[Paleopsych] back to the plantation
shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Nov 27 11:59:51 UTC 2004
I have heard that it took 100,000 oak trees to build a single
ship of the line, which did indeed lead to the deforestation
There is a dramatic difference between subsistence farming
and cash-crop farming. In recent decades Africa has had
serious problems because they followed World Bank
recommendations to shift from subsistence to cash crops.
The upshot has been a collapse in the price of commodities
and an inability of many people to feed themselves through
purchases in the money economy.
From: HowlBloom at aol.com [SMTP:HowlBloom at aol.com]
Sent: Friday, November 26, 2004 10:23 PM
To: ff10 at txstate.edu
Cc: paleopsych at paleopsych.org
Subject: [Paleopsych] back to the plantation
In a message dated 11/24/2004 7:41:41 PM Eastern Standard Time,
ff10 at txstate.edu writes:
HB, if you need any research done, I am pretty much free until Saturday......
Hope you are well.... Ive been quite busy for about two months now.... but
during the holidays it slows down for us.....
hb: here's a question still puzzling me for reinventing capitalism. Is my
hypothesis about the rise of the plantation system correct? Did monocropping
and the obsession with genetic engineering--or what was called "breeding" at the
time--begin with the tree plantations Henry VIII needed to build the ships
he'd helped invent--Baltic Sea-like cog ships, big-bellied ocean-capable cargo
ships that could be outfitted with dozens of canons and could make the long,
thin, one-cannon war galleys battling in the Mediterranean obsolete?
Had England run low on wood when Henry came up with his naval innovation?
When Henry tossed the church out of the third of England that the Vatican
controlled, when he gave that land to his ambitious, modern friends, and when he
turned these enterpreneurial masters of new estates into a squieroquracy, did he
tell them to raise pine for the hulls of his ships and straight, tall oaks for
Did the new obsession with raising--and upgrading--just one crop on a piece
of land lead to similar mono-cropping and gene-enhancing approaches to the
industrial-level farming of sugar and of cotton in the newly discovered
territories of the Caribbean--the West Indies?
Did the tree plantations Henry needed to build his navies lead to the wealth
of plantation clans like the family of my friend and former client Chris
Blackwell in Jamaica? The Blackwells were once famous for their line of canned and
jarred food products, products that appeared under the name of "Cross and
Then Chris took the family fortune and used it to reap and to popularize
another harvest of the Caribbean's English master-and-African-slave
Do we owe Bob Marley's mix of the Bible, Haile Selassie, a cargo-cult, and a
magical beat to Henry VIII?
Here are some books that helped me build this hypothesis:
Thomas, K. (1983). Man and the Natural World: A History of The Modern
Sensibility. New York: Pantheon Books.
I believe it's this book that illustrated how London began to run low on wood
as early as 1150.
A.L. Rowse. The Expansion of Elizabethan England. London: MacMillan, 1955. A
book that shows Henry turning his back on Europe and looking for an Empire in
the Americas--particularly in the part of America the Spanish didn't want,
North America. It also shows Henry building the squierocracy and, I believe,
the ships Henry helped conceived may be in
G.M. Trevelyan, A Shortened History of
England, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1959
(originally published 1942).
And the obsession of squires--and of just about every other sort of English
person of property--with breeding shows up in, of all places, PG
Wodehouse--especially in Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth and his obsession with
pig-breeding and pig gene-tweaking, an obsession that leads to his love for one thing
above all else in the world, the model of porcine perfection, the prize pig know
to Wodehouse readers as the Empress of Blandings.
Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of
History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the
Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; Core
Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member: Epic
of Evolution Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; founder: The
Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American
Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy
of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International
Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member: Youthactivism.org; executive
editor -- New Paradigm book series.
For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see:
for two chapters from
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History,
For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang
to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
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