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Slavery in Europe


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On 11/4/2020 at 5:42 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Rather stupid of them. You train someone up to build a highly sophisticated weapon system, then you starve them to death. Its so fuckwit stupid they deserved to lose.

It wasnt just the A4, pretty much everything they built had a degree of slave labour involved. For example, a recent Panther engine being restored showed evidence of some of the internal parts being machined to break. The last surviving Arado 234 being restored from the smithsonian, showed evidence in the internal electrical cables showed their connectors arranged in a  star of david configuration. One last raised index finger at the regime by some Jewish workers perhaps.

It makes sense if you understand that in the eyes of the SS, at least, the purpose of factories like that were to extract the maximum calorific value from the bodies of their workers before they died from overwork and malnutrition.

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On 11/5/2020 at 7:30 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

 

I was listening to a documentary recently, and they say there was an inherent contradiction in the German Armament industry. That there was a desire to build the best, yet at the same time a reluctance to indulge in the kind of mass production as seen in say America, because it was regarded as weakening the volk, one of the reasons why they were reluctant to press women into production as occurred in all the Allied Countries.  So you had a strange mix between high technology and a desire to build it in an arts and crafts kind of manner. Its hardly as surprise we won the production battle. 

Complete and total madness.

I'm not sure about that. The Junkers works were a good example of an ideal Nazi production facility, at least pre-war. The factory was very much designed along principals of mass production but the difference between Hitler and Ford was that Hitler built houses, schools etc. for the workers too.

Officially this was to preserve the dignity of the working man, or something like that, but it was also because the Nazi economy couldn't support decent wages for the workers so giving them free stuff was one way to compensate.

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2 hours ago, Adam_S said:

It makes sense if you understand that in the eyes of the SS, at least, the purpose of factories like that were to extract the maximum calorific value from the bodies of their workers before they died from overwork and malnutrition.

Oh I get that, it comes through particularly strongly in Schindlers list. Im just saying that if it was a war of production, the best way to ensure good production was look after them.

Its like my grandfather,he was a pow on a polish farm, working on a near starvation diet, living in poor huts. He got frostbite, so they had to get him to a doctor, I think in Germany, to give him a skin graft, which credit being due, they did a great job. But there is a contrast there. On the one hand they undervalued him so he got ill. OTOH, they respected the geneva convention, so they saved his life. Consider what that means when they are not getting someone digging potatos like my grandfather,but are trying to mass produce something sophisticated like Tiger tanks or Jet aircraft. It was ideology getting in the way of common sense, you look after thepeople working for you, slave or not, you tend to get more work out of them.

 

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6 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Oh I get that, it comes through particularly strongly in Schindlers list. Im just saying that if it was a war of production, the best way to ensure good production was look after them.

Its like my grandfather,he was a pow on a polish farm, working on a near starvation diet, living in poor huts. He got frostbite, so they had to get him to a doctor, I think in Germany, to give him a skin graft, which credit being due, they did a great job. But there is a contrast there. On the one hand they undervalued him so he got ill. OTOH, they respected the geneva convention, so they saved his life. Consider what that means when they are not getting someone digging potatos like my grandfather,but are trying to mass produce something sophisticated like Tiger tanks or Jet aircraft. It was ideology getting in the way of common sense, you look after thepeople working for you, slave or not, you tend to get more work out of them.

 

I think there was also a calculation that Nazi Germany didn't really have enough food to go around for everybody, so inevitably some people were going to starve to death. I'm not sure they were really in a position to feed their workers properly anyway, bullshit Nazi ideology aside.

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As a slightly more general point, I recently finished reading "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers" which repeats somewhat the idea that relatively free, dynamic societies tend to outperform more closed, ossified ones due to greater innovation, risk taking and initiative. IMO that's a lesson that China seems to be busily forgetting all over again.

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12 minutes ago, Adam_S said:

I think there was also a calculation that Nazi Germany didn't really have enough food to go around for everybody, so inevitably some people were going to starve to death. I'm not sure they were really in a position to feed their workers properly anyway, bullshit Nazi ideology aside.

Yes, thats true. My Grandfather had to resort to stealing Potato's off Polish farmers. Ive heard that the Camp Guards were not much better fed in fairness. The whole system was falling apart.

11 minutes ago, Adam_S said:

As a slightly more general point, I recently finished reading "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers" which repeats somewhat the idea that relatively free, dynamic societies tend to outperform more closed, ossified ones due to greater innovation, risk taking and initiative. IMO that's a lesson that China seems to be busily forgetting all over again.

They have just arrested a Tech Tycoon for pointing out that the Party is getting in the way of innovation. So yes, basically.

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13 minutes ago, Adam_S said:

As a slightly more general point, I recently finished reading "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers" which repeats somewhat the idea that relatively free, dynamic societies tend to outperform more closed, ossified ones due to greater innovation, risk taking and initiative. IMO that's a lesson that China seems to be busily forgetting all over again.

The spirit of of the individual and entrepreneurship is diminished the more government is in control. 

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Well, we have to be careful saying that. Many of the truly great technical innovations the US has made, the microchip, the microcomputer, the,erm, the pot noodle, were built on the back of Government expenditure for military projects (I think the first microchip ended up in the F14 Tomcat) and to get to the moon. Then when Government cancelled the moon project,all those Computer Scientists settled down in a place called Silicon valley...

I guess the point im making is, Government intervention on military contracts or otherwise, are massively useful in spurring innovation. The British industrial revolution might be traced back to Elizabethern naval contracts to mass produce naval cannon. OTOH, there is a case, also as in Britain, Government can get in the way of innovation, and certainly has done.

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On 1/6/2021 at 1:19 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Well, we have to be careful saying that. Many of the truly great technical innovations the US has made, the microchip, the microcomputer, the,erm, the pot noodle, were built on the back of Government expenditure for military projects (I think the first microchip ended up in the F14 Tomcat) and to get to the moon. Then when Government cancelled the moon project,all those Computer Scientists settled down in a place called Silicon valley...

I guess the point im making is, Government intervention on military contracts or otherwise, are massively useful in spurring innovation. The British industrial revolution might be traced back to Elizabethern naval contracts to mass produce naval cannon. OTOH, there is a case, also as in Britain, Government can get in the way of innovation, and certainly has done.

Taleb talks about this in Antifragile.  Here's more or less his thesis:

Quote

Academia → Applied Science and Technology → Practice While this model may be valid in some very narrow (but highly advertised instances), such as building the atomic bomb, the exact reverse seems to be true in most of the domains I’ve examined.

Burke's Connections makes a similar point in a very different way.  Innovators take things that exist, or are "half invented" (Taleb's term), and combine/refine them into meaningful innovations.  Then researchers and technologists refine and improve.

To go back to your microchip example, yes NASA was a key early customer and certainly helped the industry grow and mature, but the early efforts were led by engineers trying to overcome the problems caused by complex non-integrated systems (Wikipedia gives the example of the B-29 having 300–1000 vacuum tubes and tens of thousands of passive components and more than 17,000 vacuum tubes in the ENIAC).  In other words, the government microchip programs came from practical work, not the other way around.

So true, sometimes the military-industrial-complex is very valuable at some early stage for what turns out to be a very important industry, but, as a counter example, the MIC domination of early nuclear work (which focused on weapons rather than power generation) drove a potentially great industry into the ground.

 

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On 1/6/2021 at 10:13 AM, Rick said:

The spirit of of the individual and entrepreneurship is diminished the more government is in control. 

No, not really, see the PRC. What increases is the level of corruption and that undermines innovation.

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On 10/21/2020 at 4:38 AM, JasonJ said:

Serfs probably were already adequate in Europe. The expanded areas lacked local workers for newly created plantations. 

No serfs in the colonising countries by the time colonialism started. The second serfdom in central & eastern Europe was underway, but that didn't affect the colonisers, except for Courland, which was insignificant.

Unlike the English, French & Dutch, the Iberians had significant numbers of slaves within their borders, including Moors, other Europeans (captured pirates, for example, might be enslaved) &, from when the Portuguese got far enough south, sub-Saharan Africans.  Some of them did work on plantations. Those slaves seem to have been treated differently from those in the Americas, though. They seem to have had more rights, & might be ransomed. I'm not sure, but I think their slavery might have been for no more than one life, not hereditary.

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16 minutes ago, swerve said:

No serfs in the colonising countries by the time colonialism started. The second serfdom in central & eastern Europe was underway, but that didn't affect the colonisers, except for Courland, which was insignificant.

Unlike the English, French & Dutch, the Iberians had significant numbers of slaves within their borders, including Moors, other Europeans (captured pirates, for example, might be enslaved) &, from when the Portuguese got far enough south, sub-Saharan Africans.  Some of them did work on plantations. Those slaves seem to have been treated differently from those in the Americas, though. They seem to have had more rights, & might be ransomed. I'm not sure, but I think their slavery might have been for no more than one life, not hereditary.

Welcome back fella!

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4 hours ago, swerve said:

No serfs in the colonising countries by the time colonialism started. The second serfdom in central & eastern Europe was underway, but that didn't affect the colonisers, except for Courland, which was insignificant.

Unlike the English, French & Dutch, the Iberians had significant numbers of slaves within their borders, including Moors, other Europeans (captured pirates, for example, might be enslaved) &, from when the Portuguese got far enough south, sub-Saharan Africans.  Some of them did work on plantations. Those slaves seem to have been treated differently from those in the Americas, though. They seem to have had more rights, & might be ransomed. I'm not sure, but I think their slavery might have been for no more than one life, not hereditary.

!!!!!

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On 1/20/2021 at 7:37 PM, BansheeOne said:

Hot damn man, swerve! I was afraid you might just have died quietly. Welcome back! 

You guys need to get out more, I have seen him around in some other forums ^_^

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