Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, November 17, 2018 10:19:06 PM
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 »

Only condemnation not enough, ensure safe return of Rohingyas to Myanmar


US Vice-President Mike Pence expressed the Trump administration's strongest condemnation about Myanmar's treatment towards Rohingya Muslims. He told Aung San Suu Kyi that "persecution" by Myanmar's military was "without excuse" in a meeting with her on November14. Mr Pence also pressed Suu Kyi to pardon two Reuters journalists who were ...

City »

Former Parliament Member of Moulvibazar-2 constituency MM Shaheen joined Juktofront by giving bouquets to Juktofront Chief Prof Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury at the party office in the city's Baridhara on Friday.


.

Football »

Croatia stun Spain as Jedvaj strikes twice to keep hopes alive


AFP, Zagreb :Spain passed up the chance to seal progress to the Nations League finals as they were beaten 3-2 by Croatia on Thursday, undone by a 93rd-minute winner from Tin Jedvaj.Jedvaj's late strike leaves Group 4 wide open ahead of its final fixture between England and Croatia on Sunday. ...

Entertainment »

Deepika-Ranveer wedding: First pics of the gorgeous couple spell magic


Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh got married at the picturesque locale of Lake Como in Italy. The much-in-love duo got married in a traditional Konkani wedding ceremony on November 14 and today solemnised their wedding as per Sindhi tradition. After managing to keep their wedding pictures well-guarded, the couple has ...

International »

May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis


Reuters, London : British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and mutiny in her party.More than two years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, it is still unclear how, ...

Editorial »

Mass awareness needed if NBR wants more people under tax net


THE countrywide 'Income Tax Fair -2018' has already drawn a huge crowd. The authorities hope more people would be brought under tax net this year too. Finance Minister AMA Muhith while inaugurating the fair said out of country's 16 crore population, the number of taxpayers is around one crore. There ...

International »

US could lose war against Russia or China, warns panel


AP, Washington :The United States military has "lost its edge" and could potentially lose a war against Russia or China, a report by a bipartisan panel established by Congress says.The report by the National Defense Strategy Commission on November 14 said U.S. military superiority has "eroded to a dangerous degree" ...

Football »

Switzerland`s Kevin Mbabu (left) is challenged by Qatar's Abdelkarim Hassan during an international friendly soccer match between Switzerland and Qatar at the Cornaredo stadium in Lugano, Switzerland on Wednesday.


.

City »

Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Thursday in protest against setting fire on police van in front of the BNP Central Office in the city's Nayapalton.


.

Entertainment »

Why Shraddha Kapoor likes Chhichhore


Shraddha Kapoor commences the shoot of her upcoming film Chhichhore.  Shraddha took to her twitter handle on Wednesday morning and announced, “Time to get back in to it! Excited to start a new journey. Day 1 for me on #Chhichhore?? @NGEMovies @niteshtiwari22 @itsSSR.” Earlier, The first look poster of Chhichhore ...

Entertainment »

Jaya Ahsan coming with Beauty Circus


Entertainment Report :Jaya Ahsan has already proved herself as an actress not only in Bangladesh but also in Kolkata. Now she is one of the busiest actors in Indian Bangla cinema whose commitment to her craft has taken her places including a circus. Jaya’s latest Bangladeshi film Debi, which also ...

Entertainment »

Bijori takes break on her birthday


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Bijori Barkatullah was one of the popular TV actresses of her generation. She is not only an actress but also a dance artiste, model and host. Today is her birthday. She takes break on her birthday. Before birthday she also worked. Bijori informed that yesterday she took ...

Sports »

Rooney excited to see what `fearless` England are capable of


AFP, Burton-On-Trent :Wayne Rooney will make his final farewell as England's greatest ever goalscorer in a friendly against the United States on Thursday, but is excited at what a young squad can achieve under "fearless" coach Gareth Southgate in the years to come.Rooney, 33, made the last of his 119 ...

Sports »

Shoulder injury rules Jason Holder out of Bangladesh tour


Agency :Windies suffered a big blow as captain Jason Holder was ruled out of the Bangladesh tour with a shoulder injury. Holder is said to have suffered the injury during the recent tour of India, and will need at least four weeks to recover from the setback."Jason has a partial ...

Editorial »

Time for fixing banking irregularities


THE Bangladesh Bank's role as the custodian of the production and distribution of money and credit in the economy has been eroded by the finance ministry in the past decade. It's not a common people's remark. Rather, it came from a Director of the central bank while addressing a meeting ...

 
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