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Friday, April 23, 2010

Book of the week:The Black Book of Capitalism by ed Le Temps des Cerises


The Black Book of Capitalism (French: Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme) is a book published in 1998, in reaction to The Black Book of Communism (1997), by editions of Le Temps des Cerises.[1] It is written by a variety of individuals, notably historians, sociologists, economists, trade unionists and writers, and covers crimes allegedly committed by capitalist countries. The book covers subjects such as third world exploitation, imperialist, colonialist and counter-revolutionary wars, repressions of workers and trade unionists, genocides, massacres and so on. It concludes that capitalism has killed approximately 147 million people between 1500 and 1997.This includes 70 million Indians during the colonization of the Americas, 10 million due to slavery, 10 million due to World War I, 50 million due to World War II, 3 million due to the Vietnam War, and 1 million due to the Biafra War. While other scholars agree that the European colonization of the Americas caused about this many deaths, most of this is usually seen as the result of new diseases, such as smallpox, to which the native inhabitants of the New World had no resistance.[1] RJ Rummel additionally argues that while nondemocratic capitalist nations have caused many deaths, democratic capitalist nations have caused very few compared to dictatorships.[2][3] On the opposite side of the political spectrum however, Noam Chomsky -- noting Nobel prizewinning economist Amartya Sen's observation (in regards to infant mortality rates) that "India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame" (1958-61) -- concludes that "democratic, capitalist" India "has caused more deaths than in the entire history of...Communism everywhere since 1917 -- over 100 million deaths by 1979, tens of millions more since, in India alone."[4] Economist and proponent of capitalism Milton Friedman notes that India was socialist in its orientation and under the strong influence of Soviet model.[5] Since independence India's government is constitutionally defined as socialist, and it plays major role in the economy as a central planner.[6] On the other hand China can be compared to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Or North Korea to South Korea. After 1965, life expectancy began to plateau or even decrease in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, while it continued to increase in Western Europe..

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