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March 27, 2008

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Saltation

ooo more devil's advocate, i'm afraid.

britain mostly benefitted india. granted they ripped off the aristocracy. but (a) that aristocracy had acquired said wealth by ripping off the people, not by creating it, and (b) everyone else benefitted -- all those people who happened not to live in rooms of ivory etc. apart from the muslim areas around rajasthan, the brits are generally held by the locals to have led to a higher quality of life for most.

for a more startling example of "the colonised" becoming "coriolanus", check out lakshmi mittal (IIRC) -- the steel magnate who's now britain's richest man, having latterly moved there from india.

but it's less about empire and colony than it is about a standard human pattern of an aggressor altering local behaviour then locals playing that same game harder than the originators. ignoring the australian cricket team vs UK ;), note that bankers trust (USA) moved into oz and years later was then reverse-taken over by bankers trust australia: same (learned) attitude and skills, but more dynamic, more driven, and more skillful.


and but yeah: there's a few fundamental shifts in economic/cultural weight happening. india's a slow-burn due to its self-crippling proclivity, but china's the not-so-dark horse. not just the obvious sovereignfund abuses-of-power happening now throughout the thirdworld, but look at teh underlying fundamental demand-drivers at the "simple" commodity level. if your hair isn't stood on end after researching the problems with grains and rare metals, you have a drug problem.

altho, i wonder what would happen if the climate treaties actually addressed the real carbon asymmetries? granted, carbon is a red herring. but that's what the bandwagon has leapt aboard.
far and away the human world's biggest impact on carbon output?
rice.

Earl Mardle

Hi Sal. More like devil's ponder than actual advocate, but thanks for the dip in the stream of consciousness. I must track you down and buy you a beer in London in late May early June.

And I'd still say the Raj is a definite maybe. In the end, it may be difficult to tell the difference between the old aristocracy and Tata, in fact a reasonable chunk of the new aristocracy IS the old aristocracy.

The carbon thing is right on the nail though, and the energy budget is being constrained by the minute. As that crunch comes home to bite, the newly (auto)mobile middle class of many millions is going to find itself heading back to the sweatshop and its NOT going to like it. Same in China.

Saltation

beer? you're ON!

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