Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tidbits on Slavery

Economic historians now believe the rise of plantation colonies added millions of acres of cultivated land to the European economies, diversified output, stimulated a new type of consumption and enabled these societies, by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to pull ahead of South and East Asia, which had been the world's most prosperous and civilized regions.
It is sobering to reflect that Africa was carved up by the colonial powers in the name of suppressing the slave trade. While the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 was a cynical travesty of antislavery, some genuinely abolitionist impulses did lend support to colonialism.

ROBIN BLACKBURN, "The New World Order," The Nation, November 13, 2006, .