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  1. #21
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Could slavery have survived if the US civil war had gone differently? Or was it a doomed institution anyway?
    Slavery has been abolished at various times throughout history, but it never really stuck until after the Civil War. For example, Cyrus the Great insisted on paying wages to all workers, but as we all know slavery existed long after Cyrus the Great was gone. I think the end of slavery had more to do with industialization and the resulting changes in the structure of the economy.
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  2. #22
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    Well slavery was abolished throughout the Medieval period before it was reintroduced.

  3. #23
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Well slavery was abolished throughout the Medieval period before it was reintroduced.
    I'm not convinced that the life of a serf was much better.
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  4. #24
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Yes.

    While it may not be in the same sense as the other well known forms (like black slavery,) it is, in a sense, slavery.

    We give a bit of our freedoms for the government's protection.

    Those that have power and money, make those that don't do the work for them. Example? How many rich people are there in the United States in relative to it's population (without comparing it to another country?) The most likely answer is that the average American don't make enough money that they don't have to worry about money. In fact, most of them have to work the hard way. You can easily see this basic trend around the world.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Chattel slavery was not likely to have survived except as a political symbol, if then. Why do I believe this? Most of the northern states had been slave states prior to the war at one time or other. All of the original colonies had at one time had legal slavery, with the exception of Pennsylvania. In fact, there were still slaves in the north even after the Emancipation Proclamation. The purchase of slaves was illegal in New Jersey, but at the time the Civil War opened there was still a handful of slaves who were "grandfathered in," as it were. I believe that the wave of abolition that had started in the North would have continued to progress eventually throughout the South, especially because...

    ...it was discovered on the big Southern plantations after the war that having free black tenant farmers ("sharecroppers") working for you was cheaper than owning slaves, and only provided a marginally greater degree of actual freedom for the workers in question.

    So I wouldn't give the South any credit for altruism. I believe the South would simply have discovered that slavery wasn't the best way to manage labor.
    I agree with this, and would also add that the industrial revolution would have played a part if it had been given the opportunity. I also think that much of the racist attitude toward blacks was a retaliation due to the conditions under which they were freed and Northern policy toward the South after the Civil war.
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  6. #26
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'm not convinced that the life of a serf was much better.
    The life of a wage worker wasn't all that much better after slavery was abolished either (in fact it was abolished because wage work was more ecoomically efficient)... The little people were screwed back in the day either way.
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  7. #27
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'm not convinced that the life of a serf was much better.
    A serf certainly had more rights than a slave, including not working if his lord mistreated him. William Cobbett in his historical writings noted how favorable Medieval peasants were treated as opposed to industrial factory workers in his day.

  8. #28
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    Poisonous Prussian Pedagogy

    It's extraordinary that institutional slavery was abolished for the first time in human history by the House of Commons in 1833.

    We had to wait until the Enlightenment 'til slavery was criticised as violating the rights of man.

    Slavery was taken for granted for 200,000 years just as compulsory schooling is taken for granted today.

    Yes, almost everyone here has been forced to go to school by law. And so naturally we take it for granted just as we took slavery for granted.

    And just as slaves were branded by red hot irons, we have been branded by literacy.

    And when they taught us to read, no one told us we wouldn't be able to stop.

    Our very sense ratios have been violated by being forced to read and write.

    Yet look around you. No one has been forced by law to learn to use the telephone, the television, the radio, the CD player, the ipod or the computer.

    And not only do we learn to use the electronic media naturally without coercion, but we are restoring our sense ratios to their natural balance.

    Yet the schools and the law have a huge momentum, they are determined to keep forcing down our throats their Prussian Pedagogy, their poisonous Prussian Pedagogy.

  9. #29
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    It did. The only freedom you have under wage slavery is to choose the type of chains you're wearing. You've still got to wear those chains, and someone will still profit off your labor.

  10. #30
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I think its interesting how this question went from philosophical and general (morality and the human condition) to very specific and historical (civil war facts). Or maybe that's the other way around.
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