Critical Thinking: Class and Nature in the Oil Industry of Northern Veracruz

Critical Thinking: Class and Nature in the Oil Industry of Northern Veracruz.

Nature in the Oil Industry of Northern Veracruz

The article Class and Nature in the Oil Industry of Northern Veracruz seeks to unravel how the oil barons captured and established their oil industries in Mexico. The research problem of the article is to establish whether the development brought by the oil industries in Mexico at the expense of oil exploitation were worth for the local communities. Santiago proves to be very resourceful on the issue of oil exploitation in Veracruz. Santiago highlighted the dates when the oil was being exploited, the first three renowned oil barons and the way they established their oil exploitation bases. For instance, Santiago highlights how the three main oil drillers, Edward L. Doheny, Cruz Briones and Rodríguez manipulated the environment, the local community and the oil drilling business to their advantage.

From the article, it is true that the oil barons did not encounter many problems in subduing both the local communities and the environment. The author arranges the research in a chronological order, from when the oil drillers invaded Mexico, how they manipulated the environment for their advantage, the way they treated the local communities, where they sourced their labor, impact of industrial growth and the reaction of the local communities to establishment of oil industries in Mexico. The article can drive its message very clearly by showing the strengths the oil drillers had and the weakness of the local communities in the process of oil exploitation. Santiago can enumerate the factors that weakened the local communities and how the weaknesses made them vulnerable to exploitation by the foreigners. For instance, according to Santiago, the local communities were subjected to harsh working conditions. They used to work in swampy, marshy areas and they were exposed to hazardous industrial chemicals without being given any protective equipment. They lost their lives and parts of their body during drilling and clearing of the vegetation.

Some of the oil drillers explain that the development brought establishment of oil industries in Mexico was phenomenal and they significantly changed the lives of most of the local communities. However, in the same measure, Santiago enumerates the suffering that the local communities were exposed to. Consequently, Santiago can draw parallels between the oil barons’ perception and that of the local communities. From the article, it is possible to compare the benefits of oil exploitation against the sufferings that the local communities went through and made an informed stand. Santiago says that “men who did not have the manual ability risked life and limb every day .” That shows the local communities were pushed beyond their abilities to provide labor for the foreigners. Santiago supports his arguments with facts and figures to drive the point home. For instance, Santiago notes that between 2,000 and 4,500 foreigners occupied executive jobs while over 45,000 locals were preserved for manual labor.

Generally, the article is very informative since it goes into details on most of the relevant issues during the oil exploitation process. The article takes its shape on the part of “nature and class.” From there, it is possible to understand the course the article js taking. The research is logically planned since it takes into account research made by other researchers on the same issue. Santiago makes references to research conducted by other researchers to get a better perspective of the research.

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Critical Thinking: Class and Nature in the Oil Industry of Northern Veracruz

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