Returning to the Glory Days!

 

Was slavery so bad? There was free health care. The standard may have been low, but at least it was equal. Everyone had a “right” to housing. They also got “education,” though slaves were only taught what their betters judged appropriate to their color and status. You could not pass on wealth from generation to generation, but that kind of inherited wealth was bad anyway – it made people unequal. You didn’t have to worry your pretty little head making life decisions; all the indecision and tension was taken out of your life by your Master. You had to mind your tongue, of course: preaching sedition or liberty was a crime, and slaves were told what to think, and be ever-grateful for everything that came their way. Best of all, if you attracted undue attention of any kind, then the Master might come down from his Big House and “help you” by violating your person.

Did I say “slavery?” I should have said, “liberal government.”

With the exception of the requirement to actually work, I find the parallels between the modern liberal state and being slaves on a plantation to be eerily similar. Am I wrong?

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  1. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    You are not wrong.  And the apparent lack of a work requirement is a temporary phase.  The “doing your fair share” critique will work its way down the hierarchy as the wealth drains out of our society.  We shall all be equally miserable.

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    As bad as things are being a financial serf in modern America and Western Europe, and I understand the parallel you are drawing, it’s not as bad as slavery was in the South. 

    • #2
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    MarciN (View Comment):

    As bad as things are being a financial serf in modern America and Western Europe, and I understand the parallel you are drawing, it’s not as bad as slavery was in the South.

    You are right, of course.

    But the other part of this coin is that people are instinctively attracted to a world without choices, without decisions. It is why people vote for big government in the first place. It is also why many people vote for strong leaders who will limit their freedom, but also reduce their insecurities. People prefer predictable unhappiness to general unpredictability. 

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    iWe: Am I wrong?

    Yes. The term is “Progressive government.” Liberal government would leave us alone. Otherwise, you’re quite right.

    There were things that were worse in chattel slavery, or at least so far. But give Progressives time.

    • #4
  5. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    MarciN (View Comment):

    As bad as things are being a financial serf in modern America and Western Europe, and I understand the parallel you are drawing, it’s not as bad as slavery was in the South.

    But American South slavery is only a tiny fraction of slavery throughout history and continuing today. Slaves in many cultures have had (and continue to have) high comfort, power, and in many cases status (status based primarily on the status of the owner of the slave, and the slave’s relative position within the owner’s business or household).

    As to the “serf” part, I have heard of some asserting that a medieval feudal serf had practical personal control over a larger portion of his existence than does the modern American subject to the many laws, rules, and regulations decreed by the federal, state, and local governments that rule the life of the modern American. 

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    iWe (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    As bad as things are being a financial serf in modern America and Western Europe, and I understand the parallel you are drawing, it’s not as bad as slavery was in the South.

    You are right, of course.

    But the other part of this coin is that people are instinctively attracted to a world without choices, without decisions. It is why people vote for big government in the first place. It is also why many people vote for strong leaders who will limit their freedom, but also reduce their insecurities. People prefer predictable unhappiness to general unpredictability.

    I have a theory about the psychology behind this trend toward more and more government control over our personal life.

    There seems to be a tipping point in the human heart and mind at which people accept control in exchange for security of some kind.

    As dependency increases, willingness to accept more dependency increases with it. That’s because dependency creates a passive mindset.

    Working with kids either as a parent or in some other capacity makes this psychological pattern really apparent. We ask our kids to accept our absolute authority in exchange for their security. They go along with this arrangement. Then one day, the parents get tired of trying to meet all those needs and so they try to get the kids to become self-sufficient in some small or big way. Sometimes that goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. And once parents reach a certain point of getting their kids to be self-sufficient, the ballgame changes completely. The kids are off and running on their own.

    People love freedom. It is something inside us, and I believe G-d put it there. It is almost impossible to extinguish completely. I read the most wonderful story (1994) about China’s Gilded Age. Once the CCP lifted its foot off of the Chinese people even just a little bit, the economy began to grow and thrive. It took only ten years. Fascinating study in totalitarianism and human nature.

    I think the Democrats see the tipping point clearly and play with it better than Republicans do. Republicans are a party of very frustrated individuals. That’s because it’s impossible to keep up with the Democrats’ assaults on basic rights and freedoms. We are not willing to trade responsibility and risk for very poor security.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    iWe: With the exception of the requirement to actually work, I find the parallels between the modern liberal state and being slaves on a plantation to be eerily similar. Am I wrong?

    Nope.  The Democrats replaced hard slavery with the soft slavery of perpetual government welfare.

    • #7
  8. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    The English actress and diarist Fanny Kemble married an America, lived with him on his Georgia plantation, and learned a *lot* about the realities of slavery. (She became an anti-slavery activist; the marriage did not last)  Responding to those who said the slaves were better off than the impoverished Irish–because at least the slaves knew where their next meal was coming from–she wrote:

    Though the negroes are fed, clothed, and housed, and though the Irish peasant is starved, naked, and roofless, the bare name of freeman—the lordship over his own person, the power to choose and will—are blessings beyond food, raiment, or shelter; possessing which, the want of every comfort of life is yet more tolerable than their fullest enjoyment without them. Ask the thousands of ragged destitutes who yearly land upon these shores to seek the means of existence—ask the friendless, penniless foreign emigrant, if he will give up his present misery, his future uncertainty, his doubtful and difficult struggle for life, at once, for the secure, and as it is called, fortunate dependance of the slave: the indignation with which he would spurn the offer will prove that he possesses one good beyond all others, and that his birthright as a man is more precious to him yet than the mess of pottage for which he is told to exchange it because he is starving.

    • #8
  9. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Yes, you’re wrong.  You’re a smart guy so I know you’re just trolling here.

    • #9
  10. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re wrong. You’re a smart guy so I know you’re just trolling here.

    Well, yes.

    And no. Reduced to absurdity, what the progressives seek will end up looking quite similar to slavery without the actual labor.  I hate being told how to act, what to say, and how to think, what I can and cannot do.  And it is happening more and more.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    iWe (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re wrong. You’re a smart guy so I know you’re just trolling here.

    Well, yes.

    And no. Reduced to absurdity, what the progressives seek will end up looking quite similar to slavery without the actual labor. I hate being told how to act, what to say, and how to think, what I can and cannot do. And it is happening more and more.

    The most obvious problem might be that the people who want to control us, aren’t very smart themselves.

     

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):
    The most obvious problem might be that the people who want to control us, aren’t very smart themselves.

    But they think they are.

    • #12
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    The most obvious problem might be that the people who want to control us, aren’t very smart themselves.

    But they think they are.

    Another common failing of not-very-smart people.

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    The most obvious problem might be that the people who want to control us, aren’t very smart themselves.

    But they think they are.

    Another common failing of not-very-smart people.

    There’s even a name for it.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    The most obvious problem might be that the people who want to control us, aren’t very smart themselves.

    But they think they are.

    Another common failing of not-very-smart people.

    There’s even a name for it.

    People who think they know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.

    • #15