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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Slavery (37 Quotations)

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Slavery may, perhaps, be best compared to the infantile disease of measles; a complaint which so commonly attacks the young of humanity in their infancy, and when gone through at that period leaves behind it so few fatal marks; but which when it normally attacks the fully developed adult becomes one of the most virulent and toxic of diseases, often permanently poisoning the constitution where it does not end in death.
~ Olive Schreiner

 

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Slavery takes hold of few, but many take hold of slavery.
~ Seneca

 

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Slaves lose everything in their chains, even the desire of escaping from them.
~ Jean Jacques Rousseau

 

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So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to the master -- so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil -- so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best-regulated administration of slavery.
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

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Some slaves are scoured to their work by whips, others by their restlessness and ambition.
~ John Ruskin

 

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Talk about slavery! It is not the peculiar institution of the South. It exists wherever men are bought and sold, wherever a man allows himself to be made a mere thing or a tool, and surrenders his inalienable rights of reason and conscience. Indeed, this slavery is more complete than that which enslaves the body alone... I never yet met with, or heard of, a judge who was not a slave of this kind, and so the finest and most unfailing weapon of injustice. He fetches a slightly higher price than the black men only because he is a more valuable slave.
~ Henry David Thoreau

 

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The art of being a slave is to rule one's master.
~ Diogenes of Sinope

 

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The distinguishing sign of slavery is to have a price, and to be bought for it.
~ John Ruskin

 

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The fact is, that civilization requires slaves. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.
~ Oscar Wilde

 

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The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other, obscure the reality of a common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable.
~ Andrea Dworkin

 

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The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.
~ Thomas La Mance

 

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The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.
~ Bertrand Russell

 

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The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.
~ Thomas Jefferson

 

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To relive the relationship between owner and slave we can consider how we treat our cars and dogs -- a dog exercising a somewhat similar leverage on our mercies and an automobile being comparable in value to a slave in those days.
~ Edward Hoagland

 

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Today the large organization is lord and master, and most of its employees have been desensitized much as were the medieval peasants who never knew they were serfs.
~ Ralph Nader

 

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Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
~ Abraham Lincoln

 

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You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
~ Billie Holiday

 

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