MOB

The word MOB originates from the Latin mobile vulgus, in English “fickle crowd”, that is when a mass of people acts or reacts in an unpredicatable, and consequently, dangerous way. Rage and passions usually guide Mobs rather than reason, but the nature of these passions has to be analyzed. In England, the word MOB appears at the end of the seventeenth century and reflects the beginning of a great transformation. The country was slowly turning from rural into industrial, and the consequences of this change, at the very beginning, were not positive at all.
Primarly, the introduction of machines in the manifacturing system produced a form of skilled unemployment. It means that your skills were no longer required since machines needed less-skilled, consequently low-wage, labour. Furthemore they produced more, faster and never got ill !!! So many workers suddenly were driven out the productive chain and were no longer able to find financial support. In addition that primitive form of Welfare State represented  by the common lands was made uneffective thanks to the “Enclosure  Acts” , because lands were fenced and the people who lived and worked on these lands were chased way. So eighteenth century England was characterized by the shift of greedy, desperate masses of people, driven only by their NEEDS, northward, to the industrial districts where they could find a job and shelter at the bitter price of explotation. Movements like the Luddites started to protest against the introduction of machinery and were determined to destroy it . When these new working classes became more aware of their condition but also of their strenght, they started to stand for their rights just like Oliver Twist when he addressed the master /cook  with an unpredictable ” Please Sir, I want some more” and the less they were given ear the more they enraged, becoming dangerous: a MOB. So crowds become fickle when their needs are no longer guaranteed. The dynamics of the social /industrial change that England experienced in the eighteenth century are not so different of those of the twenty-first century. Industrial politics are in continuous transformation and many factories close.Governments both in Italy and France are trying to find a way to support the declying steel industry. Think about what’s going on with Ilva or Arcelormittal  these days!! Another modern phenomenon is delocalization. Factories close, and  reopen in countries were the cost of labour is cheaper. So once again we have exploitation, skilled unemployment with little hope to find an oppurtunity expecially in an age of global economical crisis. We never seem to learn from our errors. How many people have to suffer? Hove many people have to be deprived of their dignity before a solution can be found? And, is there a solution?

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