ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

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Re: Black Panther

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:27 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Wikipedia has an estimated 15% of slaves dying in the Middle Passage.
"An estimated 15%" isn't inconsistent with "nearly 20%".

Incidentally that same Wikipedia article points out, "During the 18th century,... British slavers carried almost 2.5 million [slaves]."

Also an estimated 75% of all people alive in some form of slavery c. 1800.
Chattel slavery on this scale was not common. Pointing out that "some form of slavery" was common doesn't actually refute that point in any way.

It's as if Angua said that steam locomotives were not common in 1830 and you "countered" by pointing out that an estimated 75% of all people had access to some form of non-human-powered transportation.

Estimates of the economic impact on Great Britain range from "less than 1%" to "at the very most possible, under the most favourable assumptions, and assuming there were absolutely no costs involved, up to 5%" of the economy.
Where are you getting these numbers? You put quote marks around them but the longer quote isn't Googleable.

No one else has been talking about just the money exchanged for the transport and purchase of slaves. Cotton in particular has been brought up a couple of times. How much of Britain's economy was related to the textile industry? How much of its cotton came from US slave plantations?

Between cotton and rubber, it's probably very fair to say the Industrial Revolution wouldn't have happened when and where it did without British slavery.

That's a bit more than a 5% impact on the British economy.


If you start playing "what if" then how much cotton would have been produced without slave-labour in British colonies? I've not found anything to back it up, but I came across one source that said cotton production increased following the abolition of slavery (which may have been due to a number of factors independent of the use of slaves vs underpaid freemen).

I guess if it's not chattel slavery, then it's not a problem? I gave the 75% figure because that was the only at least semi-relevant and verifiable figure I could track down. Seems the Arab slave trade didn't keep reliable records, with estimates ranging from a tenth of the trans-Atlantic trade to several times the trans-Atlantic trade during that period.

The quoted figures were paraphrases - the 5% had a list of technical assumptions made and costs excluded with qualifiers that these were being as generous as possible to the argument that the slave trade was a major contributor to the British economy, and that the abolition of the slave trade was largely on economic grounds due to falling profitability from soil exhaustion and with the intention of euchring other nations with still fertile colonies out of following in their footsteps (in order to debunk that argument).

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Re: Black Panther

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:06 pm UTC

Did you forget to include links to any of these 'sources' you say you found? I looked extra hard for any, just to be sure I didn't miss one. You see, I understand exactly how annoying it can be to link sources backing your claims that are subsequently ignored, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't contributing to that. But I just can't seem to find these sources of yours.
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Re: Black Panther

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:08 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:If you start playing "what if" then how much cotton would have been produced without slave-labour in British colonies? I've not found anything to back it up, but I came across one source that said cotton production increased following the abolition of slavery (which may have been due to a number of factors independent of the use of slaves vs underpaid freemen).


1) It was increasing before the end of slavery too. Population growth does that
2) The war had just ended. No fucking shit production improved right after 1865
3) Technology massively improved during the 19th century, again no fucking shit the production would increase regardless of the legality of slavery. Are you talking about the 1830 thing instead of 1865? Because that was from the refinement of the cotton gin in the 1820s, initially invented by an American abolitionist with the intention of making slavery obsolete. It... backfired, since it made slavery more profitable.
4) Slavery is actually inefficient in terms of the economy. You have to support both the laborer and the guy that beats up the laborer when he doesn't work hard enough, rather than just the laborer
5) Had slavery never been widespread, the people wouldn't have ended up in the Americas even as fellow citizens in any significant numbers, so again, less cotton


Please, please PLEASE; actually think things through before you post.

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Re: Black Panther

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:33 pm UTC

Alternatively stop posting until you have any fucking idea what you're talking about, and can back up your claims with any links to...anything.

Split the thread. I'll leave this in Movies for a bit because that's where it came from, then probably stick it in General since there's no history subforum.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:04 am UTC

I didn't keep track of links so I guess I'll stop here, particularly since it's not clear to me what the point being argued is.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:03 am UTC

It's umm, really simple.

1) Slavery had a huge impact on British history. You seem to be in denial of just how much of your empire was built on the backs of others.
2) It was a serious moral failing of the British Empire (and others, but don't get distracted). You seem to think it was a minor oversight.
3) The British education system has ignored it as best they could, and is apparently little better than propaganda. You seem to think your education was thorough.


Really, America has nothing on British exceptionalism and unearned smugness. And it's not like the international dickery ever ended! At least the US tries to do the right thing. Occasionally.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby sardia » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:38 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:It's umm, really simple.

1) Slavery had a huge impact on British history. You seem to be in denial of just how much of your empire was built on the backs of others.
2) It was a serious moral failing of the British Empire (and others, but don't get distracted). You seem to think it was a minor oversight.
3) The British education system has ignored it as best they could, and is apparently little better than propaganda. You seem to think your education was thorough.


Really, America has nothing on British exceptionalism and unearned smugness. And it's not like the international dickery ever ended! At least the US tries to do the right thing. Occasionally.

I thought even the latest and greatest textbooks still paper over the darker parts of American History? Are you saying the UK is even worse than that?

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Mutex » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:33 am UTC

We certainly learned about the slave trade at school. It was a long time ago so I don't remember details, but the 20% of slaves dying in the ships was definitely something we were taught (I actually thought it was even more than that). I'm 34, if rmsgrey is significantly older then maybe it wasn't taught in his day. Would certainly explain the rule Brittannia attitude of some of the older generation.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:31 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I thought even the latest and greatest textbooks still paper over the darker parts of American History? Are you saying the UK is even worse than that?


Apparently? I went to a rural school in Kentucky and still managed to come out of it with a "The US did a whole bunch of slavery to the point that when some wanted to stop, others fought a war over it, and also it kept going because this Eli Whitney guy made a cotton machine thing that made slavery stupid profitable, but holy crap was it a huge problem guys. You don't wanna know. But hey, peanut butter!"

Y'know, just accurate enough you can't say it glossed over the broad strokes, still innacurate enough that the broad strokes are wrong or overly simplified.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Mutex » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:39 pm UTC

You can hardly avoid the subject with American history to be fair, what with the civil war that happened, and the ~ 20% of Americans living today descended from slaves.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Peaceful Whale » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:59 pm UTC

Well, I’m still in middle school, and we definitely learned about the horrors of slaves, “The jungle” in Chicago, child work stuff, the railsways with Asian workers... the really messed up “zipperhead” thing... the Veitnam war, other ears, lots of stuff... America’s never ending rasicim was in there too... They do gloss over why the pilgrims (Mormon) left to Uhtah.... I mean, it was because the wanted to leave! Everyone was so friendly! They probably glossed over other stuff, but I don’t remember it...
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:01 pm UTC

My textbooks went over both slavery and the American Indian genocides, as well as the Japanese internment camps, an admittedly skimmed summary of the Philippines, and Tuskegee syphilis experiment and the Klan. Vietnam, labor conditions, jim crow, Hiroshima. What super giant horror did my books miss?

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Re: Black Panther

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:13 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Weeks wrote:Or at least tell their children this was, like, a thing that happened so they dont say "I saw Black Panther but I guess thats an American thing, wow those Americans sure do suck"
Fade in. Britain walks into America's bedroom while he's got his headphones on, listening to rock music.

Britain turns off the music and confronts America with a box containing colonialism and slavery.

BRITAIN: What is this?

AMERICA: It's--

BRITAIN: I found it in your closet. What is this?

AMERICA: It's just--

BRITAIN: Where did you get this stuff?

AMERICAN: I mean--

BRITAIN: Answer me! Who taught you to use this stuff?!

AMERICA: You, Dad! I learned it by watching you!


This is soooo much of British education about and our attitude towards slavery. Pretty much the only bit I was taught as "British" (rather than American) was the abolitionists.

Like, we don't get taught about our part in slavery, we don't get taught about the opium wars, we don't get taught about any of the many atrocities we committed in India (and put the guy responsible on our fucking money) or any of the empire's other numerous crimes. Pretty much all we get taught about the empire is that we used to rule an awful lot of the wold, some of those places weren't very happy about it and most aren't very rich now (but they leave off the fact that they were before) but at least they got railways from it!

Ignorance of the atrocities us British have committed is entirely understandable but, well, this weirdly specific doubling down is just dealing with the cognitive dissonance by piling even more on top of it and hoping the weight holds it down.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:34 pm UTC

I hope you eventually learned about the time Churchill had a million Bengals effectively murdered in order to try to frame the Japanese. Sure, there was a war going on, but jeez that was kind of a dick move.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:09 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:You can hardly avoid the subject with American history to be fair, what with the civil war that happened, and the ~ 20% of Americans living today descended from slaves.


I think that was my original point - that Black Panther's references to the history of the slave trade resonate more with American audiences than British audiences (in general).

Which, going back and rereading my original comment (in the other thread), I expressed badly.

Mutex wrote:We certainly learned about the slave trade at school. It was a long time ago so I don't remember details, but the 20% of slaves dying in the ships was definitely something we were taught (I actually thought it was even more than that). I'm 34, if rmsgrey is significantly older then maybe it wasn't taught in his day. Would certainly explain the rule Brittannia attitude of some of the older generation.


I'm about half a decade older - the year group ahead of mine missed out on the National Curriculum; mine got the first version.

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Re: rmsgrey continues to dig himself a hole about slavery

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:44 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Ignorance of the atrocities us British have committed is entirely understandable but, well, this weirdly specific doubling down is just dealing with the cognitive dissonance by piling even more on top of it and hoping the weight holds it down.
Yeah, that's the thing. Acknowledging that you were poorly served by your education would be one thing. We all didn't get told lots of ugly things in whatever education system we had, because that's how every society tends to bring up children.

But then doubling down and saying, no, actually it was pretty reasonable for my education to completely skip these huge terrible things, because actually they weren't as huge or as terrible as you lot are making them out to be.

rmsgrey wrote:
Mutex wrote:You can hardly avoid the subject with American history to be fair, what with the civil war that happened, and the ~ 20% of Americans living today descended from slaves.


I think that was my original point - that Black Panther's references to the history of the slave trade resonate more with American audiences than British audiences (in general).

Which, going back and rereading my original comment (in the other thread), I expressed badly.
Nah, we all understood when you meant that your education didn't cover those topics enough for allusions to them in Black Panther to resonate with a typical white Brit.

Your problem was the subsequent dozen or so posts where you repeatedly argued that it was more or less reasonable for your education to have been such a huge load of whitewashed pro-British propaganda.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:09 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:You can hardly avoid the subject with American history to be fair, what with the civil war that happened, and the ~ 20% of Americans living today descended from slaves.

and precisely how the fuck can British history ignore the slave trade?

Like, is it just lost in the cracks of all the other reprehensible shit done in the name of The Empire?

And, uh.... Cheddar Man aside, are Black Britons just... Welsh? Is that your argument?

I'm pretty sure they weren't vacationing in the West Indies and just decided "Jolly good, these Brits seem like fine folk, let's join their commonwealth"
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Peaceful Whale » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:50 pm UTC

Hmm, does Australia have a pretty bad history like Britain’s? Or are they a happy group?
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:34 am UTC

Peaceful Whale wrote:Hmm, does Australia have a pretty bad history like Britain’s? Or are they a happy group?


Exterminated quite a few Aboriginees, but the scary thing about genocides is that the more awful it is the easier it becomes to ignore. Beyond that, Australia wasn't really involved too much in other countries beyond being dragged into wars by Britain.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:47 am UTC

Peaceful Whale wrote:Hmm, does Australia have a pretty bad history like Britain’s? Or are they a happy group?


Ask an Aborigine, if you can find any... Or there was the "modern" prison at Port Arthur in Tasmania (replacing the previous policy of transporting Tasmanian convicts to an even smaller island nearby - Tasmania itself being where the Australian mainland transported their convicts) which was... well, it was a better place to be than Auschwitz. Probably - the story goes that convicts would seek the death penalty (eg by committing murder) rather than remain there...

Well-meaning Victorian-Era busybodies did their best to "help" Aborigines by taking the children away from their parents and raising them in a "civilised" fashion. I don't think any more needs to be said about that - apparently the response was "ingratitude"...

SecondTalon wrote:
Mutex wrote:You can hardly avoid the subject with American history to be fair, what with the civil war that happened, and the ~ 20% of Americans living today descended from slaves.

and precisely how the fuck can British history ignore the slave trade?

Like, is it just lost in the cracks of all the other reprehensible shit done in the name of The Empire?

And, uh.... Cheddar Man aside, are Black Britons just... Welsh? Is that your argument?

I'm pretty sure they weren't vacationing in the West Indies and just decided "Jolly good, these Brits seem like fine folk, let's join their commonwealth"


Latest census data (2011) has 86% white, 7.5% asian, 3.3% black (2.2% mixed, 1.0% other), with the white population having dropped since 2001 (91.3%) and the black population risen (from ~2.2%) (source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulation ... 2012-12-11 ). Growing up, I had the "P-word" rather than the "N-word".

So, yeah, atrocities committed against people whose descendants are a political force, and significantly more recently, get more exposure. There are still people alive in Britain who remember the clusterfuck that was the Partition, 70 years ago last August.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:52 am UTC

But can you at least admit to the scale of the atrocity that was British run slavery and just how much Britain had benefited from it?

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Liri » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:32 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Well-meaning Victorian-Era busybodies did their best to "help" Aborigines by taking the children away from their parents and raising them in a "civilised" fashion. I don't think any more needs to be said about that - apparently the response was "ingratitude"...

The Stolen Generations were not a Victorian-era phenomenon. They were taken from their parents from the early 1900s up through the end of the 1960s. Similarly, the White Australia policy was in place until the early 1970s.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:51 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Well-meaning Victorian-Era busybodies did their best to "help" Aborigines by taking the children away from their parents and raising them in a "civilised" fashion. I don't think any more needs to be said about that - apparently the response was "ingratitude"...

The Stolen Generations were not a Victorian-era phenomenon. They were taken from their parents from the early 1900s up through the end of the 1960s. Similarly, the White Australia policy was in place until the early 1970s.


Yeah, the Australian government was openly pursuing a policy of genocide well into the late 20th century without any significant international outcry. The fact it was only in the 70s or 80s that they started counting Aboriginal Australians in population counts made it even easier to get away with it (this is often misreported as Australia counting Aborigines as fauna until then but this wasn't actually the case, they had a few more rights than native fauna but, well, still a lot less than basic human decency would require).
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:50 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Well-meaning Victorian-Era busybodies did their best to "help" Aborigines by taking the children away from their parents and raising them in a "civilised" fashion. I don't think any more needs to be said about that - apparently the response was "ingratitude"...

The Stolen Generations were not a Victorian-era phenomenon. They were taken from their parents from the early 1900s up through the end of the 1960s. Similarly, the White Australia policy was in place until the early 1970s.

The initial legislation that allowed the authorities to take children was passed in 1869; the Half-Caste Act was 1886.

The Stolen Generations are, indeed a post-Victorian thing, but as a continuation and expansion of Victorian-era policies.

CorruptUser wrote:But can you at least admit to the scale of the atrocity that was British run slavery and just how much Britain had benefited from it?

Very roughly 5 million people delivered to the Americas (about 10 million total, roughly half of which were transported during the British-dominated 18th century) with a further up to a million dead in transit. And less than 5% of the British economy from the slave trade and the slave-holding colonies combined according to https://www.jstor.org/stable/3113341 (assuming non-paywalled summaries of the content are reasonably accurate).

Plus unquantified effects from having a markedly larger population base in the colonies following emancipation.

Get too far into counterfactuals about what the world would have been like without British participation in the slave trade, and you start having to hypothesise about where the resources invested into the slave trade would have been invested instead, and what the effects of that would have been.

So, the scale seems pretty clear, but the benefit is debated.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:00 pm UTC

Once again, you are simply not including the industries that indirectly but surely depended upon slave labor.

YES OR NO: The British Textile industry was fed predominantly by cotton produced by slave labor
YES OR NO: The British Rum industry was fed predominantly by sugar produced by slave labor

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:51 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
And less than 5% of the British economy from the slave trade and the slave-holding colonies combined

Cotton alone was 20% of British imports and cotton products were 50% of exports in the 1830s. The cotton industry was 8% of British GNP in 1812. [source]

Obviously all these numbers changed at different times, but I can't help but notice that your source is for the eighteenth century, most of which had already passed before British cotton goods really took off.

Maybe the profits from the slave trade itself and the economies within the slaveholding colonies never exceeded 5% of the overall British economy, but when you also include industries that depended on slave-produced raw materials, it's more than that.

(Plus, again, even if cotton products themselves "only" reached a few percent of GNP, that's a big part of what started the entire rest of the Industrial Revolution.)
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:05 am UTC

It's ok, rms. You personally didn't kidnap and enslave people. Being descended from the people that did doesn't make you the problem, but denying what your ancestors did does.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:37 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:It's ok, rms. You personally didn't kidnap and enslave people. Being descended from the people that did doesn't make you the problem, but denying what your ancestors did does.

I take it you know something about my ancestry that I don't - one branch was farming sheep in Wales at the time; another branch was working with iron in the 19th century. It's possible that I have slave-owning ancestors more recently than 1000 years or so ago (and very probable that I have ancestors who were slaves sometime in the last 3000 years).

Most of the actual kidnapping wasn't done by Europeans - the British role was more akin to receiving stolen goods than to burglary.

gmalivuk wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
And less than 5% of the British economy from the slave trade and the slave-holding colonies combined

Cotton alone was 20% of British imports and cotton products were 50% of exports in the 1830s. The cotton industry was 8% of British GNP in 1812. [source]


But cotton from what sources? Your document says that the cotton industry in Britain started based on imports of raw cotton from India and Egypt - and makes mention of the invention of the cotton gin in the US (implying that the US was involved in cotton production).

A cursory search turns up a figure of 31% of cotton imported by the UK in 1861 still coming from India (where the East India Company had successfully suppressed the native textile industry, reducing India to exporting raw cotton rather than finished fabrics) - jumping to 90% in 1862 following the disruption of supply by something happening in the US around that time. That suggests that the majority of cotton supplied to the UK at that point was coming from the United States, which was very definite about not being a British colony by that point (or indeed, by the American invention of the cotton gin - India having had its own cotton gin centuries earlier).

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:55 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:It's ok, rms. You personally didn't kidnap and enslave people. Being descended from the people that did doesn't make you the problem, but denying what your ancestors did does.

I take it you know something about my ancestry that I don't - one branch was farming sheep in Wales at the time; another branch was working with iron in the 19th century. It's possible that I have slave-owning ancestors more recently than 1000 years or so ago (and very probable that I have ancestors who were slaves sometime in the last 3000 years).

Most of the actual kidnapping wasn't done by Europeans - the British role was more akin to receiving stolen goods than to burglary.


A cursory search turns up a figure of 31% of cotton imported by the UK in 1861 still coming from India (where the East India Company had successfully suppressed the native textile industry, reducing India to exporting raw cotton rather than finished fabrics) - jumping to 90% in 1862 following the disruption of supply by something happening in the US around that time. That suggests that the majority of cotton supplied to the UK at that point was coming from the United States, which was very definite about not being a British colony by that point (or indeed, by the American invention of the cotton gin - India having had its own cotton gin centuries earlier).


1) You are taking this issue very personally, so it's easy for us to assume you are some form of white British person with nationalistic tendencies, if not necessarily English.
2) True, most of the kidnapping and slave-raiding was indeed done by the African nations themselves. Initially the slave trade started as part of the local legal system; why chop off the thief's hands when you could sell the thief? Don't worry, this has no parallels with private prisons, none whatsoever. But this ignores that the overwhelming majority of the slave raiding wouldn't have happened if there wasn't a willing buyer in the first place. The john using a prostitute wasn't the one who groomed/trafficked the prostitute, but he was the reason she was groomed in the first place. The drug user didn't murder anyone for the turf or smuggling routes, but the drug user was the reason the cartels fought over the territory. The person buying black market organs wasn't the one who stole the organs, but was the reason the organs were stolen (organ theft does happen, but it's usually of the form of a poor Indian person being offered $10,000 for one cornea or a kidney, but the money mysteriously doesn't appear). So are you really trying to say that Britain innocent because they had someone else do the dirty work for them?
3) Once again, slavery in the US was a legacy of the British rule (this by no means absolves the plantation owners of their crimes), and slavery continued to exist and expand because of British imports of slave produced products, and as a side note for this discussion, Britain made more money from slavery than the slave owners did. It's still like that today; cocoa farms are notorious for slave labor, but you can bet the farm that the candy company makes far more money than the farm owner.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Carlington » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:06 am UTC

Off-topic for the thread but feel free to PM me if you want more details - Australia is very much not happy families. We carried out and continue to carry out an extended genocide campaign. The Stolen Generations alluded to above are looked on as a thing of the past, but forced removal of indigenous children from their families occurs today at the highest rate in our history.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Angua » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:47 am UTC

Oh me yarm it's the classic 'the African's caught the slaves so therefore it's all their fault' which completely ignores how internal conflicts were created just to drive the capture of slaves.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Sableagle » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:28 am UTC

This is why I think history should be taught as a worldwide thing in chronological order and at a tribal scale, rather than having kids memorise the maiden names and dates of birth of all of Henry VIII's wives' mothers or whatever it is they do these days. We spent more time on Jeanne d'Arc than we did on the rest of that whole bloody war, and the whole Sino-Japanese war got a 10-second pause for exposition partway through teaching the European part of WW2. Also it should be taught honestly, rather than "as described by the counsel for the defence." Concentration camps? Invented by the Germans in the late 1930s (nobody mention the Boer War). Holocaust and genocide? Germans again, had never been tried before (nobody mention Armenia). As it is, I work with people who seem to believe that British-born Anglo-Saxons invented bricks, nails, saws, thatching, cookery, fishing rods, shoes, writing, the steam engine, currency, hydroelectric power, gas hobs, barbecues, stainless steel, music and agriculture in 4000 BC and have been attacked by ungrateful savages all over the world for trying to help them out by showing them how it's done ever since.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:32 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
And less than 5% of the British economy from the slave trade and the slave-holding colonies combined

Cotton alone was 20% of British imports and cotton products were 50% of exports in the 1830s. The cotton industry was 8% of British GNP in 1812. [source]


But cotton from what sources? Your document says that the cotton industry in Britain started based on imports of raw cotton from India and Egypt - and makes mention of the invention of the cotton gin in the US (implying that the US was involved in cotton production).

A cursory search turns up a figure of 31% of cotton imported by the UK in 1861 still coming from India (where the East India Company had successfully suppressed the native textile industry, reducing India to exporting raw cotton rather than finished fabrics) - jumping to 90% in 1862 following the disruption of supply by something happening in the US around that time. That suggests that the majority of cotton supplied to the UK at that point was coming from the United States, which was very definite about not being a British colony by that point (or indeed, by the American invention of the cotton gin - India having had its own cotton gin centuries earlier).
Do think you're somehow refuting or countering my point here?

Just prior to the US Civil War, Britain was getting 80% of its cotton from the US, and 100% or near enough of that was picked and processed by slaves.

Britain doesn't get to wash its hands of that just because we'd declared independence by then, just like it can't wash its hands of the slave raiding just because it "only" paid for and benefited from those raids, rather than directly taking part in them.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:07 pm UTC

Like I said, receiving stolen goods, rather than burglary.

Still a crime (and generally more profitable for an established fence) but a different crime.

Britain didn't set up the slave trade - that had been being run to the east by Arab nations for centuries (with organisation and expansion coming from Islamic law prohibiting the enslavement of Muslims - thereby legalising the enslavement of non-Muslims, and requiring a source of non-Muslim slaves). Britain didn't even set up the trans-Atlantic slave trade. That was a Dutch monopoly in the 16th century. What Britain did do was take over a large chunk of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, participating in its expansion, have several colonies that relied on slave labour, and, after unilaterally shutting down the slave trade (thereby trashing the economies of several African nations), continue to buy raw materials produced through slave labour.

Does that sound about right to everyone?

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:54 pm UTC

So what you are saying is that on top of all their other crimes, the British are also guilty of being unoriginal?


And for fawkes' sake, do you understand that morally, there is little difference between fencing stolen goods and stealing the goods in the first place? If you hadn't been there to fence the goods, the thief would never have stolen the goods. The whole "oh, it was already stolen" is just mental gymnastics that people do to pretend they aren't awful shits, along the same lines of thought as a guy with a mansion full of ivory goods insisting that it wasn't his fault a bunch of elephants died.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:43 pm UTC

Plus, we're not actually talking about stolen goods, we're talking about stolen people.

The difference is kind of the entire fucking point, here.

rmsgrey wrote:
unilaterally shutting down the slave trade
They what now?
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:40 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
unilaterally shutting down the slave trade
They what now?

Stopped shipping slaves and started sending naval ships to stop other people shipping them, over the protests of the people selling slaves to British slave traders.

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:50 pm UTC

Is it wrong that I want to punch every last british history teacher in the face? Does that make me a bad person?

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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Liri » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:49 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Is it wrong that I want to punch every last british history teacher in the face? Does that make me a bad person?

Nah I'm definitely gonna have kids just to pin my crimes on them, now.
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Re: ITT: rmsgrey is wrong about slavery (from Black Panther)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:28 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Is it wrong that I want to punch every last british history teacher in the face? Does that make me a bad person?


Not just British, there's...a lot of countries that would rather skim lightly over the worst parts of their history.

Oh sure, it's a foregone conclusion that Britain made a ton of money off the slave trade, both directly and indirectly, through all sorts of methods. They had an empire, and a rather impressive sea trade, and quite a lot of that happened at someone's expense. Slavery affected all sorts of things back then. The whole Triangle trade rested largely on Europe's involvement. Not that no slavery would have happened without it, but...it would have certainly impacted the numbers, and the profitability of the practice.

But yeah, most teachers teach history that's correct...from a certain point of view. Lots of very interesting bits might get left out because they're inconvenient to a particular worldview. Not necessarily lied about or what not, just...not given space. I happened to get a home schooled education with a ridiculous amount of religion wrapped up, and they sort of left off uncomfortable bits by great christian figures throughout history. Columbus certainly got a hefty dose of image help, but say, various interactions with Native Americans got skimmed over or polished up all round. Learning to be skeptical of one's teachers is a valuable lesson, I'd say.


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