The Ethics of Trading

Trading was simple – you buy something in one place (or simply take  it, using force) transport it to another place – sell it, and pocket the difference.

This was in the times when travel was slow (using the camel and the sailing ship) – and few people ventured far from home – that made it easy for adventurous types to explore on their own – and find where valuable things were in other lands.

The lucky ones in this were the Spanish and Portuguese – who discovered the New World, the Western Hemisphere – with immense amounts of gold and silver.

The ethics here were simple – enslave the natives, and take their silver. And this has remained the ethics of Business, every since. Except the slaves became the workers in Capitalism and Industry. Whose primary attribute was their inability to recognize this.

I am not saying anything new here – the same thing was being said by scores of novelists, poets, playwrights, and philosophers – from the middle of the 19th Century to the middle of the 20th Century.

When TV changed everything. The people after Television were not the same people as before it. As was recognized by McLuhan, in Canada, and Postman, in the U.S.

This was followed by something even bigger – the Computer, with its Internet and Wireless networks.

We are so far from where we started – we don’t know where we are.


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