Ch 01 Tribes and Legions

The Institution of Slavery

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A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF ENGLAND

ADDITION TO CH 1

THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY

FROM SCIENCE IN HISTORY by JD BERNAL

THE ILL EFFECTS OF SLAVERY, WHICH DOG THE WORLD TO THIS DAY, GOES BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF RIVER CULTURES.

IN THE DAYS OF HUNTING OR EARLY AGRICULTURE THERE WAS  LITTLE SURPLUS.

A WORKING MAN DID LITTLE MORE THAN EARN HIS KEEP.

PRISONERS WERE TAKEN IN INTER TRIBAL FEUDS, AND IF THEY ESCAPED SACRIFICE THEY WERE ADOPTED; THERE WAS NO POINT IN ENSLAVING THEM.

IN 'CIVILIZED' COUNTRIES, ON THE OTHER HAND,AN AGRICULTURAL LABOURER COULD PRODUCE FAR MORE THAN IT COST TO KEEP HIM.

THIS MADE THE TAKING AND USING OF SLAVES AN ATTRACTIVE PROPOSITION.

SLAVE RAIDING FROM OTHER CITIES, OR MORE EASILY AND PROFITABLY, FROM BARBARIANS,SOON BECAME THE ACCEPTED PRACTICE.

THE FULL DEVELOPMENT OF SLAVE BASED AGRICULTURE CAME WITH THE IRON AGE, BUT BY THE BEGINNING OF THE BRONZE AGE IT HAD STARTED TO EXERCISE ITS ILL EFFECTS ON CIVILISATION.

THE POLITICAL ILL EFFECTS OF SLAVERY WERE OFTEN MORE IMMEDIATELY DISASTROUS.

SCIENCE AVAILABLE TO THE UPPER CLASS WAS CUT FROM THE PROBLEMS FOUND IN THE TRADES.

THE MORE A CITY DEPENDED ON SLAVES, OR LATER AS MERCENARY SOLDIERS, THE LESS IT WAS ABLE TO LOOK TO ITS OWN DEFENCE, AND THE MORE LIKELY WERE THE BARBARIANS AND ESCAPED SLAVES TO BE ACQUAINTED WITH THEM.

IN THE SAME WAY A SLAVE SOCIETY DEBASED THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL POSITION OF WOMEN.

INDEED, THE POSITION OF THE WIVES AND DAUGHTERS OF GREEK CITIZENS WAS FAR WORSE THAN THAT OF OLDER CIVILISATIONS.

THEY WERE PRECLUDED FROM TAKING PART IN PUBLIC LIFE AND WERE LITTLE BETTER THAN DOMESTIC SLAVES.

AS A RESULT, ALL DOMESTIC WORK, WHICH INCLUDED FAR MORE ARTS THAN ITS DOES NOW, SUCH AS WEAVING,THE PREPARATION OF SIMPLE REMEDIES,AND PAINTINGS, WAS BENEATH THE CONCERN OF A PHILOSOPHER, WHOSE WORK WAS DRAWN MAINLY FROM CRAFTSMEN SKILLS.  

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