Slavery in Star Wars

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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-27 07:51pm

Knife wrote:
2018-08-27 07:36pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-20 04:08pm
Yeah. And I don't really have a problem with slavery that is acknowledge and portrayed as such being a part of the setting.

I am more troubled by stuff which is slavery but not treated as such, especially when its being done by, or with the complicity of, the heroes. Ie droids, the Clones, arguably the Jedi's use of child recruits/soldiers.
Meh. You can have a good argument philosophically with droids, even clones I guess. Not sure why you'd get up in arms about theoretical robots as depicted. The clones are a tech closer to what we can do, so again philosophically interesting argument but meh.
Slavery is slavery and should not be excused or made light of, even in fiction. If droids are sapient (and at least some seem to be), then treating them as property is slavery. Clones are certainly sapient, and are engineered as weapons of war and never given a choice in the life they pursue. To the best of my recollections, they are never show to be paid either, but feel free to correct me on that point if you know a source that says otherwise. They are slaves as well.
Jedi though, I take issue with. It's a prestige position. Granted a lot of indoctrination goes into it too, but there does seem like 'legal' ways to leave if someone really wants to. We do know people WANT to be Jedi enough that a slave kid outside the Republic has heard of them and is excited to be one when given the chance. As far as 'kid soldiers', I'm kind of see the point but also see how it's bad. We define adult at 18 and so having a bunch of 19 year old kids fight wars. 200 years ago, as well as earlier, 16 was an adult and OK to go fight. Padawans 14-16 year old being journeymen or squires kind of tracks, besides the point that in 1000 years there has been no major wars and those thousands of Padawans would not have been in danger.
There were "prestigious" positions for slaves in ancient societies as well. They were still slaves. Now, you can argue that the Jedi aren't slaves because they can freely leave. And technically, that's true. But let's be real- if a child is brought up in the Jedi Order, indoctrinated in their beliefs since infancy, likely with no experience or connections outside the Order, how easy is it going to be for them to leave? There may not be force (once they reach adulthood, anyway- I doubt a youngling or young padawan could just walk out the door, for obvious reasons), but there is certainly coercion. And coerced consent is not true consent.

I wouldn't care so much if the children weren't used in combat, provided that the parents consented to the children becoming Jedi- parents can send their children to a religious boarding school if they want. But there is (or was, in Legends) some indication that children could be taken against at least one parent's wishes (see the novel Dark Lord), and they send children at least as young as 14 (Asohka) into frontline combat positions. Child soldiers. The fact that this was (and in some places still is, sadly) common practice doesn't change my views. Child soldiers were an accepted practice in pre-industrial societies where the modern concept of childhood didn't really exist, and people basically had to start working as soon as they were old enough to survive. That does not apply in a technologically advanced society.
Now, if you want to argue that for 3 years in the Clone Wars that the Jedi kept teenagers along side their Masters in combat, I can see that I guess.
Pretty much, yeah. That's what I'm talking about, mostly.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Knife » 2018-08-28 01:46am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-27 07:51pm

Slavery is slavery and should not be excused or made light of, even in fiction.
What utter nonsense. Fiction is the perfect place to discuss harsh or taboo issues, as is comedy (made light of).
If droids are sapient (and at least some seem to be), then treating them as property is slavery.
1) or treat them as friends, pets, working animals/machines. Framing it as a slave makes them a slave.
2) I dismissed it in my post mainly due to the probability of never having droids as seen and thus the treatment of said droids is, at the very best, all speculative.
Clones are certainly sapient, and are engineered as weapons of war and never given a choice in the life they pursue. To the best of my recollections, they are never show to be paid either, but feel free to correct me on that point if you know a source that says otherwise. They are slaves as well.
Meh, you have a better argument for the clones. AFAIR they were allowed to retire after the war at some point. They were not allowed to leave the GAR though.

There were "prestigious" positions for slaves in ancient societies as well. They were still slaves. Now, you can argue that the Jedi aren't slaves because they can freely leave. And technically, that's true. But let's be real- if a child is brought up in the Jedi Order, indoctrinated in their beliefs since infancy, likely with no experience or connections outside the Order, how easy is it going to be for them to leave? There may not be force (once they reach adulthood, anyway- I doubt a youngling or young padawan could just walk out the door, for obvious reasons), but there is certainly coercion. And coerced consent is not true consent.
Yeah, this is my over all problem with this track. You calling them slaves does not make them slaves. It may be distasteful, may be wrong, but does't make it slavery anymore than being raised in any specific church makes you a slave, or being raised poor in Alabama and you join the military makes you a slave, or squires in medieval times were slaves.

I actually think it diminishes the word and concept when used in this manner. If you want to defend a 'being in a guilded cage is still a cage' type argument, ok, but slaves? No.
I wouldn't care so much if the children weren't used in combat, provided that the parents consented to the children becoming Jedi- parents can send their children to a religious boarding school if they want. But there is (or was, in Legends) some indication that children could be taken against at least one parent's wishes (see the novel Dark Lord), and they send children at least as young as 14 (Asohka) into frontline combat positions. Child soldiers. The fact that this was (and in some places still is, sadly) common practice doesn't change my views. Child soldiers were an accepted practice in pre-industrial societies where the modern concept of childhood didn't really exist, and people basically had to start working as soon as they were old enough to survive. That does not apply in a technologically advanced society.
What instances are we talking about? Are we talking about Asoka? Or the Younglings at the temple? And fuck legends, most of it was crap and I'm glad it was canonized.

Ah, Asoka it is. Well to be fair, I'm not for child soldiers and do feel they threaded from gray to black in putting the padawans that were way young on the front lines. That said, while you could probably rattle off half dozen times Asoka was in the deep shit, in general the Jedi didn't seem to place their young Padawans in the front lines very often. Plus it gets awful hazy in there, 14-18 range. We only accept 18 due to our cultural norms. I look back now and all the military folks look like kids.

Plus we are dealing with a fictional world/universe, what is the cultural norms of Asoka's race, etc... All and all I agree they pushed a line with Asoka being on the front line but don't see how that equates to a 'slave'.
Pretty much, yeah. That's what I'm talking about, mostly.
Meh, we really have one example of Asoka who was one of the primary characters of a kids cartoon. Shows with kids being stronger, better, more apt, and doing more than their parents think they can is quite the theme. Your abhorrence to Asoka on the front lines should be equal to the immorality of the spy agency who ran the Spy Kids for 3 movies. Tony Stark and the Avengers are running a child soldier and slave in Spiderman. Dear god the little kids in the Incredibiles.

To boil it all down, I guess, you calling it a slave doesn't necessarily mean its a slave.

Droids could be an interesting argument if you want to explore things like free agency, free will, body autonomy, etc... but if it's a discussion of if man should ever enslave robots, I'm disinterested since I don't think we'll ever make robots even remotely close to those depicted. I would all be speculative and not worth much in the long run.

Clones ends up being the best argument here and since we can clone things, the more relevant.

The Jedi being slaves is just rhetoric and hyperbole. Yes, morally getting pretty shitty with younger people on the battlefield but still pretty gray area to me considering 1) the prime example was one of the main character and meant to be related to by the younger watchers of the show 2) was not standard practice of the Jedi to have legions of 14 year old's marching into battle but still not cool man and showing how their structure was not meant to be used on a war footing (that of a master/apprentice).

As far as being in the Jedi and wanting out, we know only 20 left on their own accord. You see indoctrination and coercion, I see it as why would they? Power, prestige, support, never really in need of anything materially. In cannon, not that shitty Legends stuff, we never see them ripping kids away from parents. It's a privilege and honor to be asked to join the Jedi so much so as a kid outside the Republic knows about it and says yes a the drop of a hat. Yeah, his life was shit so he jumped at the better life. He was sad to leave his mom but still wanted to, she wanted him too. Not seeing the moral problem here. Definitely not seeing slavery.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by NecronLord » 2018-08-28 06:57am

For what it's worth I think slavery was always intentional. The original roles of the droids in Star Wars is that of feudal Japanese peasants, they are based on the peasant characters from Hidden Fortress after all.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-27 07:51pm
To the best of my recollections, they are never show to be paid either, but feel free to correct me on that point if you know a source that says otherwise.
We see them going to a bar on leave in a later episode of TCW, the bar on Coruscant basically having become a clone bar, so they at least get some remuneration they use on leave. It may not constitute a regular salary though.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Knife » 2018-08-30 12:11am

NecronLord wrote:
2018-08-28 06:57am
For what it's worth I think slavery was always intentional. The original roles of the droids in Star Wars is that of feudal Japanese peasants, they are based on the peasant characters from Hidden Fortress after all.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-27 07:51pm
To the best of my recollections, they are never show to be paid either, but feel free to correct me on that point if you know a source that says otherwise.
We see them going to a bar on leave in a later episode of TCW, the bar on Coruscant basically having become a clone bar, so they at least get some remuneration they use on leave. It may not constitute a regular salary though.
If that's true, and I believe you, then even peasants are different then slaves.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by NecronLord » 2018-08-30 07:02pm

Not everything in Star Wars is 1:1 of Hidden Fortress by any means, but the inspiration was 'common/working/unfree people' of course Lucas doesn't regard droids as having any natural rights (various commentaries) so he is not conciously making any statement on slavery with them. But that's what they are.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by KraytKing » 2018-08-30 08:35pm

Clone bar. What a stupid idea. Let's purchase millions of the best soldiers genetic science is capable of, train them to perfection in a completely sterile environment, with no families to need leave for, and then let them fill their bodies with poisons. Seems rather counterproductive.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Gandalf » 2018-08-30 09:31pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-08-30 08:35pm
Clone bar. What a stupid idea. Let's purchase millions of the best soldiers genetic science is capable of, train them to perfection in a completely sterile environment, with no families to need leave for, and then let them fill their bodies with poisons. Seems rather counterproductive.
On the other hand, an army of cannon fodder would benefit from the occasional pub trip. They repeatedly go into harm's way, lose comrades, and then do it all over again.

The overall group mental health benefits could really outweigh the potential pitfalls.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-30 09:38pm

Keep them happy, and not thinking about how they're cannon fodder.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by KraytKing » 2018-08-30 10:01pm

They're designed to be immune to all forms of mental degradation, both through genetics and with ten years of highly intense training. Besides, these troops would have to be cannon fodder the way SEAL team six is cannon fodder: expendable, but still valuable.

They're supposed to bond in the troopships. They have to, they're packed like sardines.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Gandalf » 2018-08-30 10:29pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-08-30 10:01pm
They're designed to be immune to all forms of mental degradation, both through genetics and with ten years of highly intense training. Besides, these troops would have to be cannon fodder the way SEAL team six is cannon fodder: expendable, but still valuable.
Designed to be, but is that always the case?
They're supposed to bond in the troopships. They have to, they're packed like sardines.
Have you ever spent time packed in tightly with people? It does not always yield positive results.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by KraytKing » 2018-08-31 09:19am

Yes, I have. Every competition, marching band comes back on a bus, sometimes for four hour drives at two in the morning. We're all very close.

To answer your first question, of course it isn't always the case. But it should be the exception rather than the rule, and the occasional trooper who cracks is no excuse to burn the entire army with alcohol or other intoxicants.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Patroklos » 2018-08-31 11:11am

I forget how few of this board's members have experience even remotely informative to these sorts of things.

I am not very sorry to tell you this KK, but your few hours in a school bus with your gamboy and walkmen (or equivalent for your age) so you can blow/bang/beat an instrument for fans is not the equivalent of people engaged in deadly warfare away from most of the comforts of life crammed aboard a warship for months at a time.

Sorry, I mean: FOUR HOURS. How did you survive! I mean, you can only get under the jacket hand jobs or finger bangs for so long before you just get BORED! Like, my phone can only care two hours worth of music and TAL podcasts, and then you had go to school the next day?!?!? PFFFT, unbelievable hardship BRO. Its must have been like a slave ship.

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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by KraytKing » 2018-08-31 12:27pm

Never did I make any attempt to claim my experience is the same as a soldier returning from war. I only say that in no way are journeys in close quarters with others particularly unpleasant, provided you have a good deal of camaraderie between you. In the clone trooper instance, the space allowed is greater, the time longer, and the kinship exponentially greater. I've spent 1-4 years with my bandmates: clone troopers have been in contact for ten years, nonstop, and have shared trauma to boot. I cannot believe that the troopship rides are bad psychologically for the troopers. War, another story, but I have no experience there and have already stated my beliefs regarding their conditioning.

Seriously? Handjob? I thought I'd done a better job here than that.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-31 01:05pm

Do keep in mind that due to the nature of where the troop ships are used, they are vehicles that would be under constant fire. Wanting to not be in one because of it's association as being a target, it would be plausible that quite a few clone troopers would opt not to ride in one when they didn't have to.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Zixinus » 2018-08-31 02:10pm

Regardless, it is obvious from their behavior that clone troopers are still human. Sure, they're conditioned to fight and withstand the stresses of battle, but in the end the things that stress a human being will stress them too.

So it is quite logical that being put in a situation where they have to wait for hours with nearly nothing to do, have good reasons to be afraid of being shot at all while being completely helpless will stress them. They probably will take it better than most but in the end, to ignore that is to ignore that they're human beings after all.

This would extend to their other behaviors as well. If they see other humans drink, they'll want to drink too. Same for smoking, eating, viewing entertainment stuff, probably masturbate, etc. You can't condition against some of this, but you can't do do that for every behavior.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-31 02:15pm

A few drinks at a bar won't hurt clonetroopers, odds are good Star Wars medical tech can deal with intoxication easily anyway. You have to give them some way to vent and de-stress in between combat missions. The old Legends material frequently mentioned recreation areas on ships, no reason they couldn't incorporate some on the Acclamators/Venators. If nothing, repurpose the briefing rooms to play holo-vids in between missions. Card games are a thing. And so forth.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by KraytKing » 2018-08-31 03:43pm

Worse than hurting troopers, it hurts their reputation. Civilians see their boys in white, supposedly the best army in the galaxy, off getting drunk. In the episode, they run off a taxi driver lawfully demanding payment by attacking him. That is ruinous to public relations with any army, let alone one so built up by propaganda.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-08-31 03:52pm

Way to move the goalposts there.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Patroklos » 2018-08-31 04:33pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-08-31 03:43pm
Worse than hurting troopers, it hurts their reputation. Civilians see their boys in white, supposedly the best army in the galaxy, off getting drunk. In the episode, they run off a taxi driver lawfully demanding payment by attacking him. That is ruinous to public relations with any army, let alone one so built up by propaganda.
Having personally participated in NYC fleet week in uniform, I can assure you the public has no issues with their troops drinking alcohol in their presence as a default position. Quite the opposite actually, no matter where I have been regardless of country or culture. Only dumbass think their soldiers are, or want them to be, fleshy robots.

Can it be a problem in certain circumstances and contexts? Sure. Is there any reason to assume this is a default position among your own citizenry? No.

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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by KraytKing » 2018-08-31 10:00pm

Did you read the second half of what you quoted? Troops drunkenly attacking civilians is a bad thing. Regardless, the clone army is portrayed by propaganda to be fleshy robots, in order to keep them from being seen as slaves. They're literally less than human.


Crazedwraith, you're right. I do still believe that alcohol is a dangerous thing to introduce to the clean slate system of the clone army. It builds up addiction, which is to be avoided. But this is valid as well. I'm not giving up or abandoning my previous position, only introducing a new idea. I apologize for being unclear, and I do mean that sincerely.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Patroklos » 2018-08-31 11:59pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-08-31 10:00pm
Did you read the second half of what you quoted? Troops drunkenly attacking civilians is a bad thing. Regardless, the clone army is portrayed by propaganda to be fleshy robots, in order to keep them from being seen as slaves. They're literally less than human
Yes, because I quoted it. It does zero to bolster your position. You didn't tell us the clones were ransacking conquered planets, raping and pillaging. You told us a dude got in an argument with a taxi driver over the charge. Who the fuck hasn't? Did you know that militaries, usually organizations of hundreds of thousands of your typical flawed human biengs, have members who commit murder, child abuse, and rape? I know, CRAZY!!! All you are really showing us is that you have a very weird and unrealistic military fetish thing going on, and to be fare a good segment of the military has this "my shit don't stink" perception too.

You didn't say drunk and attacking civilians, you said they shouldn't be allowed to drink because that in and of itself degrades them as a fighting force AND creates bad press. Any drinking, under any circumstances, but especially publically. You have moved the goal posts off the damn playing field at this point.

Do you think the one million man strong US military doesn't have the odd dude stiff a taxi driver now and then? Get in a bar fight with the odd civilian patron? Would you say the US military has a bad reputation inside the US? Hint, it does not, despite the few random "baby killer" types that haunt this board.

And I am sorry, if you want to have people not be perceived as slaves, but they still look just like people who are not slaves, you don't negate their humanity because that's exactly what you do to slaves. No matter how brutal and exploitative every large scale slavery society in the real world has been, the masters are still humans and like all humans like to think of themselves as good people. To most humans, chattel slavery is a hard pill to swallow ideologically if you consider those you impose it on to be humans just like you. Which is why from the Romans to the Confederacy slaves have always been classified as lesser humans by some criteria to serve the convenient lie that they either deserve their status, are naturally born to that status, or a combination that makes it a kindness to impose it upon them.

You can't hide the slavery because its so blatant and in your face even the most self deluded slave holder will recognize the lie, so you justify it. I can't speak to the average intelligence of the galactic citizenry, but I am pretty sure that "these people we have GROWN, 100% of which are impressed into our military, which we use in place of volunteer or even drafted citizens for the most part, and who we send to die in the millions without a thought" isn't going to pass the "not a slave" test for most of them.

The premise that kicked off this argument is stupid anyway. As was noted by I think TRR previously, slavery looked different not just from practicing state to practicing state, but even within a particular society. In Rome the greatest teachers, engineers, and other professionals were often slaves owned by prominent Romans, and this lived luxurious lifestyles and were fought over and pandered to. They didn't live their lives chained up in dungeons after hours, and the idea that they couldn't or didn't grab a drink now and then from local establishments just shows a lack of understanding of how the institution was practiced. Having enough spare coins to buy a drink now and then does not in any way disqualify them as slaves given the other evidence out there.

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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Gandalf » 2018-09-01 08:24am

KraytKing wrote:
2018-08-31 12:27pm
Never did I make any attempt to claim my experience is the same as a soldier returning from war. I only say that in no way are journeys in close quarters with others particularly unpleasant, provided you have a good deal of camaraderie between you. In the clone trooper instance, the space allowed is greater, the time longer, and the kinship exponentially greater. I've spent 1-4 years with my bandmates: clone troopers have been in contact for ten years, nonstop, and have shared trauma to boot. I cannot believe that the troopship rides are bad psychologically for the troopers. War, another story, but I have no experience there and have already stated my beliefs regarding their conditioning.
They're not returning from war. They're just going to/from various parts of the war. In a big enclosed vehicle that may or may not come under attack and explode at any time. They didn't choose to be there, or even be in the army. They're born, put in training, and sent to maybe die. While comparatively, your band bus trips ended with you going home, as opposed to yet another performance. While some places are rough, I can't imagine your school bus came under too much heavy fire. Presumably, your place in the band was voluntary as well.

Thank you for your band service.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-08-31 02:15pm
A few drinks at a bar won't hurt clonetroopers, odds are good Star Wars medical tech can deal with intoxication easily anyway. You have to give them some way to vent and de-stress in between combat missions. The old Legends material frequently mentioned recreation areas on ships, no reason they couldn't incorporate some on the Acclamators/Venators. If nothing, repurpose the briefing rooms to play holo-vids in between missions. Card games are a thing. And so forth.
Indeed. I wouldn't be surprised if there was just a bar on the ship somewhere, or some sort of space meth lab to help people take the edge off long service in a big metal box.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by NecronLord » 2018-09-01 08:34am

For what it's worth, most slaves in Ancient Rome in the classical era did in fact live chained up in dungeons, there are major dungeons (ergastulum) in Rome for that purpouse to this day. Domestic slaves were domestic slaves (with plenty of abuse in many cases, documented extensively by Roman rumourmongers; saying 'she attacked her slaves with razors/pulled their hair out/etc' was a common rumour about some given woman being ill tempered used to slur them, but it can't always be a lie) but rural slaves were indeed chained in dungeons when not in the fields. And of course, the slaves in the mines had it particularly bad.

It triggers me when people empathise roman slavery as 'not that bad' - we have plenty of archeological finds of slave bodies thrown in mass graves with the chains still on.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by NecronLord » 2018-09-01 08:36am

Zixinus wrote:
2018-08-31 02:10pm
This would extend to their other behaviors as well. If they see other humans drink, they'll want to drink too. Same for smoking, eating, viewing entertainment stuff, probably masturbate, etc. You can't condition against some of this, but you can't do do that for every behavior.
From the number of twi'lek ladies who are presumably there to court them for one reason or aonther, and the fact we saw one go rogue to start a family, I think clones do more than that. They are the whole package really.
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Re: Slavery in Star Wars

Post by Patroklos » 2018-09-01 02:12pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-09-01 08:34am
For what it's worth, most slaves in Ancient Rome in the classical era did in fact live chained up in dungeons, there are major dungeons (ergastulum) in Rome for that purpouse to this day. Domestic slaves were domestic slaves (with plenty of abuse in many cases, documented extensively by Roman rumourmongers; saying 'she attacked her slaves with razors/pulled their hair out/etc' was a common rumour about some given woman being ill tempered used to slur them, but it can't always be a lie) but rural slaves were indeed chained in dungeons when not in the fields. And of course, the slaves in the mines had it particularly bad.

It triggers me when people empathise roman slavery as 'not that bad' - we have plenty of archeological finds of slave bodies thrown in mass graves with the chains still on.
If this was prompted by my comment, I never said Roman slavery overall was "not that bad." Simply that the specific conditions of any one slave varied greatly, and one very small subset directly contradicts the notion that slaves can't have creature comforts. And even the very skilled or educated "elite" of slavery were still slaves and ultimately subject to the whims of their masters.

The point was you can't just say "dude was able to buy a beer!" and declare them free men for a certainty.

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