Capitalism and Socialism: Crash Course World History #33

which statement best describes a capitalist economy? This is a topic that many people are looking for. star-trek-voyager.net is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, star-trek-voyager.net would like to introduce to you Capitalism and Socialism: Crash Course World History #33. Following along are instructions in the video below:

“I m john green. This is crash course world history and today. We re going going to talk about capitalism. Yeah.

Mr. Green capitalism. Just turns men into wolves your free markets. Only makes slave of us all oh god stan.

It s me from college me from the past has become me from college. This is a disaster. The reason he s so unbearable stan is that he refuses to recognize the legitimacy of other people s narratives and that means that he will never ever be able to have a productive conversation with another human in his entire life so listen me from the past i m gonna disappoint you by being too capitalist and i m gonna disappoint a lot of other people by not being capitalist enough and i m gonna disappoint the historians by not using enough jargon. But what can i do we only have twelve minutes.

Fortunately capitalism is all about efficiency so let s do this me from college. Randy ransom. Riggs becomes a best selling author josh radnor stars in a great sitcom. It is not going to work out with emily and do not go to alaska with a girl you ve known for ten days.

Okay let s talk capitalism so capitalism is an economic system. But it s also a cultural system. It s characterized by innovation and investment to increase wealth. But today we re going to focus on production and how industrial capitalism changed.

It stan. I can t wear these emblems of the bourgeoisie while karl marx himself is looking at me. It s ridiculous. I m changing very hard to take off a shirt dramatically so let s say it s 1200 ce and you re a rug merchant.

Just like merchants. Today you sometimes need to borrow money in order to buy the rugs. You want to resell at a profit and then you pay that money back. Often with interest once you ve resold.

The rugs. This is called mercantile capitalism. And it was a global phenomenon from the chinese to the indian ocean trade network to muslim merchants who would sponsor trade caravans across the sahara but by the 17th century merchants in the netherlands and in britain had expanded upon this idea to create joint stock companies those companies could finance bigger trade missions and also spread the risk of international trade. But the thing about international trade is that sometimes boats sink or they get taken by pirates and while that s bad if you re a sailor.

Because you know you lose your life. It s really bad if you re a mercantile capitalist. Because you lost all your money. But if you own one tenth of ten boats.

Your risk is much better managed that kind of investment definitely increased wealth. But it only affected a sliver of the population and it didn t create a culture of capitalism industrial capitalism was something altogether different both in scale and in practice let s use joyce appleby s definition of industrial capitalism. An economic system that relies on investment of capital in machines and technology. That are used to increase production of marketable goods.

So imagine that someone made a stan machine by the way stan. This is a remarkable likeness and that stan machine could produce and direct 10 times..


More episodes of crash course than a human stan well of course. Even if there are upfront costs. I m going to invest in a stan machine. So i can start cranking out 10 times.

The knowledge stan are you focusing on the robot instead of me i am the star of the show stanbot you re going behind the globe. So when most of us think about capitalism. Especially when we think about its downsides long hours low wages. Miserable working conditions child labor unemployed stans that s what we re thinking about now admittedly.

This is just one definition of industrial capitalism among many. But it s the definition. We re going with all right let s go to the thought bubble industrial capitalism developed first in britain in the 19th century britain had a bunch of advantages. It was the dominant power on the seas and it was making good money off its trade with its colonies.

Including the slave trade also the growth of capitalism was helped by the half century of civil unrest that resulted from the 17th century english civil war now i m not advocating for civil wars or anything but in this particular case. It was useful because before the war. The british crown had put a lot of regulations on the economy complicated licenses royal. Monopolies etc.

But during the turmoil. It couldn t enforce them which made for freer markets. Another factor was a remarkable increase in agricultural productivity in the 16th century as food prices started to rise. It became profitable for farmers both large and small to invest in agricultural technologies that would improve crop yields those higher prices for grain probably resulted from population growth which in turn was encouraged by increased production of food crops.

A number of these agricultural improvements came from the dutch who had chronic problems feeding themselves. And discovered that planting different kinds of crops like clover that added nitrogen to the soil and could be used to feed livestock at the same time meant that more fields could be used at once. This increased productivity eventually brought down prices and this encouraged further innovation in order to increase yield to make up for the drop in prices lower food prices had an added benefit since food cost. Less and wages in england.

Remained high workers would have more disposable income. Which meant that if there were consumer goods available. They would be consumed. Which incentivized people to make consumer goods more efficiently and therefore more cheaply you can see how this positive feedback loop leads to more food and more stuff culminating in a world.

Where people have so much stuff that we must rent space to store. It and so much food that obesity has become a bigger killer than starvation thanks. Thought bubble. So this increased productivity also meant that fewer people needed to work in agriculture in order to feed the population to put this in perspective.

In 1520. 80 of the english population worked the land by 1800 only 36 of adult male laborers were working in agriculture and by 1850 that percentage had dropped to 25 this meant that when the factories started humming. There were plenty of workers to hum along with them especially child laborers. So far all this sounds pretty good right.

I mean except for the child labor who wouldn t want more cheaper food yeah well not so fast one of the ways. The british achieved all this agricultural productivity was through the process of enclosure whereby. Landlords would reclaim and privatize fields. That for centuries had been held in common by multiple tenants this increased agricultural productivity.

But it also impoverished many tenant farmers many of whom lost their livelihoods. Okay for our purposes capitalism is also a cultural system rooted in the need of private investors to turn a profit..


So the real change needed here was a change of mind people had to develop the capitalist values of taking risks and appreciating innovation and they had to come to believe that making an upfront investment in something like a stan machine could pay for itself. And then some one of the reasons. That these values developed in britain. Was that the people who initially held them were really good at publicizing.

Them writers like thomas mun. Who worked for the english east india. Company exposed people to the idea that the economy was controlled by markets and other writers popularized the idea that it was human nature for individuals to participate in markets. As rational actors.

Even our language changed the word individuals did not apply to persons until the 17th century and in the 18th century a career still referred only to horses racing lives. Perhaps. The most important idea that was popularized in england. Was that men and women were consumers as well as producers.

And that this was actually a good thing because the desire to consume manufactured goods could spur economic growth. The main spur to trade or rather to industry and ingenuity is the exorbitant appetite of men. Which they will take pain to gratify. So wrote.

John cary. One of capitalism s cheerleaders in 1695 and in talking about our appetite. He wasn t just talking about food that doesn t seem radical now. But it sure did back then so here in the 21st century.

It s clear that industrial capitalism at least for now has won aside to marx sorry buddy. But you know you gave it a good run you didn t know about stalin. But capitalism isn t without its problems or its critics. And there were certainly lots of shortcomings to industrial capitalism in the 19th century working conditions were awful days were long arduous and monotonous workers.

Lived in conditions that people living in the developed world today would associate with abject poverty. One way that workers responded to these conditions was by organizing into labor unions. Another response was in many cases. Purely theoretical socialism.

Most famously marxian socialism. I should probably point out here that socialism is an imperfect opposite to capitalism. Even though the two are often juxtaposed capitalism s defenders like to point out that it s natural meaning that if left to our own devices humans would construct economic relationships that resemble capitalism socialism at least in its modern incarnations makes. Fewer pretenses towards being an expression of human nature.

It s the result of human choice and human planning. So socialism as an intellectual construct began in france. How d i do stan mm in the border between egypt and libya. There were two branches of socialism in france.

Utopian and revolutionary utopian socialism. Is often associated with comte de saint. Simon. And charles fourier both of whom rejected revolutionary action.

After having seen. The disaster of the french revolution..


Both were critical of capitalism. And while fourier is usually a punchline in history classes. Because he believed that in his ideal socialist world the seas would turn to lemonade. He was right that human beings have desires that go beyond basic self interest and that we aren t always economically rational actors the other french socialists were the revolutionaries and they saw the french revolution even its violence in a much more positive light.

The most important of these revolutionaries was auguste blanqui and we associate a lot of his ideas with communism. Which is a term that he used like the utopians. He criticized capitalism. But he believed that it could only be overthrown through violent revolution by the working classes.

However while blanqui thought that the workers would come to dominate a communist world he was an elitist and he believed that workers on their own could never on their own overcome their superstitions and their prejudices in order to throw off bourgeois oppression and that brings us to karl marx. Whose ideas and beard cast a shadow over most of the 20th century oh. It s time for the open letter. An open letter to karl marx s beard.

But first let s see what s in the secret compartment today oh robots stan bots. Two stan bots one of them female now i own all the means of production. You re officially useless to me. Stan.

Now turn the camera off turn the ca. I m going to have to get up and turn the camera off. Stan bot. Go turn the camera off hey.

There. Karl marx s beard. Wow. You are intense karl marx.

These days. There are a lot of young men. Who think beards are cool beard lovers. If you will those aren t beards those are glorified milk mustaches.

I mean i haven t shaved for a couple weeks. Karl marx. But i m not claiming a beard. You don t get a beard by being lazy you get a beard by being a committed revolutionary that s why hardcore marxists are literally known as bearded marxists these days that s an insult.

But you know what karl marx. When i look back at history. I prefer the bearded communists let s talk about some communists who didn t have beards mao zedong pol pot kim jong il joseph freakin stalin with his face caterpillar so yeah karl marx s beard. It s my great regret to inform you that there are some paltry beards trying to take up the class struggle these days best wishes john green.

Although he s often considered the father of communism. Because he co wrote. The communist manifesto. Marx was above all a philosopher and a historian it s just that unlike many philosophers and historians he advocated for revolution his greatest work das kapital sets out to explain the world of the 19th century in historical and philosophical terms.

Marx s thinking is deep and dense and we re low on time. But i want to introduce one of his ideas that of class struggle..


So for marx. The focus isn t on the class. It s on the struggle basically. Marx believed that classes don t only struggle to make history.

But that the struggle is what makes classes into themselves. The idea is that through conflict classes develop a sense of themselves. And without conflict. There is no such thing as class consciousness.

So marx was writing in 19th century england. And there were two classes that mattered the workers and the capitalists the capitalists owned most of the factors of production in this case land and the capital to invest in factories . The workers just had their labor. So the class struggle here is between capitalists who want labor at the lowest possible price and the workers who want to be paid as much as possible for their work.

There are two key ideas that underlie this theory of class struggle first marx believed that production or work was the thing that gave life material meaning second is that we are by nature social animals we work together we collaborate we are more efficient when we share resources. Marx s criticism of capitalism is that capitalism replaces this egalitarian collaboration with conflict and that means that it isn t a natural system. After all and by arguing that capitalism actually isn t consistent with human nature. Marx sought to empower the workers.

That s a lot more attractive than blanqui s elitist socialism and while purportedly marxist states like the ussr usually abandon worker empowerment. Pretty quickly the idea of protecting our collective interest remains. Powerful that s where we ll have to leave it for now. Lest i start reading from the communist manifesto.

But ultimately socialism has not succeeded in supplanting capitalism. As its proponents had hoped in the united states at least socialism has become something of a dirty word so industrial capitalism certainly seems to have won out and in terms of material. Well being and access to goods and services for people around the world. That s probably a good thing ugh you keep falling over you re a great bit.

But a very flimsy one actually come to think of it you re more of an 8 bit. But how and to what extent we use socialist principles to regulate free markets. Remains. An open question and one that is answered very differently in say sweden than in the united states and this i would argue is where marx still matters is capitalist competition.

Natural and good or should there be systems in place to check it for the sake of our collective well being should we band together to provide health care for the sick or pensions for the old should government run businesses and if so which ones. The mail delivery business. The airport security business. The education business those are the places where industrial capitalism and socialism are still competing and in that sense at least the struggle continues thanks for watching i ll see you next week.

Crash course is produced and directed by stan muller. Our script supervisor is danica. Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher.

Raoul meyer and myself we re ably interned by meredith danko and our graphics team is thought bubble last week s phrase of the week was the tardis so you can stop suggesting that now if you want to suggest future phrases of the week or guess at this week s you can do so in comments. Where you can also ask questions about today s video that will be answered by our team of historians thanks for watching crash course and as we say in my hometown. Don t forget to be awesome all right stan bring the movie magic yes. ” .

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