Tuesday, February 25, 2014

the modern world owes its very existence to slavery


tomsdispatch | Many in the United States were outraged by the remarks of conservative evangelical preacher Pat Robertson, who blamed Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake on Haitians for selling their souls to Satan. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble -- as many as 300,000 died -- when Robertson went on TV and gave his viewing audience a little history lesson: the Haitians had been "under the heel of the French" but they "got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.'"

A supremely callous example of right-wing idiocy? Absolutely. Yet in his own kooky way, Robertson was also onto something. Haitians did, in fact, swear a pact with the devil for their freedom. Only Beelzebub arrived smelling not of sulfur, but of Parisian cologne. 

Haitian slaves began to throw off the “heel of the French” in 1791, when they rose up and, after bitter years of fighting, eventually declared themselves free. Their French masters, however, refused to accept Haitian independence. The island, after all, had been an extremely profitable sugar producer, and so Paris offered Haiti a choice: compensate slave owners for lost property -- their slaves (that is, themselves) -- or face its imperial wrath. The fledgling nation was forced to finance this payout with usurious loans from French banks. As late as 1940, 80% of the government budget was still going to service this debt.

In the on-again, off-again debate that has taken place in the United States over the years about paying reparations for slavery, opponents of the idea insist that there is no precedent for such a proposal. But there is. It’s just that what was being paid was reparations-in-reverse, which has a venerable pedigree. After the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the U.S., London reimbursed southern planters more than a million dollars for having encouraged their slaves to run away in wartime. Within the United Kingdom, the British government also paid a small fortune to British slave owners, including the ancestors of Britain’s current Prime Minister, David Cameron, to compensate for abolition (which Adam Hochschild calculated in his 2005 book Bury the Chains to be “an amount equal to roughly 40% of the national budget then, and to about $2.2 billion today”).

Advocates of reparations -- made to the descendants of enslaved peoples, not to their owners -- tend to calculate the amount due based on the negative impact of slavery. They want to redress either unpaid wages during the slave period or injustices that took place after formal abolition (including debt servitude and exclusion from the benefits extended to the white working class by the New Deal). According to one estimate, for instance, 222,505,049 hours of forced labor were performed by slaves between 1619 and 1865, when slavery was ended. Compounded at interest and calculated in today’s currency, this adds up to trillions of dollars.

But back pay is, in reality, the least of it. The modern world owes its very existence to slavery.

39 comments:

BigDonOne said...

Intellectually strong people have always tended to take advantage of intellectually weak people, e.g., politicians, Wall Street, attorneys, used car salesmen. Slavery was just one more example of that. It was not Evil People taking advantage of Nice People.

CNu said...

lol, right on time, my man!!! If you didn't exist, I'd have to make you up.

woodensplinter said...

*First Principle:* economics is an expression of political agendas
that are hidden within known-false assumptions. If one accepts those
false assumptions, then one accepts those hidden political agendas.

CNu said...

Fine for delusional peasant poster-children, but from the grey lady, not so much http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2014/02/your-ancestors-your-fate.html

Nakajima Kikka said...

Is Haiti actually still paying off those loans?

woodensplinter said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_debt_of_Haiti

Nakajima Kikka said...

So the answer is no. Haiti paid it off.

CNu said...

Awwww Jeezus Lawd!!!! NK-San tryna kill Massa Don this mornin!!!

Vic78 said...

What's intellectually strong about being a tea billy? Why are you chasing priveledge? Since you don't believe in game you're a prime target for all types of bullshit.

Tom said...

Well, look at Don's list of who he thinks is "intellectually strong." Liars. So because the tea thing is full of lies, Don's in. The tea folks know they're full of shit and they think it's great. They were never taught the difference between conning and being conned, so they don't even know what's happening to them.


It's like joining a chain letter, or buying stocks in a bubble. People know it's bull, but they don't think they're being conned. They think they're playing it smart and conning the next guy. That's BD.

CNu said...

The "game" consists in identifying and exploiting specific emotional and cognitive vulnerabilities.



So in the case of tea drinkers, we have human livestock managers exploiting ignorance, fear, disgust and anger - and just so long as the anger doesn't boil over into violent, street-level action (activism) the "game" serves its purpose as a means by which to actively and effectively move designated parts of the crowd politically and economically.


The Cathedral does the exact same thing, preying on and exploiting a common set of underlying emotions all of which lead to self-righteous indignation and anger - and fine so long as the anger doesn't boil over into violent, street-level action (activism), but operating with regard to its two-legged cattle in no different a fashion than our esteemed purveyors of tea operate with regard to theirs.

Tom said...

Good point!

Tom said...

EXCEPT liberals don't know we're full of shit. We really believe the nonsense we say. I guess. Who knows.

BigDonOne said...

@Tom -- Everybody lies, including you. It's like when you say, "Good morning..." or "Happy New Year" to your boss when you're really hoping he would keel over and die from a heart attack so you could have his job. Or perhaps you're on Second Base with some babe and you tell her, "I love you..." when swinging for the Home Run....Average person tells several lies per day ---> http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/05/18/were-all-lying-liars-why-people-tell-lies-and-why-white-lies-can-be-ok

Lies, liars, it's everybody. The "intellectually strong" are just better at it....You can even keep your Doctor or Health Plan if you like him/her/it and save $2,500 per year....

CNu said...

lol, go query "kayfabe" at CDV's. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayfabe

CNu said...

Everybody DOES lie all the time. The true masters, however, work their show so adroitly that they get your emotions to lie to you. You sincerely feel the engineered emotions with which you've been implanted.

Tom said...

You're missing the point as always BD. I tell you you're getting conned and this is your response? Do you ever put your brain in gear?

CNu said...

lol, that's why I blacklisted some of BD's most cherished neologisms. those words are the telltale signifiers of years of entrainment. the fact that he has to think about what he's writing in order to attempt to convey the same emotional charge to which he's personally addicted forces the grinding of gears that would otherwise never mesh.

I get the pleasure of reviewing his sleep talk in the moderator's approval cue...,

umbrarchist said...

Should I go on some kind of guilt trip for having never heard of this? That is mind blowing. That is like conceding that the French had the right to own people.

CNu said...

As John noted upthread: *First Principle:* economics is an expression of political agendas that
are hidden within known-false assumptions. If one accepts those false
assumptions, then one accepts those hidden political agendas.


The fact that slave owners were fairly universally given reparations for discontinuing their "economic" way of life was surely known to you. As a matter of capital law and custom, it was very well established and legally and monetarily recognized that slave owners had every right to do what they did. What has not been established or legally or monetarily recognized is that slaves had the right to own their own labor value or person, or, that any descendant of a slave has legal "standing" to make a claim to the assertion of said right.

makheru bradley said...

“The white man’s god asks him to commit crimes. But the God within us wants to do good. Our God, who is so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It’s He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It’s He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white man’s god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that speaks in all our hearts.”-- Boukman’s Prayer (August 1791)

Of course Pat Robertson and his ilk, who always label America’s wars of aggression “just wars,” would consider people who liberated themselves from slavery as having “swore a pact to the devil,” because they believe, as did Peter, that servants should: “be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked. For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience toward God”.

Dessalines, Christophe, and the early leaders of Hayti did not cut a deal with the devil. They were economically punished by the global White Supremacy Dynamic for having the capacity to defeat what was considered to be the greatest European military power on the planet.

makheru bradley said...

Speaking of pajamas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlZydtG3xqI

woodensplinter said...

and then came the Duva-liars:The transfer of wealth from Haiti to the French government and from Haiti to the various banks that financed the Independence Debt is well established. Detailed claims, submitted by former slave owners for compensation, including the monetary value of the “lost” slaves, and which formed the basis for the French government’s demands have been documented.

Likewise, the terms of the 1825 Ordinance and accounts of its negotiation have survived.

The French government acknowledges the payment of 90,000,000F. The story of the first payment - 24,000,000 gold francs – being transported across Paris, from the vaults of Ternaux Grandolphe et Cie to the coffers of the French Treasury was recorded in detail. Historians have traced loan documents from the time of the 1825 Ordinance, through the various refinancing efforts, to the final remittance to National City Bank in 1947.[3]

From 1957 to 1986 Haiti was ruled by the corrupt and oppressive Duvalier family. Loans incurred during this period alone were estimated to account for approximately 40% of Haiti's debt in 2000, before debt-relief was granted. These funds were used to strengthen the Duvaliers' control over Haiti and for various fraudulent schemes. Large amounts were simply stolen by the Duvaliers.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Working hard for a living makes little sense when you start out as far in debt from student loans as the Millennials are. So I get where they're coming from. I also get why an increasing number of Millennial women are participating in "compensated dating" with the ones who have the money, Baby Boomer men, the inventors of this clever, seductive scheme of neo-indentured servitude. Compensated dating is a good way to service that debt.

This is also a viable alternative:

http://www.xojane.com/sex/duke-university-freshman-porn-star

CNu said...

Venter needs to speed up his work so the rest of us don't have to stumble across any more insufferable dreck like this:I am going to graduate, I am going to pursue my dreams and I will
hopefully galvanize change in a world wrought with gender norms and
sexism.

All these second wave hoes waaaaay out of pocket and due for harsh and abrupt comeuppance http://youtu.be/e9t5ikxjAQ4

Vic78 said...

She would've been better off getting a pimp or joining an escort service. It's better for the privacy.

CNu said...

Strict Father says: "the minute you are reduced to the insurmountable shame of a moist orifice transaction fee - your value is less than zero" http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2014/02/is-reality-in-need-of-redefinition.html - all other claims are null and void...,

Nakajima Kikka said...

The tactical error of revealing that she's a porn actress notwithstanding, the money shot is this:

"I couldn't afford $60,000 in tuition, my family has undergone significant financial burden, and I saw a way to graduate from my dream school free of debt"
All the "pornography as liberating personal experience" verbiage, while entertaining, is merely window-dressing for the above.

Nakajima Kikka said...

More on the Millennial phenomenon of compensated dating:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/aspiring-musician-sugar-baby-seekingarrangement-pay-tuition/story?id=15356704

This series of articles in the NYU student newspaper from 2012 is already something of a classic. It's worth reading all three parts to see the different perspectives women engaged in this have on it:

http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2012/12/11/confessions-of-a-nyu-sugar-baby-part-2/

The majority of the colleges with the highest rates of compensated dating are in the South. But the participants are not just college students. In Michigan, the largest proportion are elementary and middle-school teachers who use the compensation partly for themselves of course, but also to buy badly needed school supplies for their students.

The entire phenomenon is primarily driven by the need of Millennials to service a very large amount of debt at a young age, at a time when the prospects for stable, full-time employment after college (or vocational school) continues to decline. A completely different life situation, and life future, than the Baby Boomers had at a comparable age.

Incidentally, in the NYU article, "Mona" said there wasn't a single word for this phenomenon. Actually, there is: enjo-kousai. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enjo_k%C5%8Dsai

CNu said...

This ain't this - ianfu (慰安婦). Ianfu is a euphemism for shōfu (娼婦) whose meaning is "prostitute(s)"

It's that - http://youtu.be/bwpB-I4iq7U The girlies is free cause the crack costs money

Oh yeah!

I say the girlies is free cause the crack costs money

Oh yeah!



[Verse 1]

Riding one day on my freestyle fix

Jamming to a tape Scott La Rock had mixed

I said to myself "This tape sound funky"

Riding past a 116th Street junkie

Thought I saw Denise but I was only assuming

Took another look and that butt was booming

Did a little trick on my freestyle fix

And I was right beside the girl, she was all on the tip

She said "Hi, DJ KRS"

She kissed me on my neck so I gave her a peck

She said "I'm really in a hurry so I cannot wait

If you give me a lift, while we ride we'll debate"

She jumped on my bike, I said "Huh, what's your stop?"

She said "Right around the corner to the crack spot

If you buy me a crack I'll know how to act

But if you don't, you might as well step back"

I said "Now how the hell we jump off to this?

I'm doing you a favor, I'm giving you a lift"

She said "KRS, you know it go"

I said "Yeah, you little... it seems that you're a ho"

I did a little trick on my freestyle fix

And she was right on the ground looking after it

Because...



[Hook]



[Verse 2]

A girl tried to take me out one day

For a play, not your everyday trey

We walked to the spot, she says she want a rock

I looked in my pocket, didn't have a lot

I said... "You better get yourself a job"

She tried to tell me that times were hard

I told the ho, I said "Yo, that's not my fault

You need a vault", I'm out to assault

Any girl I find who try to take my for mine

I'm gonna have to finish this another time

But...

Vic78 said...

Just a few years ago it was called hoing. Young women have been hoing for centuries at this point. I wouldn't call it a phenomenon. There's nothing new about what these women are doing. That's just media fuckery. "Young women are selling pussy!!! Oh my God!!!" People really need to get a hold of themselves. A lot of women have at least entertained the thought. It's easy money.

CNu said...

Edo notwithstanding, I don't recall any prior era during which it was glorified and normalized the way it's being done now. Outside the vicissitudes of war, so-called sex work, "less than zero" self-valuation reduced to the lowest common denominator or a moist and submissive orifice - should be a source of profound personal shame.

Nakajima Kikka said...

At what point does enjo-kousai become hoing?

Vic78 said...

When they have sex.

Nakajima Kikka said...

That's what I thought too, but enjo-kousai turns out to be a rather slippery concept. Basically, what's happening here is that the men are looking for "the girlfriend experience" and are willing to offer the women a substantial number of gifts (in kind or in the form of AmEx gift cards--actual cash rarely changes hands) for it.


So when is a girl's boyfriend a real boyfriend, as opposed to an enjo-kousai boyfriend? If the two always go Dutch whenever they go out?

Vic78 said...

Like I said before, US players are sleeping on Japan.

CNu said...

Pajamas in public qualifies you for the Jerry Springer/Maury Povich level of the hoeconomy...,

woodensplinter said...

Leggings, no ifs, ands, or butts http://youtu.be/wngsO-Z4n7A

Vic78 said...

It's not really about guys looking, ladies will get mad if the guy they're interested in doesn't look.

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