Sunday, October 4, 2009

Privation of Power and the Power of Privatization 1

the process of privation of power within human societies is linked historically to the privation of the use of the land, as well as of key resources which would allow autonomy and self-support - this was achieved in the North by means of a lengthy process of erosion of local political structures; through a growing involvement of the State; through the introduction of centralizing technologies, the intensive use of resources, the introduction of wage labor and the monetarization of all transactions.

in the South the process was more accelerated, and was based upon the imposition of "modern" policies of development, designed to mould the societies of the so-called Third World in such a way as to make them "functional" for the economic and social structures of the dominant regions of the North - as Nicholas Hildyard (The Ecologist) points out, "it should come as no surprise that the principal agents and beneficiaries of the process should be the corporate bureaucrats (including the State) to whom the power which once belonged to the communities was transferred."

in Latin America the operation was drastic and the effects imposing - ecological imbalance was the main tool for consolidating a conquest which would otherwise have been politically untenable - the only way in which a handful of men could maintain a lasting hold over an entire people, was by destroying that society's means of subsistence - taking them by surprise, not only by their conduct which was characterized by greed and the need to possess, but also because of their violent, depredatory technologies, the conquistadors gained control of everything which they considered to be of value, then distributed the land (among themselves) and enslaved the local population - the possibilities offered by a colonial market stimulated the transformation of society, which heretofore had been self-sufficient, autonomous and self-determined - the process was unleashed against a big majority in Europe, and in the colonial world, against all.

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