Monday, March 30, 2020

Nothing gained: Sowell on Slavery

“To this very moment slavery continues in parts of Africa and the Islamic world. Very little noise is made about it by those who denounce the slavery of the past in the West, because there is no money to be made denouncing it and no political advantages to be gained.”
Possibly Thomas Sowell (I have found this quote widely attributed to Sowell, but I have not been able to locate the source. It may be real but possibly “apocryphal”.) It is certain, however, that he wrote the following, which is his book The Thomas Sowell Reader.
“Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century – and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of the 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there. But who is singled out for scathing criticism today? American leaders of the 18th century.”

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