Human rights, slavery and the West

Iconoclasm has been a feature throughout history as revolutionary fervour – religious, secular, ethnic and cultural – grows to a climax and a frenzy of destruction occurs, harming those most disadvantaged.

In the present case – driven by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, but catalysed by the murder of George Floyd by a policeman – the toppling of statues of the long dead won’t lead to improved living standards. It is clear from a study of history that only peaceful protests result in significant gains for the disadvantaged and dispossessed. Violent and destructive protests alienate the majority of the population.

The fervour finds force because of hubris – the poorly educated protesters (including many ABC employees) consider themselves morally pure. But humans are by nature good and bad in varying mixtures which can change over a person’s lifetime. All figures in history are flawed; what we celebrate are those whose goodness is much greater than their badness. Or those who are reformed and redeemed and pursue good works in penance or to expiate their past bad behaviour (note it is the pursuit of good works – often quietly – that is the virtue, not the public signalling of virtue which is itself a sin). Would protesters think that all prisoners are forsaken, unable to be redeemed or rehabilitated? That is implicit in their rejection of many flawed but great humans.

The great irony is that the whole concept of human rights is found in western civilisation and no where else. It was the west which first conceived a State without slavery, which still persists in some countries around the world. It is the west which allows people to migrate, irrespective of their religion, race, culture or nationality. It is the west which is the beacon for hope and higher living standards. The figures that the iconoclasts are pulling down are among a long line of thinkers and doers who have advanced western civilisation, sometimes imperfectly, but always with a broad view of human rights.

For this we should be celebrating western civilisation, which is the only way in which the peoples of the world can live in freedom, prosperity and peace. And let us be thankful that it is British enlightenment thinking that was brought to this continent – without slavery even if individuals and groups acted abominably. After western settlement, the State never sanctioned slavery in Australia. The archaeological record is too sparse to determine whether slavery existed prior to western settlement in Australia, but it clearly did in most countries around the world.

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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32 Responses to Human rights, slavery and the West

  1. Jannie

    catalysed by the murder of George Floyd by a policeman

    It was not murder. If he is charged with murder he will not be convicted and will walk free. English Law, part of Western civilisation, recognises degrees of homicide and if the prosecution overreaches it fails.

  2. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “but catalysed by the murder of George Floyd by a policeman”

    That is just plain glib, your “murder” description. There are other things to emerge from this Minneapolis thing, in which the overweight drugged up known criminal – five times serving jail terms in the past twenty years, a couple or four times more served during his teenage – died. The USA does still observe civilised legal processes and the cops are entitled to that.

    Now the savages might have convinced you otherwise but then that would make you a fool. Why would you believe someone who is so primitive as to destroy the society which provides the food and shelter to the people of black colour who are too lazy to get up off their clackers and pursue opportunity themselves?

  3. 2dogs

    The archaeological record is too sparse to determine whether slavery existed prior to western settlement in Australia

    The common pattern was for slavery to develop as soon as a civilisation developed agriculture – it is impractical for hunter-gatherers to keep slaves. So the Gunditjmara eel farmers may have had them, but it is unlikely they existed elsewhere.

  4. A Lurker

    I’d add that freedom is a new and modern phenomenon. People have been enslaved for most of human history, including white Europeans.

    A new study suggests that a million or more European Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780 – a far greater number than had ever been estimated before.

    In a new book, Robert Davis, professor of history at Ohio State University, developed a unique methodology to calculate the number of white Christians who were enslaved along Africa’s Barbary Coast, arriving at much higher slave population estimates than any previous studies had found.

    Most other accounts of slavery along the Barbary coast didn’t try to estimate the number of slaves, or only looked at the number of slaves in particular cities, Davis said. Most previously estimated slave counts have thus tended to be in the thousands, or at most in the tens of thousands. Davis, by contrast, has calculated that between 1 million and 1.25 million European Christians were captured and forced to work in North Africa from the 16th to 18th centuries.

    This is not slavery during the classical times of Greece and Rome, but in comparatively modern times. How many people know about it? How many schools and universities teach it? It is part of the true history of the West that remains unspoken and unmourned because it doesn’t fit the narratives of the Marxist Left.

  5. Alan

    Interesting video. The privilege they erased from history.
    It seems Leftists always lie.

  6. Lurks

    WTF; we are all slaves…. one way or the other.
    Apart that is, from those lay about phuckers that exist to bludge, complain and condemn.

    The term slave is a misnomer….
    All those seasonal workers and immigrants are the modern day version of the old black birders.
    Bought in and employed for lesser wages to do the work that the higher echelons of society are not prepared to do.

  7. Iampeter

    This is the Cat. Most people here support “The West” only by believing it to be a Christian version of Saudi Arabia and/or outright condemn the Enlightenment.
    Sadly there’s not really an audience for your post.

  8. Anonandon

    Off topic but the ABC whining has hit a fever pitch. Jesus H Christ. And none of it is directed at their own management.

  9. Anonandon

    I’d also be interested in how much of the ABC funding goes to defined benefits for retired employees.

  10. Mother Lode

    What I noticed is how swiftly the campaign against the violence of a police officer against a stoned crook who, in this case, happened to be black, has grown into the guilt of all white people.

    It is almost as if that was the campaign all along – people who already blamed white people for everything looking for an event to attach it to.

    They have not taken Floyd’s death and expanded its significance – they restrained themselves when blaming police and have since merely removed all checks on their hatred.

  11. Bruce

    Floyd was not “murdered”. He was essentially “a dead man walking” which is why he said, “I can’t breathe”.

    Heart disease and a LOT of poor “lifestyle choices”, (interesting pharmaceuticals), a rap-sheet as long as your arm, etc., saw to that. Given that he and Chauvin worked together regularly, it all seems a bit odd. Chauvin (and Floyd) may have been mixed up in something “creative”, given the political milieu of the place, but Floyd was probably well on his way out before he hit the ground.

    This whole affair is a shining example of the Rahm Emanuel principle: “Never let a crisis go to waste”.

    A “principle”, apparently first publicly used by the former Obama staffer during the 2008 financial crisis.

    Back in late March this year, Emanuel again said, “Never allow a crisis to go to waste. Start planning for the future. This has to be the last pandemic that creates an economic depression. We’re going to have more pandemics, but this has to be the last economic depression.”

    Bear in mind that the Emanuel definition of “planning for the future” revolves around massively expanded government intrusions and hugely expanded taxation.

  12. Mother Lode

    The common pattern was for slavery to develop as soon as a civilisation developed agriculture – it is impractical for hunter-gatherers to keep slaves.

    That is my instinct also. The purpose of slaves is their labour and involves controlling their movement, and the goal of a slave will be to escape. Hunter-gatherer lifestyle is not really compatible, and the subsistence life means a slave would be consuming what food they produced.

    Besides, they had their women as beasts of burden.

  13. Mother Lode

    The fervour finds force because of hubris – the poorly educated protesters (including many ABC employees) consider themselves morally pure.

    They are also blissfully unaware that there has been a constant stream of shouty activists since the 60’s. Do they recognise or acknowledge any of their achievements? While exhorting the virtues of their movement and leaders do they notice that the past movements and leaders have faded into oblivion?

    They can work great destruction in the meantime, like the progress of glaciers, and when the glacier has passed, melted and evaporated, all that is left is crushed boulders and ice-scored crevasses.

    Germaine Greer’s thinking is too binary. The hippies who dropped out were too passive. The old Marxists were not environmentally aware. They are not damned by the current mob. They are unknown because because their supposed struggles are not connected to the current supposed struggle.

    Every revolutionary thinks that, come the revolution, they will be one of the leader caste – they never imagine themselves overthrowing the system to become a factory worker. And every activist swept up in the cause thinks this is the first time in history people have been moved to lash out at society.

  14. Struth

    This from Luscious, grand talk ……unfortunately your lack of support for the west and those that have fought for it, and are still doing so, has long been noted.

    Narrating your own demise as if it is happening to others is a sad trait on the right.

  15. Roger

    In the present case – driven by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, but catalysed by the murder of George Floyd by a policeman …

    The charge is murder; it is yet to be proven.

    The presumption of innocence is one of those rights you seek to defend.

  16. Hay Stockard

    Iampeter,
    Speak for yourself you loser.

  17. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3499485, posted on June 30, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Poor old conceited stupid ignorant Iamashiteater, so utterly incapable of learning anything about history, philosophy, law or anything else.

    But what can one expect from someone who proclaimed that FW Maitland was wrong about the basis for the common law, but has been utterly incapable of addressing any of the evidence Maitland actually referred to in The Constitutional History of England?

  18. A Lurker

    I put up a comment earlier which ended up in the moderation bin because of the ‘M’ word. However, history isn’t easily silenced, so here is the link again, but without the offending ‘M’ word.

    It deals with the slavers of the North African Barbary Coast and the lucrative trade of European Christians.

    It is a subject that is almost forgotten. Ask any school or university student and I doubt that they’d have any knowledge of it because it doesn’t advance the Leftist narrative of evil whitey.

  19. Kneel

    “…the toppling of statues of the long dead…”

    They want to remove the Lincoln statue – because “racist”.

    1) Lincoln signed the emancipation declaration
    2) that particular statue (Lincoln + a black man on one knee) was actually paid for by ex-slaves of their own free will as a “thank you” for their freedom.
    3) In reality, it attempts to depict a slave being freed and rising from his knees to embrace his newfound freedom.

    Could they be any more ignorant of their own history? A statue that their own people paid for to celebrate their freedom from slavery and honour the man who helped provide it is to be destroyed because it’s racist.
    Morons.

  20. Iampeter

    Iampeter,
    Speak for yourself you loser.

    I’m sure if I was wrong you could easily demonstrate it.
    Looks like I hit the mark.

    @Tim – I see you’re back to rant and rave some more. I’ve missed you, crazy internet person.

    But what can one expect from someone who proclaimed that FW Maitland was wrong about the basis for the common law, but has been utterly incapable of addressing any of the evidence Maitland actually referred to in The Constitutional History of England?

    He sure is wrong. Christianity is obviously not the source of common law. To even suggest otherwise means that you don’t know what Christianity or common law are fundamentally about. Not to mention that you don’t know the history either.
    In any case, this is irrelevant since Western civilization isn’t fundamentally about common law anyway.
    And this is ALSO irrelevant because it does nothing to address what you’re responding to in this thread.

    A classic, irrelevant and wrong, Tim Neilson response. Bravo.

  21. Tim Neilson

    He sure is wrong. Christianity is obviously not the source of common law. To even suggest otherwise means that you don’t know what Christianity or common law are fundamentally about. Not to mention that you don’t know the history either.

    Conceit! Stupidity! Ignorance! Iamashiteater is as reliable as the rising of the sun.
    Once again zero facts, zero logic, just unsubstantiated and utterly false assertions, excreted onto the blog in the belief that even though he’s 100% ignorant about the subject he somehow knows more than FW Maitland.

    Where did you get your supposed knowledge of Christianity?
    Where did you get your supposed knowledge of the common law?
    Where did you get your supposed knowledge of the relevant history?

    Answer to all three questions is “nowhere, because the conceited stupid ignorant turd is 100% ignorant of all of them, which is why he can’t address any of Maitland’s actual evidence”.

    And poor old irrational fool Iamashiteater claims it’s “irrelevant” to his bloviation about “the West” and Christianity to point out his megalomaniac wrongology on the relationship between Christianity and the common law – he attempts to justify that stupidity by his utterly ludicrous logical error inverting the relevant relationship between western civilisation and the common law.
    What an intellectual failure.

  22. Hay Stockard

    Iampeter,
    My mistake.
    I should have said speak for yourself you delusional loser.

  23. Iampeter

    Iampeter,
    My mistake.
    I should have said speak for yourself you delusional loser.

    You’re still mistaken and kinda proving my point too.

    Where did you get your supposed knowledge of Christianity?
    Where did you get your supposed knowledge of the common law?
    Where did you get your supposed knowledge of the relevant history?

    Irrelevant questions, to which any answer wouldn’t have anything to do with what you’re responding to anyway, are not examples of facts and logic.

    What an intellectual failure.

    Well, let’s see, you don’t know what Christianity is about, you don’t know what the West is about and you’re randomly bringing up questions re the source of common law for some reason. You also get the source of common law wrong, because you don’t know what that’s about either, but even if you didn’t get it wrong, it still has nothing to do with what you were originally responding to anyway.
    So, everything you’ve said is both wrong and – more importantly – irrelevant to what you were responding to anyway.

    You’re totally right. I can’t compete with this level of genius. I suspect no one can.

  24. Nob

    Bruce
    #3499495, posted on June 30, 2020 at 8:04 am
    Floyd was not “murdered”. He was essentially “a dead man walking” which is why he said, “I can’t breathe

    He said, “I can’t breathe” because that’s what everyone grabbed by the cops says these days.

    Read some cop blogs and educate yourself.

    It’s like kids who yell “ow you’re hurting me!” when their parents try to herd them up at the supermarket.

  25. Ed Case

    The blacks in 1865 aren’t the same blacks in 2020.
    Have a look at the nasty way Nancy Pelosi’s old dad treated Baltimore’s blacks en masse when he was Mayor there 1947 – 59. That happened everywhere.
    That said, it’s not blacks driving BLM, it’s gays, trannies , mooslies, and associated detritus, conducted by the Deep State.

  26. Herodotus

    The Germans used slave labour in the 1940s and the Saudis still do.

  27. Herodotus

    Parts of Asia have “indentured labour” and child labour.

  28. Herodotus

    Some of the women who welcomed the US forces entering Baghdad were escapees from forced domestic service.

  29. Rex Anger

    Trying to mirror your opponents’ tactics to frustrate them and shut them down doesn’t work, IamNotTrollingVeryWellofLate.

    You smear Christians, then refuse to explain yourself when challenged why, then accuse your challengers of not knowing the grounds on which they challenged your eructations about them and their understanding of their own faith, the bases of common law, etc.

    Just remember Petey, the Natural Law on which all aspects of your beloved human rights were founded grew out of Christian belief and thinking on the equality of all men under God.

    Do you ever respond to anyone with anything other than “No, U! Petey?

  30. Iampeter

    Trying to mirror your opponents’ tactics to frustrate them and shut them down doesn’t work, IamNotTrollingVeryWellofLate.

    But I’m not the one doing that.

    You smear Christians, then refuse to explain yourself when challenged why

    I don’t smear Christians and I’ve explained my position plenty of times.

    It’s you who has no positions, which is why all you do is try to criticize me by projection.

    Do you ever respond to anyone with anything other than “No, U!” Petey?

    As with everything else you posted, you’re just describing yourself.

  31. Rex Anger

    Do you ever respond to anyone with anything other than “No, U!” Petey?

    IamClumsily Evasive strikes again. First, IamActuallyaTotalitarian accuses Cats of thinkimg the West of being a theocratic autocracy, then IamRobespierre accuses them of abandoning the Enlighteent and not believing in its values.

    IamABetterProjectionistThanTheWageSlavesAtHoyts then says everyone who challenges him are the inconsistent and foolish ones who know nothing about anything, and cries “Y0uZ r AlL Pr0jEktInk On MeE!!!1!”

    I reiterate my question to IthinkIcanEvadeallAccountabilityForMyActions:

    Do you ever respond to anyone with anything other than “No, U!” Petey?

    And I expand with:

    On what basis do you conflate Christianity (The basis on which your beloved Enlightenment amd Human Rights arise) with I Slam?

  32. The BigBlueCat

    Iampeter
    #3499485, posted on June 30, 2020 at 7:47 am
    This is the Cat. Most people here support “The West” only by believing it to be a Christian version of Saudi Arabia and/or outright condemn the Enlightenment.
    Sadly there’s not really an audience for your post.

    Who here thinks “The West” is a Christian version of Saudi Arabia? Anyone? I mean literally anyone??? If so, why????

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