[ExI] Slavery Now and in the Past (was: Health system, again)

Olga Bourlin fauxever at sprynet.com
Sun Apr 13 18:32:58 UTC 2008

From: "Rafal Smigrodzki" <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>

>> On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 7:16 PM, Olga Bourlin <fauxever at sprynet.com> 
>> wrote:
>> (in answer to a previous post of Lee Corbin's)  Your remark about 
>> "institutions dead nearly 150 years ago" does not take into account de 
>> jure segregation that existed in parts of the USA into the  1960s, and 
>> many instances of de facto segregation since then.  Those  institutions 
>> are interrelated - and not all dead.

> ### But given the context of this discussion - note that the Jim Crow laws 
> were enacted by, guess what, the government. So the high likelihood that 
> immoral laws would be enacted because of regulatory capture is another 
> argument *against* the government. In case of slavery, regulatory capture 
> was achieved by a minority of wealthy landowners who maintained the system 
> long after it became unpopular among the majority of Southern population. 
> Slavery wouldn't have survived as long as it did if not for the existence 
> of the US government.

If you are counting in the opinion of the slaves themselves, perhaps a case 
could be made that slavery was unpopular - but slavery was quite accepted 
and popular by "the majority of [White] Southern population."  (I suppose 
apologists for the Confederacy would like to have one think otherwise ...).

And it wasn't only the "minority of wealthy landowners" who profited from 
slavery- early America's economy grew and prospered greatly from slavery 
(free labor! free labor! how can any economic system beat that?) .

In so-called third-world countries where one finds slavery in the world 
these days, one also finds weak and ineffectual governments.  What does this 
say about the role of government?  What does this indicate about leaving 
things to the whimsies of "the people?" (IMHO, without the intervention of 
some sort of human rights legislation, one cannot make a good case for 
leaving things to "human nature" ... can you?)


> Rafal
>>  Not that they're exempt from condemnation, but many "non-western 
>> nations"
>>  out there now don't pretend to be democracies - we USAmericans are (and
>>  were) supposed to be a democracy.  That put us then (and puts us now) at 
>> a
>>  different, and higher, standard.
>>  I am an immigrant (and naturalized citizen) of the USA.  I like it here. 
>> I
>>  can't think of any other place I'd rather live.  I like the idea of 
>> "nation
>>  of nations" that we have going here.  I would like to see this country
>>  strive for greatness - but, in looking at the past, you're not going to 
>> find
>>  it (IMHO).
>>  To garble a phrase Quentin Crisp used in The Naked Civil Servant:  There 
>> was
>>  no great shining country (and no shining city on the hill, either - 
>> except
>>  in Ronald Reagan movies).
>>  Olga
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> -- 
> Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD
> Chief Clinical Officer,
> Gencia Corporation
> 706 B Forest St.
> Charlottesville, VA 22903
> tel: (434) 295-4800
> fax: (434) 295-4951
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