AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.
On 15 February 2014, Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to Greg Grandin about his recent book The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World. Grandin asks us to acknowledge, reexamine and confront the legacy of slavery—in all its historical forms but in particular the brutal example of the trade on the Middle Passage—in our assessment of current political, social, and economic relations and institutions.
Looking out from AntiDote’s home base in Europe (where a torrid and nearly unchallenged ascent of racist ideologies across the Continent can truly no longer be denied), and Switzerland in particular (where a referendum tightening immigration policy passed last month, accompanied by an across-the-board denial that the vote had anything to do with racial discrimination), we are moved to remind our readers that the philosophical lessons Grandin sets out are applicable not only in North America, as so many here—not without an air of relief and reproach—seem to think, but everywhere.
In the 1770s the Spanish began to use phrases associated with today’s society—they began to privatize and deregulate the slave trade.