Stefan Molyneux delivers a brilliant expose of the History of Slavery that is poorly understood by the masses but that has profound implications as to the nature of how we view the State and its relationship with the human condition. We were all taught in government schools that slavery is deeply entwined in racist underpinnings. Upon closer examination we discover that this is just one reason why a society would resort to slavery, albeit a most superficial one. Verily we also discover that slavery was not limited to the blacks either. According to Dictionary.com the word “slave” is so called “because Slavs were commonly enslaved in the early Middle Ages”. The Slavic countries included Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, Central Asia, and Northern Asia.
It seems as far back as one is willing to search there is evidence of one dominant group of people enslaving another. It appears in Ancient Greece, Ancient China, Ancient Middle East, Ancient South America, and Ancient Africa. Plato describes the “very rich as owning 50 slaves” Both he and Aristotle assert that “it is human nature which makes the Greeks – a civilized people – enslave the conquered barbarians and other peoples.” The Bible itself does not outright forbid slavery; rather it contains many passages that refer to slavery and the proper methods to treat slaves which include Deuteronomy 15:12-15, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 4:1, Exodus 7-11, Exodus 13:14, Exodus 21:16, Timothy 1:8-10 etc. In its defense, the Bible’s conception of slavery is more akin to that of indentured servitude for repayment of debts or as a matter of social status. This is vastly different to the form of physical slavery we are all aware of which involves the capture and selling of humans against their will i.e. forced migration of people away from their home country.
For at least 14 centuries the Muslim world has been engaged in the Trans-Saharan slave trade which comparatively was far more horrifying and gruesome than the Trans-Atlantic slave trade which supplied human slaves to North America, South America, and parts of Europe. In all 3 continents that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade supplied over the centuries there are significant black communities that have arisen from the descendants of these captured human chattel. This is not the case in the Middle East. One reason for this is that slaves destined for the Middle East were forced to walk across the Sahara desert, a journey that alone killed many of them. The Arab slave hunters would then routinely castrate all African boys between the ages of 8-14 which included surgically removing the penis and scrotum, without anesthesia. This was a grisly surgical procedure after which the boys mostly bled to death or died from infection. If they did grow into adulthood, these eunuchs became more docile and subservient as a result of the procedure. The black females, if they survived the onerous Saharan march, were destined as sex slaves in Arab brothels. If they became pregnant the resulting baby would be killed. Hence there was little way for the descendents of these unfortunate souls to prosper and thrive, not that such a hell was ideal for a community to take root. The Arab slave trade constituted one of the most massive and most ignored genocidal periods in human history; a considerably egregious historical oversight if ever there was one.
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade was largely dependent on African slave hunters to capture and transport the victims to the coast where the slave ships were waiting to transport them to their forced migratory destinations. It is curious to note that without the help of the African slave hunters, the Europeans would never have been able to penetrate the African interior rendering the Trans Atlantic slave trade impossible. This is due to the fact that the Europeans would have quickly perished from mosquitoes, large predators, cholera, and other hazards on their way into the African interior.
Once the slaves reached the New World other factors came into play. The early colonial America maintained mostly white slaves, primarily in the form of indentured servants. It was only later; when the Trans Atlantic slave trade came into vogue did the black slave population concomitantly increase to sizeable proportions. Towards the end of the 18th century slaves were being freed on a regular basis so quickly that if it continued unabated every slave would have been freed 2x over by the 1860s when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln. As it happened the Federal government banned the freeing of slaves in the early 1800s thereby artificially prolonging the institution of slavery. Any slave master found to have freed any slaves during this period would be fined, imprisoned, and likely made a slave himself. This federal support of slavery continued until the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 when the federal government placed a reward for bounty hunters who captured and brought runaway slaves back to their Southern masters. This was largely ineffective as many Northern States were already nullifying this federal law and refusing to enforce it within their borders. Local police were told to not comply with it as well as to defend free black men that were accosted by federal agents or bounty hunters. Thus the sentiment of physically enslaving fellow human beings in the US was dramatically shifting with or without the approval of the Federal Government. It was therefore not the wisdom of the “great” President Lincoln that freed the slaves but the combined efforts of the intrepid abolitionists of the time.
The only two countries on Earth which required an abominable civil war to abolish slavery were the United States and Haiti. All other countries abolished it peacefully and without additional bloodshed. The American Civil War was the bloodiest in our nation’s history up until that point with a combined death toll of 750,000 people. With an approximate US population of 26.7 million people in 1855 that death toll is a considerable percentage of unnecessary and wasted human life, as is the death toll in all wars.
Slavery in early America was an institution that only the super rich could afford as the slaves had to be housed, clothed, fed, and taken care of, to the same extent that a farmer would take of his cattle, not out of love and respect for his cattle’s dignity but so that he may profit from their optimal production. Therefore slavery was not typically practiced by the middle and lower classes as they did not have the means. It was a Fascistic monopoly entirely supported and made possible by the State. Indeed how could a slave master force 20-30 slaves to obey him and not walk away as they most easily could have done? Government enforcers were therefore necessary to capture runaway slaves and bring them back to their rightful owners.
Some have placed misguided blame on the Free Market for the existence of slavery. In reality slavery is far from being a product of the voluntary exchange between peaceful individuals. Rather slavery can only have existed with the help of State subsidies and Crony Capitalistic support. It was an enormous waste of human labor and resources, the cost of which was socialized and absorbed by the State and by extension completely funded by the tax payer. It was just another example of a State subsidized monopolistic entity that achieved unnaturally monstrous proportions by means of the State Fascistic model. This is similar to all the State funded monopolies that exist today which include The Federal Reserve, SIFI Banks/Investment Firms, NFL, Nuclear Energy, Biotech Corporations, Pharmaceutical Corporations, Oil Corporations, Airline Corporations, Military-Industrial Complex, College/University industry etc. The list of industries and corporations funded by the currency extorted at gun point from tax payers is lengthy.
However atrocious the institution of slavery was it must be realized that it was wholly supported and funded by decent people who believed paying one’s taxes and obeying the “law” like a “good citizen” was the epitome of what it meant to live in Western civilization. Without the life blood of tax revenue or currency creation, which is a hidden tax on the people, the State is rendered crippled and impotent. Remove our participation and funding of the system and it will collapse back to the netherworld from whence it emerged. The State has no rightful place in the furtherance of human progress. It is the parasite on the back of man that is slowly growing to obscene proportions at the expense of the industrious and productive sector of society. We are the sleeping lion that need only awaken and scratch off this parasite. It is as easy as saying “I own myself! I am responsible for my destiny! I owe my allegiance to no man!” Just walk away from the sociopaths. Ignore them out existence.
Voluntary Anarchy is for those who practice love, compassion, and sympathy for their fellow men and women. Anarchists did not wage two World Wars! Anarchists did not drop two nuclear bombs on civilian cities! Anarchists did not engage in an American Civil War! Anarchists do not send people to Guantanamo Bay! Anarchists have not enslaved other groups of people for social status, color, or race for time immemorial! Anarchists did not detain Japanese-Americans against their will! Anarchists did not viciously massacre Native Americans and steal their land! Anarchists do not routinely go overseas to murder foreigners in the name of the “War on Terror”! Anarchists do not cowardly send drones to murder foreigners in the name of the “War on Terror! Anarchists did not murder Jews during the Holocaust! Anarchists did not murder Gypsies in Eastern Europe! Anarchists did not murder Australian Aboriginals and steal their land! No all these and other horrors were committed by decent people who believed in the myth called “government”. They believed that they were doing good by obeying the insane whims of sociopaths in power. The distinction is clear. Take responsibility for your life and your actions! You always have a choice to obey sociopaths or your own conscience!
“I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible…except by getting off his back.” Leo Tolstoy, “What Then Must We Do?”
Just do good things.