With the years many countries tried to make arrangements with other nations and create commercial agreements so they could get some shared industry and shared markets.
Many countries gave up their independence and even stopped producing some goods themselves. They even made it impossible for their own people to survive, because they allowed much cheaper goods to enter their country without taking into account the ecological footprint. Instead of trying to achieve agricultural independence they became more dependant so that they could be taken hostage. Small private industries were not liked so much. Everything had to be big! The industrialist world also did find it was much better to reward the quantity work of the machinery invested companies instead of recompense the quality of the handicraftsman. The artisans became of lesser use in the society who loved the industrial gadgets more.
To find cheaper labour many industrialists preferred to set up new plants in the East-European market and when that became more expensive in the more Eastern countries. Though it is changing again, because there where too many problems in the previous Socialist republic countries and those who exported manufacturing abroad are now starting to gradually bring manufacturing jobs back home. But the Chinese worked very hard copying many European and American inventions to dumb such copy-products very cheap on the market and the European (and perhaps also American) customers falling the trap but making that research in their own country can not be done any more because the unavailable funds.
Technology made it possible to produce goods in such quantities they could make overproduction with the idea of exporting enough, but they forget other countries were doing likewise.
Profit was the first priority and for many in charge it would not matter at what cost for those who had to produce the products. They even did not find it bad to go back to pre pastor Daens times screwing back the many progresses the labour union had managed to get. It came to a clash where the workers of Aalst fought poverty and injustice in the 19th century, and it looks like if the governments in Europe and the United States of America are not careful we could reach again such a turbulent period.
For to long industry has ignored to take into account the value of its workers and the needs of the populace.
In Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas: Alexander Berkman: Social Reconstruction we can read:
Essential needs come first, naturally. Food, clothing, shelter
—these are the primal requirements of man. The first step in this direction is the ascertaining of the available supply of provisions and other commodities. The labour associations in every city and community take this work in hand for the purpose of equitable distribution. Workers’ committees in every street and district assume charge, co-operating with similar committees in the city and state, and federating their efforts throughout the country by means of general councils of producers and consumers.
Instead of making every community, as far as possible, self-supporting the industrialists made them more dependant on others and weakened them.
You can wonder who wanted to learn from the ideas of Peter Kropotkin who in his work, Fields, Factories and Workshops, showed how a city like Paris could raise enough food in its own environs to support its population abundantly.
We all can work together to make things work and we all have are own qualities which can be useful for the community. We should not only think of our own little backyard. We may think bigger, but we may not forget the values of our own environment. We should respect all what is around our small community and should make proper use of the countryside, the fields, the livestock and take care that the technical industry does not pollute our environment.
Trying to have regions which only produce one or a few products does not work and does not give freedom to people to use their talents properly. Important lots of products from abroad or other regions does not give the own people recognition for their abilities nor does it give them chances to earn their living from their talents in their own region.
Bringing in only world leaders and offering them cheap grounds to manufactur goods the own region does not really need so much, is not giving advancement to that region and is making them so independent of a sector which at the end receives more government-funds than it will bring in money for the own region. [Look at what happened in Belgium with the (over) subsidised car-industry. Once more we find a region with a hangover: Limburg. The government did not learn their lesson from the Audi, Volkswagen and Opel cases. With Ford Genk so many families are put on the street, having given their soul to Ford for many years and having agreed for lower wages without any loyalty from the American firm.]
Some may think we need more international firms running the business, some might think we need to de-centralise everything, others prefer just the opposite. For sure we do have to reorganise our economy. According to me having only big companies with CEO’s who earn lots of money and workers who are paid not sufficiently to have next to the working life a nice social life, will create fertile ground for some revolt of those unsatisfied workers.
It would not harm to reconsider different systems and to look how we can reorganize the economy perhaps on the principles of workers’ self-management and the decentralization of industry.
Robert Graham gives us some further excerpts from Alexander Berkman’s book in Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, available from AK Press.
Alexander Berkman wrote in 1927:
We know that previous revolutions for the most part failed of their objects, they degenerated into dictatorship and despotism, and thus re-established the old institutions of oppression and exploitation. We know it from past and recent history. We therefore draw the conclusion that the old way will not do. A new way must be tried in the coming social revolution. What new way? The only one so far known to man: the way of liberty and equality, the way of free communism, of anarchy.
Please do read:
- Book Review – The Tragic Procession: Alexander Berkman and Russian Prisoner Aid, 1923-1931 (KSL/ABSC, 2010) by Philip Ruff (gulaganarchists.wordpress.com)
Every recruit to the SWP (if they still get recruits) should read this book before they pay their membership fees. It demolishes the illusion that the “Bolshevist Leninism” advocated in exile by Trotsky was somehow different from the murderous totalitarianism practised by Stalin.
Aptly titled, The Tragic Procession is a fascinating and heartbreaking chronicle of the repression meted out to revolutionaries in Russia by the Bolshevik government, refracted through the pages of the Bulletin edited in exile by Alexander Berkman – issued first by his own Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia, and from 1926 by the IWMA’s Relief Fund for Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists Imprisoned or Exiled in Russia.
- Selling versus making (elle7efm.wordpress.com)
Recent statistics show that in 1920 (ha!) there were in the United States over 41 million persons of both sexes engaged in gainful occupations out of a total population of over 105 million. Out of those 41 million only 26 million were actually employed in the industries, including transportation and agriculture, the balance of 15 million consisting mostly of persons engaged in trade, of commercial travelers, advertisers, and various other middlemen of the present system.
- The Rapidly Changing Labor Force (creditloan.com)
Before the Great Recession hit, many younger workers believed that the only way to get ahead in their careers was to hop from job to job. It was the only way, they said, to earn promotions at a rapid pace.
Today, of course, much of the job hopping taking place isn’t the result of upwardly mobile careerists seeking more lucrative positions; instead it’s a direct result of the economy.
- Resilience = Anarchism = Resilience? (irevolution.net)
Resilience is often defined as the capacity for self-organization, which in essence is cooperation without hierarchy. In turn, such cooperation implies mutuality; reciprocation, mutual dependence.
The existence, power and reach of the nation-state over the centuries may have undermined the self-organizing capacity (and hence resilience) of individuals and small communities.
the state, arguably, destroys the natural initiative and responsibility that arise from voluntary cooperation.
Sociability is as much a law of nature as mutual struggle.
- About ecological footprint and individual choices… (creativesustainabilitymarketing.wordpress.com)
Although my personal consumption level was much lower than Finland’s average level, I couldn’t stop on wondering how consumptive my lifestyle after all is.
Consuming as a self-indulgence is something that I recognize, but the totally new things was for me to understand, that consumption isn’t just consuming in order to satisfy materialistic wants and needs, but that it can also be a social and a cultural activity, or a way for construct identity, and for some, it can be even a disease.
- How The US Dollar Staged An Incredible Comeback And Humiliated The Doomsayers (businessinsider.com)
The euro area became embroiled in what has at times been a rather terrifying crisis, and emerging markets felt the painful effects of euro-zone bank deleveraging. Japan has struggled with nonstop political instability, not to mention a massively disruptive earthquake and nuclear disaster.+
U.S. energy production has surged in recent years. At the same time, consumption has flatlined.+
The idea is that perhaps in late 2013 or sometime in 2014, investors will begin to re-allocate a significant portion of their portfolios from bonds to stocks.This, of course, means rising interest rates from their current ultra-low levels, and that will make dollars more attractive relative to other developed-market currencies for international investors seeking yield opportunities.
- The Return to U.S. Manufacturing (annuityrateshopper.com)
Industrialization, economic growth and population expansion have been three of the reasons why the manufacturing of goods in the United States has declined over the past four decades. Rising labor costs led to many sectors of U.S. manufacturing industry to be relocated overseas; mainly in China. While this solution increased profits for corporations and helped keep prices of goods in America at reasonable, mass-consumer friendly price points, it proved counterproductive because of a decrease in available jobs in the U.S. – local economies became weakened, unemployment continued to rise and before long the country had painted itself into a corner. But things may finally be turning around – manufacturing is returning to American shores in a big way.
- The Fall of America: How the Cookie Crumbles (originaldialogue.blogspot.com)
Prior to launching into the Five Stages, Orlov states that before arguing for imminent collapse, we must be convinced of the finitude of fossil fuels and other resources, and we must understand that as resources become increasingly scarce, the capacity for global industrial growth ultimately vanishes. And while coming to terms with these two realities overwhelmingly advances the certainty of collapse, nothing persuades us like our own personal experience.
Once we have realized the extent of our predicament and the compelling likelihood of the collapse of industrial civilization, we exit exclusively mental territory and enter the psychological realm, for as Orlov says, “the main impediment to grasping its significance is not intellectual but psychological.”
- Right choice is wrong! (creativesustainabilitymarketing.wordpress.com)
Marketing can be a power tool to communicate key features of the product for consumers. Successful communication can change habits. However, if there is an error in the information what is being promoted, the effect might be counter productive or undermine the reliability of the product. Avoiding so called bona fide green washing appears to be very crucial in risk management when a product is sold with ecological or social attributes.