Slavery and Proto-Socialist Thought

Slavery and Proto-Socialist Thought

Since the American Civil War almost 150 years ago, slavery has been painted as a indelible, perpetual wrong in the history of a fledgling nation. Racked with liberal guilt, America has never shown it is truly comfortable delving through the counter-cultures and its voices of movements that are universally diagnosed as 'a good thing'. Such is doubtlessly the case of the proslavery voices the perforated not just the south, but the north as well. We grow up inundated with anti-slavery ideas, a universal north embodied by the imagery of a stoic Abraham Lincoln leading the north through in the name of equality. This leaves a great deal of the fact left ...

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in the north, and Fitzhugh, a southern social theorist, are on opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to slavery, yet both present a similar tone against the Northern capitalist tradition, one far more directly than the other.
When looking at Fitzhugh, it is impossible not notice how quick in his work to draw a correlation between traditional slavery, where a person is out and out sold to another on an auction block in exchange for money, to the North's capitalist servitude where one signs a contract, thusly accomplishing something not dissimilar in nature;

"Soldiers and sailors in Europe enlist for life; here, for five years. Are they not slaves who have not only sold their liberties, but their lives also? And they are worst treated than domestic slaves. No domestic affection and self-interest extend their aegis over them. No kind mistress, like a guardian, provides for them in health, tends them in sickness, and soothes their dying pillow." (Finkelman, 191)

Here, ...

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who cheapened toil and clamored for a livelihood, competed with her, and she could not thus sustain herself. She was now above no drudgery." (Wilson, 8)
Now we see the cut throat nature of the capitalist system, and in this instance how it utterly destroys the already downtrodden. No matter how low she attempts to charge for her services the nature of the northern society dictates that there will be someone who will do it cheaper. This breakneck country of industry and modernity has left her as a woman devoid of a means of self support. She is taken advantage of by the system not once, but twice, and eventually finds herself so far down in the proverbial bit that she as a white ...

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Slavery and Proto-Socialist Thought. (2012, April 4). Retrieved February 24, 2019, from
"Slavery and Proto-Socialist Thought.", 4 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2019. <>
"Slavery and Proto-Socialist Thought." April 4, 2012. Accessed February 24, 2019.
"Slavery and Proto-Socialist Thought." April 4, 2012. Accessed February 24, 2019.
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Added: 4/4/2012 02:06:57 PM
Submitted By: vhd218
Category: African Studies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1693
Pages: 7

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