I read the news today oh boy
About more privatization of commons which ‘ll be taking place.
– The Beatles
The news Paul and John are talking about is this:
So some companies proclaim that water is the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit. Sweet, isn’t it?
If this news makes you a bit pissed off, then we can continue, but, if you consider this to be actually ‘sweet’, then maybe you should not waste your time reading this.
Now, all of us have witnessed various sectors being privatized in last 10-15 years. And most people don’t question it, or believe in myths surrounding privatization. Like it increases productivity, quality improves, so on and so forth. But are they actually true? Let us take the latest example; most of us get water from Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Urban Development etc etc, far from best option but better than the one proposed. India has made significant progress in last decade for supplying drinking water (largely due to contribution of local communities). And we get it almost daily for minimal fee (around rupees 10 per week, i am guessing here) and almost free in poorer parts. According to myth number 1, Privatization will improve the quality of water. Well. One, Two and Three.
EWG is particularly appalled at the lack of transparency by leading bottled water sellers as to the sources of their water and whether it is purified or has been tested for contaminants. According to a recent survey by the group, 18 percent of the 173 bottled waters on the U.S. market today fail to list the location of their source; a third disclose nothing about the treatment or purity of the water inside their plastic bottles.
“Among the ten best-selling brands, nine—Pepsi’s Aquafina, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven Nestlé brands—don’t answer at least one of those questions,” reports EWG. Only Nestlé’s Pure Life Purified Water “discloses its specific geographic water source and treatment method…and offers an 800-number, website or mailing address where consumers can request a water quality test report.”
As it happens, bottled water is probably one of the most wasteful products we produce. It costs energy and labor to run tap water through filters and bottle it, and the bottles themselves are made of petroleum products and require additional petroleum products to package and ship. The bottles are problematic, and not easily or typically recycled. Other than the convenience factor (and, let’s face it, filtered water could very easily be sold or dispensed in fountain style, similar to soda), it’s a really bad product.
All the bottled water brands they tested were within federal standards for drinking water quality, but two of them fell outside Californian state standards in that their chlorine content was too high. These were: Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant Food’s Acadia.
The study authors said that: “Cancer-causing contaminants in bottled water purchased in 5 states (North Carolina, California, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland) and the District of Columbia substantially exceeded the voluntary standards established by the bottled water industry.”
So much for quality and productivity, eh?
Next up, is privatization of only water is bad or of everything? Well… I would say everything. Let me try to explain here.
Let’s talk about education: Private schools, tuitions, big coaching chains, just to make you pass the god damn exam.
The quality of our public schools is worst than Arkham asylum. And it is because of privatization, first of all the “Appeal to wealth” logical fallacy that generates in parents mind. Second in private education institution like every other private institution main concern is profit. And they don’t want smart people capable of critical thinking or who don’t fit in the given mold. They will weed you out, 3rd. Semi-skilled labor is only possible in highly industrialized and privatized societies with “division-of-labour” and alienation of human. And that is exactly what is needed in privatized world – alienation. If schools are not privatized, and are free (like they used to be in major part of Europe few decades back or still are in Sweden, Norway, Denmark) up till university levels by community funding (not by forced taxation, where you don’t have control over where the money will be used). Then only can the equal rights for education be practiced.
When we are talking about privatization, lets also discuss private land ownership (started in roman empire: the sovereign right property), privatization of oil, now food, everything that was one a gift to all humans turned into product and sold for profit of few.
And possibility of this: Dubai’s Climate-Controlled Dome. When air is privatized. Total Recall? Anyone??
In respect of property, as of all economic factors, harm and abuse cannot be dissevered from the good, any more than debit can from asset in double-entry book-keeping. The one necessarily spawns the other. To seek to do away with the abuses of property, is to destroy the thing itself; just as the striking of a debit from an account is tantamount to striking it from the credit record. – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
I am not advocating straight out state control over all aspect of life rather the contrary. Control of ordinary humans, communes and federations. And those are not the actual lyrics for A Day In Life, you should really check out “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“