incentives for acquiring such property…

…there is reason to believe that the institution of ownership has begun with the ownership of persons, primarily women. The incentives to acquiring such property have apparently been: (1) a propensity for dominance and coercion; (2) the utility of these persons as evidence of the prowess of their owner; (3) the utility of their services.

…Women and other slaves are highly valued, both as an evidence of wealth and as a means of accumulating wealth. Together with cattle, if the tribe is a pastoral one, they are the usual form of investment for a profit. To such an extent may female slavery give it’s character to the economic life under the quasi-peaceable culture that the woman even comes to serve as a unit of value among peoples occupying this cultural stage – as for instance in Homeric times. Where this is the case there need be little question but that the basis of the industrial system is chattel slavery and that women are commonly slaves.

Thorstein Veblen, Conspicuous Consumption, Penguin Books, 1899, p. 30-31

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