Re: Uncle Tom's Cabin - Ch. 1 through 6
I think that, on the contrary, a belief in the positive rightness of slavery would not
involve the perpetrator in the stress and psychic punishment you describe. If slavery is not recognized as a moral wrong, how then could those in mastery over other humans suffer from plaguing guilt? How do you know that this psychic strain emerged "early in the evolution of slavery"? Wouldn't there have been some indication that morality was evolving in the direction of greater compassion? But no, modern Europe went right along with slavery, until Enlightenment ideals, and religion, finally introduced a belief in its evil that has become almost universal.
Slavery existed in several forms besides that of chattel slavery, practiced in the U.S. It wasn't "nice" in any of its forms, but it was a part of most types of social orders for many centuries and was often not as horrible a deal as it was here.
I abhor Donald Trump, but I can't reach as far as you do on this topic. I don't see wanting to wall people out, or to send them back by the millions, as replicating slavery. With him, there is a clear racist intent, but that is not tantamount to a nostalgia for slaves to do our work. He apparently wants Americans to do the "slave" work that immigrants are doing now.
Yet I'd find it surprising if Tom didn't have an acquaintance with the OT. The black slaves were the new Israellites, and black spirituals harkened to OT stories. Tom is not portrayed as someone who with any sort of scholarly knowledge of the texts and is not a skilled reader. Even if he had noted the mention of slaves as possessions in Exodus, he would not have felt betrayed by his God. Tom accepts his enslaved fate; that is an essential part of his character.
What color is the skin of George and Eliza? Both can pass as white. I'm not trying to pass off a revisionist version of the book, but it is clear that Stowe believes, as many enlightened people of the time did, that blacks had distinctly different constitutions from whites. They are more childlike, more emotional, and have less assertiveness and intellect than whites have. Stowe sprinkles such comments throughout the book. George and Eliza have these white or Saxon qualities because of their preponderant white blood.
The African race, in their own climate, are believers in spells, in 'fetish and obi,' in the 'evil eye,' and other singular influences, for which there is an origin in this peculiarity of constitution....which can only be accounted for by supposing peculiarities of nervous constitution quite different from those of the whites...Considering those distinctive traits of the race,it is no surprise to find in their religious histories, when acted upon by the powerful stimulant of the Christian religion, very peculiar features. From The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, by H.B. Stowe.
Abolitionist writings in general were fiery and in-your-face, so Stowe thought there was a way to go through the heart of readers to achieve greater sympathy for the abolitionist cause. She was right.
How soon would it have become apparent that the South could not continue as a slave economy? The seeds of its dissolution weren't there in 1860, with the slave population at its height and the Kansas-Nebraska Act having made each state sovereign regarding the legality of slavery. Not so unrealistic after all that the slave economy could persist for a good while longer.
Again not to detract from Stowe, as her mission of ending slavery was hard enough. She did not necessarily promote equality of the races, not supporting universal suffrage for blacks until a long while after the war, and advocating in UTC (via George Harris) that the race problem be handled by expatriating blacks to Africa.