Tag Archives: Globalization

The human cost of industrialization

This month, and in September, hundreds of workers were suffocated, burned to death, or leaped to their deaths trying to escape from garment factory fires in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Russia. It is a story that keeps repeating itself, as witness a first-person description of a fire in New York in 1903, which tells of horrors similar to the ones workers experienced in the last couple of months:

…the flames were… blazing fiercely and spreading fast. If we couldn’t get out we would all be roasted alive. The locked door that blocked us was half of wood; the upper half was thick glass. Some girls were screaming, some were beating the door with their fists, some were trying to tear it open. Continue reading


The dawn of the 21st Century has coincided with the dawn of the age of community. Some of my age-mates, who were adults or near-adults in the 1960s and 1970s, may not be pleased to hear that the age of community does not necessarily resemble the Zodiacal Age of Aquarius, which, we were told, was to be an era of universal brotherhood rooted in reason.
The age of community is upon us, not because of the conjunction of stars and planets, but because of political and economic changes that are overtaking us, whether we like them or not. It’s important to understand those changes, because they are capable of producing drastically contrasting results, results that can be influenced by political action. The age of community can be one in which some communities prosper while others are left impoverished and powerless to control their own futures. Or it can be one in which the prosperity and economic power of some communities is shared in order to give others a serious degree of control over their own affairs.
The age of community is the subject of my current research, in which I look at the political implications for Canada of the economic changes that have brought on this age. In this first of a series dealing with findings of that research, I will look at the causes of these changes and briefly lay out some of their political implications. In subsequent instalments, I will look at some findings of my research and consider what we can learn from them about avoiding an age of community whose motto becomes “I’m all right Jack” and working toward one that bears at least some resemblance to the Aquarian age.

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