Monday, December 21, 2009

Ever hear of this guy? (3)

George Fitzhugh was a person who was born in Virginia in 1806, who died in 1881, and who was a staunch defender of slavery. He probably is going to want to make you want to hurl. But, hey, is Limbaugh or Beck any different?

(By the way, this stuff about little-known 19th-Century folks comes from Professor Joseph K. Kobylka of Southern Methodist University, and is so abbreviated by me that he bears no blame.)

Fitzhugh didn't buy the liberal, Declaration-of-Independence stuff about individual liberty, but instead thought that society must always be based on class distinctions, for without them society must descend into chaos and anarchy. He thought slaves were secure, well-fed, and well off because their master viewed them as property, and so took good care of them. Unlike, he said, capitalists who really didn't care if their workers or their families had enough to eat, as long as they showed up for work in the morning.

Hey, people are cannibals who would eat each other, unless class distinctions prevented it!

So force, not some idealistic "all-men-are-created-equal" drivel, is necessary to keep society safe. After all, in some sense, slaves are the most happy and free people in the world! Don't let "mass rule," (democracy) mess this up.

Of course, democracy messes things up. But as we never tire of telling ourselves, any other system messes things up a lot more. (Fitzhugh did not have to go through the 20th Century, but I'm not sure that excuses him of a hell of a lot.)

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