(urth) 5HC : Free People

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 5 11:43:29 PST 2005

I have to agree with Crush, and I'd also point out that even this much is 
using a very loose (and possibly just wrong) definition of "posing an 
argument for". In my mind this entails presenting an attempt at 
justification. Yet while slavery occurs in these stories, the reasons it 
happens rarely if ever qualify as an attempt at justifying it.

Io decides to be Latro's slave in order to avoid being someone else's slave. 
Nowhere does she really have a realistic chance not to be a slave; her 
choice is between masters.

There is no attempt to justify slavery in the Short Sun - it exists, but is 
straightforwardly presented as an evil.

In Long Sun and New Sun there are perhaps speculations on who is or is not a 
slave. This, too, doesn't amount to an attempt to justify slavery.

In the Soldier books I am willing to grant Wolfe may be making a slightly 
stronger point than even Crush generously allows, and that is the historical 
one I mentioned earlier: rebuilding an army was much easier in those times 
than now (the weapons were simpler), and to have long-term security against 
a defeated enemy you had to somehow remove their ability to rebuild. This 
meant either mass slaughter or forced relocation and/or slavery. It can be 
argued that slavery at that time was the more humane option.

> >I am sure GW also poses the arguments for slavery in
> >the Sun series and if you missed them then I am not
> >sure what to say.
>"Posing arguments for" and advocating to two very different things. In The
>Short Sun, Marrow offers *justifications* for slavery, but Wolfe presents
>Marrow as part of the problem on Blue, not the wise solution-maker. 
>that many people were captured and impressed in to slavery as soon as they
>got off the ships.
>The "slaves" in The Long Sun are the chems, and it is difficult to see any
>aspect of their existence as anything but heartbreaking...I direct you to
>Silk's discussion with Horn on the airship or Hammerstone's conversation
>with Silk.
>So, while Wolfe may POSE arguments in the Silk segment, I don't think he
>ARGUES for it. Even in Soldier of the Mist, Io PRETENDS to be Latro's slave
>but he consistently denies she is. This is not slavery. What she wants is
>not be his slave but his lover (which might have some embedded commentary 
>romantic love, but not slavery). I don't know what terrible life she was
>supposedly escaping by RUNNING AWAY FROM HER MASTERS with Latro, but her
>'slavery' to Latro did not protect her from a Fate Worse Than Death, since
>she was eventually raped by Helots and sold into slavery to the Spartans.
>In the Soldier stories Wolfe is only attempting to present the Greeks they
>way they saw themselves. He NEVER justified slavery. He is said that modern
>people should not feel morally SUPERIOR for not having slavery considering
>the Holocaust, Khmer Rouge, Stalin, Mao, Dresden, etc etc etc.
>~ Crush
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