Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I wonder if Europe, Japan, and Canada are showing a similar proportional decline in mobility. I ask because I think one variable impacting this is the declining need for human labor - both physical and mental, stemming from ever increasing productivity gains through technology. It impacts all nations. For an extreme example, consider the vast numbers of 3rd world subsistence farmers who lost their land over the second half of the 20th century to be replaced by machine farming. Those people and their descendants aren't just poorer today, they're essentially excess humans (a very chilling concept) crammed into unimaginable squalor in 3rd world slums with little do do. They exist purely at the whims of the middle and upper classes, and in the most extreme cases, live exclusively off the waste energy of said classes (their garbage). Assuming a continual march of technology (certainly questionable but very possible) the same thing will eventually happen in the first world. In the US it's starting with the rural poor, who were being thrown under the bus in recent posts on the energy crisis.

Does anyone here know of any good research on this subject? It seems to me to be a remaking of human culture that is going largely unnoticed as most intellectuals devote their energy to the axis of nation state politics. Most intellectuals don't have a firm grasp on technology as it is.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 11:15:14 PM EST
Interesting comment on the intellectual over emphasis on the nation state. Especily true when teh multi or the trans national corporations do not care too much about national borders as they can move their operations, headquarters and capital swiftly from one place to another in a very short period.
by observer393 on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 11:39:00 PM EST
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fundamental contradiction of industrial capitalism...

improved effiency only understood as "takes less labour to make widget" ... never mind the amt of water or energy or raw material or toxic byproduct involved, labour is the only 'cost' that trad capitalists recognise -- sources are infinite, sinks are infinite, all supplies are substitutable, only labour is  a target for rigorous cheeseparing...

so taken to its logical conclusion, eventually it only takes 100 people to make all the Stuff everyone needs -- but if no one else has a job, how does anyone buy the Stuff that those incredibly productive 100 employed people can make?  oh yeah, the other 8 bio of us will sell lattes to those 100 people, or shine their shoes or something :-) in the postmodern Servant Economy.


The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 03:36:37 AM EST
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I have just found this link Povert across generations about the UK but have not looked at it yet.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 05:37:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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