Slavery Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 323 quotes )
Slavery, you know, is nothing else than the unwilling labor of many. Therefore to get rid of slavery it is necessary that people should not wish to profit by the forced labor of others and should consider it a sin and a shame. But they go and abolish the external form of slavery and arrange so that one can no longer buy and sell slaves, and they imagine and assure themselves that slavery no longer exists, and do not see or wish to see that it does, because people still want and consider it good and right to exploit the labor of others.
Are you so simple as to assume that the Big Surrender banished the concept of human slavery from the earth? What is the principle of slavery? Only the literal buying and selling of human flesh on the block? That was only an outside symbol. Real slavery is couched in the desire and the efforts of any man or community to live and advance their interests at the expense of the lives and interests of others. All of the outward signs come out of that.
I have observed this in my experience of slavery, - that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceased to be a man.
When does real love begin? At first it was a fire, eclipses, short circuits, lightning and fireworks; the incense, hammocks, drugs, wines, perfumes; then spasm and honey, fever, fatigue, warmth, currents of liquid fire, feast and orgies; then dreams, visions, candlelight, flowers, pictures; then images out of the past, fairy tales, stories, then pages out of a book, a poem; then laughter, then chastity. At what moment does the knife wound sink so deep that the flesh begins to weep with love? At first power, power, then the wound, and love, and love and fears, and the loss of the self, and the gift, and slavery. At first I ruled, loved less; then more, then slavery. Slavery to his image, his odor, the craving, the hunger, the thirst, the obsession.
Bear in mind, now, that most of this work was done by men who had no intention whatever, when they enlisted, of making war to end slavery. Slavery was killed by the act of war itself. It was the one human institution on all the earth which could not possibly be defended by force of arms, because that force, once called into play, was bound to destroy it. The Union armies which ended slavery were led by men like Grant and Sherman, who had profound sympathies with the South and who had never in their lives shown the slightest sympathies with the abolitionists. But they were also men who believed in the one great, fearful fact about modern war--that when you get into it, the guiding rule is that you have to win it.
Brave and loyal followers! Long ago we resolved to serve neither the Romans nor anyone other than God Himself, who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind. The time has now come that bids us prove our determination by our deeds we have never submitted to slavery, even when it brought no danger with it. We must not choose slavery now, and with it penalties that will mean the end of everything if we fall alive into the hands of the Romans God has given us this privilege, that we can die nobly and as free men and leave this world as free men in company with our wives and children.(Elazar Ben Yair)
I may be deemed superstitious, and even egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor. But I should be false to the earlierst sentiments of my soul, if I suppressed the opinion. I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence. From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.
Grandmother pointed out my brother Perry, my sister Sarah, and my sister Eliza, who stood in the group. I had never seen my brother nor my sisters before; and, though I had sometimes heard of them, and felt a curious interest in them, I really did not understand what they were to me, or I to them. We were brothers and sisters, but what of that? Why should they be attached to me, or I to them? Brothers and sisters were by blood; but slavery had made us strangers. I heard the words brother and sisters, and knew they must mean something; but slavery had robbed these terms of their true meaning.
The scriptures present a God who delights in genocide, rape, slavery, and the execution of nonconformists, and for millennia those writings were used to rationalize the massacre of infidels, the ownership of women, the beating of children, dominion over animals, and the persecution of heretics and homosexuals. Humanitarian reforms such as the elimination of cruel punishment, the dissemination of empathy-inducing novels, and the abolition of slavery were met with fierce opposition in their time by ecclesiastical authorities and their apologists. The elevation of parochial values to the realm of the sacred is a license to dismiss other people’s interests, and an imperative to reject the possibility of compromise.