forth between land and labor
negotiations. Throughout our studies we received video’s, pamphlets, letters,
etc… explaining these struggles. One video, Land
and Labor Relationships, sums up the turmoil that was created from early
on. “In pre-industrial societies the relationship between land and people was
the primary bases for the economy. The natural environment, the political and
social structures and the local economic situation all shaped what society
needed” (learner.org, 2018). Unfortunately, what capitalist needed most was
vast areas of territory and bodies to do the work. In “mercantile city states,
slaves were the most popular item of property. In these urban areas slaves
symbolized the power and prestige for the nobles that owned them” (learner.org,
In the mercantile era, slave labor
and the idea of needing to mass produce more and more goods were just beginning.
In the video, Land and Labor
Relationships, they breakdown the need to produce, and the need for labor
during this era very well. “Capitalism with its wage slavery is its
maximization of profit. The same era of capitalism that brings free wage labor
to much of Europe spreads coercive labor to the rest of the world. The labor that a sugar mill would require was
so tough they couldn’t have done it without slavery. In the Americas the
paradigm of capitalism with coercive labor, is the plantation. For producing a
crop for high dollar export culturally led to the racialization of slavery that
justified the massive African slave trade to the Americas” (learner.org, 2018).
In the video it’s ironic that they touch on the fact that capitalism in the 16th
and 17th century forces coercive labor throughout the world. And yet
centuries later we are still facing the concept of coercive labor found within
sweatshops in the 20th and 21st century.
The concept of a sweatshop is a big deal, but to
the capitalist it was just a way to accomplish his or her goal. The individuals
involved in the company, the investors or manufacturers, didn’t care or take
mind of the concept. There is a hypothetical concept in which researchers call
the “black box.” This hypothetical imagery assists in breaking down the
coercive nature of a sweatshop or capitalism in the 16th century.
The theory is; money goes in (investors / manufacturers) on one side of the