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The Role Of Capitalism And Reproduction During The Middle Passage

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The Role of Capitalism and Reproduction in Commodification (title)

From the first voyage of the Middle Passage, American slavery has been dependent on the systematic depletion of human beings as economic assets. This commodification process persisted throughout the course of slavery, solidifying slaves ' role as property in America. Rooted at the very core of slavery, capitalism motivated whites to view the enslaved as property, rather than humans, to protect their economic interests. In order to accumulate slaves into the capitalist system as commodities, whites deprived slaves of their humanity. Similarly, the economic promise of slave reproduction inclined slave owners to enforce blacks ' status as commodities to increase their wealth
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Similar to the manner in which racehorses are described as athletic or thoroughbreds in sales, whites developed a distinct language to incorporate slaves into the capitalist system. This language transformed slaves from terrified, displaced captives into attractive investments. Consequently, language served as an effective device of capitalism in commodifying slaves. Whites also used violence as a means to integrate slaves into the capitalist system. Capitalism motivated slave owners to exert complete control over their slaves through violence and torture. Beckett writes, "The all-encompassing control of workers-- a core characteristic of capitalism--experienced its first great success on the cotton plantations of the
American South." As an essential component of the global economic system, slaves ' bodies were subjected to the supply and demand needs of the market. When cotton prices rose, slaves were subjected to harsher working conditions and punishments. These violent practices resemble the early empirical methods of commodification used during the Middle Passage, which involved testing the human body 's capacity for suffering. To expand their wealth, slave owners practiced torture and violence and round the delicate balance between pushing their slaves ' bodies to their limits and maintaining efficiency in production. These practices commodified slaves by reducing their lives and bodies to their
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