Smartening Up About Slavery

Early on slavery was the most common form of human existence. Slavery was so common that nothing critical was even written in the Bible about the institution. At least I haven’t found anything critical. Must human beings lived under slavery or a slight variation slavery up until the industrial revolution.

The practice of human beings owning each other like cattle has largely disappeared. Today there are degrees of slavery but people are not sold in auctions.

Evolution is ongoing both social and biological but one is always ahead of the other. Human beings have risen above believing in slavery intellectually. Where instinct is concerned, mankind is still more comfortable serving a master. This is why, with respect to freedom, people act one way and talk another. Instinctive compulsions are stronger than any intellectual influence to be free.

The expectation in society is that given the opportunity, people will grab as much freedom as possible and live independently. Just the opposite occurs. Folks will opt for freedom only if they can’t find a kind master, especially if they are being treated with cruelty. However, even after escaping the cruel master, they will start looking for a kinder master to serve.

Time has passed and humans can no longer buy and sell one another outright.  Government is perceived as the master and the entity to serve. Citizens relate to government as if government was a parent. When slavery was legal it was common for slaves to have a great deal of loyalty to the person who owned them. The slaves of General Bedford Forest are a good example. They fought by his side in the cavalry all through the Civil War. This kind of loyalty was very common in the south,

Many believe that the black race is the only group that lived under slavery. That is not true. Almost all caucasians lived as slaves until just a few hundred years before the civil war. So, all human beings are descendent of one kind of slave or another.

The concept of freedom is so new on history’s long time line that mankind in general is still instinctively drawn toward servitude. Government is instinctively treated as a parent and master. That was the most common relationship between masters and the people they owned.

Why do people expect so much out of government? They are instinctively pulled in that direction. Intellect has no bearing in opting for solutions. Over the years there have been countless government programs from which everyone was supposed to benefit. Not one has had a positive outcome. Still people ask for more. They are offered more by leaders. There is no chance a government initiative will ever produce a net gain for citizens. Still government control is the solution of choice. The choice is not intellectual. It is instinctive and part of human nature.

About James Quillian

James Quillian is an independent scholar and economist.
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