Untimely Ripped comments on my post below
This was over at dailykos where the post and comments are long buried.
Actually, I think Jefferson's ideal ... (0+ / 0-)
... would have been to have everybody's slaves be free.
And I doubt that either you or Drum can persuade me otherwise.
But that's by the by.
Others have observed that "rational" does not equal "good". If you want some more brilliant writing, I recommend to you the works of John Ralston Saul.
Over a series of books, Saul argues that there are a half dozen essential human qualities, which drive our individual and social existence. These qualities include Memory, Common Sense, Imagination, Ethics, Intuition and Reason. He goes on to argue that we have subordinated the first five of these to the last one, with predictably disastrous results for humanity.
Start with The Doubter's Companion.
I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!
My claim about Jefferson's preferences was based on knee jerk economics think. I think he would have preferred all slaves to be free than to be the one last slave owner. Partly I think you are noting the same point made by Midland (see above). Mostly, I think it has something to do with our sense of shame, which is much much weaker if lots of other people are doing it too.
Personally, I don't own slaves, but I do drive an automobile. If everyone else bicycled or used public transportation (or even everyone other than parents with young children, the elderly, the physically handicapped and pregnant women) I would be too ashamed. Also I speed and (occasionally) run lights that have just turned red.
Also, as you will have guessed, I don't work very hard. In the USA this caused me great pain. I now "work" in the Italian public sector and feel much much better.
Actually, I have a better explanation of our shared guess that Jefferson would have preferred abolition of slavery to slaves just for him. Jefferson, a profound thinker and supporter of the constitution and the bill of rights understood the importance of clear simple rules, bright lines and avoiding slippery slopes.
Slavery is evil and illegal except if you are Thomas Jefferson is not a line that can be held for long. I now am convinced that, although he didn't free his slaves, he would have said no, if he had been given a chance to be the only remaining slave owner.