cars and slavery
- Extract from the latest issue of the New Internationalist. An article about
slavery quotes Adam Hochschild, author of the book "Bury the Chains". (Anyone
heard of it ?) He says: "If you had proposed in the London of 1787 to change
[the slave trade] 9 out of 10 people would have laughed you off as a crackpot.
The 10th might have admitted that slavery was unpleasant but said that to end it
would wreck the British Empire's economy. It would be as if, today, you
maintained that the automobile must go."
In 1792 350,000 people signed a petition against the slave trade and the House
of Commons passed a bill abolishing it. It was blocked by the House of Lords,
which in those days had much more power than it does now, so that we are only
this year celebrating the bicentenary of abolition.
What would be a reasonable target for "burying the chains" of a car dependent