Slavery Is Impossible Under Capitalism

by | Dec 31, 2015

Capitalism, in its quest for profit drives out concerns with irrelevant factors such as race, gender, and so forth.

The “progressive” online magazine, Salon.com, recently ran an article entitled, “White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it.” Now just imagine an article entitled “Black men must be stopped,” or “Hispanic women must be stopped.” Or how about, “Militant Islam must be stopped.” The outrage would be deafening, and we’d likely see the threat of legal action from the Obama administration. (On criticism of Islam, we already have a legal threat from Obama).

The Salon article reportedly blames the evils of white men on two things: Slavery and, in turn, capitalism, since capitalism supposedly causes slavery. Such myths involve prejudice themselves.

Capitalism is the social system where all property, aside from necessary government buildings, is privately owned, and all profits belong to those who earn them. Whatever you think of capitalism, slavery is not its defining feature. In fact, slavery is impossible under capitalism. In the United States, it was not “white men” who imposed slavery. It was anti-capitalist white men (and others) who supported it. Capitalism flourished in the North. It depended on the voluntary consent of everyone involved.

Racism elevates noneconomic factors to primary importance. In a racist society, particularly one upheld by government laws, businesses are prevented from appealing to customers of a certain race, and forbidden from hiring the best possible workers at the lowest possible rate, because of racial concerns. Once you start making race a factor, capitalist concerns with profit and productivity are diminished or eliminated.

It’s the same with racism-in-reverse (which is still racism). Affirmative action, for example, orders businesses to make profit secondary to having a certain quota of people who are of a certain race (or gender, or some other victim group). This is no more economic, or profitable, than the opposite racial ideas which preceded it.

Why is this so hard to understand?

It’s time to move beyond slavery and the Civil War. In America, these ended 150 years ago. Slavery was upheld by (some) white men, but it was also ended by just as many white men. Abraham Lincoln was a white man. Why all the hostility towards white men, as a group?

It says something that American leftist progressives (the present Establishment) cannot and will not move beyond slavery. Their case for socialism is so lame, and relies so much on neurotic guilt and irrational fear, that they must keep rubbing our noses in the ugliest period of American history, the era of slavery. Reason, facts and logic are not on the side of socialism, including the kind Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their Republican errand boys in Congress keep trying to impose; the only way to “persuade” us of such a system is via shame, guilt and name-calling. It’s all they have.

But it’s important to get the facts straight. In the 19th century, it was the comparatively capitalist North which drove out slavery from the plantation-based, anti-capitalist economy of the South. If it’s racism against blacks and if it’s slavery you hate, then you ought to love capitalism.

Capitalism is based on voluntary commitments and associations among consenting adult individuals. Success, quality and economic progress that benefit all parties involved are the constant motives of such a system. Race is irrelevant. Capitalism, in its quest for quality, customer satisfaction and profit, minimizes and ultimately drives out concerns with irrelevant factors such as race, gender, and so forth. The only rational and proper concern under capitalism is getting the job done correctly, efficiently and profitably. What in the world is immoral, much less racist, about any of this?

America has the best possible, most humane and most moral social system ever known to man within its reach. Instead, we bash and drive capitalism out by blaming it for factors such as racism, for which capitalism is the least responsible. Eventually, all the government control and regulations will banish even the remnants of capitalism from our society; we’ll be no different from a third world country, at that point. Who or what will we blame then?

It’s a tragic shame. Things could be so much better in America, and the rest of the world, if we put the guilt aside and gave capitalism a chance. Non-white supremacy is just as wrong as white supremacy. Capitalism is at odds with both of these things.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

8 Comments

  1. “It was anti-capitalist white men who supported it.”

    Like John Locke.

  2. Who know a higher percentage of free blacks in the pre-war South owned black slaves than whites? Not to mention it was blacks who ran the African slave markets.

  3. It’s not hard to understand why; white Capitalist Americans shortly after the declaration of American indepence prospered only because of legalised slavery.

  4. Thing is, Capitalism is impossible, or at least difficult to maintain, without slavery. Modern Capitalism stands on the back of a legalised slave trade.

  5. Fine with me…I will be the rich capitalist and you the poor worker…I will impose demands on you that are beyond my own capacity. I will make the rules and call the shots. For every unit you create, I get at least half until I’ve gained ownership over a large portion of production after which I will take a small amount but only if I am immensely more wealthy to begin with.

    We can see how great it will be for you.

    Capitalism is merely a way for losers to win

    If you want society to function properly without needless exploitation, we will have to institute a universal basic income equal to $20k/year during 2010 in a median cost economy which is adjust every year for “inflationary monetary” changes. New York and LA are examples of high cost economies and would require most likely $25-30k/year. Otherwise, employment in capitalism is based on involuntary survival needs or greed.

    Is this guy the communist psychotherapist manipulating the capitalist overlords? I saw some book talking about this.

  6. Does any capitalist consider that most of their workers must be compelled by survival just to turn them a profit?

    If we were all born with the same inheritance and only our genetic capacity separated us, who would work for who?

    Would I be coerced by survival to turn a profit for my peers or inferiors like I currently am? Would you?

  7. Its not surprising. Capitalism is about profits (exploiting others who have less capital), not racial solidarity. Plus, whites are sparingly better off than blacks when measured against the owners. This is as true now as it was during the height of the slave trade. Today’s slaves only has more options, but only to the extent that our capitalist overlords deem “profitable.”

    For capitalism to be free of slavery and exploitation, we must have equal opportunity and each person must generate a profit with their own two hands on their own two feet. They cannot benefit from privileged positions. They cannot hire others to work for less than they would, and that is double true if their employees are superior to them at the tasks. At best, capital has maybe the value of 15% max.

  8. That is why i advocate for a Socialist system; we all work for ourselves, team up if need be, and trade our goods and services for other goods and services. Once again, i fear i must remind you, that a Socialist society does not restrict free trade like a Capitalist system does, as is clearly observable pretty much worldwide.

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