WILLIAM SLEEMAN & INDIA

November 8, 2006 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Asia, Globalization, History, India | Leave a comment

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Rambles & Recollections of an Indian Official

Rambles & Recollections of an Indian Official

by Sir W. H. Sleeman.

Soldier-turned-colonial-Administrator (1809-1856)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031019/spectrum/book9.htm

HE rose to the rank of Major General, with a K. C. B.
and a Sir prefixed to his name. Soldier-turned-colonial-Administrator (1809-1856),
Assistant-cum-Resident to the British administration in much of Central India in far-off
places like Sagar, Nerbudda, Jabalpur (Jubbulpore), Lucknow and most of Oude, and General
Superintendent for the Suppression of Thuggee in India, ‘Thuggee Sleeman’, as he came to
be known, has become the perfect example of an extraordinary man who, living through
extraordinary times, achieved so much for his country and King. His rambles and
recollections, in a revised annotated edition by Vincent A. Smith, are a rich treasury of
history, travel, folklore, social conditions and life in India, at a time when intrigue
governed the land, and rulers sympathetic to the Indians were an exception more than a
rule. Sleeman was one such exception, and it is our fortune that as he rode the dusty
tracks from Jabalpur to Meerut, he kept a journal of the events that took place during the
long march. This journal today forms a memoir, which in spite of its size is simply too
good to not be read from cover to cover.

Sleeman has very candidly said what an average Britisher could possibly
say about Indians and their way of life, often steeped in myth, superstition, caste
prejudices and ignorance. Writing about the time when the Ramayana, the Mahabharata
and the Bhagavata (Purana) were written, he says, "It is now pretty clear
that all these works are of comparatively recent date, that the great poem of the Mahabharata
could not have been written before the year 786 of the Christian era, and was probably
written so late as A. D. 1157; that Krishna, if born at all, must have been born on the
7th of August, A. D. 600, but was most likely a mere creation of the imagination to serve
the purpose of the brahmans of Ujjain, in whom the fiction originated." About
Lord Krishna, Sleeman says, "In the Mahabharata Krishna is described as
fighting in the same army with Yudhishthira and his four brothers. Yudhishthira was a real
person, who ascended the throne at Delhi 575 B. C., or 1175 years before the birth of
Krishna." Writing of a "Suttee" on the banks of the Nerbudda river,
Sleeman says he could not avert the incident since the old lady whose husband had died a
few days earlier was bent on joining him — "why have they kept me five days from
thee, my husband." The final moments of the lady are described very poignantly,
"She then walked up deliberately and steadily to the brink, and leaning back in the
midst as if reposing upon a couch, was consumed without uttering a shriek or betraying one
sign of agony."


From the working of the thuggee system to the story
of the Kohinoor diamond and the gates of New Delhi or
Shahjahanabad, it is all there in this very readable account. The Jamaldehi gang of thugs
killed innocent travellers on the road with their handkerchiefs: "All being ready,
one of the four, in a low undertone, give the
jhirni‘ (signal), the
handkerchiefs were thrown over their necks, and in a few moments all three — the
Mogul and his servants — were dead, and lying in the grave in the usual manner, the
head of one at the feet of the one below him." How the Mountain
of Light, the Kohinoor
, was wrested by Maharaja Ranjit Singh when the Afghan Sultan
Shuja journeyed to seek asylum with the "Honourable Company" at the frontier
station of "Ludiana" on the banks of the "Hyphasis", is described
thus: "On their way through the territories of the Sikh chief,
Ranjit Singh, Shuja was discovered to have this great diamond, the Mountain of Light,
about his person; and he was, by a little torture skillfully applied to the mind and body,
made to surrender it to his generous host."
Accounts of the kingdoms of
Gwalior, and Dholpur, the Jats and the fiery Sikhs, Akbar, Fatehpur-Sikri, the marriage of
a tank with a plantain tree, Bharartpur and the young Begam Sumroo, are all there in this
rare account by a man who travelled extensively and jotted down what he saw, something
that few Indians do even when they get a chance.

Sleeman makes some pertinent observations on the working of the police. He
describes how very often the native police officer could not discover the real culprits of
a crime: "When they cannot find them, the native officers either seize innocent
persons, and frighten them into confession, or else they try to conceal the crime, and in
this they are seconded by the sufferers in the robbery, who will always avoid, if they
can, a prosecution in our courts, and by their neighbours, who dread being summoned to
give evidence as a serious calamity". This comes close to what happens very often
even today in various parts of the country.

Sleeman retired from service in 1856, and died the same year while making
his way back to Britain on a long sea voyage. His book should be an eye-opener for our
bureaucracy today, where few write anything of any consequence, of their experiences and
times.

Comment: See movie "The Deceivers" based on John Masters
novel.

BIOGASIFICATION

November 8, 2006 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Asia, Earth, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Oil & Gas, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment

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BIOGASIFICATION ALSO CALLED  

BIOMETHANIZATION,

THE PROCESS OF DECOMPOSING  

BIOMASS

WITH ANAEROBIC

BACTERIA TO PRODUCE

BIOGAS.

http://www.fordfound.org/elibrary/documents/0338/133.cfm

…pilot plants built in poor countries show that the capital costs are in the
$1,000 to $5,000 per ton per day range, wood
pyrolysis
could provide a variety of useful and economical fuels,
including some substitutes for imported oil, for towns near sources of wood.

Footnotes

Footnote :

* At a 70 percent conversion efficiency, one ton per day of (dry) wood would produce
about 4 billion Btu of fuel per year. If the plant capacity factor is assumed to be 70
percent, a capacity of one ton per day would yield an annual output of about 3 billion
Btu, or about $3,000 if one assumes an overall value of $1 per million Btu for the mix of
fuels produced. The annual cost of wood at $5 per ton would be about $1,250.

BIOGASIFICATION

Biogasification is perhaps the most important technology for converting biological material to more useful forms of fuel. It can be put to widespread use in the near future, its economics appear favorable, and it produces organic fertilizers in addition to fuel.

In this process complex biological materials are broken down by anaerobic bacteria (that is, bacteria that work in the absence of atmospheric oxygen) to simple organic compounds which are in turn converted to methane and carbon dioxide. Of the biological materials encountered in nature, only mature wood appears to be largely resistant to breakdown. The plant material and manure that comprise most agricultural residues are broken down.

(Details and references on the biological, technical and economic aspects of
biogasification are given in Appendix B.)

A biogas plant consists of digestors (the receptacles in which the biogasification
takes place), facilities for storing and slurrying the residues, and sometimes facilities
for grinding the residues and drying the residuum from the digestor. A system large enough
to supply a village reliably should include two or three digestors and gas storage.

The digestors produce an intermediate Btu gas (20,000 Btu/cu.m.)
consisting primarily of methane (55 to 65 percent by volume) and carbon dioxide. Standard
techniques for the removal of carbon dioxide and the small amounts of hydrogen sulfide can
purify the gas and produce a high Btu gas (methane) similar to pipeline quality natural
gas. The Monfort Company, in Greeley,
Colorado
(U.S.), plans to build a large biogas plant on its cattle feedlot and sell the purified
gas to a natural gas pipeline company.
From the point of view of returning nutrients contained in biological materials to the
soil, biogasification has an advantage over ploughing in manure, since the fertilizer is
already in usable form, in contrast to manure which must usually be allowed to decompose
in the soil for many days before planting. This is especially important with multiple
cropping, since prompt planting permits more crops.

The use of biogas as a basic energy resource for villages has been

recommended by the Fuel Policy Committee of India and it is now the object of special study of the National Academy of Sciences of
the U.S. as a promising source for supplying energy to villages in the near future. Much
of the work on the development of small biogas plants has been done in India,,
and in the past year there has been a resurgence of interest in applying this technology
to meet some of India’s fuel and fertilizer problems. Thousands of small biogas plants
have been built on individual farms, particularly in India and Taiwan. Currently, most of
the gas is used for residential purposes.
The basic resource—agricultural residue—is found wherever there are
agricultural communities. The technology for converting these residues is also well enough
understood for us to make a preliminary economic evaluation and a comparison of the costs
of village electrification schemes based on biogas with those based on central station
generation.

A possible rather advanced village scheme is outlined in Figure 4-1. (As we shall see,
proper phasing and use of capital dictate that such a scheme would be gradually built up
over a number of years.) An important feature of this scheme is that farmers are paid for
the residues which they deliver. The price paid for the residues will vary from region to
region depending largely on the ease of collecting the residue, the suitability of the
residue for gasification, and whether the wastes are currently used for other purposes
such as cooking. Prices might vary from about 70c per million Btu of animal manure in
North Indian villages where dried manure is used for cooking fuel and is scarce, to 20c
per million Btu for crop residues or dung where these are abundant and are not presently
used.

Paying for raw fuel on the basis of energy content will favor the delivery of crop
residues for they have a much higher energy value per ton than wet manure, which, in its
fresh state, has a water content of up to 80 percent. This has an important advantage but
may also create a problem which must receive simultaneous attention. The advantage is that
it is more efficient to gasify crop residues directly rather than feeding them to animals.
If high prices for crop residues deprive cattle of their fodder, the result could be a
reduction in the number of cattle (which may or may not be desirable), or still feebler
cattle, or more overgrazing of pastures. The price paid for the fuel for the biogas plant
should ordinarily be based upon the prevailing wage rate and the fuel and fertilizer value
of the material, but it may have to be modified and varied from one year to the next
depending on the availability of crop residues to take account of the important indirect
effects on the village economy.

The gas the plants produce which is not used immediately for electricity would be
compressed and stored. Bottled gas would provide the fuel for farm machines and, if
necessary
, for cooking. The compressed gas could also be taken from storage and used
to generate electricity to meet peak demands.

Agricultural use of electricity is seasonal, but a digestor can only operate

economically at consistent high capacity factors. Compressed gas storage is reltively
inexpensive in both economic and energy terms.

The large amount of waste heat produced in the generating plant (about 75 percent of
the total input) would be relatively high grade heat with a temperature of about 300°C.
Part of this heat could be used to regulate the digestor temperature. The rest could be
used for crop drying, producing raw sugar, heating water for domestic uses, and so on.

The residuum of undigested materials which leaves the digestor is an excellent organic
fertilizer. (For many of the high-yielding seed varieties, it will probably be necessary
to add chemical fertilizers to the organic sludge in order to have the correct quantity
and mix of nutrients that these plants require.) It could be returned to the land either
mixed in the irrigation water or as a semi-solid, after dewatering. In some places such as
North India and Tanzania, this return of nutrients would mean a large increase from
present use of fertilizer.
In others, such as China
and South India, it would reduce organic fertilizer losses inherent in composting, but the
principal benefit from biogasification would be the fuel produced. Digestor residuum does
not attract flies which spread many diseases, and digestion at the right temperatures also
suppresses the pathogens in human feces.
The safe disposal of human excrement (feces and urine) is one of the most important
measures for the prevention of disease in Third World villages
. The
pathogens that human excrement harbors (various species of bacteria, protozoa, and
helminths) cause a variety of serious diseases such as cholera, typhoid, schistosomiasis,
amoebic dysentery, and enteritis. These pathogens can be destroyed by uniform heating to
60°C for 30 minutes to one hour. In anaerobic digestors that operate in the intermediate
temperature (mesophilic) range 25°C to 40°C, the pathogens may take several weeks to be
destroyed. However, it is not clear whether organisms are as completely destroyed in the
mesophilic temperature range as they are in the thermophilic (40° to 60°C) which would
apply to properly managed compost piles, or to anaerobic digestors, appropriately heated,
for example, with waste heat from a biogas-electricity generating plant. If field data
indicate that intermediate temperatures are not effective, and an electric generator is
not installed with the biogas plant, then heating the excrement to the requisite
temperature with gas before feeding it to the digestor may be necessary. The amount of
heat required would be about equal to the amount of gas generated from the feces. In these
circumstances there would be no net gain in fuel from processing the human excrement; the
gains would be in improved health and in the output of fertilizer. Composting of
excrement, which may be cheaper but more difficult to manage, would achieve the same
result.
…fertilizers, particularly fixed nitrogen, can be recovered from human excrement
(particularly urine which has a high nitrogen content). Building latrines could be a
profitable proposition on the basis of the value of the recovered fertilizer. To induce
people to use such latrines, the area or the latrines themselves could be equipped with a
supply of water for sanitary purposes. If the operation is conducted on a nonprofit basis,
an annual payment could be made to each family for using the latrines, even if the other
social, human, and economic benefits are not taken into account.

Some approximate calculations for the costs and value of output for such a scheme are
shown in Table 4-3. The cost of latrines is based on estimates for Indian villages made by
the Khadi Village Industries Commission to which approximate costs of water supply have
been added. An important point to note is that the amount of nitrogen collected from human
excrement (three-fourths of it coming from urine) is 75 percent of that available in a
much larger quantity of animal dung (excluding animal urine).

The labor required to collect the organic materials for the biogas

Table 4-3.Approximate Economics of Installing Latrines in Mangaon for the Recovery of
Fertilizers

1. Cost of 20 latrines
excluding piping and water supply @ 50 each
$1,000
2. Water supply and piping
for 20 latrines
1,000
3. Pump and piping to feed
excrement to the biogas plant
1,000
4. Total capital cost $3,000
5. Annual interest (12%)
and depreciation (3%)
$ 450
6. Annual labor cost (1
man-year)
300
7. Total annual operating
cost
$ 750
8. Value of nitrogen (80%
of potential at $400/ton)
$1,200
9. Value of P2O5
(80% of potential at $250/ton)
250
10. Value of K2O
(80% of potential at $150/ton)
100
11. Total value of annual
output
$1,550
12. Possible annual
incentive payment per family of five
$ 4

plant would not need specialized training. General instruction in proper management of
animal wastes, particularly urine, would be sufficient. A trained villager could operate a
village biogas plant. More highly trained maintenance and management personnel stationed
in market towns serving 10 to 15 villages, could provide assistance, and could take care
of routine troubleshooting in a complete biogas-electricity system. Still more highly
specialized services might be provided from a regional center. This linking together of
energy development at the village, market town and regional levels, like the integration
of other activities at these levels, as discussed earlier in this book and in many
excellent works on the subject, is essential to the success of decentralized
electrification.

The great problems in village development, including energy development, are political
and organizational. Discussion of the merits and problems of decentralized schemes have
rarely addressed this question.

Decentralized energy systems have often been dismissed on the grounds that maintenance
would be difficult. We mentioned earlier that electricity use in Indian villages declines
even when the electricity comes from a centralized source, which points to a lack of
maintenance in the villages. Much of the capital investment for agricultural development
must be made in the villages, in tubewells, pumps, motors, irrigation channels, and so on,
whatever the source of fertilizers or power. If these facilities are not maintained, then
no program can achieve the goal of agricultural progress. If the personnel to service
these essentially decentralized aspects of agricultural development are available, then
the added problems of biogas plants and decentralized electricity generation should not be
difficult.

To estimate the energy from wastes available for power generation, we must know the
energy content of the basic resource—the agricultural residues. Neither the
quantities nor the energy content of crop residues in villages have been satisfactorily
measured. Accurate estimates require the following information: (a) a breakdown of crop
production in individual villages; (b) the agricultural residues associated with each ton
of harvested crop; (c) the amount of crop residues consumed by animals; (d) statistics for
the animal population, including both numbers of animals of each type and the average
weight of these animals; (e) data relating to manure production and its quality with due
regard to feeding conditions normally encountered in villages, and the ease of collection
of the manure.

None of this information is available in any authorative form. We have nevertheless
attempted preliminary estimates of the available energy residues in the prototype villages
described in Chapter Two, which are representative of many agricultural societies in the
Third World.Table 4-4 shows the amount of residues associated with a ton of

Table 4-4.Estimated Residue Coefficients for Major Crops

Residue Coefficient
Husked rice early varieties 1.85
late varieties 2.90
Paddy early varieties 1.25
late varieties 1.95
Corn 1.20
Cotton 3.00
Soybean 2.60
Wheat 1.75
Barley 1.50
Rye 1.95
Oats 1.75
Grain sorghum 0.85
Sugar cane 0.25
Potato, cassava 0.20

harvested crop. These estimates are crude not only because of the scattered
measurements but, more importantly, because crop residues vary with the variety of seed
that is used.

Table 4-5 shows the data on the production of dung and its fertilizer value. These data
have been used to compute amount of energy and fertilizer available in organic wastes of
the protypical villages of Chapter Two. The results are shown in Tables 4-6 and 4-7.

Table 4-6 shows that the amount of per capita energy that could be

Table 4-5.Manure Production Data

Fresh Manure per 1,000 kg
Liveweight (kg/yr)
Assumed Average Liveweight
(kg)
Fresh Manure Production
Assumed per Head (kg/yr Except Item 7)
Assumed Moisture Content of
Fresh Manure (Percent)
Nitrogen Content Percentage
of Dry Matter
Animal Solid and Liquid Wastes Solid Wastes Only
1. Cattle 27,000 200 5400 80 2.4 1.2
2. Horses, mules, donkeys 18,000 150 2700 80 1.7 1.1
3. Pigs 30,000 50 1500 80 3.75 1.8
4. Sheep and goats 13,000 40 500 70 4.1 2.0
5. Poultry 9,000 1.5 13 60 6.3 6.3
6. Human feces without urine 40 to 80 50 to 100 66 to 80 5 to 7
7. Human urine 40 to 80 18 to 25 kg dry solids/yr 15 to 19 (urine only)
Source: Note .

Table 4-6.Energy Supply from Agricultural and Animal Wastes

Crop Residue Eaten by Animals
Village Population Crop Residues 106 Btu/yr % 106 Btu/yr Dung 106 Btu/yr Net Energy Available from Wastes 106
Btu/yr
Collectable Wastes 106
Btu/yr
Potential Biogas from Wastes 106
Btu/yr
Current Fuel Use for Farm Machines and
Irrigation 10
6 Btu/yr
Potential per Capita Energy from Biogas
10
6 Btu/yr
1. Mangaon, India 1,000 8,000 70 6,000 6,000 8,000 6,000 3,600 0 3.6
2. Peipan, China 1,000 20,000 30 6,000 5,000 19,000 14,000 8,400 3,000 8.4
3. Kilombero, Tanzania 100 800 10 100 500 1,200 800 500 0 5.0
4. Batagawara, Nigeria 1,400 6,000 10 600 7,000 12,000 9,000 5,400 0 3.9
5. Arango, Mexico 420 30,000 10 3,000 1,300 28,000 22,000 13,000 11,000 31.0
6. Quebrada, Bolivia (one parcela) 6 20 10 2 30 50 35 20

Table 4-7.Annual Organic Nitrogen Supply in the Case Study Villages

Excluding Human Excrement
Place Cultivated Land ha Nitrogen Available in Net Residues kg. Nitrogen in Collectable Wastes (Solid
Only) kg.
Nitrogen in Collectable Wastes (Solid
and Liquid) Included, kg.
Nitrogen Collectable in Human Excrement
(Solid and Liquid) kg.
Total Nitrogen Collectable in Solid and
Liquid Wastes
Nitrogen Available per Hectare
Cultivated Land per Year
Mangaon, India 300 10,000 4,000 7,000 3,000 10,000 33
Peipan, China 200 13,000 7,000 9,000 4,000 13,000 65
Kilombero, Tanzania 60 1,000 500 800 300 1,100 18
Batagawara, Nigeria 530 13,000 6,000 9,000 4,200 13,200 25
Arango, Mexico 380 7,000 5,000 6,000 1,700 7,700 20
Quebrada, Bolivia (one parcela) 1 70 40 50 18 68

generated in the form of biogas—which can be used to power irrigation, farm
machines, and goods transportation—is not the same in all the villages. Arango,
Mexico, contains much the largest potential. This reminds us that as agricultural
production increases, the production of crop residues increases with it. In energy terms,
increasing yields of crop means that we capture solar energy more efficiently. Crop
residues can provide increasing amounts of energy to support a growing agriculture.
We also see from Table 4—6 that the energy use for irrigation and farm machines is
in each case lower than the potential availability of biogas.

Table 4—7 shows a somewhat different picture for fertilizers. Except in the cases
of Arango and Peipan, the quantities are several times the amounts of nitrogen fertilizers
that are now used. But the available nitrogen fertilizer from manure varies a good deal
and is often not sufficient to allow the use of high-yielding seed varieties. Thus other
sources of fertilizer are necessary. Phosphorous, potassium, and other trace minerals must
usually be mined. (Ashes left over from wood burning contain a large quantity of
potassium, about 5 percent by weight, and smaller quantities of phosphorous, about 0.5
percent, and other nutrients.) Fortunately, these mineral fertilizers are less expensive
than chemical nitrogen both because the per unit prices are lower and the amounts needed
are usually less than the amount of nitrogen needed. Fixed nitrogen can be produced in a
number of ways (Chapter Three). Rotating crops and planting legumes can not only provide
protein for humans and animals but also can produce nitrogen for the soil from the crop
residues and the enriched human excrement which the crop indirectly produces.

In most cases, however, planting several crops each year will require the use of
chemical nitrogen. For example, a crop of soybeans plus all the collectable organic wastes
in Mangaon would provide perhaps half of the nitrogen requirements for growing a crop of
rice and a crop of wheat in the same year. It would, of course, be a long time before
Mangaon could achieve such an advanced stage of agricultural development. We use this
calculation only to illustrate that the use of wastes and chemical fertilizers are not
mutually exclusive but, rather, complementary.

Footnotes

Footnote :

* This discussion is based on the book Composting by H. B. Gotaas (note ).

Footnote :

a One latrine for 10 families (50 people). One well, a small pump, and pipes would be
the main costs of the water supply system.

Footnote :

b We have assumed the lower end of the values for the normal amount and the nutrient
content of the human excrement (including urine) per person. As the people eat more and
get more protein, more nitrogen becomes available in the excrement. We have taken credit
for all the nitrogen collected even though much or most of the human excrement is
deposited in the fields. With current practice, however, the nitrogen excrement is not
uniformly spread and is not available to most plants in the field. Some damage may even be
caused to plants near the areas where people urinate. While some of the nitrogen would
become available to the next crop after ploughing, most of it (which is in the form of
water soluble urea) would be lost by leaching, by volatilization, and by bacterial
degradation.

Footnote :

c The fuel value of the excrement has not been taken into account because it is assumed
(conservatively) that the biogas generated from the human excrement will be used to
preheat the feces to destroy disease-carrying organisms.

Footnote :

* The area that market towns can serve depends on a number of factors including the
rapidity of the means of transportation.

Footnote :

a Residue coefficient is the ratio of the weight of dry matter of residue to
recorded harvested weight at field moisture. For grains and straw field moisture content
is assumed to be 15 percent.

Footnote :

b Data are for India and are for the same crops (FAI, 1969). [] Paddy is unhusked rice,
when using agricultural statistics to determine residues. It is important to note whether
the statistics are for rice or paddy. In calculating the residues from FAI (1969), rice
hulls are included as residue. For earlymaturing varieties they amount to about 30 percent
of the residue, while for late-maturing varieties they amount to about 20 percent of total
residue.

Footnote :

c The major distinction in straw to grain ratios is not between dwarf and tall
varieties of rice (see FAI, 1969, p. 43) but between early and late maturing varieties,
the former including the new high-yielding varieties.

Footnote :

e There is a wide disparity in estimates of corn residue coefficients. IR&T (1972)
estimate 0.55. [] SRI (1974) use figures that imply a coefficient of 1.2. []

Footnote :

d Residue coefficients as determined by individual crop experts and forwarded by Dr.
Robert Yeck of the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D.C. [] Small grain estimates were for straw and an additional
factor of 0.25 for chaff has been included.

Footnote :

f Both lint and seed are included in the harvested crop.

Footnote :

g Based on SRI (1974) other estimates of residue coefficients are: IR&T (1972)
0.55; and 0.85-2.6 by the USDA as in (d) above. Soybean is taken to be representative of
other legumes.

Footnote :

h Data for potato comparison made on basis of similarity of habit.

Footnote :

a We have not used the extreme of variations of nitrogen in human urine discussed in
Chapter Three, but rather the more usual range as cited in note .

Footnote :

b We assume that in India and China, where grazing land is scarce, animals eat a large
proportion of the crop residues. In Kilombero, Batagawara, and Quebrada, we assume that
sufficient grazing land is available so that the animals get most of their food from the
pastures. In Arango, the residues are so large that only a small fraction is required to
feed the animals.

Footnote :

a This table has been compiled from the data on residues in Tables 4-4 and 4-5 and from
the agricultural production data in Chapter Two. Numbers are rounded. The energy value of
crop residues is taken as 15 million Btu/ton, and dung at 14 million Btu/ton on a dry
basis.

Footnote :

c Net energy from wastes is equal to the energy value of the dung plus the crop
residues not fed to the animals.

Footnote :

d We have assumed that a maximum of 70 percent of the cattle and horse dung can be
collected, 80 percent for pig dung, and 30 percent for the dung of sheep, goats, and
chickens. The efficiency of collection could possibly be even higher if the animals were
kept in properly designed sheds. For crop residues, we assume that 80 percent of the
residues not fed to animals can be collected.

Footnote :

e We assume a biogasification efficiency of 60 percent. This is a simplification
because the yield will depend on the temperature in the digestor, its design and the mix
of the materials put into it. However, considering the uncertainty in the data, this
assumption is probably a relatively minor source of error.

Footnote :

a We have assumed a nitrogen content of 0.2 percent for crop residues.

Footnote :

b For animal and human excrement we have used the data shown in Table 4-5.

Footnote :

c Net residues calculated as in Table 4-6.

Footnote :

d We assume that a maximum of 80 percent of the nitrogen in human excrement can be
collected. For Arango and Peipan we have used intermediate values for the total nitrogen
excreted per person per year, and for the other villages we have used the low end of the
range shown in Table 4-5. The rationale is that people of Arango and Peipan have more
adequate diets which are also higher in nitrogen content (protein).

Footnote :

e The nitrogen figures for Peipan and Arango are probably underestimates since the
crops are currently well fertilized. The nitrogen content of the crop residues is probably
considerably higher, especially since corn (which has a high nitrogen content in the
residue) is a major crop in both areas.

COST OF A BIOGAS-ELECTRICITY SYSTEM IN MANGAON

In this section we compare the costs of a biogas-electricity system in Mangaon with the
costs of conventional rural electrification projects in India which are based on
centralized electricity generation.

In comparing the costs of electricity produced in a biogas-electric power system with a
centralized system, one should take into account the value of the fertilizer returned from
the system to the land. In Mangaon this nutrient value is now lost, as virtually all
collected manure is burned as fuel.

Table 4-8.Fertilizer Prices Paid by U.S. Farmers

Price in $/Ton
Fertilizer September 1974 September 1973 September 1972
1. Nitrogen (based on the price of urea
with a 46% nitrogen content)
555 231 198
2. Phosphorous (P2O5),
(based on superphosphate with 46% P2O5 content)
451 225 187
3. Potassium (K2O), (based on
potash with 60% K2O content)
167 117 105
Source: Note

We have assigned a value of $400 per ton of nitrogen content,
$250 per ton of phosphorous (P2O5) content, and $150 per ton of
potassium (K2O) content. These are lower than the September 1974 prices paid by
U.S. farmers shown in Table 4—8. The prices paid by U.S. farmers have historically
been considerably lower than those paid by farmers in other countries. The (official)
prices paid by Indian farmers for urea in October 1973 were, for example, about $300 per
ton of nitrogen content or 30 percent higher than the September 1973 prices paid by U.S.
farmers. Since September 1973 the prices of nitrogen in the U.S. have more than doubled.
Prasad, Prasad, and Reddy cited a retail price of nitrogen in India of about $550 per ton
in June 1974. Moreover the actual prices paid by Indian farmers who cannot acquire
fertilizers directly from the government may be much higher, and a bag of fertilizer may
change hands and prices several times before it is applied to the field. We have used
lower estimates than prevalent prices in order not to underestimate the costs of operating
biogas plants.

Table 4—9 shows the capital costs for two biogas-electricity schemes, one with
provisions for supplying gas for cooking, the other without. The cost shown in column A
indicates that if half the biogas produced is used for cooking, the capital costs of the
biogas is only slightly less than that for a centralized scheme (assuming a main
transmission line exists at distance 8 kilometers from Mangaon, Table 4—1, Chapter
Four). This arises not only

Table 4-9.Capital Costs of Biogasification-Electrification System in Mangaon (in 1974
Dollars)

With Cooking Fuel A Without Cooking Fuel B
Biogasification plant 8,000 8,000
Gas plant auxiliaries 1,000 1,000
Land cost 1,000 1,000
Gas storage and compression 1,500 1,500
Cooking fuel distribution cylinders and gas
stoves
8,000
Electric generator with reciprocating gas
engine and switchgear @ $160/kw installed
12,000 22,500
Construction supervision and training 1,000 1,000
Subtotal 32,500 35,000
Interest on capital during six months’
construction @ 12%)
2,000 2,000
Total 34,500 37,000
Cost per kw $460 $265

because of the costs of distributing and using cooking fuel but, more importantly,
because only half of the gas produced can be used to generate electricity. The capital
cost per kilowatt of the biogas-electricity scheme without gas for cooking (column B,
Table 4-9) is about half that of the centralized scheme.

To reduce capital costs in the Gangetic plain, where fuel is in short supply and dung
and crop residues are used for cooking, it will be essential to provide a cooking fuel
cheaper than biogas so that the entire output of gas can be used for productive purposes.
The washery byproducts of Bihar’s coal mines for example, be used as a cooking fuel.
However, since we do not have estimates of the costs, we will not discuss it further.

One way to reduce the costs of supplying cooking fuel would be to

increase the efficiency of burning crop residues and dung directly so that surplus crop
residues and dung can be gasified for use in agriculture. Efficient stoves designed along
the lines of wood burning stoves now marketed in the U.S. but made of local materials like
clay or bricks might be suitable. The Magan Choola, a cooking stove designed for
use in Indian villages, modified to include downdraft circulation could also be used.
Burning dung and crop residues involves the loss of significant quantities of fertilizers
and should be viewed only as a stop-gap measure until alternate fuels become available.

Prasad, Prasad, and Reddy, in their recent investigation of the economics of biogas
plants in India, considered the possibility of water hyacinth plantations as a source of
raw materials for gasification in biogas plants. The water hyacinth, a very efficient
convertor of solar energy producing 125 to 200 tons of dry matter per hectare per year,
could also be grown for direct use as cooking fuel in brick or clay stoves, bypassing the
gasification step. A one hectare tank supplying 140 tons of water hyacinths a year (about
2 billion Btu) would provide sufficient cooking fuel for Mangaon, if the fuel is used at
twice the efficiency of current use, but half the efficiency of gas burners.

Table 4-10 shows an approximate estimate of the costs of a biogas-electricity system
combined with a one hectare water hyacinth plantation for cooking fuel supply. While the
capital costs for the provision for cooking fuel with water hyacinths are assumed to be
greater than that of distributing and using biogas for cooking ($10,000 compared with
$8,000), the cost per kilowatt of the biogas-electricity-water hyacinth scheme is much
lower—$335 per kw compared to $460. This is because the entire capacity of the
digestors and storage can be devoted to electricity generation when the water hyacinth
plantation supplies the cooking fuel, whereas half the capacity of the biogas plant has to
be devoted to providing cooking fuel. The opportunity cost of using one hectare of land to
supply cooking fuel would be negligible compared to the benefit, since 1 billion Btu of
biogas could irrigate two crops a year on 200 hectares of land in Mangaon.

In most villages of the world fuel supplies are not as tight as they are in the
Gangetic plain. In fact, in most areas dung is not used as a fuel and there are surplus
crop residues which, if collected and gasified, would increase the fuel available for use
in agriculture. For villages in such areas it would not be necessary to supply gas for
cooking and the capital required for a biogas plant or a biogas-electricity system (per
unit of annual gas production or per installed kilowatt) would be less than that for a
village of comparable population in the Gangetic plain.

The annual costs of the three schemes (shown in columns A and B of

Table 4-10.Capital Cost of Biogas-Electric System with Water Hyacinth for Cooking Fuel

1. Biogas-electricity system with cooking
fuel
$37,000
2. 1 hectare water hyacinth plantation 2,000
3. 200 cooking stoves at $30 each 6,000
4. Water hyacinth dewatering, storage, and
distribution
2,000
5. Total $47,000
6. Capital cost per kw $ 335

Table 4-9 and in Table 4-10) are shown in Table 4-11. With the conservative assumptions
that are used in calculating these costs, the cost of electricity produced in the scheme
in which biogas would be is distributed as cooking fuel is slightly higher than the cost
of the centralized scheme shown in Table 4-1 of this chapter. For the other two cases the
cost of electricity would be considerably lower (5.8¢ per kwhe compared to 7.5¢/kwhe).
In the case where water hyacinth is distributed as cooking fuel, the price charged is
$1.00 per million Btu, and its efficiency of use is assumed to be half that of the gas
stove. It is assumed that no charge will be made for the special stoves needed in either
case.

One of the conclusions to be drawn from Tables 4-9 and 4-11 is that, contrary to
current practice, biogas should not be used for cooking unless necessary.

The cost of manure collection in Table 4-11 is high because it is assumed that only
animal dung is used in the biogas plant. Crop residues contain about five times as much
energy per ton as wet dung so that the cost per million Btu of input to the digestor, and
hence the cost of electricity, would be lowered as more crop residues are used (that is,
as more food is grown and surplus crop residues become available). The cost of electricity
depends critically on the fertilizer content of the residuum in the biogas digestors. In
Table 4-11 we have assumed that only the nitogen in the solid portion of the dung is
available. This gives an annual production of four tons of nitrogen, two tons of
phosphorous (P2O5), and two tons of potassium (K2O).
Proper preparation of household stables (or common stables) with straw, sawdust, and other
cellulose litter will absorb the urine (see note ). This would increase the nitrogen
available to seven tons per year with smaller increases in phosphorous and potassium. The
nitrogen can be further increased to 10 tons of nitrogen per year if latrines for
collecting human excrement are installed and widely used. The data in Table 4-12 show that
when animal urine is included the cost of electricity in all cases

Table 4-11.Annual Costs for Three Biogas-Electricity Schemes for Mangaon, India

A With Biogas for Cooking Fuel B No Cooking Fuel Provision C Water Hyacinth Plantations for Cooking
Fuel
1. Annual interest and and depreciation $ 5,700 6,100 7,600
2. Residue collection at $2/ton fresh
manure
2,600 2,600 2,600
3. Local labor and maintenance 1,300 1,300 1,300
4. Market town services 500 500 500
5. Labor for distributing cooking fuel 300 600
6. Gross annual costs $10,400 10,500 12,600
7. Credit for cooking fuel sales $ 2,000 2,000
8. Credit for fertilizer 2,400 2,400 2,400
9. Total credits $ 4,400 2,400 4,400
10. Net annual operating cost $ 6,000 8,100 8,200
11. Annual electricity generation at 1,000
kwhe/hw
75,000 kwhe 140,000 kwhe 140,000 kwhe
12. Cost per kwhe 8.0¢ 5.8¢ 5.9¢

is lower than that of the centralized system. The costs of electricity and biogas are
lowest when human excrement is also used. The cost of compressed biogas for agricultural
use is also shown in Table 4-12.

Footnotes

Footnote :

* The high cost of chemical fertilizers, usually in foreign exchange, points up the
great value of composting as an immediate and cheap source of fertilizers in places where
agricultural, animal, and human wastes are not now used. Only unskilled labor and some
extension workers are needed to implement a composting program. Though composting (aerobic
fermentation) does not yield fuel, as biogasification does, it will take time and money to
build biogas plants, and composting could serve as a valuable stop-gap measure.

Footnote :

a See Appendix B. We assume two digestors, each producing 140 cubic meters of biogas
per day. The gas production in columns A and B is the same. Exclusive of the energy use in
the biogas plant, the digestors will produce about 2 billion Btu of fuel per year.
Digestor costs based on notes ,,.

Footnote :

b Storage for 50 percent annual production of unscrubbed gas.

Footnote :

e Column A assumes all 200 families in the village use methane for cooking, $6,000 for
cylinders, $2,000 for stoves. Column B assumes zero use.

Footnote :

d Based on mid-1974 quotation from a manufacturer in the U.S.A. and includes
approximate shipping costs. In the scheme with cooking fuel we have 75 kw generator (Col.
1); without cooking fuel the entire output of the gas plant goes to the 240 kw generator.
A gasoline engine or diesel engine can be substituted for the gas engine.

Footnote :

c Includes $6,000 capital cost for market town headquarters for 12 villages.

Footnote :

* The Report of the Energy Survey of India Committee recommended this step in 1965, but
did not provide cost estimates.

Footnote :

* Experiments with biogasification of water hyacinths (of which we are aware) have not
so far yielded good results (Appendix B). Experimental and field data are also necessary
to determine the burning characteristics of dewatered and dried water hyacinths in cooking
stoves.

Footnote :

a 140 kw generator. Annual biogas production 2 billion Btu. See Table 4-9, column B.

Footnote :

b The construction costs of a water hyacinth plantation are assumed to be about the
same as those of a fish tank. The costs of the latter have been obtained from the Musahri
Plan
(note ).

Footnote :

a Interest rate 12 percent. Biogas plant (digestors) and water hyacinth plantation
depreciated at 3 percent per year, other capital at 5 percent per year.

Footnote :

b About one man-year, plus parts.

Footnote :

c One man-year for distributing gas. Two man-years for processing and distributing
water hyacinths.

Footnote :

d Charge for biogas used for cooking $2.00 per million Btu. Charge for water hyacinth
for cooking $1.00 per million Btu. Cooking stoves provided free.

Footnote :

e Credit taken only for fertilizers available in the solid portion of collected
dung—four tons of nitrogen at $400 per ton, two tons of phosphorous (P2O5)
at $250 per ton, and two tons of potassium (K2O) at $150 per ton.

Footnote :

f Engine-generator efficiency 25 percent. An electricity generation of 1,000 kwhe/kw
has been assumed. This capacity factor is less than capacity factor of 1,150 kwhe/kw used
for centralized plants for the purposes of comparing the two systems because the
decentralized plants will require a somewhat larger installed capacity for the same load
due to relatively heavy demand that motor starting requirements will place on the
decentralized system.

REDUCING CAPITAL COSTS

The foregoing discussion of costs is based entirely on current patterns of electricity
use. These are wasteful of capital. Rapid development will require

Table 4-12.Variation of Biogas and Electricity Cost with Fertilizer Content of Residuum
in Three Biogas-Electricity Schemes

Cents per kwhe
A With Biogas for Cooking
Fuel
B No Cooking Fuel Provision C Water Hyacinth Plantation
for Cooking Fuel
Electricity ¢/kwhe $/million Btu Compressed Biogas for
Agricultural Use
Electricity ¢/kwhe $/million Btu Compressed Biogas for
Agricultural Use
Electricity ¢/kwhe $/million Btu Compressed Biogas for
Agricultural Use
1. Fertilizer content of nitrogen in solid
portion of animal dung
3.0 3.60 5.8 2.05 5.9 2.10
2. Fertilizer content of solid and liquid
animal excrement
6.4 2.40 4.9 1.45 5 1.50
3. Fertilizer content of animal and human
excrement (solid & liquid)
5.3 1.60 4.4 1.05 4.4 1.10
Note: Values of fertilizer are the same as
those used in Table 4-11.

that capital be used much more effectively than it has been previously, the more so for
countries that are hard pressed to pay for food, fertilizer, and oil imports. In India
rural electrification and irrigation account for almost all the government’s rural capital
investment. If the cost of these programs is to be reduced—so they can be offered to
more people—it is imperative to improve the capacity factors as this will make
electricity from whatever source, central or local, and from whatever fuel—cheaper.
Figure 4-2 which shows a graph of electricity cost versus capacity factor illustrates this
principle, and shows the enormous reduction in electricity cost achieved when improvement
of only a few percent is made in the prevelant low capacity factors.

In most cases it would be preferable to delay the introduction of electricity until a
sufficient capacity for its use has been built up. Irrigation pumps and farm machines
could be powered by internal combustion engines (the same ones for both purposes so far as
possible). This would reduce the capital cost of providing energy for agriculture
considerably. As illustrated in Table 4—13, the costs per unit of useful energy
obtained from an internal combustion engine directly are much lower than the corresponding
costs for electricity because the intermediate generating step is eliminated. As the small
industries in the village develop, electricity could be introduced.

Electricity is desirable for irrigation and for powering stationary small machines
because electric motors are more reliable and need much less maintenance than internal
combustion engines. After electricity is introduced, the internal combustion engines could
be used on farms for transporting surplus produce to market towns as well as for some
stationary applications such as sugarcane crushing.

Electrification is important not only for its obvious uses in agriculture but also for
the positive psychological effect it has on people’s attitudes, for establishing a modest
communications system, and so on. From an energy point of view, using local energy
resources to generate electricity has an enormous advantage both over centralized
generation and the use of fuels in many dispersed internal combustion engines. The waste
heat, which is usually 300°C or higher, can be put to many beneficial uses, such as crop
drying, raw sugar, manufacture, water heating, operating biogas plants at higher
temperatures to produce more gas from the same digestors, district heating in cold areas,
combined steam and electricity generation in market towns, and so on.

Figure 4—3 shows a comparison of the efficiency of decentralized systems using
agricultural wastes and centralized electricity generating system.

It will be noted that the centralized system can provide electricity only; fuel for
machines that power mobile equipment must be provided from another source. Nor can waste
heat from the centralized system be delivered economically for agricultural use.

In the three systems using crop residues, little of the waste heat can be recovered if
the biogas is compressed and used in dispersed machines. In a system where stationary
engines use the gas to generate electricity, large quantities of high-grade usable waste
heat are recoverable for the applications mentioned above.

A comparison of two village systems in parts (a) and (b) of Figure 4—3 shows that
energy is used more efficiently if crop residues are gasified directly than if the animals
are fed these residues and the dung is gasified. The amount of high-grade waste heat to be
captured and used is also much greater because the large energy losses of the animals’
metabolism are avoided. Of course, animals are the largest source of power on the farm in
underdeveloped countries, and this stock of capital should be put to effective use. The
amount of useful

Skip to: Table of Contents Contents: 2 pages of 180List of Figures: 1 page of 180List
of Tables: 2 pages of 180Foreword: 2 pages of 180Preface: 1 page of 180Acknowledgments: 2
pages of 180Chapter One Poverty, Agri…: 13 pages of 180Chapter Two Vignettes of …: 50
pages of 180Chapter Three Assessing R…: 29 pages of 180Chapter Four Fuel for Agr…: 38
pages of 180Chapter Five Energy and D…: 5 pages of 180Appendix A Useful Energy: 4 pages
of 180Appendix B Biogasificatio…: 18 pages of 180Bibliography: 6 pages of 180Index: 2
pages of 180

Table 4-13.Comparison of the Costs of Useful Energy for Agricultural Use from
Electricity and Biogas (Dollars per Million Btu of Useful Energy)

A B C
With Biogas for Cooking Fuel No Cooking Fuel Provision Water Hyacinth Plantation
for Cooking
Electricity Biogas Electricity Biogas Electricity Biogas
1. Fertilizer content in solid portion of
animal dung
25.70 18.00 18.80 10.30 19.00 11.00
2. Fertilizer content of solid and liquid
animal excrement
20.60 12.00 15.80 7.30 16.00 7.50
3. Fertilizer content of human and animal
excrement (solid and liquid)
17.10 8.00 14.20 5.30 14.30 5.50

http://www.fordfound.org/elibrary/documents/0338/114.cfm

WAZIRISTAN

November 8, 2006 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Asia, Economics, Financial, History, Islam | Leave a comment

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Waziristan

North Waziristan’s District headquarter is Miran Shah.

South Waziristan’s District Headquarters is Wana.

Waziristan is a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan
and covering some 11 585 km² (4,473 mi²). It comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi River
to the north and the Gomal River to the south, forming
part of Pakistan’s Federally
Administered Tribal Areas
. The North-West
Frontier Province
lies immediately to the east. The region was an independent tribal
territory from 1893, remaining outside of British-ruled empire
and Afghanistan. Tribal raiding into British-ruled
territory was a constant problem for the British, eliciting frequent punitive expeditions
between 1860 and 1945. The region became
part of Pakistan in 1947.

Waziristan is divided into two “agencies”, North Waziristan and South
Waziristan
, with estimated populations (as of 1998) of
361,246 and 429,841 respectively. The two parts have quite distinct characteristics,
though both tribes are subgroups of the Waziris and speak a common Waziri language. They have a formidable reputation as
warriors and are known for their frequent blood feuds. Traditionally, feuding local Waziri
religious leaders have enlisted outsiders in the Pakistani government, and U.S. forces
hunting al-Qaeda fugitives, in attempts at score-settling.
The tribes are divided into sub-tribes governed by male village elders who meet in a
tribal jirga. Socially and religiously Waziristan is an
extremely conservative area. Women are carefully guarded, and every household must be
headed by a male figure. Tribal cohesiveness is so strong through so-called Collective
Responsibility Acts in the Frontier Crimes Regulation.

North Waziristan

North Waziristan’s District headquarter is Miran
Shah
.

The area is mostly inhabited by the Darwesh Khel, a sub clan of Wazir tribe (from which
the region derives its name), who live in fortified mountain villages, and the Dawars
(also known as Daurr or Daur), who farm in the valleys below. Geographically, Wazir live
in the mountainous region of the area while Dawar live in the plains. Razmak, Datta Khel,
Spin wam, Dosali, and Shawal are the places where wazir are living; Miranshah, Darpa Khel,
Amzoni, Ali Khel, Mirali, Edak, Hurmaz, Hassu Khel, Ziraki, Tapi, Issori and Haider Khel
are the villages where Dawar are Living. North Waziristan shares open border with Khost
(Formally Paktia), province of Afghanistan.

South Waziristan

South Waziristan’s District Headquarters is Wana.

The south is also predominantly inhabited by the Wazir tribes. Another major tribe is
Mahsud, who live in tent villages and graze their characteristic fat-tailed sheep, which are white with black faces. The
South Waziristan Agency has its district headquarters at Wana. South Waziristan, which
comprises about 6,500 square kilometers, is the most volatile agency of Pakistan; it is
not under the direct administration of the government of Pakistan, but is indirectly
governed by a political agent, sometimes an outsider, sometimes a Waziri— a system
that was inherited from the British Raj.

External links

See also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waziristan

STANFORD OVSHINSKY: HYDROGEN ECONOMY

November 8, 2006 at 6:13 am | Posted in Globalization, History, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment

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Stanford R

Stanford R. Ovshinsky

HYDROGEN ECONOMY

Stanford R. Ovshinsky (1923– ) is a
self-taught Jewish AmericanLithuanian engineer, inventor, and physicist. He has invented
amorphous
semiconductor
materials, which gave rise to a whole new segment of material
engineering, aiding in the construction of semiconductors, solar energy, and electric
cars. These materials are used in photocopy machines, fax machines and LCD displays.

Ovshinsky was granted numerous patents in the 1970s and ’80s for amorphous
semiconductor materials.

Life

A true autodidact, Ovshinsky was forced to drop out of
school during the great Depression of the 1930s in order to help support his family.
Despite this, he developed into a successful mechanical and electrical engineer. He became
a skilled machinist during World war II after which he got his first patent for a
two-headed lathe designed to produce two (twin) artillery projectiles at a time on the
same machine.

Ovshinsky then shifted his interests towards electrical engineering and the then new
field of electronic engineering in the 1950s. He co-founded Energy Conversion
Laboratories, Inc. in 1960 with his wife Iris to continue research into chalcogenides in general as switching materials. After some
advances in switching technology circa 1963, Ovshinsky changed the name of the company to
Energy Conversion Devices,Inc. (ECD).

In the early days of ECD Nobel Prize winners were among those who dropped in to talk to
Stan and tour his laboratory. William Shockley,
co-inventor of the transistor, was a frequent visitor. I.I. Rabi,
the inventor of NMR, came by as well as Sir Neville Mott, the world’s greatest theorist of
electrical conductivity. As consultants, Ovshinsky hired well known academics such as David Turnbull and Arnold Bienenstock whose
international reputations in physics lent luster to ECD’s research whenever a news
announcement was made about new developments. These announcements appeared on the front
pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the covers of magazines,[1] greatly encouraging new investment. Over a period of about 40
years, it is estimated that ECD spent half a billion dollars[2]
before any profit was made. However, license fees to ECD are beginning to grow, now that
amorphous chalcogenides are used for inexpensive solar cells, and in modified form for CD-RW computer memory disks, and possibly even for RAM chips.[3] ECD also has claims on the
profits from the nickel metal hydride
batteries
that are important in laptop computers and hybrid
gas-electric automobiles
.[4][5]

Since 1990, Ovshinsky has been a member of Sigma Xi, The
Scientific Research Society, along with his wife Iris until her death in August 2006.

Ovshinsky has won prizes[6] for outstanding innovation in the
U.S. and Europe. The American Ceramic Society now offers the Ovshinsky Award for
scientists in the field of amorphous materials research. Stanford R. Ovshinsky is one of
the most prolific inventors in American history. He holds hundreds of patents, which puts
him in a league the head of which is Thomas Edison.

Work

The Ovitron[tm]

Ovshinsky invented and patented the Ovitron(tm), a hybrid solid state/liquid state
device that allowed a small variation in voltage to switch a large current (i.e., a
relay). This was a feat that germanium and silicon transistors did not do well as their
properties degraded rapidly at the high temperatures produced by high current densities.
The Ovitron(tm) was based on thin films of tantalum oxides supported on tantalum wires and
immersed in a hermetically sealed polyethylene can filled with an oxidizing electrolyte
(sulphuric acid). The US Air Force tried the device in airborne electronics, but although
it worked it was judged too prone to catastrophic failure (rupture of the sulphuric acid
container) for combat use.

Chalcogenides

In the early 1960s he had samples of various metallic and semi metallic chalcogenides
produced in bulk to determine if they exhibited electronic switching properties as did the
tantalum chalcogenide, tantalum oxide. Noting that on certain chalcogenide glasses an
electronic switching "mechanism" could be observed by placing two contact
electrodes close together on a smooth surface and establishing a voltage between the
electrodes Ovshinsky instructed his materials researcher to determine how to manufacture
reproducible thin films of the materials for further testing.

In 1963 ECL obtained a vacuum deposition chamber and began experimentally depositing
thin films of glassy (amorphous) chalcogenides on non conducting substrates. Ovshinsky
soon proposed that concave surfaces be polished on amorphous graphite pins and then after
depositing thin fims of selected chalcogenides on the polished surfaces of the pins they,
the coated surfaces, could be mated in a quartz tube in which they slip fit. These devices
exhibited a reproducible threshold voltage switching of relatively high currents.

Patents

Stanford R. Ovshinsky ultimately obtained U.S. 3,271,591 (with 33 broad claims),
covering switching diodes made from amorphous chalcogen compounds such as tellurium
alloys. These have bistable resistivity states and can also be used as electronic memory
units. Similar phenomena had been observed earlier[7] by scientists
like Alan T. Waterman but not pursued. Bell Telephone Laboratories had also observed
similar phenomena, but had not gone forward to the device stage.

The problem that held back large scale usage of the Ovshinsky diode was poor
reliability, caused by cracks in the low resistance micro-channel. ECD sold patent
cross-licenses to larger electronics companies. One of those, ITT Corporation, obtained U.S. 3,448,302, which covered
the solution to the cracking problem. The mutual cross-licensing allowing ECD to get a
great deal of funding for further research, because little circuit boards could then be
given out free to prospective licensees, to reliably demonstrate the memory device.

See also

References

  1. "Making It," Anon., Electronics, Sept. 28, 1970, page 4, and photo of ECD
    memory on cover.
  2. "Electronics Pioneer Hunts for Profits," by Barnaby Feder, New York Times,
    July 28, 1987, page 6.
  3. "Next Phase For RAM," by David Lammers, Electronic Engineering Times,
    June 23, 2003, page 1.
  4. "G.M. Signs Electric Car Battery Deal," by Matthew Wald, New York Times,
    March 10, 1994, page D4.
  5. Ovonics Collects Big Bucks From Japanese Battery Makers,"
    Anon., Automotive Industry, Dec. 1997, page 9.
  6. "ACS Honors Heroes of Chemistry," Anon., Chemical and Engineering News (Amer.
    Chem. Soc.), Sept. 4, 2000, page 50.
  7. "Bistable Conductor," Alan T. Waterman, Physical Review, Vol. 21,
    1923, page 540.

Further reading

  • Howard, George S., "Stan Ovshinsky and the Hydrogen Economy", c. 2006 (This biography of Stan Ovshinsky includes a history of all of his companies and
    an overview of the science behind ECD’s most important inventions. The author is a
    counseling psychologist faculty member at University
    of Notre Dame
    .)

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Ovshinsky

Stan and Iris Ovshinsky have been working with hydrogen since
they founded their company in a storefront in suburban Detroit over 40 years ago. Today
that company is a multi-million dollar enterprise, based on the Ovshinsky’s wizardry with
exotic metal alloys that soak up hydrogen like a sponge soaks up water. The best-known of
these metal hydrides is the nickel metal hydride rechargeable battery invented by Stan
Ovshinsky and now used in millions of electronic devices — as well as the new
generation of hybrid cars.

Alan first met Stan and Iris Ovshinsky a year ago in California, when they showed him a
prototype of a car powered by hydrogen stored in a tank filled with one of these
hydrogen-absorbing metal alloys. In this program Alan visits the Ovshinsky’s production
facilities and gets a behind-the-scenes glimpse of some of the technologies that may mark
a breakthrough in making hydrogen a practical fuel for the
cars of the future.

http://www.pbs.org/saf/1506/segments/1506-1.htm

MISES INSTITUTE: STATES & EMPIRES

November 8, 2006 at 4:40 am | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Philosophy | Leave a comment

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SMALL STATES,
GLOBAL ECONOMY
: IS EMPIRE NECESSARY?

By Jeffrey Herbener

Posted on 11/7/2006

Deepak Lal, a prominent, pro-market, development economist wrote
the following words in his 2004 book, In Praise of Empires:

Empires have been natural throughout human history. Most people have lived in empires.
Empires and the process of globalization associated with them have provided the order
necessary for social and economic life to flourish. By linking previously autarkic states
into a common economic space, empires have promoted the mutual gains from trade adumbrated
by Adam Smith. Therefore, despite their current bad name, empires have promoted peace and
prosperity.
[1]

Empires are natural, according to Lal, because they solve a Hobbesian problem of
anarchy among independent states. A domestic Leviathan prevents the descent into a
“war of all against all” by providing security essential for peace and
prosperity in its own territory. In like manner, an “international Leviathan [is]
needed to provide order in an anarchical international system of states.”[2] Without such an
order the global economy cannot develop.

Empires arise in the following way, according to Lal. A state originates over a
territory when roving bandits settle among a developed agricultural community to exact
tribute from it. In exchange, the bandits provide essential public goods such as law and
order. With protected property rights, production rises and with it tribute to the state.
Other bandit groups become states in the same way in other territories. Although important
instances of long-distance trade do occur, the diversity of laws across different states
hinders interstate trade.

This sub-optimal equilibrium among states is disturbed when one of them secures an
economic or military breakthrough that lowers the costs of or raises the revenue from
conquest and administrative control of foreign territory. By enforcing a uniform legal
code across its entire span, an empire creates a common economic territory, which protects
long-distance trade and fosters economic progress. The greater wealth gives the empire its
advantage over small, competing states.[3]

Actually, Lal has it backwards. The truth is that for the same reason there is no need
for an international Leviathan, there is no need for a domestic one. Lal’s argument about
the origin of the state is based on an equivocation. He wishes to establish the necessity
of the state by invoking the dark Hobbesian state of nature, but desires that the state
arising from it is limited in such a way that the market can develop unimpeded. But if the
conditions in the state of nature make life “solitary, nasty, brutish, and
short” it is because each person exercises his Hobbesian “right of nature”
to aggress against everyone else in pursuit of his own survival. The social contract does
not limit this power, but vests it in Leviathan. Nothing constrains the Leviathan state in
pursuit of its survival. It tolerates private activity not as a matter of individual
right, but as a grant of privilege revocable at will, hardly solid grounds for economic
progress.

If Lal takes a position on the state of nature that permits the limited transfer of
rights to the state in the social contract so that persons could retain property rights
against the state thereby permitting the market to develop, then the necessity of the
state does not logically follow. Mises agreed with Hobbes that the state of nature is
characterized by irreconcilable conflict, but the way out is not the surrender of the
“rights of nature” to the state but an exercise of human reason. Mises wrote:

What makes friendly relations between human beings possible is the higher productivity
of the division of labor. It removes the natural conflict of interests. For where there is
a division of labor, there is no longer question of the distribution of a supply not
capable of enlargement…. A preeminent common interest, the preservation and further
intensification of social cooperation, becomes paramount and obliterates all essential
collisions…. It makes for harmony of the interests of all members of society.[4]

What is necessary for society to develop in this case is that people have the capacity
to resist the temptation to commit aggression or to suppress those who succumb to such
temptation in order to gain the higher productivity of the division of labor. Why the
suppression of criminals would have to be monopolized in the state is not clear.

Lal rests his argument in favor of a monopoly on the assertion that in the state of
nature people do not share a common authority that could be appealed to in deciding
between competing claims. Competing judges would have a fragmented law that would not
command the authority of a uniform law. The social contract vests the lawmaking authority
in the state to correct this defect. But certainly law exists without the state. And law
conducive to the market actually precedes the state, as Mises wrote:

Freedom, as people enjoyed it in the democratic countries of Western civilization in
the years of the old liberalism’s triumph, was not a product of constitutions, bills of
rights, laws, and statutes. Those documents aimed only at safeguarding liberty and
freedom, firmly established by the operation of the market economy, against encroachments
on the part of officeholders. No government and no civil law can guarantee and bring about
freedom otherwise than by supporting and defending the fundamental institutions of the
market economy.[5]

The law that regulates human action and interaction is woven into the fabric of
reality. It is embedded in the nature of man. It operates whenever human action takes
place. Legislation can neither establish nor improve the natural law. And each piece of
legislation contrary to it, hinders its operation. Even if the state could be strictly
limited to defense of person and property, it would be unnecessary. The social order of
the division of labor and exchange would arise without it.

The common economic space that Lal cites as the justification for empire is the natural
condition of man. Benjamin Tucker was right to include in the masthead of his publication,
Liberty, the maxim of Proudhon “Liberty: not the daughter, but the mother of
order.”

Leviathan tolerates private activity not as a matter of
individual right, but as a grant of privilege revocable at will, hardly solid grounds for
economic progress.

Lal himself concedes this point by admitting that settled communities existed before
states emerged from the intrusion of roving bandits who came to live as parasites on them.
It must have been the case that non-state provision of public goods, including enforcement
and adjudication of law, was already in place. Just as the law governing human action and
interaction is a precondition for state codification of it, judging disputes about human
action and interaction must have preceded state monopolization of this activity. Moreover,
this law must have transcended states for long-distance trade to have developed across
state borders. Persons do not need a single authority as judge to submit to the law, as
Lal claims, they only need to feel bound to the law itself.

During the period of Israel’s time in the wilderness, people with disputes came to
Moses to judge between them. Because the task overwhelmed him, he took the counsel of his
father-in-law and appointed judges from among the people. Because the people had been
taught the law of God and accepted its authority, they submitted to decisions of the
judges. The system of the judges persisted in Israel until the time of Samuel when the
people rejected God and His law and demanded a king to judge them.[6]

Because natural law is universal, it can operate with particular adjudication and
enforcement. The common law and arbitration, for example, function consistently with the
natural law not because the state is in the background supporting them, but because the
natural law itself is operating universally.

If enforcement and adjudication of law can be provided privately in the same market
process as other goods, then the state is not merely unnecessary. Because it rests on
aggression against person and property, the very existence of the state must impair the
social order. As Mises wrote:

Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of
liberty. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its
range is adequately restricted to the preservation of economic freedom. Where there is no
market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead
letter.[7]

Mises is right that the state is the opposite of liberty, and for that reason he is
wrong to claim that the state, however limited, can be the guarantor of liberty. An
institution resting on aggression against private property cannot be the defender of
private property.

If, as Lal claims, settled communities pre-existed the state, then the account of the
origin of the state given by Hans Hoppe is more plausible than Lal’s. States came from the
rise of natural elites within society. Elites emerge in society from the exercise of their
superior talents, which earn them wealth and respect. Others turn to them as authorities
well-suited to judge in their disputes, a public good the elite performs out of a sense of
duty. From this stateless condition, the state comes into existence when the elites
illegitimately monopolize the function of judging disputes.[8]

“The law that regulates human action and
interaction is woven into the fabric of reality. … Legislation can neither establish
nor improve the natural law.”

As soon as social competition in judging and enforcing the law is eliminated, the price
of these services rises and their quality falls. Only competition among states remains to
provide a competitive check the state’s predation. If one state plunders too heavily,
production falls relative to its rivals. Some from among the productive move their persons
and property to the territory of rivals who then have higher population and greater wealth
to exploit to their advantage, especially militarily.

Hoppe also points out that monopolization makes the state judge in its own case and
therefore, the state will tend to provoke, instead of solve, conflict in order to rule in
its favor and thereby, expand its power. Justice is perverted to further the ends of the
state. Natural law, immutable and impartial, gives way to state legislation, flexible and
partial. Economic progress is hampered not only by legislation’s deviations from the
natural law, but by the uncertainty it introduces into social life.[9]

Of greater importance than these considerations of why small states foster liberty is
that small states permit the possibility of the emergence of private institutions that
transcend the state: churches providing moral and legal codes, families raising children
and caring for elderly, schools educating the young, charities giving alms, enterprises
producing goods, associations producing public goods, and so on. If the institutions of
society sit above the state, then they can constrain the state.

Lal would have us believe that liberty is advanced by entrusting to the centralized
state law itself. It is a grave mistake to think that the perversions wrought by the
exercise of monopoly power can be suppressed in the more important realms and not in the
less important ones. If a monopoly garbage collector introduces inefficiencies unknown on
the market, how much more so a monopoly money producer. And if a monopoly money producer
is bad for the social order, how much worse a monopoly judge of the law. Surely he cannot
resist the temptation to extend the perversion of the law on which his monopoly rests to
rule in favor of himself and his allies. Once the state commands the law, it will
systematically dismantle the constraints put on it by private institutions. Lord Acton’s
dictum is true: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

The weakness of Lal’s defense of empire can be seen in another way. Small states were
indispensable to the “European miracle,” the steady economic progress starting
in the high middle ages that lifted the masses out of poverty and created the prosperous
middle class while sustaining an unprecedented rise in human population. As Ralph Raico
wrote in his outstanding overview of the impressive literature on the importance of
decentralization to the rise of capitalism in Europe:

The key to western development is to be found in the fact that, while Europe
constituted a single civilization — Latin Christendom — it was at the same time
radically decentralized. In contrast to other cultures — especially China, India, and
the Islamic world — Europe comprised a system of divided and hence, competing powers
and jurisdictions. After the fall of Rome, no universal empire was able to arise on the
continent. This was of the greatest significance.[10]

Not only did small states constrain each one’s predation by the competitive process
among them, but within each realm the struggle for supremacy came to center around the
assertion of rights. Representative bodies, religious communities, chartered towns,
universities, etc., each claiming its rights, limited the power of the king. Eventually,
private property rights came to be defined more in line with the nature of human persons
and human action, leading to further gains in prosperity and liberty. Innovations in
technology, organization, and institutions were permitted by right, giving rise to the
distinctive features of capitalism: capital markets, joint stock companies,
entrepreneurial activities, capital accumulation, and so on.[11]

“Mises is right that the state is the opposite of
liberty, and for that reason he is wrong to claim that the state, however limited, can be
the guarantor of liberty.”

From the tenth century onward, the prosperity of the merchant class began to escape the
confiscatory measures of the state and then, slowly but surely the property rights enjoyed
by merchants were extended more widely until they encompassed even the lowliest peasant.
In other societies, the wealth of merchants was tolerated by the state because it served
its interest.

Private property was a privilege granted by the state, not a right against it. And this
privilege was not extended to the average person since the ruler, unable to imagine
economic progress himself, could not conceive of why doing so would be to his benefit.
Innovators who began to amass wealth saw the state swiftly confiscate their property to
avoid the rise of a new center of power in competition with its own. Potential innovators
took notice. In Western Europe, because there were small states that permitted the
assertion of rights, the rising wealth was not confiscated, but instead had a liberalizing
effect on the policies of states.[12]

As Raico noted, scholars have for a long time argued that the precondition for this
breakthrough in economic development was Christian ideas. A seminal work in this area is
by the great legal scholar Harold Berman. Berman identifies two important areas where
Christian ideas were put into practice in ways that liberalized society. First, the
rationalization of the canon law on Christian principles provided a model for the
transformation of civil law codes throughout Western Europe. Second, the papal reforms of
Pope Gregory VII culminated in an independent church capable of judging the state.[13]

This process resulted not only in a higher law sitting in judgment of legislation of
the state, but higher law based on Christian ideas. As Rodney Stark has argued,
Christianity emphasizes the importance of human reason in unfolding God’s will.[14] Reason applies
not only to understanding God Himself through scripture and creation — i.e.,
systematic theology — but to understanding the nature of creation itself. To discover
how creation operates is not only to reveal the mind of God, but gives man the knowledge
to obey God’s command to exercise dominion over the world. Man is suited to this task
because he is made in God’s image, endowed with reason, motivation, imagination, and other
such faculties.

Moreover, Christianity teaches that God is transcendent, separate from and above
creation, and therefore, the order man recognizes in the world is decreed by God and
infused by Him into the nature of creation. The belief that God regulates creation by the
operation of natural laws is the presupposition of both the natural and social sciences.

A substantial literature exists explaining the rise of modern science in Christendom.
The great historian and philosopher of science, Stanley Jaki, points out that the original
formulation of the laws of motion was by the fourteenth century priests Jean Buridan and
Nicole Oresme.[15]
Students and later teachers at the University of Paris, center of the natural law
philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, began the scientific revolution. And because such knowledge
was, in Christian thought, to inform human action, it went hand in hand with a
technological revolution.

It was a small step to apply natural law thinking to social science. Order in society
is brought about by the operation of laws that God has built into human nature. In
assessing Thomas Aquinas’s contributions to economics, Murray Rothbard wrote:

Perhaps St. Thomas’s most important contribution concerned the underpinning or
framework of economics rather than strictly economic matters. For in reviving and building
upon Aristotle, St. Thomas introduced and established in the Christian world a philosophy
of natural law, a philosophy in which human reason is able to master the basic truths of
the universe…. Thomism … demonstrated that the laws of nature, including the
nature of mankind, provided the means for man’s reason to discover a rational ethics.[16]

Working in this framework, Buridan and Oresme developed a proto-Austrian theory of
money. According to Rothbard:

The main great leap forward in economics contributed by Jean Buridan was his virtual
creation of the modern theory of money…. [He] broke free of [Aristotelian] shackles
and founded the “metallist” or commodity theory of money, i.e., that money
originates naturally as a useful commodity on the market, and that the market will pick
the medium of exchange … possessing the best qualities to serve as a money.[17]

The belief that God keeps order in the social realm by the operation of natural laws
leads logically to the conclusion that the legislation of the state is unnecessary for or
even harmful to social order.

Complementary to the belief in natural social order in supporting laissez faire was the
Christian view of the human person. Each person bears the image of God and thus, stands,
in certain respects, as an equal to all other persons. Moreover, salvation is for each
person, not the human race, not the nation, not any collective. Empires rise and fall,
states come and go, but each individual person will live forever. God has offered
salvation to each person by the incarnation of His Son, who was born, lived, and died as a
human person. At first, this line of thought resulted in the assertion by some of their
rights against the state but eventually it led to conclusion that each person has the same
rights to liberty; the proposition of equality in authority or political independence
found in John Locke.[18]

These laissez-faire currents then fed legal reform. Legislation should conform to
natural law and therefore defend private property, contract, and so on. And these legal
reforms became the foundation for a commercial revolution.

The legal and commercial revolutions bore their first fruits of liberty and prosperity
in the city states of northern Italy during the twelfth century. Venice, Genoa, Florence,
and Milan were centers of wealth accumulation not only from trade but also profitable
industries in textiles, glassware, iron, and other goods. Crucial to the liberty and
prosperity of these cities were the decentralization of power within them and the
competing centers of power outside them that could be played against each other. With
state confiscation constrained, standards of living steadily improved and populations
steadily rose. As the great medievalist Robert Lopez put it, at its peak in the late
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Italian commercial power, “stretched as far as
England, South Russia, the oases of the Sahara Desert, India and China. It was the
greatest economic empire that the world had ever known.”[19]

Stark summed up the birth of capitalism in these words, “The ‘rebirth’ of freedom
in some parts of Europe was the result of three necessary elements: Christian ideals,
small political units, and within them, the appearance of a diversity of well-matched
interest groups. There were no societies like these anywhere else in the world.”[20]

In contrast, before the institutionalization of Christian ideas and where power was
more centralized in the realm of Charlemagne in the ninth century, the state suppressed
economic progress with burdensome taxation and, what Rothbard called “his despotic
network of regulations.”[21] And where a
centralized state suppressed the institutionalization of Christian ideas, such as in
Russia, liberty and prosperity failed to arise at all.

Capitalism was spread to northern Europe by merchants from the cities of northern
Italy. Interested in trading woolen goods of Flanders with southern Europe, Italian
merchants fostered the rise of medieval fairs. The great Fairs of Champagne, beginning in
the eleventh century, integrated southern and northern European economic activity into an
overarching division of labor. These fairs were made possible because the Count of
Champagne was independent of the King of France. When this independence was lost in the
late thirteenth century under Phillip IV’s consolidation, the fairs went into decline from
taxation.

Outside Europe, private property was a privilege
granted by the state, not a right against it. And this privilege was not extended to the
average person since the ruler, unable to imagine economic progress himself, could not
conceive of why doing so would be to his benefit.

Italian merchants evaded these depredations by relying on sea routes to the free cities
in Flanders.

Established by merchants outside feudal claims and ruled by interest favorable to
commerce that found protection from predation of local barons by agreements with distant
monarchs, free cities sprang up across northern Europe in the twelfth century. Bankers
from the northern Italian cities established branches in Bruges from which they
capitalized woolen production in Flanders.

As a center of trade between English fleece producers and Flanders weavers and Flanders
producers of woolens and southern Europe, Bruges became the Venice of the North in
prosperity as well as canals in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. War
with France to annex Bruges as it had southern Flanders caused merchants seeking freedom
to move to Antwerp in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

By the late fifteenth century Antwerp was the richest and most well known city in
Europe. Fed by the burgeoning exchange from the age of exploration, the volume of trade
passing through Antwerp far surpassed that of any port in history to that time. However,
Charles V’s subjugation of southern Netherlands led to Antwerp’s decline. Charles V also
incorporated Italy into the Spanish realm and state predation, which had been held at bay
for half a millennium, was loosed. Venice was the only one of the capitalist cities to
avoid this fate. But having lost the balance between eastern and western powers because of
the Spanish intrusion, it succumbed to predation by city rulers. Capitalism marched on
from Antwerp to Amsterdam as displaced capitalists moved north where capitalism flourished
in the late sixteenth and seventeenth century. Eventually, Amsterdam, too, succumbed to
Spanish and French intrusions.[22]

By the thirteenth century, capitalism was well underway in England. Christian ideas of
equality of natural rights had made further progress in England than elsewhere in Europe,
which extended secure private property to a wider circle of persons than on the continent.
As a result, English capitalism was not limited to cities. Farmers supplied the fleece for
the European woolen markets and entrepreneurs innovated manufacturing processes and power
supplies. Water and windmills, mechanical devices, and coal power were common by the
thirteenth century. The superiority of coal as a source of power led to innovations in
mining and shipping, including wagons drawn by horses on metal rails, a precursor to
railroads. And the development of coal power led to the invention of the blast furnace for
the working of iron and, eventually, to the steam engine.[23]

Each step forward in the development of capitalism was possible because of a
decentralized political system and each step backward was from political centralization.

Ignoring the history of capitalism’s origin and progress, Lal claims that the British
Empire of the eighteen century brought about the first global economy to experience
genuine economic progress. His claim about the British Empire is an example of the fallacy
Raico calls the “timeless approach” to history. Of P.T. Bauer as a debunker of
this fallacy, Raico wrote:

Rejecting the “timeless approach” to economic development, Bauer has
accentuated the many centuries required for economic growth in the Western world, and the
interplay of various cultural factors that were its precondition.[24]

Economic progress occurred despite, not because of, the British Empire. The product of
a culture of natural rights, liberty, and capitalism, the American colonists thrived in
the decentralized, nearly anarchic, conditions. While the colonists were building
civilization in the wilderness by acting on their natural rights, the British crown
pursued its own mercantilist interests. The resulting policies sometimes worked with
America’s comparative advantage and sometimes against it, but in no case did the empire
further liberty and prosperity.

In the latter cases, the colonists responded with evasion, smuggling, and eventually
secession. They did the same when they felt that colonial states aggressed against their
natural rights.

Oppressed Virginians left and homesteaded in North Carolina. Pennsylvania, too, was
largely without a state in its settlement period, with colonists enjoying the freedom to
exit the state’s realm and homestead virgin land.[25] In contrast,
areas of the British Empire that lacked these cultural traditions, having no history of
liberty and capitalism, failed to flourish. Only now, and without being imposed by empire,
are India and other non-Western regions such as China experiencing the blessings of
economic progress.

And had capitalism not arisen centuries before from the decentralized political
conditions of Western Europe, there would not have been a British empire conducive, to the
extent it was, to liberty and prosperity. The thought that persons had rights against the
state and should be left alone to live their lives never would have occurred to any
British statesman otherwise.

Empires prior to the rise of capitalism were predatory of individual wealth, hostile
toward entrepreneurship, and failed to recognize natural rights. And even the Spanish and
French empires of the eighteenth century, because they lacked a strong tradition of
capitalism, failed to foster liberty and prosperity in their colonies. That non-western
countries today can mimic Western prosperity also rests on the precondition that
capitalism arose from Christendom with Christian ideas and decentralized states. Whether
or not their nascent prosperity proves to be built on the firm foundation of natural
rights is not yet clear.

But one thing we do know: liberty was born in Christendom during the Middle Ages. It
can be reborn in the same way it arose before. People can once again sanctify the natural
rights of man, and civil society can be reinvigorated to once again transcend the state.
Our task is to use the scope of action and wealth left to us by the state to advance
natural rights and build the institutions of civil society. When liberty and capitalism
were born over a millennium ago, states were small, decentralized, and weak. By restoring
natural rights and civil society, the state will recede once again. Foremost among those
working on this task of restoration is the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

“Each step forward in the development of capitalism was possible because of a
decentralized political system and each step backward was from political
centralization.”

Jeffrey Herbener teaches economics at Grove City College.

Send him mail.
Comment on the Blog.

This talk was delivered on October 27, 2006, at “Imperialism:
Enemy of Freedom,”
the Mises Institute Supporter’s Summit. It is available in MP3 audio
from Mises
Media
.

Notes

[1] Deepak
Lal, In Praise of Empires: Globalization and Order (New York: Palgrave Macmillan,
2004), p. 205.

[2] Lal, In
Praise of Empires
, p. 4.

[3] Lal, In
Praise of Empires
, pp. 5–9.

[4] Ludwig
von Mises, Human
Action
, Scholar’s Edition
(Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 1998), p. 669.

[5] Mises, Human
Action,
p. 283.

[6] Exodus
18:13–27; Judges; I Samuel 8:1–22

[7] Mises, Human
Action
, p. 283.

[8]
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy,
the God That Failed
(New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001), pp.
71–72; and idem, “Natural
Elites, Intellectuals, and the State”
.

[9]
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “The
Idea of a Private Law Society”
.

[10] Ralph
Raico, “The Theory of Economic Development and the ‘European Miracle,'” in Peter
J. Boettke, ed., The Collapse of Development Planning (New York: New York
University Press, 1994), p. 41.

[11] Raico,
“The European Miracle,” pp. 41–42.

[12] Raico,
“The European Miracle,” pp. 43–44.

[13] Raico,
“The European Miracle,” pp. 44–45. See Harold Berman, The Law and
Revolution
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983).

[14] Rodney
Stark, The Victory of Reason (New York: Random House, 2005).

[15] Stanley
Jaki, The Absolute Beneath the Relative (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America,
1988), pp. 141–144.

[16] Murray
Rothbard, Economic
Thought Before Adam Smith
(Brookfield, Vt.: Edward Elgar, 1995), pp. 57–58.

[17]
Rothbard, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith, p. 74.

[18]
Roderick Long, “Equality,
the Unknown Ideal.”

[19] Stark, Victory
of Reason
, pp. 84–94; quoted in ibid, p. 105.

[20] Stark, Victory
of Reason
, pp. 97–99.

[21]
Rothbard, Economics Before Adam Smith, pp. 36–37.

[22] On the
northern European cities, see Stark, Victory of Reason, pp. 131–147 and on the
fate of northern Italian cities, see idem, pp. 171–175.

[23] Stark, Victory
of Reason
, pp. 147–159.

[24] Raico,
“The European Miracle,” p. 52.

[25] Murray
Rothbard, Conceived
in Liberty
, vol. 1 (Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 1999 [1975]).

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Jonathan Kay: Simpsons and Family Guy both do Iraq

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Doug Gamble: Politics Most Foul

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Paul Petersen: Why am I not surprised?

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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross: National Security Implications of the 2006 Midterms

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Dennis Prager: Is a gay who opposes same-sex marriage a hypocrite?

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Thomas Sowell: A new voter fraud

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BRAZIL HISTORY

November 8, 2006 at 2:22 am | Posted in Globalization, History, Latin America, Military | Leave a comment

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<b>Brazil</b>

Brazil


Acknowledgments
Preface

Historical Setting
The Indigenous Population
The Colonial Era, 1500-1815
Frontier Expansion That Shaped Brazil

Early Colonization
French and Dutch Incursions
Gold Mining Displaces Cane Farming
The Transition to Kingdom Status
The Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil,
1815-21

The Empire, 1822-89
Emperor Pedro I, 1822-31

The Regency Era, 1831-40
The Second Empire, 1840-89
The Republican Era, 1889-1985
The Old or First Republic, 1889-1930
The Era of Getúlio Vargas, 1930-54
The Post-Vargas Republic, 1954-64
The Military Republic, 1964-85

The Society and Its
Environment

GEOGRAPHY
Geology, Geomorphology, and Drainage
Soils and Vegetation
Climate
Geographic Regions
The Environment
Population
Mortality
Fertility
Migration and Urbanization
Social Classes
Gender
Youth
The Elderly
Race and Ethnicity
Amerindians
Rural Groups
Cultural Unity and Diversity
The Brazilian Way
Language
Mass Communications
Family and Kinship
Roman Catholicism
Other Religions
Health Status and Health Care
Indicators of Health

Infectious and Chronic Diseases
Nutrition and Diet
The Health Care System
Health Professionals and Resources
Public Health and Welfare
Education
Literacy
Primary and Secondary Schools
Colleges and Universities
Social Conflict and Participation

The Economy
The Colonial Period
The Sugar Cycle, 1540-1640
The Eighteenth-Century Gold Rush
The Economy at Independence, 1822
The Coffee Economy, 1840-1930
A Period of Sweeping Change, 1930-45
Import-Substitution Industrialization,
1945-64

Stagnation, 1962-67
Spectacular Growth, 1968-73
Growth with Debt, 1974-80
Stagnation, Inflation, and Crisis,
1981-94

The 1981-84 Period
The 1985-89 Period
The 1990-94 Period
The Labor Force and Income Levels
Agriculture
Livestock
Fishing
Industry
Mining
Energy
Tourism
Privatization
The Real Plan
Trade Policies
Trade Patterns and Regional Economic
Integration

Government and Politics
Political Culture
Constitutional Framework
Structure of Government
The Executive
The Legislature
The Judiciary
State and Local Governments
The Political Party System
Major Parties in Congress
Minor Parties in Congress
Regional Strength of the Parties
Party Legislation
Sarney’s Presidency, 1985-90
Collor de Mello’s Presidency, 1990-92
Franco’s Presidency, 1992-94
Cardoso’s Presidency, 1995-
Women in Politics
The Electoral System
The Presidential Election of 1989
Congressional and State Elections, 1990
General Elections, 1994
Interest Group Politics
The Media
Foreign Relations
The Foreign Service

Foreign Policy Decision Making
Multilateral Relations
Latin America
Europe
The Middle East
Africa
Asia
United States

Bibliography

Cities in Brazil: Rio De
Janeiro
, Sao Paulo

Country Studies Index

http://countrystudies.us/brazil/


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