anonymous50 Posted January 20 Report Share Posted January 20 The purpose of this post is not to bash capitalism or to advocate Marxism or Communism. As people in America and all over the world know, capitalism has provided a very high standard of living. But, there is a dark side to early capitalism. Before businesses were privately or publicly owned, the government sponsored most forms of merchant activity and international trade. The British chartered the East Indian Trade Company in 1600. Later, it became an joint-stock company. This is an organization in which stocks are bought and sold by shareholders. It became a predecessor to, if not actually the first, major corporation similar to the Fortune 500 companies traded on Wall Street today. b The commodities that the company bought and sold were cotton, sugar, tea, and spices. But, more controversial, it traded in slaves and Opium. These slaves were sent to North American colonies. This helped to create the Southern plantation system in America. Some of the wealthiest people in America between the colonial period and the Civil War were planters and slaveholders. The North in the US was by no means innocent of slavery. Before the Revolution, the North also had slaves. But, after Independence, human chattel slowly died out. But, textile mills, which depended heavily on Southern cotton, were established. Merchants and shippers from the northern coasts often sold cotton to overseas buyers. . As a result, financial institutions were established in the North to fund these businesses that revolved around slavery. These institutions included the early beginnings of Lehman Brothers, Aetna Inc, Jp Morgan Chase, and New York Life. It is estimated that 40 percent of New York's cotton revenue came indirectly through sources related to physical slavery. The continental railroad system and the steamboat industry were established to transport cotton, sugar, and other Southern crops to different parts of the country. This would build the fortunes of post-antebellum, Gilded Age tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, the great-great-great grandfather of CNN journalist Anderson Cooper. A similar situation took place in Britain. The British East Indian Company also sold slaves to Britain. Although slavery was abolished in England in 1833, thanks to the efforts of William Wilberforce, Britain still depended on Southern cotton imported from America for its textile businesses. The textile spinning would become the premiere industry of the Industrial Revolution. Over the next 100 years, the Industrial Revolution would expand to other businesses across Britain, western Europe, and America that depended on natural resources such as iron, timber, copper, coal, and petroleum(oil and gas). The financial institutions who were responsible for funding these businesses were Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Lloyd's of London, and Barclays. Overall, I would say that slavery was just as indispensable to capitalism then as the fossil fuel industry is today. More than just the transportation sector depends on oil companies for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene to run cars, trucks, and planes. Plastics are derived from the by products of oil and gas. Petrochemicals are also used to make some of the ingredients in soaps, detergents, polishes, deodorants, synthetic fibers, paints, rubbers, fertilizers, etc. Certainly, too many to name. Even the the moral arguments made by abolitionist against planters/slaveholders are very similar to the ones made by environmentalist/climate activist against the fossil fuel industry. Slavery was considered abuse and degradation of human beings. The emissions that are produced by the fossil fuels industry(oil, gas, and coal) are considered abuse and degradation to the environment by contributing to global warming. I guess this is the reason why many extreme pro-black, social justice activist, and far left woke militants are calling for an end to capitalism as we know it, possible to be replaced by socialism or Marxism. But, capitalism is changing anyway. Today, it is morphing in to what Klaus Swab of the World Economic Forum has termed a "Fourth Industrial Revolution." This is basically a digital revolution based off of IT, Artificial Intelligence, algorithms, big data, and cloud storage of information. Also included would be electric/self driving cars from alternative sources of clean energy including wind and solar. The more pejorative term to describe these changes would be a technocracy. Others, maybe including Klaus Swab himself and Prince Charles(now King Charles), refer to it as part of a Great Reset. e 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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