Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, January 24, 2019 03:42:41 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

Cricket »

India's Virat Kohli plays forward during the one day international between New Zealand and India in Napier, New Zealand on Wednesday.


A match billed as a runfest was turned upside-down by India's spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal on Wednesday, as New Zealand were crushed by eight wickets in the first one-day international in Napier.India arrived at the ground with captain Virat Kohli expecting 300-plus to be par but when ...

International »

Priyanka Gandhi also enters politics


AP, New Delhi :A scion of India's most famous political dynasty on Wednesday formally entered politics, with the opposition Congress party assigning her a position as it prepares for national elections due before May.Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the 47-year-old daughter of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. She has in the ...

City »

People from all walks of life paid last respect to noted musician and freedom fighter Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul by giving floral wreaths on his coffin at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Sonam Bajwa is all set to make her big Bollywood debut


After creating an immense sensation in the Punjabi film industry, Sonam Bajwa is now ready to make her foray into Bollywood with Varun Dhawan. Yesterday Varun posted a video on social media where he was en route to Punjab for shooting and while on board Varun introduced film’s producer Bhushan ...

Editorial »

Doctors should ensure quality healthcare service to patients


IN a surprise visit to 11 government hospitals and health complexes in eight districts including Dhaka on Tuesday, the Anti-Corruption Commission found 92 doctors out of a total of 230 absent at their workplaces. Eleven teams from the ACC made the visits between 9:00am and 2:00pm.Recently, the ACC received allegations ...

City »

General students of Dhaka University formed a human chain in front of Aparajeya Bangla of the university on Tuesday demanding proper probe into the suicidal case of Taifur Rahman Protik, a student of Genetics Engineering and Bio-technology Department of Shahjalal Science and Technology University.


Editorial »

ACC's role in fighting corruption


THE Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday suspended one of its directors for allegedly leaking information about its investigation beforehand and also having nexus with the accused.  The suspended official was recently promoted as director. In May last year, the ACC also dismissed one of its assistant directors and suspended another for ...

Sports »

Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans by six wickets in the 25th match of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Tuesday.Chasing Khulna's competitive 181 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 20 overs, ...

Sports »

Greek sensation Tsitsipas into first Slam semi-final


AFP, Melbourne :Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas showed resilience and maturity Tuesday to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over Roberto Bautista Agut.Roger Federer's conqueror had to contend with dropping his serve early in each of the first three sets to the Spanish ...

International »

Ex-diplomats, scholars urge China to release Canadians


AFP, Beijing :A group of more than 100 former diplomats and academics have signed an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for the release of two Canadians who have been detained on allegations of espionage.Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were on December 10 arrested for ...

International »

France, Germany seek closer bond to tackle EU crisis


AFP, Aachen :France and Germany will on Tuesday sign a new friendship treaty to deepen their alliance at a time of crisis for the EU, drawing fire from the far right and a flurry of alarmist fake news reports.French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to sign ...

Business & Economy »

IMF cuts growth forecasts as world economic forum begins


AP, Davos, Switzerland :The world economy absorbed more bad news Monday: The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for 2019. And China, the world's second-biggest economy, said it had slowed to its weakest pace since 1990.The IMF cut its estimate for global growth this year to 3.5 percent, from ...

Entertainment »

Sherlyn Chopra raises the mercury in her latest video `Tunu Tunu`


The amorous Sherlyn Chopra has always treated her fans with her raunchy photoshoots and now the seductress diva is back with another treat for her fans. After treating the fans a few days back with a short teaser, now the diva has treated her fans with the full music video. ...

Editorial »

The miseries of River Karnafuli must end


WITH alleged support from a section of officials, the encroachment of Karnafuli banks is still rampant by some powerful quarters flouting the High Court order.  Quoting investigation report done by the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC), the media yesterday reported that none of the 2,181 illegal structures has been removed ...

Cricket »

David Warner to undergo surgery on injured elbow


Banned former Australian vice-captain David Warner is expected to undergo minor surgery on his elbow Tuesday after returning home from the Bangladesh Premier League with an injury.Warner, alongside former skipper Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft, was suspended from international cricket over a ball-tampering scandal during a Test match in ...

 
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