By George Fitzhugh, C. Vann Woodward
Cannibals All! acquired extra realization in William Lloyd Garrison's Liberator than the other publication within the historical past of that abolitionist magazine. And Lincoln is expounded to were extra angered by way of George Fitzhugh than via the other pro-slavery author, but he unconsciously paraphrased Cannibals All! in his condominium Divided speech. Fitzhugh used to be provocative as a result of his stinging assault on loose society, laissez-faire economic climate, and salary slavery, besides their philosophical underpinnings. He used socialist doctrine to shield slavery and drew upon a similar facts Marx utilized in his indictment of capitalism. Socialism, he held, used to be in basic terms "the new trendy identify for slavery," although slavery was once way more humane and dependable, "the most sensible and most typical kind of socialism." His preferable testimony was once provided by means of the abolitionists themselves. He combed the diatribes in their acquaintances, the reformers, transcendentalists, and utopians, opposed to the social evils of the North. "Why all this," he requested, "except that unfastened society is a failure?" the difficulty started, based on Fitzhugh, with John Locke, "a presumptuous charlatan," and with the heresies of the Enlightenment. within the nice Lockean consensus that makes up American concept from Benjamin Franklin to Franklin Roosevelt, Fitzhugh for that reason stands proud as a lone dissenter who makes the traditional polarities among Jefferson and Hamilton, or Hoover and Roosevelt, look insignificant. Beside him Taylor, Randolph, and Calhoun mix inconspicuously into the yank consensus, all being apostles of John Locke in a point. An highbrow culture that suffers from uniformity--even whether it is virtuous, liberal conformity--could stand a little distinction, and George Fitzhugh can provide extra of it than the other American philosopher.
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Extra info for Cannibals All! Or, Slaves without Masters (The John Harvard Library)
They point out distinctly the character of the disease under which the patient is laboring, but see no way of curing the disease except by killing the patient. In the preceding chapter, we illustrated their theory of capital by a single example. We might give hundreds of illustrations, and yet the subject is so difficult that few readers will take the trouble to understand it. Let us take two wellknown historical instances: England became possessed of two fine islands, Ireland and Jamaica. Englishmen took away, or defrauded, from the Irish their lands, but professed to leave the people free.
The negro slave is free, too, when the labors of the day are over, and free in mind as well as body; for the master provides food, raiment, house, fuel, and everything else necessary to the physical well-being of himself and family. The master's labors commence just when the slave's end. No wonder men should prefer white slavery to capital, to negro slavery, since it is more profitable, and is free from all the cares and labors of black slave-holding. Now, reader, if you wish to know yourself - to "descant on your own deformity" - read on.
Unlike his Southern predecessors and contemporaries, Fitzhugh's approach was not political, or economic, or Ie• Charles A. Beard, The American Spirit (New York, 1942), p. 288. xxxii GEORGE FITZHUGH, SUI GENERIS galistic, but sociological and psychological - both with an antique flavor, and yet more attuned to the modern than to the eighteenth- or nineteenth-century mind. His belated discovery of his intellectual obligations to the ancients is revealing of both his naIvete and his originality. He wrote Professor Holmes in 1855: I received from Mr.
Cannibals All! Or, Slaves without Masters (The John Harvard Library) by George Fitzhugh, C. Vann Woodward