Even among the greatest religious thinkers and moral philosophers of civilizations around the world for 1000’s of years SLAVERY was NOT considered a moral issue.
Only ONE civilization developed a “moral revulsion” against it very late in its history:
Abraham Lincoln said:
If slavery is not considered wrong; nothing can be considered as wrong.
But WHY did not even the leading moralists among other nations and civilizations reject slavery at all?
There is no evidence that slavery came under attack in any other part of the world before the 18th century. (In Europe).
What irony! The leading western slave traders became the leading advocates for the abolition of slavery!
Who objected to ending slavery? Africans, Arabs, Asians and other non-Westerners.
Prepare to be Surprised...
In the Western part of civilization, it was conservative religious activists who spoke out in earnest.
(People of the “religious Right” as would be said today.)
This history would NOT be considered politically correct to speak of aloud in today’s climate of discord. In fact, it is ignored.
Slavery did not die out quietly. No no no.
There was fighting to the bitter end.
Pro-slavery lost only because Europeans had gunpowder to back up the embargo on transport of slaves.
Yes - men with guns stopped slavery.
It may sound like propaganda - but the historical facts are clear enough.
It should make us gasp with disbelief that the fact remains, it was Imperialism with its colonization and military law which began driving out slave traders!
Ever heard that before? No, didn't think so
It was the British who stamped out Slavery throughout the Empire.
(Which included ¼ of the world!)
Pressures and actions against other nations strangled the slave trade over time.
The British navy destroyed the ships of anyone transporting slaves.
The British government pressured the Ottoman Empire to end its slave trade in Africa.
America stamped out slavery in the Philippines. The Dutch stamped it out in Indonesia.
The Russians in Central Asia and the French in Caribbean colonies.
Germans in East Africa hanged slave traders on the spot; summary executions.
Repeat: no NON-WESTERN nation shared this animosity to slavery which began to develop in the Western world in the late 18th century.
This continued without pause up through the 20th century.
It took this long (over a century) because the NON-WESTERN nations bitterly resisted.
Non-Westerners found the arguments against slavery to be incomprehensible inasmuch as the slave trade went as far back as human memory.
This was viewed as an assault on their economy.
Indeed, this was the same argument the Bible belt agricultural labor states raised before the Civil War in the United States.
New American Standard Bible
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
6 not by way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
Think of how many ironies are found stacked one upon the other.
Religion was not against slavery.
Philosophy was not against slavery.
Non-white nations were not against slavery.
Slavery was slowly extinguished by Imperialists using military force!
In America, after the Civil War,
It took roughly 100 years for Equal rights laws to begin to turn the tide in the U.S.
"In 1964, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Democrats held the longest filibuster in our nation’s history, 60 days. All trying to prevent the passing of one thing. The Civil Rights Act."
(Russell Long of Louisiana, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Herman Talmadge of Georgia, John McClellan of Arkansas and Richard Russell of Georgia.) There should be a distinction made in exactly who was blocking the bill. The majority of Democrats who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act were from Southern states; some Democrats in non-Southern states did support the bill.
All people of all colors in all nations from time immemorial
engaged in slavery until about 1800 years after the birth of Christ when - who? The people you'd least expect to oppose slavery began a 200 years push to end it (being fought every step of the way.)
Never before in history has race relations been so badly distorted as in 2020.
Taking the time to look back on how progress has been made (and by whom) is absolutely necessary to our generation.
Together we solve problems through cooperation - not through propaganda.
All the above is distilled from the writings of Thomas Sowell