Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's The Money That Matters

I've been reading The Black Jacobins, by C.L.R. James, over the past week, a fine socialist history of the Haitian slave rebellion; among other interesting details, he gives a reading of the British abolitionist movement which makes much more sense than any other I have every heard put forth before, which is that it is spurred not (or not entirely) by Xtian charity (which always struck me as odd, b/c where had all that Xtian charity been for the past several hundred years?) but by flat economics.  

James points out that, having lost their American colonies to the American Revolution, Britain is no longer getting rich (or as rich) from the Americas.  They still have a few islands; but whereas they used to be able to market slaves by the thousands in the Americas, and get cotton, sugar, and rum in exchange, now they have to pay steep tariffs for the the same privilege, and the U.S. is getting most of the profit.

Meanwhile:  they have colonies in India that are capable of growing cotton and sugar, and they do not require slaves to do so.  Indian workers will work, says James, for pennies a day, and don't have to be enslaved to do so.  Voila!  Ending slavery begins to seem like a fine idea, particularly if England can cause trouble to America and France (now embroiled in its own Revolution and at war with England) by doing so.

My point, and I do have one:

Why this sudden desire for immigration reform, when our immigration troubles are actually in decline, and have been for years?

Well, as always:  check the money.  Who profits?

With conservative politicians, even more than most politicians, you can tell they're lying when their lips are moving.

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