I've been drinking and wanted to return to my roots. I just finished reading
Thoughts Upon Slavery
by John Wesley, founder of Methodism. After detailing the peacefulness of the Islamic Mandigos and the justice of the primitive communists in Benin, Wesley launches into an incredible description of the procurement of slaves. Here we see not guns, germs, and steel, but rather drunkenness, avarice, and violence as the means of white injustice and superiority:
Wesley then proceeds through numerous passages of shaming and moral indignation, carefully exculpating the innocent and noble negro from the crimes of slavery while damning the white man. I wanted to believe that here was a truly god-fearing man bent on ridding the world of an intolerable sin, but instead found myself focusing on very familiar concepts that persist in the secular west. Wesley not only suggests that Africans are the equals of Europeans (an acceptable Christian conclusion), but even advances the notion that they are superior in many cases. He passes over the instances where African kings enslaved their own subjects (which he documents in the pamphlet) without moral commentary. This approach has innumerable analogs in the current discussions about Africa, e.g., the Congo, and demonstrates that overcivilized Christian man's pathological will to self-annihilation was already stirring in the 18th century.