Joined: 09 Feb 2007
|Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:06 pm Post subject: The Economics of Slavery - White and Black
|I'm not going to write about this at length at the moment, the subject of slavery is huge and goes back thousands of years and it is of course making a come back here in the political system called the United Kingdom in various ways, not just through brute imprisonment and beatings but also through the subtle development of the Welfare State in which people are becoming utterly dependent upon the wealthy and believe themselves to be indebted to them, as if they ought to grateful to these masters who own their plantation - they do not even understand that to be a subject of the United Kingdom is in effect to be possessed as a chattel slave ... this is not a new argument, it bears comparison with the arguments being made by William Cuffey the black Chartist leader of the 1840s.
The basic point is that when we think of ' Slavery ' we think of the capture and transportation across the Atlantic of people from Africe, but the full story is much more complicated : in the first instnce, slavery was not uncommon in Europe but more common in North Africa where white female slaves were prized for the harems of Muslim potentates. Slavery was less common in sub-Saharan Africa until the Arab traders found their way there and bought captives in the wars that were erupting there due to societies being thrown into economic competition due to the expansion of the desert. Once a market had been established then local wars became not merely matters of settling scores and contesting for fertile lands, but of raiding other people's villages in order to obtain slaves to sell in exchange for guns. We can see similar economic dynamics at work all over the same sub-Saharan regions of Africa and without being racist or anti-Muslim we can see that it has been a long standing feature of such societies. As the Slave Trade took hold of the whole region and the Arab traders made it to the Atlantic they met up with Moors who were probing down the coasts in ships - indeed probing all coasts for more profitable enslaved merchandise.
[ A BIT OF FUN - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aTxVAWd-I - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKOWERczykU ]
The reason why the Moors were became so hated in the countries along the Atlantic sea-bord and why ' Moor ' became a word substituted for and confused with ' Muslim ' was because they raided the coasts of Europe as far north as England, Wales and Ireland in fast-moving galleys and took them back to what is now modern Tunisia and Morocco. Sometimes they ransomed them, sometimes sold them, and sometimes worked them to death. For centuries people raised money and sought to free these captives, and relatives and governments negotiated for their release. Often returning captives who had been forcibly converted to Islam were shunned as heretics and wandered as penniless beggars, saved by but disowned by their families. There were many attempts made to destroy these slaving empires, and this is why Oliver Cromwell waged war in Africa and why the Portugeuse and Spanish seized north African ports ...
... and then they began to see the advantages in obtaining a supply of slaves to use in their colonies in the New World - and so took over the slave trade from the Moors and either planted new forts or took over old Moorish forts along the Atlantic coast of Africa to hold the slaves brought to them by the Arabs merchants, who with new big customers on their Atlantic door steps then could pay more for the slaves they obtained in the interior of Africa. The slave trade then became a boom industry, wars for plundering slaves from less well defended tribes began to rapidly spread out across the continent and the free agricultural societies of the region became enslaved too, and since no longer intelligence nor hard work determined these economies but solely the use of violence by stupid lazy people with cheap guns, the whole of sub-Saharan Africa's civilisation - which had been comparable in terms of culture and technology with its contemporary North African and European neighbours - collapsed, and it has never ever recovered.
Historically these dynamics which lead to the collapse of civilisations have happened elsewhere too, e.g. Ancient Greece and Rome had economies driven by slavery. Slavery is not just about a few people being treated very badly, but about how societies eventually destroy themselves by licensing a majority to prey upon minorities. They do not have to be foreign minorities or even conquered peoples : slavery has generally been considered by Ultraists to be perfectly acceptable, provided that it is not being done to them. The profits which slavery makes possible enable those who are not yet enslaved to allow themselves to believe that slavery is a good thing, civilising even for the foreigners that are enslaved. This idea died in the events which led up to the American Civil War, when the penny finally dropped with white Americans, that economically their family farms would be ruined by richer people running slave farms : they themselves would end up worse off than the black slaves on the plantations encroaching onto ' Free Soil,' and then they would be faced with a stark choice : either to offer themselves as slaves to the wealthy - or starve.
It may not be so obvious in our post-industrialised welfare society, but we are now faced with exactly that same historic choice between slavery and starvation in the United Kingdom as the Ancient Romans faced. The richer land owners profited from the wars being fought by Rome by importing slaves to work their farms and so the price of produce fell and the smaller farmers sold out to them and ended up as paid labourers crammed into the high-rise slums of the cities. It was supposed to be illegal to hold more than a certain amount of land, but the lawyers found ways around that and what was supposed to be commonly shared land passed into the hands of private owners who made deals with the merchants, making it impossible for the smaller private farmers to even sell their produce in the markets. In the end the desperate poor were selling their children to the wealthy in order to even be able to eat and envied the slaves their lot. These people then became the supporters of those bidding to overthrow the government such as Julius Caesar, and eventually they sold the Republic in Rome for what amounted to a crust of bread : this wasn't shameful, they were just desperate. Do not believe for a minute that this can not happen to us - just look at what the supermarkets are doing, driving up prices whilst driving down the quality of the goods they sell : goods made by chattel-slaves in other countries, this may seem all right to most whilst our means to live seems to be cheap - but whilst these false prices may seem to be cheap, eventually we will be forced to learn the true cost of everything and pay for the lives of everyone involved in this economy with our own lives.
I was going to write something rather different, because for some obscure reason the following video popped up whilst I was playing some music :
IRISH WHITE SLAVERY, THE FIRST SLAVES, THE SLAVERY STORY THEY DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW ! -
In fact in the offerings beside it is somebody's album of videos on the subject - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7986F08FE4B379C5
Slavery is so utterly objectionable, even American Neo-Nazis don't like it - ? - or at least, given the lightning symbol, that appears to be so ... may be ...
" They were White and They were Slaves - 1 of 3 " - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugo1YxZWWJ8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSMj4Ove-5Y ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-_KssKiM20
( Those last three were quite interesting actually.)