Tuesday, March 2, 2021

906: The V.O.C......

 The Dutch East India Company, the VOC, established in 1602, was the first company in the world to issue shares to a broad audience. 


Before the rise of the VOC, a limited group of moneylenders was already able to participate in the financing of a single sea voyage. 


Whenever the voyage was successful, the investors subsequently shared in the profits, but whenever the journey ended in failure, they had lost their money. 


The VOC for the very first time enabled investors from all strata of the population to invest in a company 


that intended to continue to exist for many years and that already had a lot of the features of a modern public limited company.


Trade in VOC shares grew rapidly. With the first issue, the VOC brought in 6.5 million guilders, and the company subsequently grew to become the first multinational in the world. 


In 1606, only four years after the establishment of the company, the increase in value of the shares was already at 200%. 


In 1610, the company paid out dividends for the first time. Soon after the initial public offering,’ a thriving trade grew up, and Amsterdam developed itself as the cradle of global share trading.


The issuance of tradable shares entailed a revolutionary development in 17th-century life.  


Investors were able to sell their shares and get their money back, while the participation amount still remained in the company. 

It is not surprising that other companies, both domestic and abroad, soon followed suit. Governments, too, discovered the benefits of the public capital market. 


The VOC continued to exist for almost 200 years. In 1799, it was effectively abolished. [From www.beursgeschiedenis.nl]


What role did religious ideas play in this change? Max Weber was the first to formulate the idea that capitalism and Protestantism are related. 


The Reformation implied on the one hand a certain secularization of the sacred, while on the other hand, it sanctified the performance of labor.  


Thus the line 'Ora et labora', ( Pray and Work ) derived from Benedictus of Nursia, was replaced by Calvin by the line 'Laborare est orare'. ( To Work is To Pray ).


Other-world asceticism of Catholicism gave way to a world-oriented asceticism of Calvinism, which certainly helped the acceptance of capitalism. 


Yet there is still much debate among scientists as to how to imagine this interaction. 


Weber himself believed that the religious and moral motives of Protestantism as such led to forms of capitalist activity.


"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread until thou return to the earth" is from Genesis 3:19. 


As a punishment for breaking God's command, Adam and Eve must henceforth work for a living.


This was undoubtedly the justification for the commercial zeal of the Dutch merchants, which thereby helped capitalism to get started.


Thank you for your attention again....



MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020


The Discussion


[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:17] herman Bergson: This little country...Texas is 15 times larger....., shaped the world

[13:18] CB Axel: Is that size in area or in population?

[13:18] herman Bergson: Size in area, CB

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the Netherlands are about 300 km long:))

[13:19] herman Bergson: And yet its influence on history has been enormous

[13:19] herman Bergson: 350 km to be exact :-)

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats something for sure

[13:20] herman Bergson: That is the distance we always saw on the meter when traveling from Maastricht to Lauwersoog (the Island:-)

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes:)

[13:20] CB Axel: Texas has almost twice the population, too.

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i once did that by bike:)

[13:20] herman Bergson: We have 17 million CB

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in those days we didn't have so many people

[13:20] CB Axel: 29 million in Texas.

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:21] CB Axel: Neither did Texas! LOL

[13:21] herman Bergson: Not a highly populated state

[13:21] CB Axel: No. There's a whole lot of empty space in Texas.

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but the south of the Netherlands didn't belong to Netherland those days

[13:21] herman Bergson: You can go on a Cruz there and meet nobody and nothing

[13:22] CB Axel: And not just between Ted Cruz's ears.

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): soit was even smaller

[13:22] herman Bergson: Nevertheless Beertje. we did it \o/

[13:22] herman Bergson: We invented capitalism

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes:)

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I see

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it was a rich country then

[13:23] CB Axel nods

[13:24] CB Axel: Was trade the biggest business back then?

[13:24] herman Bergson: from a legal perspective the interesting aspect of the "invention" was that the VOC was treated asa legal person.....

[13:24] herman Bergson: Oh yes CB

[13:25] herman Bergson: You lend money to the VOC....it buys ships, crews etc for it and makes a profit with those ships...

[13:25] CB Axel: So, the US didn't invent treating businesses as people either?

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa that concept!

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): is familiar

[13:26] herman Bergson: When it goes wrong you don't loose your money...as was what happened before.....your share lost value only

[13:26] CB Axel: How much did the VOC influence politics and law?

[13:26] herman Bergson: Don't think so CB....The VOC was juridically a "person" I guess

[13:27] herman Bergson: In those days the VOC WAS the politics, I guess

[13:29] herman Bergson: An amazing moment in history

[13:29] CB Axel: So people have always been less important than money.

[13:29] Laila Schuman: not to a mother....

[13:29] herman Bergson: Well....if you add the slave trade to that CB....

[13:30] CB Axel: Those weren't considered people. They were a commodity.

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sadly seems to be the case, money goes before everything

[13:30] CB Axel: Pretty ship, Beertje.

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): safety, human lives ect

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this we clearly see with Bophal and Deepwater horizon, obvious signs for disasrter were disregarded cause money flow would cease

[13:31] herman Bergson: Universal Human Rights have only be agreed upon after World War II

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and in case of bophal they wanted to sasve money by cutting down on staff and maintenance even they knew what dangerous stuff was in there

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and murdered 1000s

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with poison

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mone before all!

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): money

[13:32] CB Axel: Also the power issues in Texas, Bejiita.

[13:32] Laila Schuman: uber alles

[13:32] herman Bergson: That is the face of capitalism....money and profits come first

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes that we see now

[13:32] CB Axel: Winterizing the grid would have taken away from the profits.

[13:33] herman Bergson: SO they didn't do it.....

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and now people freeze to death and the survivors get bills of millions of dollars

[13:33] CB Axel nods

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): crazy!

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:33] CB Axel: Thank you, Netherlanders!

[13:33] herman Bergson: And the reasoning is that that is more profitable  than preventing a problem like that which happens only once in a decade

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (aims champagne bottle at Herman)

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): naaa its not YOUR fault

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ur all nice

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:34] CB Axel: Severe winter weather has happened two years in a row now.

[13:35] CB Axel: They need to wake up and smell the coffee.

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mmmmm fresh coffee

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yum

[13:35] herman Bergson: I must admit that it was a peculiar discovery that the Dutch stood at the cradle of capitalism :-))

[13:35] CB Axel: Instead they have people saying that wind turbines don't work in the winter.

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but can you blame them for the trouble in Texas now?

[13:35] CB Axel: Yes.

[13:35] herman Bergson: I heard that bogus too CB

[13:36] CB Axel: Iowa and Illinois have wind farms that work all year round.

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but heard that here in sweden to and there have indeed not been windy at all during this cold period

[13:36] herman Bergson: Of course not Beertje.....this is the flow of history

[13:37] CB Axel: Wait. Who are you blaming for the trouble in Texas? The Dutch?

[13:37] CB Axel: I blame Texans.

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or if its just a complaint as to why they shut down a fully working nuclear power station (for economic reasons caused by Fukushima, we dont even have tsunamis and earthquakes here!)

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): [13:33] CB Axel: Thank you, Netherlanders!

[13:37] herman Bergson: Seems to me a better choice indeed :-)

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that power plant could have ran indeed many more years safley

[13:37] CB Axel: Ah. I do blame you for capitalism :)

[13:37] herman Bergson: Capitalism has also brought a lot of good things

[13:38] herman Bergson: The central question today is the priorities.....

[13:38] Laila Schuman: YES

[13:38] herman Bergson: equal spread of wealth

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it have both god and bad sides,

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa indeed equalizing

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the greed factor is the big problem in capitalism

[13:39] CB Axel: I guess I shouldn't blame the trouble in Texas completely on capitalsim.

[13:39] herman Bergson: diminishing the gap between the poor and rich

[13:39] CB Axel: It should be blamed on unregulated capitalism.

[13:39] Laila Schuman: and politics

[13:40] Laila Schuman: greed

[13:40] herman Bergson: In the 80 Reagan and Thatcher deregulated capitalism a lot.....

[13:40] herman Bergson: it gave way to unlimited greed indeed

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:41] CB Axel: It used to be the case that a business had to create a product or service that was good and useful and people would pay for.

[13:41] CB Axel: Now they just make things and provide service good enough to get by.

[13:42] Laila Schuman: now it is if you can make the product "desirable"...

[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes....but the main goal  should not be the profit it would produce, but what good it was for the community

[13:42] CB Axel: They don't care about quality.

[13:42] Laila Schuman: because that makes YOU desirable.. (you think)

[13:43] Laila Schuman: quality is not as important as perception

[13:43] herman Bergson: Next ime we'll look for an alternative for this money and profit focused system

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so indeed

[13:44] CB Axel: True, Laila.

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:44] herman Bergson: At this moment advertisement and marketing are the magic tools

[13:45] herman Bergson: Just imagine that Facebook and google  and others only live of the income from advertisements....

[13:45] herman Bergson: I find that so absurd

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and data

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:46] herman Bergson: A whole business model based on manipulating and influencing people

[13:46] CB Axel: Well, that's how newspapers survived as long as they have.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we think its free but it is not because we sell our souls to them and get spam in return

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): more or less

[13:46] CB Axel: I'm pretty good at ignoring spam.

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they know a lot about you CB

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): more than you want

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well its no harmful code involved so

[13:47] CB Axel: They know I like cats and pizza. :)

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also FB would not say blast you with say pornsites and other unserious stuff

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess i can take that

[13:48] Laila Schuman: they do know a lot about us.... i have a journalism background... and, therefore, propaganda

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but

[13:48] herman Bergson: Well...we know a lot about Beertje.....

[13:49] Laila Schuman: propaganda techniques

[13:49] herman Bergson: She is 14 years in SL now

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh dear

[13:49] herman Bergson: So let's conclude our discussion with celebrating that :-)

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yay

[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yay

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)

[13:49] CB Axel: Yay! Happy rez day, Beertje!

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): dankjewel:)

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:50] herman Bergson: Thank you all again......

[13:50] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and class:-))

[13:50] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lets celebrate with some

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): * PLUPP *

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):


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