But that particular bit - that was subtle - how things work, how Dylan could be brought up with slaves and become an abolitionist and believe that it's still right to own slaves.
He doesn't actually believe that owning slaves is right--it's more that given that it's going to take years, even decades for anything to change, providing at least a few slaves with a safe environment is the least of the available evils.
I read the meta piece you posted on What We Keep, too - it's about the only left I really regret about being banned from livejournal, that there is no meta fan community on IJ to post/join discussions like these.
You're banned from LJ??
Hmm. I thought there was some kind of meta comm over here. Perhaps it could be resurrected.
Because I think the right position to take, living in a country like that, would either be to avoid owning slaves - sure, you can't avoid being connected with slavery, but you can do your bit about not being in it - or to leave the country*
Leaving the country is tough. Most of the industrialized countries either wouldn't take Americans, or have similar systems. The USNA government would also make it very difficult for someone to leave, by seizing their assets and possibly arresting them for treason.
As far as not owning slaves, the only way to do that without ending up in jail eventually is to keep your income below the threshold. The problem with that is that it means you have little ability to influence public opinion or the law.
By the way, you can help me on this - what is the name of the US in this universe? Is it still just "the United States" or something else?
Officially, it's the United States of North America, which includes the current 50 states plus most of southern Canada and northern Mexico. Unofficially, it's the Empire.
I suppose I should do a "meet the folks" post - I'm just not sure how...
Ooh! Just saw that, and much is clear now--thank you!