The killing of capitalism

A textile manufacturing building collapsed on Wednesday24 April in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The owners of the factory were warned there were cracks in the building were around 3,000 people would be working at the same time.  Workers and their family but also other people had previously complained that the building was to be structurally unsafe.

Police in Bangladesh have detained two factory owners for criminal negligence over the deaths of at least 352 workers at an eight-storey building that collapsed on Wednesday – a day after warnings had been given that it was unsafe. The top three floors of the eight-story building were illegally constructed.

Two engineers who had been involved in issuing building permits for the Rana Plaza complex in Savar, just north of Dhaka, were also being held. Bazlus Samad, managing director of New Wave Apparels Ltd., and Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, the company chairman and the wife of Mohammed Sohel Rana, the owner of the collapsed Rana Plaza building, was detained for questioning.

Bangladesh factory collapse survivor

Rescue workers carry out a survivor found 78 hours after the building collapsed. Photograph: Abir Abdullah/EPA – The Guardian + The Observer

Most of the victims were crushed by massive blocks of concrete and mortar falling on them when the 8-story structure came down on Wednesday morning — a time many of the garment factories in the building were packed with workers. It was the worst tragedy to hit Bangladesh’s massive garment industry, and focused attention on the poor working conditions of the employees who toil for $38 a month to produce clothing for top international brands.

Again the world is being confronted with the toll of the capitalist demand for cheap material at the cost of others living far away.

The disaster is the worst ever for the country’s booming and powerful garment industry, surpassing a fire five months ago that killed 112 people and brought widespread pledges to improve worker-safety standards. Since then, very little has changed in Bangladesh, where low wages have made it a magnet for numerous global brands.

Bangladesh’s garment industry was the third largest in the world in 2011, after China and Italy, having grown rapidly in the past decade. The country’s minimum wage is the equivalent of about $38 a month.

Among the garment makers in the building were Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms. Altogether, they produced several million shirts, pants and other garments a year.

The New Wave companies, according to their website, make clothing for several major North American and European retailers.

Britain’s Primark acknowledged it was using a factory in Rana Plaza, but many other retailers distanced themselves from the disaster, saying they were not involved with the factories at the time of the collapse or had not recently ordered garments from them.

Wal-Mart said none of its clothing had been authorized to be made in the facility, but it is investigating whether there was any unauthorized production. {read more: }

Seniors for a democratic society in the article Naked Capitalism: Ultimate Exploitation by Vijay Prashad shows us a long and painful list of “accidents” and “The Terror of Capitalism”.

The Bangladesh incident is not an exceptional case. In the Middle Africa, Middle East and Asia we can find many similar cases where factories of twenty-first century globalization – poorly built shelters for a production process are geared toward long working days, third rate machines, and workers whose own lives are submitted to the imperatives of just-in-time production.  When you compare the wages they earn, their expenses, the conditioning of living with the conditioning of living of the people who have to pay a lot of money for those products of which the brand asks for.

Writing about the factory regime in England during the nineteenth century, Karl Marx noted:

“But in its blind unrestrainable passion, its wear-wolf hunger for surplus labour, capital oversteps not only the moral, but even the merely physical maximum bounds of the working-day. It usurps the time for growth, development and healthy maintenance of the body. It steals the time required for the consumption of fresh air and sunlight…. All that concerns it is simply and solely the maximum of labour-power that can be rendered fluent in a working-day. It attains this end by shortening the extent of the labourer’s life, as a greedy farmer snatches increased produce from the soil by reducing it of its fertility” (Capital, Chapter 10).

If the world wants an image that sums up the true cost of supplying big-name retailers with cheap, fast fashion, it only has to ponder the horrifying images coming out of Dhaka as thousands of frantic relatives and rescue workers continue to claw through the rubble of Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster in a desperate search for survivors. {read more:}

Please continue reading Seniors for a Democratic Society their article: Naked Capitalism: Ultimate Exploitation

Please do find visual information: Bangladesh building collapse: families mourn as more bodies found – video +

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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2 Responses to The killing of capitalism

  1. Pingback: Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #1 | Broeders in Christus

  2. Pingback: Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings | Stepping Toes

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