Friday, May 28, 2010

Stolen, Not Created

A kind of Republican fantasy, that "free enterprise" created the wealth we see around us, has become a dangerous insanity. We did not create this wealth- we stole it. That is to say, we stole an entire continent and murdered almost all of the original owners.

In every other part of the world, the previous owners had to be accommodated in some way. In Europe layers upon layers of ownership and obligation needed to be purchased, bought off, and ameliorated. In South America the native peoples were displaced initially by European technology too weak to exploit the continent, and by the time technology grew strong, South American oligarchies defended the backwards economies they ruled.

This subject could be, and has been, elucidated at great length, but the key facts are these- America grew wealthy during the 19th century because we stole an entire continent, without let or hindrance, and had two oceans to protect us from the threat of war, and the cost that entails.

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