By H. W. Brands
In a grand-scale narrative background, the bestselling writer of 2 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize now captures the a long time whilst capitalism was once at its such a lot unbridled and some breathtakingly filthy rich businessmen totally remodeled the United States from an agrarian economic climate to a global strength.
The years among the Civil battle and the tip of the 19th century observed the wholesale transformation of the United States from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an commercial titanic. pushed via unfathomably filthy rich and robust businessmen like J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, armies of employees, either female and male, have been harnessed to a brand new imaginative and prescient of huge undefined. A society rooted within the soil turned one dependent in towns, and legions of immigrants have been interested in American shorelines. What’s extra, in attaining its revolution, capitalism threatened to eclipse American democracy. “What do I care in regards to the law?” bellowed Cornelius Vanderbilt. “Hain’t I bought the power?” He did, and with it he and the opposite capitalists reshaped each point of yank lifestyles. In American Colossus, H.W. manufacturers portrays the emergence, in a remarkably short while, of a recognizably glossy the United States.
The capitalist revolution left no longer a unmarried region or element of yankee lifestyles untouched. It roared around the South, wrenching that quarter from its feudal earlier and integrating the southern economic system into the nationwide one. It burst over the West, dictating the destruction of local American economies and peoples, using the exploitation of typical assets, and making the frontier of cost a company frontier in addition. It crashed around the city panorama of the East and North, turning towns into engines of wealth and poverty, opulence and squalor. It swamped the politics of an prior period, taking pictures one significant celebration and 1/2 the opposite, inspiring the production of a 3rd get together and choosing the problems over which all 3 waged many of the bitterest battles in American historical past.
Brands’s spellbinding narrative superbly depicts the oil gushers of western Pennsylvania, the increase, in Chicago, of the 1st skyscraper, the exploration of the Colorado River, the farm animals drives of the West, and the early passionate sparks of union existence. by means of 1900 the the United States he portrays is wealthier than ever, but prosperity is precarious, inequality rampant, and democracy stretched skinny. American Colossus is an unforgettable portrait of the years while the competition among capitalism and democracy used to be at its sharpest, and capitalism triumphed.
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Extra info for American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900
74 Following Kant, Hegel discerns the dualisms in civil society. Hegel is aware that there can be no restoration of the “organic unity” of the Greek World. But the recollection and understanding of what has been lost helps guard against illusions about what has been gained. In Hegel’s view what makes the modern state different from the polis is that the system of needs constituted as civil society is estranged from the spiritual and political world. This modern dichotomy is further explored by the young Marx in On the Jewish Question.
Croix, in Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, maintains that although most of the labor in Greek Antiquity is carried out by free smallholders, tenant farmers and artisans, the surplus labor that guarantees the self-sufficiency of the polis is squeezed out of slaves. Not only do the magnificent achievements of Greek art, literature and philosophy rest on slavery, so also does Athenian democracy. Democracy does give some pro- The Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism 11 tection to the poorer citizens at the expense of the rich, but all of the free citizens make the most of the classes below them.
The alienation of “private labors” takes place historically because the artisan is transformed into a factory hand, and takes place “logically” because, within capitalist production, the private individual who has to sell her labor power is isolated in her immediacy and forced into competition with other sellers of labor-power producing the same goods elsewhere. Kant argues that science, left unimpeded by religious and feudal institutions, serves the “natural” division between the educated and laboring classes—a view which is essentially the “backward” German version of the division between capital and labor in English political economy.