I just finished a book I should have read decades ago--Uncle Tom's Cabin--and there are a lot of things that I can say about it, starting with the fact that I now know why I didn't get to read it in school. It's the same reason that I didn't get to read Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, and any number of other great works of literature; just "too much religion" for the secular schools. And it's a shame for all of these.
(but of course we did get to see the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, of which I am ashamed to admit that I remember exactly five seconds, and if you're a man, that's the five seconds you remember, too)
OK, that aside, I almost wonder whether Stowe made the wrong argument; while a system of slavery can only be enforced with violence (at least the threat of it), and unaccountable power over the lives of others can only result in barbarism, is that the best argument, or is there another?
A better argument perhaps being "What gives you the right to the rightful wages of your fellow man? What gives you the right to make decisions for your fellow man?" "Losertarian" argument? Yes, but it forces the opponents to argue inalienable rights, and denies them the opportunity--used by Stowe's detractors--of claiming that the atrocities catalogued were due to "bad actors" and not a bad system.
And there are a lot of things we can apply this to. Think about who you can ask; "What gives you the right?"
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4 hours ago