Capitalism in it’s purest form, puts profit before people.
Capitalism tempered or alloyed with socialism, depending on the magnitude of socialism, can balance between the two.
The US Civil war is the beginning of the battle of how much to temper capitalism – the heady days of the robber barons and a slave based economy have not quite left the world stage.
The US civil war was not about slavery in terms of human rights; the US civil war was about economics and how slave labour gave the south an economic advantage – and that the south wasn’t wanting to be lesser than the north.
The north only freed the slaves to reduce the southern labour pool and in hopes of the slaves rising up and creating a second front inside the southern lines – and revisionism doesn’t help resolve a matter when only by acknowledging it, can it be actually dealt with.
The founding fathers were more enlightened than most of their day, but do not impose modern sensibilities and make them into that level of visionary; as most founding fathers owned slaves, so slavery was never an issue for them – all the people they thought of as human had rights – white male landowners, like themselves.
If the founding fathers had a more modern sensibility, then gender would have been explicitly made equal and it wasn’t – women didn’t get to vote in the US at first and have they ever passed the ERA?.
Slaves were not going to get more consideration than free women.
I was kindly reminded that the North’s industry was based largely on textile manufacturing, which was profitable because of cheap southern cotton. Yankee mill owners were deeply complicit in the slave trade, because they well knew that while they piously outlawed slavery in northern states, they made their money from a system that only worked because slavery existed in the south.
Of course, in colonial times, the ancestors of the mill owners were even more directly involved in actually importing slaves as one leg of the “triangle trade”. England was supporting the south because English cotton mills were in direct competition with New England’s mills, and the English saw an opportunity to open a new supply source cheaper than the existing one.
One of the often overlooked keys to the Union’s victory was the naval blockade of southern ports that kept the south from financing their war effort with the profits of foreign cotton sales…..
This confirms my point that the civil wasn’t about the north being upset over slavery – since they continued to benefit from it indirectly – the south wanted to leave and that would have increased the cost of doing comparatively slave free business in the north.
So why do I say that the US civil war and the central issue of slavery is still being fought? Because we haven’t learned the lessons as multinational corporations outsourced jobs overseas because labour was cheaper than in the US – because there were no human rights, unions, environmental protection act that increase the cost of labour.
Why didn’t anyone consider that the US was effectively still struggling with the issues that caused the civil war – labour vs management – in fact, it’s a battle over the form of capitalism – pure capitalism, uncaring of the people who power the economic engine and unwilling to share the profits with the labour that produce them.
So who is it that has the jobs to buy these cheaper products of what is essentially still slave labour? At what cost do we continue to produce cheap goods that are cheaper to replace than repair? Especially when the warranty costs nearly as much as the product?
Or does the world follow on Canada’s model of socialized capitalism, where there’s environmental, labour and consumer protection?
The reality is that the few who benefit, benefit the most in the short and immediate term by the exploitation of the masses.
We can’t keep pumping poo into the environment or burning through the labour forces; after a while, all of this comes back on us – the pollution, dead zones in the oceans, desertification of arable land, increased cancers, shorter lifespans.
There isn’t a god who’s going to fix all our bad behaviour – and, if there was a god, we would all be collectively condemned, not rewarded for how we’ve treated the planet – as a personal playpen filled with poo.