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History: Blood Simple- The Human Preoccupation By Lonnie Hicks
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011
Last edited: Friday, July 24, 2015
This short story is rated "PG" by the Author.
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This blog will look at the history of the human race and the dark story of its preoccupation with blood.
Updated: 3/24/14 Sex and Blood in the Bible
Updated: 3/22/14 Psychopathic Behavior in the Bible
Updated: 1/8/14 The Mongol Empire-The Quintessential Blood Simple Society?
Updated: 1/5/14 Slavery and the Fall of the Roman Empire
It is a dark story, one seldom talked about. We as a race have a history where this factor, like the crazy aunt has been locked in our attics, yet, also lies hidden in plain sight.
From blood sacrifices, to the story of Abraham, to cannibalism, to war, to the popularity of horror movies, to the preoccupation today with vampires, to Roman ritualized sacrifices in a public arena, it is clear our race has had a long obsession with human blood and the blood of animals.
What is this history? Why has it occurred? Why is it so central to human culture today?
What have been the counter tendencies to this preoccupation?
What was the untold story of Jesus and his reactions to blood sacrifices and the story of Abraham?
It is something few have looked at over time.
In the coming days I will step into those waters and see what stirs.
Warning this blog is not for the young and teens and sensitive adults.
5-14-11 Chapter One: Blood, Blood Everywhere
5-15-11 Cannibalism Has A Long History and Why
5-17-11 Jesus, Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice
5-19-11 So What Was The Original Sin-That Jesus allowed himself To Be Sacrificed For?
5-20-11 The Impact Upon the World of the Jesus Doctrines.
5-21-11: When Ritual Slaughter Fails
5-22-11 The Chinese Way of Ritual Slaughter-They were As Bloody as Anyone Else
5-30-11 "Slavery, Money and the Sacrificial Tradition"
A first consideration in this account is to look at what is meant by "Blood Simple." It is a term which came into popular parlance with the production of the Cohen brother’s movie by the same title, a story of murder, double-cross, jealousy misunderstanding and mayhem.
But that title is attributed to an earlier novel by Dashiell Hammett in his novel Red Harvest. The term in that book is used to describe the mindset of people who have been exposed to prolonged and repeated immersions in violent, bloody situations and stories.
That is the definition in our meaning in this blog.
Does this sound familiar? It should.As I write this the BBC online headline for days has been the story of a 62 year old British female tourist who was beheaded in the Canary Islands. The attacker apparently without a motive was tackled with the bloody head in his hands in the parking lot. And true to our modern preoccupation withblood the whole thing was up on YouTube within days.
To make the point another way: our news in most countries operates on the motto, “If it bleeds it leads.”
So blood indeed is a preoccupation of ours. And I will show that it has been also central in the history of the race not only recently. but historically as well. and most often coupled with sex and death.
5-15-11 Cannibalism Has a Long History
It is clear from the historical record that cannibalism a long history dating at least from 50,000 years ago. There the archeological evidence is that Neanderthals as well as Cro-Magnon man practiced it as well as each often eating one another.
The summary fact seems to be that cannibalism has happened throughout the entire world.
Even chimp bands, we have discovered, will often fight, kill and capture members of rival bands and eat the fallen. In 2003 a controversial article in Science magazine made the argument that canniblism practices likely caused a gene marker present in our brains to protect us from diseases which likely came from cannibalistic practices--especially that of eating the human brain.
Why all this human munching?
The answers are easy to see and mundane.
The human race was down to about 400-to-14,000 individuals 60,000 years ago and was part of a very small gene pool and was subjected to in-breeding, deadly climate change, and forced migrations and a precarious existence. The race hit upon hard times.
It is not unlikely that consumption of human flesh was necessary to survival at several points.
Other factors developed and the likely the practice was rationalized by giving it religious overtones, by claiming that it was the will of the gods, by claiming that the enemy tribe were not human and could be consumed like the flesh of animals, by claiming that by eating one's enemies one could obtain supernatural powers, or the powers of the enemy warrior.
Perhaps, as well, the consumption of human flesh over time gave some humans a taste for blood and human flesh independent of the conditions which gave rise to the practice.
Gory and scary huh? You bet.
In the modern era:
"There are many claims that cannibalism was widespread during the famine of Ukraine in the 1930s, during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II, and during the Chinese Civil War and the Great Chinese Famine (1958–1961), following the Great Leap Forward in the People's Republic of China.
There were also rumors of several cannibalism outbreaks during World War II in the Nazi concentration camps where the prisoners were malnourished. 
Cannibalism was also practiced by Japanese troops as recently as World War II in the Pacific theater. 
A more recent example is of leaked stories from North Korean refugees of cannibalism practiced during and after a famine that occurred sometime between 1995 and 1997. "
We have, according to many reports from scientists, anthropologists to explorers, which make it clear that the practice goes back at least 50,000 years and is not confined to any single culture.
From the Pacific Islanders, certain tribes in New Guinea, plane crash victims in Uruguay in 1970, cannibalism was reported as well among Jamestown settlers, among tribes in New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, parts of West Africa, Polynesia, New Guinea, Sumatra, Fiji, among the Anasazi culture of the South west in the United States, the Mayans, and among the Aztecs as well.
Similarly, the Celts, the Druids, ancestors of the Brits sacrificed hundreds at a time often placing the victims in the foundation stones of their monuments-often showing signs of carnivorous consumption.
But the aspect I will concentrate on in this blog is where cannibalism, ritual murder, ritual sacrifice, virgin sacrifices and the like involve contact with direct blood flows because blood is our topic.
For those interested in reading more, here are links to get you started.
5-17-11 Jesus, Cannibalism and the Sacrificial Tradition
Let's move away from this human snacking theme and have a look at sacrifice, specifically the bloody legacy of ritual sacrifice and ritualized murder.
We see in history horrible blood-letting in practices of drawing and quartering, witch burning, human sacrifices, virgin sacrifices, children and infants being sacrificed, hearts ripped still beating from living tissue, out and out tortures of incredible cruelty, and mass sacrifices in public in Roman arenas, in fairy tales told to children where they are threatened with being eaten, and the list goes on.
Capital punishment today is a highly ritualized form of killing, reminiscent of the sacrifice ritual of old, except these are carried out by the state.
What is the nature and importance of all of these sacrificial practices and their history?
We can, with this backdrop, identify perhaps the most important event in human history in these regards and that is the life and times of the historical Jesus confronting these sacrificial practices in his day.
Having looked into this topic in “The Gospel According to Lilith” I have come away with a different perspective on the importance of the Jesus figure in relation to this theme which I’ll likely expand upon in greater detail in a later book.
But for now ponder these points:
1-Jesus came into a world where cannibalism, ritual sacrifice, animal sacrifice, and ritualized murder were common.
He saw John the Baptist beheaded and his head presented to Herod on a plate. This was, undoubtedly, disturbing to the young Jesus.
The importance, however, of all this has been ignored in my view—that is the biblical and historical Jesus brought a revolutionary message which has been obscured over the centuries.
That message was “Thou shall not kill, eat, and sacrifice thy friend’s neighbors, enemies and animals.
He likely came from an Essene family, therefore, likely a vegetarian, and a pacifist.
Imagine how revolutionary that message must have been. Sacrificial practices in the day were common to Jew, Roman, Greek, Egyptian and barbarian alike. Such practices were near universal.
The revolutionary message of Jesus was not just there was a single God but that God did not want you to eat your neighbors, sacrifice them in the name of religion and that goes for animals as well.
He likely did not endorse the Abraham story of sacrificing one's son. This was an old testament requirement, not a new testament one, and Jesus was the bringer of the new testament.
The ethos at the time in the hands of the priests was that these sacrifices were necessary to please God or the Gods and assure abundance. The Egyptians are a good example, often entombing hundreds in the Pharaohs quest for immortality theoretically to ensure prosperity and a good harvest.
This was the dominant belief system of the time and the dominant rationale in most of the ancient world and had been for centuries. But this has not been discussed in our history books-certainly not in relation to sacrifice and ritualized murder.
Jesus arrives and questions the entire sacrifice ethos and with it the very foundations of the state and religion as well. That is his true revolutionary message coupled with a new kind of religion which simply states ‘you are your brother’s keeper.” and don't kill or eat him.
I believe we have missed how these two were and are related.
However, that tradition of sacrifice did not die and continues to this day in battle with the message of Jesus.
We seen clear signs of symbolic cannibalism, sacrifice, especially among some religion groups with the Eucharist where the believer is to eat the wafer and drink the wine symbolizing these are the blood and body of Jesus Christ. This point could not be made more clearly around the cannibalism theme I have discussed above.
How strange is this?
Clearly this harkens back to the traditions I have identified above and they continue in symbolic form today—despite the fact they represent the opposite of what Jesus taught. Jesus did not stand for cannibalistic practices of any kind.
The use of crucifixion images where Jesus is seen as a sacrificial figure, literally bloodied on the cross again is the opposite of what Jesus said and believed.
God “sacrificed” his only Son for our sins makes no sense compared to the substance of what Jesus actually taught. But contemporaries easily integrated these old themes and attached them to Jesus where they did not in fact belong.
Romans crucified. Why would God want his son “sacrificed” in this horrendous Roman way?
So we ask what are biblical texts and history to support the point of view I am advancing here.
No time to go through all of the examples—that will happen in the forthcoming book, but here are a few:
1-In the story of Cain and Abel God rejects Cain’s offering of wheat and Abel’s offering of an animal sacrifice is accepted. While some have interpreted this as a struggle between the virtues of nomadic shepherds versus the evils of settled agriculture which made cities possible (I take this view as well) but note here that this is the Old testament and Abel’s sacrificial offering is precisely what Jesus rebels against in the New Testament.
2-The issue is not only about nomads versus cities but about, in the view of Jesus, the issue is about ending sacrifices as well, ending sacrifices as barbaric and too much like the practices of the Romans which the Jews deplored.
Further to this point, Jesus did not only throw the money changers out of the temple at about age 12 because they allowed the temple to be defiled by dung and animals. He threw them out because they were sacrificing animals, lambs and doves in the temple, and in these bloody rituals, the priests were also charging for the animals to be sacrificed and in doing so were growing rich in the process. Opposing this directly threatened the income of the priestly class and the rabbis--a central reason they felt Jesus to be a threat to their power.
(The same is true centuries later when Martin Luther led the Protestant movement citing the selling of salvation artifacts saying that these were needed for the believer to get into heaven.) Some popes did this as well.
However, in the case of Jesus, the sacrificial practices were a central issue; he did not endorse the blood-letting in any fashion.
So in summary it was commerce in sacrifices as well that Jesus objected to as much as money-changing.
The obscuration of these points in the revision of the Jesus message and the continuing battle between these two traditions is still with us.
The message was very simple don’t kill, don’t sacrifice, and don’t eat human beings, and possibly this also included animals- a revolutionary message at the time and had an enormous impact in changing the course of human history. This, too, is an aspect of the Christ figure which is ignored.
We today have sought to substitute non-bloody versions of sacrifice and many still argue that human sacrifice in the name of religion and the state (martyrs and war) are necessary sometimes for the state and national security. The suicide bomber, the Kamikaze pilot all are promised rewards in heaven and 21 virgins if they sacrifice themselves for the state. This sacrificial tradition is still with us existing side by side with its opposite.
Next time let’s look more closely at the follow-on battle between the sacrificial tradition and the tradition I argue Jesus founded. What and why have both traditions persisted to this very day?
What has fed them (pardon the pun?”?) More tomorrow and, between now and then, don't read your kids fairy tale stories where someone gets munched.
For those who doubt this preoccupation with blood and Christ the following link to the website below is instructive.
5-19-11 So What is the Meaning of the Sacrifice of Jesus?
The implications of the “sacrifice” of Jesus, in my view have also been misunderstood. If his sacrifice was to purge mankind of original sin, we may ask what is that original sin. I submit that Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed only as the last sacrifice of a long history of sacrifices.
He said, in effect I should be the last sacrifice. His mission, as I argue, was to end sacrifices, end cannibalism, and ritual blood murder which are the original sins of mankind.
We must ponder this slowly and carefully. God gave his only son to purge our sins. What are the great sins that Jesus witnessed? He witnessed beheadings, cannibalism sacrificial crucifixions, public dismemberments and the like.
He sought to end these practices.
And others, which are outlined in the ten commandments.
So what we may ask is the primal original sin--my answer eating one's enemies, eating one's brother's and sisters, eating one's neighbors, ritual sacrifice of children and infants, and the like, all common then.
And this was, I argue, was turning point in human history, practices which had been long ingrained in the race.
Now we see that battle is not over. Today we see ritual practices are still with us. But how to combat all this. More tomorrow.
5-20-11 Christ, Justice and Equality
This "sacrifice" of Jesus has other implications which are seldom recognized down through the centuries Now if slaves, children, enemies and fellow citizens are not to be eaten, to be in fact loved, not revenged upon, what then exactly is their status?
For centuries countries, tribes and nation-states acted and asserted that slaves were slaves and royalty was royalty, that the conquered had no rights and could be ritually murdered at the will and whim of the power brokers.
The message of Jesus was a thunderbolt into the heart of these assumptions. All people, were equal, not to be enslaved, were in fact were our brothers and sisters, irrespective of their tribe. All were equal before God, even Roman emperors, even Pharaoh, and God was watching.
This is a tremendous sea-change in thought. Here you have the Jesus cult up against the Sacrifice Cult of Rome and the rest of the ancient world over time and those ideas became those we now know as Justice, Equality, Mercy, and Morality. No such ideas existed widespread at the time of Jesus.
There was a precursor to this ethos as early as 1250 BC and Jesus likely had contact with those who exposed them and likely that contact through the Essenes influenced him as well.
The Christian modalities stressed community and the community meal, not individual glory through combat, peace rather than war, redemption through salvation, the inner divinity of the individual, not divinity of the King or Pharaoh.
There cannot be a greater contrast of ideas, a contrast and combat which is still with us today, Contrast, the ethos of the common man vs. the sense of privilege of the wall street moguls, Monarchs vs. the common man, class systems, totalitarianism all harkens back to this conflict begun by Jesus.
For a look at the detail of this ethos and its origins, see my article on this site entitled, "The Bible as the Most Radical, Egalitarian Document in History."
But I digress. Tomorrow let’s get back to the blood.
5-21-11 When Ritual Slaughter Fails
We have posited that the Sacrifice Tradition has continued to this very day in interplay with the Jesus Doctrines. Moreover, the claim here is that these two ways of organizing societies are seen at work in history but largely ignored by many historians and anthropologists-especially in the context explaining the rise and fall of empires and civilizations.
We clearly see an example where the Jesus Doctrines overcame the Sacrificial Roman traditions of ritual murder, sacrifices, eternal war, and blood slaughter. But the point is only made in religious terms, not in concrete terms and the obvious fact that the populations grew sick and tired of sacrificial murder orchestrated from the top; and as well gradually realized that their rulers were not divine and could not protect the population from pestilence, conquest, climate change, or the retribution of the many gods.
The emperor had no clothes, and in time, was repudiated as not being divine. This factor in place follow-on internal and external, climate change, conquest or simply internal collapse occurs and civilizations can vanish all most over night.
A moral here is that sacrificing and/or cannibalizing the population does not work in the long run. Terror from the top cannot in the long run provide stable societies.
But let’s take a concrete case: that of the Mayans.
The Mayan "Classic Period" civilization thrived from about 300 AD to 900 AD.
No less than 88 different theories are extent as to why their society collapsed and why so suddenly. I make the claim that Mayan sacrificial practices were a factor, perhaps the major internal factor.
The Mayans were a Blood Simple culture obsessed with death and scenarios concerning the end of the world. Their religion placed the King at the apex of their religion and the King had the responsibility of preventing the end of everything. The King has the responsibility of performing the rituals deemed necessary by the gods. The King and his priests performed the necessary blood sacrifices consistent with those goals.
Captured enemy warriors had their hearts ripped out from the living flesh, virgins were sacrificed in blood ceremonies, a game much like soccer had the outcome where the losers were ritually slaughtered and their skills imbedded in the walls of the arena.
All this is a Blood Simple culture, reminiscent of Roman society in many respects. Today Mexican society has a similar preoccupation with death mixed in with new Christian beliefs. But the old Blood Simple aspects are still quite discernable.
But we want to know why Mayan society broke down so quickly. This has been the subject of much speculation.
Here is mine. A 200 hundred year drought likely finished off the central and lowland cities of the empire which were abandoned but Northern cities such as Chichen Itza continued on.
"One critic argued that Chichen Itza revamped its political, military, religious and economic institutions away from powerful lords or kings.32"
I suggest here is our clue. A movement away from the Blood Simple society results in survival. People simply get sick and tried of the blood, of sacrificing themselves and their loved ones for the state and a small group of warriors likely slaughtered the king, priests and nobles and simply abandoned that entire way of life. (It happened as well, I believe among some Azansi of southwest America.)
Drought simply made it clear that the Kings and priests were not divine and had no real power over nature or other groups and, therefore, ritual murders and sacrifices were senseless slaughter. That is the case for the Romans and hundreds of Blood Simple empires.
Israel was ripe for this kind of scenario when the God of the Old Testament, a God of blood sacrifices, did not prevent the Roman slaughter and the conquest of Israel no matter how many lambs were put to the slaughter. the God of the old testament failed and Jesus came to introduce a new God, the God of the new testament, who was a vastly different God.
But we may ask the opposite question. Do non-Blood Simple societies fare better and survive longer?
The longest extent culture in the world is that of China. Was it a non-Blood Simple Society? In our initial hypothesis that should be the case but no. The Chinese too were Blood Simple. Here is a quote to get us started.
"As we can observe in other (e.g. the Aztecs) cultures as well, the most common Shang source of human sacrifice was war prisoners and, or, slaves, many of whom were natives of the sheep-raising Ch'iang tribe, the preferred source of human sacrifice for the Shang. A community tends to choose its sacrificial victims outside itself, as René Girard pointed out; prisoners of war, slaves, beggars, cripples, and other people at the fringe of society, being the favorite supplies. Sociologically, such selection not only reflected the social order, but created it. The Tso-chuan reports that in the years 663 BC, 532 and 488, in Lu, a backward state continuing the Shang sacrificial system, war prisoners from a recent campaign were sacrificed. Sacrificed war prisoners were sometimes mutilated (beheaded), although the meaning of such mutilation is still being disputed."
(Taoism and Confucianism their moderating role were similar to the role played by Jesus in the west..)
But note Ho a river God in China:
"Ho required a yearly sacrificial marriage with a select virgin who, in a place called Yeh in the area of the Shang capital, was ritually sacrificed/married to Ho. She was placed on a raft and drowned. She differed from other human victims in that she was a surrogate member, probably a precious one, the community was willing to "sacrifice" only to ensure its well-being. This practice was discontinued under pressure of Confucian "humanism" in the year 400 BC.
As we have learned above, Shang dynasty sacrifice consisted in humans and animals and, to a lesser extent, wine and food (millet), and sometimes, as practiced later in Japan, tools, weapons and clothing. Sacrificial animals included dogs (traditionally interpreted as guides for the spirits, to help them during their hunts), and also sheep, oxen and pigs. Over one hundred dogs were buried underneath the city walls of the Shang capital. According to the pictographs archeologists have been able to decipher, there were in Shang thirty-seven categories of blood and food sacrifices. Some of them were completely or partially burned or buried. The total burning of sacrifice has usually been interpreted as a way to feed the spirits in the form of smoke climbing up the heavens. Humans were completely burned either to satisfy the ancestral appetite and, or, as scapegoats, to exonerate the community from evil. Partial burning may have had, in addition, the purpose of communal feasting. Some sacrificial victims were buried especially when they were addressed to an earth deity or, they were sunk into the water of a river deity."
Finally we see in China, as with so many other countries and societies, the sacrifice of the children.
"Whereas human sacrifice was offered to ancestral deities, such sacrifice (including that of children and women) was also believed to strengthen the foundation (and pillars) of buildings, building gates (entrances), dikes, embankments and other water works. After he was caught in a battle that brought ruin to his kingdom, the crown-prince of Ts'ai, for example, was sacrificed to strengthen a dam, suggesting a possible correlation between sacrifice to the founders of the human order and to important buildings and public projects that uphold that order. The more important the construction, the more humans were sacrificed. Hundreds of human skeletons, sometimes with chariots and horses, were found at the site of the royal palace."
To this long list add the following for those that want to know more:
So it is clear the humans have an ugly history and we need to now look at how all this blood-letting was turned around, by whom, in what countries and how.
But it should be clear by now that we have very few virgin societies which did not sacrifice people and animals.
5-30-11 Slavery, Sacrifice and Money
Human and animal sacrifice were opposed in many societies and ultimately overcome in its overt forms, a subject we will investigate later. But aligned with that investigation we want to pause here to understand some of the early reasons that this should have been so.
Above, we have stressed that seminal figures like Jesus come along and protest the sacrificial tradition and in doing so ultimately help to initiate major changes in those traditions, although the sacrificial tradition can be seen not to have gone away but survives in actual and symbolic forms, as we have identified above.
But there was also a companion tradition extent side by side with the sacrificial one. That is the institution of slavery.
After all who was it that was being sacrificed in many if not most instances. It was enemy warriors, sometimes whole enemy villages who were being burned alive, ritually murdered, drawn and quartered, having their hearts eaten in so-called religions ceremonies.
(I have just viewed an episode of a TV program "Game of Thrones" where a young would be queen has to eat a human heart to qualify to be queen. The whole thing is shown in its entirety.) Swell.
So slavery and institutionalized sacrifice are closely aligned, always has been and still are. Remember slavery is still with us in various forms in most societies even today, although we think that is not the case. In fact, this is true . We still keep the institution of slavery alive. In fact, chattel slavery, were one person outright owns another human being was fully practiced in this country a mere 200 years ago.
Now what we want to understand is how the two traditions were related and how their histories have intermingled.
First let understand how widespread slavery has been in human history. Like the sacrificial tradition it dates back at least 30,000 years. Peoples of the earth if warring on another tribe and conquered them would ritually murder them, eat them, torture them, sacrifice them, or enslave them, and sexually assault the women and female children. Still do.
In war from World War One to World War Two, in times of natural disasters, to times of economic recession and depression, slavery, rape, murder, and torture still routinely occur. We simply ignore it and don't report it.
The human being in us loses its way more often than is comfortable..
But focusing on slavery there was an evolutionary pattern observable. It dawned on either the conquered or the conquering that perhaps it was better not to kill and eat the conquered people, perhaps there was more money and benefit in simply enslaving the conquered people. There are only so many men women and children one can eat, torture and murder. Hitler tried to technologize the process to make it more efficient, in World War One we introduced the tank and poison gas, and in WW Two we introduced the atomic bomb, and so on.
The new idea in the sacrificial tradition was "don't sacrifice all of them, enslave many of them, including the women and the children."
Julius Caesar took 53 thousand slaves from one region back to Rome and sold them making him an instant millionaire. Rome lived on profits from forced grain taxes from conquered peoples, from slaves taken from conquered people and the labor the slaves provided for Roman "industries" which included gold, gem and copper mining, from slaves used to fight Roman wars, from slaves used as entertainment in the arena, from slaves women men and children used sexual objects which could be mounted causally, at any time of day or night at the whim of their Roman masters which included Roman wives as well. The Roman liked the blond Nordic children because they looked like angels and were seen as sexual desserts for guests and visiting dignitaries.
The exact same patterns were evident in the American south and it version of slavery. It was about money (a slave was purchased from West Africa for 10 dollars and sold in LiverpoolEngland for 650 dollars and then re-sold for labor in the American colonies for 1,500 dollars, sold for labor in a new wilderness society, sold to bludgeon anytime you wanted and sold as a sex slave. These inducements were greater than those of the sacrificial tradition and helped to eclipse the latter.
In fact an argument can be made that whole cities like LiverpoolEngland owe their existence to the slave trade.
Now, if we add to this chattel slavery trade, the other forms of slavery, such as debtor prison, prison labor, indentured servants, economy slavery, feudal forms of slavery and the vassal system, most human beings through out history have descended from slaves. And most of human history has been dominated by slavery and slave enterprises, including modern day capitalism, socialism, communism and the like.
That is why the bible rails against cities. Cities were where free men became slaves, selling their labor, became impoverished, and sold their daughters into prostitution, their sons as mercenaries in the king’s wars. No, the bible tells us, better to be free nomadic headsmen than living in cities where the devil did his work.
So the Christ figure was not just rebelling against the sacrificial tradition, he was also rebelling against it's companion institution, that of slavery, and making the claim that all of the latter were corruptions of the original intent of God's message.
This is a powerful message. But slavery was not obviously given up. People had too much invested in it, and maintained it over these last two thousand years.
How can the wealthy classes resist, sexual predation, fabulous wealth, powerful armies as products of slavery. They didn't resist for centuries because the temptations were too great. War was, and is about, not only resources, money and power, war is also about physical control of others and forced labor in your factories, farms and arms industries.
It was only with the realization that maintaining a slave was expensive (Cato in Rome had twenty thousand slaves, Jefferson had about 200, Washington about 250 slaves) did slavery evolve to yet another stage--that of colonization both internal and external.
Colonization is the process where former slave owners realized you don't have to own and maintain individuals you could simply free them to work for you and pay them low or slave wages, thereby saving you the expense of maintaining 200 slaves for life. It was cheaper to free them but keep them poor such that you could pay them little or no wages.
Besides, twentieth century technological made human power less and less central. Machines could do a lot of the heavy lifting, so to speak.
American slavery in the 21st century has simultaneously been exported to other countries, like China.
There woman and children are the new indentured servants of our era, working for pennies a day and impoverished. The view that China is a powerful economic force and will dominate the future economy is false. China has a small middle class of about 300 million but the other 1.54 billion Chinese are impoverished. No amount of American dollars, or Chinese economic planning will solve that problem. Too many mouths to feed. China is headed for turmoil. Ditto for India.
So economic slavery has been substituted for chattel slavery to hold down costs.
Rome is an example of the psychopathic state and of the Blood Simple society.
Hear Dan Carlin's excellect podcast on slavery and the Decline of the Roman Empire. The best I audio I have heard on this and over 10 hours long but worth. Riveting through out and told in an incredibly accessible style. You come away understanding the Roman Empire.