Sat Oct 14 13:38:58 PDT 2000

In a message dated 10/14/00 3:54:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, CharlesB at writes:

<< You and Genovese play true devil's advocates by trying to coverup and deny the evidence of how world historically brutal , continuously and openly, American slavery was. >>

Charles, happily, lets the cat out of the bag. The objection to the Genovese theory is really that it is supposed to be apologetic for slavery, minimizing its horrors. It is a moral rather than an empirical or a theoretical objection. Charles is worried that if the slaves consented, slavery would be less bad. But this misses the point that the notion of consent here is not legitimating. For Gramsci, Genovese (then), and me, it does not legitimate oppression if workers or women or slaves do consent to it. It just frames the problem--how do we undermine that consent to foster rebellion and resistance? Frederick Douglass knew this. His life's mission was precisely to formulate a radical justice to win over first the slaves and then the freemen, so that they would frame their harms as wrongs and stand up and fight. --jks

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