Looking at Serfdom there is a link to the excellent Wikipedia article to Brad De Longs Blog, he is I see from Wikipedia reckoned to be the 754th most influential economist in the World, He is a Professor at Berkely, where no less than two of my Former Business Partners are also Tenured Professors, also in The Economics Priesthood.
According to Wikipedia, he is a self-proclaimed Neo Liberal?
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Bradford_DeLong ) , served under Clintons Economics chief Summers and whilst he seems a thoroughly nice and well meaning chap he has no Clue, certainly no wish to draw any attention to having any clue as to Money Creation, more precisely endogenous money creation. He recommends this following article as a must read. I have to say it is dire and I have also commented as such in a Reddit discussion put up on the article here.
This article is also on Brad De Longs Blog. I have to say it is completely illiterate of Money Creation and as such commits the Error of all the Main Stream Economist, in short, its best quality is in demonstrating how the blind are leading the Blind:
I Made these interactive Quizzes based upon the Positive Money Quiz By David Faraday https://www.quiz-maker.com/QYMG3AR and the money creation Survey of MP´s
https://www.quiz-maker.com/Q4FBT85 The degree of ignorance paraded constantly since the General Election and during by Both Tory and Labour MP´s is staggering.
What are we to do with the Wilful ignorance of the political, Media and Economics So called Elites.
The Question of Money and how it is most definitely not neutral is the subject on my New Novel, The Conquest of Dough.
For Bradford De Long this from his Blog in 2003 is a re-deeming Jem if he would Take Leitaers Advice and look at the money question, one which Krugman warned the great Currency expert about See Video.
May 10, 2003
The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis
Paul Krugman's post, Serfs Up!, reminds me of one of my major sins this spring (for which I must atone): my cutting Evsey Domar (1970), "The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis," Economic History Review 30:1 (March), pp. 18-32, from my spring 2003 Economics 210a reading list.
As Krugman summarizes Domar's main point:
Domar was motivated by his knowledge of Russian history. Serfdom in Russia, he knew, wasn't an institution that dated back to the Dark Ages. Instead, it was mainly a 16th-century creation, contemporaneous with the beginning of the great Russian expansion into the steppes. Why? He came up with a simple yet powerful insight: there's no point in enslaving or enserfing a man unless the wage you would have to pay him if he was free is substantially above the cost of feeding, housing, and clothing him.
Imagine a pre-industrial society where population is pressing on limited land supplies, and the marginal product of labor - and hence the real wage rate under competitive conditions - is barely at subsistence. In that case, why bother establishing property rights in human beings? It costs no more to hire a free worker than to feed an indentured laborer. Indeed, by 1300 - with Europe very much a Malthusian society - serfdom had withered away from lack of interest. But now suppose that for some reason land becomes abundant, and labor scarce. Then competition among landowners will tend to push up wages of free workers, and the ruling class will try, if it can, to pin peasants down and prevent them from bargaining for a higher standard of living. In Russia, it was all about gunpowder: suddenly steppe nomads were no longer so formidable, and the rich lands of the Ukraine were open for settlement. Serfdom was an effort to keep peasants from taking advantage of this situation. (And if I've got it right, those who were venturesome enough to run away and set up outside the system became Cossacks.)
Meanwhile, the New World opened in the west. Sure enough, the colonizing powers tried various forms of indentured servitude - making serfs of the Indians in Spanish territories, bringing over indentured servants in Virginia. But eventually they hit on a better solution, from their point of view: importing slaves from Africa...
Domar's contribution is truly one of the most effective and powerful pieces of synthetic social science I have ever read. It isn't perfect. He has more predecessors than he realizes (Marx, for example, especially Marx's observations on the Swan River Colony in Australia, and the whole section on primitive accumulation and the creation of agrarian capitalism in Britain). And Domar misses one big cause of serfdom and slavery. During the formation of the Roman Empire, in Poland at the end of the Middle Ages, and in the Caribbean islands during the early modern period, slavery and serfdom did not emerge because a high land-labor ratio meant that the ruling elite could not afford to bid for labor in a free labor market. Slavery and serfdom emerged, instead, because high demand for staple products (grain, sugar, tobacco...) greatly lowered the gap between the productivity of free and the productivity of bound workers. Staple production is easier for gang-bosses to monitor than more diversified farming. Staple production also has lower skill requirements for workers. When demand for staple products is very high--to feed the proletariat of imperial Rome, to feed the growing cities of late-Medieval Flanders, or to supply the cheap luxuries demanded by early modern England--slavery or serfdom can emerge even without an extraordinarily high land/labor ratio.
I noticed that my Comment pointing out the same Mallady, ( Blind Leading Blind) was published after moderation here,
The secret history of the banking crisishttps://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2017/07/02/adults-in-the-room-reviewed-by-adam-tooze-columbia-university/
Meanwhile, Chapter 5 of Conquest of Dough still remains a turtles head in my literary trousers, mere skid marks to show for the past weeks reading