Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Capitalism and Slavery
(1944)


Whites Confusing Politics with Ethics to Appear Moral

Summary: How the West Indies was won – and then lost.

White people are avaricious and, therefore, actively‑willing to evade ethical issues in their greed, except in speech. This is the key to successfully‑understanding them.

His doctoral thesis, The Economic Aspects of the Abolition of the Slave Trade and West Indian Slavery (published as Capitalism and Slavery in 1944), was both a direct attack on the idea that moral and humanitarian motives were the key facts in the victory of British abolitionism, and a covert critique of the idea common in the 1930s, emanating in particular from the pen of Oxford Professor Reginald Coupland, that British imperialism was essentially propelled by humanitarian and benevolent impulses.

Williams’ argument owed much to the influence of C L R James, whose The Black Jacobins, also completed in 1938, also offered an economic and geo‑strategic explanation for the rise of British abolitionism.

Williams specialized in the study of the abolition of the slave traffic. In 1944 his book Capitalism and Slavery argued that the British abolition of their Atlantic slave traffic in 1807 was motivated primarily by economics – rather than by altruism or humanitarianism. By extension, so was the emancipation of the slaves in 1833 and the fight against the trafficking in slaves by other nations. As industrial capitalism and wage labor began to expand, eliminating the competition from slavery became economically‑advantageous.

Before Williams, the historiography of this issue was dominated by mainly British (that is, White) writers who were generally‑prone to depict Britain’s actions as unimpeachable.

In addition to Capitalism and Slavery, Williams produced a number of other scholarly works focused on the Caribbean. Of particular significance are two published in the 1960s long after he had abandoned his academic career for public life: British Historians and the West Indies and From Columbus to Castro. The former, based on research done in the 1940s and initially presented at a symposium at Atlanta University, sought to debunk British historiography on the region and to condemn as racist the nineteenth‑ and early twentieth‑century British perspective on the West Indies. Williams was particularly scathing in his description of the nineteenth‑century British intellectual Thomas Carlyle.

This book understands the dependency of White culture on slavery and White supremacy and the endemic nature of the widespread economic benefits to Whites of both in shipbuilding, chains, seaports, commodities (eg, coffee, cotton, indigo & sugar) and the Industrial revolution, as a whole. As well as the White hypocrisy of historical figures like William Pitt the Younger favoring the abolition of the slave traffic (but not of slavery, itself), but only to hurt the economies of France and The Netherlands and hopefully gain Saint‑Domingue as a new colony, in the process.

Manumission meant freedom for the slaves, but not from the colonial demands of Empire nor from their enforced inability to manufacture goods from raw materials they, themselves, have planted, in order to grow the economies of the former slave plantation islands. This kept them as economically dependent on colonialism as Whites are on racism.

Biased White Historians

Where the author really scores is in pointing‑out how important the slave was to his own emancipation – something biased White historians studiously ignore out of racist fellow feeling for slave‑owners and lack of empathy for mere livestock.

Yet there was no reason for slaves to think of themselves in this way. There was a third‑party between slave‑owner and abolitionist, the slaves themselves, also asserting their right to freedom.

To coercion and punishment, the slave responded with indolence, sabotage & revolt: The passive‑resistance that proves the laziness of slaves a Caucasian myth. The Maroons of Jamaica and the Bush Negroes of British Guiana were runaway‑slaves who lived independently in mountains and jungle. They were standing examples to other slaves of what could be accomplished, as was the successful slave revolt in Saint Domingue; leaving the free populations in constant fear of rebellion and death.

Slaves were keenly aware of the political world around them and not as stupid as White historians, singing the praises of Empire, like the slave‑owners, pictured them. As if those Whites who talk of the passing of slavery do so with open regret in their minds. The slaves were always restless and inflamed by their subjugation as the frequency and intensity of slave revolts after 1800 amply testify. Not only the Field Negroes but the House Negroes agitated for freedom, since it did not matter how indulgent or kind their masters were (flattering themselves that good treatment would prevent uprisings), it was the institution of slavery, itself, that could never be ameliorated save by manumission. The slaves, themselves, freely admitted this since unsuccessful slave revolts were usually quelled with barbarity; making the kind treatment of slaves a self‑evident oxymoron to the slaves – like telling a woman you will not force her to have sex with you so long as she agrees to have sex with you. The slaves’ battles were usually lost, but their wars were won, since forcing people to work costs more – in the long run – than paying them for their labor.

The slave‑owners pretended that it was not slavery that made slaves yearn for freedom, but abolitionists planting such seeds in the minds of people whom, they claimed, were born to be slaves in perpetuity.

Ultimately, as in Apartheid South Africa, it came down to either emancipation from above (slave‑owner) or emancipation from below (slave). The move from monopoly to laissez‑faire in the British Empire, abolitionism & the slaves, themselves made it inevitable, since the slaves were stimulated to freedom by the very wealth their labor created.

CONCLUSION: Ideas & Principles

  1. The decisive forces are the developing economic ones.
  2. Without a grasp of economics, history is meaningless. These economic changes are usually gradual & imperceptible, but they have an irresistible cumulative effect. People, pursuing their, interests; are rarely aware of the ultimate results of their activity. The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth‑century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But, in so doing, it helped create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth‑century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, of slavery & of all its works.

  3. The various contending groups of dominant merchants, industrialists & politicians, while keenly‑aware of immediate interests, are for that very reason generally‑blind to the long‑range consequences of their actions, proposals & policies.
  4. To the large majority of those responsible for British policy, the loss of the American colonies seemed a catastrophe. In reality, as was rapidly seen, it proved to be the beginning of a period of creative wealth and political power for Britain which far exceeded all the achievements of the previous age. From this point‑of‑view, the problem of the freedom of Africa and the Far East from imperialism will, primarily, be decided by the necessities of production. As the new productive power of 1833 destroyed the relations of mother country and colonies which had existed sixty years before, so the incomparably‑greater productive power of today will ultimately destroy any relations which stand in its way. This does not invalidate the urgency and validity of arguments for democracy and freedom. But that, mutatis mutandis, the arguments have a familiar ring and should be approached with both experience of similar arguments and the privilege of dispassionate investigation into what they actually‑represent.

  5. Political and moral ideas can only be seriously‑examined in close relation to economic development.
  6. Politics and morals in the abstract make no sense. We find British statesmen and publicists defending slavery today, abusing slavery tomorrow, defending slavery the day after. Today they are imperialist, the next day anti‑imperialist, and equally pro‑imperialist a generation after. And always with the same vehemence. The defense or attack is always on the high moral or political plane. The thing defended or attacked is always something that you can touch and see, to be measured in pounds sterling or pounds avoirdupois. Even great mass movements, like that against slavery, show a clear affinity and relationship with the rise and development of new commercial interests and the inevitable necessity for the destruction of the old. It is understandable at the time, but historians, writing a hundred years after, have no excuse for continuing to wrap the real interests in confusion.[1][2]

  7. A morally bankrupt and outworn interest can exercise an obstructionist and disruptive effect which can only he explained by the powerful economic services it had previously rendered and the entrenchment thereby previously gained.
  8. This helps explain the powerful defense put up by Whites when their time is up. However, in a simplified account such as history always must be, the carefully‑chosen representative, contemporary utterances give a misleading effect of clarity of aim and purpose.

  9. The White supremacist ideas built on these interests continue long after the interests have been destroyed, which is all the more mischievous precisely because the interests to which they corresponded no longer exist.
  10. Such are the ideas of the unfitness of the White man for labor in the tropics and the inferiority of the Negro which allegedly‑condemned him to perpetual slavery.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

DO FRONT‑LINE LIBRARY STAFF REALLY NOT TELL CUSTOMERS THAT PCs ARE BOOKABLE?

At around 15:30, on Thursday, 7 January 2016, at Tunbridge Wells Library, a White male (sitting with a friend using PC4, in the chair for PC3) refused to move from this chair to allow me to use PC3 - after my asking him politely to do so (hear attached audio). (PC3 had been booked for me by a member of staff.)

(2016)

DO FRONT‑LINE LIBRARY STAFF REALLY NOT TELL CUSTOMERS THAT PCs ARE BOOKABLE?

At about 14:00, on Sunday, 17 January 2016, at Tunbridge Wells Reference Library, I politely asked a White woman (apparently using your Wi‑Fi on her laptop) to move from PC19. She asked Why, so I told her I had booked it. She then told me that she had been told it had not been booked; implying a Black man was a liar – without evidence.

Proving a negative is impossible and, in any case, it would have meant her looking at the PC screen every 60 seconds to see whether or not her claim continued to be true: Something only a stupid person would ever do. She obviously believed that if a PC has not been booked - at any time - that it will not be booked for as long as she wishes to sit at it, without using it; despite her tacit admission that most PCs are, in fact bookable – at any time during library opening hours. (Surreally, it would also mean it is possible to not‑book a PC for a specific amount of time; the direct corollary of being able to book a computer for one hour – only that, in the former case, such an impossible not‑booking could last a whole day and - somehow - be of a higher priority than actually booking one.)

She could only ever know the PC was not booked at the moment she alleged she was told it – it could then easily cease being not‑booked at every succeeding minute. Moreover, since the screen‑saver was engaged, she had no information from the PC itself to support her nonsensical claim. She was, thus, sitting at a computer she was not using that she had not booked but, somehow, that was a rational and logically‑defensible reason to be in my way – like an able‑bodied driver parking in a Disabled Parking space simply because it is empty! (There appears to be an awful lot of mental illness or arrogant stupidity in Tunbridge Wells among Whites who also claim clairvoyant powers, in implying they possess the amazing foresight to know, in advance, that any library not‑booked library PC will remain so until they have finished obstructing it.)

Inevitably, the monitor screen said, in English: This machine has been booked – and she was clearly a native English‑speaker. But rather than do the sensible thing and look at this screen, she chose to imply that Whites have an unwritten right to lie to Black people.

Is her use of Wi‑Fi somehow a justification for denying the use of bookable PCs? If so, where is this peculiar rule written down, so that we can all be made aware of it – in advance?

Did library staff actually tell her the PC had not been booked; proving they do not understand that a PC can be booked at any time and that, therefore, non‑PC users should never be sitting at them – unless the PC is out‑of‑order? According to Occam’s Razor, she was lying, since I find it hard to believe that any member of staff – even those I have previously called‑out as fools – could really be so stupid as to not know that PCs are booked on an ongoing‑basis throughout the library’s opening hours. (I would also be surprised if any member of staff would be prepared to be so stupid as to admit that they have made any such statement to any customer – ever.)

She claimed I was abrupt, but this claim is more motivated by being asked to move by a Black man, than anything the attached audio recording actually indicates. It also indicates she was clearly not willing to be aware of her surroundings while in public. Pretending that she was shocked by my asking her to move is the old trick of pretending she has a right not to be disturbed - even when in someone else’s way - and that anyone who does so is somehow up to no good. This means that no matter how polite Black people are, they are always going to be cast as villains by retarded Whites.

As an example of rational behaviour, a week before, I asked an Asian gentlemen to vacate a seat he had taken from a PC I had booked. He did so without demur in a polite social exchange; proving that these weird incidents represent a negative correlation, among Whites, between the colour of one’s skin and the depth of one’s common sense: The lighter, the more absurd; the darker, the more sensible. Whites believe that public space is a mere extension of their own living rooms and that they, therefore, can publicly‑carouse as they please – even if this means obstructing others going about their lawful business.

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