Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 10  Num. 91
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


"Nos han dado la tierra." ("They have given us the land.")

-- Juan Rulfo

Circa 1600s, in England, the land owned the yeomen and the British Lord owned both. The yeomen were part and parcel of the estate.

But then it occurred that the land would be more profitable to the British Lord if he raised sheep on it. Due to manufacturing advances, a growing wool trade led to seizure of the common lands for sheep pasture. The British Lords managed this through their Parliament. "Strong and active peasants were transformed into wageworkers or sturdy beggars; city streets were filled with paupers." [1]

Many of the displaced yeomen came to America, where they again became serfs (indentured servants) for awhile. "Penniless and lowly Englishmen, arrested and convicted for any one of the multitude of offenses then provided for severely in law, were transported as criminals or sold into the colonies as slaves for a term of years." [2]

In America, tremendous estates were owned by Lords of the Land. Holland set up a "patroon" system giving feudal rights and privileges to select colonizers. The Dutch West India Company presided over the arrangement, and several British companies "chartered by royal command with all-inclusive powers... held the trade and land of the greater part of the colonies as a rigid monopoly." English immigrants "ardently expected that in America land would be plentiful. They were bitterly disappointed." [3]

Still, there were not enough laborers. In 1619 a Dutch ship brought the first group of black slaves to Jamestown. In the South, the economy depended on agriculture. Slavery was the prop of that system. In the North, the Lords of the Soil, through their feudal powers, monopolized trade and manufacture. "All power was concentrated in the hands of a few landowners." The feudal lord "forced his tenants to sign covenants that they should trade in nothing else than the produce of the manor... [The feudal lord] claimed, and held, a monopoly in his domain of whatever trade he could seize." [4]

The British king's Proclamation Line of 1763 forbid settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. But home-grown elites refused to let go of their vast landholdings, so tension grew. In Rural Radicals, Catherine McNicol Stock explains how "British army officers told [frontier Americans] that their best chance of gaining freehold land was to support the British in overthrowing the landlords -- while their landlords told them exactly the reverse." [5]

The American Revolutionary War was fought. Subsequent to that conflict, the Land Lord class gradually declined and a manufacturing/merchant class gained ascendancy. A new type of slave -- the wage slave -- was born. Writes Gustavus Myers (a "leftist," by the way),

If the proletarian white population had been legal slaves, as the Negroes in the South had been, much consideration would have been bestowed upon their gullets and domiciles, for then they would have been property; and who ever knew the owner of property to destroy the article which represented money? But being "free" men and women and children, the proletarians were simply so many bundles of flesh whose sickness and death meant pecuniary loss to no property-holder.

Most workers did and do pay rent to that same class that expropriates the product of their labor. The luckier who own their own land must still pay a yearly tribute to the apparatus of Monopoly Capital.

Recently, an "improvement" on the wage-slave system has been the "temping" of the American worker. After Monopoly Capital has claimed the fruit of their labor, a few crumbs are tossed to the workers and they are expected to go warehouse themselves -- at their expense -- until a new temporary need arises for their labor.

As pointed out by Myers, Monopoly Capital has always been eager for surplus of labor. For that reason it has always favored floods of immigrants to the U.S. This pool of labor competes bitterly for available jobs, driving down the cost of hiring. When labor, for economic reasons, seeks to slow new immigration, paid propagandists of Monopoly Capital float various myths. One myth is that "American workers won't do certain jobs; we must have immigrants." But if there were fewer immigrants, the labor pool would shrink and better wages for "certain work" could be demanded and won. Better wages would most definitely mean that American workers would do "certain jobs." Another myth floated is "racism/xenophobia." Economic motives of competing labor are falsely called racial and/or xenophobic.

The solution to our slavery is not Marxism. Marxists give good analyses of the tyranny of Monopoly Capital. Unfortunately, their "solution" is worse than the problem! Myers shows how, throughout the life of the United States, bribery of government officials has been systemic; it is part of how the system has always worked and continues to work. Monopoly Capital, from before the time of the Revolutionary War on up to today, has always used bribery as part of its modus operandi. And, for hundreds of years, there have always been scandals, public outrage, official investigations, and "reform." BUT NOTHING HAS EVER BEEN REALLY CHANGED. The solution to our problem is to copy the tactics of our enemies. The Teamsters Union has shown the way: WE can give "campaign contributions." That is the way things get done. But we must organize as a bloc (not as individuals replying to puny, mass-mailed, solicitations.) What heading our bloc goes under is the question.

---------------------------<< Notes >>--------------------------- [1] The Rise of American Civilization by Charles and Mary Beard [2] History of the Great American Fortunes by Gustavus Myers [3] ibid.
[4] ibid.
[5] Rural Radicals by Catherine McNicol Stock

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