Friday, December 30, 2011

On socialism, slavery and blacks in America

Social theorist George Fitzhugh justified slavery as a positive good: "Slavery here [in the U.S.] relieves" the African "from a far more cruel slavery in Africa.... It christianizes [sic], protects, supports and civilizes him; it governs him far better than free laborers at the North are governed.... The master labors for the slave, they exchange industrial value. But the capitalist, living on his income, gives nothing to his subjects. He lives by mere exploitations." Unlike the "wage slaves" (a term Fitzhugh coined), African-Americans were cared for from the cradle to the grave. "Slavery is a form, and the very best form, of socialism," Fitzhugh wrote in 1854.

[The above adapted from a speech by Robert M.S. McDonald, associate professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy.]

The tragedy is that Fitzhugh's arguments can be reframed to fit the subjugation of American blacks (and other minorities) to socialist welfare policies by Democrats and progressives today. Rewritten as:

"Welfare here in the U.S. relieves the African-Americans from a far more cruel slavery in Africa (or elsewhere).... Welfare protects and supports him; it controls him--assuring that he always knows who his 'master' is and to whom he owes his allegiance at the polls (namely, the Democrats). Welfare controls them far better than free laborers in free-market capitalism are controlled. One never knows how those folks might vote!?!

"In exchange for the African-American's unthinking support at the polls, election cycle after election cycle, the Democrats and progressives promise to care for him (poorly, but care for him, they will) from cradle to grave.

"We, the liberal politician 'masters' will 'labor for them.' We will do whatever is necessary to keep ourselves in a position of power so that we can also assure our 'control' over the votes of the African-Americans under our sway. And we will always endeavor to convince them of how much better off they are under welfare than under the 'exploitation' of the capitalist. We will accomplish this--with the assistance of the willing aid of a progressive media—by avoiding calling attention to the successful blacks who have managed to become successful 'runaway slaves', for we do not want too many others to believe that they might be better off away from the 'plantation' of the welfare state.

"Slavery to welfare is, after all, the very best form of socialism."

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