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Is slavery normal?

24 days ago
I go through phases where I'll binge through old journals and things, and yeah I've seen Civil War era ones where the lady is fussing about how the whole institution is just endless work and cost for the gentlefolk having to look after the helpless ignorants. Or complaining about how ungrateful a maid she brought along on a trip up north was for running off.


Unless you're talking about ancient slavery which was a whole different thing, and just like beating kids not something that was considered a moral question for most of human history. There were situations where it was basically voluntary and they really were better off than the poor, and of course plenty of times the alternative would've been worse...there were probably only two realistic options for prisoners of war that weren't important enough to ransom for instance.
But of course a lot varied culture by culture. IIRC Hebrews were supposed to free them all every 50 years? (Although I don't think they ever did without take backsies right after...) And they at least were supposed to not return slaves to their owners if things were bad enough they ran away. While other ancient law systems had the head of a household put to death for sheltering a slave or for taking one out of the city.

Getting a little off topic here I know, but I'm not sure a lot of writers trying to do historical stuff really get the scale or level of acceptance of it sometimes. Like in Greece I think something insane like literally half the population were slaves, and almost every household owned at least a few.

I've kinda been wanting to get together some resources to encourage more historical fiction (bronze age best age) but it's just impossible with my schedule right now.

Is slavery normal?

24 days ago
Must have been nice to be able to own people without fear of judgement.

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
Don't worry, they had a lot of other things to be afraid of.

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
I'm sure plenty of them were real, too.

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
Household management falls into departments corresponding to the parts of which the household in its turn is composed; and the household in its perfect form consists of slaves and freemen. The investigation of everything should begin with its smallest parts, and the primary and smallest parts of the household are master and slave, husband and wife, father and children. . . . There is also a department which some people consider the same as household management and others the most important part of it, and the true position of which we shall have to consider: I mean what is called the art of getting wealth.


{8}Let us begin by discussing the relation of master and slave. . . . [Some argue that slavery] is unjust, for it is based on force. Since therefore property is a part of a household and the art of acquiring property a part of household management (for without the necessaries even life, as well as the good life, is impossible, . . . the manager of a household must have his tools, and of tools some are lifeless and others living. An article of property is a tool for the purpose of life, and property generally is a collection of tools, and a slave is a live article of property.


But we must next consider whether or not anyone exists who is by nature of this character, and whether it is advantageous and just for anyone to be a slave, or whether on the contrary all slavery is against nature. And it is not difficult either to discern the answer by theory or to learn it empirically. Authority and subordination are conditions not only inevitable but also expedient; in some cases things are marked out from the moment of birth to rule or to be ruled.


9}As between the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject. And the same must also necessarily apply in the case of mankind as a whole; . . . [for] those whose function is the use of the body and from whom this is the best that is forthcoming . . .are by nature slaves, for whom to be governed by this kind of authority is advantageous. . . . For he is by nature a slave who is capable of belonging to another (and that is why he does so belong). . . . The usefulness of slaves diverges little from that of animals; bodily service for the necessities of life is forthcoming from both, from slaves and from domestic animals alike.


Wow, when did Aristotle get so based?

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
People also believed in atoms until Aristotle said it was a stupid idea.

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
He was a really smart guy.

Is slavery normal?

22 days ago
Aristotle is the only philosopher with a system of morality and ethics that even remotely makes sense.

Is slavery normal?

22 days ago
I hear he was a bugger for the bottle and fond of his dram.

Is slavery normal?

22 days ago
Good to know someone has been able to carefully review and contemplate every philosopher in order to draw such a conclusion. I Always suspected that was the case, but couldn't be bothered to prove it.

Is slavery normal?

22 days ago
I'm not as well read in that area of history as I'd like to be, but is it one of those monkeys and a typewriter scenarios?

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
And if you think about it, if kids are getting beat by their parents it's just the natural order of things. The fact that it's happening is proof enough. If they weren't deserving it wouldn't be possible!

Probably will split this thread soon rather than trying to make it look like it's on topic though.

Is slavery normal?

22 days ago
When you think about it, beating a child and lighting them on fire is a perfect expression of the four elements. Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. The air is all the screaming of course. If there hadn't already been fire within them, where would all the fire have come from? Where did all the ash come from? Atoms? What a stupid theory.

Is slavery normal?

22 days ago
"It's easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor." - Some liberal pussy.

Is enslaving children normal?

22 days ago

Lol

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
I wasn't thinking of ancient slavery. That's a whole seperate topic! I'd be interested to see what resources you gather. I worked briefly on a project in the classical era. It's actually been on the backburner for a decade now. I've been now and again writting a page or a paragraph since I had an initial idea in history class. One difficulty has always been that I can never understand the anthropology of the setting to a satisfactory degree. Living in those days was hardly recognizable. It's easy to act "civilized" in a civilization. When our needs are met and we have running water, treating eachother decently is much easier.

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago

If Bo was still around he'd probably give a slavery defense. I remember him being somewhat of a confederate fan.

Is slavery normal?

23 days ago
That's really funny, knowing him irl. He liked to play devil's advocate and it was difficult to nail down what he actually thought about anything. He and I were on our high school debate team. It was a strong team and we won a lot of events. He loved a strong formulated argument as much as anything.

Is slavery normal?

20 days ago

It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out what was going on with all these threads, but ohhhh, I get it, there have been some topic splits! (...right?)

I'd love to see more stories like Price of Freedom. And although Greece didn't have the action movie appeal of the Coliseum, the wars between Athens and Sparta provide so much material that could be used in a storygame. The entire work force of Sparta was made up of slaves called helots, they were owned by the city itself and the system was a unique one. I've seen them compared to serfs but it wasn't quite the same. 

There were times when both sides established outposts close to the other's territories to entice slaves to escape. 20,000 slaves from Athens escaped to join the Spartan forces who had set up literally in sight of the silver mines where their labor funded the Athens navy.

Slaves in the mines were treated pretty harshly, while craftsmen may have had a good life, although slaves were still slaves. 

Aristotle wrote about them more than the others so he had the most damning quotes associated with him, but to our sensibilities it was a messed up system all around. They don't seem to have been regarded as people who had been enslaved, but just slaves, almost an entirely different species despite not having many racial or cultural differences that historically made of easy to "other" people, in the American South for instance.

Any realistic storygame set in Greece or Rome however might have trouble getting around some of their other practices which were a lot worse to modern views than slavery.

 

 

Is slavery normal?

19 days ago
Actually though, the fact that Aristotle even bothered to argue this point so much makes me think there probably were at least some people against slavery that he felt the need to refute. Looking up some quotes I found "When the looms spin by themselves, we'll have no need for slaves." and a bunch of others about tools that worked by themselves. Sort of funny that he was putting forward this stuff as this sort of wacky impossibly fantastical scenario, which we actually have as a reality now along with a greater appreciation of the need for equality and human rights and...there are actually more people living in slavery now than there ever were at any point in history. Whoops. Can't win em all I guess. >some of their other practices Oh! You must be referring to the way they were all gay pedophiles! Yep, all that casual child rape sure is problematic, but for some reason it hasn't slowed down centuries of cultural obsession with them one bit. Greece was the cRadLe oF cIvIliZaTiOn you know, as any Greek will tell you.

Is slavery normal?

19 days ago

Of course this all brings up the old question that was once asked on here which is "If slavery was legal, would you own slaves?"

Is slavery normal?

19 days ago
If I could afford them, I'd buy them, then set them free but offer to let them still work for me for some pitifully low amount of pay that was about equal to the cost of feeding and upkeeping them as slaves would have been, and definitely less than preventing and retrieving escapees.

Now, some might leave but they'd really be taking their risks being penniless hobos in a slave holding society like this (or having whatever characteristics we're enslaving people for), so I'm betting most would not only stay with me for protection, but I'd have their eternal gratitude and they'd work even harder because of it.

If they came as a package deal with families this would all be even easier.

Eventually word would get around and slaves in the surrounding areas would start escaping to come to me on their own, their work adding to my wealth and letting me continually expand my holdings. At a certain point I'd be in command of a small, fanatically loyal army and it would be time to decide what I wanted to use it for.

Is slavery normal?

19 days ago

This just goes to show you how slaverowners really never thought big picture. Kind of deserved to lose their slave privileges if they couldn't use them optimally.