submitted 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Obviously it was a good thing that it was banned, but I'm just wondering if it would technically be considered authoritarian.

As in, is any law that restricts people's freedom to do something (yes, even if it's done to also free other people from oppression as in that case, since it technically restricts the slave owner's freedom to own slaves), considered authoritarian, even if at the time that the law is passed, it's only a small section of people that are still wanting to do those things and forcibly having their legal ability to do them revoked?

Or would it only be considered authoritarian if a large part of society had their ability to do a particular thing taken away from them forcibly?

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[-] [email protected] 39 points 3 weeks ago

No. Protecting human rights is not authoritarian.

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[-] [email protected] 36 points 3 weeks ago

I think you are lost in the language. There are no absolute rights, in any legal systems. So any "law" necessarily restricts someone's "rights".

Therefore, you need to think about what "authoritarian decision" means, because if all law restricts someone's rights, all laws are authoritarian by your definition.

Also: terrible example to begin with.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

I was about the comment a similar thing.

If having a law that restricts one's ability to do something is "authoritarian" then any law is authoritarian, because laws, by definition, determine what behaviour is and isn't allowed within a society.

[-] [email protected] 18 points 3 weeks ago

As in, is any law that restricts people’s freedom to do something

The problem of this approach is that in that case you refuse any law. Even anarchist would agree that a stateless society need people to agree on common rules.

Speed limit ? restrict your freedom to do something, private property ? Restrict your freedom to go where you want, does restricting your freedom to commit murder feels authoritarian ?

Now what's more authoritarian ? having the state protecing your right to have slave ? Or having the state protecting people freedom by not letting someone enslave them.

[-] [email protected] 18 points 3 weeks ago

Authoritarianism is all about concentrating power around fewer people. That what authoritarianism IS. Giving more power to the least powerful people is always anti-authoritarian. Yes, there are always trade-offs, no they're not always as obvious as this one, but more power to more people is never authoritarian.

[-] [email protected] 18 points 3 weeks ago

Authoritarian doesn't mean exercising authority. Banning slavery did exercise authority, of the law, over slave owners, but it was anti-authoritarian. It took power, and authority, condensed wrongly in the hands of a few and, in theory, distributed it to the many, however effective it actually was.

[-] [email protected] 15 points 3 weeks ago

No, it was anti-authoritarian, as it removed the authority slave holders had over their slaves.

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Natural language is inherently imprecise. You're going to have to add a contextual definition if you want this to have a single answer.

If making someone do something is always authoritarian, abolition is authoritarian to slavers and anti-authoritarian to slaves. If implementing a law with no checks and balances is authoritarian, it was authoritarian when Louis XIV did it, but maybe not in other cases. If a policy that upholds any kind of hierarchy is authoritarian, it's always anti-authoritarian.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 3 weeks ago

I think it is a bit unfair to give you shit for your question.

it is normal to confuse authoritarian system with restrictions of freedom. Because generally that is how it works. But not in this case...

Because it is the paradox of tolerance all over again. Technically it is authoritarian to ban slavery but it would be more authoritarian to allow it as people would own people... So on the scale of how authoritarian an action is, banning slavery is as anti-authoritarian as it gets and allowing slavery is as authoritarian as it gets. (Of course, a world without slavery and without any rules would be less authoritarian but... I think we know better than trying that with slavery)

I hope this helps in actually understanding the reason instead of being told what it is.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 3 weeks ago

This sounds like another version of the “definition of freedom”.

Is freedom being unrestricted from doing whatever you want? Or is it protection from people doing whatever they want that would otherwise injure you?

I guess I’d argue that banning slavery in the middle of a culture that embraces it is, in fact, authoritarian. Similarly, enabling slavery in the middle of a culture that rejects it is also authoritarian.

It gets more interesting when the population is split on what they want policy to be. I think Prohibition is a better comparison since it’s less emotionally charged.

Was enacting Prohibition authoritarian? Sure seems that way, even though it had a lot of support. Was rolling it back also authoritarian? The people who originally supported it and now see it taken away probably feel it’s authoritarian.

IMO as long as people are happy to argue with each other about basic definition of words, the answer to the original question is “it doesn’t matter”.

[-] Hackworth 6 points 3 weeks ago

This sounds like a semantic argument, so... definitions.

Authoritarian - 1) of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority

Slavery is blind submission. Forbidding authoritarianism isn't authoritarian. Kinda like how destruction of the self (suicide) cannot be selfish, despite what some will argue.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 3 weeks ago

Your rights end at the point where they infringe on someone else's rights.

Like, it's my right to walk where I want but it's not my right to walk into your house. Because it's your right to own private property.

Secondly, authoritarianism is not about how many people the law affects. It's about style of governance.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

"One's rights end where another's begin" - Morally speaking I agree with this, and I've heard this phrase used by animal rights activists to argue that humans shouldn't have the right to violate animals' (moral) rights to be free, to not be killed, harmed, exploited etc. at least by humans who are moral agents & don't need to do so.

Again, there is a difference between moral and legal rights. Just like in the case of human slavery where some humans technically had the legal right to enslave other humans - and I would agree that those laws were unethical to begin with since the moral rights of those slave owners to do things ("positive" rights) ended where the moral rights of the victims to be free from oppression/harm/etc ("negative" rights) began - many people argue that the current legal rights of humans to, basically, enslave & kill non-human animals, are similarly built on unethical laws, and don't translate to moral rights, in the sense that humans' rights also end where other animals' rights begin, morally speaking (such a position would of course entail action to liberate non-human animals via boycotting of animal exploitation (veganism) as a moral obligation, similarly to how when the laws that enabled people to own slaves were in place, boycotting the slave trade and being an abolitionist would also be considered a moral obligation by most people today).

[-] theywilleatthestars 4 points 3 weeks ago

Significantly less authoritarian than slavery.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago

Yes it's autharitarian to ban slavery. Kind like a revolution is autharitarian. Don't really get the people who don't want to impose , what ya gonna do? Ask nicely?

[-] [email protected] 3 points 3 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 3 points 3 weeks ago

Authoritarian is a very small portion of people made decision and control the majority, where in democracy the decision is made based on the majority.

Is the decision to end slavery a majority decision? Then it's democratic.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago

WTF, no. Democracies can be authoritarian. If they abridge rights or compel individuals to action, that's authoritarianism. Doesn't matter it 51 people out of a hundred think they can boss the the other 49 because they voted on it.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

That sounds just like what the losing side will say tbh. Brexit is bad, but it's a bad choice made by the majority, in that it's still a democratic process voted by the masses. Democracy is a system, it's the will of the people, not a moral alignment. It's democracy as long as the people affected by the result is there to vote.

Democracy can be authoritarian but then it will be called authoritarian, not democracy.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

It is exactly what people in the minority will say. I, as someone often finding myself in the minority, say it often and early. Just because more people agree on something doesn't mean they get to force the rest of us to go along with them.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 3 weeks ago

Thanks, I think this answers my question. Even if it was a majority decision, it seems intuitively like the government (and the majority of people) imposed some kind of authority over the remaining slave owners (who were in the minority), but I understand that generally such a decision wouldn't be considered generally "authoritarian" just because it used that authority, unless it was imposed upon the majority of people.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 3 weeks ago

Enforcing an equal opportunity environment is only authoritarian if your definition of authoritarian is anything that challenges antinomianism.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

There’s no such thing as consensual slavery, so I’m gonna go with no. You have to draw the line somewhere, and drawing the line at forcing other people to do things seems like a good place to draw the line.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

This is kind of the base paradox of chaos and faith. If God is the universe and everything, and God is "right", then that makes good and evil equal. It's a paradox people don't think of when it comes to sovereignty and freedom. Both those things mean you would need to fight for survival, in turn one could not be "free" by modern governing terms. You get your "freedom" but that means you aren't going to have the military killing for you or your subsidized help. True freedom is not utopia. True freedom is a life of war and survival.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 3 weeks ago

Maybe. I guess authoritarianism is good sometimes.

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this post was submitted on 18 May 2024
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