Friday, May 22, 2015

The First Anti-Slavery Pamphlet 300 Years Ago

Slavery is of all times. Slate magazine has a look at: "Caveat Emptor": The First Anti-Slavery Pamphlet Published in New England. My not so happy - and guilty - thoughts on the issue of real world slavery.

Caveat Emptor. Now really? A rotten deal doesn't even begin to cover it.

Slavery is supposed to be fun. At least for those of us who are into BDSM. I wrote before on modern day slavery - humanity's most despicable act of inhumanity. How can anyone justifiably claim ownership over another human being? Even more vile: the motivation behind it is purely monetary. Somebody else's suffering is why the choosen few, including you and me, can live a life of luxury. We all know the parasitic practice continues to this day. Just look at your phone and imagine some poor sod in Asia inhaling toxic fumes - the kind that will shorten his or her life dramatically in an excruciating painful way - while assembling your latest fashion statement. Then again who cares about other people's health when it saves you tens of dollars on your next must-have Iphone? And yes I plead guilty just like you.

State-sponsored evil
Throughout history governments and the church in general have supported slavery. Only recently they began attempting to rewrite history, wash the blood of their hands, for purely pragmatic reasons. It is similar to Jesus' crucifixion, where Pontius Pilate washes his hands with water in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see you to it." Never mind he had the power to stop Jesus crucifixion.

Sometimes I feel the kink community is so strung up in getting their next fix for the addiction that is their desire - or perhaps better being slave to their kink - they forget what words like slavery and suffering mean to the rest of us. When I read comments like "for us it's real" my mind immediately suggest electro shock therapy.

A history lesson
It doesn't matter whether or not you agree, but please have a look at this Slate article about one slave's fight for freedom through the courts 300 years ago, after his owner reneged on his pledge to set him free.
"Samuel Sewall, a prominent minister and magistrate, published this tract in Boston in 1700, responding to a public controversy over the status of Adam, an enslaved servant held by another magistrate, John Saffin. Saffin had promised Adam his freedom, and then reneged on his pledge. Adam contested Saffin's actions in court, and the dispute went on for three years; Adam and his wife finally became free in 1703."
With over three centuries of hindsight, it strikes me as odd that even though one admissions we are all the offspring of God, at the same time we deny many equal rights. Mixing cause and effect in order to defend the decision not to set Adam free, makes the pamphlet a heinous read. Why set people free if "they can seldom use their freedom well?" Those who ask to be set free are not the one's responsible for their future living conditions, once they have been set free. It is singularly the responsibility of their former masters. It also clearly illustrates how the law is subject to contemporary thinking, a far cry from justice. Unfortunately that is a practice carried on today. A violation of the law can be morally just and at the same time a punishable offense. So much for justice.

Shame on me
Fast forward several hundred years and imagine how our children will judge us. If history is kind on humanity we're evil bastards. But if exploitation of fellow human beings remains one of the hallmarks of human "progress", even darker times are ahead of us.

The worst thing is, in today's world, it doesn't have be like this. Economics 101 teaches how everybody can be richer without resorting to the exploitation of the many by the few. Yet somehow that fact remains elusive and the suffering of the majority continues. That is not sadistic, it is evil!

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