A landmark revisionist history of Canada, A History of Canadian Wealth remains as lively and startling as it was when first published.Reviews
It is the historical documentation of the shaping of Canada from a feudal regime that through rebellion, and by government largese allowed for the mercantilist creation of the modern Canadian state.
Early in the century, an American, Gustavus Myers, had written A History of Canadian Wealth (1914), describing the amassing of Canadian resources and wealth in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and families. Myers also showed how these wealthy Canadians were often the same people who governed the country. In nineteenth century Canada, the capitalist and the governing class were often the same people and, in these circumstances, there was little difficulty in identifying these as a ruling class.Canadian Social Theory
Canada has always been a state captialist regime, since its inception as a colony of both France and England. Myer's work documents Canada's transition from a fuedalist colony to a seignueral state to a mercantilist monopoly capitalist state in this amazing work. A work of course we were never taught in social studies or history classes. Ryerson and others refered to it but as a source document it has laid gathering dust on university bookshelves. Until now. It is available here, for your enjoyment and elucidation.
Myers thesis is about how the imperial powers of the Church State in Canada gained its wealth, capital by theft. Begining with aboriginal Canadians.
While such writings are starkly revealing of the wretched conditions in which Aboriginals were living, they tend to blame Aboriginal People themselves for their poverty and suffering, a tendency which serves only one purpose extremely well -- that of concealing the true reasons for the poverty. For a deeper understanding of the connection between Aboriginal poverty and the theft of their lands one needs to read only a few books, such as Gustavus Myers' History of Canadian Wealth (1914), or R.T. Naylor's Canada in the European Age (1987), or Neu and Therrien's Accounting for Genocide (2003). Some Facts Behind the Joshua Bernard Decision
Myers main point is that unlike the United States, the Capitalist rebellion of 1837-1839 did not result in a free market capitalist society, though it did smash the control of the fuedal mercantilist families. What it allowed for was a unique Canadian form of monopoly capitalism, one that relied still upon mercantilism supported by the state. In fact the creation of the Canadian state was neccasary for the furtherance of national mercantile interests, which are still in power today.
A long panel of corporate ownership data, stretching back to 1910, shows that the
Canadian corporate sector began the century with a predominance of large pyramidal corporate groups controlled by wealthy families or individuals, and relatively few widely held firms. By the middle of the century, widely held firms had become predominant. However, from the 1970s on, there has been a marked resurgence of pyramidal groups controlled by wealthy families and individuals, corresponding to a large decline in the prevalence of widely held firms. Improvements in the general institutional environment and high taxes on inherited income accompany the rise of widely held firms. A sharp abatement in taxes on large estates and a rise in the likely returns to political rent seeking accompany the resurgence of pyramidal groups.
The Rise and Fall of the Widely Held Firm in Canada
Also see my articles:
Heres is an excerpt of Gustavus Myers work;
A HISTORY OF CANADIAN WEALTHCHAPTER VII