In today’s dollars, each slave in 1860 cost about $17,000. Wouldn’t whipping decrease work output and decrease resale value?

Question: “In today’s dollars, each slave in 1860 cost about $17,000. Wouldn’t whipping decrease work output and decrease resale value?”

You misunderstand how the system of slave based production on cotton and sugar cane plantations in the Deep South worked.

The work load for each slave laborer per day was set by the slave owner based upon the maximum output that could be achieved by the best hands with the most experience under the best conditions. Each slave was given an output quota that was a percentage of that…a quota that was the maximum that that hand could achieve based upon their experience.

Those maximum production figures were well known, being published in Planters’ Journals , Southern Slave Owners’ Newspapers subscribed to by the slave-owning classes. These journals described and promoted methods designed to get the greatest possible productivity out of the enslaved labor while spending as little as possible on their care and feeding. For some time those journals promoted the idea of feeding the enslaved workers on cotton seed waste. Cotton seed waste cost nothing. But it had NO nutritive value and as a sole source of nutrition would cause a man to starve to death.

The primary mechanism for increasing productivity on the slave plantations of the Deep South was the systematic application of violence and torture.

ANY slave who for any reason failed to meet their essentially arbitrarily assigned quota was whipped. These whippings were extremely painful. They were ordinarily administered by a sadist using a heavy braided stock whip intended to be used on animals. The whipping always resulted in torn and bleeding skin and were accompanied by loud uncontrollable involuntary screaming that could be heard hundreds of yards away. The diaries of the landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted who spent a year on Southern Plantations notes that one of his most vivid memories from those plantations was the screams of men and women being whipped. Those whippings often caused men used to brutal conditions to lose consciousness from the pain.

The whippings were a management technique. They were purposely administered sadistically and publicly. The other slaves, exhausted from their labors but still required to fetch their own water and gather their own cooking fuel and spend hours preparing their own food before sleeping and being woken before dawn, were required to watch them.

Systematic whippings were used to increase productivity. Once the hands were generally able to achieve the set quota, the quota for everyone would be increased. Those who could not achieve the new quota would be whipped.

The Southern Slave-Owning Classes were both sadists and perverts. There was an obvious sexual sadism involved in these whippings. Southern men, who bragged to each other in their letters and journals of the number of female slaves they had raped, would whip the females when they were staked to the ground on their backs naked with their legs spread and whipped across their bellies and thighs.

Southern brutality was so extreme that both male and female slaves died in agony while being whipped. But Southern law specifically allowed a slaver to kill his own slave. There were no penalties for doing so. The only restriction on killing a slave applied when the murderer was not the slave’s owner. In such a case the killer was NOT guilty of or tried for murder. Rather he was required to make a cash payment to the dead slave’s owner for depriving him of his property.

When all of the hands could achieve the new higher arbitrary production quotas, the Best Hands, who were the most experienced and therefore had the highest productivity, would themselves be whipped to encourage them to achieve a super-human output. Then the quota system would be adjusted upwards based upon the output of these Best Hands and the whippings would continue.

How effective was this system of obtaining productivity increases through violence and torture? We have three objective indicators that this systematic torture greatly increased the wealth of the Southern Slave-Owning Classes.

  1. Picking cotton is a skilled task that is difficult to learn, requires eye-hand coordination to do well and quickly, and under the best conditions will result in bloodied hands. Believe me, you can’t do it. Yet many Black slaves learned to quickly and simultaneously pick cotton on two rows using both their right and left hands ambidextrously. This takes an almost impossible level of concentration, skill, and dexterity. But it was done by tired nearly-starving beaten people working from before dawn to dusk in the hot southern sun. The slaves learned to do the impossible to avoid being whipped.
  2. Before the Civil War these Slave Labor Plantations increased their productivity 2% each year, for 17 consecutive years, without any increase in capital investment or any change in production methods. This continuous increase in productivity without investment over that long a period in time is, from the point of view of a capitalist-investor, astounding! This increase in productivity was achieved through the systematic use of torture and violence by Southern White Slave Owners.
  3. After the Civil War and the Emancipation of the Slaves Southern White Planters resorted to using Paid White Labor for planting and picking cotton. That Paid White Labor was not able to achieve even ONE THIRD the average productivity of Black Slave Labor during the pre-war years.

As for the argument that the Slave Owners might not want to diminish the resale value of their enslaved brutalized human property and would, therefore, refrain from whipping them: NO. there are two reasons why that was not true.

  1. The most productive slaves, those who worked on the First Gang, were strong-bodied healthy males aged between 16 and 27. After that because of the onerous nature of their work and poor diet and lack of medical care their productivity decreased markedly. It was, therefore, determined by the Southern Planter Class that the most economically rational course was to work a man to death. The average life expectancy of a healthy male, who by our standards would have the body and stamina of a pro athlete (!), on the First Gang of a cotton or sugar cane slave farm was at best 17 years.
  2. The slaves were NOT actually owned. On the slave plantations in the Deep South all of the slaves were mortgaged. Fractional shares of each slave were owned by investors. The Southern Slavers were extremely poor businessmen who routinely lived beyond their means and were perpetually in debt…for their unpaid-for land, for their mortgaged slaves, to the merchants, and to factors to whom they had sold their crop before it had been harvested.

Southern Slave Agriculture was unspeakably evil and incompetently managed. Its main feature was obtaining productivity increases through violence and torture.

I truly hate to show this picture. It sickens me. But THIS is how Southerners treated slaves.


The Militant South 1800–1861, John Hope Franklin

Without Consent or Contract-The Rise and Fall of American Slavery, Robert William Fogel

Slave Nation, Alfred W. Blumrosen & Ruth G. Blumrosen

Spying on the South, Tony Horowitz

Confederate Reckoning, Stephanie McCurry

Slaves in the Family, Edward Ball

Lynching in the New South, Brundage

Fush Times & Fever Dreams-A History of Capitalism and Slavery, Joshua Rothman


Slave-based production was very profitable…as long as one was willing to accept systematic violence and torture. Towards the end of the Civil War slavery was being used by the South in industry and mining as well as agriculture. Slaves had already been colateralized and fractionally sold as bonds which were traded on the international market. In the pre-Civil war decade enslaved Blacks were the single biggest capital investment in the United States and cotton produced by slave labor was by far America’s most valuable export product.

In the decade prior to the Civil War a Black male slave between the age of 16 and 27 used for violence-based slave cotton or sugar production gave the greatest ROI (Return On Investment) of ANY investment.

Because of that I can see, lacking the American Civil War and Government Forced Slave Emancipation, violence-based slave production having continued into and through the 20th century not only in agriculture but in heavy industry and mining.

Note II:

There is a problem with the $17,000 figure cited in the question. No economist or historian would use that. It is a grossly misleading figure based upon a conversion of a different currency in a different age with a different pricing structure and different commodities and a completely different distribution of income and effectively no taxation. The only useful comparative figure would involve the number of hours of labor needed by a person of a given social class to obtain a needed commodity that had equal utility/desirability in 1855 and 2019.

The planter class in the Deep South was generally composed of the dissolute spoiled sons of planter/slavers on the Chesapeake. They were speculators who competed with each other for a valuable commodity, e.g. slaves, and had by the mid-1850s bid the price of a young male slave up to absurd levels.

They were able to do this because slaves were collateralized and, like American home buyers in the decade prior to 2008, borrowed money wildly thinking that the value of slaves would continue to rise forever and they could always refinance their debt. They only needed easily obtained credit, not cash, to buy slaves.

Nevertheless, the market determined a price for slaves that was always far less than the money that could be made by owning slaves, especially if you were base enough to barely feed them (slaves had to grow for themselves or hunt and then cook almost all of the vegetables and protein they consumed), clothe them in hand-me-down rags, and work them to death.

Without getting into arcane detail, we can at best say that by the 1850s the price of young males slaves in the Deep South had been bid up to high levels but that the market still thought that the price still had the greatest ROI (Return On Investment) available in the United States.

Chris Hedges | Our BROKEN State

Cops in Uvalde, Texas INVITED A BIKER GANG to Intimidate Journalists!?!

Jesse talks about the cowardice and violations of the 1st Amendment perpetrated on journalists by the police in Uvalde, Texas. A reporter for the Houston Chronicle named Julian Gill posted a video to Twitter of members of a biker gang surrounding and intimidating him while reporting on the shooting and its aftermath. The bikers were reportedly asked to be there by the local police.

Egomaniac Chicago Cop ARRESTS Journalists During Power Trip

Chicago Police Officer Orson Ward went on a power trip and arrested several NBC journalists for no apparent reason. Rick Strom breaks it down. Give us your thoughts in the comments below!


Actually 50 cops on a scene is a disturbance. Heck 5 police for a traffic stop is a disturbance


Where the heck are all the outraged republicans who scream about their 2nd amendment right to own assault rifles for when the government does something tyrannical like take your rights away? Huh? I’ll tell you where…. They’re off blindly supporting the police somewhere screaming ‘Blue Lives Matter!’ at someone who’s upset that the police are taking rights away. 🤷‍♂️ You first amendment right can be terminated for whatever.” This cop says to a member of the only profession even mentioned in the constitution because the freedom of the Press is that important to freedom in general. But not a peep from the so called ‘freedom loving’ republicans. Bunch’a phony ‘Patriots’ is what they are.
How can city cops commit copious civil rights violations with all these pesky cameras around?
And that right there, is the reason why these rogue, dumb cops, don’t care about no damn lawsuits. Because they know, it’s not coming out of their pockets. So when we’re talking about police reform, this issue should be the very first issue, we should address.
They always want to charge you with “resisting arrest” and “obstruction of justice” or “failure to ID” but what did they do to get those charges to begin with because they weren’t charged with anything else but those things.
Never answer the kkkops questions always remain silent and never id unless they suspect you of a crime.


The U.S. Is Run by a Selfish Oligarchy, a Ruling Elite with a Pretend Democracy & Free Market (1993)

Read the book:…

The Power Elite is a 1956 book by sociologist C. Wright Mills, in which Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities.

The book is something of a counterpart of Mills’ 1951 work, White Collar: The American Middle Classes, which examines the then-growing role of middle managers in American society. A main inspiration for the book was Franz Leopold Neumann’s book Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism in 1942, a study of how Nazism came into a position of power in a democratic state like Germany. Behemoth had a major impact on Mills.

According to Mills, the eponymous “power elite” are those that occupy the dominant positions, in the dominant institutions (military, economic and political) of a dominant country. Their decisions (or lack thereof) have enormous consequences, not only for the Americans but, “the underlying populations of the world.” The institutions which they head, Mills posits, are a triumvirate of groups that have succeeded weaker predecessors:

“two or three hundred giant corporations” which have replaced the traditional agrarian and craft economy,
a strong federal political order that has inherited power from “a decentralized set of several dozen states” and “now enters into each and every cranny of the social structure,” and
the military establishment, formerly an object of “distrust fed by state militia,” but now an entity with “all the grim and clumsy efficiency of a sprawling bureaucratic domain.”

Importantly, and as distinct from modern American conspiracy theory, Mills explains that the elite themselves may not be aware of their status as an elite, noting that “often they are uncertain about their roles” and “without conscious effort, they absorb the aspiration to be… The Ones Who Decide.” Nonetheless, he sees them as a quasi-hereditary caste. The members of the power elite, according to Mills, often enter into positions of societal prominence through educations obtained at eastern establishment universities like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. But, Mills notes, “Harvard or Yale or Princeton is not enough… the point is not Harvard, but which Harvard?”

Mills identifies two classes of Ivy League alumni, those were initiated into an upper echelon fraternity such as the Harvard College social clubs of Porcellian or Fly Club, and those who were not. Those so initiated, Mills continues, receive their invitations based on social links first established in elite private preparatory academies, where they were enrolled as part of family traditions and family connections. In this manner, the mantle of the elite is generally passed down along familial lines over the generations.

The resulting elites, who control the three dominant institutions (military, economy and political system) can be generally grouped into one of six types, according to Mills:

the “Metropolitan 400”: members of historically notable local families in the principal American cities, generally represented on the Social Register
“Celebrities”: prominent entertainers and media personalities
the “Chief Executives”: presidents and CEOs of the most important companies within each industrial sector
the “Corporate Rich”: major landowners and corporate shareholders
the “Warlords”: senior military officers, most importantly the Joint Chiefs of Staff
the “Political Directorate”: “fifty-odd men of the executive branch” of the U.S. federal government, including the senior leadership in the Executive Office of the President, sometimes variously drawn from elected officials of the Democratic and Republican parties but usually professional government bureaucrats

Mills formulated a very short summary of his book: “Who, after all, runs America? No one runs it altogether, but in so far as any group does, the power elite.”

Commenting on The Power Elite, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. derisively said, “I look forward to the time when Mr. Mills hands back his prophet’s robes and settles down to being a sociologist again.”

Nonetheless, consideration of the book has become moderately more favorable over time. In 2006, G. William Domhoff wrote, “Mills looks even better than he did 50 years ago”. Mills’ biographer, John Summers, admitted that The Power Elite was “vulnerable to the charge of conspiracy-mongering” but declared that its historical value “seems assured”.

I love seeing these guys from decades ago who saw through all the BS even then, before the internet, and knew what a corrupt, rotten facade the American republic is.

“Uniquely Stupid:” Jonathan Haidt on the Last 10 Years in America

–Jonathan Haidt, author, social psychologist and professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business joins David to discuss his recent article in The Atlantic, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid”…

Breakingpoints Coverage of Uvalde School Shooting: American Alienation

Krystal and Saagar break down the string of law enforcement failures during the Uvalde shooting that were initially lied about by local police who refused to confront the gunman to save children’s lives


This is what is known as “officer safety clause” that allows you, the citizen, to be less than important. If this was the state itself being attacked the call to go would have been made instantly.
“We may test the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting itself rather than its subjects by asking: which category of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely – those against private citizens or those against itself?” – Murray Rothbard
Here is my honest take: this is why gun sales are up. Citizens realize that the police really cannot protect them. Yes, they can respond and secure a perimeter, but they cant stop it. As people watch situations like this/riots (and the inability/unwillingness for police stop it) then families are going to prepare for the unthinkable.
I worked over 25 years in a variety of psychiatric hospitals and mental health clinics where we all had “panic alarms” in our offices. If a threatening or dangerous situation occured with a client one would hit the panic alarm and it was the job of every staff member to drop what they were doing and head to that office and open the door to make sure the colleague and clinets behind that door were safe. We had many clients who were drug addicts and dealers, domestic violence perps, criminals, people involved in divorce etc. We had no special training, weapons or body armor, yet we opened those doors, to make sure everyone was safe. Was it risky and scary? Damn straight, but it was our job and duty and we did it.


It really got to me when Krystal mentioned that the girl was still breathing… It’s impossible to imagine being in that situation, never mind at such a young age. I just hope the survivors get the support they are owed and can find some way to live the rest of their lives with as much joy as possible.
Re: Nassar investigation. Law enforcement cannot be held legally responsible for not, botching, or otherwise ineptly investigating crimes. Citizens, however, are routinely criminally charged for “interfering” with a police investigation.
If so many cops are afraid to go in help protect those kids and teachers, they should not be in that line of work. They can’t be just giving out traffic tickets and having coffee to collect their paycheques.
A few days ago in West Virginia, a civilian woman with a gun took down an active shooter on her own, yet cops can’t do the same smh
We knew it’s finally here,
The school was 4 minutes from the nearest police station and it took them 14 minutes to get there…to a mass shooting where kids were being executed point blank. Let that sit before you even think about them being to scared to enter the building
They never have a problem breaking down a door to murder a harmless pot dealer. But when they want the carnage to support their gun confiscation agenda, it becomes a problem.
This made me cry, I’m a 25 year old man. I haven’t cried in a long while, but I would have given my life for those kids. We are supposed to protect our youth, we failed them as a society. Those poor kid’s, I can’t imagine the level of fear. This is a disgrace, my heart is heavy with grief. You can’t explain the shooting, and it hurts when you here that some psycho does something like this. But when you hear that the people who volunteer to protect and serve, fail to stop this as fast as possible. How could you make the assumption that everyone is dead in a classroom, when you’re 500 yards outside the school. Thanks for letting me shout my feelings into the void, try and spread love. If you’re a brave young man like myself, we should consider becoming police. I’m thinking about, much love.
As a former marine infantry officer, I heavily suspected this was an incompetent commander’s decision. We are heavily screened and trained on our ability to think and act very quickly. Thinking of a 70% plan and acting now is much better than to wait…. To understand the nuance of the situation before you and act accordingly is critical regardless of the rules… This is the consequence of hiring incompetent leaders in law enforcement and the military and allowing them to be promoted up the chain….
I said it once , and I’ll say it an million times; law enforcement has the proper training, they pick and choose when to act, when to abuse citizens, or properly apprehend someone.
The chickens coming home to roost ! For decades I’ve always thought the excuse cops used to justify killing unharmed citizens (mostly black men) …”I-FEARED-FOR-MY-LIFE”.. was not acceptable to their profession! A roofer can’t be afraid of heights, an Engineer can’t fear math, etc. But we allowed the police to campaign for a sort of policing where it’s the lives of the cops …not the citizens …that’s most important! They are brave because “they run towards danger”…THAT’S THEIR F@#CKING JOB!
The story about the little girl smothering herself in her classmate’s blood & pretend to be dead… just speechless
why bother with the door as I imagine the classroom would have had windows, there is no answer to any question that will be accepted and all of those who stood about should be fired at the very least but when you promote ass kissers into positions of authority this is what happens
Fresh reminder that the authorities protect themselves and their buddies. They don’t protect you, only you can protect yourself.
as an infantryman I can tell you there is ZERO point in listening to talking heads regarding shootings. 95% of people have no idea what they’re saying. including krystal and saagar. even though i love them
My dad made a good point to me. How can they insist on taking our guns and then have people like this as our only protection?
They were brave enough to hold the parents back.
School district had it’s own police. Sounds familiar, like when the Alaska Economic Development Board made the comment, “No school district is responsible enough to have a high pressure steam boiler.” School district circumvented board and got one anyway, and immediately proved the board correct. Is any school district responsible enough to have it’s own police?
So all those sherrifs and federal agents stood around for an hour because a school cop told them to? Too bad there wasn’t a mall cop on scene to take over and tell them to go in.
I think the cops’ mistake was they treated the situation like it was a hostage crisis. They assumed that the suspect’s motive was to take hostages and make demands, not take lives. So instead of trying to take down the suspect ASAP, they focused more on securing/barricading the area until more backup arrives.
I don’t expect law enforcement to be perfect. And I don’t expect them necessarily to save everyone. But I sure expect them to do something responsive that they think might work to resolve the situation, quickly, in situations like that. I can understand taking a minute or two, or even five minutes, to put together a breach plan of some sorts. But standing around for an hour? WTF!?
As a retired volunteer FF, interior attack and vehicle extracations, I knew there would be risks, yet still made the decision to do it…. And there was definite pucker factor too, especially during traffic control, almost got it several times….
Former prosecutor from that area had a tweet . said something like after years of working with those law enforcement agencies of Uvalde she can tell you that you will never know the truth about what happened until you can see videos of the Incident. Very telling and not so uncommon.
The teacher outside seeing the gunman with the rifle, and ran back inside to get her phone, leaving the door open, which the gunman entered through. The mistakes began there.