Anti-Slavery Arguments Against George Fitzhugh’s Work
Anti-Slavery Arguments Against George Fitzhugh’s Work. Freedom and equality of rights should first be viewed as a moral obligation as opposed to governing rules and regulations that influence people’s comfort and happiness, as Fitzhugh argued. How a person wishes to be treated in society is the same way he should try to treat any other person. It makes no sense that as a member of society, l would consider my position superior to others based on my social status and ethnic background.
Having equal rights does not state that it is a go-ahead for people with power and wealth to take advantage of those less privileged. On the contrary, it creates common ground for the people in power and those who are not to establish governing laws to help them achieve the best of life. People with wealth, land, and other vast property should not hire employees based on turning them into slaves; rather they should hire workers to help them improve their poverty situation.
Governments were formed to establish a sense of balance and promote peace, and in no way were they developed to show a difference between the rich and the poor (Sedgwick, 1840). Therefore, all governments should strive to enact and implement liberty and equality. There is no denying that people are different and might have different opinions on how liberty and equality impact society; however, this does in no way imply that it is the foundation of promoting slavery and accepting it in society. Furthermore, although there are different forms of government, such as capitalism, communism, and authoritarianism, it does not necessarily mean they have varying end goals. The primary goal of all these governments is to ensure that their people live in peace and are in equal positions to work towards a better and more fulfilling life.
Growth and development distinguish the North and South, not the idea that the activities of Sothern people make them less members of the society. Fitzhugh (1854) tried to promote the notion that poor infrastructure and farming diminished the people of the South compared to those in the North, but this was not the case. Foreigners go to the North, where the cities are to enter into business transactions that will benefit them and their home country in terms of trading. However, farming activities play a part in establishing balance; without the products from farming, trading would be limited, not to mention food would be scarce. Rather than promoting the South’s strengths in relation to the country, Fitzhugh (1854) is trying to create a rift to justify the whole idea of slavery.
Failure is part of life, and it gives people the strength to further on in their quest to achieve success. Moreover, it is not business only that fails, but farming also fails, and the two should not be perceived as competing rivals but rather as complementing entities. Both the great farmer in the South and the Successful businessman in the North, in one of the cities, add up to form the society, and neither should be considered superior to the other.
The promotion of liberty and equality should not be sold as an experiment that can either fail or succeed, as purported by Fitzhugh. These are moral virtues that should be integrated into government policies and society at large. As opposed to analyzing governments that have adopted liberty and equality into their system, such as France and England, as a country, we should also be working towards implementing them. The rising of trading unions and calls for better wages for laborers and sharing profits is not a failure but the first step towards success.
Arguing that liberty and equality shift us from our Christian virtues is a fallacy (Fitzhugh, 1857). From our history, we learn that Christian virtues and the Bible, in all its chapters and verses, promote equality and liberty: before the Almighty God, we are all equal and were made in his own image. Therefore, trying to justify slavery based on the acts of humans, whether they are Christians or believe in God, is invalid and should not be accepted. My status as a human being should not be defined by race, background, or social status; no one should own the other. My hard work and productivity in society should help establish my place in society, given equal opportunities.
Man is not property and should not be likened to land, cow, or house: no argument would convince me otherwise (Sedgwick, 1840). In all the years that I have been part of this world, I have seen the worst and the best of men, but never have I experienced a situation where one man should be given the power to own another man. We might all come from different backgrounds and not have the same opportunities, but this is not the go-ahead to take advantage of the less privileged. It is an opportunity to come together and work towards establishing a world where all people can live life in full.
Slavery, in its own definition, is a sign of weakness on the part of the spit; it shows their inadequacies and fears that another person might be better than them and take over what they consider valued possession. Furthermore, slavery ensures that a person you perceive as a threat does not get the chance to compete. In as much as it is argued that men are always taught to compete to be better in society, this does not give a person the right to own another person, given that he was able to make it first in society.
Slave trade, whether white or black, should not be accepted. It makes no sense that a person has the sole purpose of owning another man: According to (Fitzhugh, 1857), all efforts and hard work are aimed at becoming a master of another human being. Instead of arguing that labor laws do not favor laborers and should, therefore, resort to slavery, the focus should be put in trying to amend the current laws on labor. An independent free laborer wakes up every morning with the goal and purpose of working towards improving their current status of life (Fitzhugh, 1854). This is not the same as a slave who wakes up to serve the master’s needs; he or she has no drive and does his or her activities with no purpose in life.
Despite its downfalls, the government should never be considered the enabler of such things as inequalities. The government was established to try and ensure that all its people have a share in its resources and can live a comfortable life. Happiness is relative and may vary depending on a person. It is, therefore, wrong to try and imply that the government promoting liberty and equality of rights to all its people is taking away their happiness and will to achieve their purpose in life (Sedgwick, 1840). Different factors play a role in happiness, but I firmly believe that one of the primary factors is freedom. Being free gives a person a chance to pursue things that will add to their happiness and purpose.
There is no way that as a slave and being associated with the things or possessions that the owner has gives them satisfaction. All men, at one point or another, should be given the same opportunity to try and establish themselves to own possessions in their names. Working towards a particular goal in life is a motivator that I believe is in all men, which should never be taken away from them.
My will to live should not be driven by the fact that I will serve another man who acts as a god. We can compete in trying to get part of the resources that the country has to offer and create our place in society, but this should not be done at the expense of the freedom of another human being. Governments are not hundred percent functioning, but rather than focus on their drawbacks in trying to enact and implement liberty and equality, as a people, we should join forces and work towards making the government better.
Fitzhugh, G. (1854). Sociology for the South: Or, The failure of a free society. Richmond, Va: A. Morris.
Fitzhugh, G. (1857). Cannibals All! or. Slaves Without Masters.
Sedgwick, T. (1840). A collection of the political writings of William Leggett.