Nothing justifies slavery

Apparently some dingbat has said that we are better off because slavery existed.

Even if this were true, which it’s not, it is a morally repugnant position to hold. Everyone should reject it on principle.

Clearly the dingbat has never read The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin. The point of the story is that no matter how pleasant your existence: if only one person has to suffer massively for your happiness, your happiness isn’t worth a dime.

Omelas by Charis Loke.

We are all worse off because slavery existed (and continues to exist). The people who were and are directly affected by it clearly are the worst affected. The suffering inflicted by slavery and the Jim Crow era and racism is huge.

But even for those indirectly affected: Chattel slavery was absolutely horrific and totally wrong: just the act of holding another human against their will is bad enough. Add to that the sheer brutality and cruelty that it took to maintain it and you have a horror that taints everything it touched.

Apologists and whitewashers of slavery want you to believe that enslaved people had a nice life on the plantations. They really didn’t.

The huge numbers who died during the journey across the Atlantic. The horrific conditions aboard the slave ships. The destabilization of African societies because of the wars fomented to provide a supply of enslaved people. The massive suffering on the plantations. The brutal crushing of slave revolts. The pursuit of people who managed to escape. The splitting up of families when enslaved people were sold. Then after emancipation, the racism and discrimination that still continued: the lynchings, the beatings, the massacre of whole towns of successful Black people.

If it wasn’t for the need to fight racism, there’d be a cure for cancer, and multiple moon landings by now, many more scientific discoveries, and amazing art works, because of all the people who would have invented and created things instead of having to fight racism.

When the British Empire abolished slavery, they didn’t pay compensation to enslaved people. They made them work as “apprentices” for another four years, and borrowed a huge sum of money to pay compensation for loss of “property” to the slave-holders. The British Treasury finished paying that loan in 2015, over two hundred years after the money was borrowed.

So no, we are not better off because slavery existed: we, as a species, are immeasurably poorer (morally, socially, and financially) because of it.

One thought on “Nothing justifies slavery

  1. Pingback: Random Links of the Day Pagan Edition – Adventures of A Mage In Miami

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