Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Sowell Promotes the True History of the Anti-Slavery Movement

Ending slavery - The Washington Times: Commentary - February 12, 2005: "A very readable and remarkable new book just published 'Bury the Chains' by Adam Hochschild traces the history of the world's first antislavery movement, which began with a meeting of 12 'deeply religious' men in London in 1787.
The book re-creates the very different world of that time, in which slavery was so much taken for granted that most people simply did not think about it, one way or the other. Nor did the leading intellectuals, political leaders, or religious leaders in Britain or anywhere else in the world.
The dozen men who formed the world's first antislavery movement saw their task as getting Englishmen to think about slavery about the brutal facts and their moral implications.
Their conviction this would be enough to turn the British public, and ultimately the British Empire, against slavery might seem naive, except that this is precisely what happened. It did not happen quickly and it did not happen without bitter opposition, for the British were then the world's biggest slave traders and this created wealthy and powerful interests defending slavery. "

This served as a prudent reminder of who began this paradigm-changing movement. It also suggests that it wasn't changed by kids in tye-dyed shirts, but, rather, God-fearing men who saw the evil in owning others. His observation that, because these men would be bundled with the "religious right" by Hollywood, is true and quite sad. It is an important tale to tell regardless of how their principles were taught in today's terms. Looking at their bravery, in terms of the time they lived, would make for a great tale, ala Schindler's List. We should read this story, and others like it, and be reminded that slavery still exists in disparate places. We are still looking for twelve brave men to take these cultures on, and shift their thinking.

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