What Is Capitalism In Simple African Terms
“In a nutshell capitalism is legalized theft or corruption by the elite”.
It’s a privilege based system in which a few, select, private individuals get the license to own human labor, time, freedom, choice, thoughts, dreams, ideas, water, seeds, trees, human beings, animals, birds, minerals, land, health, food and any other public goods that can be harnessed at the expense of the majority for the profit of those few.
Many writers have advanced the argument that economics practice by the definition of it being the science concerned with the control and distribution of scarce resources. Was the major instrument used to institute this system of inequality in order to create conditions where the majority have no other means [resources] to survive but to sell their labor to owners of capital and industry.
Such a reality gives credence to the theory that a few people run the world and we are all but their slaves. It is in essence the expressed manifestation of corruption.
Where Did Wealth Come From?
Unfortunately, what most economists never address in giving a definition for capitalism is how the capital class acquired its initial capital in a world where at some point all men were born equal freemen on land with no owner or title.
Most economic theory mischievously starts its postulations off the premise of previously accumulated capital/wealth accumulating more wealth, without outlining the origins of that previous wealth. Yet without a full understanding of the origins of capital, capitalism’s claim to being an axiomatic progression becomes questionable.
How Did Poor Men Accumulate Wealth
The hesitation to clear this point is clearly because historically capital was not accumulated by means of economic science but shear barbarism or primitive accumulation: violence, war, politics and laws. A process influenced greatly by economists to give their noble sponsors control over resources that belonged to the commons or community for private use to enrich the elite.
This period of violent expropriation was a deliberate means for those with power to accumulate resources for free and to deprive commoners of resources to be self sufficient or to compete with capital owners.
The same period coincided with the economist ascending to the status of nobles as architects of the new social and economic order.
Economist Ascend In Occult Order
In the forefront of this cult were political economists like Adam Smith, Beacon and Francis Hutcheson who were used by the nobility to push the creation of industry and to ensure that industry had a steady supply of cheap labor and captive customers with no product substitutes.
It comes as common cause therefore that this industrial economy would have never been possible so long people could cultivate their own crops, raise their own animals, fish and hunt for their own survival and those with artisanal skill could produce their own tools, equipment and clothes.
How Going To Work Began
In the sixteen hundred European society, people didn’t go to work formally, but, they worked the fields of their landlords for a few hours a week, then worked their own patches.
Those who lived in the commons stayed home where they had lots of time on their hands to think, innovate, hunt, fish, drink and use some of their output from the fields or animals to produce products like clothes, shoes, wood work, tools and such.
All this was inimical to the industrial and capitalist economy that was being birthed. So to ensure labor was constant and available for industry, laws and political economic theories created by the leading intellectuals where implemented.
End To Hunting And Artisanal Jobs
First was a nail at the heart of human self sufficiency: the outlawing of hunting, fishing, gun ownership, the confiscation of commons (communal lands owned by the commoner), pushing peasants into landlord owned properties, encouraging nobles to fence off animals as private property, encouraging nobles to raised rents for their peasants to force people to work longer hours, criminalizing those with no work and accommodation.
With this, food could no longer be predominantly grown by the peasants. Products like shoes, woodwork and other artisanal products now had to be bought from the factories that were producing them as peasants no longer had time to produce them. This was the end of self sufficiency of the peasant.
Fraud By Economic Theory
At this time economists wrote rims of theories and philosophies on the virtues of a hard day’s work and production. They encouraged the employment of people as young as 4yrs of age and people to work up to 12 hours a day in industry and landlord fields.
Once the normal day was done peasants were given tasks to accomplish at home like knitting, weaving and tapestry to keep them occupied and productive to prevent indolence (laziness).
The truth of the matter is capital owners and the nobility wanted to stop peasants from thinking of creating their own products or fighting the political changes coming into effect. The whole concept was to keep people occupied, get people accustomed to working for a living, to produce output for industrialists and not for themselves.
Africa In Capitalism
By the time capitalism came to Africa in the form of slavery and colonialism, it had been sharpened and perfected in Europe for almost two centuries to a point of ruthless efficiency.
European economists and politicians had turned primitive accumulation into an established science through policies, institutions and systems that expropriated generally abundant resources from the poor and put them into the control of elites who created scarcity to generate higher returns.
It’s for this reason why there was no remorse in the way Africans were treated during the primitive accumulation of slavery and colonialism because as resources their efficient exploitation for profit superseded their humanity.
Capital Over Innovation
Over time, as industrialists got richer, capital became more important than skill as capital and technology allowed cheaper products to be made in industry. This then became a barrier to entry for competition, leaving only an opening for other capital owners with the capacity to compete.
Yes products became cheaper but the market lost variety, innovation and creativity as a lot of really creative minds were put to work in rudimentary, monotonous production.
Another trend emerged in this period. Capital consolidated, stopped competing and started working together through cross shareholding, investment, loans, cross directorships, banking and industry combines.
Very little has changed between 1600 and 2017. In fact the capitalist system is so well entrenched and capital has become the critical success factor that the commoner has no chance to compete with the oligarchies and their monopolies unless commoners create combines (cooperatives) against industry.
Article Written By Rutendo Benson Bereza Matinyarare Marketing & Brand Strategist For Frontline Strat & Frontline Studio.