But What About the Children?

Consider a debate between an anti-slavery advocate (ASA) and a standard citizen (SC), maybe about 200 years ago or so…

The ASA is talking about the immorality of slavery, the impossibility of human ownership, the humiliation and degradation of the slaves, and possibly even the damage it does to slaveowners, and the SC retorts with:

“But how will children be clothed if plantations cannot produce cotton?”

Looking at this conversation from today’s perspective, it seems totally absurd and a complete non-sequitur. You really have to wonder if the SC really values slaves so little that pieces of cloth rank higher.

However, another issue about looking back on that interaction from today is that we live in a world where cotton is distributed without chattel slavery. We “know,” in a general sense, not only how cotton could be distributed without slavery, but there is a working system in place that does not involve slave ships and whips and chains and all the other vile ugliness that attends slavery.

(Technology and science are not arguments as to why our society does not keep such slaves since other societies contemporary with our debaters 200 years ago had already abolished slavery. [I would also add, without starting a war to do so.])

So perhaps the ASA takes on a different tack.

The ASA asks the SC: “If I was working to free slaves, would you support me being arrested and thrown in jail, and killed if I tried to resist?”

At this point, the SC has to make a choice. What does he value more: conformity or morality?

The above debate is the same as what goes on today when somebody asks you:

“How will the children be educated?”
“How will the roads be maintained and built?”
“How will the poor be taken care of?”
“How will we protect ourselves from criminals?”

It’s not that these are unimportant questions–since they come up so often, they are most important! However, they are so often asked when the question of violence comes up. They distract from the core issue, which is that governments are nothing more than the most powerful mafias. Subservience to a government isn’t honor, it is survival.

A slave bows his head because he knows he will be destroyed if he does not.

Written by James Pyrich in: Government |

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