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Interesting Article Re Byu Student Fighting Racism

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11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

And therein lies the issue.  It's a problem that its an open unanswered question because that means God could have instituted the priesthood ban.  If so, then He is behind the racist policy.  

At one time God didn't want anyone to be a priest unless that person was male and a descendant of Aaron, Moses's brother.  You can try to make a big deal about that now if you want to.

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I think I might understand what @stemelbow is getting at. Let me know.

1) The priesthood ban is "racist" in the sense that it negatively discriminates against someone based on their race. Blacks were not given the priesthood nor allowed into temples, including eternal marriage, which is the pinnacle of LDS ritual, right? (side question: during the time of the ban, could people do work for dead Blacks in the temple?)

2) Now, if Brigham Young and others gave the ban without God's approval, then we can say the ban was from fallible leaders who followed the racist ideologies of their time.

3) But, if the ban came from God, then we would have to say that God is "racist" because he negatively discriminated against someone based on their race.

Based on some of the posts in this discussion, it appears hard to get out of 3 being true. For example, the many examples given by @smac97 about President McKay wanting to end the ban but God saying no, don't ask me about it anymore. If 2 were true, I would imagine God would have leapt at the opportunity to correct it when his prophet was asking directly about it. Also, there have been some posts pointing out that priesthood was restricted in the past -- this also seems to be offered as justification that 3 is true.

But I can understand LDS wanting 2 to be true and it seems like recent statements (I'm not looking it up, but something like: we disavow all theories about the ban and state that racism is evil) are allowing some LDS to believe 2. But then what do those LDS do about President McKay's statements that he wanted to end it but God said no?

Am I understanding this correctly? I've been trying to follow, but obviously I don't have the background others here do. I don't mean this post as a critique, but just to lay out the contours of the situation as I see them and then to get your take on my understanding.

 

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5 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I think I might understand what @stemelbow is getting at. Let me know.

1) The priesthood ban is "racist" in the sense that it negatively discriminates against someone based on their race. Blacks were not given the priesthood nor allowed into temples, including eternal marriage, which is the pinnacle of LDS ritual, right? (side question: during the time of the ban, could people do work for dead Blacks in the temple?)

2) Now, if Brigham Young and others gave the ban without God's approval, then we can say the ban was from fallible leaders who followed the racist ideologies of their time.

3) But, if the ban came from God, then we would have to say that God is "racist" because he negatively discriminated against someone based on their race.

Based on some of the posts in this discussion, it appears hard to get out of 3 being true. For example, the many examples given by @smac97 about President McKay wanting to end the ban but God saying no, don't ask me about it anymore. If 2 were true, I would imagine God would have leapt at the opportunity to correct it when his prophet was asking directly about it. Also, there have been some posts pointing out that priesthood was restricted in the past -- this also seems to be offered as justification that 3 is true.

But I can understand LDS wanting 2 to be true and it seems like recent statements (I'm not looking it up, but something like: we disavow all theories about the ban and state that racism is evil) are allowing some LDS to believe 2. But then what do those LDS do about President McKay's statements that he wanted to end it but God said no?

Am I understanding this correctly? I've been trying to follow, but obviously I don't have the background others here do. I don't mean this post as a critique, but just to lay out the contours of the situation as I see them and then to get your take on my understanding.

 

It is a complex issue and there are more elements to it than you have mentioned.  And more than I could mention right now, too, including some things that as far as I know have not been revealed.

For me, the issue comes down to a question of whether it is acceptable for a person to withhold priesthood blessings, including ordinations to priesthood office, just because that person does not believe God would approve of it?

And to that I would say yes, because I believe each person should follow the dictates of his or her conscious and any inspiration they feel is from God, if they feel God has inspired them with any thoughts on the issues they have considered.

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26 minutes ago, pogi said:

Yet, it existed in it and was perpetuated by it for some time. 

And spousal abuse exists within some marriages.  That is not an indictment of marriage, though.

26 minutes ago, pogi said:

Yes, greed (as you say), etc. helped perpetuate slavery, but it is the capitalistic system that nourished greed and allowed it to run rampant.  It is all intertwined.  

In a sense, I suppose so.

26 minutes ago, pogi said:

What principles of capitalism are not compatible with slavery?  Your quote mentioned that "the ethical and political principles that support capitalism are inconsistent with slavery", but those principles are not the same thing as capitalism per se. 

Have you ever heard of George Fitzhugh?  From Wikipedia:

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George Fitzhugh (November 4, 1806 – July 30, 1881) was an American social theorist who published racial and slavery-based sociological theories in the antebellum era. He argued that the negro "is but a grown up child" who needs the economic and social protections of slavery. Fitzhugh decried capitalism as practiced by the Northern United States and Great Britain as spawning "a war of the rich with the poor, and the poor with one another", rendering free blacks "far outstripped or outwitted in the chase of free competition." Slavery, he contended, ensured that blacks would be economically secure and morally civilized. Nonetheless, some historians consider Fitzhugh’s worldview to be fascist in its rejection of liberal values, defense of slavery, and perspectives toward race.

With this context, let's take a look at this article by Phillip Magness: The Anti-Capitalist Ideology of Slavery:

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What is capitalism’s view toward slavery? It seems like a crazy question, but not so much actually, not in these times. So let us begin with the opening line of the first chapter of George Fitzhugh’s Sociology for the South, first published in 1854.

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Political economy is the science of free society. Its theory and its history alike establish this position. Its fundamental maxim Laissez-faire and “Pas trop gouverner,” are at war with all kinds of slavery, for they in fact assert that individuals and peoples prosper most when governed least.

Fizhugh’s point was to inveigh against economic freedom and in defense of slavery. His radical tract sought to make out an elaborate ideological case for slave labor and indeed all aspects of social ordering. Such a system, he announced, would resolve the posited state of perpetual conflict between labor and the owners of capital by supplanting it with the paternalistic hierarchy of slavery — a model he advocated not only for the plantations of the South but also for adaptation to the factories of the Northeast.

In total, Fitzhugh presented a horrifying vision of a national society reordered around the principle of chattel slavery. And as his introductory remarks announced, attainment of that society required the defeat of its remaining obstacle, the free market.

Fitzhugh seemed to find "the free market" antithetical with the continuation of slavery.

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Although rightly rejected today, the Virginia-born Fitzhugh attained national prominence in the late antebellum period as one of the most widely read defenders of a slave-based economy. Charles Sumner called him a “leading writer among Slave-masters,” and his regular contributions to the pro-South magazine DeBow’s Review gained him a national readership in the 1850s.

In 1855 Fitzhugh embarked on a publicity tour of the Northeast, jousting with abolitionist Wendell Phillips in a series of back-to-back lectures on the slavery question. By 1861, he had added his voice to the cause of southern secessionism and began mapping out an elaborate slave-based industrialization policy for the Confederacy’s wartime economy.

So what did Fitzhugh, and avowed and widely-known and -regarded advocate of slavery, think of capitalism?

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Fitzhugh was also an avowed anti-capitalist. Slavery’s greatest threat came from the free market economic doctrines of Europe, which were “tainted with abolition, and at war with our institutions.” To survive, he declared, the South must “throw Adam Smith, Say, Ricardo & Co., in the fire.”

Such rhetoric presents an under-acknowledged conundrum for modern historians. It is academically trendy at the moment to depict plantation slavery as an integral component of American capitalism.

Well, yeah.  That is a conundrum.  If slavery in the South was "capitalistic," why did Fitzhugh find its greates threat in "the free market economic doctrines of Europe?"  Why would he be so opposed to Adam Smith, etc.?

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A new multipart feature series in the New York Times advances this thesis, depicting modern free market capitalism as an inherently “racist” institution and a direct lineal descendant of plantation slavery, still exhibiting the brutality of that system. This characterization draws heavily from the so-called “New History of Capitalism” (NHC) — a genre of historical writing that swept through the academy in the last decade and that aggressively promotes the thesis that free market capitalism and slavery are inextricably linked.

Many leading examples of NHC scholarship in the academy today are plagued by shoddy economic analysis and documented misuse of historical evidence. These works often present historically implausible arguments, such as the notion that modern double-entry accounting emerged from plantation ledger books (the practice actually traces to the banking economies of Renaissance Italy), or that its use by slave owners is distinctively capitalistic (even the Soviets employed modern accounting practices, despite attempting to centrally plan their entire economy). Indeed, it was NHC historian Ed Baptist who produced an unambiguously false statistic purporting to show that cotton production accounted for a full half of the antebellum American economy (it actually comprised about 5 percent of GDP).

5% v. 50%.  Potato, po-tah-to.

And America's current "economic powerhouse" status is to be attributed to that 5% that ended in 1860?  Why?

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Despite the deep empirical and historical deficiencies of this literature, NHC arguments are still widely enlisted not only as historical analysis of slavery’s economics but as an ideological attack on modern capitalism itself. If capitalism is historically tainted by its links to slavery, they reason, then the effects of slavery’s stain persist in modern American capitalism today. In its most extreme iterations, these same historians then advocate a political reordering of the American economy to remove that stain. In other words, to reconcile our society to its history and atone for the sins of slavery, we must abandon what remains of American capitalism.

Yep.  There is an ulterior motive to attacking capitalism by tainting it with antebellum slavery.  The advocates of this theory want to abolish capitalism and replace it with socialism/communism.  They are using specious historical arguments about slavery as a pretext for that effort.

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The NHC literature’s use of the term “capitalism” is plagued by its own definitional fluidity, which, at times, encompasses everything from laissez-faire non-intervention to protectionist mercantilism to state-ordered central planning. Most economic historians take care to differentiate between the features of these widely varying systems; however, the NHC literature has adopted a habit of simply relabeling everything as “capitalism.” A command-and-control wartime industrial policy thus becomes “war capitalism,” while a slave-oriented mercantilist regime of protective tariffs and industrial subsidies becomes “racial slave capitalism,” and so forth.

"Capitalism" covers a fairly broad swath of economic behaviors.

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When brandished in modern politics, it quickly becomes clear that the same scholars have only one “capitalism” in mind. The NHC genre’s own economic inclinations veer unambiguously in a leftward direction, suggesting their real ire is toward the classical liberal free market variety of capitalism. Wealth redistribution, the nationalization of health care and other entire economic sectors, socialistic central planning of industries around labor activism, and even a plethora of climate change policies thereby become necessary acts of “social justice” to correct for capitalism’s supposed slavery-infused legacy.

There it is again.  Socialists/communists are hoping to persuade Americans that "capitalism" is evil so that they will turn against it in favor of . . . socialism/communism.

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We therefore arrive at the curious position wherein “atonement” for slavery, as presented by the NHC historians, involves politically repudiating the same free market doctrines that Fitzhugh deemed the greatest danger to slavery itself in the decade before the Civil War.

Yeah.  Kinda weird.  If NHC thinks slavery is bad, why are they taking a position about 180 degrees opposite from Fitzhugh?  He hated free market capitalism, which he saw (rightly, as it turns out) as a threat to a slavery-based economy.  

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Returning to Fitzhugh’s defense of slavery, we find deep similarities to anti-capitalist rhetoric today. The economic doctrines of laissez-faire, he wrote in 1857, foster “a system of unmitigated selfishness.” They subject nominally free labor to the “despotism of capital” wherein the capitalist class extracts an “exploitation of skill” from wage laborers, as found in the difference between the value of what they create and the much lower compensation they receive.

Again, very strange that the people who purport to be opposed to slavery as a great moral ill are expressing that opposition by attacking capitalism, which Fitzhugh viewed as incompatible with slavery.

Here's where it gets interesting:

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As Fitzhugh argued, by way of the example of a wealthy acquaintance who had “ceased work” and lived off of his fortune, the capitalist’s “capital was but the accumulation of the results of their labor; for common labor creates all capital.” He then succinctly explained the result by noting “the capitalist, living on his income, gives nothing to his subjects. He lives by mere exploitation.” As Fitzhugh continued:

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It is the interest of the capitalist and the skillful to allow free laborers the least possible portion of the fruits of their own labor; for all capital is created by labor, and the smaller the allowance of the free laborer, the greater the gains of his employer. To treat free laborers badly and unfairly, is universally inculcated as a moral duty, and the selfishness of man’s nature prompts him to the most rigorous performance of this cannibalish duty. We appeal to political economy; the ethical, social, political and economic philosophy of free society, to prove the truth of our doctrines. As an ethical and social guide, that philosophy teaches, that social, individual and national competition, is a moral duty, and we have attempted to prove all competition is but the effort to enslave others, without being encumbered with their support.

The difference between the value of the laborer’s product and this substantially lower wage, Fitzhugh explained, provided a measure of the exploited share of his work.

If this line of reasoning sounds familiar, it is due to a very real parallel between Fitzhugh’s formulation of the capital–labor relationship and that of another famous contemporary. Fitzhugh had effectively worked out the Marxian theory of “surplus value” over a decade before the publication of Marx’s own Capital (1867), and derived it from the same sweeping indictment of the free-labor capitalism.

Fitzhugh, champion of justifying slavery in the antebellum South, was taking his cues on vilifying capitalism from . . . Karl Marx.  The father of socialism/communism.

This was not, I think, happenstance or coincidence.  See here:

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The two thinkers would only diverge in their next steps, the prescriptive solution. Whereas Marx rejected chattel slavery and extrapolated a long historical march to an eventual socialist reordering through revolutionary upheaval, Fitzhugh saw a readily available alternative. “Slavery is a form, and the very best form, of socialism,” he explained. Wage labor, he predicted, would be forever insufficient to meet the needs of the laborer due to deprivation of his products from his skill. Slavery, to Fitzhugh’s convenience, could step in and fill the gap through the paternalistic provision of necessities for the enslaved, allegedly removing the “greed” of wage exploitation from the process. 

Since slaves became the charge of the slave master and were placed under his care for food and shelter, Fitzhugh reasoned that “slaves consume more of the results of their own labor than laborers at the North.” Plantation slavery, according to this contorted line of thinking, thereby mitigated the “exploitation” of wage labor capitalism and returned a greater portion of the posited surplus value. In the Marxian counterpart, a socialist state fulfills a similar function.

As depraved and corrupt as I find socialism/communism, at least Marx did not predicate it as a slave-based alternative to capitalism.  Fitzhugh, however, did.

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Fitzhugh’s eccentric extrapolation from what are essentially Marxian doctrines has the effect of turning Marx’s own untenable “solution” to capital ownership on its head. But the two thinkers unite in their grievances: a shared enmity toward market capitalism, and a desire to cast free market allocation of resources aside through coercive social reordering to achieve their respective ideal societies — mass enslavement or global communism.

These similarities between Fitzhugh and socialism, and indeed the aggressive anti-capitalist rhetoric of proslavery ideology, are seldom examined in the NHC literature. In its quest to politically tar modern capitalism with the horrors of slavery, these historians have adopted a practice of evidentiary negligence that conveniently excludes the explicit anti-capitalist ideological tenets of the very same slave system that they rebrand as a foundation of the modern capitalist economy.

Fitzhugh was not alone in adopting and adapting anti-capitalist ideology to the defense of slavery. Indeed, he heavily extrapolated it from Thomas Carlyle’s own racist attacks upon the “dismal science” of economics on account of its close historical ties to abolitionism. That these proslavery thinkers found a parallel rationale in socialism and deployed it to attack a common enemy of free markets, irrespective of their otherwise-divergent claims, is indicative of a shared illiberalism between the two. In practice, unfortunately, the immiserating historical records of each reveal that the only remaining distinction between their political outcomes consists of the choice between the slavery of the plantation and the slavery of the gulag.

(Emphasis added.)

Modern scholars are loathe to give credit to Christians like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, who championed the abolition of slavery as a moral and religious and humanitarian and Christian concern.  They are also largely immunized from the free market, tenured hacks that they they are, and so are free to lambaste the very economic system that funds their lavish lifestyles.

Stephen Davies has some interesting comments about slavery and capitalism:

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More recent study suggests that there was a connection between abolitionism and capitalism, but that this connection derived from a common intellectual basis, rather than economic self-interest. Antislavery arguments drew on ideas about the common nature of all human beings, their shared natural rights to freedom, and the immorality of unfree labor (as opposed to its inefficiency). These arguments lay behind the advocacy of both abolitionism and free-market capitalism. They found expression in forms such as the famous Wedgwood medallion, which showed a kneeling chained slave, with the slogan “Am I not a man and a brother?” Another common element was the important part played by religion, particularly evangelical Protestantism and Quakerism.
...
In late eighteenth-century Europe, slave owners and traders were a relatively small, cohesive, and easily organized group. They had a strong economic interest in the continuation and extension of both colonial slavery and the slave trade. As we now know, this interest was becoming greater rather than less after 1776, with the opening up of trade in the Americas. From a simple Public Choice perspective this should have made the abolition of, first, the slave trade and, then, slavery almost impossible. Given the concentrated benefits from slavery accruing to a relatively small group, and its access to the political system, any move to abolish the institution should have been blocked.

And yet this was not what happened. Instead, abolitionists created a true mass movement. This proved effective and ultimately successful, because it was able to win the battle of ideas and fundamentally shift the terms of argument in favor of universal human liberty.

Abolition and capitalism shared a "common intellectual basis?"

Slavery was dismantled by abolitionists who were motivated by that "intellectual basis" and by religious sentiment (Wilberforce, et al)?

Such things really don't fit the narrative espoused by those hoping to push us away from capitalism (and religion) and toward socialism/communism.

Thanks,

-Smac

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51 minutes ago, Ahab said:
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And therein lies the issue.  It's a problem that its an open unanswered question because that means God could have instituted the priesthood ban.  If so, then He is behind the racist policy.  

At one time God didn't want anyone to be a priest unless that person was male and a descendant of Aaron, Moses's brother.  You can try to make a big deal about that now if you want to.

I just can't get to where some seem to want to go, which is to attribute evil motives to God.  I can't do it.

I'm reminded of this statement by Joseph Smith:

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God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said, "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pp. 255-256)

"Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is."  We are simply not situated to supplant God's wisdom with ours (which is part and parcel of questions like "Whether {God} could do more to make the entire situation better").

I also have in mind these passages:

  • "For my thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are your cays my days, saith the Lord."  (Isaiah 55:8)
  • "The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just."  (Mosiah 16:1)
  • "Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them..."  (Mosiah 27:31)
  • "O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just."  (2 Nephi 26:7)
  • "{W}e must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men..." (Alma 12:15)
  • "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works."  (Jacob 4:10)

I can't speak definitively about the origins of the priesthood ban.  As I have said previously (several times), I think the ban was probably the product of 19th-century "racism" rather than revelation.  We don't have a revelation for it.  Joseph Smith ordained several black men to the priesthood.  These and other factors inform my position on this issue.

However, I can't say that this definitively.  There have been, and continue to be, restrictions on priesthood ordination.  I cannot attribute all of these to evil designs of men.  I also cannot attribute them to God having evil motives.  

So the origins of the priesthood ban are a lacuna.  The end of the priesthood ban, however, is plainly and unequivocally revelatory, and for that I am quite grateful and happy.

Thanks,

-Smac

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43 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Imagine looking at a building named after an individual that spent a lifetime serving others and seeing nothing but a demographic: sex and race and nationality. These people that have buildings named after them spent their entire lives in service to God and to humanity. Why can’t these individuals see that?

If I remember my Shakespeare, it probably has something to do with the notion that "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones."

 

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Because their minds are infected with a very odd illness: a poisonous ideology which renders all white men as mere villains in the tragedy of European imperialism. It appears to be beyond their ability to look beyond a skin color and a moment in the entire lives of these individuals and see nothing but what offends their hypersensitivity. 

One of the lines from the BSU letter reads, "We do not claim that we bear the sins of our forebears but that we bear the responsibility to do better and reconsider how we choose to remember these figures." 

I would point out that BYU isn't the only actor with a "choice" when it comes to remembering these figures. 

And let's be frank: pretty much every white person who was born over a hundred years ago would probably be considered racist by today's standards. Pretty good odds on them being homophobic by today's standards as well. Oh, and if they were men, might as well toss in misogynistic to boot.

Does that mean we can't remember and honor them for all of the good they did? No buildings get to be named after them on the very university they helped to build or preserve? 

Look, it would be one thing if BYU had buildings named after KKK members, Confederate generals, or some other individual whose only claim to fame was their offensive beliefs, words, actions, etc.

If that were the case then fine: swap those out. But I don't think that's the case at BYU. 

When it comes to honoring the legacy of people who lived a long time ago, I think you need to look at their lives in the aggregate and be willing overlook aspects of their lives which we presently find to be objectionable - knowing that we aren't remembering them for the unsavory aspects of their lives, but for the good which they did.

I think I mentioned something like this earlier in the thread, but if you look at our currency it is basically a baseball card collection taken straight from the slaveholder hall of fame. Should we re-issue our currency to be more PC? Should we rename every street, school, building, state!, etc. which has ever been named after Washington, Jefferson, etc. simply because they happened to have owned slaves? 

I think the obvious answer is 'no.' Because, whatever their imperfections (including, but not limited to, owning slaves), they did a tremendous amount of good for our country, and we wouldn't be here without them. 

Same goes for many of those who contributed to the building / maintaining of Brigham Young University. But for their efforts, you wouldn't have a school to be complaining about. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

Slavery can be associated in any economic system.  Socialism and Communism are not exempt.  Some of the worst cases of slavery right now are in North Korea.  Some of American capitalism is tied to slavery today but not slavery in America but other countries like China.  Slavery is about as old as prostitution.  Probably will be around until Christ comes back. 

Yes, it can be associated with any economic system.. And in America's case of slavery, it was intimately connected to it's capitalist economy. In essence, the racism connected to slavery was about taking what belonged to one group of human beings--virtually everything--for one's personal gain. It was more than a feeling about that group, and so is it's persistent impact. And so even now it cannot be repaired by feelings alone.

Edited by Meadowchik

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16 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Yes, it can be associated with any economic system.. And in America's case of slavery, it was intimately connected to it's capitalist economy. In essence, the racism connected to slavery was about taking what belonged to one group of human beings--virtually everything--for one's personal gain. It was more than a feeling about that group, and so is it's persistent impact. And so even now it cannot be repaired by feelings alone.

Please differentiate between how slavery was intimately connected to Capitalism while slavery flourished under monarchs....heck, every other form of economy.

You seem to strain at attaching it to Capitalism when slavery functions in all forms of governments and economies. Is slavery intimately connected to all forms? If so, then there is no such thing as intimately; it is irrelevant. Slavery functions regardless of the economy or government. 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

And spousal abuse exists within some marriages.  That is not an indictment of marriage, though.

It is not an indictment of marriage, but neither does it preclude it (as you seem to think that slavery precludes capitalism or vise versa).  My purpose and point is not to indict capitalism.  I believe slavery could exist in any system that is willing to dehumanize people and view them as commodities.   All the capitalistic principles which you suggest preclude slavery were existent in the ideals and foundation of America.  Our founding Father's believed in those principles and owned slaves.  These founding principles and slavery are demonstrably not mutually exclusive.  They opened the door to capitalism and helped capitalism to thrive in America, but in no way did they preclude slavery.  History demonstrates that they are not "incompatible". 

Again, my point is not to indict capitalism, but more to acknowledge the enduring effects of slavery on American economics. 

Edited by pogi
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

And spousal abuse exists within some marriages.  That is not an indictment of marriage, though.

Well it can very well be an indictment of some marriages. Look at the laws governing marriage at different periods of history, and marriage at one time and place  can be an extremely different legal state than another. Some types of marriage are in a system which disallows property ownership for women, therefore leaving wives with little to no economic power, and therefore leaving them trapped and more vulnerable to abuse.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

There is an ulterior motive to attacking capitalism by tainting it with antebellum slavery.  The advocates of this theory want to abolish capitalism and replace it with socialism/communism.  They are using specious historical arguments about slavery as a pretext for that effort.

"Capitalism" covers a fairly broad swath of economic behaviors.

Why you need to defend a tragic and loathsome version of capitalism is beyond me. How hard is it to say that it was a really bad way for private industry and individuals (ie capitalists) to build wealth?

I don't know why you are viewing an indictment of American slavery's capitalism as an absolute indictment of all forms of capitalism.

Edited by Meadowchik
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7 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Some types of marriage are in a system which disallows property ownership for women, therefore leaving wives with little to no economic power, and therefore leaving them trapped and more vulnerable to abuse.

And let’s not forget legal systems that allow for marital rape.  I also just read that in Egypt where divorce and remarriage is quite common, that any children a woman has from previous marriages no longer can live with her once she remarries. This could discourage women from getting divorces or remarrying if they desire to be involved in their children’s lives, even when husbands are abusive, marry additional wives without informing them, etc. 

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16 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Please differentiate between how slavery was intimately connected to Capitalism while slavery flourished under monarchs....heck, every other form of economy.

You seem to strain at attaching it to Capitalism when slavery functions in all forms of governments and economies. Is slavery intimately connected to all forms? If so, then there is no such thing as intimately; it is irrelevant. Slavery functions regardless of the economy or government. 

Slavery can be intimately connected to any number of economic systems. Capitalism in general does not preclude it. In the case of American slavery, it was connected to America's capitalism. 

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19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Well it can very well be an indictment of some marriages.

Sure.  But not of the institution itself.

Similarly, corrupted forms of "capitalism" (such as those instances which have allowed slavery to operate) can also be indicted.

19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Why you need to defend a tragic and loathsome version of capitalism is beyond me.

Why you think I have defended "a tragic and loathsome version of capitalism" is beyond me.  I've done no such thing.  Not even close.

19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

How hard is it to say that it was a really bad way for private industry and individuals (is capitalists) to build wealth?

Huh?  Why do you think I would disagree with that?

19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I don't know why you are viewing an indictment of American slavery's capitalism as an absolute indictment of all forms of capitalism.

You were the one issuing wholesale denunciations of "capitalism."

  • "In terms of America history, racism is wrapped up in its capitalism. The ownership and exploitation of Black bodies to build wealth came first. Racism was the rationale used to continue it."
  • "Do you think that American slavery was not intertwined with capitalism? Are you saying that slavery was not used to build wealth in the United States?"
  • "Slavery was enabled by capitalism."

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

It is not an indictment of marriage, but neither does it preclude it (as you seem to think that slavery precludes capitalism or vise versa).  

No, that's not what I think.  Abuse within marriage is not a problem to be attributed to the institution of marriage itself, and is instead attributable to a misuse/distortion of the institution.

5 minutes ago, pogi said:

My purpose and point is not to indict capitalism. 

Okay.  That seems to be Meadhowchik's purpose and point (though I am open to correction on that).

5 minutes ago, pogi said:

I believe slavery could exist in any system that is willing to dehumanize people and view them as commodities.

Sure.  Just like abuse can exist in a marriage.  That speaks to the flaws of the individual, and not an indictment of the institution itself.

And again, I think capitalism is inherently incompatible with slavery.

5 minutes ago, pogi said:

All the capitalistic principles which you suggest preclude slavery were existent in the ideals and foundation of America.  Our founding Father's believed in those principles and owned slaves.  These founding principles and slavery are demonstrably not mutually exclusive. 

Sure seems like it.  What is the statue of slavery in the United States?

5 minutes ago, pogi said:

They opened the door to capitalism and helped capitalism to thrive in America, but in no way did they preclude slavery.  History demonstrates that they are not "incompatible". 

I quite disagree.  History demonstrates that capitalism and slavery were incompatible, as evidenced by . . . the extinguishment of slavery 150+ years ago.

5 minutes ago, pogi said:

Again, my point is not to indict capitalism, but more to acknowledge thee slave seed money which helped industrialization and capitalism to thrive and become an early economic force. 

Okay.

Thanks,

-Smac

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6 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Slavery can be intimately connected to any number of economic systems. Capitalism in general does not preclude it. In the case of American slavery, it was connected to America's capitalism. 

We have got to be talking past one another. I don't understand your use of the term intimately connected to any number, or all, economic systems. 

Company A makes soap in Europe and sells it in the United States. Company B makes cars and also sells them in the United States. Are both soap and cars intimately connected to our economic system? No. Having a product to sell does not make it intimately connected to any economic system. Selling goods are a function in economic systems.  I don't understand how they are intimately connected to any of them. Using these examples given, soap and cars are sold in all economic systems; they are ubiquitous. If they are ubiquitous, I don't see how they can be intimately connected to any economic system because there is no difference other than they are sold everywhere.  The mere fact that something is sold in an economic system does not make it connected to that system. If that were so, all goods would need to be identified as "connected" or "intimately connected" to all economic systems.  That just does not make sense to me. 

I think what you might be trying to say is that the selling of slaves had a major impact on the US economy. If so, having a major impact is....having a major impact. If something is intimately connected to the system, then it must continue to exist or the system fails. That did not happen in the US or any other nation to my knowledge. 

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

We have got to be talking past one another. I don't understand your use of the term intimately connected to any number, or all, economic systems. 

Company A makes soap in Europe and sells it in the United States. Company B makes cars and also sells them in the United States. Are both soap and cars intimately connected to our economic system? No. Having a product to sell does not make it intimately connected to any economic system. Selling goods are a function in economic systems.  I don't understand how they are intimately connected to any of them. Using these examples given, soap and cars are sold in all economic systems; they are ubiquitous. If they are ubiquitous, I don't see how they can be intimately connected to any economic system because there is no difference other than they are sold everywhere.  The mere fact that something is sold in an economic system does not make it connected to that system. If that were so, all goods would need to be identified as "connected" or "intimately connected" to all economic systems.  That just does not make sense to me. 

I think what you might be trying to say is that the selling of slaves had a major impact on the US economy. If so, having a major impact is....having a major impact. If something is intimately connected to the system, then it must continue to exist or the system fails. That did not happen in the US or any other nation to my knowledge. 

Currency is also intimately connected to many economics systems. Slavery was intimately connected to the American capitalism of its day. Bonds were issued where the collateral was enslaved people. The US government ensured that land was cheap, which is by definition a less capitalist aspect of the economy then. What was more capitalistic, however, was the slave trade. We can argue then, that during this period, slavery was more connected to capitalism as a commodity than land.

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7 hours ago, smac97 said:

Sure.  But not of the institution itself.

Similarly, corrupted forms of "capitalism" (such as those instances which have allowed slavery to operate) can also be indicted.

Why you think I have defended "a tragic and loathsome version of capitalism" is beyond me.  I've done no such thing.  Not even close.

Huh?  Why do you think I would disagree with that?

You were the one issuing wholesale denunciations of "capitalism."

  • "In terms of America history, racism is wrapped up in its capitalism. The ownership and exploitation of Black bodies to build wealth came first. Racism was the rationale used to continue it."
  • "Do you think that American slavery was not intertwined with capitalism? Are you saying that slavery was not used to build wealth in the United States?"
  • "Slavery was enabled by capitalism."

Thanks,

-Smac

No, I was not denouncing capitalism wholesale. I was very specifically talking about a specific nation and time period, which of course is not a universal expression of capitalism. It looks like you saw one word and just got extremely fixated on it. 

I think this is an example of how looking at events in a hyper-ideological lens can make it almost impossible to talk about and think about what actually happened. This is unfortunate.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Ahab said:

At one time God didn't want anyone to be a priest unless that person was male and a descendant of Aaron, Moses's brother.  You can try to make a big deal about that now if you want to.

I have no clue why you think this is somehow a helpful comparison.  Out of one side of the mouth it appears, members will say, "the members and leaders were products of their day, they simply couldn't escape the racial prejudices that drowned them". On that I agree.  But out of the other side of the mouth members will say, "well God does limit his blessings to certain people...He did it millennia ago and so it makes sense He decided to use race as a means to discriminate who should He bless and who should He not".  

It's almost as if members have to accept a notion that racial discrimination was something God wanted to have happen, so He could safely institute the priesthood ban.  Again out of the two sides of the mouth thing--"on the one hand God was limiting His truths acquiescing to the biases and privileges of the white people, because, well, they were the purveyors of Christianity"  and then saying "God was never and is adamantly opposed to racial injustice".  

Again, what Blue Dreams said makes a lot of sense to me--we're stuck because the defensiveness, often revealed in two-sides of the mouth reasoning, shuts down the conversation and ends any way forward.  

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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I have no clue why you think this is somehow a helpful comparison.  Out of one side of the mouth it appears, members will say, "the members and leaders were products of their day, they simply couldn't escape the racial prejudices that drowned them". On that I agree.  But out of the other side of the mouth members will say, "well God does limit his blessings to certain people...He did it millennia ago and so it makes sense He decided to use race as a means to discriminate who should He bless and who should He not".  

It's almost as if members have to accept a notion that racial discrimination was something God wanted to have happen, so He could safely institute the priesthood ban.  Again out of the two sides of the mouth thing--"on the one hand God was limiting His truths acquiescing to the biases and privileges of the white people, because, well, they were the purveyors of Christianity"  and then saying "God was never and is adamantly opposed to racial injustice".  

Again, what Blue Dreams said makes a lot of sense to me--we're stuck because the defensiveness, often revealed in two-sides of the mouth reasoning, shuts down the conversation and ends any way forward.  

When we don't know all of the details such as on an issue like this, and when God hasn't revealed enough details to us so that we can understand the issue, then all we can do is speculate to try to come up with some reasonable hypotheses.  God his limited his blessings to certain particular groups of people in the past, therefore, he could reasonably do so again and may still be doing that now.  ALSO, members and leaders of the Church were products of their day and simply could not escape the racial prejudices that drowned them, therefore, they could have been the ones to choose who to share God's blessings with, including choosing who to ordain to priesthood offices.  This whole "race" thing is something us mortals have come up with on our own, ya know.  We're all members of the same race, the so-called "human race", and yet we each have ideas that conflict with the ideas of others of us.  We're not all in agreement about everything.  We never have been.  So why act surprised or make a big deal when we don't agree on issues like this?

Edited by Ahab

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19 hours ago, smac97 said:

And spousal abuse exists within some marriages.  That is not an indictment of marriage, though.

In a sense, I suppose so.

Have you ever heard of George Fitzhugh?  From Wikipedia:

With this context, let's take a look at this article by Phillip Magness: The Anti-Capitalist Ideology of Slavery:

Fitzhugh seemed to find "the free market" antithetical with the continuation of slavery.

So what did Fitzhugh, and avowed and widely-known and -regarded advocate of slavery, think of capitalism?

Well, yeah.  That is a conundrum.  If slavery in the South was "capitalistic," why did Fitzhugh find its greates threat in "the free market economic doctrines of Europe?"  Why would he be so opposed to Adam Smith, etc.?

5% v. 50%.  Potato, po-tah-to.

And America's current "economic powerhouse" status is to be attributed to that 5% that ended in 1860?  Why?

Yep.  There is an ulterior motive to attacking capitalism by tainting it with antebellum slavery.  The advocates of this theory want to abolish capitalism and replace it with socialism/communism.  They are using specious historical arguments about slavery as a pretext for that effort.

"Capitalism" covers a fairly broad swath of economic behaviors.

There it is again.  Socialists/communists are hoping to persuade Americans that "capitalism" is evil so that they will turn against it in favor of . . . socialism/communism.

Yeah.  Kinda weird.  If NHC thinks slavery is bad, why are they taking a position about 180 degrees opposite from Fitzhugh?  He hated free market capitalism, which he saw (rightly, as it turns out) as a threat to a slavery-based economy.  

Again, very strange that the people who purport to be opposed to slavery as a great moral ill are expressing that opposition by attacking capitalism, which Fitzhugh viewed as incompatible with slavery.

Here's where it gets interesting:

Fitzhugh, champion of justifying slavery in the antebellum South, was taking his cues on vilifying capitalism from . . . Karl Marx.  The father of socialism/communism.

This was not, I think, happenstance or coincidence.  See here:

As depraved and corrupt as I find socialism/communism, at least Marx did not predicate it as a slave-based alternative to capitalism.  Fitzhugh, however, did.

(Emphasis added.)

Modern scholars are loathe to give credit to Christians like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, who championed the abolition of slavery as a moral and religious and humanitarian and Christian concern.  They are also largely immunized from the free market, tenured hacks that they they are, and so are free to lambaste the very economic system that funds their lavish lifestyles.

Stephen Davies has some interesting comments about slavery and capitalism:

Abolition and capitalism shared a "common intellectual basis?"

Slavery was dismantled by abolitionists who were motivated by that "intellectual basis" and by religious sentiment (Wilberforce, et al)?

Such things really don't fit the narrative espoused by those hoping to push us away from capitalism (and religion) and toward socialism/communism.

Thanks,

-Smac

Great points. What continues to amaze me is how the Left and those who espouse its concepts, in complete ignorance, run to embrace that ignorance in order to spout drivel about Capitalism and slavery. How gullible are people?  Gullible enough to remain totally ignorant as long as they can hold to their narrative about bad white man and bad Capitalism. 

And the idiots that dream up this malarkey reside in institutions of "higher learning" (an oxymoron if there has ever been one). They spout it long enough that others begin to believe it.  

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18 hours ago, smac97 said:

Sure.  But not of the institution itself.

Similarly, corrupted forms of "capitalism" (such as those instances which have allowed slavery to operate) can also be indicted.

Capitalism in various forms has existed for millenia and most of those capitalist societies had some form of slavery. Chattel slavery started to go away with the advent of industrialization which did not work well with slave labor. The League of Nations stamped out most of what was left (one of its positive legacies) though it persists in a few areas. Cotton was one of the last industries that profited heavily from the practice so it stuck around where it was being grown. It was not a purely moral decision in the North or the South. It was practical. In a capitalist society slavery flourishes where it is profitable (surprise, surprise). Other questionable forms of exploitation that border on slavery flourished after the end of chattel slavery. You had the union busters preventing workers from organizing (a constitutionally protected practice), you had the company store model to redirect employee wages back, and other forms that could, in extreme cases, border on serfdom (sharecroppers). The current exploitation is more to pull from the public generally (usually the government).

Capitalist business owners have full-time jobs that do not provide enough to live on and expect government to make up the difference by subsidizing their employees with housing, food, and medical care. They reap the benefit and dodge the cost. In a pure capitalist society those jobs would not exist. You could argue it is a loose serfdom where they outsource the costs of their employees to taxpayers. The history of the current protests leads back to police departments which were largely formed to outsource the security costs of established businesses and the labor costs of union busting to the government. Businesses (especially those above a certain size) also currently practice socialism amongst themselves by arguing they are "too big to fail" or whatever and insist on bailouts or subsidies or tax breaks or whatever because we need them. Capitalism says we should let them die out because they failed. The current US system is socialism for "important" businesses and a "sink or swim" free market for the masses. Can we really be surprised that the masses want in on that kind of a deal? If we want capitalism we have to actually practice capitalism and we don't start with food stamps. We start with the corn lobby and we let banks fail and we start severely punishing companies that violate the law to the point of nationalizing the worst offenders who buy their way out of their sins with relatively paltry fines (looking at you pharmaceuticals industry). We can't stay in this halfway spot forever. It will eventually collapse or end in revolution.

Also, your stark dichotomy of capitalism vs. socialism is a myth. Neither has (according to our historical record at least) ever existed. There are also more explicit in between states like market socialism, syndicalism, and all the other European countries straddling the line you did not mention as socialist because they are in between. You also talk about corruption but corruption implies there was some kind of pure Ur-Capitalism we dissented from. The earliest free market supporters figured the best way to address a surplus in the labor supply was death by starvation to rebalance the economy. There was also a lot of slavery in those early societies. Capitalism has done a lot of good. It has also shown that if it is unchecked it can be a monster. It is agnostic on slavery and generally amoral.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, smac97 said:

I quite disagree.  History demonstrates that capitalism and slavery were incompatible, as evidenced by . . . the extinguishment of slavery 150+ years ago.

 

 

It is still around. We also did not extinguish it at the end of the Civil War. Sharecropping was a form of serfdom and southern prisons were leasing out their black inmates as slaves almost before the ink was dry on the amendment abolishing chattel slavery. It was not a "one and done" deal. Also, capitalism did not start in 1861. Slavery began in the colonies because it was profitable under capitalism and grew out of the also despicable practice of indentured servitude because it was inefficient to let your coerced labor go. By your logic shouldn't it never have started under capitalism? 

Edited by The Nehor
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

It is still around.

No, it's not.  Not legally anyway.

Quote

We also did not extinguish it at the end of the Civil War. Sharecropping was a form of serfdom and southern prisons were leasing out their black inmates as slaves almost before the ink was dry on the amendment abolishing chattel slavery. It was not a "one and done" deal.

In principle we did.  Fully abolishing it took a while.

Quote

Also, capitalism did not start in 1861. Slavery began in the colonies because it was profitable under capitalism and grew out of the also despicable practice of indentured servitude because it was inefficient to let your coerced labor go. By your logic shouldn't it never have started under capitalism? 

Pretty much.  The same can be said for the Constitution's treatment of blacks.  What it did (originally) was at variance with what it should have done, with its underlying principles and philosophy.  Fortunately, over time we revised and improved it to more better adhere to those principles.  

The same, I think, can be said with contemporary American capitalism.  It has evolved and improved over time.  And thank goodness for that.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Apparently in response to the George Floyd issue, the mayor of Salt Lake ordered some policy changes for the police department:

Quote

The mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah is implementing new reforms for the city’s police department amid demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall signed an executive order Monday, which will require the city’s police chief to enforce several policy changes. The order affects the police department’s policies regarding search and seizure, police body cameras and the use of force.

“While our policy currently requires that an officer find it reasonable to believe that a person will use a weapon to harm someone, an officer must now determine that deadly force is necessary and the threat of death or serious bodily injury is imminent,” stated Mendenhall. “Necessary and imminent will be carefully defined in our new policy.”

Officers will also be expected to stop other officers who are about to use illegal or excessive force. The Salt Lake City Police Department is expected to enact the new policy changes by next month.

Hmm.  I'll be interested to see how this pans out, and how experts in law enforcement feel about it.  I'm not sure what "necessary and imminent" means.  The practical effect will likely be less use of deadly force.  And that will be celebrated in some instances, and the source of outrage in others (such as when an innocent is killed because police, though on site, felt constrained from using deadly force until it was too late).

I like the idea of imposing on officers the affirmative duty "to stop other officers who are about to use illegal or excessive force."  

Thanks,

-Smac

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