Saturday, February 7, 2009

Slavery - Hardcore History podcast review

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History has the occasional 'blitz' show. Obviously distinct from the interview shows, they are, but less so from the regular shows. However, taken in mind the previous blitz show which was about drug use (mostly alcohol) through the ages and the last one which is about slavery through the ages, the blitz shows are, apparently more thematic.

On the theme of slavery Dan Carlin argues that slavery is of all times and of all places. He goes over a series of examples and appears to use as his main source Milton Meltzer's book Slavery: a World history. On the one side slavery turns out to be a humane alternative to death, but all in all the whole feature of enslavement, servitude and hard labor is problematic. It also remains so, in spite of the numerous attempts to justify it.

The bottom-line Carlin steers to, is that slavery exists still today and not only that, but also that we all, Carlin and his audience, profit from slavery. There are just enough grades of separation that allow us to not actively know of it and feel we can reject slavery as immoral. Carlin takes the additional step, suggesting, if people are like this, they are really evil. The thought that arose with me, however, was that if low-wage work is similar or even equal to slavery, how different is it with higher-wage work if apart from the higher wage, the employee is just as much owned by his employer and his life is governed by his work.

More Hardcore History:
Gwynne Dyer Interview,
Interview with Victor Davis Hanson,
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II ,
Punic Nightmares I.

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