Our Topsy Turvy Times

Once upon a time when the sun never set on the British Empire, the crown jewel in the imperial crown was a country called India. There were many agricultural products that the empire derived from India, including opium. When the power loom for weaving textiles made its appearance, the native Indians started up a lively business. To the British Empire this was a direct threat to their textile trade. So the Brits proceeded to destroy the power looms.

The native Indians (not to be confused with the American Indians) turned to knitting textiles by hand. The British imperialists were not deterred. They cut off the thumbs of the native Indians so they could not knit textiles.

Time marches on. British textile corporations are closing down their mills in the United Kingdom to get their work done in India.

What happened?

Four simultaneous technical revolutions made it possible for British textile manufacturers to get their work done in distant lands. These are revolutions in communications, transportation, materials handling and computerized management. In a matter of seconds, highly skilled technicians in the British home office could see exactly what was happening in their plants in India. They could instantaneously communicate corrections. In short, modern technologies had turned the world into a global village.

But, regrettably, the “village” has no government to check the outrages of the corporations, The answer lies in a sort of global government where the World Trade Organization is obliged to live by the labor standards code developed by the International Labor Organization.

If and when this ever happens perhaps some savvy historian will call it “The Tyler Plan.”

Tagged as:

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Our Topsy Turvy Times

Thank you!

This article has been sent!