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The Slavery Debate: Why C.L.R James & Eric Williams were right



In this engaging lecture with author James Heartfield filmed by WORLDbytes volunteers, we learn why Eric Williams & C.L.R. James critical understanding of the history of slavery’s abolition was right, and in its day considered shocking. British parliamentarians, anti-slavery campaigners and do-gooders from Buxton to Wilberforce were certainly not the key drivers of slavery’s demise. As Williams argued, abolition made economic sense. C.L.R James was no fan of reparations either, and we learn that three historic attempts at compensation were a complete disaster and they always will be Heartfield argues. Like ‘apologies’, reparations always maintain power relations, the authority and moral superiority of the giver over the recipient. The contemporary ‘feeling guilty about slavery’ fad Heartfield explains is degrading too and nothing more than self-indulgent narcissism, it doesn’t fix anything and fails to deal with the present entirely.

Related topics: Global

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Finn Collins said:

This was really eye-opening for me as I had no idea of the truth/real reasons for the abolition of slavery. I also strongly agree with Heartfield’s attitudes towards reparations, and enjoyed how he presented the truth behind them in a more comedic manner.