Plantation Capitalism is where the business owner thinks chiefly of his workers as a commodity, an object, an expense to be minimized. The classic example is slavery, but this was a further progression of a mindset toward labor that was already in place in the plantations in Ireland. Typically in plantation capitalism there is a mindset towards pushing down salaries, searching the world for the cheapest source of labor, and having no loyalty towards labor.
The invisible hand of Plantation Capitalism, where you take the pride of work from the laborers, does not make for a happier more productive society.
The mindset of Plantation Capitalism, however, lives on in business owners everywhere who wish to lower costs by reducing wages. Bringing in cheap immigrant labor to drive down wages of farm workers is an obvious example of Plantation Capitalism. It is directly analogous to sourcing cheap labor from Africa three hundred and fifty years ago, and to sourcing cheap labor from Africa two hundred years ago. Bringing in cheap labor to drive down the wages in meat packing (by 45%), construction, and trucking is strongly echoes this pattern of behavior. Moving textile, furniture, and computer jobs to sweat shops around the world around the world is a similar action.
Anglo Saxon capitalism has been described as a maritime trading capitalism which grew from corporations having a boat, pulling into a port, making deals, and then leaving with a profit with no expectation of an ongoing relationship. Plantation Capitalism is a variant of Anglo Saxon Capitalism.
It has several elements:
1) It is a for profit operation. It is not about community development.
2) Labor is sourced from wherever it is cheapest, like copper or iron.
3) Labor is not valued highly since it is cheap and there is a psychological chasm between labor and ownership and management.
4) In its worst form, Extractive Plantation Capitalism, there is absentee ownership who value the operation solely for the cash flow.
5) Labor is not developed. Training of labor is limited.
6) The market is not the workers. The less the workers consume, the better.
7) Often the the workers and the owners do not pray together. (The Irish Catholics and the English Protestants, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodists, etc.)
8) There is often a racial ethnic nature of the Plantation Capitalism. In the Ulster Plantation, Calvinist Protestants were brought in to keep the native Catholic Irish in check. In Barbados, African slaves were brought in but a cadre of "poor whites" were retained to preserve the large landowners power to intimidate the slaves. Neither the poor whites or the slaves were respected of course.
Initially Plantation Capitalists used racism as an excuse to treat their African workers brutally and created distance between the free workers and the slaves so the common interests of workers could be suppressed. Today, Plantation Capitalists, in a form of jujitsu, use the language of diversity to obscure the fact they are bringing in cheap labor to destroy the wage scale and increase their margins.
9) It runs on fear and greed. There is often a militarized violent undertone. (Since when do we need a Department of Homeland Security?)
Plantation Capitalism needs several things to thrive.
1) It needs a market- an external market. Since the workers are oppressed and underpaid, it needs an external market. It is not a complete system since it needs an external market.
2) It needs access to cheap workers. In a closed, wealthy society, it costs too much to hire a worker to not try to maximize his potential as a human and as a worker.
3) It needs psychological distance between the workers and the owners. Given time, the workers and the owners will form a better more egalitarian society if this psychological distance is breached. The relationships between house slaves and field hands and their masters were quite different.
Plantation Capitalism is always an assault on labor. The premise is to search for the world cheap labor and exploit its cheapness to have a profit margin. It thrives on pain.
The government, should at a minimum, recognize that the consumption of society is largely determined by the salaries of these same workers, and when you destroy their wage scale, not only do you demoralize the majority of your population, you destroy demand which will shortly destroy production.
Globalization as it is practiced is about using the developed countries of the world as that external market. That is why we are 18.2 Trillion dollars in debt! The external market has become our government credit card!