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Excerpt from Endgame

Civilization and Slavery (p. 154)

From chapter "Choices"

This might be a good time to remind readers of the necessary relationship between civilization and slavery, that in fact civilization originated in slavery, is based on slavery, requires slavery, would collapse without slavery. You needn’t take my word for this, nor the word of anarchists, Luddites, or indigenous peoples. Nor do you merely need to take the word of pro-slavery philosophers or pro-technology CEOs. Nor do you merely need to take the word of Aristotle— propagandist extraordinaire—who wrote extensively in support of slavery and its necessity, indeed, its naturalness. Nor mainstream historians who recognize that, as Friedrich Engels (admittedly not a mainstream—i.e., pro-capitalist, pro-civilization—historian) wrote, “Without slavery, no Greek state, no Greek art and science; without slavery, no Roman Empire. But without Hellenism and the Roman Empire as the base, also no modern Europe. We should never forget that our whole economic, political and intellectual development has as its presupposition a state of things in which slavery was as necessary as it is universally recognized.”You don’t even have to take the word of modern anti-slavery activists who point out that there are more slaves in the world today than came across on the Middle Passage. Just look around. Consider the immiseration inherent in the items surrounding you. Look for the slavery, both human and nonhuman, that went into their making. Just because you don’t see the chains doesn’t mean you don’t benefit from their slavery, and from their deaths. How many salmon died to provide you electricity? How many rivers and mountains were enslaved to make this aluminum can? How many trees died to make this book? Further, how many people do you know who hate their jobs? On the other hand, how many people do you know who love their lives, and who live at least remotely integrated into the larger community that is their landbase?