Jump to content

Ilyrio Mopatis and slavery


Recommended Posts

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Take a good look at Mourning Star's question above. Read it over and think about it. Now compare it to his comment from earlier:

So, being a servant is not the same as being a slave? Is that what you're saying? As in, there is a distinction between slavery and servanthood? That's odd. Because in the question above, you tried to get me to say that the situations of Illyrio's servants are the same thing as slavery.

A servant is not necessarily a slave.

Illyrio has slaves.

Illyrio will send the slaves to bathe you.

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys I

He had collected a fortune in horses and slaves for his part in selling her to Khal Drogo.

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys II

Illyrio's servants entered, bowed, and set about their business. They were slaves, a gift from one of the magister's many Dothraki friends. There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves.

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys I

It's made explicitly clear that Illyrio's servants are, in fact, slaves.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Hmm. So Mourning Star is contradicting himself from one breath to the next. He seems rather confused. What could explain his behavior?

I did not contradict myself.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Oh, because he knows he's wrong and he simply doesn't have the humility to admit it. So instead, he's moving between a Good vs Evil stance and a Beyond Good vs Evil stance to avoid having to confess to the obvious contradictions in what he's saying. And he's trying to get me and you and everyone else who wants to talk about the story's moral complexity to BEND THE KNEE to his brain-dead Good vs Evil mode of interpretation by demanding that I utter the words "Slavery is bad" under the threat of the accusation that I'm pro-slavery. 

If you are unwilling to condemn slavery, you are acting the slave apologist.

No one is asking for submission, I'm arguing against dangerous rhetoric.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

When you do this, Mourning Star, you're being nothing less than a THUG.

And Aejon the Conqueroo is your first THUG henchman. 

It's a common recourse for those being called out as wrong to complain about being oppressed themselves, but it's still pretty embarrassing.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

If there are any more self-righteous thugs who have a mind to step forward and place their jackboots upon my throat, please join Mourning Star and Aejon the Conqeroo in the Good vs Evil circle. I would prefer to embarrass the enemies of A Song of Ice and Fire's themes all at the same time so that I and these other folks who understand the story can talk about its deeper meanings without being accused at every turn of sympathizing with the most horrendous things human beings have ever done to each other.

Yes, I'm aware that's what it seems like to you. And as I explained to you before, the only reason it seems that way to you is because you haven't swallowed the pill about what human beings are really like.

For anyone who considers slavery to be wrong, or really just anyone who considers anything to be morally wrong, the idea that there is no such thing as a moral wrong presents a fundamental problem.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

The instinct for power-abuse resides at the foundation of human nature. That is not a value statement. That is not a statement about the way things ought to be. It's a statement about what IS. Power-abuse is simply the unmoving fact of the human creature. And if you can't look within yourself and find your own instinct to abuse power over other people, allow me to help you out.

I disagree. You focus on a single aspect of humanity and arbitrarily claim it to be some fundamental foundational truth.

Just because people abuse power doesn't make abuse of power people's defining trait.

This is usually phrased as "power corrupts", which obviously implies the base nature it is corrupting is not one of abuse of power.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Every time you try to accuse me or anyone else of being pro-slavery, when you imply, suggest and outright say it, you are abusing your power to coopt other peoples' good-vs-evil psychology and turn them against somebody you disagree with.

No, I'm opposing slavery and the rhetoric of those who would excuse it.

Trying to portray expressions of thought, especially in defense of the existence of morality, as an abuse of power is ridiculous and dishonest.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

That behavior shows that you began our whole interaction with the assumption that there can be nothing to learn from people you disagree with. It is a superiority-inferiority mindset, and it's the same mindset that is so often found in the slavemasters who practiced slavery — the object of your good-vs-evil crusade.

No, I've learned enough from previous disagreements to be able to spot this rhetoric when I see it.

The fact that you seem to want to paint yourself as some sort of victim here is shameful.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Despite your mindset being similar to the mindset of slavemasters, and despite that your behavior toward me deserves retaliation in kind, I'm not so reprehensible a person to accuse you or anyone else I disagree with of actually being pro-slavery. What an assinine thing to say, suggest and imply. Get a grip.

And yet, you still defend it.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

I don't particularly have anything against Nietzsche or his book, but to be clear, I'm not referencing them when I use that term. Beyond good and evil is a useful term to set one kind of analysis apart from another kind.

Ok, but he coined the term and it's use is defined by his book, entitled Beyond Good and Evil.

So if you mean something other than the commonly understood meaning, you should probably be clearer about that.

As I said, if you are simply espousing this rhetoric out of ignorance, I've been happy to try and help educate you.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

I know you don't, but if you continue whacking at the strawman you're building of me you're going to learn that you're wrong over and over again in ways that everybody except you will appreciate. 

Remember to breath.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

I agree that A Song of Ice and Fire is about good and evil. All fantasy is about good and evil. Mostly what ASOIAF has to say about good and evil is that looking at the world in terms of good and evil is problematic, to say the least. Good and evil has the advantage of binding a group of people together against a common enemy, but it comes with the disadvantage of blinding people to the sympathetic viewpoint of those they've labeled evil.

It's the reason Robb feels like a jerk after greeting Tyrion at Winterfell with a sword across his lap. It's the reason many of the men in the Night's Watch can't stomach making common cause with the Wildlings — a group of "evil" people the fight against which has binded the Night's Watch together for centuries. And it's the reason Dany can't reconcile her indiscriminate killings of slavemasters with her feelings of betrayal when slaves come begging her to allow them to sell themselves back into slavery.

I think you are conflating a lot of ideas here and it comes out confused and incoherent.

Viewing the world as black and white is dangerous, as is pretending there is no morality at all or that it is purely cultural.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

The psychology of good-and-evil is the reason that, when I challenge you to lay out a real in-story alternative place for Illyrio's servants to move to so they may escape their "slavery" (servanthood) that would be an improvement by their own defintions, you can't do it. Because the fact that Illyrio's servants wouldn't leave Illyrio's manse even if you paid them a knight's ransom to leave is one among many realities for the servants that you're blinded to for as long as you're stuck in a good vs evil crusade against Slavery The Abstraction rather than slavery the everpresent reality of power-abuse among and within human beings. 

I'm not interested in your silly hypotheticals, but I did respond, they kick out Illyrio and take the house, you just don't seem interested in actually addressing what I wrote and instead go off on these silly rage word salads.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

I'll repeat it as many times as I need to before you get it through your head. I am not saying and have never said, suggested or implied that morality is nonexistent, that morality doesn't matter, that morality is completely relative to culture, or anything of the sort. On the contrary, your inabilty to absorb this point is among the strongest demonstrable evidence there could be that morality (meaning a good-vs-evil way of looking at the world) is among the most real things about the human condition that exists. We all have a natural tendency to slide into good-vs-evil thinking, because that mode of thinking was so important for our ancestors' survival throughout history.

I genuinely think you just don't understand the philosophy you are espousing, let alone the alternative.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

When I point out that power abuse among human beings is a fundamental feature of human nature, I'm describing the way reality is, not the way it ought to be. Just like when I say the sun rises in the east, I'm describing the way reality is, not the way it ought to be. The ought is a completely separate issue that cannot be fruitfully discussed until everybody in the discussion has come to grips with the fact that abuses of power including slavery do not inherently demand the existence of any extreme evil or evildoer. Slavery is in fact the given situation of our species, as is plainly seen across all of human history, everywhere in the world, for every millennium, before the western tradition arose.

Saying something is so is not a convincing case.

I do not believe that slavery is some de facto state of nature for man, and I think claiming such as fact is ridiculous.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

You need to go back and study Nietzsche again, because you didn't understand what you read. And that is not much of a criticism of you, because Nietzsche was an extremely subtle writer. He makes the same point I made above: That the will to power is the given condition of life; That the only viable paths toward structuring society in a way so that it is not fundamentally characterized by power-struggle are ones that begin with that acknowlegement.

Again, I don't think your interpretations are based in reality. You repeat unfounded claims as if they are fact.

It's just silly to claim that the only valid way to make a society is using the philosophy of will to power. It's outright preposterous.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

And that's why our western societies are structured the way they are, because the founders who designed them began with that acknowledgement and used it as the foundation from which to build. IE: Checks and balances: 'If people can be relied upon to abuse their power over other people, the constitution should divide power evenly across opposed branches of government so the branches will keep one anothers' power in check.'

This is an even more ridiculous claim.

Again, the fact that people abuse power is not what defines morality. Checks and balances against abuse of power are great, but are an attempt to solve practical problems and secure morality, not denying the existence of morality or replacing it.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

The men who founded America were largely slave owning hypocrites, but even they recognized certain moral principles as being "self-evident".

This is the moral basis for the new American Government, not the practicalities of checks and balances in the system they set up. Those checks and balances against abuse of power, and the entire government itself, exist to secure the preceding morals.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

This is one of Nietzsche's commonly misrepresented "will to power" quotes. It's usually presented as though he's proposing the will to power as an ought — the right way to be. But he's proposing the opposite — the will to power is the wrong way to be. He's pointing out that when you try to reduce the human experience down to one single will (power), you simultaneously invent the justification for power abuse. Because, if life is fundamentally only about power, then you remove any reason why we all shouldn't abuse our power over one another at every opportunity.

Really depends what part of Nietzsche you are referring to, he's clearly opposed to "slave morality" but not nearly as harsh on the "master morality" bit. He also did not develop his ideas into a coherent system, and even disparages making such an attempt in "Beyond Good and Evil".

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

So by highlighting this, Nietzsche's injunction is: Don't Do That. Don't reduce life down to power. Moreover, Nietzsche believed that everything unconditional is pathological (sick). And reducing life down to one thing is an unconditional view of life, so it's pathological. And that's actually true no matter what you reduce it to, whether that's power, food, love or whatever.

The man didn't present a coherent system of moral judgement at all, while he seemed to be trying to fend off Nihilism while denying inherent morality. You are entitled to whatever interpretation you would like, but I just don't see what you are saying reflected in ASoIaF.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Okay, those are not themes. Those are topics. Themes say something about life. "Exploring the internal conflicts that hard choices cause people" does not say anything about life. It's just a thing that we do. "Conflicts can be internal" says something about life. So that could be a theme. It would be a much more interesting and useful theme than "Slavery is bad." 

You are wrong, a theme is simply a subject or topic.

"Slavery is bad" may not be a particularly interesting theme to you, but it certainly can be a theme.

The heart in conflict with itself, or "Exploring the internal conflicts that hard choices cause people", is both a theme, and in my opinion an interesting one that does say a lot about life.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

The question of right vs wrong is self-evidently relative to culture. For example, in some cultures in the world it's wrong to belch after dinner, and in some cultures it's right. In some cultures it's right to tip a waitress, and in some cultures it's wrong. Gosh, you can even see this happening without needing to travel very far from home. When I cross a state line, carrying a firearm in public goes from right to wrong, and then it goes from wrong to right again on the return trip. The fact that right-and-wrong is relative to culture is so obvious to most of us that your attempts to categorically deny it expose the pathology driving your interpretation: 'I must not allow myself to appear wrong.'

The fact that you are comparing belching to slavery sort of shows how far you are missing the point.

Belching is not inherently wrong, slavery is.

Denying that there is a distinction here is extremely problematic, and again, shows that you are missing the crux of the issue. There is a fundamental difference.

And, equating slavery with bad table manners sure sounds like a slavery apologist.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Without a doubt, morality's relationship to culture is a key feature of many of A Song of Ice and Fire's dilemmas. For example, there's a question about why Jorah chose to live among the Dothraki rather than any other place in the world he could have gone. By the time the reader learns about Jorah's sad and evil backstory, it's easy to see that the reason Jorah chose the Dothraki sea was because he was nihilistic and he wanted to fight and fuck his way into an early grave. What better place to do that than in a society of men who always want to fight and women who want to be spontaneously bred by the strongest men?

You don't seem to understand the plot either.

He was in Essos because he fled Ned after selling slaves. He worked as a sellsword to try and provide for his wife, who then leaves him. Then Jorah becomes a spy in hopes of a pardon. When Dany finds out an banishes him, he does not return to the Dothraki Sea like you are suggesting.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

So Jorah's intentions disgust us. Why? Millions of men and women on the Dothraki sea live this lifestyle already. So why are we more disgusted when Jorah does it than when they do it?

These questions are incoherent given that the presuppositions are your inventions.

I think there is a lot of moral judgement directed at the behavior of the Dothraki in this story, just look at Mirri Maz Dur.

I don't think your argument here holds any water at all.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

The reason is because we know Jorah was not born and raised in this culture. He comes from Westeros where he was instilled with chivalrous values. Those involve monogamy, marriage, lifetime commitment, the protection of women, and the sanctification of female sexual selection. So we know that Jorah is deriving an evil sort of pleasure from this lifestyle that the Dothraki people are not, and that's why we're more disgusted with Jorah than with the Dothraki, who are only guilty of not being born somewhere better. 

I disagree.

I don't think there is any case here for morality to be based on culture.

You also continue to conflate things like belching and monogamy with slavery, which is obviously intellectually dishonest. Slavery is inherently wrong, I've never heard anyone claim the same about belching.

This existence of societal customs and standards does not mean that morality is entirely relative to culture, this is a ridiculous and illogical leap.

The reason "slavery is bad" is the point here, is that it is inherently so. Unlike say, the method and timing of how one removes air from one's digestive tract, or monogamous marital customs.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Aside from your misapprehension of Nietzsche and Tywin, we're in complete agreement that right-and-wrong cannot be treated as entirely rigid or entirely relative. The middle ground is the place to be.

I'm glad you agree on that much, I guess, but what you are writing here does not reflect this understanding.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

So why is it that every time I give credence to the relativity side of the issue, you try everything in your power to shove me into an extreme version of it? The behavior gives the lie to your posturing for moral superiority, such as every time you fling words like "slavery apologist" and "nazi" at me. How interesting that when you're exposed you suddenly find a new appreciation for the middle ground between your stance and what you insist was my stance.

The idea that morality is entirely relative to culture is an extreme view.

You are using the rhetoric of nazi's and slave apologists. Quack like a duck... 

I've been very consistent in what I've said.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

No, my stance was the middle ground from the beginning. You were simply more interested in winning points against the strawman rather than the steel. Like I said before, you're obviously not stupid, you just lack the character development to admit when you're wrong and when your behavior is bad. But I'm going to do us both and everyone else a favor and let the rest of your numerous "Nazi"s, strawmans, and weasely maneuverings flow under the bridge. Let's get back to Ice and Fire. 

I'm literally just here for recreation, and trying to show you the error of your ways and to highlight the dangerous rhetoric being spewed.

I didn't realize we were getting points!

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

I can see a lot of validity in that reading, but my reading is that the implication is that this is the only choice. Or rather, choice hardly enters into the matter, if it enters at all.

It's not the only choice.

For example, we see Barristan presented as an example of the opposite.

He chooses duty over love.

So, I think you're just objectively wrong here.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

Ned is among the half-dozen most honorable people in the world. So the story is showing that the man who would not dishonor himself even to save the lives of his own children is a man who does not really exist. If even Ned would dishonor himself and the truth to save those he loves most, the value of honor and truth themselves are thematically challenged in the most profound way they could be challenged.

Again, this is just not true.

Lord Tarly is willing to kill Sam to prevent him from "dishonoring" his house. As an example of choosing honor over one's children.

18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said:

It's a challenge that drives right to the heart of my point that Illyrio's servants being fat, obedient and docile in their supposed captivity is the most reliable indication of how comparatively bad their real alternatives are. The only thing we have to do to arrive at that recognition is to approach the situation with the assumption that these women are not our property. They are not pets in need of our care nor of the care of clumsy revolutionaries. These women are capable of judging what's best for themselves better than we can. And the reason they're always going to be better at making that judgement better than we can make it for them is as simple as this: They have skin in the game, and we don't. 

Making the case that slaves are better off as slaves is a problem.

Making the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" case that some slaves choose to be slaves is a problem.

These are examples of being a slavery apologist.

Slavery is morally wrong even if there are practical difficulties to be faced in changing a society with slaves in it.

Edited by Mourning Star
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, SeanF said:

Even revolutions that fail serve a useful purpose.  They warn those in charge of brutal systems what will happen to them if they fail to reform.

The Peasants Revolt of 1381, and the Jamaican Revolt of 1831 failed, on the face of it, but the one hastened the end of serfdom, the other, the end of slavery.

One can argue if the French Revolution succeeded or failed, but I think it did a lot to make reform achievable in the 19th century.

In some cases, maybe, but it is often difficult to tell. Revolutions often do cause a reform, but how many of these reforms will have happened anyway, if some time later? And main problem with revolutions is that they often end up with "cure worse than the disease" issue. Communism was far worse than Tsarist absolutism it replaced, and for all good French Revolution did, it also did much evil - to the point that Napoleon who spread its ideas around was often opposed by the very classes he was professing to (and really did) liberate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Aldarion said:

In some cases, maybe, but it is often difficult to tell. Revolutions often do cause a reform, but how many of these reforms will have happened anyway, if some time later? And main problem with revolutions is that they often end up with "cure worse than the disease" issue. Communism was far worse than Tsarist absolutism it replaced, and for all good French Revolution did, it also did much evil - to the point that Napoleon who spread its ideas around was often opposed by the very classes he was professing to (and really did) liberate.

In my view, very few people who benefit from cruel and oppressive systems would reform, unless they feared the consequences of failing to reform.  Eastern slave masters have had centuries to reform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

In my view, very few people who benefit from cruel and oppressive systems would reform, unless they feared the consequences of failing to reform.  Eastern slave masters have had centuries to reform.

Economic systems continue so long as they are profitable. Roman Empire largely (though not entirely) abandoned slavery when it turned out that colonate - a precursor to feudalism - was actually more effective and efficient at producing value than slavery was. Feudalism was introduced by invention of horse collar, which made horses and other animals far better at tilling the fields than humans, whereas before the invention of the collar, human workforce was far more efficient for the food spent.

Slavery in the American South was on its way out when Eli Whitney patented a cotton gin - which suddenly made both cotton and cotton slavery very, very profitable. In short, Eli Whitney literally caused the Civil War. And the reason for the Civil War? Rich North had industrialized and ended slavery - in large part because cotton-based agriculture was essentially impossible in the cold northern climate - but now the South was a major competitor.

And that is the issue with revolutions. If a system truly is profitable, then it will be continued after the revolution just as easily as it was before the revolution - only the rulers will change, system will remain. All successful revolutions happened only when the system they overthrew was on its way out anyway. France had had increased parliamentary representation before the French Revolution, and it was a pushback by the nobility which eventually led to the revolution. But if it weren't for the French Revolution, France will have become a parliamentary monarchy eventually. 1917 Revolution in Russia was caused by Nicholas' unwillingness to allow any reforms - while not a murderous tyrant in the vein of the revolutionaries who eventually replaced him, he was indecisive, susceptible to suggestions, and overall unsuited for rule, and his Russia was too fragile to survive the war. But Russia was nevertheless rapidly modernizing, and Marxists had to cause the revolution when they did or otherwise they wouldn't have been able to cause revolution at all.

So what this tells us about Daenerys is that she is unlikely to actually have any long-term impact in Essos. Sure, slavery may take a downturn for a couple of years or maybe decades due to the slave revolution she engendered, but that will never last unless the underlying structural causes of slavery are taken care of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Aldarion said:

Economic systems continue so long as they are profitable. Roman Empire largely (though not entirely) abandoned slavery when it turned out that colonate - a precursor to feudalism - was actually more effective and efficient at producing value than slavery was. Feudalism was introduced by invention of horse collar, which made horses and other animals far better at tilling the fields than humans, whereas before the invention of the collar, human workforce was far more efficient for the food spent.

Slavery in the American South was on its way out when Eli Whitney patented a cotton gin - which suddenly made both cotton and cotton slavery very, very profitable. In short, Eli Whitney literally caused the Civil War. And the reason for the Civil War? Rich North had industrialized and ended slavery - in large part because cotton-based agriculture was essentially impossible in the cold northern climate - but now the South was a major competitor.

And that is the issue with revolutions. If a system truly is profitable, then it will be continued after the revolution just as easily as it was before the revolution - only the rulers will change, system will remain. All successful revolutions happened only when the system they overthrew was on its way out anyway. France had had increased parliamentary representation before the French Revolution, and it was a pushback by the nobility which eventually led to the revolution. But if it weren't for the French Revolution, France will have become a parliamentary monarchy eventually. 1917 Revolution in Russia was caused by Nicholas' unwillingness to allow any reforms - while not a murderous tyrant in the vein of the revolutionaries who eventually replaced him, he was indecisive, susceptible to suggestions, and overall unsuited for rule, and his Russia was too fragile to survive the war. But Russia was nevertheless rapidly modernizing, and Marxists had to cause the revolution when they did or otherwise they wouldn't have been able to cause revolution at all.

So what this tells us about Daenerys is that she is unlikely to actually have any long-term impact in Essos. Sure, slavery may take a downturn for a couple of years or maybe decades due to the slave revolution she engendered, but that will never last unless the underlying structural causes of slavery are taken care of.

Something may be unprofitable for society as a whole, but still extremely profitable for those who derive benefit from it.  Slavery and slave-trading have never created wealth, rather they've redistributed it, from slave to master.  It's a form of zero-sum economics based upon plunder, in this case, plundering peoples' bodies.  Five sixths of the population inSlavers Bay are chattels who lose out under this system.  Most forms of criminal activity are similar.  They don't benefit society as a whole, but they do benefit a small minority who profit from them.

If free Meereen survives then the society as a whole will be more prosperous than if it is a slave society, but there will be individuals within that society who lose out as a result.  Meereen has a Mediterranean climate, and a large river basin, so it should have little difficulty growing a wide variety of crops, and plenty of artisans, to weave, build, create artefacts etc. Places like Braavos, the Summer Isles, and Oldtown demonstrate that a non-slave economy can thrive in this world.  In fact, the slave states are gradually rotting away.  Volantis is falling into decay, the cities of Slavers Bay are stagnant, Qarth is full of empty and pointless ritual.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Something may be unprofitable for society as a whole, but still extremely profitable for those who derive benefit from it.  Slavery and slave-trading have never created wealth, rather they've redistributed it, from slave to master.  It's a form of zero-sum economics based upon plunder, in this case, plundering peoples' bodies.  Five sixths of the population inSlavers Bay are chattels who lose out under this system.  Most forms of criminal activity are similar.  They don't benefit society as a whole, but they do benefit a small minority who profit from them.

If free Meereen survives then the society as a whole will be more prosperous than if it is a slave society, but there will be individuals within that society who lose out as a result.  Meereen has a Mediterranean climate, and a large river basin, so it should have little difficulty growing a wide variety of crops, and plenty of artisans, to weave, build, create artefacts etc. Places like Braavos, the Summer Isles, and Oldtown demonstrate that a non-slave economy can thrive in this world.  In fact, the slave states are gradually rotting away.  Volantis is falling into decay, the cities of Slavers Bay are stagnant, Qarth is full of empty and pointless ritual.

 

Slavery did create wealth, what the hell do you think slaves did? They produced, which is to say, created wealth. Slaves are fundamentally no different from other workers in economic terms, except that they themselves are not free (which does impose limits on economic viability of slavery). Yes, feudalism is far superior to slavery, but fact is that slavery is an economic system and thus impacts society as a whole.

Whether free Meereen can survive is questionable, because again, Martin's shallow worldbuilding means that we do not know what caused Meereen to become slave society to begin with. And don't think Braavos, Summer Isles and Oldtown exist in the vacuum. Braavos in particular must have significantly profited from the slave trade, even though they are technically opposed to it. For example, during the US expansion in the 1830s, slaves were mortgaged and securitized to raise capital in the cotton states. And the bonds based on those were sold in northern states and European cities where slavery was illegal. Fact that Slave Bay exists at all is a testament to that fact, and don't forget the Dothraki are also big on slave trade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Aldarion said:

Slavery did create wealth, what the hell do you think slaves did? They produced, which is to say, created wealth. Slaves are fundamentally no different from other workers in economic terms, except that they themselves are not free (which does impose limits on economic viability of slavery). Yes, feudalism is far superior to slavery, but fact is that slavery is an economic system and thus impacts society as a whole.

Whether free Meereen can survive is questionable, because again, Martin's shallow worldbuilding means that we do not know what caused Meereen to become slave society to begin with. And don't think Braavos, Summer Isles and Oldtown exist in the vacuum. Braavos in particular must have significantly profited from the slave trade, even though they are technically opposed to it. For example, during the US expansion in the 1830s, slaves were mortgaged and securitized to raise capital in the cotton states. And the bonds based on those were sold in northern states and European cities where slavery was illegal. Fact that Slave Bay exists at all is a testament to that fact, and don't forget the Dothraki are also big on slave trade.

People create wealth.  Slavery as a system does not.  It does not do anything that can't be done (better) by free paid labour. All that it does is redistribute income from the labourer to their owner.  If I steal your possessions, I'm getting richer as a result, but I'm not creating wealth.  Slavery is nothing other than theft.

What caused Meereen to become a slave society is straightforward.  People in power saw the chance to make a quick buck, at the expense of others.  And, there's also the social prestige of being part of the one sixth of the population that is free.

Westeros is an entire continent that is able to function without slavery.  So, I think it's quite plain in-universe, that Xharo's claims that slavery is necessary are so much bullshit.

Edited by SeanF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Random aside, I love that the Golden Company calls out on how completely off the rails whatever Targaryen restoration they planned went.

Which plan? ... The fat man’s plan? The one that changes every time the moon turns? First Viserys Targaryen was to join us with fifty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back. Then the Beggar King was dead, and it was to be his sister,  a pliable young child queen,  who was on her way to Pentos with three new-hatched dragons. Instead the girl turns up on Slaver's Bay and leaves a string of burning cities in her wake, and the fat man decides we should meet her by Volantis. Now that plan is in ruins as well. I have had enough of Illyrio’s plans. Robert Baratheon won the Iron Throne without the benefit of dragons. We can do the same.

Mind you, I'm amazed that he's apparently so stupid that he thought Viserys'plan to get Khal Drogo to help the conquest of Westeros would work.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, SeanF said:

People create wealth.  Slavery as a system does not.  It does not do anything that can't be done (better) by free paid labour. All that it does is redistribute income from the labourer to their owner.  If I steal your possessions, I'm getting richer as a result, but I'm not creating wealth.  Slavery is nothing other than theft.

What caused Meereen to become a slave society is straightforward.  People in power saw the chance to make a quick buck, at the expense of others.  And, there's also the social prestige of being part of the one sixth of the population that is free.

Westeros is an entire continent that is able to function without slavery.  So, I think it's quite plain in-universe, that Xharo's claims that slavery is necessary are so much bullshit.

Eh, no. You are falling for the black-and-white oversimplifications. Yes, you are correct that people create wealth. But try and understand how slavery comes about. Literally nobody will condone slavery if free workforce can do the job better. Slavers may defend the existing system because they will lose the money in transition, but for slave system to become established in the first place, it has to be economically advantageous for the society as such.

And yes, there are many things where slaves can be economically superior to free paid labour. Do you know how many mundane low-skill jobs were in the premodern society? Tilling the fields? Unless you have the horse collar, slaves are by far the best alternative for a large landowner. Working in the mines? De-facto slavery there continued well into the 19th century. But as technology advances, slavery retracts. And yes, horse collar was a massive factor. In the Roman Empire, over 10% of population were slaves - and up to 40% in some areas. But in the medieval Europe - including the Byzantine Empire - there were very few slaves, because they simply were not economically viable. And what slaves there were were mostly in the cities.

Westeros is able to function without slavery, but until we get a more detailed look at both, we will not know why is that so. It might be that most of Essos never had horse collars.

But most likely is that Martin just wanted to comment on chattel slavery and never gave any thought on how and why it appeared and disappeared. But if he had thought about it at all, everything Daenerys did will have been for nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Aldarion said:

Eh, no. You are falling for the black-and-white oversimplifications. Yes, you are correct that people create wealth. But try and understand how slavery comes about. Literally nobody will condone slavery if free workforce can do the job better. Slavers may defend the existing system because they will lose the money in transition, but for slave system to become established in the first place, it has to be economically advantageous for the society as such.

And yes, there are many things where slaves can be economically superior to free paid labour. Do you know how many mundane low-skill jobs were in the premodern society? Tilling the fields? Unless you have the horse collar, slaves are by far the best alternative for a large landowner. Working in the mines? De-facto slavery there continued well into the 19th century. But as technology advances, slavery retracts. And yes, horse collar was a massive factor. In the Roman Empire, over 10% of population were slaves - and up to 40% in some areas. But in the medieval Europe - including the Byzantine Empire - there were very few slaves, because they simply were not economically viable. And what slaves there were were mostly in the cities.

Westeros is able to function without slavery, but until we get a more detailed look at both, we will not know why is that so. It might be that most of Essos never had horse collars.

But most likely is that Martin just wanted to comment on chattel slavery and never gave any thought on how and why it appeared and disappeared. But if he had thought about it at all, everything Daenerys did will have been for nothing.

Societies that can make spectacles and build ocean-going vessels will have heard of horse collars.

This is a world where no one has heard of economic growth.  The assumption is that one person/society gets richer at the expense of another, taking their lands, goods, or persons.  On that point at least, Xaro is telling the truth, as he sees it.  For one man to prosper, several more must be slaves.

I fully accept, the slave owner derives benefit from slavery.  No doubt he sees any benefit to him as benefitting society as a whole.  To him, the slaves aren’t people anyway, they’re chattels.  He will extract the maximum economic benefit he can from them, in return for the minimum outlay.  When they get too old/ill to work, he’ll dispose of them and replace them with fresh stock.  For the slave owner - but only the slave owner - slave labour is more profitable than free.

But the five sixths of the population who are slaves derive no benefit from this system.  To the contrary, the value of their labour is being stolen from them continually (leaving aside the additional burdens of rape, cruel punishment, family break up etc.)

At best, slavery in this world (as in societies like pre-revolutionary Haiti) can only be of benefit to a small minority of the East’s population.  That minority see themselves as “the society” but we are entitled to view “the society” as including the slaves and freedmen.

 

Edited by SeanF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Eh, no. You are falling for the black-and-white oversimplifications. Yes, you are correct that people create wealth. But try and understand how slavery comes about.

Once again, not everything in the world is black and white, but slavery is bad.

Slavery didn’t start as some well conceived economic plan. It’s just one of the more basic forms of abusing power.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Literally nobody will condone slavery if free workforce can do the job better.

This is just objectively untrue.

People condone things all the time that aren’t the best way, or most efficient. There is no reason to expect people to make the best choice for themselves, let alone for other people or a society as a whole.

Even if we could agree that free labor can always do the job better, in slavery the few in power would still likely object to such a change, wether it’s in their own long term interests or not.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Slavers may defend the existing system because they will lose the money in transition, but for slave system to become established in the first place, it has to be economically advantageous for the society as such.

Only in so far as it’s economical for one group to go enslave another… it’s never beneficial for the group enslaved, and honestly the idea that there is some economic calculation comparing viable options for labor, going on in the heads of either party, isn’t realistic.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

And yes, there are many things where slaves can be economically superior to free paid labour. Do you know how many mundane low-skill jobs were in the premodern society? Tilling the fields? Unless you have the horse collar, slaves are by far the best alternative for a large landowner. Working in the mines? De-facto slavery there continued well into the 19th century.

Only better for the few in power, not the society as a whole.

Even then it seems more of a case that it’s simpler rather than “better”. Easier for the masters to just make the slaves do it than deal with having a free society (where they would no longer be slave masters).

People choose the obvious path all the time, regardless of if it makes the most sense. The assumption that people are making informed and reasonable choices is wildly out of touch with the reality of humanity.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

But as technology advances, slavery retracts.

Bold claim.

I don’t think it’s true though.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

And yes, horse collar was a massive factor. In the Roman Empire, over 10% of population were slaves - and up to 40% in some areas. But in the medieval Europe - including the Byzantine Empire - there were very few slaves, because they simply were not economically viable. And what slaves there were were mostly in the cities.

The reason slavery wasn’t as viable was because slaves revolted repeatedly, escaped, and killed their masters. Violence and the threat of violence are what you seem to be translating as “economic factors”, but it’s worth remembering that in reality nobody for most of history was adding up the numbers and making informed decisions.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Westeros is able to function without slavery, but until we get a more detailed look at both, we will not know why is that so. It might be that most of Essos never had horse collars.

I don’t know why you are so obsessed with the horse collar here, it’s weird but super funny.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

But most likely is that Martin just wanted to comment on chattel slavery and never gave any thought on how and why it appeared and disappeared. But if he had thought about it at all, everything Daenerys did will have been for nothing.

Except for freeing slaves.

Cotton gin’s don’t fight battles, and while you can talk about economic factors, the South wasn’t giving up slavery without a war.

Same as it ever was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw an information board recently about the history of mining in that place. There was a drawing to show how a man would mine coal in a narrow seam: he sat on his behind, with his arms with the pick stretched out in front, and his back sharply bent forward by the rock above. It looked like a scene from the Fourteen Flames; it looked like torture. There were also small children working in the dark minding doors or pulling carts. The miners were desperately poor. There were horrific and deadly explosions and tunnel collapses.

I guess this was during the industrial revolution (the board didn't say), but as an example of what can happen to the very bottom of society, it was chilling, and maybe partly explains why slavery didn't appear as an exceptional or ultimate evil through much of history. It was just one way the poor suffer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

I saw an information board recently about the history of mining in that place. There was a drawing to show how a man would mine coal in a narrow seam: he sat on his behind, with his arms with the pick stretched out in front, and his back sharply bent forward by the rock above. It looked like a scene from the Fourteen Flames; it looked like torture. There were also small children working in the dark minding doors or pulling carts. The miners were desperately poor. There were horrific and deadly explosions and tunnel collapses.

I guess this was during the industrial revolution (the board didn't say), but as an example of what can happen to the very bottom of society, it was chilling, and maybe partly explains why slavery didn't appear as an exceptional or ultimate evil through much of history. It was just one way the poor suffer.

In the ancient world, miners were usually slaves, often condemned criminals, who were worked to death.  There were those who thought execution on the cross was more merciful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The difference between employee and slave is choice. If the employee is willing to accept the results of a decision, that makes that person free. He can choose. The slave has no choice. The slave is a prisoner and property.  
 

By the way, I want to apply the context of choice to Theon in a new thread.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

In the ancient world, miners were usually slaves, often condemned criminals, who were worked to death.  There were those who thought execution on the cross was more merciful.

To clarify, these miners definitely weren't slaves, and it wasn't the ancient world - it was northern England some hundreds of years ago.

Doesn't look like they had any sense of choice either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

To clarify, these miners definitely weren't slaves, and it wasn't the ancient world - it was northern England some hundreds of years ago.

Doesn't look like they had any sense of choice either.

Scottish miners were -in essence - slaves up till 1775.  They were only truly freed in 1806.  The Northern English miners may well have been in a form of debt-bondage to their employer.   Mining actually became quite well -paid work in the 19th century, although it was always unpleasant and dangerous.

You can find free people who will undertake any task, however horrible and dangerous, provided you remunerate them properly (and their next of kin if they die).  Slavers preferred to drive them to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Once again, not everything in the world is black and white, but slavery is bad.

Slavery didn’t start as some well conceived economic plan. It’s just one of the more basic forms of abusing power.

Except even most evil people don't just abuse power for shit and giggles. They do that when it brings them advantage, or they think it brings them advantage.

Even Hitler's racism was founded largely in economic factors (such as need to steal the Jewish money to finance his war plans).

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

This is just objectively untrue.

People condone things all the time that aren’t the best way, or most efficient. There is no reason to expect people to make the best choice for themselves, let alone for other people or a society as a whole.

Even if we could agree that free labor can always do the job better, in slavery the few in power would still likely object to such a change, wether it’s in their own long term interests or not.

Except when people defend an inefficient system, it is usually because it either brings them advantage, or else it is all they know. And second is only possible if system had time to become established.

Which again means that there are underlying factors behind establishment of slavery, and there must still be underlying factors why slavery survived for so long.

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Only in so far as it’s economical for one group to go enslave another… it’s never beneficial for the group enslaved, and honestly the idea that there is some economic calculation comparing viable options for labor, going on in the heads of either party, isn’t realistic.

Except that is precisely what is always going on. Many otherwise unexplainable things can be easily explained once you take profit into account.

Of course, profit here does not mean "profit for the society as a whole", but that was never my point to begin with.

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Only better for the few in power, not the society as a whole.

Even then it seems more of a case that it’s simpler rather than “better”. Easier for the masters to just make the slaves do it than deal with having a free society (where they would no longer be slave masters).

People choose the obvious path all the time, regardless of if it makes the most sense. The assumption that people are making informed and reasonable choices is wildly out of touch with the reality of humanity.

Doesn't change my point that, unless there are deep sociocultural changes in society - which takes both time and effort - slavery will return as soon as Daenerys leaves. She "ended" slavery, but failed to offer any viable alternative.

And short of sending a few Westerosi lords to introduce feudalism to Slaver's Bay, I don't see how she will achieve lasting change. Unless cult of Rhllor or cult of the Seven takes hold, and quickly. But even that is a tall order, seeing how even Christianity didn't actually manage to end slavery until socioeconomic conditions were conductive to it.

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

The reason slavery wasn’t as viable was because slaves revolted repeatedly, escaped, and killed their masters. Violence and the threat of violence are what you seem to be translating as “economic factors”, but it’s worth remembering that in reality nobody for most of history was adding up the numbers and making informed decisions.

That is kindergarten logic.

Literally none of the things you have listed had any impact, because - surprise surprise - slavers always had advantage in violence, and usually had an outright monopoly on it. Even major revolts such as that of Spartacus achieved absolutely nothing. Zero, nada, zilch.

And you also overestimate how prone humans are to rebellion. Fact is, most people will vast majority of the time just meekly bow their heads and go where the masters are pointing them to, even in a so-called "free" society. And now factor in the fact that slaves will have been conditioned, typically from birth, to obey. "Revolted repeatedly, escaped, and killed their masters" is not just something that didn't happen, it is something that couldn't happen for reasons both physical and psychological.

Violence had zero impact on ending slavery in Europe. And the only reason why it had any impact on ending slavery outside Europe was because you had full-fledged states going "nope" and doing everything they could to end it - Barbary Wars, British anti-slavery interdiction, American civil war, and so on. But that was only possible because said states (European imperial powers and United States) had a massive advantage in military power over literally everybody else.

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I don’t know why you are so obsessed with the horse collar here, it’s weird but super funny.

Only because it was the most important factor in ending slavery as the dominant economic system in Europe.

6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Except for freeing slaves.

Cotton gin’s don’t fight battles, and while you can talk about economic factors, the South wasn’t giving up slavery without a war.

Same as it ever was.

South will have had to give up slavery or it would have faced economic collapse.

Of course, they might have started a war then anyway...

9 hours ago, SeanF said:

Societies that can make spectacles and build ocean-going vessels will have heard of horse collars.

 

Romans did both yet never heard of horse collars. Or stirrup.

Real life isn't a game of Civilization where you have technology levels. And I doubt Martin has built his world that way either.

9 hours ago, SeanF said:

This is a world where no one has heard of economic growth.  The assumption is that one person/society gets richer at the expense of another, taking their lands, goods, or persons.  On that point at least, Xaro is telling the truth, as he sees it.  For one man to prosper, several more must be slaves.

 

Most of medieval Europe did not have much economic growth

10 hours ago, SeanF said:

I fully accept, the slave owner derives benefit from slavery.  No doubt he sees any benefit to him as benefitting society as a whole.  To him, the slaves aren’t people anyway, they’re chattels.  He will extract the maximum economic benefit he can from them, in return for the minimum outlay.  When they get too old/ill to work, he’ll dispose of them and replace them with fresh stock.  For the slave owner - but only the slave owner - slave labour is more profitable than free.

 

Agreed, but that is not always the case. A lot depends on the technology and surrounding social conditions. Colonate replaced slavery in the Roman Empire because it was more profitable than slavery. Feudalism again replaced slavery because it was more profitable. And in both cases, it was an issue of sociological and technological conditions.

10 hours ago, SeanF said:

But the five sixths of the population who are slaves derive no benefit from this system.  To the contrary, the value of their labour is being stolen from them continually (leaving aside the additional burdens of rape, cruel punishment, family break up etc.)

At best, slavery in this world (as in societies like pre-revolutionary Haiti) can only be of benefit to a small minority of the East’s population.  That minority see themselves as “the society” but we are entitled to view “the society” as including the slaves and freedmen.

That is why in real societies slaves never were five sixths of the population - in fact, I can hardly think of any example where they were more than a fifth of the population.

Essosi slaving societies are literally insane.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think capturing slaves in westeros is smart.  He's doing this because he, Aegon, or both are Blackfyre descendants.

Slavery violates the right of each person.  Dany is not under any ethical obligation to replace slavery with another system.  All she is ethically obligated to do is free the slaves.  It is then up to them to find a way to earn a living like everybody else.  It is also the former masters' responsibility to find and earn a living, like every else.  For Dany to replace slavery is almost the same as purchasing the slaves and compensating the masters.  Keep this in mind.  The slaves were never the property of the masters.  They were prisoners.  The only responsibility of the liberator is to open the gates to the jail and punish the masters for their war crime of nailing children to the crosses.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Except even most evil people don't just abuse power for shit and giggles. They do that when it brings them advantage, or they think it brings them advantage.

Even Hitler's racism was founded largely in economic factors (such as need to steal the Jewish money to finance his war plans).

Except when people defend an inefficient system, it is usually because it either brings them advantage, or else it is all they know. And second is only possible if system had time to become established.

Which again means that there are underlying factors behind establishment of slavery, and there must still be underlying factors why slavery survived for so long.

Except that is precisely what is always going on. Many otherwise unexplainable things can be easily explained once you take profit into account.

Of course, profit here does not mean "profit for the society as a whole", but that was never my point to begin with.

Doesn't change my point that, unless there are deep sociocultural changes in society - which takes both time and effort - slavery will return as soon as Daenerys leaves. She "ended" slavery, but failed to offer any viable alternative.

And short of sending a few Westerosi lords to introduce feudalism to Slaver's Bay, I don't see how she will achieve lasting change. Unless cult of Rhllor or cult of the Seven takes hold, and quickly. But even that is a tall order, seeing how even Christianity didn't actually manage to end slavery until socioeconomic conditions were conductive to it.

That is kindergarten logic.

Literally none of the things you have listed had any impact, because - surprise surprise - slavers always had advantage in violence, and usually had an outright monopoly on it. Even major revolts such as that of Spartacus achieved absolutely nothing. Zero, nada, zilch.

And you also overestimate how prone humans are to rebellion. Fact is, most people will vast majority of the time just meekly bow their heads and go where the masters are pointing them to, even in a so-called "free" society. And now factor in the fact that slaves will have been conditioned, typically from birth, to obey. "Revolted repeatedly, escaped, and killed their masters" is not just something that didn't happen, it is something that couldn't happen for reasons both physical and psychological.

Violence had zero impact on ending slavery in Europe. And the only reason why it had any impact on ending slavery outside Europe was because you had full-fledged states going "nope" and doing everything they could to end it - Barbary Wars, British anti-slavery interdiction, American civil war, and so on. But that was only possible because said states (European imperial powers and United States) had a massive advantage in military power over literally everybody else.

Only because it was the most important factor in ending slavery as the dominant economic system in Europe.

South will have had to give up slavery or it would have faced economic collapse.

Of course, they might have started a war then anyway...

Romans did both yet never heard of horse collars. Or stirrup.

Real life isn't a game of Civilization where you have technology levels. And I doubt Martin has built his world that way either.

Most of medieval Europe did not have much economic growth

Agreed, but that is not always the case. A lot depends on the technology and surrounding social conditions. Colonate replaced slavery in the Roman Empire because it was more profitable than slavery. Feudalism again replaced slavery because it was more profitable. And in both cases, it was an issue of sociological and technological conditions.

That is why in real societies slaves never were five sixths of the population - in fact, I can hardly think of any example where they were more than a fifth of the population.

Essosi slaving societies are literally insane.

Most slavers do it for economic reasons, as you say, but there’s a big element of sadistic cruelty too.  Rape of slaves was routine (hence, the US South’s “one drop” rule).   Humans are much harder to domesticate than animals are, and thus, they need to be treated more harshly.  Even “good” slavers saw frequent whippings as necessary to instil discipline

As to slave revolts, they’re as old as slavery itself.  Rome’s three servile wars were absolutely savage on both sides.  Sparta’s helots revolted, as did Athens’ mining slaves. Slaves captured by Barbary pirates often rose in revolt.  The Abbasid caliphate suffered massive slave revolts.  And slave uprisings were endemic in the West Indian sugar colonies.  The most famous is the Haitian revolution, but all the colonies saw uprisings. In the West Indies and US South thousands of slaves escaped their masters and more attempted to do so.

Slaves who were more docile were household slaves, who were relatively privileged, but the vast majority, the field hands, the miners and millers, hated their condition.

The 5/6 ratio actually applied in Haiti, other sugar colonies, and parts of the US South.  Obviously, when the free are so outnumbered, they have to resort to extreme cruelty to keep the slaves in line, but it does make their rule very fragile.  The slavers are always one big defeat away from being overthrown.

Edited by SeanF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

Most slavers do it for economic reasons, as you say, but there’s a big element of sadistic cruelty too.  Rape of slaves was routine (hence, the US South’s “one drop” rule).   Humans are much harder to domesticate than animals are, and thus, they need to be treated more harshly.  Even “good” slavers saw frequent whippings as necessary to instil discipline

 

Agreed, but cruelty is a tool of economic exploitation, it is not an end into itself.

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

As to slave revolts, they’re as old as slavery itself.  Rome’s three servile wars were absolutely savage on both sides.  Sparta’s helots revolted, as did Athens’ mining slaves. Slaves captured by Barbary pirates often rose in revolt.  The Abbasid caliphate suffered massive slave revolts.  And slave uprisings were endemic in the West Indian sugar colonies.  The most famous is the Haitian revolution, but all the colonies saw uprisings. In the West Indies and US South thousands of slaves escaped their masters and more attempted to do so.

 

I never denied that - what I pointed out was that these slave revolts never actually succeeded in achieving anything. As much as people like the story of "heroic rebels", "heroic resistance fighters" and so on - it is all bullshit. Vast majority of revolts and revolutions fail, and of those that succeed, vast majority succeed due to external support. Those that do not succeed due to external support succeed because they were coopted by the powerful and rich within the society itself - such as the French Revolution which was used by the bankers, nobility and other rich people to end the French absolutism.

2 hours ago, SeanF said:

Slaves who were more docile were household slaves, who were relatively privileged, but the vast majority, the field hands, the miners and millers, hated their condition.

The 5/6 ratio actually applied in Haiti, other sugar colonies, and parts of the US South.  Obviously, when the free are so outnumbered, they have to resort to extreme cruelty to keep the slaves in line, but it does make their rule very fragile.  The slavers are always one big defeat away from being overthrown.

Agreed, but - see above.

Haiti, sugar colonies and these parts of South were however elements of the larger society, meaning that if the slaves revolted, they could receive external help. On the level of society as a whole, slaves were always a minority, if sometimes a very significant one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...