The latest installment of “Random Book Blogging” come from “Noah’s Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery” by Stephen R. Haynes.
In this section, Haynes is explaining how pro-slavery advocates argued that the institution of slavery was absolutely necessary for the stability of society and attacked abolitionists as intent on destroying the family, Christianity, and government:
The proslavery compulsion to associate human subjugation and civic harmony is quite evident in the writings of Virginian George Fitzhugh, the most respected slavery apologist in the decades prior to the Civil War. In two books published during the 1850s – Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society (1854) and Cannibals All! or, Slaves Without Masters (1857) – Fitzhugh assailed the foundations of democratic society while establishing an intellectual basis for slavocracy. Fitzhugh regarded the preservation of societal order as among the chief benefits of human thralldom, declaring that “at the saveholding South all is peace, quiet, plenty and contentment. We have no mobs, no trade unions, no strikes for higher wages, no armed resistance to the law, but little jealousy of the rich by the poor. We have but few in our jails, and fewer in our poor houses.” This was no coincidence: Because blacks so clearly required masters, racial slavery was “the most necessary of all human institutions,” an “indispensable police institution.”
In Fitzhugh’s view, abolitionists sought nothing less than the reorganization of American society. They wished “to abolish … or greatly modify the relations of husband and wife, parent and child, the institution of private property of all kinds, but especially separate ownership of lands, and the institution of Christian churches now existing in America.” If they are successful, Fitzhugh warned, government, law, religion, and marriage would be among the causalities.
Gee, where I have heard that argument before?