Rights and wrong about slavery

Interesting statement, but historically false.

I don’t defend slavery, which I condemn. But i would look at history before i judge.

If you look into history, slavery means different status for different people.

For instance, at the height of the roman empire, it was fashionable to free ones domestic slaves who were minor family members. Freed slaves became citizens, and some won power, fortune and fame.

And the status of slaves was constantly improved.

More fundamentally, in very ancient history, the winner tended to kill the vanquished. When it became profitable to keep in alive, after the beginnings of agriculture, slavery was a progress.

We see slavery from the point of view of Muslims and European slavers and from this point of view, it is morally wrong. The aim of was to find cheap labor, exploited in dreadful conditions. It was justified by a racist ideology.

I can understand that our ancestors were born in a world in which slavery and racism were looked on as natural truth. I can take the good sides and achievements of a slave owner, when judging him. Many of the founding fathers of USA were slave owners.

A last point. Many Europeans came to America as indentured servants, which is globally temporary slavery, willingly or not. The distinction between Indentured Europeans and African slaves was not clear during the beginnings.

[Indentured servitude - Wikipedia]

[Slavery in the United States - Wikipedia]

You assume? What’s that based on?
Improved in what way, a few favored b@st@r¶ slave children gained freedom after life time of being slave? That’s supposed to balance the millions enslaved for lives lived and died, like so much cattle?
This is why I’m a bit skeptical of people talking about morals -

Interesting it seems philosopher talk about moral plenty - but shy away when it come to defining morals.

Guess slaves did build the White House and many other grand buildings in Washington DC, who wouldn’t have been flattered to be forced to work on those projects - for grub and space on the floor to sleep???

False - comparing Indentured Servitude with the Slaves is disingenuous in the extreme.

Forced labor was not uncommon — **Africans and Europeans had been trading goods and people across the Mediterranean for centuries — but enslavement had not been based on race. **
> The trans-Atlantic slave trade, which began as early as the 15th century, introduced a system of slavery that was commercialized, racialized and inherited.
Enslaved people were seen not as people at all but as commodities to be bought, sold and exploited. …

Hmmm, seems from my reading of history that pre-agriculture, populations were small, conflicts were small and limited, it wasn’t until agriculture and the expansion of populations and birth of city states obsessed with becoming kingdoms, and huge armies, that slave taking became a thing.

Of course, in very ancient history, the odd kidnapped female might be an example of being made slave, only to make out good, if the female learned how to manage her new “husband” and brood.

I’d like to throw a little cool water on this. Morgan has some good points. CC, you are conflating events that are centuries apart, which is the whole point of my original “how to view the morality of people in history” post. You are doing the exact thing that I pointed out, judging people who are attempting to view history objectively, to figure out why people did the horrible things they did, and seemed to go about their daily business as if it was normal. We will be judged, for driving our cars and heating our houses while the world burned.

I didn’t read the whole NYT Mag article, but I’ve studied the history of slavery beginning with college courses. Search that article for Bacon’s Rebellion. That’s the point where white and black indentured servants aligned themselves against the government. To quell the rebellion, that government gave freedoms and protections to the whites and tightened the laws to enslave blacks for life, and it got worse for 200 years. We are feeling the repercussions of that still. It’s a complicated bit of history, and this article barely touches on it.

Even in the times Egypt and Rome had slaves, a slave girl or woman could be raped and no one would care. So, no, slavery has never been a good thing, at least for women and girls.

Lausten, I asked for further information, I don’t have a scholarly understanding of slavery’s history, but I do know the rough outlines

Who says? How do you figure that? Based on what?

What do we know about pre-agricultural society to support such a statement?
And I’d suggest most of what we do know, would dispute such a claim.
I’m open to being educated.

you are conflating events that are centuries apart,

But Morgan brought in the sweep of history and saying there’s been a steady improvement.
I thought I was comparing and not conflating.

Perhaps my second sentence was offensive and gratuitous and if we still had the ‘strikeout’ font style I strike through it, but I don’t want to delete it, because the point stands:

Does a few dozen or hundred or thousand southern US slaves freed, make up for the millions of colonial and US slaves condemned to live and die in bondage?
I don’t think that’s a case of “conflation”.

I haven’t bashed Morgan, nor do I want to, I want to hear his responses and the information he can point me to.

My apology to you and especially Morgan if I’m coming across overly harsh. I do have these anger issues with the insanity that been so normalized these days and that’s destroying our society just as surely as our environmental follies are destroying the biosphere we depend on.

Tell that to the lower castes in India.

The caste system has existed in some form in India for at least 3,000 years. It is a social hierarchy passed down through families, and it can dictate the professions a person can work in as well as aspects of their social lives, including whom they can marry. Jun 29, 2021
Attitudes about caste in India | Pew Research Center

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I am ready and eager to learn. And i can be mistaken or lack of precision.

When i say that the status of slaves improved in time, i was referring to the status of roman slaves in ancient times, not black African ones in USA.

I have not said that the life of a roman slave was a life of leisure and pleasure. Life of a miner slave or even of a farm slave was harsh. It improved, it took centuries.

But one must remember that in ancient Roma, a paterfamilias had power of life and death on every member of his household, including his children, and not only on his slaves.

[Slavery in ancient Rome - Wikipedia]

When i say that to judge a slave owner, i consider every one of his achievements, i mean that every man ix complex with good and bad sides. The way he treats his slaves is taken in account. That to judge some one, you must consider the whole of him is basic.

And yes, the transatlantic slave trade gives to slavery a new meaning. but don’t minimize the Muslim slave trade and its consequences on Africa and south Europa. .

We agree.

About Slave trade in Mediterranean

Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean,
the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003

I ma sorry i have no links in English about this book.

Just a number: " "Between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly a million and possibly as many as a million and a quarter white European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the barbarian coast. ".

And another one, the author evaluates the rate of attrition among the male slaves at 20%.

Okay. Sorry, my bad.

And I agree that it’s folly to judge anyone outside of the context of their ‘Time’.
And that decent men did own slaves and strive to treat them decently.

Still it’s all relative and I’m glad I’ve never had to walk in the shoes of a slave,
still I’m pretty sure they would all share an opinions quite different from their owners,
no matter what time or place. :wink:

Yeah, there’s that, we’re pretty much all the same, once our self-interest are more important than anyone else’s, power and treasure corrupt, no one seems immune, they wrote a rock’n roll classic on the topic

I still say women and girls were not treated very well, especially as slaves in Rome.

I agree .

Free Roman women were treated as underage people, under the auctoritas of the father, the husband or the son.

With time their legal conditions was improved.

As usual, the rich ones came off better.

Now, about roman slaves, men and women had to be available sexually for their masters.

Roman law and custom did not condemn homosexuality per se, but divided the people between active and passive. a Roman citizen had to be active. A slave had to accept to be passive, man or woman,

It was the same in the U.S. for a long time. Women couldn’t own property, vote, have credit, work, without her husband’s permission. If he died, the property went to his oldest male or his brother, unless she was all there was to inherit the property. Even then, it was problematic for her to own.

As a rule, yes.

And this is where the abuse really thrived. Even if a female slave, who could be a child of 12 even, refused, then the abuse flew with beatings, if not more. It was hardly better, IMHO.

Slavery is fairly common even today. It has died out in the Western world due to the rise of liberalism and to a lesser extent, technological advancements. But there is no guarantee it won’t return. In some desperate situations, being a slave is probably not the worst thing that could happen.

Liberalism was the cause of the slaves being freed in the U.S.? Really? I thought it was due to people, especially the Abolitionists, fighting against slavery. Of course, you do understand, that if your statement about Liberalism is/were true, it would mean that Liberalism is really a good thing. On the other hand, Lincoln was a Repug, yet he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which led to the freeing of the slaves. Of course, it was someone who didn’t want others to have freedom who shot him. Again, your statement makes Liberals the good guys, despite not all who ended slavery were Liberals. Thus, the dotard et al would be the bad guys, because they’d just love to have slavery again. And one more thing… Great Britain ended slavery before the U.S. did.

In the sense that liberalism promotes individual autonomy and rights, it definitely helped and slavery in the industrialized, normalized form it had taken on. It’s still alive in the West though, especially if you include the connection of child labor that creates products for the Western world

I wouldn’t say the child labor that happens in Asian sweatshops is in the West, but we definitely benefit from that labor.

Well, more like we inadvertently benefit.

Abolitionists were driven by liberal sentiment.

The notion that the individual has moral value which deserves recognition no matter who they are is essentially the core of liberalism. It’s impossible to reconcile slavery with that notion.

Which is what I said. Not that it’s in the West.