In response to a letter published in the LTE of the Camera on 2009-09-15.
PAUL DOUGAN : “And if you want to stop further Nat Turners, being harsher with the enslaved won`t help. You need to abolish slavery.”
There are two solutions to the problem. More terror or freedom.
The Roman Empire had Spartacus. He terrorized far far more than Nat Turner. The Roman Empire crushed his rebellion and further terrorized the slaves. It was a successful strategy of terror that worked for five hundred years. So, yes, being harsher does help.
Continuing to crush the slaves cost the Roman Empire dearly. Instead of having people who contributed to their society willingly, the Romans had to allocate vast resources to suppress people’s very intense desire to be free. Is it any wonder that Spartacus managed to raise an army of 100,000 slaves; many of them well-trained gladiators (as Spartacus was)?
The enslavement of all those people was part of a “Bread and Circuses” culture that celebrated violence and entitlement. Did the Roman Empire fall when Spartacus failed. No. Rome fell into disarray five hundred years later, which, in turn, led to the Dark Ages.
Our politicians have learned well from the Romans: Give them bread, wine, and circuses (i.e. free stuff) and stay in power.
Would Rome have been far better off not having slaves and a Bread and Circuses (Welfare and Entertainment) culture? This Libertarian thinks so.
This Libertarian knows in his gut that it would be so.
Libertarian Party of Boulder County
Lessons not learned
Apparently, we still don`t grasp the lessons of 9/11. Let`s make an analogy: In 1831, African-American slave Nat Turner gathered some followers and began slaughtering whites, including innocent children. Was Turner a terrorist? Of course: his “justice” was wanton. Still, any reasonable person would see Turner`s terrorism as a function of the institutionalized violence of slavery. And if you want to stop further Nat Turners, being harsher with the enslaved won`t help. You need to abolish slavery.
Today, most Americans are in denial about our foreign policy, preferring a fantasy world of faulty World War II analogies, where we always fight for noble “freedom” and in defense of homeland. In fact, we run an empire. We wouldn`t tolerate another nation`s military on our soil, yet our over 700 military bases circle the globe. With other Western nations, we also dominate underdeveloped nations politically and economically. We have in effect created an international plantation where billions are born into debt to Western bankers and remain so their entire lives. For an insider`s account of how this international “plantation” operates, see John Perkins` Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
No one likes being on the receiving end of empire; if you dominate, humiliate and exploit another person or nation, they will hate you, and want to hurt you. As President Carter`s former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski pointed out, our modern Nat Turner, Osama bin Laden, became violently anti-American due to the construction of U.S. military bases in his native Saudi Arabia. So, it`s not so much that these anti-American terrorists want to conquer us as it is that they want us to stop conquering them.
As the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass pointed out, slave masters never slept well, fearing slave violence. So, if we want to stop anti-American terrorism, let`s end American empire. Let`s abolish our master-servant relationship with the majority of humanity; let us free our slaves.