Archive for October, 2012

The right to conquer

“Precisely because chivalric ideals had little relevance for modern pike-and-artillery warfare, they became all the more cherished by those who dreamed of far-off lands. Places in that vast unknown territory called the ‘Indies’ that were either uninhabited or occupied by pagans rightfully belonged to the Church. It was the obligation of Christian monarchs and knights to bring them into due submission and to turn the natives’ labors to the rightful profit of their godly conquerors.”

— Daniel K. Richter, Before the Revolution : America’s Ancient Pasts (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011), pg. 70.

Is this rationale for dispossessing others much different from the rationale used by venture capitalists who buy companies, break them up in the name of “efficiency,” and suck out profit regardless of how well the broken pieces (and the broken people whose lives were invested in those companies) go on to do?

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