Slavery!

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Turambar, May 16, 2013.

  1. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    When writing this post, it's 2013. That means it's 150 years since Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. As it happens, it's also 150 years since the Dutch abolished slavery in its colonies altogether. It's a good moment, I think, to look back.

    There is quite a lot of talk about slavery: it is said it made the West rich, whilst keeping other parts as poor as conceivably possible. It's said to be the biggest scar on Western civilization. It's said to affect a lot of lives to this day.

    I am really curious. In what way would you say slavery affects your life and the society you live in?
     
  2. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,642
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    I'm no historian so I can't really comment on how true slavery from a historical perspective impacts my life today. However, there's still a huge problem in western culture with taking advantage of others. I think of how almost everything is now "made in China/India/Bangladesh" because it's cheaper to pay a workforce of poor labourers next to nothing to work in horrid conditions and then ship the products over here to sell them cheap. Technically that isn't slavery but it seems pretty darn close to me.
    Case in point: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/04/29/bangladesh-factory-collapse-loblaw/

    This kind of thing weighs heavily on my mind. The problem is also that it is getting harder and harder to find things that are manufactured here. "100% Canadian Owned and Operated" is a pretty rare thing to find in an ad these days. "Manufactured in Canada" is almost as rare. I'd guess it's a similar situation in other places too....?
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    I think you are throwing globalisation into the mix. Personally, I see little harm in my products being produced elsewhere. In fact, the Dutch are doing quite well, because the rest of Europe (especially Germany) is having their consumables produced elsewhere. Truth is, of course, that there is little to no control over labour conditions in countries where these items are produced. Especially clothing manufacturing has a history of abuse preceding Dhaka by decades, possibly centuries. I am afraid that serfdom in the confection industry is a long way from being abolished.

    That said, I've just checked. The items of clothing I like best are made in: Turkey; Macedonia (Foinikas: FYROM); Romania; The Netherlands; Unspecied (!); China and China - and that's without trying. It's very much possible to buy clothing from countries with better labour conditions. I will readily admit, though, that most were not exactly cheap pieces of clothing...
     
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,642
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    I wasn't sure if my point would fit with what you intended the discussion to be. I don't have a problem with articles being manufactured elsewhere necessarily. The fact remains however that there are places where it's cheap to manufacture things simply because there are few, if any employment standards dictating the conditions under which workers are made to work. Manufacturing here has to follow employment standards. It's cheaper to manufacture goods in other places where they don't have to worry about stuff like workplace safety and fair wages. People desperate for any kind of income get taken advantage of under those conditions. It makes me wonder whenever I see a piece of clothing with a tag that says "made in Bangladesh". What am I supporting if I buy that product?
     
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    It's a double-edged knife, really. Manufacturing serfdom is of all times; it's a bit of a traveling circus. As such, serfdom is a very bad thing indeed. However, if you look at the history, it's usually leaving a country in a better state than it found it in. Usually, there is a cycle of a new abundance of work being offered, desperate people accepting it in serfdom, exploitation, uprising and a demand for better conditions. The last three steps might repeat a few time, all the while the country at hand is doing ever better. Look at Japan, Taiwan, Korea in the past. And now: China, Viet Nam, Malaysia. The question is whether there is enough will in the world to stop the circus from moving on altogether. All the more since being a rich country is no longer defined to the West.

    Don't get me wrong: I am against such exploitation, I am merely observing secondary effects here. It's all just so damn complicated...
     
  6. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    Slavery should be abolished and hunted down.We live in 2013 now not in the 19th century.Still,I think that the white settlers ruled the African countries a lot better than the way the black people rule their own countries right now.
     
  7. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,642
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    agreed *sigh*
     
  8. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    I live in the Deep South and the aftereffects of institutionalized slavery are still with us today.
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    Deep South is one of those places where the history is drenched in slavery (much like the whole Caribbean and Eastern South America). They also say slavery is still tangible there. Somehow, I find it kinda hard to understand, with 150 years and 6 or so generations separating us from slavery.

    Is it still slavery you are talking about, or is it more about the period of segregation that followed?
     
  10. Moo Guru

    Moo Guru New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0
    Well, slavery in England went under many terms. Domesday Book had 10% of the population as slaves, but the practice died out over the next 2 centuries.

    We did transport criminals as indentured servants (slaves until they'd done their time) *waves to Australia* lol. We tended to keep our slaves in our colonies rather than at home, but the poor were forcibly incarcerated in workhouses and made to work to pay for their keep - once you ended up there, it was pretty much for life.

    Workhouses were phased out about 50 years ago, but for many old people being too poor or frail to look after yourself is a stigma, still. There is still human trafficking going on; it's illegal but hard to stop, I guess, when you have an open door policy on immigration. Illegal immigrants will work for virtually nothing, and that will be the same in most of the western world, I'd imagine. All it takes is one unscrupulous git to take control of them and promise them safety in their country of choice for them working ...
     
  11. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    Dear Dreamscaper,
    You do not qualify for 80% of the scholarships offered by the university because you are a white male. If there was a scholarship for white men it would be both racist and sexist and you'd be defamed as guilty of every tragedy ever and a terrible person for your bloodline. Thanks for being understanding.

    Signed, my university.
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    I'm a fellow Floridian and I'm not saying you don't have a valid point... but, as a white man I don't begrudge that some folks get a step up as redress for past crimes and inequities. Neither you nor I will ever know what it's really like to be black in this country.
     
  13. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    America is still segregated.
    The high school I attended had two black students, brother and sister. What was once done by race is now done by affluence. And yes, it was the long period following the end of slavery in this country that we're still living with.
     
  14. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    4,068
    Likes Received:
    125
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crystal Prison (space crime)
    Ratings:
    +162 / 0 / -0
    Not even by affluence all the time. The public high school I went to kids rich or poor would sit together during lunch if they were the same race. There were some exceptions of course but in my case I just sat alone rather than continue the propagation of racial cliques or cliques at all.

    Also the abolishing of slavery didn't mean the end of it. During the colonization efforts in Africa, the damned of the Belgian Congo were basically slaves and so were many others as porters or fighting wars for the white man on behalf of the French or others. Later in more modern times it still continues like how Shell lorded over the Niger Delta along with a corrupt government while Nigerians did the work ultimately causing grievances of lower class Nigerians that suffered natural resource and land damage.

    Slavery was abolished but there is still racial tension and the aftermath scarred some worse than others. Racism to me boils down to animalistic fear of the unknown and ignorance. Slavery is far more devious, entirely conceived by man to manipulate pathetic man made markets an economies. But because they began they will be nearly impossible to end entirely.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Moo Guru

    Moo Guru New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0
    *nods enthusiastically*
     
  16. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    I'm predominantly Irish, where's my redress for the English taking food by force during the great famine? For the signs that read "No dogs, no Irish" and the 'No Irish Need Apply" signs, the slander, and accusations of criminal activity without evidence and the time spent in jail because of it? For the stereotypes of Irish men being nothing but drunks? My family wasn't considered white for the majority of the time we've been in this country, yet even so we've fought and died with honor, from serving General Washington to Iraq and almost every point in between. If we're going to give free stuff out based on things our family has gone through then where is mine? We've fought through racism and anger that they had when they arrived, and still have poured sweat in the country's fields, willingly working hard in the South's heat and humidity, and gushed blood on her battlefields.
     
  17. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    awww poor baby, it must be rough being a white male and living in America right now. We're so discriminated against.
    The Irish also owned slaves in this country at one time, they also fought in great numbers as did the Scottish, of which I am by birth, for the continued institution of slavery. What your descendants or mine have suffered in the past is a drop in the bucket compared with many black families in this country. I have no problem with some of my tax dollars being spent on trying to make the playing field more even for everyone. I'd rather that than money going to keep Wall Street afloat, or the industrial military complex producing weapons we don't need. The Deep South has very little to be proud of. They were on the wrong side of history.
     
  18. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    first three words were sorta my point. If we're going by having a rough time, what about my father who was born in the ghetto and instead of whining for everything got three jobs and worked his butt off to get himself and his family into a better position. No, not really. A slave who fell ill was taken care of, had shelter and a steady source of food, a laborer fell ill or was injured by the machinery was fired and lost everything and had to beg to eat. My family did own slaves, we have the records and journals, they were treated like family like they were for most slave owners (not necessarily the plantations, but we've never been particularly well off to ever get that far). Hell, we kept in contact with them for nearly a century and didn't keep them as friends because we went in opposite directions (my family south to Florida, they went north into Kentucky last records we have) If slavery puts us on the wrong side of history, (history doesn't have rights or wrongs, only public perception of it, it is merely the story of what happens and when with no judgement as to what is or is not right) exactly who is on the right side of it? Slavery has been a reality for the entire existence of civilization and beyond. The Hebrews, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Aztec, English, French, German, Russian, Egyptians, the whole of Africa has held slaves for time immemorial, how is it that the Deep South is suddenly unique for holding slaves? It's not. I'm not saying it is appropriate, but it is hardly something to single out the South for when everybody has done it.
     
  19. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    At the time slavery was in full swing in America, most of the rest of the civilized world had already long since outlawed it. In many countries it had been outlawed for well over a hundred years. That is why the Confederate States and all those who fought for her were on the wrong side of history. Let me take a wild guess here... you own a Confederate Flag and for the life of you, you don't understand why some people are offended by that?

    The other countries you mention were not democracies, not republics... America was an experiment in true democracy and it very nearly failed because of slavery. One person owning another person was never right, a person keeping slaves in the 1800s at the dawn of the Industrial Age is a crime against humanity.
     
  20. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    Well, yes. There's something philosophically wrong about a person owning another person. The historical picture you draw up is somewhat askew, though. Sad as it is, around 1860 is the age in which slavery slowly melted away in Central America and the Caribbean, of which the Southern States might well be considered part. What sets the United States apart is the internal struggle that resulted in - probably probably it cut itself loose from overseas control. Maybe the sense of democracy aggravated the situation, who knows.




    Anyway, people. Keep in mind that this can be a sensitive subject. Like shoes in a mosque, snide remarks can be left at the door.