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Unformatted text preview: duction: Unspeakable Ethics” Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure
of U.S. Antagonisms,) GG
I raise Eltis’s counterposing of the symbolic value of slavery to the economic value of slavery in order to debunk two gross
misunderstandings: One is that work—or alienation and exploitation—is a constituent element of slavery. Slavery ,
writes Orlando Patterson, “is the permanent, violent domination of natally alienated and generally dishonored persons.”
Patterson goes to great lengths to delink his three “constituent elements of slavery” from the labor that one is typically forced to perform when one is enslaved. The forced labor is not constitutive of enslavement because whereas it explains a common practice, it does not define
the structure of the power relation between those who are slaves and those who are not. In pursuit of his “constituent elements”
of slavery, a line of inquiry that helps us separate experience (events) from ontology (the capacities of power—or lack
thereof—lodged within distinct and ir...
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014.
- Spring '14