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Ilyrio Mopatis and slavery


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5 minutes ago, Aldarion said:

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

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.

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.

In general, for a revolt to succeed, at least a substantial proportion of the regular armed forces have to switch sides.  That’s one reason why the Haitians succeeded.  Some of their leaders were French army officers, and Polish soldiers switched en masse.

The Eastern slavers are stupid to rely upon (a) slaves (b) sellswords to form the bulk of their armed forces. In reality, these groups would have seized power, like the Mamelukes and Janissaries.

Once the slavers have lost groups like the Unsullied, Tiger soldiers, the Windblown and Second Sons, they’re on the ropes.

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17 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.

But what they think is not objective fact, and there is no reason to expect people to consistently make rational judgements even about their own self intertest.

Also, some people do abuse power for shits and giggles.

This is kind of the point. People make choices for many reasons and motives, profit is one of these, not the only one.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

Again bold claims.

People defend and keep inefficient systems going for very long periods of time.

Lots of times people oppose change because it's change, change is hard. And that doesn't even touch on things like religion or cultural tradition.

The idea that human behavior boils down to economic behavior ignores that there are a lot of other factors to human decision making.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here?

For there to be an effect there had to be a cause? Sure... but you are talking about retrospective analysis and not real time decision-making.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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

No. This just sounds like the imagination of academic hindsight and reductionist thinking.

While there may be some people who are genuinely making profit based judgements about some things, this is not how most day to day decisions are made.

There are lots of other motives besides profit, and people do not reliably make rational self interested decisions at the best of times.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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

Ok.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

We can speculate about the story's direction and hypotheticals, honestly I think the author himself struggles with this question.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

This is such a revisionist perspective, and what do you mean "even Christianity"?

It's a story, author just has to write it so, he could take inspiration from any number of historical or literary examples.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

That is kindergarten logic.

It's really not, what you are describing is an incredibly simplistic view of history.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

This is objectively false.

Even the failed revolts of slaves did have effects.

We could get into the impacts of slave revolts on the Roman Empire, a topic of it's own, but in short the Third Servile War devastated Southern Italy and undermined the existing latifunda  system. This precipitated a shift to an essentially proto-feudal system. It could even be argued that this revolt fundamentally changed the Roman perception of slaves.

To claim that the Spartacus revolt accomplished nothing is nonsense.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

I have no idea where you are getting this.

It's hard to rebel, I never suggested this was an easy choice or action for any group.

But, pretending it accomplished nothing in history is silly, and to pretend that revolts never happened is willful ignorance.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Violence had zero impact on ending slavery in Europe.

Objectively false, and an absolutely wild claim.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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.

Again, this sounds blind to history.

We could look at the history of slavery in almost any part of Europe and see the impact of violence.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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

This is an incredibly bold claim that, I think, relies heavily on reductionist thinking and a pigeonhole view of history, as well as potentially misguided judgments of classical technologies. 

This theory, largely propagated by Richard Lefebvre des Noëttes, is something that has been openly debated, and some might say debunked, by modern scholars like Georges Raepsaet.

17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

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

Maybe. That's a possible hypothetical for some alternate history I suppose.

We won't know because of what actually happened, the Civil War.

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20 hours ago, SeanF said:

In general, for a revolt to succeed, at least a substantial proportion of the regular armed forces have to switch sides.  That’s one reason why the Haitians succeeded.  Some of their leaders were French army officers, and Polish soldiers switched en masse.

The Eastern slavers are stupid to rely upon (a) slaves (b) sellswords to form the bulk of their armed forces. In reality, these groups would have seized power, like the Mamelukes and Janissaries.

Once the slavers have lost groups like the Unsullied, Tiger soldiers, the Windblown and Second Sons, they’re on the ropes.

Yeah, that is just one reason why Slaver's Bay is completely unrealistic.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

But what they think is not objective fact, and there is no reason to expect people to consistently make rational judgements even about their own self intertest.

Also, some people do abuse power for shits and giggles.

This is kind of the point. People make choices for many reasons and motives, profit is one of these, not the only one.

True. But only on an individual level, because any system done for "shit and giggles" will simply not last.

We know that Slaver's Bay societies had existed for a long time. So as evil as they are, they must also be practical.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Again bold claims.

People defend and keep inefficient systems going for very long periods of time.

Lots of times people oppose change because it's change, change is hard. And that doesn't even touch on things like religion or cultural tradition.

The idea that human behavior boils down to economic behavior ignores that there are a lot of other factors to human decision making.

To an extent. But if you look at history, human society usually adopted more efficient economic systems. Slavery gave way to feudalism, and feudalism to capitalism. Even when change was violent, underlying causes were largely economic in nature. And Slaver's Bay societies had existed for hundreds of years in a largely unchanged state.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

No. This just sounds like the imagination of academic hindsight and reductionist thinking.

While there may be some people who are genuinely making profit based judgements about some things, this is not how most day to day decisions are made.

There are lots of other motives besides profit, and people do not reliably make rational self interested decisions at the best of times.

Again, on individual level that is definitely true. But fact is that on a social level, systems that are not based on practicality tend to fail. Reason why we never had "true" Communism is because it is simply impossible - as a result, whenever Communism was tried, it morphed into something that was "not true" Communism. 

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

This is such a revisionist perspective, and what do you mean "even Christianity"?

Unlike pagan religions, Christianity had deep and fundamental problems with slavery on ethical level.

Yet slavery continued.

Also, revisionism is not a bad thing. It means discussion.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

This is objectively false.

Even the failed revolts of slaves did have effects.

We could get into the impacts of slave revolts on the Roman Empire, a topic of it's own, but in short the Third Servile War devastated Southern Italy and undermined the existing latifunda  system. This precipitated a shift to an essentially proto-feudal system. It could even be argued that this revolt fundamentally changed the Roman perception of slaves.

To claim that the Spartacus revolt accomplished nothing is nonsense.

Why then did number of slaves in Roman Italy only significantly decline once the wars of conquest had ended under Augustus? And in general, number of slavers Romans had seems to have been overestimated in the first place.

Also, the "proto-feudal system" you mean is the colonate - which only developed in first century CE, about a hundred years after the Third Servile War. So while the Servile War may have had some impact, more likely impetus for development of colonate was simply the end of the Roman wars of conquest, which would have made the slaves harder to come by.

15 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I have no idea where you are getting this.

It's hard to rebel, I never suggested this was an easy choice or action for any group.

But, pretending it accomplished nothing in history is silly, and to pretend that revolts never happened is willful ignorance.

Please try to understand what I have written before replying. Problem I had was with your description which implied such things were more common than they really were.

15 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Again, this sounds blind to history.

We could look at the history of slavery in almost any part of Europe and see the impact of violence.

Do provide examples, then.

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1 hour ago, Aldarion said:

Yeah, that is just one reason why Slaver's Bay is completely unrealistic.

 

Well, I think placing weapons in the hands of slaves and training them to fight is utter stupidity on the part of slavers.  It was not a mistake anyone made in the ancient world (although, there were cases, in extremis, of slaves being offered their freedom if they served in the armed forces).

But, it was a common feature of the Islamic world (hence, Ghilmans, Mamelukes, and Jannissaries).  Unsurprisingly, these slave soldiers decided they would rather like to be the ones in charge.

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

Well, I think placing weapons in the hands of slaves and training them to fight is utter stupidity on the part of slavers.  It was not a mistake anyone made in the ancient world (although, there were cases, in extremis, of slaves being offered their freedom if they served in the armed forces).

But, it was a common feature of the Islamic world (hence, Ghilmans, Mamelukes, and Jannissaries).  Unsurprisingly, these slave soldiers decided they would rather like to be the ones in charge.

Westeros is based on historical England.

Essos is based on the Hyborian Age by Robert E. Howard.

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On 7/28/2022 at 8:12 PM, SeanF said:

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.

I'm puzzled what it is you're trying to argue here. That the worst jobs in life are either well-paid or done by slaves??? Everything in my experience suggests that poverty drives people to accept poor wages and conditions. The local history I quoted above stated the community was very poor, conditions were awful, and I've turned up nothing to suggest defacto slavery. I hope they don't forfeit your sympathy on that account.

None of this takes anything away from the unique evil that is slavery (I wish this didn't need repeating, but it probably does.)

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9 hours ago, SeanF said:

Well, I think placing weapons in the hands of slaves and training them to fight is utter stupidity on the part of slavers.  It was not a mistake anyone made in the ancient world (although, there were cases, in extremis, of slaves being offered their freedom if they served in the armed forces).

But, it was a common feature of the Islamic world (hence, Ghilmans, Mamelukes, and Jannissaries).  Unsurprisingly, these slave soldiers decided they would rather like to be the ones in charge.

And even these slave soldiers were treated well and actually had relatively high social status. Complete opposite of the slave "armies" we see in Slaver's Bay (or the Unsullied).

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Slaver's Bay isn't really much of a 'working state'. It is basically three cities whose raison d'etre to is to train and sell special need slaves. The powers around those places, especially the Dothraki, keep this system working. The Dothraki bring in new slaves, the Ghiscari take the most promising ones and mold them into their special needs slaves ... and then they sell them to their international customers. At any given time there will be lots and lots of slaves in training in Slaver's Bay - but the number of slaves in permanent service in Slaver's Bay should be comparatively small.

The only actual 'slave soldiers' in Slaver's Bay are the Unsullied - and most of them are sold to various clients rather than being kept to maintain the social order at home. The Masters of Slaver's Bay have no outside enemies nor do they fight war amongst each other.

They are part of the international slave trade, and there were measures in place to ensure that this social order wasn't overturned.

And while the tiger soldiers of Volantis certainly seem to be a dangerous feat ... we can expect that the Volantene state does not only rely on slave soldiers for their standing army and navy. They would have citizen soldiers as well. If George is smart he will have perhaps 50 per cent slave soldiers and the others a mixture of citizen soldiers and sellswords.

A slave state where the entire armed forces are made up of slaves could not possibly function. Even if those were very privileged slaves - they would still be slaves, and in light of the fact that the state needs slave labor on any other level there would have been a successful revolution a very long time ago.

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9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Yeah, that is just one reason why Slaver's Bay is completely unrealistic.

It's a book.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

True. But only on an individual level, because any system done for "shit and giggles" will simply not last.

Reality is decided on the individual level.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

We know that Slaver's Bay societies had existed for a long time. So as evil as they are, they must also be practical.

It's a book, they don't have to be anything.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

To an extent. But if you look at history, human society usually adopted more efficient economic systems. Slavery gave way to feudalism, and feudalism to capitalism. Even when change was violent, underlying causes were largely economic in nature. And Slaver's Bay societies had existed for hundreds of years in a largely unchanged state.

So I think this is a good example of how you are being too reductionist.

History is a lot more complicated than that, and not nearly so linear.

Slavery existed during feudalism on a large scale. What you are doing is overgeneralizing.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Again, on individual level that is definitely true.

Glad we agree on this.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

But fact is that on a social level, systems that are not based on practicality tend to fail.

But, you lost me here.

All systems tend to fail eventually. 

And people have done some weird, not at all practical, shit for long periods of time. Still do.

If you are describing progress generally, then sure, I'd like to believe in progress, but history has not been without civilization collapse and periods of regression.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Reason why we never had "true" Communism is because it is simply impossible - as a result, whenever Communism was tried, it morphed into something that was "not true" Communism. 

I don't think it's worth diving into this rabbit hole.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Unlike pagan religions, Christianity had deep and fundamental problems with slavery on ethical level.

Eh, it's been used to justify slavery too.

Obviously I agree that religion plays it's part, but I'm skeptical that 

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Yet slavery continued.

Still does.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Also, revisionism is not a bad thing. It means discussion.

Revisionist in in reference to history means changing the telling of what happened, and is not a good thing.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Why then did number of slaves in Roman Italy only significantly decline once the wars of conquest had ended under Augustus? And in general, number of slavers Romans had seems to have been overestimated in the first place.

That is a single generation after Sparticus.

I don't think that is a fair summary of the source you sited there or that there had been an estimation here. Were slaves 40% of the population? were they 10%? over 50%? We can make educated guesses at best, but however you cut it, even that source notes that "there is little doubt that slavery was and important and pervasive part of Roman culture."

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Also, the "proto-feudal system" you mean is the colonate - which only developed in first century CE, about a hundred years after the Third Servile War. So while the Servile War may have had some impact, more likely impetus for development of colonate was simply the end of the Roman wars of conquest, which would have made the slaves harder to come by.

One could debate all the baby steps along the way, and what led to what and how much it contributed to something else, but I think there is a very real case to be made that the Third Servile War changed the perception of slavery and slaves in ancient Rome.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Please try to understand what I have written before replying. Problem I had was with your description which implied such things were more common than they really were.

Where there was slavery there was violence, I don't think I'm implying anything more or less.

9 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Do provide examples, then.

Of slavery in Europe?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_medieval_Europe

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7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Reality is decided on the individual level.

No, it isn't.

7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

So I think this is a good example of how you are being too reductionist.

History is a lot more complicated than that, and not nearly so linear.

Slavery existed during feudalism on a large scale. What you are doing is overgeneralizing.

Slavery still exists even today. But it is not a dominant economic system any more.

7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

But, you lost me here.

All systems tend to fail eventually. 

And people have done some weird, not at all practical, shit for long periods of time. Still do.

If you are describing progress generally, then sure, I'd like to believe in progress, but history has not been without civilization collapse and periods of regression.

Sometimes regress can be progress, if you get what I mean. When a system becomes too complex to self-sustain, it tends to collapse: but I still see that as progress.

But the point is, systems tend to survive only for so long as they can self-sustain. And the most practical of systems last for longest. So if the system looks impractical on the surface, first thought shouldn't be "these guys are idiots" but "what makes this system work"?

7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Revisionist in in reference to history means changing the telling of what happened, and is not a good thing.

Why?

7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

That is a single generation after Sparticus.

 

Still too removed for Spartacus' rebellion to have been a direct cause, I'd say.

7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Of slavery in Europe?

 

Of violence being the absolute key to ending the slavery, as opposed to side-effect of a dying system trying to maintain itself.

On 7/31/2022 at 7:51 PM, Lord Varys said:

Slaver's Bay isn't really much of a 'working state'. It is basically three cities whose raison d'etre to is to train and sell special need slaves. The powers around those places, especially the Dothraki, keep this system working. The Dothraki bring in new slaves, the Ghiscari take the most promising ones and mold them into their special needs slaves ... and then they sell them to their international customers. At any given time there will be lots and lots of slaves in training in Slaver's Bay - but the number of slaves in permanent service in Slaver's Bay should be comparatively small.

The only actual 'slave soldiers' in Slaver's Bay are the Unsullied - and most of them are sold to various clients rather than being kept to maintain the social order at home. The Masters of Slaver's Bay have no outside enemies nor do they fight war amongst each other.

They are part of the international slave trade, and there were measures in place to ensure that this social order wasn't overturned.

And while the tiger soldiers of Volantis certainly seem to be a dangerous feat ... we can expect that the Volantene state does not only rely on slave soldiers for their standing army and navy. They would have citizen soldiers as well. If George is smart he will have perhaps 50 per cent slave soldiers and the others a mixture of citizen soldiers and sellswords.

A slave state where the entire armed forces are made up of slaves could not possibly function. Even if those were very privileged slaves - they would still be slaves, and in light of the fact that the state needs slave labor on any other level there would have been a successful revolution a very long time ago.

And what all of this means is that Slaver's Bay will make a return not too long after Daenerys leaves, unless she somehow manages to completely end the system you had described.

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18 hours ago, Aldarion said:

 

And what all of this means is that Slaver's Bay will make a return not too long after Daenerys leaves, unless she somehow manages to completely end the system you had described.

Cutting out the Dothraki severely reduces the supply side.  Cutting out Volantis severely reduces the demand side.

As Slavers Bay is a pre-industrial economy, one would expect the majority of output to be local food production, even if the principal export is slaves.

A more realistic economy would  be to use the slaves to produce cash crops for export, with slave dealing being a profitable sideline for a  small number of the elite.

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18 hours ago, Aldarion said:

And what all of this means is that Slaver's Bay will make a return not too long after Daenerys leaves, unless she somehow manages to completely end the system you had described.

What @SeanF said - but also: (forced) relocation of the surviving slavers and/or the physical destruction of the opposition of the new order as well as the physical destructions of all the cities and settlements of Slaver's Bay.

I expect that Meereen, Yunkai, and Astapor, etc. will end like Nymeria's ships. They will burn when the people leave. Astapor is already destroyed and unlikely to be rebuild in the future.

And if Qarth is also destroyed as I expect it will the international trade will be disrupted even more. There will be still a slave trade in the far east but it will be over from the Narrow Sea to the Jade Gates.

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19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

No, it isn't.

Not a big believer in free will it seems.

Sort of makes any discussion of morality pointless if you do not think individual choices matter.

19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Slavery still exists even today. But it is not a dominant economic system any more.

Not sure what you are trying to say here.

Are you suggesting that the horse collar didn't make slavery obsolete?!?! hahaha.

19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Sometimes regress can be progress, if you get what I mean. When a system becomes too complex to self-sustain, it tends to collapse: but I still see that as progress.

I like my contradictions in my literature more than in my analysis.

19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

But the point is, systems tend to survive only for so long as they can self-sustain. And the most practical of systems last for longest. So if the system looks impractical on the surface, first thought shouldn't be "these guys are idiots" but "what makes this system work"?

You seem to just be defining practicality by how long a system lasts and then saying practical systems last longer.

This is just circular logic.

I can only speak for myself, but "these guys are idiots" is a pretty fair reaction to most of human history right up to and including today.

I don't think a system existing, and it working are the same thing. But again, definitions matter and circular ones help nobody.

I think this sort of circular logic becomes common when you over simplify and try to apply overly reductionist conceptions to history.

19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Why?

I can't tell if you are being pedantic or actually asking...

If you mean "revisionist history" as questioning preconceived notions you have been taught about the past, then great, I'm all for it.

If you mean the intentional changing or ignoring of events to suit a theory or argument, then I think that's bad.

I think technologist arguments tend to selectively ignore a lot of facts to suit their theories. Technology has had large impacts on the history of man, no doubt, but actual history is a lot more complicated than a string of technological advances.

The same can be said for a lot of economic thought, it often relies on the oversimplification of complex systems.

19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Still too removed for Spartacus' rebellion to have been a direct cause, I'd say.

I don't know how quickly you think societal ideas shift, but one or two generations is pretty quickly, in my opinion.

19 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Of violence being the absolute key to ending the slavery, as opposed to side-effect of a dying system trying to maintain itself.

There tend to be some people who do not give up power peacefully. You can look at tons of examples of this, it's as true for slavery as it is for monarchy. Violence, or the threat of violence, is usually (if not always) the spark, if not direct compulsion, for change.

There are no absolute keys here, not horse collars and not revolts, what there are are a lot of moving parts, including but not limited to technology and violence, which are attributable for change.

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4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Not a big believer in free will it seems.

Sort of makes any discussion of morality pointless if you do not think individual choices matter.

Free will is an illusion. At the most basic, it is an issue of GIGO: somebody can easily control you merely by controlling the information you receive.

Slightly more complex, we can look at Boyd's OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

Observation can be easily skewed by the aforementioned GIGO: if your observation is incorrect, then your conclusions will be incorrect.

Orientation means basically placing the observation within the context. This too can be skewed by affecting person's values (why do you think all political regimes want to take control of the education and information system?).

Decision cannot be influenced by itself, but rather two either (or both) of two previous steps (e.g. observation that "I am in trouble if I make this decision").

Action of course can be affected by the previous as well as physically.

All of this means that reality cannot be decided on an individual level, because the entire loop is affected by external factors. Believing that decisions are made solely by ourselves (as in, in vacuum) is an illusion: even if we try to cut it out, we are heavily influenced by external factors. And in the end, it is not a question of whether what we believe is true, but rather, which set of lies we can believe in will hurt us the least. But due to everything explained earlier, even that is incredibly difficult to determine.

4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Not sure what you are trying to say here.

Are you suggesting that the horse collar didn't make slavery obsolete?!?! hahaha.

That horse collar ended it as a dominant economic system, which was my point. But so long as humans exist, so will slavery.

4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

You seem to just be defining practicality by how long a system lasts and then saying practical systems last longer.

This is just circular logic.

I can only speak for myself, but "these guys are idiots" is a pretty fair reaction to most of human history right up to and including today.

I don't think a system existing, and it working are the same thing. But again, definitions matter and circular ones help nobody.

I think this sort of circular logic becomes common when you over simplify and try to apply overly reductionist conceptions to history.

Humans always were idiots. And we still are, maybe even bigger than ever before. But on a large scale, only systems that work actually survive. Which is why ending the slavery is not as easy as merely "kill the slavers", because unless you get rid of the underlying causes, it will simply come back.

Of course, it is possible for a system to survive its practical expiration date, in which case simple solutions may work... but can we be certain that is the case with the Slaver's Bay?

4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I can't tell if you are being pedantic or actually asking...

If you mean "revisionist history" as questioning preconceived notions you have been taught about the past, then great, I'm all for it.

If you mean the intentional changing or ignoring of events to suit a theory or argument, then I think that's bad.

I think technologist arguments tend to selectively ignore a lot of facts to suit their theories. Technology has had large impacts on the history of man, no doubt, but actual history is a lot more complicated than a string of technological advances.

The same can be said for a lot of economic thought, it often relies on the oversimplification of complex systems.

As I have mentioned: revisionism is the basic of history. Basically, the bolded.

Any argument on its own is wrong, because human society is complex. But I have found that technology usually is the driving force of most of social change. Where things get complex is in how that change actually happens.

4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

There tend to be some people who do not give up power peacefully. You can look at tons of examples of this, it's as true for slavery as it is for monarchy. Violence, or the threat of violence, is usually (if not always) the spark, if not direct compulsion, for change.

There are no absolute keys here, not horse collars and not revolts, what there are are a lot of moving parts, including but not limited to technology and violence, which are attributable for change.

Agreed. But the point I was making is, while violence may be the catalyst for change, unless you get rid of root causes of slavery, it will return. In most revolutions, even the successful ones, what you got in the end was not the change but rather more of the same.

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16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Free will is an illusion. At the most basic, it is an issue of GIGO: somebody can easily control you merely by controlling the information you receive.

Slightly more complex, we can look at Boyd's OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

Observation can be easily skewed by the aforementioned GIGO: if your observation is incorrect, then your conclusions will be incorrect.

Orientation means basically placing the observation within the context. This too can be skewed by affecting person's values (why do you think all political regimes want to take control of the education and information system?).

Decision cannot be influenced by itself, but rather two either (or both) of two previous steps (e.g. observation that "I am in trouble if I make this decision").

Action of course can be affected by the previous as well as physically.

All of this means that reality cannot be decided on an individual level, because the entire loop is affected by external factors. Believing that decisions are made solely by ourselves (as in, in vacuum) is an illusion: even if we try to cut it out, we are heavily influenced by external factors. And in the end, it is not a question of whether what we believe is true, but rather, which set of lies we can believe in will hurt us the least. But due to everything explained earlier, even that is incredibly difficult to determine.

If this is the case then discussion is pointless, there are no choices and reality isn't any more decided at a macro level then a micro level, just one predestined system. Determinism.

I have to wonder why you bother commenting on morality or works of fiction at all, but I suppose you believe you have no choice.

I think there is a fundamental issue with assuming that everything in existence works like a mathematical function, one set of inputs resulting in only one possible output. While this may often be true, it isn't always true even in math, we just have to look beyond functions. A given set of inputs can result in multiple possible outputs, and perhaps this is analogues to free will.

I'm inclined to think we lack understanding to explain free will rather than that it doesn't exist.

I agree that technology has a large impact on society, I'm unwilling to say it determines it.

16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

That horse collar ended it as a dominant economic system, which was my point. But so long as humans exist, so will slavery.

This is an old aggressive theory I have never seen convincingly defended.

I do not think slavery is an inherent part of humanity.

16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Humans always were idiots. And we still are, maybe even bigger than ever before. But on a large scale, only systems that work actually survive. Which is why ending the slavery is not as easy as merely "kill the slavers", because unless you get rid of the underlying causes, it will simply come back.

Can't be an idiot if you don't have a choice, any more than a rock that's dropped is stupid for falling.

16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Of course, it is possible for a system to survive its practical expiration date, in which case simple solutions may work... but can we be certain that is the case with the Slaver's Bay?

I disagree with the undying principles you are using.

16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

As I have mentioned: revisionism is the basic of history. Basically, the bolded.

If you don't have free will it's all irrelevant.

16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Any argument on its own is wrong, because human society is complex. But I have found that technology usually is the driving force of most of social change. Where things get complex is in how that change actually happens.

Is progress through time correlated to both technological and social development in humanities history? Of course. This does not show a causal relationship between technology and social development, nor even time.

16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Agreed. But the point I was making is, while violence may be the catalyst for change, unless you get rid of root causes of slavery, it will return. In most revolutions, even the successful ones, what you got in the end was not the change but rather more of the same.

I think by definition a successful revolution has to precipitate change. I believe even failed ones can have lasting societal impacts.

I don't think there is any setting that necessitates slavery, nor any amount of technology that precludes it, and rather the biggest root cause is how people see one another and this perception tends to be driven by moral judgements of individuals (and in aggregate, society).

Of course, this is predicated on the existence of free will.

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19 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

This is an old aggressive theory I have never seen convincingly defended.

I do not think slavery is an inherent part of humanity.

Slavery is a result of the will to exploit and to dominate, and both of these are an inherent part of humanity.

Hell, look at how kids act: they will forever be trying to get one up over another, and to exploit each other. Seeking advantage is something inherent to humans, and slavery is merely an extreme expression of that tendency.

So slavery will always exist, so long as humans exist. How extensive it will be however depends heavily on socioeconomic and sociotechnological conditions.

19 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I disagree with the undying principles you are using.

We can't have discussion unless you put forward something more than "I disagree".

19 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Is progress through time correlated to both technological and social development in humanities history? Of course. This does not show a causal relationship between technology and social development, nor even time.

But there is such a causal relationship. There is also a causal relationship between climate and social development, climate and technology, culture and social development, culture and technology...

19 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I think by definition a successful revolution has to precipitate change. I believe even failed ones can have lasting societal impacts.

Change can easily go full circle. Look at the socialist revolutions against monarchies and/or dictatorships: all of those that succeeded in overthrowing the one-man rule were successful in that they replaced the previous system with a new one. But in all these cases, new system was merely another variant of one-man rule.

So revolution was successful, change happened, but it still resulted in more of the same.

19 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I don't think there is any setting that necessitates slavery, nor any amount of technology that precludes it, and rather the biggest root cause is how people see one another and this perception tends to be driven by moral judgements of individuals (and in aggregate, society).

 

If that really were the case, then slavery will have still existed today on a large scale, not just hiding in the shadows.

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3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Slavery is a result of the will to exploit and to dominate, and both of these are an inherent part of humanity.

So are love and kindness.

You are repeatedly making wild reductionist claims about existence, and if you don’t think free will exists who even cares.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Hell, look at how kids act: they will forever be trying to get one up over another, and to exploit each other. Seeking advantage is something inherent to humans, and slavery is merely an extreme expression of that tendency.

This is a great example of anecdotal evidence that means literally nothing.

Kids can also be incredibly sweet to each other.

Kindess is inherent to humanity. 

If there is no free will who cares anyways.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

So slavery will always exist, so long as humans exist. How extensive it will be however depends heavily on socioeconomic and sociotechnological conditions.

I disagree.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

We can't have discussion unless you put forward something more than "I disagree".

No discussion needed.

When you make wild claims the burden of proof is on you. 

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

But there is such a causal relationship. There is also a causal relationship between climate and social development, climate and technology, culture and social development, culture and technology...

A bunch of bold undefended claims. Not even saying you are wrong about them all, but it’s not relevant or a convincing case.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Change can easily go full circle.

If you mean returning to the state it started in, then no, it never goes back to what it was, it’s always something different.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Look at the socialist revolutions against monarchies and/or dictatorships: all of those that succeeded in overthrowing the one-man rule were successful in that they replaced the previous system with a new one.

As opposed to what? Anarchy? Democracy?

This is such a reductionist and simplistic view of governments and history it’s silly.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

But in all these cases, new system was merely another variant of one-man rule.

Again just being wildly reductionist.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

So revolution was successful, change happened, but it still resulted in more of the same.

No… It wasn’t more of the same.

You might draw parallels or say some things didn’t change or reverted later, but to say they stayed the same is willful ignorance of the obvious differences.

3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

If that really were the case, then slavery will have still existed today on a large scale, not just hiding in the shadows.

No, it doesn’t.

This back and forth is now far off topic and not productive. Let’s just stop.

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14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

So are love and kindness.

You are repeatedly making wild reductionist claims about existence, and if you don’t think free will exists who even cares.

Which still means slavery will naturally exist unless there are very major reasons for it not to.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I disagree.

So you think that just because humans can be kind, all humans will always choose kindness and not the other parts of human nature?

Yeah, that is not how it works.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

No discussion needed.

When you make wild claims the burden of proof is on you. 

Only one making wild claims here is you.

14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

If you mean returning to the state it started in, then no, it never goes back to what it was, it’s always something different.

If you care about aesthetics, sure. But just as often, there is no real difference.

French Revolution for example had the immediate effect of replacing one type of absolute monarchy with... another type of absolute monarchy (albeit after some years of tyranny).

Russian revolutions replaced Tsarist absolutism with Communist dictatorship, which was fundamentally not that different, both systems having one person make all the decisions.

15 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

As opposed to what? Anarchy? Democracy?

This is such a reductionist and simplistic view of governments and history it’s silly.

Simplistic maybe, but correct.

15 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

You might draw parallels or say some things didn’t change or reverted later, but to say they stayed the same is willful ignorance of the obvious differences.

Obvious differences being? Well, beyond more tyranny because new government was usually unstable and had to secure its position, which typically meant "murder everybody who disagrees".

15 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

This back and forth is now far off topic and not productive. Let’s just stop.

Maybe it is not productive, but how is it far off topic? It all comes down to my original point: just killing slavers and freeing slaves will not be enough to permanently end slavery in the Slaver's Bay, unless something had already fundamentally shifted in the societies of the Bay to make slavery inherently unprofitable.

Basically, Daenerys' conquest will not end slavery unless conditions already existed that would have led to its end anyway sometime in the (relatively) close future.

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On 7/28/2022 at 11:44 AM, Aldarion said:

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.

After that, the South turned from a society with slaves, so to speak, to a slave society. They would not ever turned it down even when it was becoming increasingly unprofitable because it was their way to be and it had a cohesive glue  to i for all the white southerners, rich and poor alike, which is why slavery ended they opted for the best next thing, kkk and segregation. I'd say that slavery in the inmediate antebellum south is an example of a society being left behind for keeping slaves but categorically refusing to do so because they are evil bigots... Kinda like Slavers Bay.

I clearly remember having a conversation about this exact topic with you a while ago, i thought you have understood it then.

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1 hour ago, frenin said:

After that, the South turned from a society with slaves, so to speak, to a slave society. They would not ever turned it down even when it was becoming increasingly unprofitable because it was their way to be and it had a cohesive glue  to i for all the white southerners, rich and poor alike, which is why slavery ended they opted for the best next thing, kkk and segregation. I'd say that slavery in the inmediate antebellum south is an example of a society being left behind for keeping slaves but categorically refusing to do so because they are evil bigots... Kinda like Slavers Bay.

I clearly remember having a conversation about this exact topic with you a while ago, i thought you have understood it then.

I agree with that.

If you go to a site like Quora, or look at the comments under Birth of a Nation, on YouTube, you’ll find plenty of people who defend the South and its Peculiar Institution.  They view slavery as a kind of finishing school for black Africans, which made them into civilised people.

There was an ideological commitment to slavery which went beyond economics, and that’s true of Essos, where a free beggar can feel superior to a slave.

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