Dr Williams’ famous but controversial premise that slavery funded the Industrial Revolution might have been true as lots of money made in the Caribbean by the sugar barons were shipped back to England to not only buy and build mansions and palatial castles and high ranking peerages but the colossal inundation of cash may have inspired the new wealthy English lords to pursue entrepreneurship as his next undertaking.
While most historians wrote of slavery from the demonic exploitation of human beings being reduced to less than the better-cared-for animals owned, Williams looked at it from a business perspective—hence the title of his book, Capitalism and Slavery.
In his research, he at least found out that it started an epic revolution of quasi-altruistic positivity that still makes the world go round. Now, the question is where the money gone/going is what would confound his mind, knowing that in his time, money was no problem—as OPEC had granted him a golden bonanza of financial barakat, if only to see what, in his financial infantilism, he would do with such a windfall.
Slavery is defined as where “the enslaved person is legally rendered the personal property of the slave owner.”
Technically one’s life was at the beck and call of the owner, so if the owner wanted something that the slave had—as for example, his wife or daughter—it was his bounded duty to hand over on a silver platter what was demanded of him. Although he couldn’t refuse such a demand, and if perchance he only hesitated, blinked, his master could inflict upon him whatever punishment he saw fit for such insubordination.
Centuries later, after the abolishment of slavery, how much freer are we than those slaves? Sure, we are free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, but if the State—which is technically the new slave master, demands you pay taxes—called VAT, for instance, for the food you buy, which you pay as you purchase or go hungry if you can’t; if you work for a salary and the State says you must pay a percentage of your earnings to the State via a personal income tax, you pay up.
If the State lacks the creativity and imagination and the IQ necessary to earn money via foreign trade, via tourism, via creating an attractive business environment that inspires the world to come set up business in your country—like lots of countries of the world do which are led by bright persons—and depend on its citizens to raise revenue for them via their own initiatives, they instead impose taxes on everything thus literally picking their pockets. This in a manner of cash or kind, money or your property (which is your life), pay up or you lose it.
When people earn wealth via their personal initiative—blood, sweat and tears—when they wake up at nights to make their business successful and the State swoops down on you like Beetham vultures and snatches like a bandit, a percentage of one’s earnings and do so from their despotic attitude that what is yours is theirs too, you ask yourself how is it in principle different from the slave owner demanding from his chattel his wife or daughter or else?
When the State promises in exchange a service that would benefit its citizens and one sees better roads, water flowing from one’s taps, better services altogether delivered to them, paying the tax might be seen a necessary evil.
When the tax is collected and one doesn’t get an iota of what was promised, but one sees the State’s people living off the fat of the land, buying high end cars, property to rent in exclusive areas—as if in truth they were slaves subjected to the whims and fancies of their owners—one asks the question whether Williams in a possible sequel would not have titled it: Taxation: the new capitalism and slavery?