Dan Popp
The left still loves slavery
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By Dan Popp
September 8, 2011

Everyone belongs to everyone else. — Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

It would be funny to hear charges of right-wing racism, secret desires to lynch blacks, and longings to return to the days of slavery — funny, if it weren't so sad. If the Tea Party really wanted to lynch anyone, they'd have to ask Democrats for the instructions.

Apparently we're supposed to forget that it was Democrats who fought to keep blacks enslaved, Democrats who formed the KKK, Democrats who lynched blacks, Democrats who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Democrats who wrote the Jim Crow laws. But why dwell on the past? Today Democrat policies are destroying black families, turning black neighborhoods into war zones, obliterating black jobs, locking black children in failed schools, and killing preborn blacks via what Democrats call "choice" but what some African Americans have termed "genocide."

Far from repenting of their slaving past, the essence of the left's agenda is to enslave more and more people, more and more completely.

slav•er•y n
1. a system based on using the enforced labor of other people — Encarta® World English Dictionary

As Herbert Spencer said, "That which fundamentally distinguishes the slave is that he labors under coercion to satisfy another man's desires." There's no moral difference in whether I hold a gun to your head and tell you to dig a ditch; or hire someone else to hold the gun and give the order. If that Someone Else is the government, so much the better for me: the feds have the biggest gun of all, and the whole operation looks much more respectable that way.

Socialism, redistribution, "fairness," spreadin' the wealth around, the "progressive" tax code, means testing, massive and broken social safety nets, faux government "insurance" for floods or unemployment or healthcare, and all other involuntary transfers of the fruits of one man's labor to another man's wallet, are slavery. They're not chattel slavery, of course. Chattel slaves could often buy their freedom after a period of time. Those under the yoke of the New Slavery cannot. We can't even escape servitude by death, as an antebellum slave could — the government will come to your funeral and rob your widow once more.

This definition of slavery is confirmed by the slavocrats themselves. They use the same justifications for their programs that their forbears used to defend ownership of blacks.

The Bible tells me so.

Probably the most popular defense of negro slavery was "The Bible." In 1832, Thomas Dew wrote lines that typify this argument: "The children of Israel themselves were slave holders, and were not condemned for it.... When we turn to the New Testament, we find not one single passage at all calculated to disturb the conscience of an honest slave holder." And what do we hear from slavery's defenders today? We have to be our "brother's keeper," President Obama preaches, mindlessly echoing a Bible snippet that has nothing to do with either charity or government theft. "The Apostles were all Communists," some charge. With or without merit, it's the same argument: "God told me that slavery is OK."

Slavery is necessary in order to preserve our way of life.

If the supposed sanction of the Almighty didn't convince someone that slavery was all right, the slavery advocate might shift to the exigency defense. Chancelor Harper wrote in 1860:

    Cotton has contributed more than anything else of later times to the progress of civilization. By enabling the poor to obtain cheap and becoming clothing, it has inspired a taste for comfort, the first stimulus to civilization. Does not self-defense, then, demand of us steadily to resist the abrogation of that which is productive of so much good? It is more than self-defense. It is to defend millions of human beings, who are far removed from us, from the intensest suffering, if not from being struck out of existence. It is the defense of human civilization. [emphasis in the original]

Today we hear that, without government looting of wealth-producers, "people would die in the streets." Our entire society would collapse without property seizure and redistribution, they say. Never mind that the streets were remarkably passable between 1865 when the Republicans defeated the slavers, and 1913 when Democrats again made it legal for one man to own the labor of another via a federal income tax.

Slavery benefits the slave.

The Southern slave was said to be better off than he would have been in Africa, or in the American North working in a factory. William Grayson's book The Hireling and the Slave contrasted the poverty and uncertainty of the life of a human cog in the industrial revolution, with the secure and serene existence of an indentured servant. Yes, the slave was property, Grayson admitted, but because he was property, he had value. The master had an interest in keeping the slave healthy and productive. Dr. Richard Furman, speaking of the relationship of servant to master, wrote:

    They become a part of his family, (the whole, forming under him a little community) and the care of ordering it and providing for its welfare, devolves on him. The children, the aged, the sick, the disabled, and the unruly, as well as those, who are capable of service and orderly, are the objects of his care: The labour of these, is applied to the benefit of those, and to their own support, as well as that of the master. Thus, what is effected, and often at a great public expense, in a free community, by taxes, benevolent institutions, bettering houses, and penitentiaries, lies here on the master, to be performed by him, whatever contingencies may happen; and often occasions much expense, care and trouble, from which the servants are free. — Dr. Richard Furman

With only minor updates to the writing style, this glowing prose about "community" — including the master's "care" for the "welfare" of his slave "family" — could have come from Hillary Clinton's website this week. This is the other side, the underside, of slavery: dependence.

    [The negro] is but a grown up child, and must be governed as a child, not as a lunatic or criminal. The master occupies towards him the place of parent or guardian. We shall not dwell on this view, for no one will differ with us who thinks as we do of the negro's capacity, and we might argue till dooms-day, in vain, with those who have a high opinion of the negro's moral and intellectual capacity.

    Secondly. The negro is improvident; will not lay up in summer for the wants of winter; will not accumulate in youth for the exigencies of age. He would become an insufferable burden to society. Society has the right to prevent this, and can only do so by subjecting him to domestic slavery. — George Fitzhugh

Fitzhugh's condescension offends us, as I believe it should. No doubt he felt he was expressing his "compassion." But just substitute the word "American" for "negro" in the above, and you have the basis for most of the Democrat Party platform in 2012. And a chunk of the Republican platform, too. You are not competent to take care of your own needs (including, note, your own retirement). Your childishness forces us, the masters, to protect you, the slaves, from the dangers and responsibilities of freedom.

History shows...

The last refuge of the slavocrat was the argument that, "Slavery has been with us since the beginning of time, and will be with us until the end of time. You can't change that." Yes, and the same thing could be said about murder, or rape, or kidnapping. The fact that humans are evil, and will do evil until the Lord returns, doesn't mean that we can condone evil. We can't justify injustice by saying, "It's always been this way." Once again, it's the same argument for the same thing by the same people. Nothing has changed.

Or has it?

Chattel slavery was crude and limited. Postmodern slavery is much more subtle, so it can be much more widespread. Whereas antebellum slavery robbed some, and turned those same victims into dependents, the New Slavery appropriates the labor of every worker, and makes dependents of all.

After showing the similarities between a chattel slave and a drone/dependent, as well as the identical arguments leftists have given for both kinds of bondage, we've arrived at one final difference. A slave in the Old South may have been only dimly aware of people called abolitionists and Republicans who were striving for his freedom. But he knew he was a slave.

And he knew who was enslaving him.

© Dan Popp

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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