The Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017 is one of the most tragic political events in British history. This book argues that preparedness for disasters has always been designed in the interests of the State and Capital rather than citizens. This was exemplified by the ‘stay put’ strategy at Grenfell Tower which has historically been used to socially control racialised working class groups in a disaster. ‘Stay put’, where fire safety is compromised along with strategic ambiguity, probabilistically eliminates these groups. Grenfell Tower is a purposive part of ‘Disaster Capitalism’, an asocial racial and class eliminationism, where populations have become unvalorisable and disposable. We have reached a point where even the ruling class are fleeing from the disasters and chaos they have inflicted on the world, retreating to their billionaire bunkers. This timely book will be of interest to sociologists, social theorists and activists in understanding the racialised, classed and capitalist nature of contemporary disasters.
Chapter 1. Preparedness Inevitably Fails.- Chapter 2: The Grenfell Tower Fire: ‘Stay Put’ and Eliminationism.- Chapter 3: Billionaire Bunkers and Disaster Capitalism.
John Preston is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK and an ESRC Leadership Fellow for the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research.
Takes a wider perspective on the Grenfell Tower disaster, explaining how the interests of governments and capital create the forms of preparedness we see in our divided citiesCombines Marxist social theory, Critical Race Theory and Klein’s concept of ‘disaster capitalism’ with the author's innovative theories of ‘preparedness’Examines the Grenfell disaster not as exceptional but as the result of ‘tacit intentionality’ in the state’s relationship with the poor, with elite interests and with public services
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