Working Boys: Capitalism and Child Labor

Figure 1.--American history textbooks usually present capitalism along with child labor in the same unit. Rararely do they mention that child labot was an estanlished practice for millenia befor the appearance of capitalism. Not do they mention that only with the develop of captalism does democeacy begin to develop and with it the industrial revolution and the creation of a moddle class demanding social reforms. And it was capitalism that geberated the wealth need to finance thoise reforms like free puvblic education. This dynamic continues to operte today. It is in the underdeveloped countries that have no have developed capitalist economuies that we see widespread child labor. This photograph comes from somewhere in South asia during 1983.

If you look at most modern American history textbooks you get the impression of that capitalim creatd child labor. I am not sure about school textbooks in Europe or other countries. Hopefully our readers will provide insughts here. We suspect that basiclly the children in other countries are left with the same message. It would be interesting to know about modern Chinese textbooks. The result is that that about half, probably more of the American population, has a negative view of capitalism. But the idea that capitalism was the cause of child labor is absurd to any thinking person. Children have been working since the dawn of time. It is nbly with the rise of capitalism (17th century) and the industrial revolution (18th century) that child labor began to be seen as a social issue and society began to limit it. It is true that capitalists hired child and women workers. It is also true that children, even young children had to work in pre-capatalist societies. It is al true that capitalism generated both democracy and a middle class that demanded that social evils be addressed. Capitalism also generated the wealth that gave society the ability for the first time to address social evils. It is no accident that countries with capitalist economies that the first free public school systems appear. We have to thank Ms. Clinton and the liberal democrats for helping to launch a national debate on Fake News. They meant to attack conservative news, but it soon became evident to many Americans that liberals and Democrats because of the duplicity of the mainline media have been feeding the public Fake News for decades. Not as blantantly as in th 2016 election year, but in more muted tones. But this was not just journalists and politicians, but Hollywood and academia aswell. In the 20th centurty, liberal historians have dominated American historiography. Text books stress the poor conditions and mistreatment of immigrants in industrial America during the 19th and 20th century. And they do not mention that as bad as conditions were compared to 21st standards, that they were better than what the immigrants experienced in their home countries. Nor do text books address the obvious question--if conditions were so bad in indutrial America, the greatest of all capitalist countries, why did people from all over the world (not just Europeans) flock to America by the millions. Students reading this should pose this question to their teachers. The simple fact is that people do not migrate to countries wjere they will be mistrated and poorly paid. They came to america because capitalim created the besr paying jobs in the world and the best living conditions. This was not just the case historically. The bery same dynamic can be seen around the world today. It is the countries with capitalist economies where living sandard are the highest and children do not have to work.


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Created: 1:29 AM 4/18/2017
Last updated: 1:29 AM 4/18/2017