Saturday, January 24, 2015

Impact of Industrial Revolution on China and South Asia

The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of a major shift in economic, military and political power from East to West.

  A research letter written by Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JP Morgan, and published in the Atlantic Magazine shows how dramatic this economic power shift has been. The size of a nation's GDP depended on the size of its population and labor force in agrarian economies prior to the Industrial era.  With the advent of  the Industrial revolution, the use of machines relying on energy from fossil fuels dramatically enhanced labor productivity in the West and shifted the balance of power from Asia to America and Europe.

Here's a video discussion on the subject:

Vision 2047: Political Revolutions and South Asia from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Major East-West Power Shift Since Industrial... by faizanmaqsood1010
Here's a video of a BBC documentary about Al Andalusia or Muslim Spain:


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Was India Ever Rich? 

Pakistan Military Industrial Revolution

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

Education Attainment in South Asia

Pakistan Needs Comprehensive Energy Policy

Social Media Growth in Pakistan

Is America Young and Barbaric?

Godfather Metaphor for Uncle Sam


Riaz Haq said...

Manufacturing activity is now more apt to leave for other countries as labor costs rise. Therefore deindustrialization kicks in at lower income levels. Moreover, this premature deindustrialization is more apparent in employment than in output data. Output can be sustained in the face of rising labor costs by replacing workers with machinery.[1]
Countries still industrialize and then deindustrialize as they become richer. However, industrial employment shares for today’s late industrializers such as China, India and Bangladesh are all below 16%, and on today’s trends seem unlikely to rise much further. Moreover, the per capita income levels at which deindustrialization kicks in have fallen from $34,000 in 1970 to around $9,000 in 2010.
These results urge a balanced approach to industrialization. They confirm that industrialization matters – when it brings jobs; but they also confirm that this is less and less likely to happen. Governments must not neglect manufacturing. Nor can they rely as heavily on it as they once did.

Riaz Haq said...

At the end of May, the Oxford Union held a debate on the motion "This house believes Britain owes reparations to her former colonies". Speakers included former Conservative MP Sir Richard Ottaway, Indian politician and writer Shashi Tharoor and British historian John Mackenzie. Shashi Tharoor's argument in support of the motion, went viral in India after he tweeted it out from his personal account. The argument has found favour among Indians, where the subject of colonial exploitation remains a sore topic. Here he gives a summary of his views:

At the beginning of the 18th Century, India's share of the world economy was 23%, as large as all of Europe put together. By the time the British departed India, it had dropped to less than 4%.
The reason was simple: India was governed for the benefit of Britain. Britain's rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.
By the end of the 19th Century, India was Britain's biggest cash-cow, the world's biggest purchaser of British exports and the source of highly paid employment for British civil servants - all at India's own expense. We literally paid for our own oppression.

Britain's Industrial Revolution was built on the de-industrialisation of India - the destruction of Indian textiles and their replacement by manufacturing in England, using Indian raw material and exporting the finished products back to India and the rest of the world.

As Britain ruthlessly exploited India, between 15 and 29 million Indians died tragically unnecessary deaths from starvation.

British imperialism had long justified itself with the pretence that it was enlightened despotism, conducted for the benefit of the governed. Mr Churchill's inhumane conduct in 1943 gave the lie to this myth.

The construction of the Indian Railways is often pointed to as a benefit of British rule, ignoring the obvious fact that many countries have built railways without having to be colonised to do so.

India contributed more soldiers to British forces fighting the First World War than Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa combined.

Riaz Haq said...

Aakar Patel Op Ed on Tharoor speech at Oxford Union:

Tharoor sought reparations for the Raj. These being mainly moral reparations, yes, but coming out of a conviction that the Raj was a very bad thing.
I went on a TV show on Friday (handicapped greatly by my Surat accent going up against the crispness of Tharoor’s more civilized one). I made a few points which I thought I should repeat and perhaps elaborate on. Mainly because Sunday Times of India readers probably did not watch once my mug was visible.
For me, whether the Raj was good or bad is not as important as whether it was better than what went before it. Of course it was. The British didn’t come to conquer India; it was a creeping takeover facilitated and encouraged by Indians. Gujarat was relieved when the British finally protected them from the excesses of the Marathas (who still squat on Baroda) and the incompetence of the Mughal rump. It was the Oswal Jains who financed and executed Robert Clive’s win at Plassey. They did so because the Mughal governors there were in power but incapable of leading them, even if they were not foreign.
Tharoor says that Clive looted India. True. But he also stabbed himself (with his pen-knife I understand) in the throat because of his guilt. I wish that fate for not a few of those who looted us after him. But forget that.
Tharoor touches upon the Indian contribution to the world wars as an instance where Britain owes us. The Indian sacrifices at Gallipoli, Monte Cassino and all the rest of it. I am frankly bored by the great stories of these noble contributions.
The fact is that the Indian army has historically been an army of mercenaries that became a national army overnight on August 15, 1947. It has zero history of fighting for national causes, only ever for money. Herodotus describes the clothing and weaponry of an Indian contingent in Greece hired by the Persians against the Athenians at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. A century later Alexander fought and massacred mercenaries in Punjab, according to Arrian.
The Jats and Marathas rode to battle for whoever paid them, as did the Rajputs. And why go back that far? General Dyer only ordered the firing at Jallianwala Bagh. Aim was taken and triggers pulled by the Gurkha Rifles and the Baloch Regiment.
If the British failed to govern India well it is because India is ungovernable. They did as good a job as might be expected of colonialists and have little to apologize for. Under the British, India’s population quadrupled for the first time in the 19th century (having only doubled each century before that according to the economist Angus Maddison). That is in my opinion purely down to Pax Britannica, the peace ensured by the Raj’s monopoly over violence. All Indians should be forced to read Sir Jadunath Sarkar’s four-volume history of the century between Aurangzeb’s death and the final defeat of the Marathas. Mother India was weeping and wounded when she went into the arms of Victoria.
India’s share of the world’s economy went down in the period of British rule, as Tharoor points out, but that was not because money was sucked out of it. We had a large share of the global economy in the age when all economies were agrarian and depended on the productivity of individual farmers.
Europe went to a different level in that period, particularly England after the Restoration and the forming of the Royal Society and the genius of Boyle, Hooke, Newton and all the rest of it. We remained where we were, and that is why it isn’t very different today, not because of the flaws in the Congress and the BJP.

Riaz Haq said...

Urging Jains not to provoke Maharashtra in the name of Paryushan, Saamna said the community should live in peace and harmony with the local residents of Maharashtra...Your financial empires will be nowhere if you sow enmity in Maharashtra, said Saamna.

In an editorial, Saamna reminded the Jains that Shiv Sainiks had protected them during the post-Babri communal flare-up in Mumbai in 1992-93. Many Jains would then call on Balasaheb Thackeray and thank him and the Sena for protecting their lives and properties during communal riots.

"Our Gujarati-Jain brothers were safe because Marathis countered the violence of religious fundamentalists with violence. And the Jains would be praising the violence which saved them," said the Shiv Sena mouthpiece and urged the Jain community to keep away from religious fundamentalism.

The Saamna editorial reflects the widespread ire in the Sena rank and file following the BMC administration's decision to keep the municipalised abattoirs shut for four days during the Paryushan Parva. BJP MLAs Atul Bhatkhalkar and Raj Purohit had written to the BMC seeking the shut-down of abattoirs in order to respect the religious sentiments of the Jain community.

"Till now, fundamentalist Muslims were flexing their religious muscles. If Jains too want to follow the path of religious fundamentalism then God alone should save them," Saamna said, adding, "The Jain community is indulging in uncalled for activities as it has wealth."

Riaz Haq said...

#US overall, #UK per capita are the biggest contributors to global warming todate #Trump #climatechange #ParisAccord …

Human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been the primary contributor to a global temperature rise of ~1 C since pre-industrial times. Industrial processes, energy production from burning fossil fuels and deforestation have been the major contributors to this observed trend in global warming. Even though the overall trend is of global nature, the sources of GHG emissions across the globe have varied drastically between regions and individual countries. A new study by Concordia University’s H Damon Matthews et al. published in Environmental Research Letters last week represents a sound estimate of what countries have historically been the largest GHG emitters and contributors to global warming. The calculations performed in the include an from five different emissions:
Fossil Fuel CO2
Land-use CO2
Nitrous Oxide, and
Aerosols, which have a cooling effect on the climate.
The results of the study show that the United States is the clear leader is both GHG emissions and contributions to global warming. Of the 0.7 C increase in global temperature since pre-industrial times, the United States alone has contributed 0.15 C (~20%). The top seven contributors alone account for ~63% of warming contributions, and the top 20 countries account for ~82%. China, which is presently the largest global emitter of GHGs, ranks 2nd on historical contributions to global warming, followed by Russia and Brazil and India. Brazil and India are interesting cases given that most of its CO2 emissions have originated from land-use emissions, meaning that deforestation has contributed to Brazil’s high ranking. This is different from the other top GHG emitting countries, whose main CO2 emissions can be tied back to the burning of fossil fuels. The study also includes the cooling effects that aerosol emissions have on the global climate. Generally, countries that emit larger quantities of CO2 also produce larger amounts of aerosols, which help counteract the warming effects of the CO2 emissions.

Riaz Haq said...

Height, lifespan, GDP: Humanity has stagnated for most of its history

Over the past millennium, income per capita in the selected countries has increased 32-fold, from 717 US dollars per person per year around the year 1000 to 23,086 dollars in 2010. This contrasts sharply with the previous millennia, when there was almost no advance in income per capita. The figure shows that it started rising and accelerating around the year 1820 and it has sustained a steady rate of increase over the last two centuries. One of the main challenges for growth theory is to understand this transition from stagnation to growth and in particular to identify the main factor(s) that triggered the take-off.

Is the finding that there was stagnation in the standard of living until 1820 truly robust? This claim is particularly important given that mankind experienced significant technological improvements that would have been expected to increase productivity and income per person, from the Neolithic revolution to the invention of the printing press.

Two facts corroborate the idea that there was indeed stagnation over the most part of human history: first, estimates of longevity computed on specific groups across time and space do not display any trend before 1700 CE. For example, De la Croix and Licandro (2015) show using a long-running database of 300,000 famous people that there was no trend in mortality during most of human history, confirming the existence of a Malthusian stagnation epoch.

Second, body height computed from skeletal remains does not display any trend either, while height is known to depend very much on nutrition when young (Koepke and Baten, 2005). This indicates that there was no systematic improvement in nutrition over time. One has to wait until the 19th century to observe a trend in height, as witnessed by the data of the Swedish army.

The three measures of standard of living proposed here – GDP per capita, height and lifespan – are therefore in the same direction: that of stagnation for most of human history. The economic growth that we now enjoy, with its positive effects on the standard of living but also its negative effects on the environment, is therefore an unprecedented and recent phenomenon on a historical scale.

Riaz Haq said...

On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy, commanding a squadron of two steamers and two sailing vessels, sailed into Tôkyô harbor aboard the frigate Susquehanna. Perry, on behalf of the U.S. government, forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States and demanded a treaty permitting trade and the opening of Japanese ports to U.S. merchant ships. This was the era when all Western powers were seeking to open new markets for their manufactured goods abroad, as well as new countries to supply raw materials for industry. It was clear that Commodore Perry could impose his demands by force. The Japanese had no navy with which to defend themselves, and thus they had to agree to the demands.

Perry's small squadron itself was not enough to force the massive changes that then took place in Japan, but the Japanese knew that his ships were just the beginning of Western interest in their islands. Russia, Britain, France, and Holland all followed Perry's example and used their fleets to force Japan to sign treaties that promised regular relations and trade. They did not just threaten Japan — they combination their navies on several occasions to defeat and disarm the Japanese feudal domains that defied them.

Tokugawa Japan into which Perry Sailed

Japan at this time was ruled by the shôgun ("great general") from the Tokugawa family. The Tokugawa shogunate was founded about 250 years earlier, in 1603, when Tokugawa leyasu (his surname is Tokugawa) and his allies defeated an opposing coalition of feudal lords to establish dominance over the many contending warlords. But while Tokugawa became dominant, receiving the title of shôgun from the politically powerless emperor, he did not establish a completely centralized state. Instead, he replaced opposing feudal lords with relatives and allies, who were free to rule within their domains under few restrictions. The Tokugawa shôguns prevented alliances against them by forbidding marriages among the other feudal lords' family members and by forcing them to spend every other year under the shôgun's eye in Edo (now Tôkyô), the shogunal capital — in a kind of organized hostage system.

It was the third shôgun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, who enforced isolation from much of the rest of the world in the seventeenth century, believing that influences from abroad (meaning trade, Christianity, and guns) could shift the balance that existed between the shôgun and the feudal lords. He was proven right two centuries later, when change came in the form of Perry's ships.

Japan's Response

Upon seeing Perry's fleet sailing into their harbor, the Japanese called them the "black ships of evil mien (appearance)." Many leaders wanted the foreigners expelled from the country, but in 1854 a treaty was signed between the United States and Japan which allowed trade at two ports. In 1858 another treaty was signed which opened more ports and designated cities in which foreigners could reside. The trade brought much foreign currency into Japan disrupting the Japanese monetary system. Because the ruling shôgun seemed unable to do anything about the problems brought by the foreign trade, some samurai leaders began to demand a change in leadership. The weakness of the Tokugawa shogunate before the Western demand for trade, and the disruption this trade brought, eventually led to the downfall of the Shogunate and the creation of a new centralized government with the emperor as its symbolic head.