Young capitalist completely torches prof's attempt to link capitalism to slavery
- A Princeton University professor recently argued in a New York Times op-ed that capitalism was born out of slavery.
- But Morgan Zegers, founder of Young Americans Against Socialism, turned that argument on its face during an interview with Campus Reform.
A Princeton University professor wrote an op-ed in The New York Times Magazine attempting to liken capitalism to slavery.
Matthew Desmond, a sociology professor at Princeton, argued in The Times that the “birthplace” of American capitalism came out of slavery, writing, “But recently, historians have pointed persuasively to the gnatty fields of Georgia and Alabama, to the cotton houses and slave auction blocks, as the birthplace of America’s low-road approach to capitalism."
The professor attempts to paint America’s capitalistic system as unfair and uses the example of convicted felon Martin Shkreli to do so.
To one end, the professor even quotes historians saying “American slavery is necessarily imprinted on the DNA of American capitalism,” to support his argument that slavery is connected to capitalism.
Specifically, Desmond writes about how slaves “picked in long rows” while “overseers peered down from horses.”
The professor notes that cotton was “among the world’s most widely traded commodities,” and slaves were used to pick the cotton, which would, in turn, “make a killing” for the slave owners.
“This is a capitalist society,” Desmond writes. “It’s a fatalistic mantra that seems to get repeated to anyone who questions why America can’t be more fair or equal.”
The piece is part of a new project by the NYT Magazine called “The 1619 Project,” where stories are published as an attempt to “reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”
Morgan Zegers, founder of Young Americans Against Socialism, told Campus Reform that Desmond didn’t make a fair statement by linking the roots of capitalism to slavery.
“Mr. Desmond's agenda here is clear: to deride capitalism at any cost, even to his own journalistic integrity,” Zegers said.
She argued that slavery is actually the exact opposite of what capitalism is, and in fact, more closely aligns with socialism.
“Slavery, by definition, is forced, unpaid labor: that means slavery is free labor. The defining principle of capitalism is that everything has value, nothing is free. This principle applies to labor,” Zegers said. “The defining principle of socialism is that things can be made 'free,' and this includes labor. The modern slave is the serf in the socialist nations, in a North Korean mine or on a Venezuelan farm, be it in China or Cuba: these citizens made into subjects in socialist and communist societies are the least free human beings in the modern day: the modern slave.”
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