Preface [chapter]

2005 Organizing Through Division and Exclusion  
Let us consider this scenario. You are a citizen in your own country. Like the majority of the population (74 percent in 2000), 1 you were born in a village to a registered agricultural family. Like most of the people in the village, you learned only some basic work skills through the minimal education available and affordable before growing up. You could no longer make a decent living in your home village because of the increasing scarcity of land, water, and capital, 2 and the rising life
more » ... ctations powered by movies and especially television. 3 You learned that there was a different, prosperous, and far superior world in the cities not too far away, and you endured all the hardships to get there-only to find that you were no longer exactly in your own country and your citizenship was clearly incomplete. 4 You cannot vote in the cities, regardless of how long you have lived there. You cannot apply for most of the jobs there-the good jobs often explicitly require a permanent local residency that can be had only by grant of the authorities. 5 Without a permanent local residency, you and your children cannot go to local public schools for the compulsory statesubsidized education and cannot take part in the easier college entrance exam and admission process in the city. You cannot enjoy a host of urban benefits and subsidies in medical care, housing, job training, and social welfare programs, nor even public library access and phone services. You may be jobless, but you are not even counted as unemployed by the government, and thus you are completely outside the relief and assistance programs. 6 Once you quit the only jobs-usually dirty, heavy, exhausting, low-paying jobs-that you could find in the cities/ or the jobs more easily found in the so-called special professions and industries, 8 you soon lose your temporary residence permit and are subject to fines, detention,
doi:10.1515/9780804767484-003 fatcat:rm7gmflgjbaidiqglqgusfzp54