Friday, February 11, 2005

Why History is Important

Non-Politically-Corrected history, that is.

La Shawn Barber discusses a review of Adam Hochschild's Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves by Thomas Sowell.

Hochschild's book traces 18th Century Abolitionist history in England.

Some Sowell nuggets of observation:

To me the most staggering thing about the long history of slavery — which encompassed the entire world and every race in it — is that nowhere before the 18th century was there any serious question raised about whether slavery was right or wrong. In the late 18th century, that question arose in Western civilization, but nowhere else.


The anti-slavery movement was spearheaded by people who would today be called “the religious right” and its organization was created by conservative businessmen. Moreover, what destroyed slavery in the non-Western world was Western imperialism.

Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today’s intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn’t fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened.

With La Shawn's zinger:

The idea that blacks don’t need skin color preferences and have succeeded without liberals and government handouts doesn’t fit their vision, either. It’s as though black advancement absent entitlements and special treatment never happened.

If you haven't visited La Shawn's site, please do.

I think you'll find it fun -- her optimism is infectious.