Urbanization is so often hawked as something akin to a savior. Is it really that great a trend? Some religions preach the evils of urbanization for how it secularizes their cultures, but is that all there is?
Leaving the religious aside, urbanization has other, often unstated affects.
Because urbanization makes commerce, land use, and resource use more efficient, we value it as a contribution to society. But with urbanization comes expanded expectations. All the saved resources get put into bigger projects, raising demand. Efficient use of land means dropped land values outside the urbanized regions. And the fiscal excess of commercial efficiency simply fills the pockets of CEOs and governments. If commercial efficiency meant that employees were paid more or resources where actually used less, then urbanization has its benefits, but that isn’t what happens in practice.
India is the epitome of this phenomenon. Because of preexisting social class systems and farm subsidizing, the urban growth only broadens the gaps between classes and weakens the bridges over which money flows out of the cities.
It is much like the birth of our country. Growth benefited only those on top, abused the native cultures and peoples, squandered resource, and created a “civilized” society.
I like the old, ancient ways. If you wanted to disrespect someone, destroy their worth, or to use all of the local resources, you did so with an angry brow, a weapon, and laughter in your wake. The modern “civil” style is passive aggressive in nature, masked behind “good intensions,” and systematically passes power only to a few.
If the sex workers in India were respected for working in one of mankind’s oldest professions, regulation and education could root out many of its flaws. But even in our country it is considered an “uncivilized” profession. Why can’t we be modern without being “civil?” Why can’t we accommodate a profession we will never be able to, and most people will never want to, remove from society. The abuse of woman is in the disrespect with which the sex acts are performed. But, with all my sexual relations as testament, great sex can still be respectful. The profession could have dignity and safety if only it were respected.