While all the news reports are focussing on how coal literally fuelled the industrial revolution, how at one point, one million miners were working in pits, how Big Coal is now over and heavy industry all but kaput in the UK, no one is really talking about how coal mining built communities, cultures, families, memories. My memories.
People are angry with President Humala, who they say is in the pocket of Southern Copper: 'Our politicians are corrupt. The president refuses to listen to the protestors because he and others take bribes from the mine'. Another passer-by blames the government: 'My two boys are policemen. The government should make Southern Copper leave. Instead, Humala makes us kill each other.'
The lack of any meaningful restraining power over the 1% is not just bad for the rest of us - it is in the end even bad for them. On deeper inspection, it seems corporate titans may be little more than oversized Lords of the Flies, who need to be rescued from themselves. When we talk about shifting power away from them, we really are doing it for their own good.
In his pre-G8 speech the Prime Minister once again raised "the golden thread" theory which posits a link between open economies and open societies. Eradicating conflict and corruption, establishing the rule of law, free speech and the presence of property rights and strong institutions are central to this.
What propels Romania into the category of 'World's First Dystopia' is the massive cyanide mining project that could turn Transylvania, one of the most beautiful and pristine parts of Europe, into a dystopic wasteland. It is also a case study in how corporate PR and marketing can convince a population that the destruction of their ecosystem is in their own interest.