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If you intend. Editor's rating. User rating. Dell Mono Printer - Bdn. I cannot press this point further on this occasion; for the purposes of this essay, it suffices to say that the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution is a violation of article 4 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As this document states in writing the most important principles of customary International law, it is binding on the States of the International community, and for this reason not even their constitutions can legally contravene it.
The acceptance of the doctrine of supremacy of International law renders the exception of the American constitutional ban on slavery invalid. Whether or not the United States accepts this doctrine is something which need not concern us here.
I believe however that impartial consideration—i. The point of legal philosophy which may render the legal possibility of using slavery as a criminal sanction null and void has to do with the vexata quaestio which divides natural lawyers and legal positivists, which can be traced back to at least St. Augustine, and consists in finding whether or not unjust laws, necessarily of human provenance, are valid. The few voices that, throughout history, have opposed slavery on all grounds have used some form of the argument that slavery is a breach of natural law, as it is unjust to hold someone in slavery.
In the twenty-first century, this particular Aristotelian doctrine carries no weight amongst philosophers and statesmen at least when they talk of the subject in an official capacity , although derivations of it are still held to be true by a considerable number of people.
Nowadays, however, the problem is not so much to show that slavery is a breach of natural law, but to ascertain that natural law is a standard by which positive law should be deemed valid. For those who hold this position, unjust laws are invalid. For those who do not, and argue that the limits of positive law are to be found in positive sources of law, unjust laws are as valid as just laws.
As I said before, I cannot explore fully the particulars of this controversy here. It is enough to notice that, if positive law is indeed to be deemed valid according to a natural law standard, the exception to the thirteenth amendment ban is plainly invalid, as it is clearly unjust.
Otherwise, it is valid, although its application is conditioned by the factors that have been mentioned above. Once again, as in the case of International law vs. State sovereignty, I believe that there is no true incompatibility between natural law and positive law, if one regards natural law as a secular, rather than a theological, doctrine.
Natural law in its non-theological sense has to do with Justice. The fact that natural law has been expounded mainly by Christian philosophers throughout history has helped to confuse natural law with theology.
The Roman concept of lex, however, as well as the Greek concept of nomos, express an idea of natural law that is not Christian, but a mixture of divine and secular reason. The Christianization of natural law is a more recent phenomenon than the idea of natural law itself. Furthermore, some recent legal philosophers e.
Ronald Dworkin , in trying to identify the limits of law, have built a philosophical system which amounts to a form of secular natural law my designation. This means that it is possible, although it is not frequently done, to regard natural law purely from a secular point of view, in which the rules of human reason that limit positive law are not the responsibility of a deity as is the case with God in most versions of Christian natural law but of the way human beings naturally think.
From this point of view, natural law is a philosophical system centered on Justice, and thus the limits placed on positive law are the limits of moral decency. For this reason, I consider the exception to the ban on slavery of the thirteenth amendment as legally null and void, as it is a breach of natural law.
Philosophers who argue that natural law has no standing against positive law because it is part of a broader religious doctrine, inapplicable wherever State and religion are separated, have no defense against the secular version of natural law here presented. Still, in an era in which the rights of the human person have been recognized and upheld to an unparalleled extent is the history of humankind, the possibility of having some form of slavery legally recognized bears negatively on American society as a whole.
De facto slavery As I have said before in this essay, the revocation per se of the legal rules that contribute to the existence of the institution of slavery does not abolish this institution in toto, as there are rules of social, moral and religious provenance which need be revoked as well if slavery were to be abolished as a whole.
In this section, I discuss Animal Farm with a view to take a look at what can be considered slavery after the revocation of the legal rules which permit certain classes of people to hold property rights over other classes of people. In this discussion, the species depicted in Animal Farm have to be regarded as representative of actual classes in human society. Thus, the pigs ought to be seen as the governing class, and the other species as belonging to the class of those who are governed.
A finer analysis may reveal subtleties e. In Animal Farm, Orwell tells a tale of apparent liberation which turns out to be one of involuntary servitude and de facto slavery, all with the, albeit mistaken, consent of the oblivious slaves who, up until the last couple of pages of the book, are deceived as to their actual condition, with the notable exception of Benjamin.
The naivety of the animal society governed by the pigs induces the governed class into thinking that they are free simply because the rights of property enjoyed by Jones, their former human owner, have been dissolved via revolution. The rationale of the animals is therefore the following: The animals see the need to enter into a social contract, not so much for fear that lawlessness should create a spiral of violence, which is the main reason why Hobbes and Locke argue that the institution of a commonwealth or of civil government is absolutely necessary for the survival of human society, but especially because some form of government is necessary to allow for the production of the means of self-sustainability, namely food.
The social contract that the animals enter into is largely tacit, as no representative government, or absolute sovereign, is expressly designated by some form of election or acclamation. In time, the pigs cement their position as leaders, and a sovereign emerges in the figure of Napoleon, whose name is certainly not random. In time, the assembly meetings and the public debates are simply dropped as they are harmful, for their continuation may result in the return of Jones, or so Squealer is mandated to say.
The animals at first feel that this is unjust, but cannot point out exactly the reason why. The events described in the book tally with this self-interpretation, as Orwell did not, in fact, try to be subtle regarding the expression of his views.
I merely wish to point out that every actual human society that has ever existed has had a social division of classes, and I think history allows us to infer that this will always be the case.
The particular number of classes into which any given society is divided is certainly variable; but every society has had, and will always have, at least two classes. In this most unsophisticated bipolar model of class organization there is the class of those who govern and of those who are governed. In human society, the prohibition of slavery includes, but is not limited to, the following rules: The breaking of rules such as these 3 Companies usually have a tripartite organizational scheme: Companies can be, and the big ones usually are, more complex than this, which results in a many layered hierarchical structure.
This however is the result of custom. Conceptually, nothing stops a company from having a bipartite structure: My point however is that organizations, public or private, may have as many layers as custom or convenience dictates, but it would be impossible for them to exist with only one layer, i.
Thus, it is a crime to traffic humans, or to sequester them in order to make them work without pay. In Animal Farm, most of these rules are in force, at least to some extent. It is true that the animals are their own masters, and that no one is forced to work except as a means of survival, for everyone needs to eat. Therefore, there is no corporal punishment with a view to force the animals to work, same as it happens in human society, where people are forced to work in order to survive hunger, but not for fear of corporal punishment induced by a master.
The ration allotted to each animal is the equivalent to minimum wage. The rule that limits the number of work hours, however, finds no parallel in Animal Farm. The policies enacted by the pigs gradually increase the number of work hours to the point where even the day-off is abolished. This kind of reasoning however just demonstrates that slavery can exist even if it has been legally abolished.
In Animal Farm, the animals are held in a de facto slavery which is based not on legal rules, but on social, moral and religious ones. It is obvious that moral and social rules have no force in themselves, as their existence and enforcement is above all a matter of persuasion by those who hold the power.
This is a substantial difference from what happens with the rules of law and religion, which need not be persuasive, as their infringement brings about sanctions. It is important to note, however, that the enforcement of the sanction is not a part of the rule.
Rules that cannot be enforced by institutions created for that effect are not rules of law. If murder or theft were not sanctioned by imprisonment the only way to stop people from committing these acts would be to persuade them that they are morally wrong, that actions such as these are mala in se. The persuasion, nevertheless, has a rule as its object.
Murder and theft are examples of actions that are normally prohibited by legal, social, moral and religious rules the exceptions, not the prohibition itself, account for the variation of the legitimacy of killing and stealing according to each normative system.
Religious rules work much in the same way, except a deity is the punishing institution; accepting that the rules are mandatory is therefore a matter of being persuaded that a given deity exists. The application of moral and social rules is rather different, as these normative orders have no institutionalized system of enforcement, whether it be a secular system, as in the case of law, or a divine system, as in the case of religion.
Thus, when it comes to legal and religious rules, persuasion operates at the level of convincing people that the probability of enforcement is high.
In the case of moral and social rules, however, no such persuasion is possible. Persuasion, therefore, operates directly in the mind of those to whom the rules are addressed: This is the kind of persuasion that the pigs exert on the other animals.
The other animals obey the pigs not because they are afraid of suffering a sanction, as the pigs are not regarded as their proprietors or deities, but because the pigs have the capacity of persuading them that the self-serving moral and social rules which benefit the pigs in general, and Napoleon in particular, are actually what is best for the whole community.
This results in the enslavement of the other animals. The pigs are de facto slaveholders. They have no right of property over the other animals, but they still manage to sell Boxer to the Horse Slaughterer under the pretext that he was actually sent to the hospital. They are no deities, but still can change the tenets of Animalism as they are the only ones with an adequate command of English some of the other animals struggle to read, and are unable to write, while most cannot do either, which hinders any possible opposition.
Besides the obvious parallels with Stalinism, the point Animal Farm also makes, which I have tried to call attention to in this essay, is that those who have a high capacity for reasoning and argumentation can act in a parasitic way, i. These innate traits that some people enjoy make them adept at enslaving others. Thus, those who belong to the governing class, by adopting a parasitic lifestyle that preys on the labour of the governed class, are slaveholders who need not the aid of the law.
Conclusion After these considerations, I believe it is manifest that the abolition of the legal component of slavery is insufficient to abolish the institution as a whole. I must confess that I do not see any reasonable endeavours that could be taken in order to abolish slavery in toto. The moral and social components of slavery are completely rooted in rhetoric.
Rhetoric does play an important part in law and religion, but once the coercive power of the system of Justice or of a given deity is accepted, everything else falls in place, and little remains to discuss. In other words, rhetoric plays its part in convincing people that law and religion are normative systems they ought to obey.
Once this is achieved, it is no longer necessary to use rhetoric to convince people to follow every single rule of the system. On the other hand, rhetoric has to be constantly used in order to convince people that they ought to obey a given social or moral rule. This explains some behaviour that is not legally required but socially expected: It may be argued that people do this mainly because they are afraid of losing their job; as this fear has no legal basis, the only conclusion one can reach is that people are enslaved through persuasion.
They are convinced that losing their job is a very real possibility if they do not do what is expected of them, even when they have the law on their side. The revocation of the legal component of slavery does not abolish the institution; it just brings out its other facets. Now that the law does not back the slaveholder, the slaveholder has found other ways to carry on their trade. No physical violence is implied or exerted, but there is a good deal of psychological violence going around.
This is precisely the case in Animal Farm. Most of us follow our leaders, whoever they are, out of a sense of loyalty which stems from accepting that they know what is best for us. Rhetoric and persuasion cannot be outlawed.
Being able to convince people to do what is in the best interest of the persuader, even when it goes against the interest of the persuaded, is bad because it breeds slavery under the guise of its social and moral norms. The way all human societies are structured nurtures the development and enforcement of the moral and social rules that make up the institution of slavery.
There is no solution for this, but there are arms to fight this situation. The best one is education. Highly educated people can reason and argue aptly. Some people will always be better at finding arguments to convince other people that something is the case, or to do this rather than that. But in a highly educated society no abuses like the ones portrayed in Animal Farm would be possible, because people would not blindly accept that their leader knows what is best for everyone merely in virtue of holding power.
Through education, slavery may yet not be abolished; but just as the revocation of the legal component of slavery unveiled a milder, subtler form of slavery, being able to effectively counter attempts at persuading people to act against their interests may lead slavery into an even milder form.
Works Cited Aristotle. The Politics and The Constitution of Athens. Stephen Everson. CUP, Bradley, Keith. Slavery and Society at Rome. Dworkin, Ronald. Taking Rights Seriously. Harvard UP, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas. Ferreira, Pedro T. Slavery, Civil War and Salvation: African American Slaves and Christianity, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, Hobbes, Thomas.
Richard Tuck. Kramer, Samuel N. History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine Firsts in Recorded History. U of Pennsylvania State, Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government. Peter Laslett. MacDowell, Douglas M. The Law in Classical Athens. Cornell UP, More, St. George M. Logan and Robert M.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Plume, Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Rodriguez, Junis P.
Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political and Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Denver and Oxford: ABC Clio, Vitoria, Francisco de. Relectio de Indis. Carta Magna de los Indios. Baciero and F. The rules that make up the institution of slavery are also social, moral and religious.
This means that the revocation of the legal rules which are a component of the institution of slavery is not enough to abolish the institution as a whole. In order to understand the weight that the non-legal rules have on modern slavery—i. Before turning to Animal Farm, I discuss slavery as an institution, and whether or not it still remains a legal possibility in the United States. This is nowhere more evident than in the contemporary gothic, a genre that systematically couples the media sponsorship or determination of our situation with an uncanny violence, as if each holds the place of the other.
Justificando o seu interesse em aprofundar estes impulsos perversos, o realizador canadiano confessa: The idea of people locking themselves in a room and turning a key on a television set so that they can watch something extremely dark, and, by doing that allow themselves to explore their fascinations …. Rodley Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. That people rehearse like crazy for 10 years, totally fanatically for one concert, and then die!
Compared to this, we are nothing as composers. The novel, for example, from the mid-nineteenth century on, progressively yields up its monopoly on stories of love and crime to a rivalry among media forms. The stories the novel continues to tell, in turn, turn out to be stories of vicarious life and death: Jekyll and Mr. Como De Quincey refere na sua obra: Most authors sit down to write with no fixed design, trusting to the inspiration of the moment; it is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that most books are valueless.
Pen should never touch paper, until at least a well-digested general purpose be established. E nada melhor do que o contacto com a Literatura, ou com a arte em geral, para apurar este sentido.
The dark side exists in all of us. Comparem-se os seguintes exemplos: I viewed them as objects, as strangers …. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult.
For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! He had the eye of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. Como diria Lord Byron em Don Juan: Obras Citadas Allison, Rebecca. Feb,13, December 23, Auerbach, Johnathan. The Reader in Fiction. Bataille, Georges. Baudelaire, Charles. Robert Lafont, Baumeister, Roy F.
Evil Inside Human Violence and Cruelty. Freeman, Benjamin, Walter. Essays and Reflections. Schocken, Serial Killers: Botting, Fred. Limits of Horror: Technology, Bodies, Gothic.
Manchester UP, Davenport-Hines, Richard. North Point Press, Macmillan, Freud, Sigmund. The Penguin Freud Library. Albert Dickson. Lane, Brian and Wilfred Gregg, eds.
The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, London: Headline, Lindsay, Jeff. Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Orion, Lucas, Tim. Studies in the Horror Film. Centipede Press, Martin, Robert K.
American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Men. London and New York: Palahniuk, Chuck. Random House, Poe, Edgar Allan.
Essays and Reviews. The Library of America, Poetry and Tales. Rodley, Chris, ed. Cronenberg on Cronenberg. Seltzer, Mark. True Crime: Observations on Violence and Modernity.
Spooner, Catherine. Contemporary Gothic. Reaktion Books, Simon, Robert I. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Srebnick, Amy Gilman. Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers: Virilio, Paul. The Aesthetics of Disappearance. Philip Beitchman. Semiotexte, Watson, Lyall. Dark Nature: A Natural History of Evil. Harper Perennial, Wheatley, Helen. Gothic Television.
Zizek, Slavoj. The Ticklish Subject. Verso, The direct relationship with the Gothic genre is very naturally justified by real crime seeming to replicate fictional crime and vice versa, thus originating various forms of the lack of distinction between reality itself and fictional reality, or between truth and falsehood, which many writers and artists associated with Gothic aesthetics have always relied on, and numerous examples of this can be found in the works of Edgar Poe, Patricia Highsmith, Chuck Palahniuk and many others.
While real crime may take the Gothic novel as its prototype, it turns out that nowadays television has taken on this role. Examples of this phenomenon are the recent symptoms of obsessive dependence on TV series such as C. Utter disrespect for human life, gross High Command mistakes and a new concept of warfare led to the unleashing of an unprecedented display of brutality. After a short period of assault, the front shrugged into a stalled balance of trenches, tunnels and barbwire, spread through vast areas of the continent.
France and Belgium were the main stages of this world-scale tragedy. Loss of human life was tremendous, the levels of destruction unforeseen, and the amount of barbarity immeasurable.
Among the combatants that experienced the worst side of the mass catastrophe brought about by the war, we find an astonishingly high number of poet-soldiers, fulfilling the ancient image of the man of arms holding the sword in one hand and the quill on the other.
Some of them had, previously, attempted at writing poetry, either still at school or in that seemingly flourishing period of subjectivity of pre-adulthood, but it is safe to say that, for most of them, the war experience played a decisive role in the maturation of verse.
What puzzles me the most, however, is not the poetry itself, or the literary fortunes of those poet-soldiers. If we wish to take that broad spectrum saying a little further, we might peacefully resolve our notion of poetry into a formula comprising feelings, emotions, some degree of play, some degree of form and, of course, language. The formula would be enough, strictly speaking, to cope with the majority of the WW I poets, still in most cases so pre-modernist in style and idiosyncratic in subject.
Thus, I will place poetry aside. That being said, I would like to focus on a distinct post-WW I period in which some of the most admirable poet-soldiers turned to something else to revive their war experiences. That slice of time comprises the years to in which, perhaps in a surprising way, three former war heroes decided to rearrange their previous war experiences by means of the autobiographical register.
Why did three of the most accomplished war poets felt the need for autobiography in order to mitigate the atrocities of WW I ten or more years after its end? Why, so it seems, did Blunden, Graves and Sassoon turned to autobiography for closure? Is autobiography, paradoxically, more reliable than verse in order to catalogue such an intense experience? Is autobiography, in the end, more suited to deal with both memory and experience?
I am not sure if I can provide a satisfactory answer to all of these questions. The general question of autobiography as a literary genre is, as many times happens, a question of deciding on which side of the fence you want to stand. Common sense tells us bluntly that the two terms involved in the definition are fairly self-evident: In universities, literary circles and erudite periodicals, however, the subject of determining the nature of autobiography seems a little more problematic.
The problem seems to be, then, on how to reconcile two different and yet compatible descriptions: Either way, it looks as though Blunden, Graves and Sassoon have perceived it as having a function quite different from that of poetry.
In his classic on autobiography as discourse, The Changing Nature of the Self, Robert Elbaz describes the truth issue as much more than simply an arithmetical exercise in which the variables of the equation true facts and descriptions of facts are either paired together or simply dismissed as unmatchable. Thus, surely factual truth is irrelevant to autobiography, for the meaning of autobiography—or for that matter the meaning of any literary text—does not depend on its factual veracity.
This, of course, raises a more serious problem, that of the relationship between reality and fiction. Is there a difference between autobiography and fiction? Elbaz 6 Empirical evidence is, of course, one of the features that enable readers or listeners to establish a clear line of demarcation as to what seems acceptable or not in autobiographical narrative.
As in every story or tale, there is a sometimes indistinct, sometimes clearer bond of empirical truths and unproven ones. I will address it as any other autobiography, and presume that Sassoon and Sherston are the same person. That explains why: Like fiction, autobiography can only be a beginning, a ceaseless beginning, because there is all that is; because consciousness in its temporal division, in its process of contradiction and negation, allows for beginnings only, for what cannot be completed.
Elbaz As a feature of the narrative mode, then, autobiography is not intent on closure, as we might suspect, but rather on promoting a constant reflux of past and present combined with a generous sense of incompleteness. Neither time nor the self are continuous—they are, to a large degree, fragmented variations of our being-in-the-world experience. And the remembrance of things past, either in Mars or the trenches in France rests on a rather shaky definition of both the self and the chronological existence of that same self.
This argument is particularly pressing with regard to our initial questions about the biographies of Blunden, Graves or Sassoon: Is there something ontologically compelling about writing an autobiography? If we adapt our new hermeneutic stance to the object we proposed to discuss, we will probably find out that our initial assumptions were wrong or, at best, poorly stated.
In order to cope with the varying ways of the self the civilian self, the wannabe-hero, the trench martyr, the civilian after enduring the atrocities of the war self and the self that, ten-plus years after the armistice still feels the need for telling a story about all that , they all chose yet a distinct medium of presentation—seemingly separate from poetry. In his book on literary self-representation, Being in the Text, Paul Jay describes some of the modern implications of that process.
Has the philosopher in Blunden, Graves and Sassoon overcome the poet? Has the strive for unity of the self vanished after the war? Or was it replaced by a sense of production? It was merely a case of keeping the self more or less structured by continuously producing sense and meaningful narratives.
In this context, it may even be accessory to determine why they chose autobiography instead of any other means of presentation: In either case, the emphasis seems to be on a certain degree of continuity as part of an ongoing process of production that is bound to reorganize the constitutive incompleteness and variability of the self.
In a rather prosaic way, we can try to explain the autobiographical surge of Blunden, Graves and Sassoon as a simple case of people getting tired of something in this case, of poetry and wanting to try something else. Still, the deep-rooted reason for this pronounced shift may be found elsewhere. According to Paul Jay, It is this paradox—that the autobiographical work has come to be based on conscious forgetting rather than on careful remembering and on fictional re-presentation rather than on historical presentation—that separates these modern narratives from their poetic predecessor.
Thus, we will address a simple question: The reliance on memory is, as one may well guess, multifarious and uneven, if we compare Undertones of War, Goodbye to All That and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. Remembering a particular episode as long as the writing goes, Sassoon comments on having just then remembered a particular communication trench that allowed him to elude a dangerous moment.
While translating the tremendous experience of life under siege in fortified trenches subject to regular bombardments into words, the writer of the war autobiography seems to sense other possible outbreaks of incomprehension. What if they find my private story too private?
What, in the end, will people make of my one-sidedness? Am I merely repeating history compendiums? I know that the experience to be sketched in it is very local, limited, incoherent; that it is almost useless, in the sense that no one will read it who is not already aware of the intimations and discoveries in it … No one?
Some, I am sure; but not many. Neither will they understand—that will not be all my fault. I know that memory has her little ways, and by now she has concealed precisely that look, that word, that coincidence of nature without and nature within which I long to remember. It may also lead to the establishment of a sometimes ambiguous link with the media of presentation.
To a large extent, the ways of producing meaning, when applied to memory, stand primarily at an impasse: What, then, will suffice? Translation is, then, one of the key-exercises of autobiography: Still, of the three, he is the one who most deeply tackles the question of memory. Whereas in Blunden and Sassoon the threefold relationship between memory, the self and narrative seems little more than unproblematic, Graves addresses the subject in a slightly more profound way.
Still, some times the mind plays tricks on you, and thus, at certain points, it may be deceiving: It would be almost impossible that autobiographies of poet-soldiers involved in WW I would not include reflections about the war.
It is, moreover, one of the features in which the balance between those three autobiographies is evidently more even—and alike in many aspects. As it is common feature in these three authors, the patriotic appeal that soon dissolves into an almost inhuman and opaque relation to death also dissolves into sour bitterness and disillusionment.
He is unable to be sardonic: A similar progression is very transparent in Graves. The constant sight of mass destruction and the huge loss of human lives also took its toll. Such unimportant things as feelings and emotions were either forgotten or ceaselessly pummeled.
Even sensible and thoughtful men are engulfed by this logic of illogicalness—such as Sassoon himself, as described by Graves: Paulo in Portuguese. August 24, O Globo. Retrieved Homo Literatus. G1 in Portuguese.
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