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NATS 1760- MACHINES OF DEMOCRACY.docx

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Department
Natural Science
Course
NATS 1760
Professor
Darrin Durant
Semester
Fall

Description
NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/ JAMES ELWICK Monday, October 22, 2012 MACHINES OF DEMOCRACY Pg. 79-108  The exploitation of coal provided a thermodynamic force whose supply in the nineteenth century began to increase exponentially  democracy described as a consequence- political power weakened by a social and technical world increasingly built upon oil  Solar energy was converted into grain and other crops to provide fuel for humans, into grasslands to raise animals for labor and further human fuel, into woodlands to provide firewood and into the wind energy and water power used to drive transportation and machinery  Organic supplies were replaced with highly concentrated stores of buried solar energy( the deposits of carbon)  Steam power replaced animal and water power in manufacturing and transportation  Coal and steam power required a third component-= iron  iron smelters mastered difficult process with smelting with coke( increased production with the production of coal)  The Cornish high-pressure engines were combined with iron and coal to build steam railways  Earths surface combined with the opening up of a third dimension: the subterranean stores of carbon  Timescale of energy production was dependent on the rate of photosynthesis in crops, lifespan of animals, and the time taken to replenish grazing lands and stands of timber  fossil fuels compressed into a concentrated form  The change from wood to other renewable energy source to the use of coal underlies the ‘great divergence’ between development of northern and central Europe  Subterranean stores reduced amount of land required to supply process energy, larger surface territory needed to produce materials to which this increasing quantity of energy was applied  Industrialization- as an urban phenomenon based on fossil fuels, but it depended on an agrarian and colonial transformation based organic forms of energy  Commodities Europe needed as industrial raw material could not be obtained simply through relations of trade for two reasons: 1) agrarian populations typically preferred to use their land and labor to produce materials largely for their own needs 2) when one world region developed a new process that gave it a technological advantage, other regions typically adopted the innovation as soon as possible  Relationship between coal, industrialization and colonization provides a first set of connection between fossil fuels and democracy  power of government reserved to those who owned property  The mobilization of new, democratizing political forces depended upon the concentration of population in cities and in manufacturing associated with forms of collective life  Between 1881 and 1905, coal miners in the US went on strike at a rate about three times the average for workers in all major industries  moving carbon stores from the coal seam to the surface created unusually autonomous places and methods of work  Carter Goodrich argues that autonomy was a product of the very geography of the working places inside a mine  to defend autonomy against the threats of mechanization, or dangerous work practices, longer working hours and lower rates of pay  What was missing was an effective way of forcing the powerful to listen to those demands  The word sabotage was initially sued to describe an industrial action by French railway men, but then to refer to the slow-down, the work-to-rule and other means of interrupting the normal functioning of a critical process  The coordination of strikes, slow-downs and other forms of sabotage enabled the construction of a new political instrument = the general strike  The Rockefeller Plan created company unions that allowed works to negotiate over pay and working conditions while preventing them from joining independent unions  seen as representations of ‘industrial democracy’ and compared to the ‘self government’  feudalistic state- government of which, however enlightened, contains nothing of the consent of the governed- and a democracy explaining that if people have a voice in the making of the regulations which affect them, they are more able to understand and accept law  Workers gradually connected together by the increasing
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