The Economist defends America's enslavement of Africans


#1

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#2

It does seem that conservatism all seeks the same level of crazy/stupid. Michelle Bachmann said something the effect that “at least under slavery there were fewer single parent families” or something like that. She was laughed at because she’s a crazy Tea bagger.

But this is the exact same sentiment as the Economist review. Even the high-brow, erudite defenders of capitalism are crazy when you look too close.


#3

Who doesn’t remember Patrick Henry’s immortal words?

“Give me conditions that keep my productivity intact!”


#4

Understanding why The Economist did something so fucking dunderheaded is a challenge.

Are you joking? This hardly needs a complex theory to explain, it just happens to be a rare direct look under the hood of that nasty fucking fauntleroy factory.

“It’s kind of a caricature of The Economist, the stodgy upper-class British twits. On one level, I wondered if it was serious,” [Baptist] said.

Author: The Economist Review Of My Slavery Book Was ‘Blatantly Racist’ [TPM]


#5

A lot of these same arguments were made, satirically, in a “Yes Men” bit where they were posing as representatives of the Word Trade Organization.

Their talk concluded that by exporting the lowest-paying jobs of the textile industry to third world countries, corporations could continue to reap the same kinds of profits they enjoyed under slavery but without having to pay for things like health care.


#6

Effectively, making a profit is the most important justification when it comes to making/changing law. But it’s for your own good.

[for those who reside in the Matrix, the above is sarcasm]


#7

The Economist wrote, “Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery; almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains – this is not history; it is advocacy.”

Um, advocacy of what, exactly? The belief that slavery is wrong?


#8

It took a lot of being yelled at, but they did publish an apology…


#9

I once met a seemingly intelligent Southern white woman whose ancestors had been plantation-rich slaveowners. What she really, really wanted me as a non-Southerner to understand is that “most of the slaves were treated very well. And when slavery was over, some of them left the South for awhile, but then a lot of them turned around and tried to get right back with their owners!”

The blindness of the white eye is often so profound.


#10

Mr Baptist is obviously prejudiced in favor of. . . human decency? Basic morality?

For shame!


#11

To keep the argument in the same capitalistic vein as the article: slave owners didn’t have to put much effort toward improving the quality of individual productivity because they were simultaneously creating replacements for free by raping the women and then owning the resulting children. If you can keep creating new labor, why spend any time or effort on maintaining quality in the old labor?

Ugh, I can’t believe we STILL have to discuss this because so many people are still putting their fingers in their ears and singing lalalala.


#12

I lost all faith in the Economist as it expounded invitingly on the benefits of invading Iraq. My eyes boggled at what I was reading, and I wasn’t even any kind of radical thinker.

That, and this, are examples of just how extremely wrong a journal can be.


#13

Disgraceful.


#14

… or give me right-to-work law!


#15

Yeah, I’ve heard that theory-- the irish were expendable but slaves were not. So Picketty debunks it?


#16

I’m sure you’ve already seen this many times before, but I just love this.


#17

I rarely agree with the opinions expressed in the Economist. And equally rarely find fault with their facts.

They do that much right at least.


#18

‘Objectivity’ is an epistemological disease. It starts as a nice theory; but quickly turns into a simplistic assumption that ‘balance’ (which can be provided simply by quoting two people who disagree, or finding a free black who kept slaves or something) is both better than, and more important than, actually observing the state of the world.

The reviewer must have one hell of a case, though, if he can’t keep his mouth shut in such a clear situation. Normally this is reserved for slightly more contentious issues.


#19

What their apology curious does not explain is how the error came to be made in the first place. “Victims of legal enslavement of blacks mostly black.” is not a terribly subtle challenge to understand…


#20

Some of the rise in productivity could have come from better treatment. Unlike Mr Thomas, Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy.

Let us not omit to say that “better treatment”, had this fatuous statement any grounding in reality, does not equate to “being not a slave”.

You can create a Utopia for slaves. Until they have freedom, it is still a jail.