News HBO draws ire after 'Confederate' announcement

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skipper, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Those who say that slavery would not have survived as an institution in a victorious Confederacy underestimate the capacity of evil people to do evil things.

    In addition to the complaints from black folks, I've also been exposed to complaints from white folks who see this as another attempt by the "liberal media" to keep stirring the racial pot. As if black folks are going to be upset about fictional black people being mistreated by fictional white people. I would suggest that they have enough reality to worry about.

    Me, I'm reserving judgement until there is actually something to judge.
     
  2. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I agree. Considering that the slave owner owned not only the slaves he or she purchased, but also owned all of their slaves' progeny Also, considering that so many southerners were willing to die for their "right" to own human beings, I don't think it's realistic to think they would just voluntariy give up their property.

    I fully believe that slave owners had every intention of continuing slavery forever. It'll be interesting to see how this show deals with the question.
     
  3. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    It's not a question of whether slaveowners would just give up and stop holding slaves. It's a question of how a backwater agrarian economy can possibly resist the serious political pressure to end slavery being put out throughout the end of the 19th century by the British. The British being both a superpower at that point and coincidentally the most important trading partner for the southern US states.

    The CSA would be forced to outlaw slavery, just like the Brazilian empire was forced to outlaw slavery. They would almost certainly still have a terrible civil rights record in almost every possible way, but they would not openly continue legal slavery because if they did, they would become about as prosperous and accepted in the world as North Korea is today.
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    And North Korea still exists. So I don't think that a situation like this is really impossibile.

    And by the way, slavery still exists (only with different names).
     
  5. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    North Korea exists because of a strictly enforced cult of personality that brainwashes the entire population into thinking they are the heroes and the rest of the world is evil. The southern states were way too stubborn and individualistic to ever have that kind of system. Plus they have spent decades leaning on economic and military support from China (which the CSA certainly wouldn't get from the US or Canada, and it seems highly doubtful to come from Mexico, either) and they have an extraordinarily defensible geographical position with a reasonably high population density to build a defense force (which is basically the exact opposite of the CSA's situation).

    And no one is disputing that officially outlawing slavery doesn't magically end the problem. I'm simply saying that the CSA would eventually be forced to do it. What happened after that - if former slaves would become unprotected wage slaves, be deported, or worse, is hard to tell. But the official institution of legally sanctioned slavery was doomed, even in the south, before the war ever started.
     
  6. LJones41

    LJones41 Commodore Commodore

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    The British government never really made any effort to coerce the U.S. government into giving up slavery. And even if they had tried, they would have been faced with resistance. And don't forget that British financiers and the British cotton manufacturing industry relied heavily on the U.S. cotton industry, despite cotton being grown in countries like Egypt.

    And that "backwater agrarian economy" was the number one industry in the U.S. at time . . . and I mean right at the eve of the Civil War.

    When one considers that the convict labor industry has been considered very profitable right up to the present day - and not just in the U.S. - I really find it hard to believe that slavery would have died in the U.S. by the end of the 19th century.
     
  7. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

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    Idk, there was a scandal awhile back called "kids for cash" where a judge conspired with the owners of a private prison to send a lot of juveniles to their prison in exchange for money.
    For trivial things. One girl innocently spoofed her school principal on her myspace page and got sent to a juvenile detention center for 3 months. She even had a disclaimer at the bottom saying it was a joke.

    It would feel pretty close to it if we were in their shoes.



    It's not be fair to blame Christians in general for slavery, but I think ancient christianity dropped the ball on the issue though. By not sternly condemning slavery and slave masters at the outset, and encouraging slaves to accept it and obey with fear and respect, it seriously dropped the ball when it could have made a clear moral statement against it.

    There are different ways to interpret it, but for some reason, there were a lot of other things it strongly condemned and yet was passive towards something as obviously wrong as slavery.
     
  8. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I hope the show lives up to all this hype. If all these people are this riled up and the show stinks, I'll be disappointed.
     
  9. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    The British anti-slavery movement started at home, then expanded to the british colonies and then to other countries (most notably Brazil and Cuba). There was pressure against the US as part of that, but it never became the focal point of the movement, in large part because the US wound up outlawing slavery on its own.

    And another clear part of this fact was that the British did deliberately choose abolition over the trade ties with the South. They recognized the economic pain that was coming from the US blockade and they chose not to intervene because of their anti-slavery position. There's no reason to assume they would just give up that principle if the US had for some reason decided not to fight the confederacy.
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    These are people who fought a war for the right to use other human beings as a property, so, I agree with you.

    There is an interesting AH story about this subject. Here the author imagines that the Civil War never happened and that the South and North have found a diplomatic solution to their dispute. As a result of the terms of the agreement (and also thanks to international pressure), the Confederacy abolishes slavery. The problem is that the South does not know how to handle all these freed slaves. The solution is simple. A small minority of ex-slaves is relocated to some model communities to show the whole world. The majority is quietly and secretly exterminated in some camps. The protagonist seeks to find out the truth about the missing freed slaves, but it seems that the rest of the world is willing to believe in the lie.

    ETA: the title of the story is This Peaceable Land; or, The Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe by Robert Charles Wilson.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  11. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know this world they build is going to have to be slightly off in other ways beyond the slavery issue. I don't think many companies will want to associate to their products to a world were slavery is still going on or the south won the war. I don't think McDonald's for example would want people thinking that they would function in such a world. I wonder if we will get something like "Battlestar Galatica" were the modern world feels modern but also a little off. I think it's also possible that America in this world will be presented as a place that is bad for everyone in it whether your black,woman or poor. I also wonder if we will see alternate versions of real people like on "Sliders." Will the Bush family be shown to be slave owners or will Martin Luther King be someone who tried to fight to end slavery?

    Jason
     
  12. wew

    wew Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The irony of the effectiveness of the blockade was that the south essentially imposed an embargo on selling cotton to England and probably other countries, which made the blockade look even more effective than it truly was.
    The idea of putting this show on television seems an attempt to tap into the alternate history crowd as part of its audience. I've read multiple works on the south winning the war, etc. Harry Turtledove did an interesting set of books that ran from the south winning up through the equivalency of World War I.
     
  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have to admit, I was at least a little relieved when I saw that they do have African American writers involved.
    This brings up an interesting point, if slavery had continued, would it have expanded out beyond just blacks? When they started coming over here people like the Irish and the Chinese were practically slaves, so if slavery was legal, would they have just been plain slaves?
    Even today, girls and young women from Eastern Europe are a huge part of the sex slavery industry, so would we see that too?
     
  14. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    I don't see any possible upside for a serious show like this to drag real, living people into the mix and paint them as slave-owners. It sounds like begging for a lawsuit. Even if they managed to keep it well within parody limits to be fully legal, it absolutely would be a huge, pointless controversy that would take away from the actual ideas of the show while adding nothing valuable to the story.

    Something like what did MLK or JFK do in this alternate universe - that sort of thing is more likely, since that's the kind of touchstone that alternate history stories are based on.
     
  15. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's on HBO, so sponsors aren't really an issue. However, if the show was dependent on sponsors, content and execution would likely be even more critical than it usually is for potential sponsors.
    I don't think there is any way we would have seen white people as slaves. Dehumanization was one of the most important excuses used to justify slavery and it was made that much easier because of the difference in looks (and culture) between Black people and White people. Since other minorities came to the country voluntarily, as opposed to being kidnapped as were most Black people, I don't think any would have been slaves in the same way.
     
  16. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Before they perfected the dehumanization of American natives and African slaves, the British cut their teeth on the Irish. If you spend your time highlighting differences rather than similarities, you can find a cavern of difference between any two groups.
     
  17. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^ Indeed, nineteenth-century British and American newspapers and magazines frequently caricatured the Irish as subhuman, apelike, shiftless, and concerned only with drinking, fighting, gambling, and cranking out babies. Sound familiar?
     
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  18. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Would Irish and Chinese chose to come here if slavery existed?

    Native American populations would have been subjugated and turned into slaves for sure. CSA Mockumentary depicted a CSA desire to expand south toward Mexico and South America and enslaving those populations.
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't a lot of fiction based on the premise "What if?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  20. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    Late to the party here, but my first thought is like a few others....it's alternate history, an idea that's been around forever in SF, and is being currently employed to great effect in The Man in the High Castle. Why would people moan about this? Stuff like this is a great way to explore what humans are capable of, and why we must keep ourselves in check and be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

    The show hasn't even come out yet. Obviously whatever black actors they get for this will read scripts before they decide to do it. They won't be forced to work on this if they find it objectionable. There are other jobs in TV and Film.

    Complaining Bloggers(tm) never cease, it seems.