Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The evolution of the slave,the peasant,the fudal surf etc. is today's working class. Read more on the evolution of America's working class in my book "America on Strike." Thanks.
By Richard E. Noble
Slavery is not Black and White. If we credit the Bible with accurately recording the History of the beginnings of Mankind with God’s creation of the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve, we have here in this Creation the true beginnings of the philosophy of slavery.
If you are not a true believer then you should clearly recognize here the psychological inclination of Man in creating a “fable” (dogma) establishing Man’s slave-hood.
The story of Creation posits Man into existence arbitrarily. Man’s behavior is then determined by God negatively, and God then casts Man from the Garden into a life of servitude. As a punishment for his sin of disobedience he will be forced to work for his bread, his bride will reproduce in pain, and Adam and Eve and all of their descendants will live under the influences of shame, pain, suffering, mortality and infinite damnation. God is the Master and through this biblical interpretation of justice, man is His slave, to be used or abused accordingly.
Both Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas accepted Slavery as the natural state of mankind. They further elaborated and granted to the slave owner the right to beat and discipline his slave or slaves. Theology has since its beginning supported and enforced the principle of man’s servitude to God. Man must kneel, bow down, and beg forgiveness before his Heavenly Master. By most Holy standards nothing will buy his redemption short of total submission. The Holy Roman Church supported the God granted power of Kings, Feudalism and even conventional slavery right up to fairly modern times.
Leaving Theology and entering into the realm of Philosophy we have both Aristotle and Plato supporters of the natural and biological determinism of Slavery. There was an obvious order among men. As the Bible proclaimed Hard Work the wages of sin rather than the sign of a man’s strength, determination and courage, so too, did the philosophers designate work as the consequence of biological inferiority. Thinking and philosophizing was doing the work of God, according to Aristotle and Plato. Physical work (mechanics/making of war machines) was a job for the biologically inferior. Plato went so far as to say that you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry a Mechanic.
Grotius justified Slavery as an acceptable consequence of victory in a just War in the place of death, and also in exchange for subsistence. Guaranteed life-long support and subsistence, even as a slave, he believed to be of greater value than hire by the day.
Hobbes supported Slavery by consent, and as a justifiable consequence of War.
Bodin admonished that the slave could be interned only as the consequence of a Just War.
It wasn’t until John Locke that Slavery was categorically condemned. John said that slavery was not justified by war, conquering, or consent. No Gentleman should participate in such a disgraceful practice, proclaimed John ... but then on the other hand with regard to black slaves in the colony in Virginia he changed his tune. They were the captives of a just war and consequently could trade their freedom in return for their lives.
Finally it is Montesquieu who states that even in war the victor has no right to murder the conquered in cold blood, nor does any individual have the right to sell himself into slavery. Civilization has not yet reached up to the moral standards of Mister Montesquieu.