Theme 2

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  • All forms of slavery embody a profound and inherent contradiction, illustrating the most extreme form of a tension we experience almost daily in more subtle or benign interactions of inequality. I refer to the desire to dominate another person until she or he becomes a willing extension of our own will, an instrument to serve our needs. Ideally, for the master or mistress, a slave is a person who has internalized a consuming desire to please and flatter the owner, like a loving pet. Thus in the New Testament Paul tells Titus: "Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity." Peter instructs slaves to "accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh." Ideally, from the master's perspective, there should be no boundary separating him from his human tool or instrument. Yet no matter how degraded or responsive to a master's sticks and carrots, the slave is of course an independent center of consciousness, a unique human mind often aware of an owner's weaknesses and capable of defiance, retaliation, or subtle triumphs that uncloak a master's pretensions to godhood.
    Since slaves were typically though not always recruited from foreign peoples-and for ancient Greeks the ideal slave was a "barbarian," who spoke a different language-enslavement became an important by-product of intercontinental empires. When we look at examples of great imperial expansion, like that of Rome from the mid-200s B.C.E. to the early Common Era, we find an immense flow of slaves from outlying zones of conquest to Sicily and southern Italy, where slaves transformed the nature of agricultural production on latifundia, or plantations, providing incidentally a crucial precedent in law and practice for the later New World. Many educated American
  • Theme 2

    1. 1. By: Kasandra Bartels History 140
    2. 2.  This book starts off by explaining the First World Conqueror, the people of Europe who began in ancient Greece. The Greeks are thought of as “extreme travelers.”  The book goes back further in history with Cyclopes, who destroyed Odysseus’s army. These people know of no travel and have never left their home.  Travel is said to broaden the horizons of life. The first person to make this discovery was Solon, who created the first political society in European history.
    3. 3.  Most of Greek history is centered around wanderers in search of knowledge. The ‘father of history’ Herodotus, traveled from Egypt to Libya, then Babylon to the Phoenician city of Tyre, and ending up in southern Russia.  Great adventures, colonization and conquest such as this required very skilled navigators with large ships.  Immanuel Kant believed that human conflict was nature forcing intelligent men to leave their homes and travel to a new place.
    4. 4.  The “triumph of the west” is the capacity to transform and army of men into men who are able to destroy their enemies.  The Athenian army comes to mind, with a soldier holding a spear and shield.  Each man shelters and is sheltered by his neighbor, they are brothers who work as one.  The survival of a soldier depends on the survival of the entire army.
    5. 5.  Some main arguments the author highlights are illustrated in these articles and films:  He argues that the Eurasian village is not created our of pure will, that it is only the result of a chain of developers. Much like the ripple effect. This happened, so that happened too.  The first loop in the chain starts with hunter/gatherer, then moves to agriculture. This leads to food surpluses. As these societies grow, classes among the people are made. This is how empires of civilizations are developed.
    6. 6.  Eurasia had an advantage with agriculture, because of their suitable plants and animals.  On the downside, Native Americans had troubles when growing maize, since it must be planted one by one.  Sub-Saharan Africans had mostly wild animals, while Eurasia had larger animals that were easily taimed.  As agriculture grew, societies grew. This in turn resulted in trade.
    7. 7.  America had a hard time when developing agriculture at a given latitude for the use of other latitudes. An example of this struggle are the Rocky Mountains.  Africa also had frustrations with crops because of their extremely dry climate. Certain places had an abundance of plants and animals, while other parts of Africa had nothing. Plants and animals cannot survive in certain parts of Africa, and this created a problem with agriculture.
    8. 8.  Chattel slavery is the oldest institution known in written records, which has been practiced in several countries over many thousands of years.  Many slaves became a part of cannibalism and ritual sacrifice, sexual exploitation, torture and even death.  Slaves were defined as “not one of us” an alien, so they were often treated as cattle, stripped naked and sold like livestock.
    9. 9.  All kinds of slavery contradicted themselves. The main root of slavery is inequality. This refers to the desire to dominate over another person and train them to please their owners, acting as a loving pet.  Slaves were supposed to be submissive and give satisfaction with respect. They were not allowed to talk back, and to show perfect fidelity. They must accept the authority of their masters, even though the commands are harsh.

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