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  •  This encourages my theory about the finance of (34+ / 0-)

    slavery.  Slavery was more about perversion than money.
    You can make more money paying people slave wages than you can enslaving them. The slavers were perverted, and did what they did for the sadism, rape, murder, privilege,
    etc. Slavery just doesn't make economic sense compared to the alternative, give poor people no choice but to work for peanuts. Thoughts?

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:28:57 AM PST

    •  Agreed. nt (7+ / 0-)

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:30:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I must disagree with the evil motive theory (20+ / 0-)

      No doubt there were slave owners who were cruel,  perverse, etc.  But eventually those emotions run out and can't be used to build a permanent society.  

      The quiet legal-fication (if I can make a word there) of slavery, and its permanent incorporation into the economic environment were much more effective.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:33:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, I believe you have re-enforced my theory, (13+ / 0-)

        it is truly perverted to be around people and not recognize them as people.

        "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

        by leftyguitarist on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:35:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, but slavery was far more than personal (20+ / 0-)

          cruelty, which can only go so far.  Bank loans etc. were made based on slaves as collateral.

          You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

          by Cartoon Peril on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:41:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  assets (17+ / 0-)

            I agree with you that it is the mundane and the level of normativity that is the most perverse, especially when viewed from our era.    

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 11:11:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, perverse. That is the word that I was using (6+ / 0-)

              in my original comment. That is the discussion I am looking for.

              "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

              by leftyguitarist on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:00:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It was all about the money. (0+ / 0-)

                I personally do not see the benefit of dwelling on a situation that was ended more than a century ago by a civil war overwhelmingly fought by white people.

                The diarist seems eager to prove "perversion". I call it slave porn, and people interested in it seem distressingly similar to other pornography addicts.

                Yes, racism exists. So does misogyny. As does pedophilia and other evils. If someone wants to wallow in victimhood, that is entirely their choice.

                If one feels the need to discover their "roots", that's up to them. But I believe where one comes form is less important than where one is or where one is going.

                And wasting time on slave porn is not helpful.

                "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                by glorificus on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 04:06:45 PM PST

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                •  Actually there's great value (13+ / 0-)

                  To be had in understanding how fundamental "realities" about human consciousness do in fact change over time...and these examples presented in this diary illustrate how understandings about something as basic as what constitutes a person vs. property are not in fact universals at all.

                  You may not see any value in it personally, but that doesn't mean that other people, with an eye toward understanding the way human beings make the conditions of their existence meaningful (and to some degree real) over time and in different places.

                  Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                  by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:14:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You could have skipped the diary - you do have (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  swampyankee, Cartoon Peril, MichaelNY

                  freedom to choose which diaries you read.

                •  You don't see the benefit of consciousness-raising (4+ / 0-)

                  about slavery? That's really too bad. Slavery and the murder and dispossession of the Native Americans were two of the most fundamental aspects of American history, and the more we study and are conscious of the way they were begun and perpetuated, the better we understand ourselves.

                  And you confuse the diarist here with others responding to the diary:

                  The diarist seems eager to prove "perversion".
                  Nope. Read what Cartoon Peril says:
                  I must disagree with the evil motive theory

                  No doubt there were slave owners who were cruel,  perverse, etc.  But eventually those emotions run out and can't be used to build a permanent society.  

                  The quiet legal-fication (if I can make a word there) of slavery, and its permanent incorporation into the economic environment were much more effective.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:23:01 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're correct, I mis-identified the comment (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cartoon Peril

                    I responded to as the diarist.

                    I apologize to Cartoon Peril.

                    And no, I don't see the benefit to conscious-raising about slavery, beyond saying it's immoral and evil. I think some find the stories of slaves being raped and abused as titillating - that's why I call it slave porn.

                    I do see a benefit regarding the genocide attempted against the Indians and in the Holocaust against the many groups the Nazis didn't like.

                    And Great FSM,

                    the more we study and are conscious of the way they were begun and perpetuated, the better we understand ourselves.
                    Where and what is evidence of this greater understanding?

                    Voter suppression?

                    I'm not impressed.

                    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                    by glorificus on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:17:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You apparently think (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      swampyankee

                      that learning about history, which is where we came from, is rarely useful. I don't understand why. It's like questioning why we should be interested in astronomy or biology or geography. All those disciplines help us to understand the context in which we live.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:19:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think learning about history is great, and we (0+ / 0-)

                        don't do enough of it. I see the focus on slave porn here at DK where little else is brought forward as lop-sided and, as I said, unnecessary.

                        Maybe there have been lots of diaries on here discussing American political history or the benefits of Marovengians or philosophies of ancient China and I haven't seen them.

                        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                        by glorificus on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:29:34 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Where's the porn in this? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          swampyankee

                          It's a legal document.

                          Besides, I disagree with you on that, too. You think photographs of slaves or genocides are not important historical documents?

                          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                          by MichaelNY on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:36:04 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Enslaving a people or individual can be (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          swampyankee, glorificus

                          accomplished in more ways than actually physically having ownership of their bodies. The financial aspect is really important because we continue to enslave in the general sense everyday thru low wages, lack of opportunity and poor educational options. Citizens of whole countries are enslaved, again in the general sense by things like Colonialism. It is one thing to be able to go to the bank and borrow against the value of your slaves, but we also moved to oppress whole groups like Native Americans, take everything of value and giving them nothing in return. Colonialism did the same thing striping everything of value while ignoring the welfare of indigenous people. Slavery in all its forms is hardly gone, just evolved into something less likely to be recognized for what it really is and in some ways more socially acceptable in modern day capitalism.

                          The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

                          by cherie clark on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:47:23 AM PST

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      •  the evil motive side worked to delay abolition (14+ / 0-)

        not setting it up in the first place... all situations in the present are the result of a lot of previous steps and decisions that followed the path of least residence and the largest return... once headed in a particular direction accidental and intentional additions to the landscape and the decision making and moral justifications tend to keep things heading in the same direction... usually long past where the original reasons work any longer or the balance sheets add up or the increasing moral and economic destructiveness far outweighs the now obsolete justification.

        Labor shortage, labor force unwilling to migreate... slavery is a solution as well as convict labor. Slaves bought in Africa (Or kidnapped by traders cut out of the "legal" sources)were cheaper originally... transport costs were a  bigger part of the expense... But as the wholesale cost in Africa kept going up year after year... keeping most the "cargo" alive became more and more of a priority ... faster ships marginally better "care" on legal slave ships... but the costs just going up anyway. The energy and effort kept going in the direction of extending the age of slavery not as much abolition and finding alternatives... (like fossil fuel today vs. renewable, existing investment, moneyed interests and denial are powerful things... but in comparison slavery did have other perverse payoffs for some)

        Once importation of new slaves from Africa was made illegal... the whole market in the US turned to breeding the domestic supply and the laws of supply and demand and the entrenchment of the use of slaves and the dominance of the landed gentry in economics and politics of the South meant they could drag their heels on any changes that might go with the inevitable flow of history and make sure laws favored keeping slavery "forever"...

        And part of the whole keeping of it the way it was does link up to the sadism, exploitation etc by at least a sizable percentage of the enablers and benefiters of slavery... they could have been a minority of those invested in it but they would have had extra dimensions of motivation... and higher levels of enthusiasm and activism... Those who get extra buzz and  or have more secret guilt over their sick abuses...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:50:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cartoon Peril: have you seen the "Bluebird" ads? (8+ / 0-)

        Wal-Mart really is a "company store" -- they even offer an alternative, now, to banks and credit unions.

        The legalization of slavery through the back doors our corporate overlords have enjoyed installing since 1980 continues unabated, but now there's a major American financial company (American Express) backing up the "race to the bottom" leader in treating workers rottenly, creating the sorriest possible work environment, denying access to benefits and dominating even the employee's off-hours ("constant availability" which means that even though you can only work 35 hours a week you have to be able to say "yes" to a call in at any time).

        We need bigger reforms than anybody imagines, I fear.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:50:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe the word you were looking for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril

        was legitimization.

    •  Disagree to some degree (14+ / 0-)

      Slavery in the South happened because there was no way to get enough voluntary workers in the fields. Pay would have had to go up dramatically and anyone who who wanted to farm could go out west and get some land rather than work for a landowner. Indentured servants were more expensive than slaves and they had rights that had to be respected.

      Slavery didn't work in other areas of the country because there wasn't the differential in value between slaves and laborers.

      The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

      by freelunch on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:41:15 AM PST

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    •  Euguene Fox Genovese (10+ / 0-)

      The Moral Economy of Slavery, but be prepared for a flat out metric ton of criticism.

      No, "evil" won't explain it. Yes, the economics argued against its continuation. No, that doesn't mean it was ending. No, that doesn't mean it kept going for Evil. Yes, it means that the economic structure of the south was headed for a massive crash and tremendous capital fall, if not internal revolution.

      If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

      by The Geogre on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:43:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Slavery was about a fundamental worldview of how (18+ / 0-)

      society should be ordered. A worldview that supports slavery is fundamentally different than one that does not.  The book "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" by Colin Woodard, describes how the elites of the Deep South are descended mainly from the owners of plantations from Barbados.  These owners were the younger sons of the British nobility who'd run out of land in the Caribbean islands and came to the southern American colonies in search of more land.   These aristocrats brought with them a culture that was fundamentally different from the northern colonies. As Woodard says, "From the outset, Deep Southern culture was based on radical disparities in wealth and power, with a tiny elite commanding total obedience and enforcing it with state-sponsored terror. "

      •  "British nobility".... (9+ / 0-)

        ...is a crucial part of this whole equation too. The plantation class really did descend primarily from a British (prevailingly Anglo-Norman, with all the suppression of the Saxons they conquered that that entails) aristocracy steeped in royal blood and pretension, and in the rights, privileges, and entitlements of feudalism. Given the status of serfs in feudal Europe, it's no coincidence that the descendants of feudal lords would be slave owners in America.

        PW

        "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

        by Progressive Witness on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 11:22:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that premise is over simplified (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          My family, Highland Scots, Chieftain class learned their lessons the hard way being hunted like animals. They came to this country nearly 30 years before the Revolutionary War. They bought land worked that land and never ever owned slaves. That is not to say all Scottish immigrants felt the same way, clearly they didn't. But I think my point is not every english speaking settler thought slavery was a good thing, or thought they were entitled to anymore than a fresh start.

          The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

          by cherie clark on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:00:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Except you aren't taking into account (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, Nulwee

      one of the uglier aspects of slaveholding: start with two slaves of different gender, and you can breed your own "stock."

      That makes slaveholding much more profitable than employing people even at a pittance.

      •  Yes and no. The slave-owning class had this (10+ / 0-)

        all worked out on a bell-curve.  The value of young children and old people was reckoned at next to nothing, because the price of a human being was reflective solely as a function of the labor which could be extracted from him or her.  

        In this case, the purchaser of Susannah and her children must have calculated that he could extract more than $7500 worth of labor from them, after paying for expenses such as food, shelter, etc.

        Note in this receipt the pre-printed warranty that Susannah and her children were "sound and healthy in mind and body" -- should this not be true, the purchaser's business decision might prove a bad one.

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:54:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just a note that may help understanding (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tennessee Dave, Nulwee, MichaelNY

          The bill of sale was drawn in 1864, which means that the $7500 would have been Confederate money.  

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:53:07 PM PST

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      •  elmo, you're brushing the edge of the argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee

        that cost Jimmy the Greek his job.

        But take another look at that argument.

        I really think Jimmy the Greek was not making a racist statement -- or if so, he was accusing, not excusing, the slaveowners. Abstract this with me:

        We accept, even laud, the development of more robust and higher-yielding forms of property THAT ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS nowadays. Our worldview HAS changed since the days when Americans regarded slavery as legitimate. At the same time, we have not yet as a whole reached a point where we no longer consider it wrong to "breed for better" in roses or horses, in beef cattle or high-yielding grains, in cotton or chickens (and here I do not include genetically-modified organisms, as I'm quite certain most of those are going to turn out to be as poorly planned as monoculture always is, with the possible exception of certain novelties -- cats that glow in the dark come to mind. I don't think that those novelties will reach such production numbers that they'll become commercially viable), in onagers or orchids.

         What Jimmy the Greek said was, in a world where slaves were not thought of as human beings but as livestock, Mendelian genetic engineering took place -- some on purpose -- in an effort to create a more valuable property.

        Unpalatable though that notion remains, it does contain a grain of truth. I am not saying the ends justify the means; I am saying, out of even evil at its blackest, some good can arise.

         

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 04:13:04 PM PST

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    •  Just to back that up (6+ / 0-)

      I got curious about what $7,500 would be in today's money.  The inflation calculator I found only went back to 1913 but $7,500 in 1913 money is worth $175K in 2012 dollars.  That does see, apart for the moral abhorrence, like a very inefficient economic model.

      "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

      by Spider Stumbled on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 12:39:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, Nulwee, MichaelNY

      this does not seem logical to me...while slavery is evil on its face, that doesn't prove motive in all cases...many people who owned slaves were businessmen...$7,500 for a lifetime of slave work from three people  (and possibly more)...is pretty darn cheap...

    •  That wasn't the case. (5+ / 0-)

      At the us founding there was lots of land for cash crops but little labor available.   The cheapest way to obtain labor to turn the land into productive crops was forced labor--forced to come, forced to work, and prevented from homesteading on their own.  Notably the big struggles over slavery occurred when the us acquired big chunks of land that needed labor for exploitation.

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 12:52:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ship Building (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, Nulwee, MichaelNY

      Years ago I remember reading that the Baltimore ship yards had an advantage over their New England competators because of slave labor. So if I'm remembering correctly this is a case where economics were driving things. Of course, this doesn't discount the viciousness of the slavers--it just explains their consistency.

    •  The Banality of Evil ~ Hannah Arendt. It is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      comprehending the consequences of the institutionalization of the practice by the society that crosses the rubicon.

      The dream knows no frontier or tongue,/ The dream no class or race. Langston Hughes

      by parse this on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 11:46:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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