from Angelic (SHORTS)
Josef never found out what happened to the angel. Briggs sold it to the Americans for an undisclosed sum and it died in transit. If Josef ever gets to the Natural History Museum in Chicago, he’ll find it in a glass case, its head tilted back so that it stares eternally heavenwards. At the base of the case is a plaque which reads:
UNIQUE AUSTRALIAN AVIFAUNA
donated by AMTECH
Plagued is my latest: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BYPQS68
Malleable was my latest: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X67G34L
Lots more; such as hiSTORY, a collection of 32 short stories ranging across time and mundane space. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0994344368
And non fiction such as ‘The Beguiling sins of industrial capitalism…‘ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I4RC2GU
Review of ‘The Beguiling sins of industrial capitalism…’
by Jan Kershaw.
Stephen J Kimber lives in Queensland and has had over 20 texts published. He writes educational texts in English, History and Geography and has also published a novella, three plays and many short stories. This ebook contains plenty of illustrations, charts and graphs with useful hyperlinks to more references for those readers who want more information.
Kimber’s view on industrial capitalism is evident from his title, with the three main sins being exploitation, particularly of labour; resource depletion; and environmental degradation. He argues that even though these factors clearly threaten global peace, stability and sustainability they are often seen as the strengths of industrial capitalism by those who own and/or control the means of production.
Particularly eye-opening is Chapter 2 A Haves and Have Nots World, A Much Greater Hunger. Kimber graphically shows that the rich (over US $1 million) and super rich (over US $50 million) control around 80% of the world’s wealth, while at least 80% of the world’s population lives on less than US $10 a day. This raises an old question, one highlighted by the British critic Terry Eagleton in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Is it…plausible to maintain that there is something in the nature of capitalism itself which generates deprivation and inequality?” Source, 10 April 2011
[The author] certainly argues that this is the case. Before industrialisation, production was most often small scale and local with resource use keeping pace with this. However, when production was powered by water, then steam and now petrochemicals, the resources needed to power machinery and get raw materials to make products quickly outstripped what was available locally. Production began taking place in large factories, at times in new towns which were developed to house the new working class.
As industrialisation of production spread, the workers, first in the UK, then the USA and Australia, challenged the capitalist owners. The Luddites were known for smashing machinery in the textile mills of the English Midlands and later the Chartist Movement presented several petitions to the House of Commons seeking better conditions, all of which were rejected. Such views were seen as radical by the Establishment with demonstrations brutally supressed, with Luddites and Chartists being transported to Australia and bringing with them a tradition of seeking to improve workers’ rights.
Kimber demonstrates how overconsumption is now a necessary condition of industrial capitalism and how this is fuelled by advertising, promotion via celebrity lifestyles, and easy access to credit. He argues we are mainly valued as consumers, our social status and prestige marked by our consumption patterns where we literally buy into the rituals of purchasing new ‘stuff’ all the time – shopping as entertainment. I was astonished to read that in the US only about 1% of purchases were still in use 6 months after purchase.
Kimber is not arguing for the overthrow of industrial capitalism, but rather a recognition that, for all the personal benefits it may bring, it does so at the cost of ‘overconsumption, exploitation of someone else, somewhere else…and we simply do not have the …ecosystem resources – for it.’
3.5 STARS (7/10)
Reviewed by: Jan Kershaw [see glamadelaide.com.au/main/book-review-the-beguiling-sins-of-industrial-capitalism-by-stephen-j-kimber/]
Textbooks I contributed to include:
- Impact English 1 to 4 (Nelson Thomson)
- English is… for years 7 to 10 (Jacaranda)
- History 2 & Geography 2 (Nelson Thomson)
- Nelson Senior English
- ‘Alive and kicking’ & ‘Alive and grinning’- short story anthologies (Jacaranda)
- Shorts (Jacaranda)