The notion that capitalism is based on the ideas of John Locke and Adam Smith, that it leads to free markets and liberty, and that it is a humane system is a myth.
From my study of the history of the Europeans in the last 500 years, I have reached the conclusion that the seven pillars of capitalism are: free land, free resources, slavery, a proselytizing religion, an armed population convinced of the supremacy of their race, a political establishment hell-bent on expanding its control over other people, and a military led by ruthless warlords and generals. The road to the Western capitalist utopia is paved with hubris, bullying tactics, enslavements, massacres, forced religious conversions, evictions, and genocides.
Due to chance factors and a long tradition of warfare, enslavements, and massacres, the West could take control of these seven pillars towards the end of the fifteenth century. These seven pillars have played a pivotal role in transforming the West into a capitalist utopia and a global power. Capitalism thrives on free or cheap stuff. It thrives on free or cheap labor. In the last 500 years, the Western nations have used their political and military power to garner free or cheap resources and labor to quench the appetite of their economy.
The philosophy of Manifest Destiny, which held that Western expansion was part of a providential mission in which the West would triumph over the barbarity of other cultures, has played a far greater role in the rise of the West than the ideas of Locke and Smith. The macabre consequence of the Manifest Destiny was that the non-Western cultures were destined to decline or become extinct to create space for Western capitalist advance. Inspired by Manifest Destiny, the USA expanded by 67 percent between the 1840s and the 1850s and became a capitalist powerhouse.
In the twentieth century capitalist violence has continued. The Western nations started a series of wars in the Middle East to grab cheap petroleum for their capitalist economy. Until 1960, when OPEC was created and there was a rationalization in the price of petroleum, Britain, France, and the USA were getting petroleum for a fraction of what it was worth.
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