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The Tragic Realities of the Big Cities

| 7/8/2019 9:51:00 AM

New York City Skyline

Among the most notable events of the early industrial revolution in Britain during the middle eighteen hundreds, was a mass exodus from the farms and countryside into the inner cities. This mass migration was driven by the economic hardships of living on, what was largely at the time, merely subsistence farming. That is to say that the vast majority of those people living outside of the cities had little more than the means to grow (and hunt) that which was necessary for their own, basic needs of survival. The progression allowed by the industrial revolution created a host of more readily available jobs in the inner cities that paid a cash wage, even if not altogether survivable in any real comfortable fashion.

While the industrial revolution in the United States also began in the middle eighteen hundreds, it did not reach its peak until the early twentieth century. It was during this peak of the industrial revolution in the early nineteen hundreds, that people in the US began moving en masse into the cities to look for work. In fact, the nineteen hundreds saw for the first time, more people in the US living in the cities than did on farms and in more rural and isolated areas. This began a trend that continues to this day, much to the chagrin of many of the more environmentally concerned members of the human race.

It is perhaps fair to presume that most of the readers of Mother Earth News do not appreciate the more uncomfortable aspects of city life. While there are certainly benefits in terms of access to goods and services, most of the readers here are likely to be willing to compromise on such matters for their own personal health and welfare, cleaner air and the other benefits of country living. Again, this fact seems to hold particularly true of that portion of society which is primarily … or even majorly concerned about the environment and the overall benefit and well being of the planet.

It has been the experience of the author that some experts believe that large cities should be eradicated completely in order to ensure the welfare of the planet itself. Though it is difficult to believe that such an occurrence would actually be a benefit either to the survival of the human species or even overly beneficial for the planet … at least in the relative short term … from a planetary standing. The tragic reality of the big cities is that they are an absolute necessity for the ongoing existence of the human species and for the overall concern of human growth and development … at least for the meantime. In a very simplistic world view, global interaction or international affairs take place in only two realms. There is either international trade or international war over resources and land masses that provide those resources. Now the author, given these two realistic options, would have to vote on the side of international trade rather than seeing the world return to a more tribal and isolated setting. If there is no international trade, the end result can only be international wars. Simplistic perhaps, but still very accurate in practice. This is one of the reasons why many wars are preceded by economic and trade sanctions. These sanctions are in fact, the opening salvo in a war and the commencement for the beating of the war drums.

While this is a very simplistic view, it does serve to encompass the greater portion of interaction by and between the nations of this world. As such, it is very easy to agree that war is not going to be good for the people or for the planet. As such, it is fairly safe to presume that war is not a viable alternative except for those who stand to enrich their own fortunes from the misfortunes of the masses in war … or in the rebuilding of all of the infrastructure and the economic systems in the aftermath of these wars. The fact remains that international trade is decidedly more preferable than international war, and as such, global ports and large cities and their industry are in large part, great aids in the global peace process.

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