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Old 11-25-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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This is more of a "what if" question than anything else. For the last few year, I've been doing business analysis on various things. Last year, I was working in Seattle and I talked to a co-worker about the "what if" of slavery. Could slavery actually really practically exist in modern America? I actually told him that I don't think it can, because the industrial revolution would have eliminated the need for slavery. As machine and argicultural technology started to make it's way, less slaves were needed. Also technology was expensive, but so were slaves. Think about how much it cost to actually keep slaves healthy, fed, and sheltered for their entire lives? You clearly didn't want your slaves to die, because you would have less labor overall, and would have to purchase more. I know slaves had kids, but for the most part, if an adult slave died, then you would have to replace him with another adult slave of similar physical strength.

I think had the Civil War never happened, slavery would have died in America anyway. I just think it would not have made any sense operationally to keep people as slaves. I think with the advances in technology, and the introduction of mass industrialization, it would have made slavery obsolete. Now keep in mind, there was/is cheap labor in the post-industrial world. But it's not nearly the same as slavery. Before people make the comparison between slavery and cheap labor, let's make the distinction.


- Cheap labor in voluntary, slavery is not
-Slaves were slaves for majority of their lives, and couldn't work for other masters unless traded. In cheap labor you do have the option to just quit.


So does anyone believe from a business standpoint that in an alternate world where there was industrialization, but never a civil war, that slavery would still be around today? My personal opinion is that slavery couldn't exist today, because it's not practical. And I know it exist in many other countries around the world, but those places are also far more behind technologically than the USA.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:22 PM
 
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I'd like to agree with you, but illegal share croppers keep coming to my mind. Now I realize this is cheap labor, but it goes further than that sometimes. They house these people in horrible accommodations which they charge them unreasonable rent often times, maintain an on site store where they charge exorbitant costs for goods. This is near slavery to me, and I am sorry to say, that if some of the farms could get away without having to pay them any wages, I don't think some would think twice about it. I do know often times they were treated very badly (because they could get away with it) and worked for near slave wages, when everything else was factored in.

As far as slavery dieing out on it's own merits. I think it would have eventually come to that from an eventual meeting of the minds on moral grounds, as well as less need through industrialization, and a more civilized society. However, abuse and lack of civil rights continued long after slavery was abolished.
America was not always so beautiful.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Atlantis
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The Story of Your Enslavement - YouTube
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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Debt slavery continued legally in the US right until 1942 (it was finally abolished when the Japanese began using it in propaganda during WWII).

As has been mentioned, we certainly see people worked illegally at subsistance wages in subsistance conditions. So there is no reason to believe that slavery would have died out.

The continued existence of slavery would have shaped industrial development. There would be fewer household conveniences, for instance. I saw this when I lived overseas in a couple of Third World countries. When labor is cheap enough, even the actual availability of mechanized devices doesn't necessarily become cost effective.

One thing that was occurring in the South even before the Civil War was the "renting out" of skilled slaves, such as blacksmiths. Own owner who had a slave with a particular skill rented him out to others. This would probably have continued to the present, with slave owners specializing in tasks, such as running rent-a-slave daycare and nanny businesses. Probably catering as well. Oh, yeah, and sex slavery (anyone see episode 2 of "Almost Human?"). As I stop to think of it, the possibilities abound.

The development of moral grounds against slavery took an interesting turn the wrong way in America circa 1800. Up until that point, even slaveholders in the South readily agreed with the rest of the Western world that slavery was immoral. But with the invention of the cotton gin, the South suddenly did an about face.

You can see it in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, where in 1790s he was writing against slavery, but by the early 1800s he was writing to support it.

That was also when Southern Christians began to cook up theological rationales for slavery that had never existed before. Even when other European nations had been heavily involved in the slave trade, they had never proposed theological rationales for it. The Church (both Catholic and Protestant) had steadfastly considered slavery a vice along the same lines as prostitution and rumrunning, until in the South and only in the South were theological rationales concocted.

Last edited by Ralph_Kirk; 11-27-2013 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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Returning to a status where Black are returned to plantations? Nope. But worker's rights being chipped away to the point that the least among us have very bad work conditions? I could see that. Tea Party people don't even like the idea of a minimum wage
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:09 PM
 
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I understand your point. But, I disagree. I believe there is still slavery going on in the US today. There's what people call the underground, or black market. Women and children are kidnapped and taken to live in some horrible living conditions. They are being sold to the highest bidder for sex. If they try to escape, they are beaten, and sometimes even killed. It's a different kind of slavery, but it's slavery non the less.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mszlady View Post
I understand your point. But, I disagree. I believe there is still slavery going on in the US today. There's what people call the underground, or black market. Women and children are kidnapped and taken to live in some horrible living conditions. They are being sold to the highest bidder for sex. If they try to escape, they are beaten, and sometimes even killed. It's a different kind of slavery, but it's slavery non the less.
Some amount of that is even happening with things such as domestic servants.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mszlady View Post
I understand your point. But, I disagree. I believe there is still slavery going on in the US today. There's what people call the underground, or black market. Women and children are kidnapped and taken to live in some horrible living conditions. They are being sold to the highest bidder for sex. If they try to escape, they are beaten, and sometimes even killed. It's a different kind of slavery, but it's slavery non the less.
Yes I considered this point when I wrote my original response, but considered that more in keeping with "criminal behavior" than what the general society would do. I don't think that the general society would partake in the underground sex slave market, so this is a special sub-group that falls under criminal behavior. (along with rape, murder, etc.)

But, I still contend there will always be a certain percentage of unethical, unsavory people in our country (or any country) that might take serious advantage of someone who had no legal support system behind them.
There may be some very ugly people out there, but since it doesn't pertain to society as a whole, you have to isolate it for what it is.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:12 PM
 
17,915 posts, read 9,843,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
Yes I considered this point when I wrote my original response, but considered that more in keeping with "criminal behavior" than what the general society would do. I don't think that the general society would partake in the underground sex slave market, so this is a special sub-group that falls under criminal behavior. (along with rape, murder, etc.)

But, I still contend there will always be a certain percentage of unethical, unsavory people in our country (or any country) that might take serious advantage of someone who had no legal support system behind them.
It's only criminal behavior because slavery is illegal. The point is that there is a market for sex slaves, and sex slavery was a significant portion of slavery in America. All uses of slaves that continue to date are evidence that slavery would have continued until today if it had not been abolished.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,427,088 times
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your post speaks volumns.
what do u mean what if? what do u think those 20 million mexican people are doing? what do u think those thousands of underage girls are doing on the streets at night, for girls their flesh is sold, for men their sweat is sold for pennies on the dollar. u think its a voluntary program????
slavery is not dead friend. americans have no problem with it as long as its not them. the american mind set, if it didnt happen to me it didnt happen.

.
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