The Eyes Of An Author Essay, Research Paper
As a comparison of both content and the corresponding ways in which both Davis and McNeil fit within the historical paradigm .Liberalism versus Political Economy x this paper will examine both the viewpoint from which each author writes from, and also build a critical analysis using a common theme from both .something new under the sun, x and .Let Victorian Holocausts. x The common theme from each book to be examined will be .Water x and how water has been exploited by both Liberalistic governments and to exactly the same extent by governments based on Marxism. McNeil s chapter six and Davis s chapter seven will represent the focal points of this paper. Water exploitation in various forms has been crucial in the rise of Western society. It is with this key point in mind that this comparison and corresponding critical analysis will be written.
There can be little doubt that the environment has been a critical part of both Liberal history and Political Economy. It is also true that both McNeil and Davis have recognized the political gains available to those with control over the environment. Certainly each author makes the argument that the governments most adept at this environmental exploitation will be the government with the most influence over not only the people within it own borders, but over people in other countries, which governments look to influence. The fundamental differences in the ways that both Davis, and McNeil explore this exploitation, is severe.
Davis writes from the standpoint of Political Economy, he is extremely critical of the Imperialistic British governments systematic exploitation of its colonies people. He is passionate about the way the Crown has throughout history taken advantage of the working class by gaining the favor of the elite in each of its colonies. Davis is detailed in his writing about the British Utilitarian needs, and the ways in which their only purpose is to serve the needs of the empire. Davis makes a compelling argument that the ruling classes are stealing from poor. He argues that is only the elite that became a partner to the British and it is the poor that became victimized by it.
Davis tells the reader in great detail how the British sought to understand how the worlds weather works. The subsequent availability of hydro-resources was to be carefully leveraged so that the Crown could benefit by the suffering of others. It was through these manipulations that the British were able to exploit the nation of India during the severe famines of the 1870 s. During this period Davis tell us of how the British were exporting for a premium grain grown by famine ravaged peasants, who could not feed themselves, but still worked the crops used for export. Meanwhile it is the elite classes within India, which are huge benefactors of British policy. This serves as a key example of how Davis writes from the standpoint of Political Economy. We notice that Davis is always for this type of collusion between the Crown and the ruling classes. Time and time again we see how Davis gives us the example of how the rise of the rich and the greater distance between the rich and the poor is in large part due to the Foreign Lobby and the ability to penetrate into society.
With specific regard to .El Nino x Davis makes the argument throughout the book that in periods of an active ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) the Crown was throughout those period able to leverage natural resources to better suit the needs of Britain. Though it is true that in the nineteenth century the Crown did not know that El Nino existed, it certainly knew how to best exploit the results of El Nino to again serve the needs of the crown. It is Davis who dubs the term .Imperial Science. x This is a direct reference to the actual premeditated attempt to gain advantage over the colonies within the British Empire through the use of, in this case weather science.
Throughout the book we see Davis looking for and criticizing these sort of deeper structures, which he believes tell the whole story of how completely and utterly the British controlled India, at least until the Indian national movement began in 1884.
As the almost perfect contrast to Davis we see the Neo-Liberalistic approach taken by McNeil in his writing of .something new under the sun. x McNeil includes that very matter of fact, sort .what are we going to do about it anyway x approach to his book. He looks at the earth s resource and in this case water, as something you either able to exploit or your not. If by chance you can or did exploit it than perhaps it is for that reason that you Liberal or the Marxist deserve to gain from that exploitation. It is this sort of Linear approach to his writing that serves to best demonstrate just how completely Liberal Davis is. There is really no defined unifying theme is this book, only broad topics from which the rise of the West is certainly implied. Where as in the Davis s book the scientific aspects unify the book and help him to write from the Political Economy standpoint.
Davis s cannot be deemed as a true Liberal, he would be more of .new Liberal based on the fact he does certainly incorporate a degree of pessimism into his writing, it is not severe by any standard. Davis takes the approach that ever since 1500 the population has grown and with it technology has advanced in direct correlation population growth. Hence the more the population grew the faster technology develops and the more efficiently the earths resources become exploited. In his Hydrosphere chapter he is very matter of fact about how this world exploitation has occurred throughout history. He makes no attempt to delve into how or why governments do this. He writes as if they just do. There is no reference to the negative impact of the elite on the working class or the suffering of one so that the other may benefit. He writes from the liberalistic approach that it will always be the elite building the dams, reservoirs, and controlling the hydro resources. Through this resource control comes upward mobility, first for the elite then for the entire country.
Interestingly enough though is the fact that McNeil writes about the exploitation has water resources within the former Soviet Union exactly the way the same way he writes about those same exploitations within a non-Marxist society. It is as if to him there is only the liberal approach writing and at the same time there is the same Liberal approach to the way the Soviet Union looks at the earths natural resources.
McNeil absolutely takes the, what you see is what you get approach to water management on a global scale. He leaves for the most part political motivations out of his writing, whereas Davis only uses factual information to support the deeper political undertones, to which he always make a point about the .how and why x these resources have been used to gain political advancement. McNeil s approach is considerably more linear in the giving of the facts. From his standpoint the actual facts are the story to be told. Everything else is secondary. It is this completely sensible approach to reality that bears the heavy liberalistic approach that Davis takes in his book.
Food for thought, imagine for a moment taking the McNeil viewpoint and then applying it to the Davis subject material. Now ask yourself did the British really do what McNeil said they did? Or is what they did from the Liberalistic approach just another historical representation of how elitism is the way the world work and that just how is. The strong will always exploit the weak and the rich will get richer, the wealth of a few is the wealth of all. Through this scenario we can see the complete and utter separation between Davis and McNeil. In summary, Davis writes of a compelling story about exploitation of India by the Imperialistic British Crown. He tells of market fixing, drought, famine, class struggle, water depletion, and social struggle, all from the eyes of a political economist. The contrast within the paradigm is so great when comparing these two writers, that the second you look at Davis s story through McNeil s eyes, it did not happen.