What peculiar institutions do we embrace today that modern abolitionists see as evil?
Humans are an evolving social species and in every era some people see further than others. They understand that common assumptions are wrong. 19th century abolitionists could see that slavery was a vile institution where most were blind to its cruelty. They wanted to abolish a long held practice that other people embraced dearly. This brought about the war of America against itself that was so violent that no other enemy has ever come close to hurting us so much. And even though the war came to an end in 1865 some people are still fighting it today. It’s very hard for people to change.
What I ask: What evil do we embrace that is invisible to the society at large that a few people rightly want to abolish today?
The list could be quite long and it might take a century or two before the issues become obvious to everyone. Evil is not invisible. Evil doesn’t take a century of social evolution to see. Evil is ignored. Everyone in the 19th century should have seen that slavery was evil. Southern states embraced slavery because it benefitted them economically. They had to rationalize the practice. The framers of the Constitution had to carefully dance around the issue in words. Our forefathers accepted a level of cruelty in life that we can’t rationalize, but instead of feeling enlighten, we have to ask: What cruelty do we rationalize so easily? What vile practices do we embrace because we don’t want to see its evil because it profits us?
The first thing that comes to mind are animals. Factory farms are nightmares of animal cruelty that slaughter billions of beings each year. We’re also destroying animal habitats worldwide and causing extinctions only slightly slower than mass extinction events. Given our trends, we’ll start surpassing some of those events soon.
The second thing that comes to mind is how we’re destroying the environment for future generations. A century from now the the people of the world will hate us far worse than we ever hated slavers, colonialists, Nazis, Communists, terrorists, serial killers or child molesters. Our excesses will make us the worst of the worst.
Most people today if confronted will go, “Huh, not me, I’m not doing anything wrong.”
And you can’t claim ignorance because we do have our own abolitionists. They are out there. They are telling us what’s wrong. We’re just not listening.
JWH – 2/5/12