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 A few years ago Ron Paul made a somewhat controversial statement.

 Paul told CNN's T.J. Holmes. "If you look at Africa, they don't have any free market systems and property rights and they have famines and no medical care. So the freer the system, the better the health care."
 There are several problems with this statement, starting with the fact that Africa is a continent and not a country. It has at least 54 countries with economies ranging from socialism to complete anarchy and everything in-between.
   However, what I want to focus on is the assumption that you don't have famines in a capitalist system.

 We've all heard political candidates say that the government should be run like a business. It's the idea behind privatizing public assets. The reason is because corporations are more "efficient".
  One thing that even liberals generally won't question is that capitalism is "efficient", and thus the best system for maximizing production. It turns out that "efficiency" should be questioned.

   It's difficult to define "efficiency" because there is more than one way to measure it. That measurement depends on what you value.
  If you value resource extraction and profits then capitalism wins hands-down.

  However, if you value, say, continuation of the human race, then capitalism may not be the most efficient system.

  When the lists of communists victims are tallied up the famines are always included. The 1932-33 Soviet Famine is often given as the prime example. Somewhere between 3 and 8 million people died (with the generally accepted number of 5 million).
  It was a horrible, devastating disaster and held up as proof that communism doesn't work.

   Using a famine as proof that communism doesn't work also implies that man-made famines don't happen under capitalism (as Ron Paul will testify to).
   But the truth is that capitalism has caused far larger man-made famines.

  The book Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World by Mike Davis argues that 30-60 million people died because of laissez faire capitalist policies in colonial Britain between 1876 and 1902.
   However, I want to focus on an earlier event. Specifically, I want to focus on the catastrophe that visited Bengal in 1770.

The Company Raj

 In the 1750s, Robert Clive led a mercenary army for the British East India Company. Through bribery and deception they conquered the state of Bengal, one of the most populated and oldest nations on Earth.
The Bengal state treasury was immediately looted.
  According to the Pratt-Yorke opinion, the Crown would acquire sovereignty, but the Company would acquire title. Thus Bengal was EIC property to do with as they wished. With the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad, the company became the tax collectors (diwani) of the region.
 This is the capitalist's utopian dream. A totally private firm, deregulated in 1694, owned a huge nation. As long as they didn't undermine the British King, they were free to do whatever they liked. Business was the government, and government was the business.
   By contemporary free-market capitalist ideology, Indians should have become the most prosperous people in the world.

"The difference between the genius of the British constitution which protects and governs North America, and that of the mercantile company which oppresses and domineers in the East Indies, cannot perhaps be better illustrated than by the different state of those countries."
  - Adam Smith

Like any company today, their primary concern was maximizing profits above all else.
  Would a private company who's owners were 2,000km away grind a peasant economy into the ground with rapacious taxation?
 As lands came under company control, the land tax was typically raised by 3 to 4 times what it had been – from 10-15% up to 50% of the value of the agricultural produce. In the first years of the rule of the British East India Company, the total land tax income was doubled and most of this revenue flowed out of the country.
 The EIC kept calling it "tribute" and maintained Emperor Shah Alam in his palace (under virtual house arrest) to try to keep the peasants unaware that the EIC now ran everything.
 “We are sensible that, since the acquisition of the dewany, the power formerly belonging to the soubah of those provinces is totally, in fact, vested in the East India Company. Nothing remains to him but the name and shadow of authority. This name, however, this shadow, it is indispensably necessary we should seem to venerate.”
 - Robert Clive to the directors of the EIC, 1767
 Of course like any good capitalist, the directors of the EIC were not satisfied with simply pillaging the peasants through sky-high taxes. They needed more, more, MORE!
   So they changed the way that farmers did business, despite thousands of years of experience.
 wherever it was possible the planting of cash crops such as indigo and cotton were made compulsory. Likewise, because the raised tax had to be collected in cash and at the point of a bayonet if necessary the hoarding of rice was forbidden, and so with little option this was sold on and a thriving grain market came into being which was of course eventually monopolised by the company.
    Thus it was that the peasants lifeline, the stock of surplus staples was drastically reduced and were in fact no longer available to tide them over when the partial failure of crops (itself nothing out of the ordinary) came in 1768.
 The early halt to the rains in 1769 was a crisis, but not something Bengal hadn't seen before.
   However, this time the government of Bengal couldn't help because it had already been pillaged. The local farmers also couldn't help because "hoarding" had already been outlawed.

  Thus there was absolutely nothing for the peasants to fall back on, and the Company was only interested in profits.
  So when several million workers died of starvation in early 1770, the Company raised the land tax another 10% in order to make up for the decline in profits, which is a perfectly logical business decision to make.

 “Throughout the entire course of recorded European history, from the remote times of which the Homeric poems preserve the dim tradition down to the present moment, there has occurred no calamity at once so sudden and of such appalling magnitude as the famine which in the spring and summer of 1770 nearly exterminated the ancient civilization of Bengal. It presents that aspect of preternatural vastness which characterizes the continent of Asia and all that concerns it. The Black Death of the fourteenth century was, perhaps, the most fearful visitation which has ever afflicted the Western world. But in the concentrated misery which it occasioned the Bengal famine surpassed it, even as the Himalayas dwarf by comparison the highest peaks of Switzerland.”
  - John Fiske, ‘The Unseen World’ 1868
 At least a third of the population of Bengal perished. Large areas were depopulated and the jungle reclaimed much farmland. Bandits returned to the countryside.
   According to human morality this was a disaster. According to a national economy this was a disaster. But a capitalist corporation doesn't care about either of those things.
  However, revenues at the Company were reported higher in 1771 than in 1768. Globally, the profit of the Company increased from 15 million rupees in 1765 up to 30 million rupees in 1777.
  Thus the deaths of 10 million people in Bengal failed to dampen the mood at the EIC. According the values of capitalism, the Bengal Famine was a non-event. In fact, it isn't even noticed, much less proof of failure (unlike the Soviet Famine).

  Why the difference in measuring failure?
 Communism is supposed to raise the living standard of the worker. So a famine is evidence that communism isn't working.

Capitalism, OTOH, is all about profits.
 According to corporate bookkeeping, payable wages for workers are an expense, not an asset. They are a negative.
  So when the corporation owns the country, feeding the workers are an expense and a liability. As long as there are still enough workers left to maintain production, famines actually help the corporate bottom line by reducing expenses and liabilities.

  To put it another way, 10 million Bengalis were downsized out of existence.

Tea Party Legacy

  Despite the ECI collecting more revenue, expenses went up even faster. At one point the EIC had 200,000 mercenaries on their payroll. It seems the famine crippled worker productivity, and thus reduced "efficiency".
   And so, like the capitalists of today, the EIC used socialism to bail themselves out.

 The desperate directors of the company attempted to avert bankruptcy by appealing to Parliament for financial help. This led to the passing of the Tea Act in 1773. This Act gave the Company greater autonomy in running its trade in America.
 You might remember the Tea Act. It's what the right-wing capitalists use as inspiration to rage against the government.
   If you are like me this is what you learned in grade school:
 The Boston Tea Party was the colonists' protest against taxes.  Britian imposed a tax on tea and other imported goods, and the colonists were outraged.  They dressed up as Native Americans, boarded ships in the Boston Harbor, and threw overboard all the tea they could find on the ships.  They wanted to send the message to the British that they would not tolerate exorbitant taxes.
 Pretty straight forward, right? This is why right-wing tax protesters consider themselves patriotic even today. They are just following a great American tradition...or are they?

  Would you be surprised to find out that this is 100% lie? Well, maybe not 100%. The colonists did throw tea into Boston Harbor in 1773. It's only everything else that is a lie.

    HEIC started transporting opium to England in 1606 and had established a legal monopoly on opium trade in India (by force), and controlled a majority of opium trafficking to Europe, China, and America by 1800. This became important because Britain had developed a large trade deficit with China from using silver to buy tea.
   In order to balance the trade deficit, Britain enlisted the East India Company's opium cartel. Before long China was importing 900 tonnes of opium a year from HEIC sources. The resulting epidemic of addiction in China caused the Qing Emperor to ban the sale of opium in 1839.
   This led directly to the First Opium War, in which the British government underwrote a war on behalf of private interests and their future profits, so that they could force drug addiction upon another race of people. By this time the East Indies Company's main job was to administer India, rather than being strictly a trading company.

  As for that Chinese tea, the colonies in the New World had to buy it through Britain by law.
   The trouble was that the colonists frequently flaunted laws like these.

    The expenditures that the East India Company was making on their mercenary army was draining their resources and eliminating their profits. The company had huge debts, large stocks of tea in warehouses and little prospects of selling it because colonial smugglers like John Hancock were importing the tea from Holland to avoid paying taxes. The company appealed to the British government, which passed the Tea Act in May 1773.

 13 Geo III c. 44, long title An act to allow a drawback of the duties of customs on the exportation of tea to any of his Majesty's colonies or plantations in America; to increase the deposit on bohea tea to be sold at the East India Company's sales; and to empower the commissioners of the treasury to grant licenses to the East India Company to export tea duty-free.
This act allowed the East India Company to sell tea in the colonies for half the old price that British tea was sold at, and even less than smuggled tea from Holland.
Still reeling from the Hutchinson letters, Bostonians suspected the removal of the Tea Tax was simply another attempt by the British parliament to squash American freedom. Samuel Adams, wealthy smugglers, and others who had profited from the smuggled tea called for agents and consignees of the East India Company tea to abandon their positions; consignees who hesitated were terrorized through attacks on their warehouses and even their homes.
 So you see, Bostonians weren't angry about any taxes being imposed on them. They were angry about a huge corporation using its powerful lobby in the halls of government to crush the small businessman via corporate welfare in the form of tax loopholes.

   Why that sounds downright leftist to me. Does it to you?

   The outraged Bostonians circulated a pamphlet called The Alarm which reminded people of the company's recent record in Bengal.

 Are we in like Manner to be given up to the Disposal of the East India Company, who have now the Assurance, to step forth in Aid of the Minister, to execute his Plan, of enslaving America? Their Conduct in Asia, for some Years past, has given simple Proof, how little they regard the Laws of Nations, the Rights, Liberties, or Lives of Men.... Fifteen hundred Thousands, it is said, perished by Famine in one Year, not because the Earth denied its Fruits; but [because] this Company and their Servants engulfed all the Necessaries of Life, and set them at so high a Rate that the poor could not purchase them.
 Notice the anger and fear at corporate monopoly pricing. I'm going to come back to that.

   The rest of the story you already know. The first of the huge East India Company tea ships (the Dartmouth) arrived in Boston Harbor in late November, 1773, but John Hancock, Samuel Adams and friends wouldn't let them unload their shipments.
   On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty dressed up as indians and boarded the Dartmouth and two other East India Company ships and dumped 45 tonnes of tea into the harbor.

  Can you imagine today's tea party protesters raging against unfair corporate tax breaks? I certainly can't. Yet that is exactly what their movement is named after.

Epilogue

  After having to bail out them out, the British government re-regulated the EIC. From them on the Company would have two masters, shareholders and the government.
  But that doesn't mean things would change for the desperate people of India.

  The Great Famine of 1876-78 killed around 5.5 million people.
   With millions of people starving, the colonial government decided to apply a stricter standards of qualification for relief. For a pound of grain, women and children were required to do a "long day of hard labour without shade or rest."
   As Lord Lytton put it: "everything must be subordinated to the financial consideration of disbursing the smallest sum of money... "

  Meanwhile, the colonial government saw the export to England of a record 6.4 million hundredweight of wheat.

Originally posted to gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks, Hellraisers Journal, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you so much for clearing this up-- (18+ / 0-)

    I really, really hate the pseudo-history circulated on a regular basis about the Tea Party (the original Tea Party, that is).

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:08:13 AM PDT

    •  YepToday's TP Should Dress Like Islamic Terrorists (9+ / 0-)

      since the originals dressed as Natives, shortly afterward described in the Declaration of Independence as terrorists. And dump Wal*Mart containers into the harbor.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:42:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diary is an example of British Conquest not (0+ / 0-)

      Capitalism nor market economies.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:33:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true (7+ / 0-)

        It wasn't even Britain that conquered Bengal. It was a private company, with a private mercenary army.
          That was the critical distinction in the Pratt-Yorke opinion.

         For reasons of ideology, capitalists just can't stand the idea that there are obvious flaws in their pet theories.

        "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

        by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:43:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Conquest is not part of market economies and (0+ / 0-)

          capitalism.  Guns and mercenaries are not part of voluntary transactions which is the foundation of market economics.  What you describe is better described as conquest or piracy.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:56:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your idea of capitalism is divorced from reality (7+ / 0-)

            It doesn't exist in the real world and it has never existed in the real world.
              You may as well compare it to Libertarian Heaven.

             Capitalism is about capitalist profits. Not fair play.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:00:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Countries can engage in conquest under many (0+ / 0-)

              economic systems.

              Do you consider the USSR's attacks on Finland in 1939 an act of conquest or an act of Socialism/Communism?

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:15:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The definition of capitalism and slavery (5+ / 0-)

            merriam-webster

             a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government
            Investopedia
             A system of economics based on the private ownership of capital and production inputs, and on the production of goods and services for profit. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market (market economy), rather than through central planning (planned economy). Capitalism is generally characterized by competition between producers.
            Wikipedia
             Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are largely or entirely privately owned and operated for profit.[1][2] Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets and wage labour.[3] In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which assets, goods, and services are exchanged.
            Notice the lack of any mention of "voluntary transactions". Why? Because it's called "capitalism" not "voluntary transactionism". The transaction of capital between private owners is all that matters. It doesn't matter how it transacts between those private owners.
               That's why slavery was a very profitable private enterprise of wealthy capitalists for centuries. People became the capital and were transacted between private parties.
               What put an end to slavery was socialism.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:14:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Countries were ending Slavery before any modern (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              long before the concept of socialism.  See Abolition of slavery timeline one of the very best pages to read on the Internet to understand the world history of slavery.

              So unless socialists from the future used a time machine, crediting socialism with ending slavery makes no sense.

              In the texts you quote above, the use of voluntary transactions is implicit.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:29:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The concept of slavery was born from (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                the French Revolution. That was before most nations abolished slavery.
                  In fact, Revolutionary France at the peak of leftist control was the first major nation to abolish slavery.
                  You need to read up on socialism.

                As for your comment below

                the use of voluntary transactions is implicit
                 Only for those who believe strongly enough.

                "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:35:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I meant "socialism" not "slavery" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias

                  came from the French Revolution.

                  Obviously slavery comes from pre-history

                  "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                  by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:37:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Read the "Abolition of slavery timeline " linked (0+ / 0-)

                    in my comment above.  

                    Slavery was being outlawed before the French Revolution.

                    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                    by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:49:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The Qin Dynasty (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      aliasalias

                      outlawed slavery in 220 B.C.
                        so what?

                       I've read that link a dozen times before you posted it for research on past diaries I've done on slavery.

                        the fact is that slavery was still picking up steam until the Haitian Revolution started in 1791.
                         And the inspiration of the Haitian Revolution was The Rights of Man.

                      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                      by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:29:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What evidence do you have that (0+ / 0-)

                        "slavery was picking up steam"  just prior to 1791?

                        US states were outlawing slavery outright or in the transition to outlaw (no new slaves in the state), other counties were making slavery and the slave trade illegal

                        And yes Qin Dynasty does pre-date the French Revolution.

                        What evidence do you have that "slavery was picking up steam"  just prior to 1791?

                        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                        by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:39:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Peak slavery (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          aliasalias

                          link

                           The Atlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa.
                           But we are starting to get away from the point at hand.
                             I notice that you don't disagree that slavery was a capitalist enterprise. And slavery is by definition, not a voluntary transaction.

                            Capitalism is about capital.

                          "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                          by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:59:47 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Slavery is not part of Capitalism or market (0+ / 0-)

                            economies just as rape is not part of loving sex.  Trying to link capitalism to slavery is comparable to those on the right linking how North Korea treats its people with socialism - doing so is done solely to slander.  

                            Slavery has its founding from pre-history, the ideas of conquests where the losers and their progeny become slaves, and that those people who are not of our group are to be treated as lesser humans.

                            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                            by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:16:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are in deep denial (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            aliasalias

                            Who do you think traded in slaves? And what was their purpose? More importantly, what did they think of themselves?

                             You seem to have circular logic - that capitalism is about voluntary transactions, thus anything not involving voluntary transactions cannot be capitalism.
                               That's not a scientific process. It's a religious one.

                             I've already pointed out that the definition of capitalism doesn't require voluntary transactions - only capital.

                              America's capitalist system was built upon slavery.
                              British capitalism was built upon slavery.

                              To say the slave trade wasn't capitalism is to deny reality.

                            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                            by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:32:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You confuse buying and selling with market (0+ / 0-)

                            economies and capitalism.  Capitalism and market economies are not the only economic systems with buying and selling. For example, under fudalism, socialism and communism there is still buying and selling.  There is buying and selling in Cuba and North Korea, but few would argue they are capitalist or market based.  One could argue that Ancient Rome was socialist - government owned extensive infrastructure including roads, ports, bridges, aqueducts, arenas, assistance to the poor and bread and circuses for the masses - they also had slaves.  

                            The economist most closely associated with capitalism and market economies is Adam Smith, who opposed slavery, imperialism and colonialism on moral and economic grounds as did his followers.  For his time, that was outside the mainstream.

                            Most all of the world had slavery and or serfdom 300 years ago.  Essentially, with extremely rare exception, all of human civilization has been built upon slavery.  Societies built upon Marxism or Socialism are also built upon slavery, serfdom, etc., as much as capitalism simply because the society had slaves in its earlier civilizations.

                            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                            by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:16:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                            I think I get what you are trying to say, but you are setting an incredibly high bar that even you can't reach.
                               Let me explain.

                              I look at the transaction to determine whether capitalism is happening. (i.e. is the person acting for capitalist reasons)
                               You seem to be looking at the entire economy (is this a capitalist economy according to the most strict definition).

                              By using that restriction, there are no capitalist economies on the planet today and there never were. Nor will there ever be. Because they are all mixed economies at some level.
                              It doesn't matter that the Medici were capitalist bankers because feudalism was the rule of the day.
                              It doesn't matter that people are getting rich in Sweden in a capitalist way because there is elements of socialism around.
                              It doesn't matter that the slave trader was buying and selling slaves in the exact same way a present-day commodity broker would for the exact same reasons, because the slaves weren't willing partners.
                              And, of course, it doesn't matter that the EIC was a capitalist corporation acting in a capitalist way for capitalist reasons, because the situation wasn't created in a strictly capitalist way.

                              It's a ridiculously high bar that libertarians often use that makes their own statements as useful as the monks of the middle ages arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

                            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                            by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:58:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In a slavery transaction not all parties agree to (0+ / 0-)

                            the transaction - because one is a slave.  In market economics and capitalism slavery is seen as theft of the slave's labor, life, freedom to act as she sees fit and more.

                            Market economics and capitalism is not indifferent to the buying and selling of what is stolen.  If anything, slavery is seen as the most reprehensible and damaging of thefts.  In the sale of stolen property, not all parties agree to the transaction, as the legitimate owner does not agree.  That is why when stolen property is recovered, the property is given back to the rightful owner even though an innocent person may have purchased the stolen property - as it was not a legitimate transaction.

                            As far as your concept of people acting for capitalist reasons goes, extremely few people think this way.  More typically, people think in terms of what is in my own best interest, or my family's interest, or group that I closely identify with.  People generally think this way in whatever economic system they live in, including socialist, communist, etc.. Talk to people who lived in the USSR or pre-1980 China about this.

                            Even people who are Maoists, will choose to buy the lower priced of two products they want for themselves, all other things being equal, but they don't suddenly become capitalists every time they make a purchase.

                            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                            by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:37:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As I said (0+ / 0-)

                            There are no capitalist economies. Never were. Never will be.

                             At least according to those standards.

                            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                            by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:29:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  And France reinstated slavery in 1802. (0+ / 0-)

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:01:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Portugal banned slavery in 1761 and it was a major (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  country at the time.  

                  Spain enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery in 1542 and Spain was a major country at the time.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:07:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You need to research this stuff (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aliasalias

                    Not just post the link and read the first line.

                    Spain enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery in 1542 and Spain was a major country at the time.
                    Spain not only enslaved the native Americans for centuries after this law, they were huge in the African-American slave trade all the up to the mid-1800's.

                      Trust me. Do the research. The Haitian Revolution, starting in 1791, and the French law freeing the slaves in 1794, that started it all.

                    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                    by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:33:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Whoa, what, really? (0+ / 0-)

            Chiquita Banana, Dole, and Shell Oil Corporations beg to differ.

            There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:23:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Capitalism can be efficient, but not "free" (10+ / 0-)

    markets.  Japan's systems of production in the 70s and 80s were far more efficient than ours.  Sure they had private ownership of corps, and profit incentive, but they had just in time inventory systems and a truly un-free market, which was montitored and smoothed over by the govt.
    Excellent diary, by the way!!

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:16:45 AM PDT

  •  The Irish famine of the late 1840's took place (23+ / 0-)

    under an expressly capitalist system.  All of Ireland was under direct British rule from 1800-1922.  Roughly 1 million people died and roughly another 1 million people emigrated in "coffin ships" during The Great Hunger.

    To make matters worse:

    Although the potato crop failed, the country was still producing and exporting more than enough grain crops to feed the population. Records show during the period Ireland was exporting approximately thirty to fifty shiploads per day of food produce. As a consequence of these exports and a number of other factors such as land acquisition, absentee landlords and the effect of the 1690 penal laws, the Great Famine today is viewed by a number of historical academics as a form of either direct or indirect genocide.
    Anyone who is of Irish descent and who is remotely familiar w/ his/her heritage understands that capitalism and famine can easily go together.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:18:34 AM PDT

    •  I was going to mention this (16+ / 0-)

      but my diary was already long enough.
         I want to point out that the Great Famine of 1876 used even more strict tactics than the Irish Famine of 30 years earlier.

        The lives of poor people simply don't matter. That is the values of capitalism.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:24:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People can eat profits or profits can eat people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        it's an ideological choice. A very stark one in our current reality.

        I've long thought that the coming neo- paradigm will be of the colonial variety and not the feudal variety.

        Bengal was a colony, not a feudal land, and was treated as such. There will be some feudal baronies in our dystopian future - Google, Microsoft, Jonesboro, etc, but the rest of us will be colonies, and given the Bengal treatment.

        It's so horrifying to me, and has been for about 20 years now.

        I don't think people will wise up until they start burning food to protect market prices, and by that time we're pretty screwed.

        Thanks for a great read, and concise history lesson. I've been aware of the anti-corporate welfare aspect of the Tea Party for a long time now and really appreciate the diary.
        peace~

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:57:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for writing this up. (0+ / 0-)

      So few people know the facts behind this crime.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:08:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most excellent diary! I have long waited for (14+ / 0-)

    somebody to shine a light on the role of private corporations in running entire nations during Europe's colonial looting and pillaging of the rest of the world (which now has been replaced by the looting and pillaging of the "third" world by transnational corporations - the more things change...). Another case in point, beside the EIC, is the BSAC. Similar corporations were chartered with other colonial powers, including the Dutch East India Company.

    "I understand, Mr. Spock. The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

    by brainwave on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:22:43 AM PDT

    •  Libertarians like to say (18+ / 0-)

      that those were "unnatural monopolies" because the government granted them monopolies.

         My answer to that is: so the f*ck what? They were private enterprises doing what private enterprises do. And they were more totalitarian and destructive than the democratic governments that libertarians hate.
        So much for your "capitalism=freedom" theory.

       The other libertarian point that bugs me is that these examples don't count because in a "real free market" there would be no monopolies and the government wouldn't exist and everyone would compete on a level playing field.
         Well, please give me a historical example of that! You can't! Because it has never existed and will never exist. So the Libertarian Utopia is not something that can be a useful comparison.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:33:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This comment: (7+ / 0-)

    Can you imagine today's tea party protesters raging against unfair corporate tax breaks?

    Actually, the teapartiers have expressed strong objections to the corporate hold on Congress as well as the bank bailouts.  Many of them fully realize that corporations and banks own Congress.

    I wish dems would recognize that.  

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:26:15 AM PDT

    •  Durbin openly acknowledged banks own Senate (9+ / 0-)

      back in 2009:

      Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has been battling the banks the last few weeks in an effort to get 60 votes lined up for bankruptcy reform. He's losing.

      On Monday night in an interview with a radio host back home, he came to a stark conclusion: the banks own the Senate.

      "And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place," he said on WJJG 1530 AM's "Mornings with Ray Hanania." Progress Illinois picked up the quote.

      Dems know--they just don't normally admit it in public like that.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because It Doesn't Matter. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State

      Their numbers are tiny, they have no influence when their billionaires are detached from them, and they're hardcore anti-Enlightenment philosophically so there is no value reaching out to them because liberalism offers them absolutely nothing they want.

      Within government they can be allied on a few specific policy votes, but almost never their voters in the electorate because elections are always too multi-issue and philosophical for a TP to ever vote for a Dem.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:49:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These are the types of people who used to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheDudester

        vote dem until Reagan came along.

        And I don't think their numbers are so 'tiny' that it wouldn't help to have their votes.

        But you're right about this:liberalism offers them absolutely nothing they want.

        They view BO and the dems as in the tank for the big moneyed interests, since they are in the tank for the big moneyed interests.  So, liberalism can't offer them anything--we can't overcome the power of the big moneyed interests.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:05:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the problem with the TeaPartiers' knowledge (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit, TheDudester, basquebob

      is that they don't act on knowledge.  They act on belief, and brown and black people, women, LGBT, are all more dangerous than corporate tax dodges, so they vote their hate not what they know.

      •  You haven't been (0+ / 0-)

        listening to what they've been complaining about.

        They sound exactly like us when it comes to economic issues, such as jobs and the power that corporations hold.

        Unfortunately, the dems have decided not to run, or even promote policies, on improving the lot of the lower 3/4 peeps.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:45:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  really (0+ / 0-)

          I hear them everyday.    They complain about Obama, endless emails about Obama.   They complain they are oppressed.   They do complain about TARP, which was all Obama's idea, don't you know.  They also complain that Obama raised taxes on everybody.  They complain that Obamacare is an unfair tax and deprives them of their freedom, even when they get social security.   They complain that Social Security is broke, which isn't exactly accurate, and that is because Obama took the money to spend on poor people.  They complain about welfare, though it hasn't existed for years in the have more babies, get more money form they complain about.  They complain about medicaid and are shocked if you tell them that it pays out more money for old folks in the nursing homes, disabled adults that can't work and babies than it does able bodied adults who could work.   They complain that the minimum wage doesn't need raising, people should work more hours. They complain about the property tax and want a fair tax, not knowing it means raising the taxes on all poor, middle class and upper middle class people while the top 2% get a tax break.   They want more jobs, but defend the right of corporations to not pay a living wage.   They think people don't need an extension of unemployment aid.  People should be cut off of food stamps.   They believe every government program is overrun with fraud and waste but never talk about the military.  They support the troops but not paying them better so they don't the food stamps and subsidized housing they want to cut out for people too lazy to work.

          They are a walking contradiction held together by hatred and false notions of freedumb sold to them by the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. And if you asked them to vote for an economic populist who didn't oppose abortion or hate on brown people, immigrants and women,  they wouldn't do it.

    •  Opposition to the Export-Import Bank subsidies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah

      to Boeing, GE and United Technologies and others is largely from the Tea Party Republicans.  Unfortunately, too many Democrats continue to support the corporate welfare of the Export-Import Bank.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:40:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is not a sponsor approved topic. There is no (0+ / 0-)

      money in the political market to sustain that kind of message.

      It's a non-starter.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:59:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is it any more than lip service (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit

      to maintain their pseudo-libertarian "street cred," though? Have they ever taken any votes on bills or passed any laws to reign in corporate tax breaks and corporate welfare? Somehow, I don't think that'd go over too well with their AFP/Koch Industries funders.

      And sure, they could blame Harry Reid and President Obama for blocking them at the federal level, but what about the many states they control? As far as I can tell, their main agenda at the state level is "deregulate and privatize everything, slash taxes on the wealthy, raise taxes on the poor, implement new abortion restrictions." Not the "jobs, jobs, jobs" they promised in 2010, and certainly not anything remotely unfavorable to corporate interests.

      "Elect Republicans, and they will burn the place down. And they will laugh while they do it and have a great time. And then what?" -- Rachel Maddow

      by LumineHall on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:53:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, gjohnsit. (8+ / 0-)

    It's sad that so much of what is passed off as 'history' in our schools turns out to be outright lies.

    It's time we woke up and smelled the music.

    'Down with bullshit' would make a fine rallying cry.

  •  Thanks for this gjohnsit, great diary. N/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, Angie in WA State

    The most un-convincable man is the one whose paycheck depends on remaining unconvinced. -- H. L. Mencken

    by kharma on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

  •  This is unquestionably the best diary I've ever (7+ / 0-)

    read.  I think I'm not alone in having been completely unaware of how the EIC victimized the people of India while being extremely aware of how Stalin victimized the people of Ukraine and Pol Pot victimized the people of Cambodia.
    Unregulated capitalism is at least as vicious as any political tyranny ever devised by evil and brutal men.

    Lost Tom. Lost Charlie. Can't read (Paul Newman, 'The Left Handed Gun')

    by richardvjohnson on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:03:32 AM PDT

  •  I learned a slightly different thing in grade (4+ / 0-)

    school.

     

    The Boston Tea Party was the colonists' protest against taxes.  Britian imposed a tax on tea and other imported goods, and the colonists were outraged.  They dressed up as Native Americans, boarded ships in the Boston Harbor, and threw overboard all the tea they could find on the ships.  They wanted to send the message to the British that they would not tolerate exorbitant taxes.
     Emphasis mine.

    I learned that the colonists were not protesting "exorbitant taxes".  They were protesting "Taxation without Representation".  The Boston Tea Party was about the colonies having no representation in the British Parliament to be able to debate, introduce legislation and vote on taxes that were being levied on the colonies.

    The Tea Party of today is the one who protests "exorbitant taxes" despite the fact that they are represented in Congress, their individual state legislatures, and in City Halls across the nation.  Their beef is taxes for any purpose, despite the fact that they are represented.

    Today's Tea Party wants to return to the Articles of Confederation, which proved unworkable to a nation of less than 3 million people, and they seem to have no clue that a nation of 320 million people cannot function under a system like that.  You actually have to have a commercial code, you need public roads to move products to market, you need bridges, you need a military under civilian control, as accounted for in our constitution, for 200 years, our nation provided an educated work force with a system of public schools.

    Today's Tea Party avoids these realities, and apparently, doesn't think about anything but their own selfish needs, or more correctly their own selfish wants.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:06:58 AM PDT

  •  Not to focus on 'property rights' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    which really means that there is not a sufficiently developed system for tracking real estate ownership, deeds, titles, etc.  But this is a chronic problem in many underdeveloped nations. Unsurprisingly, the US is heading in that direction, since the vast fraudulent operations of MERS have left many properties with at least technically clouded title, even if judges have tended to just side with the banks and ignore such technicalities.

  •  Great diary (3+ / 0-)

    As a corollary; shifting the responsibility for the poor to charities as many conservatives chant is also a recipe for disaster. The Irish potato famine is a prime example, and a main reason that the industrializing western countries gradually shifted to a governmental role. Relying on private organizations does not work.
    But, hey, why would anyone these days want to learn some history that might help the situation?!

    We've fallen down the rabbit hole and come out in a Dali painting.

    by surreal times on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:17:31 AM PDT

  •  Not for nothing (0+ / 0-)

    But what do events that happened in the 1600s/1700s have to do with today? I mean, are there any capitalist famines that happened in the 20th-plus centuries?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:19:13 AM PDT

    •  The point of the diary (7+ / 0-)

      was to display a general principle that still applies today: that the interests of capitalism is profits above all else, and if given enough power they will be at least as cruel as any government (if not more cruel).

        Nothing about the motives of the capitalist has changed since the 1770's. Nothing. The system basically remains the same.

       I used famines as the example, both because of Ron Paul's statement, and because the communist famines were used as proof of failure. As I explained.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:32:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the past 100 years, the major famines tied (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shrike

        to policies of ideology have been largely from socialism and communism - in particular:

         the USSR in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s - see http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        China in the late 1950's and early 1960s see http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        India  see http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        North Korea see http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:24:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You didn't read your links very closely (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          basquebob, aliasalias

          For instance, the 1943 Bengal Famine was in British colonial India.

          Generally it is thought that there was serious decrease in food production during that time which is coupled with Bengal's continuing export of grain.[5][6] However according the Amartya Sen there was no significant decrease in food production in 1943 (in fact food production was higher compared to 1941)
           Your link then goes on to talk about later famines:
           Later famine threats of 1984, 1988 and 1998 were successfully contained by the Indian government and there has been no major famine in India since 1943.
          In other words, Indian socialism stopped famines, while British capitalism didn't.

          "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

          by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:56:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  As for your question (3+ / 0-)
      are there any capitalist famines that happened in the 20th-plus centuries?
      Yes, but they are harder to prove than the 1770 Bengal Famine.
         First I had to show a solid example.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:34:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously, this question is comparable to... (6+ / 0-)

      ...asking for "proof" of climate change. "Not for nothing?"

      I could cite countless news events (both current and over the past decade, alone) in Africa and South and Central America in response to your disingenuous question.

      Or, I could give you links to the many deeper dives I've provided at DK on the current trade agreements (TPP, TAFTA, etc.) currently in play, and also strongly supported by our government, which will be directly responsible for millions of deaths going forward...ALL IN THE NAME OF CORPORATE PROFITS.

      Enjoy the upcoming food and and water riots. Bask in the ongoing corporate greed and pillaging of Third World and Developing nations. And, get back to us once you face the inconvenient realities of our time.

      Take your pick.

      Who are you kidding?

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:39:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess I'm just imagining the hundreds of... (4+ / 0-)

        ...thousands, if not millions of people that have died in the mideast over the past decades, virtually all of whom were victims of the West's quest for oil.

        Unbridled capitalism kills. And, it rules our country, and many others like it.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:43:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I highly recommend this book (5+ / 0-)

          Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
             It's a very short book and easy to read.
          I thought of it when I read your comment.

          "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

          by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:50:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep
          ...thousands, if not millions of people that have died in the mideast over the past decades, virtually all of whom were victims of the West's quest for oil.
          As a result of the actions of state actors. A libertarian more limited government would not (could not) have engaged in these military misadventures.

          Also, you're delusional if you think the type of government has any impact on thirst for oil. Capitalists, socialists, and everyone else all need oil. High living standard == oil. It's that simple.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:17:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Libertarians (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc, basquebob, aliasalias, bobswern
            A libertarian more limited government would not (could not) have engaged in these military misadventures.
            That's true, but not in the way you are thinking.
               A true libertarian government that wouldn't engage in military adventures would be socialist. It would put the interests of the community first.
              In other words, it would be libertarian according to the ideology of the people that invented the word.

             Capitalism, by its very nature, is always expansionary and always exploitative.
               That's why when anarchist libertarian communities have been created in history they were always crushed by capitalist armies.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:49:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Diary is actually a praise of market economies and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shrike, Sparhawk

      capitalism, although this was not the author's intent..

      When you have to back 100 and 200 years to show examples of "capitalism causing famines", the logical conclusion should be that capitalism does not cause famine.  Capitalism and market economies have a far greater share of economic systems today than it did 100 and 200 years ago.  If capitalism and market economies cause famine, countries using this economic system would be causing many more famines.

      In addition, the examples given in the diary are not of market economics but of the heavy hand of government in conquest.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:51:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  to be fair to historians (7+ / 0-)

    who are not all corporate sellouts, there were a series of tax acts prior to the tea act, all were met with official complaints,  all created protests at local levels and resulted in mob violence against local tax officials.

    The Stamp Tax and Townsend Acts and the Sugar Act all proceeded the Tea Act.  Those were actual impositions of taxes, generally an excise tax collected on goods imported and exported.  The Sons of Liberty formed at the beginning to oppose these acts and were probably instrumental in the tea party on board the Dartmouth.   And yes, owners of local businesses were well represented in the Sons of Liberty, they were protecting their economic interests as well as 'liberty' interests.

    So no taxation without representation was not related to the tea act.  The issue that the stamp tax was to help pay for the expenses of the army being quartered in the colonies led to another point of contention.  The colonist wanted the army gone, the Crown wanted the colonists to pay part of the cost.  People have economic interests, they have political interests.   They can and do support political points of view that don't match their economic interests.  People are contradictory that way.  We tend to think progressives and liberals are humane that way.

    Other than so nitpicking on historical details, this is an excellent review of famine as an act of war, political control and profit taking by causing the deaths of millions of people, all of which still happens today.  We could kill all life with unchecked global warming as another line of the same corporate/greed control of the power brokers in government.

  •  You know, when I was in grade school in the (4+ / 0-)

    late 1960s everyone knew that the Boston Tea Party was about taxation.

    I'm so glad that today a whole lot of us know better.

    Myself, I've told this more complete and accurate version of the Boston Tea Party to many young people who are STUNNED to learn that corporations and their greed and malfeasance are the impetus which lead to the Declaration of Independence.

    Because that old, tired and mostly untrue tale is what is still being taught in American schools.

    Very nicely done piece, gjohnsit.

    History is one of my favorite hobbies.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:40:39 AM PDT

  •  Very nice piece of work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, yoduuuh do or do not


    I hugged a tree today...one thing led to another...our wedding is next June.

    by glb3 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:00:18 AM PDT

  •  Fascinating diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, Eric Nelson, basquebob

    I love diaries like this. There is so much to know that gets glossed over in school.

    I always knew the EIC was rapacious, but I didn't know just HOW rapacious.

    Of course, what EIC did to Bengal is similar to what Britain did to Ireland in the mid-19th century, exacerbating the potato famine.

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:14:41 AM PDT

  •  Raj (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, basquebob, aliasalias
    Company rule in India (sometimes, Company Raj,[1] "raj," lit. "rule" in Hindi[2]) refers to the rule or dominion of the British East India Company on the Indian subcontinent. This is variously taken to have commenced in 1757, after the Battle of Plassey, when the Nawab of Bengal surrendered his dominions to the Company,[3] in 1765, when the Company was granted the diwani, or the right to collect revenue, in Bengal and Bihar,[4] or in 1773, when the Company established a capital in Calcutta, appointed its first Governor-General, Warren Hastings, and became directly involved in governance.[5] The rule lasted until 1858, when, after the Indian rebellion of 1857 and consequent of the Government of India Act 1858, the British government assumed the task of directly administering India in the new British Raj.
    This:
    This is the capitalist's utopian dream. A totally private firm, deregulated in 1694, owned a huge nation. As long as they didn't undermine the British King, they were free to do whatever they liked. Business was the government, and government was the business.

     - gjohnsit

    What you've written and reported here seem irrefutable evidence of today's republican "conservative" agenda. It certainly mirrors it.

    The Sam Brownbacks. Zero taxation lie.. it's merely one step to the process of private "interests"/ corporations domination of and becoming the actual governing body.

    When the real goal of the "conservative" GOP is not zero taxation, but the opposite; the usurpation of the governments taxing authority. Repeal the US 16th amendment, which has been and remains a common goal in the "conservative" movement.

    Also too repeal of the 17th amendment. A direct assault on our democratic process coming from the GOP as another plank in their platform.

    Thx gjohnsit - hotlisted

    What amazes me too. That a corporation. The East india company takes over another country. India. And presumes to rule that country. Become that county's government. Extract resources. Control the people. Tax the people to live on their own land. Starve those people. Violate the peoples religious beliefs. Form the Bengal army with those people.

    That there is hubris at the evil level - imo - and exactly what the "conservatives" here in the US are aiming to do, or worse

  •  The Irish Potato Famine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basquebob

    The potato failure occurred in the 19th century but its roots are embedded in the needs of 18th century British Capitalism and colonialism. In the early 18th century, Ireland provided a source of capital in the form of rents and raw materials and a market for English manufactured goods at the same time the Crown prevented the development of a Irish industrial base by granting monopolies to British investors in Ireland. By this time, the Irish land was owned by British landlords and most of the native Irish survived by tenuous tenancy or seasonal labor.

     By the second half of the 18th century Ireland was turned into a farm to supply inexpensive foodstuffs for the growing British industrial classes. The availability of inexpensive Irish grown food helped to control unrest among British workers. The effects of this system of exploitation led to the development in Ireland of two agricultural systems. A bare subsistence agriculture developed alongside a profitable commercial agriculture. Under this arrangement Irish peasants found it impossible to raise their standard of living. Such a system was backed up by an oppressive political and legal system that was stacked against the indigenous Irish. It left the Irish without any basic human rights. All of this was backed up by the most powerful military machine in the world.

    The British response to the potato failure was weak and ideological. It consisted of some importation food, make work projects for the destitute and finally soup kitchens of questionable nutritional value. However, no attempt was made to halt food exports from Ireland or to provide free food. Irish peasants starved in the midst of plenty. Wheat, oats, barley, butter, eggs, beef and pork were exported from Ireland in large quantities during the so-called "famine." In fact 8 ships a day left Ireland loaded with food bound for England. Britain’s meager efforts were short lived and Ireland was quickly abandoned to the ravages of starvation, disease, forced evictions and emigration.  Starvation among the peasants should be blamed on a colonial system that made them dependent on the potato in the first place. Racist insensitivity toward the plight of the starving masses also played a major role in the death and large-scale emigration which marked this time. The British failed to take swift and comprehensive action in the force of Ireland's disaster.  

    Malthusian explanations ignore the fact that Irish agricultural output increased steadily in the half century before the starvation. This was true even where the population was increasing the most, yet it did not in any way seem to hurt food production. Malthusians conveniently forget the huge exportation of food from Ireland during the starvation. Food raised by the Irish could have fed the people of Ireland rather than the bank accounts of British capitalists. Also ignored was the reduced socioeconomic status of the native Irish, which was the result of land confiscation and policies antagonistic toward Irish culture. Further, the British had implemented policies throughout Irish colonial history that were intended to destroy the development of Irish industries. Without a local industrial base Irish people were left with no alternative way of making a living. British rule simply hindered all native initiatives and institutions.

    by Seamus Metress
    Professor of Anthropology
    The University of Toledo

  •  Fantastic diary gjohnsit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    tip rec repubX3

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:51:26 AM PDT

  •  current coven causes corrupt/chaos (0+ / 0-)

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:02:21 AM PDT

  •  Really, Dr. Paul ? (0+ / 0-)

    From the late Medieval to the early Modern period, Europe experienced food shortages roughly once every three years and famines once every ten.  This pattern continued into the 1600's (well into the capitalist period) but gradually decreased due to agricultural improvements (mainly the introduction of the potato).  However, these "techno-fixes" did not prevent the Irish Potato Famine (as well as the other famines mentioned above).

    Likewise, improved farming techniques like tractors and fertilizer didn't prevent food shortages leading to death by malnutrition during the Great Depression.  

    Of course there are numerous counterarguments just in the 20th century.  

    - Turn of the century India;
    - pre-Communist China (1907 and 1911);
    - Lebanon and Germany during WWI;
    - Iran while it was under British occupation in WWI;
    - Rwanda and Burundi while under Belgian administration in the 1920's and again in the 1940's;
    - Greece, Java, Holland and Vietnam during WWII;
    - Ethiopia in the 1950's, 1970's, 1980's and 1990's;
    - Biafra in the 1960's;
    - Bangladesh in the 1970's;
    - Zaire in the 1990's, etc.

    So the whole "a free market means no famine" argument is bogus.  Likewise Dr. Paul's comment about "no medical care."  Several communist (Cuba) or socialist governments offered better national healthcare than pre-ACA America.

    (I know, I know.  Obamacare opponents point to "the terrible waiting times" for some services in Canada or the UK.  But if you were poor and had to choose between waiting up to six months - the worst case scenario I've heard cited - for non emergency care OR "never," I think even the most ardent "welfare" opponent would take the free socialized medical treatment.)

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