Britain, Africa, House Of Bondage discussed on The Joe Rogan Experience
You know a fairly common thing for people to go pretty far down the road of denial when they are working in an industry, and and this is sort of the process. I tried to explore a little bit in the book. They're working in an industry. They're confronted with some accusation that they have caused harm. They check their gut and their gut says No. We didn't intend to cause harm. We don't feel guilty, and so their mind starts to come up with reasons why it must be wrong. And their tribal instincts, which are never more than just a millimeter below the surface for pretty much any of us, but but certainly in this case get triggered. So they immediately think well. These people accusing me must have an ulterior motive. They must be the money they want power on attention. They've got some sinister political objective and then the the other part of that tribal dynamic. They start thinking about themselves, and they're truly lofty mission, which isn't just to sell a product, but something else it's to. Protect Freedom, or if you're a slave trader, it's to rescue the Africans from terrible lives in Africa and bring them to the comfortable plantations That was actually an argument. Oh, yeah, the slave trade had a complete rescue narrative. I'm talking about the British slave trade here because. That was that was the first really intense campaign of industrial denial. I could find the BRI the British dominated the slave trade in the seventeen hundreds and the he. They faced a very powerful abolition movement at the end of that century, which was really going to the public and saying look at how brutal this is. They had witnesses. They torture devices. They had all kinds of evidence. and the British were really responding because they even though they dominated the slave trade, you know they had this notion of themselves as civilized and promoting freedom and being very humane, so this was starting to really affect the industry, so the traders and the planters got together formed a slave lobby they had a very organized campaign in response was a slave lobby. There was a very powerful slate lobby I mean the thing about the slave trade was you? Had people invested in it? From the royal family down to the the local bakers too many members of parliament I mean it was widely accepted fully legitimate industry, so the abolitionists really had their work cut out from for them. And they had all this evidence. The industry comes back and they. They knew they couldn't say oh. It's not so brutal. Came back with this complete counter narrative, which was we are rescuing these people that that they're the Africans. Are Eager to be purchased, they actually try to market themselves as how fit they are for for work, they enjoy that crossing across the Atlantic. There is singing dancing games of chance. And when they get to the plantations, it is incredibly comfortable. They get comfy little houses. It's like a cradle to grave welfare state. They don't have to worry if they get sick. We take care of them. We feed them. and they're doing way better than those poor peasants back there in Britain, those poor miners or those people working in the in the new factories, so that was that was part of it and the next part of it was that they. They said that if they had left them in Africa. If you didn't continue this trade, all of these prisoners of Of War would be massacred, or they would be eaten by cannibals, or they would die of famine, so they were. This was a rescue narrative, and here's the really clever part of this, because if you believe that you are rescuing them and persuade other people, I'm not suggesting the industry. Believe this, but if you can persuade people that you are rescuing them. The, flip side is that abolition would doom them. You would be shutting the gates of mercy on mankind because as one trader put it. The House of Bondage is really the the house of freedom to them I may have missed spoken that a little bit, but it was a truly orwellian quote, and and so that way you translate. into inhumanity and brutality, and and you portray the continued slave trade as a way to to save these people one one quote with great that if you were freed the slaves. And by the way this point, they weren't actually talking about freeing the existing slaves just stopping the flow of new slaves. But one of the quotes was that freeing the slaves would be cramming liberty down the throats of people incapable of digesting it. Wow Yeah. So this was the first example that you found of industry that was working to try to distort the perceptions of reality so that they can continue what they're doing, right? And you know they did a lot of other things that. We've seen modern industries doing they they you know I mentioned the reference to the. Poor, peasants and they also talked about you know. How would you like it? Britain if if people came in and started telling the peasants in the soldiers and sailors that they had rights. You know so basically this kind of. You know. Help us or you are next to your whole structure is going to collapse that kind of an argument and then they had an argument about basically. Failing to make a distinction between their industry and their interests, and the whole country, or rather in kind of an early version of what's good for the country is good for GM and vice versa, they said if you abolish this trade, it means universal bankruptcy for the Kingdom. It means Britain is not powerful anymore. It means Britain becomes a province of France it means in the sugar islands that the slaves will massacre the the whites exterminate the whites, and or maybe make the white slaves so they basically just created this incredible slippery slope that every that any kind of reform or certainly abolition of this industry would be disastrous for the entire kingdom. So how well documented is this in terms of the? The influencers like who who started this and is it was the they're like open discussions about how to spin this in a way that it's going to get people to think that slavery is a good thing well. I don't know about internal discussions within the industry. What we do have our lots and lots of books and pamphlets because this was all. All done in writing. We also have some hearings and we have a parliamentary debates. They were recorded not verbatim, but people try to write them down, and so we have some version of what was actually said. In these debates in various hearings, they were parliamentary hearings, so there's actually quite a lot of evidence of the arguments being made in their own words. So and then this was primarily in Britain right right. This is well. That's what I'm talking about here. Obviously there was we had our own abolition movement here Ryan Debate. That's what I was. GonNa ask you did those same arguments of. Did they actually presented in the United States? Some of them did I in the United States it was different, because of course you had an entire society a- built around slavery, and I read one one reference when historian, saying that about half of the defenses of slavery came from clergy. It wasn't quite the same sort of clearly. Here's an industry and here's an audience that they're talking to So that's one of the reasons I didn't focus quite at all. Really on the on the American. Clergy, that's what this this historian said I. I didn't dig into those they did by the way they'll find one. Source and now I don't remember if he was a plantation owner or something else who described? the called slavery. You know basically a way to make people as happy as can be, and and call it the ideal of communism, which was funny because you don't even think of communism. Of that debate is existing, this would have been in the eighteen hundreds now but he was saying that the North is exploiting. These workers not taken care of them, but in the south. We we take care of them. We make them happy as slaves twos. So. Is this a pattern that existed before that..