Author Topic: What was (is) the argument for slavery?  (Read 1669 times)

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Offline jasc15

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What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:54:22 PM »
It is incomprehensible to most living in the modern-day first world that slavery existed, and it is usually attributed to racism and other variations of xenophobia, with weak economic arguments as well.

I went on yet another wikipedia binge tonight beginning with the article on Company Store.  Workers are paid in vouchers which may only be redeemed for goods sold by their employer.  I found my way to the article on Wage Slavery, an idea which I have thought about and read about lately.  We are "technically free", but still must trade our labor for our sustinance.*

The particular words that made me think to write this post are from a guy named Simon Linguet (who I've never heard of until now):

Quote
what effective gain [has] the suppression of slavery brought [him ?] He is free, you say. Ah! That is his misfortune . . . These men . . . [have] the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is, need. . . . They must therefore find someone to hire them, or die of hunger. Is that to be free?

This seems to be the intellectual basis of slavery, with the other features of racism, etc. just lending support to the idea.  The argument was that all workers are slaves, and it was better to be kept by a master than to have the burden of finding your own work.

*I think a clear and effective counter argument would be that we are free to earn above a subsistence wage, and thus buy our real freedom.

So this is all probably obvious, but I thought it would be a good topic.

Online El Barto

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 09:00:59 PM »
What's always amazed me about this is that people have been so deluded that they're convinced this is the greatest system in the world. My newer source of amazement is that this delusion and the accompanying arrogance will likely make the transition to a post-scarcity world nightmarish.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Online gmillerdrake

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 09:06:14 PM »
My 7 year old told me he was a Slave tonight. That he has no say in anything and has to do everything he and his mom says. I asked him where he heard that and he said he just figured it out.



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Offline jasc15

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 09:10:59 PM »
Barto, I think you will enjoy reading this guy's blog (something tells me you may have heard of him):

https://earlyretirementextreme.com/debt-slave-revolution-will-not-be-televised.html

https://earlyretirementextreme.com/the-voluntarily-dispossessed.html

Online Chino

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 07:25:33 AM »
What's the argument for slavery? Greed.


Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 01:06:33 PM »
Thread title a little misleading from context of thread topic.

The argument was that all workers are slaves, and it was better to be kept by a master than to have the burden of finding your own work.

Basically this for me. I would rather sit at this crappy desk for 8 hours and post on dtf.org in order to provide for my family than get up at 0400am and milk my cows.
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Offline jasc15

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 01:34:30 PM »
Thread title a little misleading from context of thread topic.
Yeah, I was still thinking and formulating my idea as I was creating the post.  It's more of a rhetorical question for discussion purposes.

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 01:46:50 PM »
What's the argument for slavery? Greed.

and empowerment. 



Offline Orthogonal

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 08:25:43 PM »
The particular words that made me think to write this post are from a guy named Simon Linguet (who I've never heard of until now):

Quote
what effective gain [has] the suppression of slavery brought [him ?] He is free, you say. Ah! That is his misfortune . . . These men . . . [have] the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is, need. . . . They must therefore find someone to hire them, or die of hunger. Is that to be free?


I think that is a little disingenous. Men obviously have mortal needs, but saying they must find someone to hire them or die of hunger is a strawman. You'll never be free from mortality. Before the division of labor and large scale capital accumulation, men had only a subsistence living that they had to forge on their own. Having someone else to trade their excess food directly or indirectly for your labor is now an additional choice men have to satiate their needs.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 09:31:32 PM »
Except most people today aren't born with the land they need to self-sustain themselves. And it takes a large amount of money to get said land, to be able to sustain them self.

Or to put it another way:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enclosure


Offline jasc15

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 10:05:49 AM »
The particular words that made me think to write this post are from a guy named Simon Linguet (who I've never heard of until now):

Quote
what effective gain [has] the suppression of slavery brought [him ?] He is free, you say. Ah! That is his misfortune . . . These men . . . [have] the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is, need. . . . They must therefore find someone to hire them, or die of hunger. Is that to be free?


I think that is a little disingenous. Men obviously have mortal needs, but saying they must find someone to hire them or die of hunger is a strawman. You'll never be free from mortality. Before the division of labor and large scale capital accumulation, men had only a subsistence living that they had to forge on their own. Having someone else to trade their excess food directly or indirectly for your labor is now an additional choice men have to satiate their needs.
To be clear, I am not agreeing with that assessment.  I had just never heard an apologist argument for slavery, since in our time it is viewed as a nearly universal evil, and you don't hear any arguments in favor.

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2013, 05:26:38 AM »
Check out my blog!
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As frequently happens, Super Dude nailed it.

Offline GuineaPig

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Re: What was (is) the argument for slavery?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 11:41:17 AM »
There were serious justifications for slavery.   Here's the full, unabridged declaration of secession from the state of Mississippi (which also shows how bullshit the "It wasn't about slavery!" argument is).

Quote
A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.
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