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Old 17th March 2017, 01:06 PM   #121
baron
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I don't think it's inappropriate to make a distinction between the undoubtedly evil way in which workers in some places are exploited, and even in many ways enslaved, and the institution of slavery as it was practiced here.

It's true that people in many other countries are, in some degree, exploited in a way that amounts to slavery in many ways, and that may in other ways be worse. But that does not make it the same thing.

Child labor, abuse, unsafe working conditions, and impoverishment may make the lot of many workers in the world materially worse than that of many slaves of former times, whose physical well being represented an investment. But at the same time, those abused workers are probably not subjected to laws that make their children automatically and irrevocably slaves for the rest of their lives, nor to legalized separation of families, legalized lashing and even death, or rape.

You can argue that things are just as bad, that the term "slavery" can loosely be applied here, and that there is little moral difference, just as there is little moral difference in the end between killing a person by hanging or by poisoning, but the things are not actually the same, and you don't have to be snarky or put words in other people's mouths to say that much.
These modern-day slaves / non-slaves / corporate trainees are not simply enslaved by their masters, they are enslaved by consumers all over the Western world. I wonder how many of the teachers and kids and their families know, or care, that the products they buy actually fund slavery in other countries? What irony that kids are likely sitting there wearing clothes produced by slaves whilst learning that the only slavery worthy of the name ended 200 years ago.

This, of course, is only one small portion of the gamut of modern day slavery. Your comparison of atrocities visited on slaves today as opposed to African slaves 200 - 400 years ago in the US seems to rest on their legality, which is a moot point for those involved. Even in the UK thousands of slaves are abused, beat, raped and even murdered every year, and the figures for the US are as you'd expect much greater. Then, when you consider the rest of the world you see that the US African slavery of 1600 - 1800 was nothing in comparison to what's going on this very day. Yes, the idea it was legal is shocking, but that's little more than a technicality when you realise that slavery is as good as legal for many millions across the world.
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Old 17th March 2017, 01:24 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
There's a short story that I remember reading decades ago. I've never been able to identify it, so I'm not sure if it was a legitimate story, or something put together for a school book.

It depicts a future society in which the human race has become so blended that everyone has uniform gray skin and gray hair, but eyes of every imaginable color. One day, a teacher starts telling his class about the different ethnic groups that used to exist and assigns the students to research the races of their ancestors. (I'm not sure how this would work, if everyone is so blended. Everyone would have every race as ancestors.) This has the unintended effect of reintroducing racism in the class.

"My ancestors owned your ancestors."
While restraining a classmate and brandishing a can of spray paint, "Let's paint the animal."

The teacher walks in on this behavior and is horrified, but is able to shame the students into returning to their previous behavior. He never expected that educating his students about racial attitudes of the past would cause them to adopt them themselves.
That sounds like the Blue Eyes Brown eyes experiment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Elliott
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OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 17th March 2017, 01:35 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
These modern-day slaves / non-slaves / corporate trainees are not simply enslaved by their masters, they are enslaved by consumers all over the Western world. I wonder how many of the teachers and kids and their families know, or care, that the products they buy actually fund slavery in other countries? What irony that kids are likely sitting there wearing clothes produced by slaves whilst learning that the only slavery worthy of the name ended 200 years ago.

This, of course, is only one small portion of the gamut of modern day slavery. Your comparison of atrocities visited on slaves today as opposed to African slaves 200 - 400 years ago in the US seems to rest on their legality, which is a moot point for those involved. Even in the UK thousands of slaves are abused, beat, raped and even murdered every year, and the figures for the US are as you'd expect much greater. Then, when you consider the rest of the world you see that the US African slavery of 1600 - 1800 was nothing in comparison to what's going on this very day. Yes, the idea it was legal is shocking, but that's little more than a technicality when you realise that slavery is as good as legal for many millions across the world.
I get your point, but I maintain mine. Moral equivalency and similarity are not the same as identity, and you do not have to solve all the evils at once to address one of them.

And did anyone here actually refer to any of the affected parties as "corporate trainees?" I certainly did not.

I get your point, but I think you need to beware of moral triage too. I realize this is a pet peeve of mine, but I'll bring it up again. Whatever evil or wrong or injustice you decide to address, someone somewhere can produce an argument for why it's not the worst, or the most important, or the one you should be concentrating on. Not every evil is within one's power to solve, and the inability, or even the unwillingness, to solve one should not be an argument against addressing another. The world is full of people saying "how can you worry about A when B is happening?" If we all listened, nothing would happen.
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Old 17th March 2017, 01:51 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I get your point, but I maintain mine. Moral equivalency and similarity are not the same as identity, and you do not have to solve all the evils at once to address one of them.

And did anyone here actually refer to any of the affected parties as "corporate trainees?" I certainly did not.
I didn't mean to suggest you did, I was referring to another poster who said a modern day slave occupies "a voluntary position from which they are free to leave any time they want, for instance when a better opportunity arises or when they have managed to save enough money to invest in their own education". So, exactly like a corporate trainee.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I get your point, but I think you need to beware of moral triage too. I realize this is a pet peeve of mine, but I'll bring it up again. Whatever evil or wrong or injustice you decide to address, someone somewhere can produce an argument for why it's not the worst, or the most important, or the one you should be concentrating on. Not every evil is within one's power to solve, and the inability, or even the unwillingness, to solve one should not be an argument against addressing another. The world is full of people saying "how can you worry about A when B is happening?" If we all listened, nothing would happen.
That's not what I'm saying. We're talking about education, not policing. When kids learn about slavery they invariably learn about the events in the US over 200 years ago, and nothing else. Another poster, in this thread I believe, asked sarcastically if kids should be taught about global slavery first in order to then go on to the specifics. Er, yes! Can anybody provide a reasonable argument against this? Yet it does not happen. And it's not just kids, I bet if you ask anybody what they think of when they hear the term 'slavery' they'll say African slaves in 18th century America. Push them further and they'll likely clam up because it's as if the 99.9% of slavery not encompassed by this geographical region and timescale doesn't even exist.
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Old 17th March 2017, 02:03 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I didn't mean to suggest you did, I was referring to another poster who said a modern day slave occupies "a voluntary position from which they are free to leave any time they want, for instance when a better opportunity arises or when they have managed to save enough money to invest in their own education". So, exactly like a corporate trainee.



That's not what I'm saying. We're talking about education, not policing. When kids learn about slavery they invariably learn about the events in the US over 200 years ago, and nothing else. Another poster, in this thread I believe, asked sarcastically if kids should be taught about global slavery first in order to then go on to the specifics. Er, yes! Can anybody provide a reasonable argument against this? Yet it does not happen. And it's not just kids, I bet if you ask anybody what they think of when they hear the term 'slavery' they'll say African slaves in 18th century America. Push them further and they'll likely clam up because it's as if the 99.9% of slavery not encompassed by this geographical region and timescale doesn't even exist.
I am all for learning about all the things that are going. But if the subject is American History, then that is the subject. It is of course quite possible, and unfortunately more than a little likely, that kids do not learn of the evils of the contemporary world as they should, but this is neither the job nor the fault of American History teaching. Global slavery and exploitation and many other evils in the world are a big big thing, but they are not American History. The American version of slavery is.
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Old 17th March 2017, 02:22 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I am all for learning about all the things that are going. But if the subject is American History, then that is the subject. It is of course quite possible, and unfortunately more than a little likely, that kids do not learn of the evils of the contemporary world as they should, but this is neither the job nor the fault of American History teaching. Global slavery and exploitation and many other evils in the world are a big big thing, but they are not American History. The American version of slavery is.
The course titles should be determined by the scope of education, not the other way around.
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Old 18th March 2017, 08:33 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
You're so right, slavery these days isn't what it was. Modern day slaves aren't really, you know, slaves, they're just working their way up the corporate ladder. There are so many great life opportunities for slaves, as you say, it's absurd that they see slavery as a negative.
I'm not claiming that there are no slaves today. But people working in factory jobs which they are free to leave aren't slaves.
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Old 18th March 2017, 08:40 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I didn't mean to suggest you did, I was referring to another poster who said a modern day slave occupies "a voluntary position from which they are free to leave any time they want, for instance when a better opportunity arises or when they have managed to save enough money to invest in their own education". So, exactly like a corporate trainee.
The highlighted part is exactly the opposite of what as I said: I said that such people are not slaves.

This doesn't suggest that there are not people who don't fit the quoted description. Those who are not free to leave any time they want may very well be slaves, and such people do exist. I am suggesting that there is a very important distinction between these two groups. Do you think that the ability to freely leave is not a meaningful distinction?
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Old 18th March 2017, 09:07 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The highlighted part is exactly the opposite of what as I said: I said that such people are not slaves.

This doesn't suggest that there are not people who don't fit the quoted description. Those who are not free to leave any time they want may very well be slaves, and such people do exist. I am suggesting that there is a very important distinction between these two groups. Do you think that the ability to freely leave is not a meaningful distinction?
To maintain that because a person has the choice between

(a) working in inhuman conditions for almost no pay in factory A
(b) working in inhuman conditions for almost no pay in factory B
(c) starving to death

they are free to pursue their own career goals and are therefore not slaves is an absurd distinction at best. Maybe I should counter with, At least the African slaves had job security.
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Old 18th March 2017, 11:41 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
To maintain that because a person has the choice between

(a) working in inhuman conditions for almost no pay in factory A
(b) working in inhuman conditions for almost no pay in factory B
(c) starving to death

they are free to pursue their own career goals and are therefore not slaves is an absurd distinction at best. Maybe I should counter with, At least the African slaves had job security.
You can argue that if you will, and it will in one way make the point you so resist. Equivalency is not identity. There are many ways to harm a person, and looked at from one angle they're the same, but not from all angles. You can look at them one at a time. You can study one without trivializing the others. You can learn different things about different ideas, different kinds of hypocrisy, different parts of history. Knowing a lot about one thing may sometimes be better than knowing a little about many.
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Old 18th March 2017, 12:57 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I wonder how many kids were wearing clothes from Walmart as they drew their slave posters. Oh, I forgot, paying people $20 a month (until they're all killed when their factory collapses) isn't really slavery; slavery ended 200 years ago, right kids?
That's right, it isn't. It's another kind of exploitation, but it isn't chattel slavery. That was abolished in the USA in the 1860s and since then other kinds of exploitation have been practiced, but not chattel slavery.

The emancipation of the slaves was Very Important, even though it did not end labour exploitation in all its forms, by any means.
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Old 18th March 2017, 01:25 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
You can argue that if you will, and it will in one way make the point you so resist. Equivalency is not identity. There are many ways to harm a person, and looked at from one angle they're the same, but not from all angles. You can look at them one at a time. You can study one without trivializing the others.
We're talking about studying one to the exclusion of the others. As for trivialising, there's plenty of it in this thread. Not slavery, just exploitation. Not slavery, just a career choice.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
You can learn different things about different ideas, different kinds of hypocrisy, different parts of history. Knowing a lot about one thing may sometimes be better than knowing a little about many.
Not at the outset. That is never the case. There is something fundamentally wrong with having knowledge of a subset to the exclusion of the set. It gives a very biased view of the world and there's no valid reason for it.

Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's right, it isn't. It's another kind of exploitation, but it isn't chattel slavery.
I said nothing of chattel slavery, I said slavery.

Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That was abolished in the USA in the 1860s and since then other kinds of exploitation have been practiced, but not chattel slavery.
So do you believe all the studies that state there are between 20 and 50 million slaves in the world are wrong? That there are actually none?

Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The emancipation of the slaves was Very Important, even though it did not end labour exploitation in all its forms, by any means.
Simply a question of legality. The idea that modern day slavery isn't really slavery because it's not enshrined in law is ridiculous.
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Old 18th March 2017, 02:22 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's right, it isn't. It's another kind of exploitation, but it isn't chattel slavery. That was abolished in the USA in the 1860s and since then other kinds of exploitation have been practiced, but not chattel slavery.

The emancipation of the slaves was Very Important, even though it did not end labour exploitation in all its forms, by any means.
Well put.
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Old 18th March 2017, 07:38 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
To maintain that because a person has the choice between

(a) working in inhuman conditions for almost no pay in factory A
(b) working in inhuman conditions for almost no pay in factory B
(c) starving to death

they are free to pursue their own career goals and are therefore not slaves is an absurd distinction at best. Maybe I should counter with, At least the African slaves had job security.
You sound very much like an anti-abolitionist making the argument that if slaves were freed they would be worse off because they wouldn't have their masters to take care of them anymore. See for instance:

https://fee.org/articles/ten-reasons...olish-slavery/
Quote:
4. The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves. This idea was popular in the United States in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries among people, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who regarded slavery as morally reprehensible yet continued to hold slaves and to obtain personal services from them and income from the products these “servants” (as they preferred to call them) were compelled to produce. It would be cruel to set free people who would then, at best, fall into destitution and suffering.

5. Without masters, the slaves will die off. This idea is the preceding one pushed to its extreme. Even after slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, many people continued to voice this idea. Northern journalists traveling in the South immediately after the war reported that, indeed, the blacks were in the process of becoming extinct because of their high death rate, low birth rate, and miserable economic condition. Sad but true, some observers declared, the freed people really were too incompetent, lazy, or immoral to behave in ways consistent with their own group survival. (See my 1977 book Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American Economy, 1865–1914.)
The freedom to leave a job is a very important freedom and a separate question from whether or not there are other good economic opportunities for a person outside of that job.

As others have said this doesn't mean that exploitation of other forms doesn't exist or isn't something we should abhor. It just means that this is an important freedom and one not to be ignored as though it had no meaning. I'd suggest it's actually the first step in a long process toward fair treatment, though certainly not the end of that journey.
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Old 18th March 2017, 07:40 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
We're talking about studying one to the exclusion of the others.
Maybe you are, but I'm not. That is an assumption not borne out by the initial post. Attempting to teach everything at once may be broadening, but it's also likely to be so shallow it's of little use. You may well disagree, but there is a reason why, for example, American history is treated separately from world history, and world history often taken a piece at a time.

Quote:
As for trivialising, there's plenty of it in this thread. Not slavery, just exploitation. Not slavery, just a career choice.
I do not consider it trivializing to differentiate things. Nobody is saying other things should not be learned. Only that one thing is not another thing.
Quote:



Not at the outset. That is never the case. There is something fundamentally wrong with having knowledge of a subset to the exclusion of the set. It gives a very biased view of the world and there's no valid reason for it.
I would see this very differently. It is not possible to teach every grammar school child everything at once.
Quote:



I said nothing of chattel slavery, I said slavery.



So do you believe all the studies that state there are between 20 and 50 million slaves in the world are wrong? That there are actually none?



Simply a question of legality. The idea that modern day slavery isn't really slavery because it's not enshrined in law is ridiculous.
I don't think anyone is disputing the basic facts here. But there is a difference, and what some people would consider a significant one, between the chattel slavery of the US and what is practiced elsewhere at other times. And there is a difference between what happens in one's own culture and what happens in the world. I certainly agree that one thing that should be taught is the dark side of the global economy, and the manner in which many people are enslaved through circumstance, and the manner in which our complacency abets this. But with all that said, it's still a different thing.
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Old 18th March 2017, 07:44 PM   #136
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Addendum:

The forced nature of slavery is it's defining feature. For instance, let's look at how wikipedia defines slavery:

Quote:
Slavery is, in the strictest sense of the term, any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property.[1] A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, however, the word slavery may also refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against his or her will. Scholars also use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour, to refer to such situations.[2] However – and especially under slavery in broader senses of the word – slaves may have some rights and/or protections, according to laws and/or customs.
To call this "an absurd distinction" is to ignore the very meaning of the word slavery.
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Old 19th March 2017, 12:48 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I said nothing of chattel slavery
Then you said nothing.
Quote:
So do you believe all the studies that state there are between 20 and 50 million slaves in the world are wrong? That there are actually none?
There may well be more, but it's senseless to define a slave as a poorly paid person who works in dangerous conditions. There are more than 20-50 millions of them, by the way.
Quote:
Simply a question of legality. The idea that modern day slavery isn't really slavery because it's not enshrined in law is ridiculous.
No, it's the essence of the question. After 1861 there were many poor and exploited peasants in Russia, but serfdom - as a legal category - was abolished. After 1799 there were many overworked and exploited coal miners in Scotland, but they were no longer bond slaves "enshrined in law". Can you not see the significance of this? It was well understood at the time, in these and other cases.

Why gosh golly you are like the apologists for slavery in the Old South. What they said was: why, slavery isn't so bad. Look at the low pay, long hours and poor conditions suffered by Northern and British factory workers, then come here and see our pampered slaves singing on the Old Plantation, and you'll soon change your minds about the Peculiar Institution.

ETA Here are some of their very words:
That the negroes with us, under masters who care for, provide for and protect them, are better off, and enjoy more of the blessings of good government than their race does in any other part of the world, statistics abundantly prove. As a race, the African is inferior to the white man. Subordination to the white man is his normal condition. He is not his equal by nature, and cannot be made so by human laws or human institutions. Our system, therefore, so far as regards this inferior race, rests upon this great immutable law of nature. It is founded not upon wrong or injustice, but upon the eternal fitness of things.
/ETA.

Therefore, if you want to understand the importance of, "enshrined in law" read this address, and note the pertinent observation in the linked article.
Historian Harry V. Jaffa discusses the speech at length in his book, A New Birth of Freedom. He concludes that "this remarkable address conveys, more than any other contemporary document, not only the soul of the Confederacy but also of that Jim Crow South that arose from the ashes of the Confederacy" Jaffa equated the racism of Stephens' and the Confederacy to that of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, stating the two were not very different in principle:
"Stephens's prophecy of the Confederacy's future resembles nothing so much as Hitler's prophecies of the Thousand-Year Reich. Nor are their theories very different."
— Harry V. Jaffa, A New Birth of Freedom: (2000), p. 223."

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Old 19th March 2017, 05:17 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The course titles should be determined by the scope of education, not the other way around.
The subject of the thread was an exercise, IN AMERICAN HISTORY, given to grade-schoolers.

I am quite involved in groups here who are fighting the current versions of "slavery", e.g. forced labor. It's a big problem for migrant workers and the poor in general in Southeast Asia. I agree that many of the practices are tantamount to slavery.

But the discussion was about whether teaching slavery, the uglier seamier sides of slavery, to grade schoolers was a good or bad thing. What, exactly, are you trying to achieve in lieu of the thread topic with this diversion to talking about present-day "slavery"? Is this merely thread drift and you wish to discuss your pet topic? Or is it an attempt to hand-wave away the lessons that are being taught in the NJ school in question? A modified "tu quoque" argument?
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Old 19th March 2017, 05:28 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
You sound very much like an anti-abolitionist making the argument that if slaves were freed they would be worse off because they wouldn't have their masters to take care of them anymore. See for instance:

https://fee.org/articles/ten-reasons...olish-slavery/
I think you missed my prefix of 'Maybe I should counter with...'. In other words, maybe I should counter one absurdity with another.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The freedom to leave a job is a very important freedom and a separate question from whether or not there are other good economic opportunities for a person outside of that job.
The freedom to leave a job and starve to death is to be considered a plus point? Perhaps I should counter with, the freedom of an African slave to flee his masters and be punished or killed was 'a very important freedom'. One is the direct equivalent of the other.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
As others have said this doesn't mean that exploitation of other forms doesn't exist or isn't something we should abhor. It just means that this is an important freedom and one not to be ignored as though it had no meaning.
The freedom to starve to death is open to anyone, even African slaves of the C18th.
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Old 19th March 2017, 05:30 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Addendum:

The forced nature of slavery is it's defining feature. For instance, let's look at how wikipedia defines slavery:



To call this "an absurd distinction" is to ignore the very meaning of the word slavery.
Are you maintaining that nobody is forced to work against their will in the modern world? Leaving aside the freedom to starve, you really believe that millions of people are not right this moment being forced to work against their will?
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Old 19th March 2017, 05:34 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Maybe you are, but I'm not. That is an assumption not borne out by the initial post. Attempting to teach everything at once may be broadening, but it's also likely to be so shallow it's of little use. You may well disagree, but there is a reason why, for example, American history is treated separately from world history, and world history often taken a piece at a time.

I do not consider it trivializing to differentiate things. Nobody is saying other things should not be learned. Only that one thing is not another thing. I would see this very differently. It is not possible to teach every grammar school child everything at once.
Then I refer you to my previous 'challenge'. Go and ask some youngsters, or even older people, what they understand by slavery. I will bet you that the vast majority, probably all, will be able to give you the basic facts about US African slavery yet have nothing to say on the 99%+ of slaves who do not fit that specific criterion and timescale.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I don't think anyone is disputing the basic facts here. But there is a difference, and what some people would consider a significant one, between the chattel slavery of the US and what is practiced elsewhere at other times. And there is a difference between what happens in one's own culture and what happens in the world. I certainly agree that one thing that should be taught is the dark side of the global economy, and the manner in which many people are enslaved through circumstance, and the manner in which our complacency abets this. But with all that said, it's still a different thing.
Why fuss over such granularity? Every topic within a subject is 'different' else it wouldn't be a topic. If someone is to learn about Christianity it would be ridiculous to learn solely about the Crusades (although that does appear to be a popular focus for many).
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Old 19th March 2017, 05:36 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Then you said nothing.
Reciprocated.
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Old 19th March 2017, 05:41 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
The subject of the thread was an exercise, IN AMERICAN HISTORY, given to grade-schoolers.

I am quite involved in groups here who are fighting the current versions of "slavery", e.g. forced labor. It's a big problem for migrant workers and the poor in general in Southeast Asia. I agree that many of the practices are tantamount to slavery.

But the discussion was about whether teaching slavery, the uglier seamier sides of slavery, to grade schoolers was a good or bad thing. What, exactly, are you trying to achieve in lieu of the thread topic with this diversion to talking about present-day "slavery"? Is this merely thread drift and you wish to discuss your pet topic? Or is it an attempt to hand-wave away the lessons that are being taught in the NJ school in question? A modified "tu quoque" argument?
I commented that I wondered how much these, and other, kids were being taught about the full gamut of slavery. I was then informed that the only historic slaves were African slaves in the US, and the rest was 'not history'. If you consider my comments off-topic then, as all but two have been responses to other people, so must be the entire discussion.
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:08 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The freedom to starve to death is open to anyone, even African slaves of the C18th.
No it was not. People were put on board ships and taken across the sea. They did not have the freedom of disposal of their own persons.

You seem to have missed the point of this thread which is that
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
"A school in the US state of New Jersey is under fire for an assignment that asked children aged 10-11 to create posters depicting slave auctions."
The teacher who set the assignment, as well as those people who have put the school "under fire" have a correct understanding of the nature of slavery, which you definitely do not. A person is not a slave merely by being under an obligation to work or starve. A person is a slave who is made to work by force, typically by having the legal status of a chattel, who can be sold at auction, as noted in the New Jersey school assignment.

There are of course other forms of exploitation, some of them very deplorable, but they are not what is referred to by the OP. Nor is it true to say that they are equivalent to slavery; as if labour relations in English factories in the nineteenth century were a version of the Middle Passage and the slave auctions. They were not, bad and unjust as they may themselves have been.

Your motive for these obfuscations is very clear. Not merely do you wish to mitigate the guilt of these former US slave owners, you desire to annihilate that guilt - to reduce it to "nothing".
Then, when you consider the rest of the world you see that the US African slavery of 1600 - 1800 was nothing in comparison to what's going on this very day.
My bold.
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:22 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I was then informed that the only historic slaves were African slaves in the US, and the rest was 'not history'. If you consider my comments off-topic then, as all but two have been responses to other people, so must be the entire discussion.
Can you refer me to these statements, by citing post numbers? Because I agree with you in disputing them. Slavery has been common in places other than the USA. And that is most certainly "history". It was abolished in the British Empire as late as 1833, only thirty years before its abolition in the USA.

Among the things that make it especially noteworthy in the USA, is not that the USA was particularly bad, but that it was founded upon principles that ought, by any reasonable interpretation, to have made slavery impossible: that liberty is self evidently an inalienable right. The author of that declaration himself owned around four hundred slaves during his lifetime. Nor was his declaration about liberty an exercise in hypocrisy. He meant it.

That is what is odd; that is what is historically interesting.
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:29 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
No it was not. People were put on board ships and taken across the sea. They did not have the freedom of disposal of their own persons.
They had the freedom not to eat, what's the difference?

Originally Posted by baron View Post
You seem to have missed the point of this thread which is that The teacher who set the assignment, as well as those people who have put the school "under fire" have a correct understanding of the nature of slavery, which you definitely do not. A person is not a slave merely by being under an obligation to work or starve. A person is a slave who is made to work by force, typically by having the legal status of a chattel, who can be sold at auction, as noted in the New Jersey school assignment.
So I'll ask the question again (it has not been answered as yet). Do you or do you not believe that there are zero slaves in the world? I'll add a second part: Do you or do you not believe that no slaves have lived since 1850?

Originally Posted by baron View Post
There are of course other forms of exploitation, some of them very deplorable, but they are not what is referred to by the OP. Nor is it true to say that they are equivalent to slavery; as if labour relations in English factories in the nineteenth century were a version of the Middle Passage and the slave auctions. They were not, bad and unjust as they may themselves have been.
I'll await your answer to my previous question.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
Your motive for these obfuscations is very clear. Not merely do you wish to mitigate the guilt of these former US slave owners, you desire to annihilate that guilt - to reduce it to "nothing".
Then, when you consider the rest of the world you see that the US African slavery of 1600 - 1800 was nothing in comparison to what's going on this very day.
My bold.
Why are you trying to tell me my own motives? Weak.


EDIT: I messed up the quotes, all are by Craig B.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:05 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Are you maintaining that nobody is forced to work against their will in the modern world? Leaving aside the freedom to starve, you really believe that millions of people are not right this moment being forced to work against their will?
No, I am not, and I have specifically said that I'm not. People are forced to work against their will. Those people are slaves.

Other people are not forced to work against their will. Those people are not slaves, though they may be exploited in other ways.

I have maintained this distinction very clearly and consistently so I find it surprising that you would not see that I am, in fact, making said distinction.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:15 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
They had the freedom not to eat, what's the difference?
So I'll ask the question again (it has not been answered as yet). Do you or do you not believe that there are zero slaves in the world? I'll add a second part: Do you or do you not believe that no slaves have lived since 1850?
I have already answered that. Slavery has been common. Many countries other than the USA have practised it too. But you will recall I made a request. It would be very helpful if you could address it. It's in #145.
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Can you refer me to these statements, by citing post numbers? Because I agree with you in disputing them. Slavery has been common in places other than the USA. And that is most certainly "history". It was abolished in the British Empire as late as 1833, only thirty years before its abolition in the USA.
I have already stated that I believe there are more than 20-50 millions of slaves in the world. I said so in post #137.
Let me recap. In this post am asking you to cite the post numbers containing various materials, as I have already requested. Having done that, you may add whatever other things you like. But I am tired of your constant evasions, so I must say that if you do not give me the sources I requested, I will make no further responses to you.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:16 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I think you missed my prefix of 'Maybe I should counter with...'. In other words, maybe I should counter one absurdity with another.
Remove that sentence from your post and it is still making the same anti-abolitionist argument.



Quote:
The freedom to leave a job and starve to death is to be considered a plus point?
The freedom to leave a job period is to be considered a plus point.

The question of what other options a person has after freely leaving a job is a separate (and important) issue to whether or not that person can leave the job in the first place.

Perhaps I should counter with, the freedom of an African slave to flee his masters and be punished or killed was 'a very important freedom'. One is the direct equivalent of the other.[/quote]

You might counter that if those masters left the African slave alone after he fled he might still starve to death, which would certainly be tragic but I still suggest that having the freedom to leave, whether one would choose to exercise that freedom or not, is better than not having it.


Quote:
The freedom to starve to death is open to anyone, even African slaves of the C18th.
No it wasn't, that's the point. They couldn't just leave and starve. IF they tried to leave they'd be hunted down and returned to their master, probably beaten or otherwise punished. They may successfully have been able to starve themselves while under the power of their masters, I don't know, though I suspect their masters would at least attempt to prevent them from doing so, but they certainly couldn't just leave, which is the freedom you suggest is meaningless.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:20 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I have already stated that I believe there are more than 20-50 millions of slaves in the world.
May I also point out that I accept this number as accurate and while it seems slightly off topic in this thread (though I do see reason to perhaps make mention of it here), I also think it's a topic that is discussed far too infrequently and about which people in general are far too ignorant than they (we?) ought to be.

In that sense I was actually pleased to see baron mention in the first post in which he did so in this thread, though I disagreed with the tone in which he did so.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:21 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
No, I am not, and I have specifically said that I'm not. People are forced to work against their will. Those people are slaves.
Right.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Other people are not forced to work against their will. Those people are not slaves, though they may be exploited in other ways.
So I go back to my original question, rephrased. Are you asserting that because a person can physically leave their employment they are not a slave, even if leaving would result in them starving to death? That may well be a distinction in the strictest sense but if so it is one that operates by defining the nature of the employer, not the employee. To try and define a slave by their manner of death should they leave their employment strikes me as a pedantic, if not futile, pursuit.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I have maintained this distinction very clearly and consistently so I find it surprising that you would not see that I am, in fact, making said distinction.
I see it, I just don't agree it's meaningful.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:30 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
So I go back to my original question, rephrased. Are you asserting that because a person can physically leave their employment they are not a slave, even if leaving would result in them starving to death? That may well be a distinction in the strictest sense but if so it is one that operates by defining the nature of the employer, not the employee. To try and define a slave by their manner of death should they leave their employment strikes me as a pedantic, if not futile, pursuit.
A man lives on an island and farms a small plot. There are no fish near the island to eat and the only food he can get is through farming his plot of land. If he leaves his employment as a farmer, he will starve, but he is certainly not a slave.

If someone is working in a job and, on leaving, their employer ensures that they will starve, then sure, I can see that they could be defined as a slave, as the action of forced starvation is similar to any other coercion. In those particular sorts of situation wherein an employer uses force to prevent employees from leaving their job, I would be agree that those people are slaves.

Instead imagine a village wherein there is a famine and a foreign entity comes in and opens a factory offering jobs. The jobs pay well enough that food can be imported and those working in the factory will have food to eat. Many people take jobs and avoid starvation. But if they were to quit they would be back in their original situation and they would starve. Those people are not slaves.

The difference between a slave and someone who is not a slave is that the slave is forced to work.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:35 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Are you asserting that because a person can physically leave their employment they are not a slave, even if leaving would result in them starving to death?
If they can physically leave, or at least leave without incurring legal sanction, yes I'm saying they are not slaves.

Now can you respond to my requests for the materials you were referring to?
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:40 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
A man lives on an island and farms a small plot. There are no fish near the island to eat and the only food he can get is through farming his plot of land. If he leaves his employment as a farmer, he will starve, but he is certainly not a slave.

If someone is working in a job and, on leaving, their employer ensures that they will starve, then sure, I can see that they could be defined as a slave, as the action of forced starvation is similar to any other coercion. In those particular sorts of situation wherein an employer uses force to prevent employees from leaving their job, I would be agree that those people are slaves.

Instead imagine a village wherein there is a famine and a foreign entity comes in and opens a factory offering jobs. The jobs pay well enough that food can be imported and those working in the factory will have food to eat. Many people take jobs and avoid starvation. But if they were to quit they would be back in their original situation and they would starve. Those people are not slaves.

The difference between a slave and someone who is not a slave is that the slave is forced to work.
OK, I'll accept that distinction although I still think that it has more bearing on the concept of enslavement rather than slavery as experienced on a personal level.

Also, it's not clear-cut. A person may be physically able to leave their employment yet be conditioned to not even consider this as an option; they are effectively held captive. This is quite common where exploitation occurs in the West. Literally speaking they may not fit the criteria of 'slave' but does it really make any practical difference?
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:43 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
If they can physically leave, or at least leave without incurring legal sanction, yes I'm saying they are not slaves.

Now can you respond to my requests for the materials you were referring to?
I did not ask you that question, I asked another poster.

This is the one I asked you:

So I'll ask the question again (it has not been answered as yet). Do you or do you not believe that there are zero slaves in the world? I'll add a second part: Do you or do you not believe that no slaves have lived since 1850?
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:56 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I did not ask you that question, I asked another poster.

This is the one I asked you:

So I'll ask the question again (it has not been answered as yet). Do you or do you not believe that there are zero slaves in the world? I'll add a second part: Do you or do you not believe that no slaves have lived since 1850?
And I cited by # number the posts in which I had already answered it. I then reminded you that I was looking for information from you in return, but it was not forthcoming, and is not forthcoming now. I wonder if it exists.
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Old 19th March 2017, 08:03 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
OK, I'll accept that distinction although I still think that it has more bearing on the concept of enslavement rather than slavery as experienced on a personal level.

Also, it's not clear-cut. A person may be physically able to leave their employment yet be conditioned to not even consider this as an option; they are effectively held captive. This is quite common where exploitation occurs in the West. Literally speaking they may not fit the criteria of 'slave' but does it really make any practical difference?
It depends on the context. If you're dealing with social issues, starvation and exploitation, perhaps not. If you're a victim, perhaps not. If you're dealing with political issues, such as the legal establishment of chattel slavery, including the peripheral issue of whether it is legal to sell a slave's children, or to rape a slave, or to whip and murder a slave, or to pursue a fugitive slave, then I say yes, it absolutely does make a difference. And whether you think it important or not, I also think that it's an important part of the study of American history for Americans to understand how we got where we are, what the costs were, and how it is possible for a society that both pretends and practices democracy and equality can, simultaneously, practice slavery.

The world is filled with injustice and evil and wrongdoing, and from certain points of view it's all the same. Dead is dead if you're the one doing the dying. But it's just not always the same thing. You can look at one thing at a time. If you want to understand something, sometimes you have to look at how that thing differs from others, not how it resembles them.
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Old 19th March 2017, 08:22 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
It depends on the context. If you're dealing with social issues, starvation and exploitation, perhaps not. If you're a victim, perhaps not. If you're dealing with political issues, such as the legal establishment of chattel slavery, including the peripheral issue of whether it is legal to sell a slave's children, or to rape a slave, or to whip and murder a slave, or to pursue a fugitive slave, then I say yes, it absolutely does make a difference.
I think it makes a difference also in the first context you invoke. It is very rare for a non-slave worker to be certain of starvation on leaving employment. Workers can, unless prevented by law or force, change from one employer to another. This sets up a competition for valued Labour, which can increase wages and improve conditions. as employers compete on the Labour market. It was to prevent this from happening, for example, that coal miners in Scotland were "astricted" to a particular employer, between about 1641 and about 1799.

Workers often take great risks in order to have access to a labour market in which employers compete in bidding for their skills. Agricultural labourers, who were often slave-like serfs in the Middle Ages, would flee by thousands into towns where they lived a precarious life, but were free to change their employer, and thereby perhaps secure better pay and conditions.

Or they could practice a craft, if guild restrictions allowed it, or engage in petty, or more substantial, trading in market goods. Germans had a saying, "City air makes people free."

This was all quite common, and slavery or serfdom prevents it. Until people are emancipated from these bonds nothing else can be hoped for or achieved.
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Old 19th March 2017, 10:17 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I have already stated that I believe there are more than 20-50 millions of slaves in the world.
Really? The post you reference is as follows:

Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
There may well be more, but it's senseless to define a slave as a poorly paid person who works in dangerous conditions. There are more than 20-50 millions of them, by the way.
(Your bolding)

So 20-50 million slaves who are NOT slaves. How does that work?

You even go to great lengths to explain just how people who are not enslaved legally are not actually slaves.

Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's right, it isn't. It's another kind of exploitation, but it isn't chattel slavery. That was abolished in the USA in the 1860s and since then other kinds of exploitation have been practiced, but not chattel slavery.
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
A person is not a slave merely by being under an obligation to work or starve. A person is a slave who is made to work by force, typically by having the legal status of a chattel, who can be sold at auction, as noted in the New Jersey school assignment.

There are of course other forms of exploitation, some of them very deplorable, but they are not what is referred to by the OP. Nor is it true to say that they are equivalent to slavery
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Slavery has been common. Many countries other than the USA have practised it too.
So please go ahead and explain how your first comment can be true in light of all your others.



As for the 'material' you're requesting, I assume you're referring to my first post and subsequent replies in this thread. What else do you want?
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Old 19th March 2017, 10:19 AM   #160
baron
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
It depends on the context. If you're dealing with social issues, starvation and exploitation, perhaps not. If you're a victim, perhaps not. If you're dealing with political issues, such as the legal establishment of chattel slavery, including the peripheral issue of whether it is legal to sell a slave's children, or to rape a slave, or to whip and murder a slave, or to pursue a fugitive slave, then I say yes, it absolutely does make a difference. And whether you think it important or not, I also think that it's an important part of the study of American history for Americans to understand how we got where we are, what the costs were, and how it is possible for a society that both pretends and practices democracy and equality can, simultaneously, practice slavery.
None of that precludes wider context. In fact, it mandates wider context and your very next statement suggests exactly that.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
The world is filled with injustice and evil and wrongdoing, and from certain points of view it's all the same. Dead is dead if you're the one doing the dying. But it's just not always the same thing. You can look at one thing at a time. If you want to understand something, sometimes you have to look at how that thing differs from others, not how it resembles them.
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