Sunday, October 4, 2009

Privation of Power and the Power of Privatization 2

the industrial revolution meant that significant (and growing) percentages of rural people were swept, in one wave after another, away from the environment in which they had developed over centuries, while the rest of the population was forced to become full-time laborers, becoming wage-earners and losing their relative self-sufficiency and autonomy - over a long period of time, which in many areas is still in effect, those displaced numbered in the millions - "modern times" were built on the backs of millions of slave (or semi-enslaved) laborers, who excavated tunnels, laid railway lines, built bridges and ports, and built cities or industrial facilities - at the same time, an ever-increasing number of people are relegated to the side-lines of society, forced to find refuge in barracks or emergency shelters, thanks to a numbing struggle for survival, with no future or stable livelihood in sight - the "system" spawns them, uses them, marginalizes them, and fights them - and finally, it accuses them of being responsible for the degradation of the environment, as if their sheer numbers could explain the pressure upon non-renewable resources.

the appropriation of the land, excluding from it those who worked the land or the indigenous peoples who cultivated crops there, was a bone of contention and a source of confrontation - but the most radical part of the industrial society project revolved around making the masses "free" citizens, while actually reducing them to the condition of producer-consumers, putting society at the service of a system dedicated to producing surpluses - production and consumption, that is to say, the economy, joined forces, putting an end to the last vestiges of self-sufficiency - the commercialization of consumer goods took the place of a dynamic system of barter for goods and services, replacing it with an exchange of goods for metal.

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