Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Opus 2014-12: Founders: The Legacy of Slavery, part 3 of 6

One legacy of slavery is the attitude toward hard work.  Mason observed,
“Slavery discourages arts & manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves.”
This is true in a number of ways.  In the antebellum South most skilled labor was done by slaves.  Blacksmiths, carpenters, coopers, you name it, slaves were trained to do the work.  The stereotype of the ignorant field hand was not universal.  If they had a “good” master they were allowed to keep a small part of the proceeds.  This is how many slaves bought their freedom.  That was good for them but it made it impossible for free skilled labor to move to the area and compete.  Thus the economy of the South was locked into the large plantation life style. 

Even more damaging was the attitude that slavery encouraged in the workers.  It became the mark of a slave to sweat for your living.  Perspiration meant you were of an inferior class.  This has been observed in other cultures.  It is not unique to America.  We see similar attitudes in the gentry of England.  This social class was not allowed to do any kind of work that was considered demeaning.  Thus the gentry could be a lawyer but not a shop keeper.  They could be a soldier but not a manufacturer.  They could be a total loser but still shown respect.

I have run into this in modern black Americans.  At our school one of the disciplines instituted for bad behavior was picking up trash.  Some boys refused and got in even more trouble.  I was shocked when an otherwise rational teacher told me that she would support her sons if they refused to pick up trash.  I ask the reasoning.  She said, “Because it is slave labor.”  In her mind free people did not do menial work.

Slavery destroys productivity and the work ethic.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

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