Future imperfect tense

I see Caroline’s point about the non-time traveler having little or no power to sway the group. I was thinking not so much of his power in society, but rather of his obligation to his own convictions. In other words, not what can he do, but rather what must he do.

After all, even the time traveler needs to proceed carefully, in that his best strategy to effect abolition probably involves stealth. My own current opinion is that the most effective way to work toward the abolition of slavery, in a society that does not yet realize there is a problem, is to work toward transforming the means of production, so that the ruling class no longer finds slavery to be in its economic self-interest.

I am fairly certain that if you reach people in their wallets, then their hearts and minds will follow (apologies to LBJ). I think history is fairly consistent on one point: Within a generation after any exploitive practice is no longer useful to a ruling class, many people in that class will find said practice to be morally repugnant, and will wonder how their forebears ever could have been so thoughtless and cruel.

2 Responses to “Future imperfect tense”

  1. manooh says:

    I agree that money seems to be a huge factor. But what about habits and convenience? I think if there was a slightly more expensive option to slavery that is far more convenient and easier to handle, (at least some) people would go for it as well..

    What happens, by the way, if the time traveller realizes that he/she is not the only time traveller around? How does that affect his/her choices? Should they collaborate?

  2. ulmedas says:

    I think it imperative that any like minded “time travelers” or even locals (in the sense of the time-line) work together, but one must be wary of political agendas underlying the motives of fellow collaborators/conspirators.

    Certainly, slavery technically ended in the US after the civil war, but slave like conditions continued to be common place and quite accepted well into the twentieth century.

    Shall we tear off the physical shackles of the slaves, only to appease our own consciences. Afterwards, we can with warm hearts and clean hands, buy food and cloths made by slaves in all but name?

    My point is that such things as subverting society’s reprehensible norms should be done in concert with careful planning and contemplation of the aftermath.

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