I wonder quite a bit about this. Who was the first capitalist? Obviously, this is probably an unanswerable question, since this person most likely predates the written word.
If we think about the most basic definition: “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods,” it basically means, someone owns something, then wields power over those that do not. Often too much unreasonable power over the rest of us. We then have a choice: work for them, or seek out a way to own our own capital, or means of production, and then wield unreasonable power over others.
But who was that first guy?
I imagine someone near the beginning of our primordial evolution, when we were barely able to formulate a rational thought that was not animalistic or based on instinct and emotion; when we were just beginning to farm our own food, and corral our own animals for sustenance, he looked at all the people pulling together to gather up enough food in this time of plenty to get through what they knew would be a time of scarcity just beyond the horizon, and said, “This is now all mine!”
My musings further envision a angry, confused mob beating him senseless and banishing his beaten and bruised body to suffer the pitiless world without the help of the many.
Sadly, at some point, another greedy fuck promised a few of the bulkier, less intelligent of our ancestors a special, loftier, lazier place in his imagined new world order, and wrested power from those that deserved it: the many.
And through threat of violence and starvation did capitalism, in it’s earliest, amoeba-like form, came to be created.
And since then, what, if anything, has changed?
Oh, if only we were as wise and energetic and unapologetic of our stance for the many as these people I envisioned in my imagination to be.