One of the things he discusses early in the book is how slavery ruined everyone it touched, whether they were slaves or slave-owners. The slaves had no ability to manage their own lives, raised as chattel with their existence planned out for them. The wealthy whites had no useful skills as they were taught to look down on manual labor.
Consequently, when the Civil War ended and slavery with it, after a day or two of celebrating, the former slaves looked on the future with dread. What were they supposed to do now? Many of the wealthy whites lost their fortunes as they had no way of earning a living nor the drive to cultivate the necessary skills to do so.
I'm always amazed when people say that America was built on slavery. They must never have studied the institution and what it did to the cultures who practiced it. If slavery was the key to wealth, then Mauritania, which only outlawed slavery in 1981, would be a global superpower. In fact, according to the Guardian, slavery is still practiced today there. Their per capita income is $4,500. Unsurprisingly, slavery hasn't helped them.
|The Big Dude. Get his book. Read it.|