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@natecull Sorry. Mis-read your timeline.
It *is* interesting. Skimming around a bit...it kinda seems like it stemmed from some Republicans being in favor of America's imperial tendencies at the time...
Republicans pushed for annexation of Hawaii while Democrats were against it...
Could imperialism lead to hard-core capitalism? I mean...it *usually* does...

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@natecull @natecull Interesting: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic
It's just an overview, but it seems like the real shift for Republicans to "the party of big business" happened in 1896 with Waren G Harding and the emerging gold standard? There's not a lot of detail there...great...I know what I'm reading about tonight...

@john

I see imperialism and capitalism as two separate things.

It is quite possible, as for example ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia and the Soviet Union showed, to have predatory imperialism without capitalism as we would understand it in its modern only-400-or-so-year-old form.

Rome's empire though maybe was more of a capitalist or proto-capitalist approach? They literally had privatised tax collectors.

@natecull That's totally fair and I suppose when I think of imperialism, I'm lazy in my thinking and ignore examples like Persia.

I am struggling to imagine how a privatized tax collection system even works...is it like...payday loans, except with government management somehow? I'm very confused.

@john

I'm not sure myself but I imagine the tax collectors got to keep a percentage of their income? Good way to incentivize higher returns.

But they were also building contractors, apparently!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publican

@john

<< Private organisations, societas publicanorum, and their managers, the publicani, took care of most public duties, such as constructing public buildings, supplying equipment for the army, operating mines, and, most importantly, collecting taxes. The societies participated in tenders for public duties. Those who offered the lowest price won construction deals, and those who guaranteed the highest amount of collected taxes for the senate succeeded in tax collection tenders. >>

@john

<< The societas publicanorum were probably the first type of limited liability shareholder-owned companies. This arrangement makes Societas Publicanorum one of the first examples of hybrid organization or public-private partnership. >>

Well well well.

@natecull So strange to imagine that in the modern US government. Like a captive bid process in reverse...where the government gets the best possible deal instead of the single-bid contractor getting the best deal.
Seems these Romans where nearly as good at Capitalism as the US is.

@john

but yeah, as well as being infrastructure and defense contractors (Halliburton 1AD), "tax farming". Privatized tax collection.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm_(re

<< The system was widely abused, and reforms were enacted by Augustus and Diocletian.[7] Tax farming practices are believed to have contributed to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in Western Europe >>

@john

So th Gold Standard actually was only created *after* the Civil War! That's interesting!

@natecull I think that depends on your definition. They landed on gold as the single standard, but only because pre-Civil War US monetary policy was a mess: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_sta

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