remes has an interesting piece up at the Atlantic. You may remember him from his entry in the This Day in Labor History series on Davis Day in Canada. He is a historian of disasters and working-class solidarity. We read chapters of each other’s book drafts and I can guarantee you his new book is very provocative and you should read it. His Atlantic piece effectively summarizes his major theme–that the state often fails citizens in natural disasters and that in response, a sort of anarchist solidarity naturally appears that provides mutual support and which the state soon seeks to undermine. Again, it’s provocative and we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on every point. But there’s no question that strong community ties make a big difference in post-disaster life and that planning for strong communities is a really underrated strategy for dealing with disasters, something that a world dealing with climate change needs to take a lot more seriously.

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