User:Jdcrutch

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J. D. Crutchfield, B.A., J.D.

Virginian sojourner in New York City.

Born Staunton, Virginia, 1960. B.A. cum laude, English, 1984, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.; J.D. 1987, School of Law, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Va. Admitted to the Bar, Virginia 1987, New York 2003.


Guides for Understanding[edit]

Golden Rule in Aramaic.png

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
—Jesus of Nazareth


Die Bourgeoisie kann nicht existieren, ohne die Produktionsinstrumente, also die Produktionsverhältnisse, also sämtliche gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse fortwährend zu revolutionieren. Unveränderte Beibehaltung der alten Produktionsweise war dagegen die erste Existenzbedingung aller früheren industriellen Klassen. Die fortwährende Umwälzung der Produktion, die ununterbrochene Erschütterung aller gesellschaftlichen Zustände, die ewige Unsicherheit und Bewegung zeichnet die Bourgeoisepoche vor allen früheren aus. Alle festen eingerosteten Verhältnisse mit ihrem Gefolge von altehrwürdigen Vorstellungen und Anschauungen werden aufgelöst, alle neugebildeten veralten, ehe sie verknöchern können. Alles Ständische und Stehende verdampft, alles Heilige wird entweiht, und die Menschen sind endlich gezwungen, ihre Lebensstellung, ihre gegenseitigen Beziehungen mit nüchternen Augen anzusehen.


The bourgeoisie cannot exist without continually revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, by contrast, the first condition of existence for all previous industrial classes. Perpetual revolution in production, ceaseless disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeoise epoch from all that have come before. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable beliefs and opinions, are dissolved; all new-formed ones grow obsolete before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is sacred is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his position in life and his relations with his kind.
—Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) (My translation)



What did it mean to be a slave? It is hard to imagine it today. We think of oppression beyond all conception: cruelty, degradation, whipping and starvation, the absolute negation of human rights; or on the contrary, we may think of the ordinary worker the world over today, slaving ten, twelve, or fourteen hours a day, with not enough to eat, compelled by his physical necessities to do this and not to do that, curtailed in his movements and his possibilities; and we say, here, too, is a slave called a "free worker," and slavery is merely a matter of name.
But there was in 1863 a real meaning to slavery different from that we may apply to the laborer today. It was in part psychological, the enforced personal feeling of inferiority, the calling of another Master; the standing with hat in hand. It was the helplessness. It was the defenselessness of family life. It was the submergence below the arbitrary will of any sort of individual. It was without doubt worse in these vital respects than that which exists today in Europe or America....
The slavery of Negroes in the South was not usually a deliberately cruel and oppressive system. It did not mean systematic starvation or murder. On the other hand, it is just as difficult to conceive as quite true the idyllic picture of a patriarchal state with cultured and humane masters under whom slaves were as children, guided and trained in work and play, given even such mental training as was for their good, and for the well-being of the surrounding world.
The victims of Southern slavery were often happy; had usually adequate food for their health, and shelter sufficient for a mild climate. The Southerners could say with some justification that when the mass of their field hands were compared with the worst class of laborers in the slums of New York and Philadelphia, and the factory towns of New England, the black slaves were as well off and in some particulars better off. Slaves lived largely in the country where health conditions were better; they worked in the open air, and their hours were about the current hours for peasants throughout Europe. They received no formal education, and neither did the Irish peasant, the English factory-laborer, nor the German Bauer; and in contrast with these free white laborers, the Negroes were protected by a certain primitive sort of old-age pension, job insurance, and sickness insurance; that is, they must be supported in some fashion, when they were too old to work; they must have attention in sickness, for they represented invested capital; and they could never be among the unemployed.
On the other hand, it is just as true that Negro slaves in America represented the worst and lowest conditions among modern laborers.... They represented in a very real sense the ultimate degradation of man. Indeed, the system was so reactionary, so utterly inconsistent with modern progress, that we simply cannot grasp it today. No matter how degraded the factory hand, he is not real estate. The tragedy of the black slave's position was precisely this; his absolute subjection to the individual will of an owner and to "the cruelty and injustice which are the invariable consequences of the exercise of irresponsible power, especially where authority must be sometimes delegated by the planter to agents of inferior education and coarser feelings."[1]
—W. E. B. du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), reprint (New York: Free Press, 1999): pp. 8-10.



Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Speech, "Chance for Peace" (16 April 1953)

Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dr. DuBois here quotes Charles Lyell, Travels in North America, in the years 1841-2: with geological observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia (New York: Wiley & Putnam 1845), Vol. I, p. 145:
    If due exertions be made to cultivate the minds, and protect the rights and privileges of the negroes, and it nevertheless be found that they cannot contend, when free, with white competitors, but are superseded by them, still the cause of humanity will have gained. The coloured people, though their numbers remain stationary, or even diminish, may in the mean time be happier than now, and attain to a higher moral rank. They would, moreover, escape the cruelty and injustice which are the invariable consequences of the exercise of irresponsible power, especially where authority must be sometimes delegated by the planter to agents of inferior education and coarser feelings.