Friday, June 25, 2010

The Gulf Oil Spill

The Gulf Oil Leak : just one more huge tragedy, the last, for now, in a long history of criminal negligence by business wealth generators, the ugly side of wealth creation; not just that it will take several generations to recover the eco-system there.

Now mostly forgotten, but the far bigger human tragedy, caused by the unbridled motivation for profit, was the massive introduction, into local economies across the world, of factory produced goods, causing, in many regions, irreversible loss to local producers of goods, bringing poverty throughout many vulnerable societies.

A classic example, when the British put up huge cotton garment factories, at the beginning of the 'Industrial Revolution,' in the 1850s, in Manchester and other parts of Britain, proudly boasting that mass produced clothes were far cheaper, they conveniently failed to bring notice of the tragedy caused to thousands of local dyers and weavers in India, who slipped into poverty, and began crowding cities for work at pitiful wages.

Farmers in India were encouraged to switch from food crops to growing cotton; food stocks, for the millions in India, suddenly depleted, and severe famines, where thousands lost their lives, are now part of forgotten history.