Modern World History 3.10 Captains of Industry

The Rockefellers, the Morgans, the Carnegies...these were just a few of the Captains of Industry, also known as Robber Barons. We can probably guess which one they put on their LinkedIn profiles. 

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Transcript

00:22

They donated to the arts.

00:24

The put libraries in tiny little towns like Lusk, Wyoming. [A priest moves towards Rockefeller and other industrialists]

00:27

Well, someone should have given these guys sainthood, right?

00:29

Eh, not so fast.

00:30

These captains of industry were also called robber barons for a reason. [Businessmen sit on workers' shoulders]

00:35

They turned the industries they dominated into monopolies, so that no other person had a prayer of making any money in them. [A man stands on a railway platform and prays to God]

00:40

Not only was the greed of the robber barons bad for consumers, who had no choice but to buy from these men if they wanted certain products, [A girl walks down the street]

00:47

but it was ultimately bad for the economy and bad for the American political system.

00:50

Many people looked at the Morgans and Carnegies of the world and decided that it was unfettered capitalism [The speaker addresses the workers, while the businessman prompts something to him]

00:55

that had allowed these men to become really freakin' wealthy at the expense of everyone else, [hierarchy chart of the society is presented on the screen]

01:00

particularly the workers who labored for them at ridiculously low wages.

01:04

And so socialism and communism, here in America, were born. [babies cry in the cradle]

01:08

Socialism is an economic system where the government controls some of the means of production.

01:12

The idea is that this allows more people to benefit when goods are produced. [girls stand in a fuel station and give thumps up]

01:16

Social democracy is the political extension of socialism, and its proponents work to change the law so that more industries

01:22

can be government-owned and more laborers can earn more money under the least onerous working conditions possible. [A worker stands near a coal mine entrance]

01:28

Now, socialism isn't about kicking the individual out of the business sphere entirely. [A leg kicks a guy]

01:33

It's about mixing the public and private ownership of the means of production.

01:37

Specifically, socialists think the government should own those industries

01:40

and produce those goods that every person should have fair and affordable access to,

01:44

like transportation and healthcare. [A moving bus stops near a girl]

01:45

However, we don't recommend stringing the words “socialism” and “healthcare” together at your dinner table. [A family eats dinner]

01:50

Your Grandpa may just keel over there. [An old man falls down from his chair]

01:52

Then, there's communism.

01:54

When you think of communism, you probably think of dead royalty and Stalin's mustache and Russian reversals. [Stalin's photo pops up]

01:59

When we think of communism, we think of

02:01

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and their magnificent facial hair. [The images of Friedrich & Karl Marx appears on the screen]

02:05

These two German philosophers used their pens and beards

02:07

to encourage the workers of the world to unite, overthrow the robber barons, and take all the goodies for themselves. [Image shows unity of workers]

02:13

Sounds like a wacky TV cartoon to us though. [A hand enters from window, grabs a businessman and throws him]

02:15

See, in communism, there is no public or private ownership. It's the people who own the means of production.

02:21

Any surplus, then, goes back to the people themselves.

02:23

Furthermore, if every person in an economic system is a worker and an owner and a consumer,

02:28

then traditional social classes can no longer exist.

02:31

This was some seriously radical food for thought, and it made the laborers of the world hungry for change. [mine worker is hungry]

02:37

Too bad some countries went a little overboard

02:38

on communism there in the buffet line.

02:41

Well, maybe try some potato salad next time.