Global Proletarianization

zodiac zodiac at
Wed May 29 09:22:19 MDT 1996

As Carrol Cox, Dough Henwood, and many others have pointed out, the world
today is more like the one M/E described in the Communist Manifesto than
it was then -- in contrast the capitalist think tanks who insist Marx is

The following news article reminds me of a passage from the Manifesto:

    The bourgeoisie has, through its exploitation of the world market,
    given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every
    country. To the great chagrin of reactionaries, it has drawn from
    under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All
    old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily
    being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose
    introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized
    nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material,
    but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose
    products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the



    By 2000, half the world's population will
    live in cities and towns, up from 30 per cent in 1990

    Stephen Handelman
    Toronto Star
    May 29 1996

    NEW YORK -- The age of the mega-city has arrived.

    Seven urban centres around the world will reach at least 20 million
    people by the year 2015, the United Nations Population Fund predicted

    Japan's Tokyo will lead the list with nearly 28 million, followed by
    India's Bombay, Nigeria's Lagos, China's Shanghai, Indonesia's
    Jakarta, Brazil's Sao Paolo and Pakistan's karachi. Each city will
    have a population rivalling Canada's.

    These giant cities represent the tip of a global shift toward
    urbanization "on a scale never before experienced," the fund warned in
    a report on the state of the world's population.

    "Urban population in growing faster than world population as a whole,"
    the report declared. And some cities are experiencing the fastest
    rates of population growth ever.

    Within 10 years, the report predicts, more than half the people in the
    world will be living in cities: 3.3 billion of the 6.59 billion total.

    The phenomenon poses an environmental, social and political challenge
    for governments in the 21st century.

    Much of the urban growth will come in the world's poorest countries.

    "And many of the new urban dwellers, particularly women and their
    children, will be among the poorest people in the world."

    Today's report was timed to coincide with the U.N.-sponsored
    conference on urban issues, set to open next month in Istanbul,

    It draws a stark portrait of life in today's sprawling megalopolises,
    as rich and poor alike face diminishing resources and service.

    -- In Mexico City, regarded as one of the world's most polluted
       cities, motor vehicle lead emissions are held responsible for an
       epidemic of hypertension in adults and for an estimated 140,000
       mentally retarded children.

    -- Children in Cairo have three to five times the level oflead in
       their blood than children in rural Egypt.

    -- In the Philippines suburbs of Manila, thousands of people have
       settled on a noxious 24-hectare garbage dump that provides them
       with their only means of employment.

    Governments need to step up spending on infrastructure, health and
    women's education, among other areas, to stave off a worse crisis, the
    report said.

    In 1950, New York was the world's biggest city with more than 10
    million people. But by 2015, the report predicts New York won't be in
    the top 10 of the most populated cities [it's currently third; LA is


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