Why don't slaves 'rise up' and fight to be free?Thinking it over this week, I began to realize that it's the same as asking, Why do slaves stay slaves? Why do they 'let themselves' be slaves?
Which is a lot like blaming someone for being dead when they are murdered. Or blaming a robbery victim for getting mugged. Or, way more accurately as a metaphor, it's like asking why women are always 'getting themselves raped'.
When you look into it, you find out that slavery as an institution is as old as civilization. Some even argue that civilization is inseparable from slavery, that literally civilization came about because people began enslaving other people. So let's first try to answer the question, "What is slavery?" How do you define slavery?
A good succinct answer:
The permanent, violent and personal domination of natally alienated and generally dishonored persons.Another way to say this is that a person is removed from the culture, society and land of her or his birth and suffers 'social death'. So you could say slaves are the walking dead. It makes you wonder about the obsession in American culture with zombies, who are literally the walking dead.
Orlando Patterson, Sociologist
Okay, so let's look at a brief history of slavery, focusing on the Atlantic slave trade of the 19th century:
Now let's focus in on the American South: