Social Death Vs Paternalism Essay

615 Words3 Pages
1. Compare O. Patterson’s concept of “social” death with Genovese’s thesis of “paternalism. To understand the concept of slavery, first one have to understand what power means as all relationships are regulated by the one’s who hold the power, as it is what makes one a slave or a master. According to Max Weber, power is the opportunity which exits within a social relationship that permits one to carry out one’s will even against resistence and regardless of the basis on which this opportunity rests. In other words, power is the ability to act as one wishes. Therefore the lack of power means the inability to act which leads us to the concept of slavery. Orlando Patterson argues that slavery as an extreme form of domination of one person by another. It approaches the limits of total power from the master’s perspective and the limits of total powerlesness from the slave’s perspective. In a way the master becomes everything for the slave. He is god, fatherland, family, existencea and therefore holds all the power. For Tuaregs of the Sahara, without the master, the slave does not even have an existence and he is socializable only through his master. Slave is just a body without its own reasons. His or her existence is based on another. Slave is powerless because his existence belongs to another. As slavery originated as a substitute for death, the master buys the slave’s life. He has the authority to acts whichever he likes. The slave becomes a social nonperson because he has no socially recognized existence outside his master. He is socially a dead person. He ceases to belong anybody or anything other than his master and he is alienated from all rights or claims or birth. He doesn’t have any right to his own cultural existenc beyond what his master permits. He can stil form personal ties but those ties
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