I agree. That is indeed what I am doing. My propensity for entertaining speculative theories probably explains my passion for science fiction. If you are interested, here is a conversation that I had with Amber Lisa about a sci-fi trilogy that involved a critique of hierarchical structures and human intelligence.
While most speculative thoughts do not lead to progress or innovation, most progress and innovation begins as speculative thought.
When I was seated in a ticket office within a small building in colonial Williamsburg, Virginia that was designed as an 18th century structure, I wondered aloud if the air conditioning system was an 18th century air conditioner. It dawned on me that 18th century “air conditioning” in Virginia would be a row of slaves waving fans. So I asked myself: On a hot afternoon would I rather have a row of hot, sweating, smelly slaves waving fans to cool me, and invading my privacy in the process, or would I rather have an electric fan? From the answer to that question was born the idea that machines replace slaves.
Later, two more questions arose:
- What forces produced the surge in moral indignation against slavery that occurred in the 1830’s — 40's? Why would moral indignation suddenly become a force with sufficient strength to achieve abolition when it had never before in all of history been sufficient?
- Why has our general level of prosperity increased since abolition?
Thus began my journey of speculation as to what the answers to those questions might be. My answers may be incorrect; if so, the questions remain. Can you offer an alternative answer?
Legal abolition occurred decades before the circumstances leading to obsolescence had completely unfolded. Abolition was imposed on the states against their will, naturally they would resist. At some time between then and now functional slavery declined and general prosperity increased substantially.
“I don’t need to defend that the CSA made good decisions, merely that they made ones that they were certain were in their best interests…”
I have described a process that I purported to have been occurring. The fact that those involved at the time did not recognize that the process was occurring does not mean that it was not in fact occurring. It can be difficult to recognize a historical trend while it is in progress.
“…did you know that Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment in 2013?”
I remember when it was reported on the news. Fortunately the amendment had long since become law in all states, including Mississippi.
“I do love that you are getting your intel directly from R.E. Lee though. Must be some good shit you’re smokin’ 😉”
Way better than whatever you’re smoking. Would you like to try some of mine?