Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Additional Context

Today is Wednesday, 26 January 2011.

Cf. comments on ““Mindless Rant“?” by “in context” and “my thoughts”, whom I thank for taking the time to ponder and write.

While slavery (which is not a form of servitude, but the complete denial of the personhood of others) may have originated in societies significantly different from our own, I believe that people have always known it to be radically and fundamentally evil.

Why? Because everyone believes it to be wrong when they are enslaved.

Why? Because always and everywhere, slavers attempt to “kid” themselves and others by concocting shameful ideologies to “prove” their inherent superiority, and the inherent "sub-humanity" of those they enslave. And yet, always and everywhere, male slavers regularly rape female slaves. Yet, never do we hear of concomitant epidemics of male slavers raping other “sub-humans”, such as sheep and goats. One must therefore conclude that, always and everywhere, slavers recognize that those they enslave are as human as they are, and choose to commit unspeakable crimes for profit and “pleasure”.

(Perhaps nowhere more than in slavery is the nature of rape revealed so clearly to constitute violence and domination, and not to involve anything “sexual” in nature.)

Indentured servitude, no matter how harsh its conditions, is a contract between persons. Servants sell their services for a specific term of time. The fact that contracts could be bought and sold in no way extinguished the legal personhood of the servant. Chattel slavery is the ownership of a person by another person, wherein the person owned is defined, by law, as an article of property, no different than a car or a toothbrush, and never is, nor can ever be, a person. (The act of freeing a slave creates a new person ex nihilo, and doesn’t change the fact that, before freeing, they were not legally a person.)

The Framers were in no way “obliged” to create a single national government: the Framers chose to create a single national government by choosing to continue legitimating the practice of slavery. They could have created two or more nations, but chose not to do so. They chose, for their own selfish reasons, to perpetuate the crimes of slavery, putting their appetites for power and profit above the human rights of Blacks. Those Framers who declined to own slaves themselves chose to be just as guilty as the slave owners.

As to the fact that Black nations in Africa sold other Blacks into slavery, note that this market was created by the white buy-side, not the Black sell-side. The fact that “greed is universal” neither excuses nor mitigates greed-driven crimes. The claim that “But mom, everyone is doing it!” is understandable in a very young child, but contemptible in adults.

I’ve not stated, “in essence” or otherwise, that America was built on greed and arrogance alone. It was also built on good fortune and hard work. However, it is simple historical fact that such factors as greed, arrogance, racism, genocidal violence, and the crime against humanity of slavery were also sine qua nons. Much of the capital accumulated through Southern slavery was invested in the American “industrial take-off”, which was concentrated in the North.

And it is just simply true that the “merciless savages” of England invaded North America, and were met with an often savage self-defense by Native Americans. The lust for Lebensraum didn’t originate with Hitler (or with the English, for that matter).


Anonymous just asking said...

HH writes:

"That is: why should one give a fig about the original intentions of the Framers?"

Is this a rhetorical question? Or do you really not know the answer?

HH's post goes on to give the philosophical "justification" which appeals to Reason (that the Framers "designed a system of government which was, and is, despite minor flaws, fundamentally the most perfect ever devised"); and the "appeal to Divine Authority" which, HH claims is favored by "partisans of 'American exceptionalism', such as Sarah Palin."

First of all, throwing out unsubstantiated assertions hardly constitutes "analysis" of any issue - certainly not one as complicated as "originalism", original intent, textualism, etc. Secondly, mention of Sarah Palin and her posse of cotton-headed ninny-muggins followers, and what they may or may not believe (when they have thoughts at all), is hardly a fair comment of those partisans of "American exceptionalism."

So... just asking - is "why should one give a fig about the original intentions of the Framers" a rhetorical question? Or do you think this post addresses it and/or answers it? It doesn't. But no time, or room, for constitutional civic lessons here.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous just asking said...

These comments are in response to the Janarary 27 post (appearing on Friday, January 28). My technological shortcomings are showing... Ooww.

6:03 PM  

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