On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-06 09:42pm

Jub wrote:
2019-02-06 08:32pm
Obviously, in more fertile regions things will look different than classical western feudalism. The concept of serfdom is only important where it takes 80% or more of your population working to feed your society. In areas where crop fertility is high or you have a better base grain than wheat (Eygpt, the Fertile Crescent, China) you're going to see different social structures emerge because the food is less important.

That level of fertility is almost akin to a new technology and would obviously make for a more progressive society.
I don't think so. The move towards a society/state less dependent on serfdom or slavery in the early modern era did not result in a shrinking population or a less economically productive population.

Even if the lord wasn't ultimately the judge his power would heavily influence which laws were passed and enforced. The powerful in any society have an outsized role in forming policy that's just that nature of society.
That itself is dependent on how strong the central authority is. The weaker the central authority were, the more influential local elites become. But this also means that the stronger central authority become, the local elites would have far less influence as well.

You are creating a model that is far too simplistic and wrong in my opinion. It's a bad understanding of how complex historical civilisations can be and how they can shift with time.

The 17th century is well past the period I'm talking about. Technology had already begun to shift people away from the fields as less labor was required per ton of food. I'm restricting my assertion to periods and areas where 80% or more of the population was required to farm to keep everybody fed.
The quote is about 17th century legal scholars challenging the idea of feudalism. Also, why are you restricting your assertions to periods and areas where more than 80% of population was required to farm to feed everyone? The fact that modern Europe can move beyond the state it was in the medieval period is an argument that society and agriculture production level isn't something static. It is something that can rapidly change according to different circumstances.
And yet modern states rose from feudal powers and the struggle for power is part of the reason for the technological advancement of the west at a rate unmatched by other world powers. Strife, not solely caused by feudalism but which feudalism contributed to, bred advances in Europe that simply didn't happen in other regions. Then using that power Europe spread their systems all over the world as they took on the role of colonizers in a way which was unprecidented in human history.
You seem to be subscribing to a rather marxist understanding of history, which is problematic because you are forcing history to fit into your paradigm rather than letting history speak of itself.

Modern European states had a medieval past. That does not mean medievalism or "feudalism" was a necessary step for polities to evolve into modern nation states.

The European polities had been struggling for power for centuries after the breakup of the Roman empire in the West, and after the break-up of the Carolingian empire. Yet they did not really surpass the rival, more centralised empires and polities in the east in terms of development and technology until much later. I do not think feudal strife can be said to have any major influence in the development of the modern state.

The development of the modern state is more of a result of renaissance era development, in which the Italian city states ( which cannot be said to be "feudal" in my opinion) provided the template for our modern day nation-state. Again, I think you've relied far too much on sociologists who like to draw very simplified conclusions from history.

Sociology is a useful science when they stick to the modern day and not try to do historical analysis.
While one can't say that any single factor lead to the west rising to dominance for a period of centuries I'd argue that it was a large factor.
I disagree. Your entire case is built so heavily on the idea that there was even a feudal society in the first place, which in itself was a subject heavily debated by medieval specialists. I certainly do not believe you are capable of making a strong argument that feudalism exists and is a useful concept of explaining how societies evolve. I think you have a very euro-centric view of history, and that itself has weakened your entire argument.
Taxes can also be taken in the form of labor which is primarily what the feudal system extracted from the serf class. They worked the lord's lands first, then their own lands, and still they paid taxes from the produce that their land's produced. Essentially they were twice taxed first for labor and second for the product of that labor.
I'm not sure if you understand the meaning of taxation and how it differs from rent. Rents are for private consumption whereas taxes are meant for public consumption. Moreover, labour cannot be taxed, because labour cannot be transferred into a wider monetary exchange system. Labour in itself is useless because what matters at the end of the day is products that can be used within a much wider economy.

Taxation are meant to pay for the upkeep of the state and not the benefit of landlord. It is meant to pay for services done by people who livelihood aren't directly dependent on the land they control, but by a salary.

You keep harping about the feudal system when that itself is not something that's universal in the medieval west. To what extend are you familiar with medieval history to make a case for Bloc and argue against Elizabeth Brown and Susan Reynolds? A Manorial system is not necessarily feudal.

What you are doing now is building up your arguments on a layman's understanding of history, which in itself tends to be full of problems and issues. You've built up a neat little system that seem to explain the development of the modern nation-state, but you've done so by oversimplifying complex issues. You're trying to fit history into this theory you have created, based on your prior views of history. It is not an approach that is workable for tackling a history related subject.

I am wondering if this thread will be better suited to the history sub-forum? This is becoming more of a historical discussion rather than a moral discussions. I get what Pital is saying about this thread being full of bad history.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-06 10:55pm

ray245 wrote:
2019-02-06 09:42pm
I don't think so. The move towards a society/state less dependent on serfdom or slavery in the early modern era did not result in a shrinking population or a less economically productive population.
Only because technological/scientific advances allowed fewer farmers to feed more people. Hence as new technology was introduced new rights could be granted to the lowest classes, you know the entire thrust of this thread.

That itself is dependent on how strong the central authority is. The weaker the central authority were, the more influential local elites become. But this also means that the stronger central authority become, the local elites would have far less influence as well.

You are creating a model that is far too simplistic and wrong in my opinion. It's a bad understanding of how complex historical civilisations can be and how they can shift with time.


The lord always has to deal with the church, the merchants, and other lords. What you fail to grasp is that all of these classes exploit the serfs for their very existence as none of them would accumulate the wealth to exist without the lowest classes passing so much profit upwards. Your assertation only proves the assumption that serfs were needed for society as we know it to form.

The quote is about 17th century legal scholars challenging the idea of feudalism.
Why are those of any more value than reports written in the 30's or 2000's? If age makes findings suspect why cute such an ancient source that was also well removed from feudalism?
Also, why are you restricting your assertions to periods and areas where more than 80% of population was required to farm to feed everyone? The fact that modern Europe can move beyond the state it was in the medieval period is an argument that society and agriculture production level isn't something static. It is something that can rapidly change according to different circumstances.
Because this entire topic of this thread is that rights are a function of technology and the ability of the state to provide for the needs of the citizenry. So if technology changes how many serfs are needed to feed society, in whatever form that society takes, it's natural to look at how restricted the rights of those farmers are and how that changes as technology or technique allows for greater efficiency in providing food to that society.
You seem to be subscribing to a rather marxist understanding of history, which is problematic because you are forcing history to fit into your paradigm rather than letting history speak of itself.

Modern European states had a medieval past. That does not mean medievalism or "feudalism" was a necessary step for polities to evolve into modern nation states.
I disagree, those views and the fragmented states that this period created was a major part of what lead to the leaps forward experienced during the Renaissance. Other states could have made these leaps but relative comfort and a lack of need for outside sources of wealth to surpass their rivals stiffled any desire to explore, expand, or embrace radical shifts in thinking.
The European polities had been struggling for power for centuries after the breakup of the Roman empire in the West, and after the break-up of the Carolingian empire. Yet they did not really surpass the rival, more centralised empires and polities in the east in terms of development and technology until much later. I do not think feudal strife can be said to have any major influence in the development of the modern state.
Much was lost when Rome fell, it took a long time for things to stabilize to the point where new advances could be made. However, it's telling that even throughout this period European war-making was often ahead of their opponents. They simply had better arms and armor when they took the fight east. There were exeptions, mainly the Mongols, but they were an exception to many things and conquered many regions.
The development of the modern state is more of a result of renaissance era development, in which the Italian city states ( which cannot be said to be "feudal" in my opinion) provided the template for our modern day nation-state. Again, I think you've relied far too much on sociologists who like to draw very simplified conclusions from history.
What did those states evolve from? What pressures lead to their creation? Feudalism shaped all of Europe and created the rivalries that lead to city-states and their vast wealth relative to their size. The HRE also encouraged small states to hold power above their nominal might as electors or free cities. One can't simply ignore the conditions that city-states grew out of.
Sociology is a useful science when they stick to the modern day and not try to do historical analysis.
What other methods would you use to analyze these states and the events that lead to their creation? Historians can only look at what happened but often lack the sociological background to say why it happened with any great confidence. They can make guesses but are their guesses any more or less correct than that of a sociologist?
I disagree. Your entire case is built so heavily on the idea that there was even a feudal society in the first place, which in itself was a subject heavily debated by medieval specialists. I certainly do not believe you are capable of making a strong argument that feudalism exists and is a useful concept of explaining how societies evolve. I think you have a very euro-centric view of history, and that itself has weakened your entire argument.
We're talking about how technology effects rights, so it makes sense to study the extremes, such as regions that had issues feeding large populations. These extremes will obviously lead to restricted rights for the lowest classes and a relaxation of those restrictions as conditions ease up. Thus Europe makes a very good case study.

Plus the modern nation-state which grew out of western Europe. Asia and Africa sure as fuck didn't set the tone for modern states and Europe wiped out any chance for the Americas to have a say in the matter. China was advanced but didn't exactly export their ways of government like the Europeans did. So any discussion of the modern nation state will be, by neccesity, Eurocentric. I'm sorry if that offends your sensibilities but it's just the truth.
I'm not sure if you understand the meaning of taxation and how it differs from rent. Rents are for private consumption whereas taxes are meant for public consumption. Moreover, labour cannot be taxed, because labour cannot be transferred into a wider monetary exchange system. Labour in itself is useless because what matters at the end of the day is products that can be used within a much wider economy.
Bullshit. Labor which creates wealth for the higher classes and which is distributed to the military and church is most certainly a form of tax as is rent which also went, via less direct means, to the same places. All these systems served as a means by which value was extracted from the serf and passed upwards to the lords, church, and merchants.
Taxation are meant to pay for the upkeep of the state and not the benefit of landlord. It is meant to pay for services done by people who livelihood aren't directly dependent on the land they control, but by a salary.
The state and the feudal system were one and the same. As the modern notion of a unified state wasn't in practice at the time in the region we're discussing.
You keep harping about the feudal system when that itself is not something that's universal in the medieval west. To what extend are you familiar with medieval history to make a case for Bloc and argue against Elizabeth Brown and Susan Reynolds? A Manorial system is not necessarily feudal.
You've yet to cite sources for this claim aside from a 17th-century text which is no more valid than the early 20th century texts I've sourced and likely to be further from the truth due to a lack of sources and less rigorous peer review.
What you are doing now is building up your arguments on a layman's understanding of history, which in itself tends to be full of problems and issues. You've built up a neat little system that seem to explain the development of the modern nation-state, but you've done so by oversimplifying complex issues. You're trying to fit history into this theory you have created, based on your prior views of history. It is not an approach that is workable for tackling a history related subject.
And you've provided no sources or evidence to counter these claims and have missed the entire reason why I've chosen to focus on the areas that I have. Mainly being that limited resources will always lead to limited rights for the lowest classes and thus inversely greater resources will lead to great rights for that same class. You haven't refuted any of this and seem to be getting sidetracked.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-02-07 03:03am

Firstly, props to ray for awesome stuff in this thread. :D
Jub wrote:
2019-02-06 03:51pm
Gandalf wrote:
2019-02-06 02:19pm
Refutation to what? Your post made claims and you never backed them up when asked.
I thought that the economic model of the middle ages was common knowledge, but I guess your education in history is lacking. My previous musings are supported by Oppenheimer and Olson, and likely others, but medieval socioeconomics is hardly an area of my expertise. Pray tell where your own confidence and opinions on the matter come from and cite your own sources if you disagree with mine.
Ooh, big talk. Let's see how it all plays out. But since you're curious, my confidence comes from a research masters in modern history, and an odd amount of time teaching the subject at university. My theses included critiques of (among other things) sociologists and their works. But this point continues below.
*snip text*

At least two sociologists argue that the modern state came about because of the exploitation of the serfs by ruling classes. We can argue about the morality of the modern state but I doubt you're educated enough to argue against trained sociologists who argue for exploitation of the lowest classes being essential to the rise of the modern state.

*snip text*

This shows the method by which society formed around the relationship between serf and lord. Once again we can argue about the ongoing effects of these systems, but the basis of all modern society and thus modern western rights come from these roots. They come from the lack of rights owed to one class allowing others to pursue lines of thought that lead to the advancement of all mankind.
Holy hell, who taught you how to interpret sources? If it was any sort of educational institution you may be entitled to some sort of compensation. Firstly, you've been arguing that slavery is necessary in societal development, while these sources provided could be generously stated to state that it is sufficient at best. These sources do not back up your claim. As I used to say to my students, read your sources through, go away for a while, and read them again.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 04:03am

Jesus christ. Bad history, sources only on third request and then poorly done, bad farming knowledge and special pleading all over the place.

Jub, GrosseAdmiralFox, your arguments are terrible.

Starting with "people only farm at sword point", drifting past a great man "caste of leaders" modernist (ie a century out of date) view of history to complete and utterhorse shit like

"Obviously, in more fertile regions things will look different than classical western feudalism. The concept of serfdom is only important where it takes 80% or more of your population working to feed your society. In areas where crop fertility is high or you have a better base grain than wheat (Eygpt, the Fertile Crescent, China) you're going to see different social structures emerge because the food is less important."


I mean this is so ignorant it is liberating. What do you think you mean by fertility? Why do you think rice better then wheat? What do you think they grew in egypt and the levant?
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-07 04:13am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-02-07 03:03am
Firstly, props to ray for awesome stuff in this thread. :D
Jub wrote:
2019-02-06 03:51pm
Gandalf wrote:
2019-02-06 02:19pm
Refutation to what? Your post made claims and you never backed them up when asked.
I thought that the economic model of the middle ages was common knowledge, but I guess your education in history is lacking. My previous musings are supported by Oppenheimer and Olson, and likely others, but medieval socioeconomics is hardly an area of my expertise. Pray tell where your own confidence and opinions on the matter come from and cite your own sources if you disagree with mine.
Ooh, big talk. Let's see how it all plays out. But since you're curious, my confidence comes from a research masters in modern history, and an odd amount of time teaching the subject at university. My theses included critiques of (among other things) sociologists and their works. But this point continues below.
*snip text*

At least two sociologists argue that the modern state came about because of the exploitation of the serfs by ruling classes. We can argue about the morality of the modern state but I doubt you're educated enough to argue against trained sociologists who argue for exploitation of the lowest classes being essential to the rise of the modern state.

*snip text*

This shows the method by which society formed around the relationship between serf and lord. Once again we can argue about the ongoing effects of these systems, but the basis of all modern society and thus modern western rights come from these roots. They come from the lack of rights owed to one class allowing others to pursue lines of thought that lead to the advancement of all mankind.
Holy hell, who taught you how to interpret sources? If it was any sort of educational institution you may be entitled to some sort of compensation. Firstly, you've been arguing that slavery is necessary in societal development, while these sources provided could be generously stated to state that it is sufficient at best. These sources do not back up your claim. As I used to say to my students, read your sources through, go away for a while, and read them again.
He seems to be too caught up in winning a debate than actually questioning his stance by reading more about research that disagreed with him.

Other than the 2 sociologists, he has provided no reference to any historical work that showed he understood the actual history.

I know what it is like to be so caught up in an internet debate on something you believed very strongly in. But it will help if he took some time to read the works of historians.

If medieval specialists are cast doubts on the whole idea of a feudal society in the first place, I think non-historians will benefit from actually listening to what academics are saying and not what their high school teachers told them. This is like someone walking into a science debate based on their high school science knowledge
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-07 04:22am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-02-07 03:03am
Ooh, big talk. Let's see how it all plays out. But since you're curious, my confidence comes from a research masters in modern history, and an odd amount of time teaching the subject at university. My theses included critiques of (among other things) sociologists and their works. But this point continues below.
Sweet, drop some knowledge on me if you're willing to point me to some sources.
Holy hell, who taught you how to interpret sources? If it was any sort of educational institution you may be entitled to some sort of compensation. Firstly, you've been arguing that slavery is necessary in societal development, while these sources provided could be generously stated to state that it is sufficient at best. These sources do not back up your claim. As I used to say to my students, read your sources through, go away for a while, and read them again.
I haven't exactly done a deep dive on this topic, my knowledge on a lot of things is broad but shallow.

It seems that serfdom, which I would class as slavery, was all but required to allow society to develop in regions where food was difficult to grow and upwards of 80% of people were needed as farmers to both feed themselves but also allow for lords, churches, and merchants to exist. These classes eventually formed city-states which evolved into what we now know as nation states. Western culture grew out of and was shaped by its treatment of the lowest classes.

Moreover, my entire point is that civil rights improved as just producing enough food for everybody became easier. In regions where growing food was easier or the food grown had more nutritional/caloric value rights tended to be better than they were in regions where resources were more scarce. My entire argument is that serfdom was likely a necessary evil and that rights, as we now understand them, tend to advance as society has greater access to resources and frees more people to do things besides toil for enough food to live off of.

If you want to prove that regions with difficult growing conditions could and did treat their lowest classes better than serfs I'm all ears but based on my admittedly limited knowledge that doesn't seem to have been the case.
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-07 04:03am
Jesus christ. Bad history, sources only on third request and then poorly done, bad farming knowledge and special pleading all over the place.

Jub, GrosseAdmiralFox, your arguments are terrible.

Starting with "people only farm at sword point", drifting past a great man "caste of leaders" modernist (ie a century out of date) view of history to complete and utterhorse shit like

"Obviously, in more fertile regions things will look different than classical western feudalism. The concept of serfdom is only important where it takes 80% or more of your population working to feed your society. In areas where crop fertility is high or you have a better base grain than wheat (Eygpt, the Fertile Crescent, China) you're going to see different social structures emerge because the food is less important."


I mean this is so ignorant it is liberating. What do you think you mean by fertility? Why do you think rice better then wheat? What do you think they grew in egypt and the levant?
By fertility, I mean better and easier growing conditions and longer growing seasons which allow a smaller portion of a given population to farm. Regions which primarily relied upon wheat would be more or less fertile based on how much effort it took to grow a crop capable of meeting that areas needs. Certain regions such as the Nile delta simply produce at a greater rate than say northern France.

As for rice versus wheat. Brown rice has greater energy density per gram than wheat does. It's a significantly better staple crop and China, at least the more populated areas, tends to be more fertile than most of Europe.
He seems to be too caught up in winning a debate than actually questioning his stance by reading more about research that disagreed with him.

Other than the 2 sociologists, he has provided no reference to any historical work that showed he understood the actual history.

I know what it is like to be so caught up in an internet debate on something you believed very strongly in. But it will help if he took some time to read the works of historians.

If medieval specialists are cast doubts on the whole idea of a feudal society in the first place, I think non-historians will benefit from actually listening to what academics are saying and not what their high school teachers told them. This is like someone walking into a science debate based on their high school science knowledge
If you want to link me to something I can access and read I'm open to the idea.

You haven't exactly done a great job of providing me sources to read and backing up your own claims with evidence or explaining why my sources count for less than your sources do. I'm willing to be wrong here, but you need to actually give me something to sink my teeth into if you want me listen.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-02-07 04:34am

Jub wrote:
2019-02-07 04:22am
Sweet, drop some knowledge on me if you're willing to point me to some sources.
Nah.
I haven't exactly done a deep dive on this topic, my knowledge on a lot of things is broad but shallow.
The shallow part is evident.
It seems that serfdom, which I would class as slavery, was all but required to allow society to develop in regions where food was difficult to grow and upwards of 80% of people were needed as farmers to both feed themselves but also allow for lords, churches, and merchants to exist. These classes eventually formed city-states which evolved into what we now know as nation states. Western culture grew out of and was shaped by its treatment of the lowest classes.

Moreover, my entire point is that civil rights improved as just producing enough food for everybody became easier. In regions where growing food was easier or the food grown had more nutritional/caloric value rights tended to be better than they were in regions where resources were more scarce. My entire argument is that serfdom was likely a necessary evil and that rights, as we now understand them, tend to advance as society has greater access to resources and frees more people to do things besides toil for enough food to live off of.

If you want to prove that regions with difficult growing conditions could and did treat their lowest classes better than serfs I'm all ears but based on my admittedly limited knowledge that doesn't seem to have been the case.
Not how it works. You made the claim, you back it up. Ideally you would have had a position before making a claim, and done actual research before forming a position.
ray245 wrote:
2019-02-07 04:13am
He seems to be too caught up in winning a debate than actually questioning his stance by reading more about research that disagreed with him.

Other than the 2 sociologists, he has provided no reference to any historical work that showed he understood the actual history.

I know what it is like to be so caught up in an internet debate on something you believed very strongly in. But it will help if he took some time to read the works of historians.

If medieval specialists are cast doubts on the whole idea of a feudal society in the first place, I think non-historians will benefit from actually listening to what academics are saying and not what their high school teachers told them. This is like someone walking into a science debate based on their high school science knowledge
Indeed. It's pretty much high school technological deterministic thinking, applied waaay too broadly.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-07 04:44am

Jub wrote:
2019-02-07 04:22am


If you want to link me to something I can access and read I'm open to the idea.

You haven't exactly done a great job of providing me sources to read and backing up your own claims with evidence or explaining why my sources count for less than your sources do. I'm willing to be wrong here, but you need to actually give me something to sink my teeth into if you want me listen.
Read Chris Wickham "Framing the Early Middle Ages". Also just go and read the Wikipedia page on feudalism.

It's Wikipedia, but it does provide a summary of the main historical debate about feudalism and manorialism citing works of actual historians.

I'll reply to you more in depth when I'm less busy.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-07 04:48am

Not how it works. You made the claim, you back it up. Ideally, you would have had a position before making a claim, and done actual research before forming a position.
I have, you don't like the sources but they exist. Drop some counter sources on me and I'll read them. If they, and given your level of skepticism at my claims they likely will, cause me to doubt my original position I'll concede.

I'm not here looking for a fight. I made a case base on the knowledge I had coming into this topic, I found sources that support my line of thinking. You can sit here saying that my line of thinking is too coarse to be useful, and I admit that is likely to be the case, but unless you show me I'm wrong and give me something to change my mind I'm apt to go on thinking like this.

I'd rather learn something new today than keep this back and forth up. I debate, even on subjects I have little knowledge of because in doing so I often learn new things. I'm uneducated and if I could afford to change that I would, I'd become a lifelong student and try to get a deeper knowledge of my areas of interest and learn enough to not make the kinds of mistakes I do. Given that this is unlikely to happen I'd appreciate being pointed to new knowledge rather than being told I'm an idiot.

I'm more than willing to change my mind but people on here do a really bad job of providing the info needed for me to do that.

---
ray245 wrote:
2019-02-07 04:44am
Read Chris Wickham "Framing the Early Middle Ages". Also just go and read the Wikipedia page on feudalism.
I'll see if my local library has it.
It's Wikipedia, but it does provide a summary of the main historical debate about feudalism and manorialism citing works of actual historians.

I'll reply to you more in depth when I'm less busy.
Much appreciated. This is a way better way to debate me than just telling me I'm wrong.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-02-07 05:04am

Jub wrote:
2019-02-07 04:48am
I have, you don't like the sources but they exist.[1] Drop some counter sources on me and I'll read them. If they, and given your level of skepticism at my claims they likely will, cause me to doubt my original position I'll concede.[2]

I'm not here looking for a fight. I made a case base on the knowledge I had coming into this topic, I found sources that support my line of thinking. You can sit here saying that my line of thinking is too coarse to be useful, and I admit that is likely to be the case, but unless you show me I'm wrong and give me something to change my mind I'm apt to go on thinking like this.

I'd rather learn something new today than keep this back and forth up. I debate, even on subjects I have little knowledge of because in doing so I often learn new things. I'm uneducated and if I could afford to change that I would, I'd become a lifelong student and try to get a deeper knowledge of my areas of interest and learn enough to not make the kinds of mistakes I do. Given that this is unlikely to happen I'd appreciate being pointed to new knowledge rather than being told I'm an idiot.

I'm more than willing to change my mind but people on here do a really bad job of providing the info needed for me to do that.
[1]: I have no issue with your sources, but rather your representation of them. They did not support the claim that you made. I made that clear.

[2]: Why? I don't owe you shit. Why is it on anyone here to educate you?
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-07 05:05am

Few points to note.

Feudalism is not something that was developed as an actual concept in the medieval period. It's a term that was used in the early modern period to describe the past.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-07 05:14am

Okay, a wiki read of the feudalism page has been done.

It seems like Bloch would agree with my view of things while others would argue that his view is too broad to be useful while yet others such as Brown would argue that feudalism as defined by Bloch or even Ganshof never existed. It doesn't seem as if there is any real consensus on the topic even among experts. Depending on which works one reads and which sources they feel hold the most weight my view could be supported, refuted, or looked at as entirely nonsensical on the basis of feudalism never having existed at all.

It seems like my idea that serfdom was a building block for society could easily require thesis level work to prove and even then many would find fault with the very notion of something as broad as serfdom revealing anything. I'm not qualified to even start on that level of research and likely wouldn't properly understand the works of other thesis level historians working adjacent to my own hypothesis without years of course work and study.

I don't think my idea can easily be proven wrong, though I'll give you naive and woefully underinformed, but neither do I think it possible for me to prove my idea correct with any existing level of research. If I ever manage to go back to school perhaps I'll pursue history and see if this idea holds any real water. Until then, I'll take any sources people are willing to offer and see if I can get free access to them.

-----
[1]: I have no issue with your sources, but rather your representation of them. They did not support the claim that you made. I made that clear.
I don't feel that you've done so with sufficient evidence. It may be evident to you that the source doesn't say what I think it does, but given what you've posted I find it hard to see things from your point of view.
[2]: Why? I don't owe you shit. Why is it on anyone here to educate you?
It isn't but if you want to do something useful with your time pointing me towards sources will win you the debate faster than mocking will.

Of the two of you, I'm way more likely to listen to Ray because he's actually giving me things to look at and trying to change my mind instead of just telling me I'm wrong.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 05:33am

For farming and energy id recomend the first 200 pages of Smil, "energy and civilisation, a history"

He largely ignore politics and legal changes but really gets into the underlying physics of phytomass, human and draft animal energy and nutrient cycles. It also has pithy words about poor models of "rational" peasents seeking to minimise personal labour rather than maximise commodities owned or minimise long term risk. Its this dusjunct at the source of this thread's argument perhaps?
It is also, like many recent books, not too eurocentric as there are important lessons to be drawn from the americas and china (and the different regions and climates of china). Be very very wary of broad and general theories.

In terms of game theory and farm input economics... i cant think of a good one stop shop book. The FAO website has some good stuff, but its been a while since i looked at it.

In terms of social contracts, the greater good and slavery i do not have a strong reccomendation. The penguin introduction series perhaps. I loved its introduction to anarchism
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-07 05:38am

I'm trying to look for scholarly articles related to increased access to resources and how that changed civil rights, unfortunately, I keep running into articles related specifically to the US civil rights movement. Does anybody have any idea for search terms that would shed a light of the basic question "Does increased access to resources tend to cause societies to grant more rights to their citizens? If so how what is the mean time to change and what other factors are related?"

I'd like to provide some proper value to this thread, so if anybody has an idea of what to search for I'm all ears.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 05:50am

Well, a counterexample i can say off the top of my head:

North vietnam was relatively poor and had farners single cropping rice that relied on unpredictable and often devastating red river floods. Because they were so poor, they tended to work together a lot and resented their absentee landlords.

South Vietnam was cropping twice, sometimes three times a year in the much lusher and more reliable Mekong delta. The farmers there were comfortable and independent.

One was attracted more to communist ideology. It was not civil rights given by the powerful, nor was it the rich area.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 05:57am

Another one might be to compare emfranchisement, espcially votes for women, over time in very small poor colonial ireland and the usa.

Another might be to compare something similar between super rich saudia arabia, iran, egypt and Indonesia in the present day.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-07 06:10am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-07 05:57am
Another one might be to compare emfranchisement, espcially votes for women, over time in very small poor colonial ireland and the usa.

Another might be to compare something similar between super rich saudia arabia, iran, egypt and Indonesia in the present day.
Without doing any research I'd argue that in each of those nations wealth hasn't really lifted up the worst classes so much as it has padded the wealth of the already wealthy.

My hypothesis is that access to resources has to happen at a very base level to create increased human rights. States which have wealth but in which the average citizen doesn't see much of it aren't likely to generate the same results as states where that wealth goes to the lowest classes at a meaningful rate and doesn't significantly increase wealth inequality.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 06:18am

Please do the research rather then guessing how to refine your theory to try to dodge the very first counter examples.

even if the research it is as simple as voting rights, gini coefficients and gdp of countries
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Jub » 2019-02-07 06:31am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-07 06:18am
Please do the research rather then guessing how to refine your theory to try to dodge the very first counter examples.

even if the research it is as simple as voting rights, gini coefficients and gdp of countries
I'm not saying I won't, I mean I won't tonight it's 3 am and I should sleep at some point, I'm just stating my hypothesis.

I also think that looking at the factors you've stated won't be enough to prove or disprove anything. I'll look into it but at the gut feeling level I don't imagine that they fit the model I'm looking at and even if they do it's likely that they haven't had enough time to really transform.

My idea is more that moving from 80-90% of a population being needed to produce food to even 70% will naturally produce a new class and lead to increases in rights for even the lowest classes. A very general statement that increases in general productivity at a base level will tend to produce greater rights for the lowest classes. I don't think the states you've listed are great examples, I think looking at the poorest nations on Earth and tracking them and their economic and social growth would be a better place to start.

I think you need big changes at all levels to make a change and that technology which increases productivity and available resources for all will tend to increase the rights for those same citizens. Not all technology and not all economic growth will have that effect. I'm looking at a narrow scope and trying to think of which factors are important to test my theory.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-07 06:47am

More silliness. Large polities such as Persia or China had no widespread slavery.

Serfdom is a concept which is hard to apply to any pre-feudal or non-feudal society, which means „serfdom“ in the East was either not serfdom in a European sense or affected a tiny fragment of the population and thus could not be a primary source of labour.

“Democratic“ slavocracies just show that democracy can be combined with slavery. It does not indicate universally present slavery.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 06:56am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-02-07 06:47am
More silliness. Large polities such as Persia or China had no widespread slavery.

Serfdom is a concept which is hard to apply to any pre-feudal or non-feudal society, which means „serfdom“ in the East was either not serfdom in a European sense or affected a tiny fragment of the population and thus could not be a primary source of labour.

“Democratic“ slavocracies just show that democracy can be combined with slavery. It does not indicate universally present slavery.

God, learn history, guys. It will do you well.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-07 07:00am

Jub wrote:
2019-02-07 06:10am
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-07 05:57am
Another one might be to compare emfranchisement, espcially votes for women, over time in very small poor colonial ireland and the usa.

Another might be to compare something similar between super rich saudia arabia, iran, egypt and Indonesia in the present day.
Without doing any research I'd argue that in each of those nations wealth hasn't really lifted up the worst classes so much as it has padded the wealth of the already wealthy.

My hypothesis is that access to resources has to happen at a very base level to create increased human rights. States which have wealth but in which the average citizen doesn't see much of it aren't likely to generate the same results as states where that wealth goes to the lowest classes at a meaningful rate and doesn't significantly increase wealth inequality.
Or you can give up on broad hypothesis that is easily disproved by detailed historical research. You're building an entire social theory based on high school level history at best. Ask yourself this question:

Do you think you can build a new workable scientific hypothesis based on high school level science knowledge? If not, then why do you make the assumption that you know enough about history to build such a hypothesis?
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-07 07:19am

No, I was talking to Jub and GAF.

Their theory of widespread slavery does not hold water.
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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by Effie » 2019-02-07 07:32am

On a fairly basic level, the existence of Gobekli Tepe and Poverty Point, monumental architecture and possible settlements constructed by people who lacked agriculture, necessarily confounds any arguments about the necessity of labor extraction to allow for the existence of urbanization. With that in mind, any arguments that people would hoard agricultural surplus in the absence of coercion and thus prevent the development of specialized labor face a major difficulty, in that these monumental structures were constructed in the absence of a coercive state. So on that level, at least, any arguments about the necessity of slavery, serfdom, etc. to the construction of society are damaged at the base, before getting into, say, the temple-states of Sumeria or the Indus Valley civilization's minimal visible hierarchy (or even the city of Catalhoyuk in Turkey with a presumptive high level of gender equality) which all confound a simplistic model of universal coercion and brute extraction.

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Re: On the morality of slavery and the effects of technology on civil rights.

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-07 07:47am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-02-07 07:19am
No, I was talking to Jub and GAF.

Their theory of widespread slavery does not hold water.
It's a very western centric viewpoint.
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