Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 02:28:24 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Wild, wonderful and free!

By
22nd-Nov-2014       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Gran Mincy :
Don Blankenship, longtime Chief Executive Officer of coal giant Massey Energy, was indicted November 13 on charges that he consistently violated federal mine safety rules at the company's Upper Big Branch Mine until an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 of 31 miners.
The Charleston, West Virginia Gazette reports that a federal grand jury charges Blankenship with "conspiring to cause willful violations of ventilation requirements and coal-dust control rules - meant to prevent deadly mine blasts - during a 15-month period prior to the worst coal-mining disaster in a generation." The allegations come with a maximum prison sentence of 31 years.
I take no joy in the prospect of another dehumanizing incarceration, but regret that a coal baron held so much power in the first place.
Before industry came to the mountains a unique form of common governance existed. Communities obtained subsistence from the surrounding old growth forest. Everyone understood not to claim more than necessary from the commons. This governance naturally produced the maximum sustainable yield of resources. Locals labored, bartered and brought goods to market together.
As European expansion claimed the new world, land became the ultimate commodity and all eyes were fixed on the pristine forests of Appalachia. Enclosure movements commenced as a cash economy developed in the region for the first time. By the early 19th century violent confrontations ruined native populations. The mass slaughter of indigenous people culminated in the Trail of Tears, eradicating tribes from Appalachian governance.
Decades later, in post-Civil War America, mountain settlers were coaxed into selling mineral rights to would-be industry barons. Broad form deeds were developed to acquire local lands. Mineral rights were obtained for less than a dollar an acre as mountaineers maintained surface rights. Clauses in these deeds, however, allowed industrialists to take over the land at the company's discretion for resource extraction - even if such acquisition would surprise grandchildren decades later. Locals were forced off of their property to line the pockets of absentee capitalists, often by rights that had been sold generations before. By the end of the Industrial Revolution coal reigned as king.
Industry came to own a vast amount of property in the Central and Southern Appalachians, affording barons incredible power over mountain communities. Company towns popped up near mining operations. Workers lived in company barracks, were paid in company scrip and were required to purchase goods at the company store. Mono-economies developed across the coalfields that still persist today.
Working conditions were incredibly hazardous for miners. Explosions, shaft collapse, Black Lung and Silicosis ran rampant in coal communities, as did poverty. Company scrip kept workers incredibly poor as billions of dollars were  extracted from the region. Worker organization was rather difficult in these company-owned communities, but rebellion and unionization did take place. Unionization failed to liberate labor, however, as class struggle fell to capital. The coal towns acted as an exploitative system of power, impacting every aspect of the lives of miners and their families. Powerlessness produced quiescence.
With the news of Blankenship's indictment, we are reminded of this historical context and confronted with the realization that not much has changed to this day. Appalachian communities experience some of the worst poverty in the United States. Miner safety is set aside for the sake of capital. Vast ecosystems are destroyed as mountaintop removal blasts its way across the landscape. Broad form deeds, after the boom of strip mining in the 1970s, claimed family hollers throughout the 1980s and 90s. The regulatory state, charged with oversight, continually turns a blind eye to industry violations and worker injuries so coal mines can stay in operation, as recently reported by NPR.
But, for what it is worth, I am an optimist. Restorative justice and regeneration is coming to the coalfields. A beautiful anarchism awaits Appalachia.
Coal has established deep cultural roots in the region and will no doubt remain a market mainstay for some time to come. But coal will no longer reign. Deserved competition will significantly reduce its role. Pristine mountain ecosystems will reclaim prominence in emerging economic orders. Beneficial ecosystem services, far too important for the cash nexus, will reclaim their rightful place in the market. Holistic medicine, decentralized food production, eco-tourism, alternative energy markets and trade cooperatives are just a few examples of market forces that will empower mountain people to reclaim the commons. As opposed to capital, individuals will own the means of production, hold agency over their labor and signal the market.
There are no words to describe the complexity that will follow. Such a liberty can only be imagined by the people of this incredibly diverse, ancient terrain. Appalachia will be wild, wonderful and free.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

We welcome Islamabad for awarding Bangladeshi-origin refugees Pakistan`s nationality


PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...

Sports »

Argentina's Facundo Conte (left) and teammate Alexis Gonzalez celebrate during the Men's World Championships' volleyball match between Argentina and Slovenia, in Florence, Italy on Monday.


Football »

FIFA president Infantino has doubts about La Liga match in Miami


AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...

Entertainment »

Annie Sekhon all set to shine in Bollywood


Actress Annie Sekhon who has worked in many television shows and Punjabi films is having the time of her life. Off late she's been enjoying the success of her latest Punjabi film, 'Punjab Singh' opposite Gurjind Maan. The hangover of this film hasn't even faded yet and she's taking a ...

Entertainment »

2018 Emmy winners list


Best Drama Series: Game of ThronesBest Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselBest Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, The AmericansBest Actress, Drama Series: Claire Foy, The CrownBest Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of ThronesBest Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Thandie Newton, WestworldBest Writing, Drama Series: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, ...

Business & Economy »

Md. Momin Ud Dowlah, Chairman and Managing Director of Eon Group of Industries Limited, inaugurating its 18th anniversary celebrating programme by cutting cake at Eon Convention Center in the city on Sunday. Major ABA Mesbah Ud Dowlah, Vice-Chairman, ABA Shahid Ud Dowlah, Executive Director, Sayeeda Dowla, Director and Dr. Tamim Ud Dowlah, Group Director were also present.


City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a discussion on 'Voting Rights-Fair Justice and Human Rights: Present Bangladesh' organised by Bangladesh Jatiya Manobadhikar Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.


International »

US slashes refugee admissions to 30,000 for 2019


Reuters, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019, a sharp drop from a limit of 45,000 it set for 2018."We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the ...

Editorial »

Journalists` concern for free speech should not be ignored


EDITORS' Council on Saturday expressed its surprise, dissatisfaction, and shock at the final report of a parliamentary standing committee on the draft Digital Security Act which totally ignored the concerns expressed by journalists. Following disapproval from journalists, rights campaigners and foreign diplomats in Dhaka, the Law Minister earlier had admitted ...

Sports »

Japan's Osaka blames US Open tears on 'notorious' nerves


AFP, Tokyo :Naomi Osaka has put her US Open tears down to shredded nerves and her natural awkwardness, rather than the tantrum thrown by Serena Williams that overshadowed a historic Japanese win.The 20-year-old melted hearts when she burst into sobs as boos rang out following her emphatic 6-2, 6-4 thrashing ...

International »

Floodwaters rise as killer storm stalks southeastern US


AFP :Catastrophic floods raised the threat of landslides and dam failures across the southeastern United States on Monday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence crept over South ...

International »

Imran Khan pledges citizenship to Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees


Al Jazeera News :Karachi, Pakistan - Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to implement existing Pakistani laws that would grant citizenship to all Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees who were born on Pakistani soil, a major departure from previous policy.Pakistan is home to more than 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees, according ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu Smriti Sangsad at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and other leaders of the party.


Entertainment »

Radhika Apte turns adviser for AndhaDhun director


AndhaDhun director, Sriram Raghavan holds Radhika’s opinion in high regard when it comes to working on a project. Radhika being an omnipresent character in the entertainment world, the filmmaker feels that seeking advice from the actress always works in favor of him. According to sources, Sriram Raghavan said, “Since Radhika ...

Editorial »

DUCSU election is desirable but subservient party politics must end


ACADEMICS and former student leaders have emphasised favourable environment and immediate announcement of schedule to hold the long-awaited election to Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU). While Dhaka University authorities initiated a discussion with student organisations over the issue yesterday, the participants welcoming the DU's move pointed out that flexing ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news