Thursday, September 11, 2014

Capitalism and slavery

Moral: Wherein we consider a book review.

The WSJ, recently, had a review of E. E. Baptist's book: The Half Has Never Been Told. This look by Baptist rang true several ways. For one, lots of those who were heavy into slavery were out of the upper classes (even royal families) of the UK (Lords and Serfs -- from 2009, but still apropos even though it needs an update).

You see, the capitalist wants to keep all monies for th upper classes. Workers are assumed to be mere resources available for exploitation (even if found via out-housing). We are still waiting for some type of humanistic, univeralistic capitalism to emerge; as we see with the results of the FED's largess, ca-pital-sino is what we have.


Slavery allowed severely unpaid labor on this side of the big pond. In the South. While in New England, there may have been attempts to establish slavery which never took hold. Superior moral character (not that they did have their own problems)?

So, let's just use a quote from the review:
    In the 1850s, the slave-based economy experienced a dramatic resurgence when a new wave of "Negro fever" doubled the price of slaves in relation to that of other goods. On the cusp of the Civil War, slavery showed no sign of dying a natural death, except in parts of Maryland and Delaware. Slavery remained, Mr. Baptist says, "both modernizing and modern" and its growth "muscular, dynamic."
    In his January 1861 State of the Union address, the pro-Southern president, James Buchanan, spent less time addressing the secession crisis in South Carolina than he did expressing his hope of acquiring Cuba for the United States—a longtime goal of slave owners and investors who saw it as the best opportunity for extending the reach of American slavery. Only civil war and hundreds of thousands of lives would finally put an end to the lucrative partnership between the cruel machine of Southern slavery and the roaring engines of capitalism.

For many workers, their job experience can border on slavery. Then, when the push for loading up debt (40 million in the U.S. now shackled with educational debt, now?) is added in, one has to consider just much onerous debt is a form of slavery.

Most ought to be able to relate to the mental, and physical, strains associated with having such a ball and chain (perhaps, plural) with which to cope on a daily basis.

Remarks:  Modified: 09/11/2014

09/11/2014 -- 

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