The Truth About Slavery: Past, Present and Future

Stefan Molyneux uncovers the obscured and barbaric history of Slavery to unearth important lessons that can and will change the future. What is the truth about slavery?



Hi everybody! Stefan Molyneux from Freedomain Radio.  Hope you're doing well.  This is the "Truth About Slavery".  Now, why are we even going to talk about such an ancient and evil institution?  Well… We really don't understand the history of slavery, we cannot identify it's causes and we therefore have a very tough time fighting it's echoes and remnants in the here and now; and I'd would really like to make the case that we can put an end to human once and for all, but first of all we have to understand what it is and where it came from.  So, let's dive in, shall we?  Thank you so much for your time.

So, the history of slavery… Slavery is an ancient institution common to all cultures throughout history up until the 19th century and in many places into the 20th and 21st century.  How did you become a slave?  Well, you became an insolvent debtor, ran out of money, you were sold into slavery by your parents, or you were born to slave parents a lot of times, or you were captured through kidnapping by slave-raiders and pirates—particularly the Barbary Coast.  Slave dealing was an accepted way of live throughout all of human history, fully established in all societies, unopposed by religion—in fact, almost always supported by religion: Christians supported slavery through the Old Testament, Muslims supported slavery explicitly, and Jews supported slavery—ran a lot of the slave trade.  Now, a lot of the slaves in the world throughout history were white people or Europeans.  In fact, the very word "slave" comes from "Slav" or the people from Eastern Europe.  Now, the reason why "Slav" became "slave" was because for thousands of years they were subjected to every conqueror who swept through the region:  Celts, Greeks, Romans, Barbarians or the Conans, the ancient Greeks who a lot of Westerners get culture, art, music, and philosophy from… were utterly dependent on slavery.  Plato's "Republic", one of the first blueprints for fascistic-totalitarianism in the history of the world, was firmly based on slave labor.  Plato himself said that owning fifty or more slaves represented the possessions of a wealthy man.  Under Roman law, rebellions against your slave owners were kind of discouraged.  So, if your slave owner was ever found killed, all of the slaves—all of you would be put to death.  There was Roman slave owner who was found murdered and 400 of his slaves were put to death.  So …little tough to get out of the institution.  0 A.D., or when Christ was born, half the population of the Roman Empire were slaves.  Three quarters of the population of Athens were slaves. 

Now, not really known, very often up to one-half or more of the arrivals in the American colonies early on were white slaves—we'll get into that a little bit later.  They were slaves for life.  Generally, the slavery was hereditary.  Some of them were called "indentured servants".  So they would sign up or be kidnapped and sold into bondage, and yet these contracts were generally extended at will.  Nobody was really there to enforce them.  It was rare in America to own slaves.  At the very peak of black slavery in America, only 6% of southern whites owned slaves—this,  of course, would be the richest 6%; and we'll get into how they use the State to maintain slavery, in just a few minutes—so, if you include all the white people in the North at the very height of slavery, only 1.4% of white Americans owned black slaves.  Monstrous, immoral… that was the truly evil 1% of the day.  Slavery, of course, was indigenous to African and Arab countries before it made its way to Europe. Slavery was largely practiced by the tribes of American Indians, long before Columbus came to the New World.  Ethiopia had slavery until 1942, Saudi Arabia until 1962, Peru until 1968, India until 1976, Mauritania until 1980.  Also, coming a tad late to the anti-slavery party, was the Catholic Church because certain passages in the Old Testament sanctioned slavery, the New Testament didn't give any clear teachings to abolish it.  In 1965, the second Vatican council declared that "without qualification" that slavery was "an infamy that dishonored the Creator and was a poison in society".  To be fair, Christians, theologians mostly, followed Saint Augustine in arguing that slaves should be treated well and they did discourage the owning of Christian slaves.  Blacks owned slaves even in America, according to the United States' census of 1830.  In just the one town of Charleston, South Carolina, 407 black Americans owned slaves themselves.  One study has concluded that 28% of free blacks owned slaves, which is far higher than the free whites who owned slaves.  It was a lot of a class thing.  I mean, the rich whites would own slaves.  The poor whites hated slavery and hated the institution, for a variety of reasons we'll get into—not least of which, was the fact that it drove down the price of labor to the point where they found it almost impossible to compete. 

Now, what are some of the myths?  Slavery is often portrayed as a free market phenomenon that had to be ended by governments, but the reality is there were, in fact, only two countries in the history of the world that found it necessary to end, or at least attempt to end, slavery through civil war.  One was the United States of America, and the other was Haiti.  Of course, the Civil War—as we'll get to in the next presentation, "The Truth About Abraham Lincoln"—didn't have anything to do with slavery, but had more economic motives.  So, slavery was a worldwide phenomenon that existed from pre-history until the 18th and 19th centuries when Western powers—particularly, England—ended it as a moral crusade.  Now, why was so many Africans enslaved?  Well, one of the reasons was because the African rulers, within Africa—particularly, in southern middle Africa—were endlessly warring against each other; civil wars and so on.  They would capture slaves and they would bring them to the seaports where Europeans and the Arabs would pick them up.  Some Arabs went inland, but, you couldn't, as a white person, couldn't go into Africa.  I mean, the average life expectancy for a white person going to Africa was eleven months.  You just get downed by big and small animals—lions or bugs of various kinds—cholera, and so on.  So, they had to get caught by the black rulers and then they would be shipped off to the ports where they would be picked up by the Arabs and the Europeans.  England as a moral crusade—led by a man we'll meet in a moment—was ended by attacking the slave ships agitating for the removal of government support for slavery—which is really essential—and, bribing slave owners to release their slaves, or buying their property.  Of course, you can't, under common law, retroactive law is not valid.  I can't say something was illegal five years ago and charge you for that.  So, what was legitimate property had to be bought; and British government did spend a lot of blood and treasure trying to end slavery.  So, I mean, this is one of the great misconceptions of history.  So, western Europeans were very late to the party.  The Muslim slave trade went on for fourteen hundred years.  The Christian slave trade went on for a few hundred years; they were late to the party, they took very few of the slaves—as we'll see— they treated their slaves far better than what occurred in the Muslim countries—as we'll also see.  So, Europeans ended up fighting against slavery.  Europeans ended slavery; and therefore, you only ever hear Europeans being blamed for slavery.  This is horribly unjust.  Look, if we want to move the moral standard of mankind further up, which I think we all want to do, let's stop attacking everyone who shows the first sign of conscience and better behavior in the world and only ascribe the blame to them.  Let's not look at European guilt as a mineable resource which you can squeeze with state power to produce the diamonds of fiscal transfers. 

So, let's look at the Eastern trade.  So, you know about the Atlantic slave trade, I'm sure.  What is the Eastern slave trade—which was the Trans-Sahara slave trade—going to the Muslim countries?  So, the death toll from fourteen centuries of the Muslim slave trade in Africa is estimated at a little over a hundred and twelve million people; and remember, this was at a time when the world was quite a bit less populated—which had a lot to do with the Muslim slave trade and its excellence at depopulating and disassembling human beings.  Historian, Robert Davies, estimates North African Muslim pirates abducted and enslaved more than a million Europeans between 1530 and 1780.  Half a million black African slaves ended up in North America.  Twice that were kidnapped by North African Muslim pirates.  It's a power differential, it's not a race thing, fundamentally, slavery.  Scraps of history indicated the Muslims enslaved over a hundred and fifty million African people—about fifty million from other parts of the world.  That's not good and I guess we can hold our breath waiting for the Islamic culture to stop making it's apologizes and for people to press Islamics for reparations.  Now, one thing that's just horrifying and tragic, I mean, all of slavery is horrifying and tragic, but there are things that stick out even in this horror.  Why does the Arab world not have a large black population?  I mean, they took a lot of black slaves; they marched them across the Sahara and sold them at slave auctions Middle Eastern world.  Why?  I mean, America's got a big black population.  South America has a big black population as a result of slavery.  Why aren't there any, really, in the Middle East?  Well, historian, Bernard Lewis, provides and answer, "one reason is obviously the high population of eunuchs among black males entering the Islamic lands, another is the high death rate and low birth rate among black slaves in North Africa and the Middle East".  In about 1810, Louis Franc observed in Tunisia that "most black children died in infancy" and that "very few ever reach the age of manhood".  A British observer in Egypt, some thirty years later, found conditions even worse.  He said, "I have it estimated that five or six years is sufficient to carry off or kill a generation of slaves at the end of which time the whole has to be replenished".  You didn't really want to be a slave going east.  If you had to choose, you'd want to be going west.  North African Muslim pirates raided European coastal towns and villages from all the way down in Sicily all the way up to Cornwall as well as European ships for about three hundred years, enslaved over a million Europeans including many American seamen, many say it is 1.5 million.  Christopher Hitchens points out, "how many know that perhaps a million and a half Europeans and Americans were enslaved in Islamic North Africa between 1530 and 1780.  What of the people of the town of Baltimore, Ireland?  …all carried off by coarse-haired raiders in a single night.  It doesn't fit the narrative.  Right?  The narrative says that it's a race issue.  It's a state and power issue which I'm going to make the case for.  These ghastly slave-raiding practices of the Muslim pirates had a huge effect, particularly on coastal regions of Europe.  France and England and Spain lost thousands of ships, devastated their seaborne trade, retarded the growth of the economy, long stretches of the coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned until the 19th century.  The fishing industry was virtually devastated which, of course, let to starvation throughout certain parts of Western Europe.  Well, Christians did come, tragically, to the party.  Islam dominated the slave trade from the 7th to the 15th century, but between 1519 and 1815 Europe also joined in the trade in human flesh.  Interestingly enough, it was the European nations that had suffered the most at the hands of the Muslim slave raiders, and under centuries of Muslim military occupations such as Spain and Portugal who dominated the European slave trade.  It was the enemies of the reformation that brought Europe into the slave trade.  The Reformation was a 16th century movement led by Martin Luther who tried to get the bible translated into the vernacular, into the common tongue of the people and gave them copies of the bible and allowed them to come to their own conclusions, shattered the unity of Christendom under the Catholic popes and the Catholic Church into Calvinists, Lingaleans, Anabaptists, Lutherans, and so on, thus provoking a century or two of vicious religious civil war resulting in the separation of church and state for their mere survival of European civilization.  So, Martin Luther defied Charles V by saying, "my conscience is captive to the word of God here I stand I can do no other".  So, the holy Roman Empire—which was, in reality, neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire—authorized Europe's involvement in the slave trade in 1519.  Britain, who's involvement in slavery was a first authorized in 1631 by the delightful king Charles I who was executed by Parliament, his son Charles II reintroduced it by Royal Charter in 1672.  Popes were very keen on slavery. One pope even rode around in giant boat rowed by slaves, so it was not a great bulwark against religion.  The destinations are surprising because generally you hear black slavery in America.  According to "The Slave Trade" by Hugh Thomas, four million slaves went to Portuguese controlled Brazil—that's over 35% of the Atlantic slave trade--, two and a half million to the nations of central and south America –which is 22%--, just under 18% to the British West Indies, mostly Jamaica, 14% of them went to French West Indies, 4.4% to the Dutch West Indies, and half a million black slaves generally went to North America—4.4% of the entire slave trade.  I don't see a lot of people trying to give Brazil a hard time; although, Brazil ended slavery in the 1880s, much later.  So, here's a chart.  You can just look at this to see where the enslaved Africans were sent from 1500 to 1870.  It's a very small amount, went to British North America.  So, how did this end?  Well, William Wilberforce—the least ghetto name in history—on Sunday October 28, he wrote in his diary, "God almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the Reformation of society."  For the rest of his life, he dedicated his life as a member of Parliament opposing the slave trade and working for the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire.  On February 22, 1807, twenty years after he first began his crusade in the middle of Britain's war with France, Wilberforce and his  team's labors were awarded with victory by an overwhelming 282 votes for to 16 against the motion to abolish slavery was carried in the House of Commons.  In 1809, the British government mobilized its navy to search for suspected slave ships, even foreign vessels on the high seas.  At the height of the British Empire covered a third of the globe.  The British navy was the undisputed king of the waters.  One of the tragic effects was that when a slave ship would see a British corsair coming up to it they would generally kill the slaves and dump the bodies overboard, so that they wouldn't be found to be slavers.  In 1810, the British Parliament declared slave trading a felony punishable by fourteen years hard labor.  In 1814, the British representative at the congress in Vienna insisted on the abolition of the slave trade being included in the international treaty.  The treaty was signed by all the European powers on June 9, 1815.  In 1825, Britain passed a law making slave trading punishable by death.  Three days before William Wilberforce died, by an act of Parliament in 1833, the British abolished slavery itself setting all seven hundred thousand slaves in British overseas territories free.  Wilberforce's lifetime campaign of fifty-nine years was now fully successful.  He said shortly before he died, "Thank God that I've lived to witness the day in which England is willing to give 20 million pounds sterling for the abolition of slavery!"  A moral hero of mankind, did you ever hear his name?  Of course not; does not fit the narrative and does not serve the powers that be which we will get to.  Now, one of the great tragedies of ending the Atlantic slave trade was—it wasn't like the number of slaves captured in Africa and other places diminished they took more of the slaves from Africa and sent them over the Sahara.  Missionary explorer, David Livingstone, wrote, graphic descriptions brought the ravages of the East African slave trade to light.  He wrote this, "Two of the women had been shot the day before for attempting to untie their thongs.  One woman had her infants brains knocked out because she could not carry her load and it; and a man was dispatched (i.e. killed) with an ax because he had broken down with fatigue.  Those taken out of the country are but a very small section of the sufferers.  We never realized the atrocious nature of the traffic until we saw it at the fountain head.  'There truly Satan has his seat.'  Besides those actually captured, thousands are killed and die of their wounds and famine, driven from their villages by the internecine ware waged for slaves with their own clansmen and neighbors, slain by the lust of gain, which is stimulated, be it remembered always, by the slave purchases of Cuba and elsewhere." 

The Trans-Sahara slave trade was truly appalling.  So, boys from about eight to twelve, if they were captured, would be castrated.  This would be penis and testicles because Arabs had superstitions about the sexual prowess of blacks and also castrated boys were more docile.  And so, they would castrate the boys.  The survival rate was very low, which we'll get to.  They went to the homes of wealthy Arab landlords and they force marched young women across endless miles of scorching sand in the Sahara Desert to become sex concubines.  Most of the women died in transit.  So, murderous castration, obviously without any anesthetic or any other kind of medical procedures for protection against infection, and the force marching of women across the desert for the rape rooms of the eastern lands was unbelievably brutal and was far worse statistically than what happened in the Atlantic slave trade.  So, eunuchs, again, got the penises and scrotums of eight to ten year old African boys.  The survival rate from this process of castration ranged from one in ten to one in thirty.  So, it's impossible to estimate hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of young boys bled to death during this ghastly procedure.  And, in eliminating or diminishing the Atlantic slave trade, more boys went that direction instead of the relatively safer lands in North and South America. 

So, the reason why I say if you are going to be captured then you want to go west not east; look at this graph here.  This is from 1650 to 1750.  The rise of the U.S. slave population is enormous.  When you were a woman in the Muslim countries, if you had a baby—the result, of course, of being raped in these concubines—if you had a baby, the baby would be murdered, generally.  So, the men were castrated and the women's babies were murdered which is why there aren't a lot of blacks in Islamic countries these days despite such a rampant history of fourteen centuries of slavery.  But early, you can see, that the U.S. slave population was increasing.  Slaves could marry and were encouraged to have children and so on.  And, although the U.S. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808, the domestic trade flourished.  The slave population in the U.S. nearly tripled over the next fifty years.  It doesn't make slavery moral—of course, it's a completely evil institution—but it makes it much more survivable in the Americas. 

Now, the confusion of slavery with the free market is truly tragic because then we think that it was free trade that produced slavery, and it required six-hundred thousand odd dead Americans in the civil war to end it.  This, of course, is not the case.  Generally, all governments had to do was stop catching the slaves and returning them to their masters.  Think about it.  You've got a plantation, you've got a bunch of slaves; they just walk off.  How you going to catch them?  Where are you going to find them?  You can't possibly do that.  The government has to go and catch them for you, the taxes and labor of which are generally paid by others.  So, there are two state statues that reduce the private cost of slavery.  They were largely ignored and this made slavery look a lot more efficient.  We'll get into them.  So, slave patrols and bans on the freeing of slaves are manumission, which we will get to in a little more detail.  It's worth understanding just so we can really get how little slavery was economically efficient.  And of course, those who had bought slaves tended to resist the introduction of labor-saving devices; and, this prevented industrialization.  This prevented farm machinery from coming into being.  And of course, the more productive slaves were—to the degree that they were productive—simply meant that you had to pay more to buy them, therefore eliminating a lot of the gains.  So also, states prevented immigration of free blacks and if you were freed, through some miracle, you had to leave the state.  They restricted movements and rights and so on which meant that basically most of the blacks in a given state would be slaves which made them a lot easier to identify and to capture. 

So, forced slave patrols.  So, the patrol statutes in the South required all white males to participate in slave patrol duty.  So, the counties established these regular patrols.  The counties placed the responsibility for organizing these patrols on local judges and constables; and they appointed these leaders—that rotated in and out—responsible for organizing and reporting on the activities of their patrols.  Now, if you didn't participate in these patrols, or carry out organizing responsibilities, you got a series of escalating fines which would end up with you going to debtors' prison and possibly being sold off as a slave.  So, to prevent slaves from escaping, these drafted poor whites were responsible for patrolling the roads at night, monitoring the movement of blacks, checking their passes, inspecting slave residences.  Pretty scary for the blacks.  A lot of these guys who aren't big fans of this whole thing took it out on the blacks which was wretched and tragic and you didn't even get paid.  All you could get paid was, maybe you would get a little bit of a reward, if you catch a runaway slave.  So, this is a way in which—remember, it's the rich who use the power of the state to screw the middle class and the poor.  I mean, we see this right now going on with the bank bailouts.  I mean, how much money did you get and how much money did you have to pay?  If you're not in the 1%, the top of the financial food chain, you don't get crap.  Well, you get crap and debt.  And, you know, can we really be said to ended forced in denature when children are born hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt because of the spending of the state to buy votes.  I would argue, no.  So, it was tragic, the costs of patrolling for and capturing the slaves were born by the people that were forced to do it, not the  people who owned the slaves. 

So, this is really important.  If the trend of freeing slaves had been allowed to continue, slavery would have ended before the Civil War, peacefully.  It's a strong claim to make.  Let me give you the numbers behind it.  So, you couldn't free your slaves.  Originally, you could, but too many slaves were being freed which made it harder to catch the ones who ran away.  So, you couldn't buy your freedom anymore, you couldn't be granted freedom, and you couldn't be given your freedom even in a last will and testament; and therefore, there was not much freeing or manumission of slaves, not because people didn't want to do it, but it became illegal.  So, if the government had not banned the freeing of slaves, more slaves would have been freed, there would have been more competition for labor, labor would begun to have replaced slavery in terms of efficiency and so on, and more slaves then would have been freed.  So, as states enacted statutes against manumission and immigration and required slave patrols, the growth of the black population decreased; and it fell below the slave population and was reduced to a trickle in the decade prior to the Civil War.  However, if the free black population in the South Atlantic states had grown at the same rate between 1800 and 1860, as it did between 1790 and 1800, every slave in the South Atlantic states would have been freed twice.  By 1860, the equivalent of virtually every slave in the country.  So, they were being freed.  The government stepped in and stopped it to serve the interest of the wealthy plantation owner, the couple of percent of people who had the ear of the government, as they do now, and use it to shaft everyone else.  But even if you did the slower rate of growth, between 1790 and 1810—which was 88% growth in freeing of slaves—every slave in the region would have been freed only 1.5 times, which I guess is still pretty good. 

Let's talk a little bit about white slavery.  The Irish slave trade.  Oh, my lovely ancestors from Ireland who came across with William the Conqueror in 1066 I'm sure were very, very effective in slaughtering and covering themselves with blue and red of disassembled local Britains.  Very good ancient murders, my relatives, which were my ancestors, which meant that they got lots of land as a result from being very good at killing people, which is really the foundation of the aristocracy.  All money with royalty on it is blood money.  And, the Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World.  His proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners to be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.  By the mid-1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat.  At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.  Now, I'm half Irish and half German, and while the German part of me wants to invade Poland, the Irish part of me, when exposed to sunlight, bursts into fiery flames and freckles, so not exactly the blackest of the black slaves in the universe.  So, Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants.  The majority of the slaves to the New World were actually whites.  In the 1600s, white slaves in America outnumbered the black slaves.  So, Reverend Augie, who lived in the South for eleven years had both black and white congregations, told that preaching to slaves some with red hair and blue eyes a third of whom were just as white as he was.  Dr. Alexander Milton Ross attended a slave auction in New Orleans where many of the slaves were much whiter than the white people who were buying them.  In Lexington, Kentucky, Calvin Fairbank—that's the least hood name you'll find—described a woman who was going to be sold at slave auction as "one of the most beautiful and exquisite young girls one could expect to find in freedom or slavery….being only one sixty-fourth African."  In 1855, Fredrick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York's Central Park, was in Alabama on a pleasure trip and saw bales of cotton being thrown from a considerable height into a cargo ship's hold, The men tossing down, somewhat recklessly into hold, were Negros.  The men in the hold were Irish.  He said, "What's going on?  Why is it this way?"  "Oh," said the worker, "the niggers are worth too much to be risked here.  The Patty's are knocked overboard or get their back broke, nobody loses anything." 

The economics of Irish slavery were pretty tragic.  From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves.  You see, half a million blacks get to North America, 300,000 whites sold as slaves in a ten year period.  Ireland's population fell from about 1.5 million to 600,000 in one single decade.  This would be about the equivalent of America losing a hundred million people.  Families were ripped apart; the British did not even allow Irish dads to take their wives and children across the Atlantic.  This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children.  What would the English do with those helpless women and children?  Oh, let's auction them off as well as additional slaves.  Oh, the British…  During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England.  In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia, long before the SPF 9 million that you need if you're an Irish person out in the sun.  Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder.  In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2,000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.  The British would routinely scoop up orphans and send them across as slaves.  They would also troll brothels, rip the women out of the brothels, and send them over as breeders to the New World. 

So, African slaves are very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling).  Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling), and this is partly because you could just grab them.  You didn't have to pay the African warlords for the slaves, and they were cheaper and easier to transport.  If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime.  A death would be a monetary setback, but much cheaper than killing a more expensive African.  And, the English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit.  Children of the slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the merchant's workforce.  Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her children would still be born as slaves to the master.  So, they're not going to go and abandon their kids.  They just generally hung around to take care of them.  England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century.  Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion—why would they rebel? …such a lovely environment—thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses in both Africa and Irish captives. 

So, white slaves, Middle Eastern slaves, African slaves… it was all over the world.  And, there are still some significant differences to be noted between the Atlantic slave trade and the Trans-Sahara slave trade.  So, two out of three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, but two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims, again, for sexual concubineage or institutional rape.  The mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, but the percentage of slaves dying in transit on the Trans-Sahara and East African slave trade was between 80% and 90%.  Which is why I say if you're going to get caught you want to go East not West.  So, almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, the ones that went east were for sexual exploitation in harems and for military service.  So, many children were born to slaves in the Americas.  Your marriage wasn't legally recognized, but you could get married and have kids.  Millions of their descendents are citizens in Brazil and the USA, but there are very few descendents of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East.  One of the great genocidal murderous barbaric vicious tragedies of human history, generally unacknowledged.  So, again as we mentioned.  You can get married in the Americas, in North and South America.  In the Middle East, you were generally castrated as a male and your babies were murdered if you were female. 

So, the Atlantic slave trade was not the result of market forces.  It was not a free market.  It was developed under the power of the state.  We've already talked about how the state used the power of law to socialize or offset the cost of capturing and returning slaves.  And, it did not allow slave owners to free their slaves.  So, of course, slavery exhisted in the tribal African societies which was the source of slaves.  Europeans could not go into Africa and catch slaves.  They would just catch disease and die.  This was not a market force that was going on.  It was not free trade and private ownership that was going on in the tribal African societies.  The slave trade as a whole was not founded by private firms, but was established by the colonial powers which instituted monopolies to exploit the indigenous population.  So, the Dutch West India Company was chartered in 1621, and the Royal Company of Adventurers for the importation of Negroes was formed in 1662.  These were not private corporations or companies of any kind.  They were governmental military structures which gave a monopoly on the slave trade, subsidized it, in return for great profits.  Think of it as the Military Industrial Complex of its time.  So, they were very efficient in generating slaves, revenues, and domestic influence.  So, there is a statement that said, "Negroes therefore were stolen in Africa to work lands stolen from the Indians, " but this was always and forever a government involvement.  When governments gave up the practice of catching and returning slaves, slavery collapsed. 

So, let's understand what slavery is.  Slavery is the 100% ownership of the product of somebody's labor in a non-voluntary environment.  So, if I go to work at a restaurant, they'll take some portion of my salary.  They built the restaurant, they do the advertising, they heat it, they… but I take some portion of the profits for my salary.  It's voluntary.  When you force someone to hand over 100%  of their earnings that is pure slavery.  What percent of your earnings are forced over at the hand of the state?  See, we really haven't fundamentally outgrown it as an institution.  We've become free-range serfs or slaves.  We can choose our own occupations, but we must still remit property taxes, income taxes, and all other forms of taxation to the state in order to secure our freedom.  And, we really haven't understood what slavery was and where it came from.  We've been told to turn it into two things that are fundamentally incorrect.  One, is it has become a race issue for obvious financial gain reasons and reasons of the profitability of victimization in the face of a relatively empathetic culture.  So, it's become a race issue and it fundamentally wasn't.  It was a power issue.  Where the British could get away with enslaving the whites, they got away with enslaving the whites.  When they could get away with enslaving the Africans, the enslaved the Africans.  When the Muslims could get away with enslaving everyone, they enslaved everyone.  When the Jews could profit from their participation in the slave trade, they did and could.  So, it is not a race issue at all fundamentally.  We've been told to make it a race issue, so that we fight amongst ourselves, rather than looking at the real source of the problem of slavery past, present, and future which is the powers that be who indoctrinate us to fight each other rather than look at the genuine power structures in the world which are around the viciousness and violent exploitation of state power at the behest of the financial powers who lend to the state, so the state can bribe us with goodies, and have our children pay off those goodies.  So, we've made the mistake of thinking that slavery is foundationally about race, so that we can fight each other as races rather than recognize that we are brothers and sisters in the tax farms called countries run by governments, and we've also thought that it has something to do with the free market.  So, we think that are enemies are racial and our enemy is the free market.  Well, it is not a race-based institution and it was the complete opposite of the free market.  It was a central, fascistically controlled pseudo-market.  It's called "crapitalism", crony capitalism, where you use the power of the state to benefit financial interests.  This is not the free market at all.  Forcing people to go and catch slaves—that's not the free market.  Forcing people to not do what they want with their own property.  If slaves are property, you should be able to set them free.  Right?  But, banning people from setting their slaves free is not treated slaves even as property as it should have been at the time under the law; because that would have been a way of peacefully ending slavery by making slavery diminish out of the guilty generosity of the slave owners—particularly on their deathbeds when they would set slaves free.  So, it is completely wretched for us to misunderstand what slavery was, who the cause was:  financial interests, using the power of state to exploit the resources.  Now, the resources are money, the resources are the environment.  In the past, the resources included human beings.  But, the idea that one race is guilty of slavery and owes reparations is like saying you and I owe reparations for the bailouts that were handed to the bankers.  Of course not.  We didn't like them, those bailouts.  We would have resisted them if we could, but the money is taken from us at gunpoint.  Well, the facilitation of slavery, the violence, power of the state that made slavery possible and sustained its continuance was imposed upon both whites and blacks and milatos and Chinese and Irish and you name it… it was imposed upon them against their will, just as the national debt is imposed upon your children against their will, just as bank bailouts are imposed on you against your will.  All we should do is band together to recognize the great owners of mankind are the political, financial, and military powers of the world.  When we see that, when we see the slavery in a diminished way, that continues.  Well then, we have a chance at real freedom.

Blog Categories

July 2024

Recent Comments

    Join Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Community on Locals

    Get my new series on the Truth About the French Revolution, access to the audiobook for my new book ‘Peaceful Parenting,’ StefBOT-AI, private livestreams, premium call in shows, the 22 Part History of Philosophers series and more!
    Become A Member on LOCALS
    Already have a Locals account? Log in
    Let me view this content first 

    Support Stefan Molyneux on

    Already have a account? Log in