The study of slavery in the southern half of the United States prior to the Civil War examines the institution in a capitalistic sense, choosing to see the punishment of slaves as unlikely due to the paternalistic relationship that allegedly existed between slaves and their masters. Recently, historiographical texts, such as River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom by Walter Johnson, have taken up the mantle of disproving this. In his introduction, Johnson describes the institution of slavery as such: "The Cotton Kingdom was built out of sun, water, and soil; animal energy, human labor, and mother wit; grain, flesh, and cotton; pain, hunger, and fatigue; blood, milk, semen, and shit." In regards to the title of his book, Johnson asserts that the importance of slavery in terms of economic history did not lie with Massachusetts, but along the Mississippi River, additionally dismantling prior historiography surrounding slavery. Serving as the major thesis of his book, Johnson convincingly and ambitiously argues that slaves labored, resisted, and reproduced in the Mississippi Valley Region, and it was the response by southerners to material limitations, such as land degradation, in this region that slaveholders increasingly projected their power onto the world stage, taking part in an imperialism that affected Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil, and even the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Marxism refers to the body of ideas first worked out by Karl Marx. These ideas shape a theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to a higher form of human society (Sewell et al., 2008). Capitalism on the other hand, is the social structure that emerges on the basis of the social relationship between the consumers and the sellers of labour power (Ritzer, 2000). This essay will discuss the preconditions for capitalism, which include: commodities, surplus value and labour power. The contradictions of capitalism such as; alienation, exploitation and the decline in human development and will also be discussed, as well as contemporary examples of these found in South Africa.
"What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable" (Marx, 1848). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels famous work ‘ The communist manifesto’ is on of the most influential doctrines on the theory of Marxism. Marxism, as concluded from Marx and Engels is a conflict theory, which means that it believes that society is based on inequality and unequal distribution of power and wealth. The Marxist methodology uses economic and sociopolitical inquiry and employs that to the critique and analyse the development of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change.
Why did British settlers in North America and the West Indies increasingly need to use slave labour between c. 1660 and 1807? Slavery is one of the most emotive issues in human history. Western slavery represented an aspect of the commodification of human beings for reasons of labor that is central to economic activity. From the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries European slavery was focused on the Atlantic world. There, labour was needed and labour was available but in different places.
Developed in the 19th century by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels was a theory called Marxism. In dictionary terms one can say that Marxism is “a system of economic, social, and political philosophy based on ideas that view social change in terms of economic factors.” (Business Dictionary) But what is Marxism? Let’s look at it this way that if a theory ignores the economic realities of human culture then it is misinterpreting it. For Karl Marx; Historical Materialism was the driving force in society which was a notion involving the distribution of resources, production, material gains and such matters. Therefore, for Marxism attaining and maintaining economic power is what fuels all political and social motives of people.
The Atlantic Slave Trade started truly in the early sixteenth century when the Spanish government approved the offer of Africans as slaves to Spanish organizations in the New World in 1518, and which was immediately trailed by Portugal. The essential philosophy which underpinned the Slave Trade was European capitalist expansionism for the accumulation of profit and international political force. Europeans needed to extend their journey revenue driven and control by exporting their brand of capitalism through such investments in the generation of sugar and different things of the period through the utilization of slave work to expand their profits. The Atlantic Slave Trade had two different names: the Triangular Trade and the South Atlantic System. It was known as the Triangular Trade on the grounds that the trade courses connected Europe, Africa, and the Americas in a triangular structure, The Slave Trade
Throughout his life, Karl Marx has altered the way that he views labor and what labor means to society as well as the individual. We can see how in The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof Karl Marx is still concerned about the laborers but is more focused on scientific notions and ideology as well as the economic components compared to what how he focuses on social aspects in The Alienation of Labor. The Alienation of Labor was written first, in 1844. The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof was written in 1867. Over the course of these twenty three years Marx began to shift his focus from what labor means to the individual to a more abstract distanced look at the capitalist system.
Economics is the study of how a society produces and distributes resources. You probably know that our economic system is called capitalism and that a competing economic system, communism, lost out to capitalism in a decades-long military, political and ideological (ideas-based) conflict known as the Cold War. This reading will explain the basic economic and ideological foundations of capitalism. You will use this information in class as you analyze media messages that support and criticize capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of goods and services.
His main focus was on the inequalities that existed between the rich and poor. He believed that capitalism was segregating society into two major classes. He also criticized capitalism for producing alienation. Meaning that ‘unequal relationships of capitalism workers cannot achieve their full autonomy and potential’ (McDonald, 2006, p. 30) While Marx remained a relatively unknown figure in his own lifetime, his ideas and the ideology of Marxism have had a long lasting effect on society to date. Compare Both Functionalists and Marxists are structural theories, which mean that both Durkheim and Marx believe that people are controlled by institutions in society and that people in society are controlled by external forces.
The most basic purpose of slavery is to rid oneself of work and force the hideous labour upon someone else. Since the time of our more primitive era, societies have taken slaves from war and conquest, and forced them to do their workaday tasks. As Robin Blackburn put it: 'The pace of capitalist advance in Britain was decisively advanced by its success in creating a regime of extended private accumulation battening upon the super-exploitation of slaves in the Americas'. A person with freedom may lose it. He may not be confident of always having it.