Slavery Is Always the Work of Conservatives
Throughout human history, institutionalized slavery has always been the work of conservatives. This is no surprise, given the clear tilt toward social dominance orientation in the psychology of conservatives, the penchant of conservatives for zero sum bias, and the intrinsic tendency within the psychology of conservatism to fear “the other,” and then convert this fear into justification of oppression, preferably for profit.
There are no examples in history of slavery being instituted or persisting in liberal societies, and this is also no surprise, given liberalism’s fundamental moral values of equality, opposition to dominance and preference for cooperation over conflict.
Yet the examples in history of conservatives instituting slavery, supporting slavery politically and even attempting to justify slavery on a supposedly moral basis exist in abundance, too numerous to fully tabulate. A few major examples are provided below.
Sparta is perhaps the ultimate conservative state in its rigid militarism, extreme masculism, orientation toward domination, and its inclusion of slavery as a state institution. The helots were slaves owned by the Spartan state, and were actually a majority of the population of Sparta, but were dominated by the military elite of Spartan citizens through brutality extending even to murder.
The Roman Empire
The Roman Empire, an object of admiration and deep affection on the part of many conservatives, was built on slavery. Slaves constituted 10–15% of the population of the Roman Empire, were a crucial basis of the economy, and lived under conditions described below.
“Slaves were considered property under Roman law and had no legal personhood. Most slaves would never be freed. Unlike Roman citizens, they could be subjected to corporal punishment, sexual exploitation (prostitutes were often slaves), torture and summary execution.” — Slavery in Ancient Rome
That the Roman Empire was deeply conservative in its nature is beyond question.
The American Civil War: Conservatives on the Side of Slavery
In the American Civil War, it was conservatives and conservatives alone who supported slavery, conservatives who fomented violent insurrection in order to continue slavery, and conservatives who extended their campaign of domination and murder resulting in the barbaric death of more than 600,000 people.
It does not matter one bit which name of which current American political party was associated with what position on the matter more than 150 years ago. Throughout the entire period, conservatives were on the side of slavery, and only conservatives were on the side of slavery.
Even after the conservatives constituting the Confederacy were defeated militarily, “…many southern conservatives still could not reconcile themselves to the new order. Accustomed to a world where they maintained power over black workers through violence, many southern whites lashed out at blacks in the first years after emancipation, often with tragic and lethal consequences.” — After Slavery
The racism underlying the American institution of slavery was also a predictable extension of conservatism, and the psychology of conservatism.
Slavery in Our “Modern” Times
Slavery has not been eradicated, nor has it disappeared. In the current age, approximately 50 million people live in conditions of slavery. Of those, 28 million are in forced labor, and 22 million are in forced marriages.
Forced labor is inimical to fundamental liberal values, but has been appealing to conservatives throughout history. After all, forced labor provides the double benefit of unjust accumulation of wealth combined with feelings of superiority and dominance. Is forced marriage a form of slavery, and also an exclusively conservative institution? Absolutely.
So once again, conservatives are responsible for instituting slavery in “modern” times on two fronts as a predictable extension of their fundamental psychology and outlook.
The American Prison System
Slavery still exists in the United States, but has taken a less obvious form in the American prison system, and a somewhat less veiled form in the for-profit American prison system. In five states–Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas–prisoners are forced to work without pay. In many other states, prisoners are forced to work at rates so low they might as well not receive anything. No term other than slavery is appropriate for this atrocity.
Conservatives attempt to justify this atrocity with a combination of false claims of morality, misdirection and lies. Listen to a conservative try to justify the for-profit prison industry. It always goes something like this:
“These people deserve what they get. After all, they’re criminals. And for-profit administration of the prison system saves money.”
Observe the abyss of immorality in justifying slavery through blame, accompanied by the lie that for-profit prisons save money, and all as though a bit of supposed savings justifies immoral abuse of human beings.
Will Conservatives Ever Reform Themselves?
Slavery has been a part of many if not most human societies for nearly all of human history. It has always been the work of conservatives, and it still is. Yet another fundamental aspect of conservative psychology is the inability to truly reflect, to ask oneself challenging questions, and most of all the inability to revise an outlook based on domination, unjustified blame and deep attraction to claims of superiority based on domination.
So the answer is no, conservatives will never reform themselves, because they are unable to do so. Conservatives will always be attracted to the institution of slavery, particularly if they can reap the profits and enjoy the domination, just as they did in America before the Civil War forced them to be less obvious in their immorality and avarice.
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