At the beginning of our era, three-fifths of the population of Italy consisted of slaves—human chattels without rights.
Every Roman was surrounded by slaves.
The slave and his psychology flooded ancient Italy, and every Roman became inwardly a slave.
Living constantly in the atmosphere of slaves, he became infected with their psychology.
No one can shield himself from this unconscious influence.
Even today the European, however highly developed, cannot live with impunity among the Negroes in Africa; their psychology gets into him unnoticed and unconsciously he becomes a Negro.
There is no fighting against it. In Africa there is a well-known technical expression for this: “going black.”
It is no mere snobbery that the English should consider anyone born in the colonies, even though the best blood may run in his veins, “slightly inferior.”
There are facts to support this view.
A direct result of slave influence was the strange melancholy and longing for deliverance that pervaded imperial Rome and found striking expression in Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue.
The explosive spread of Christianity, a religion which might be said to have risen from the sewers of Rome—Nietzsche called it a “slave insurrection in morals”—was a sudden reaction that set the soul of the lowest slave on a par with that of the divine Caesar.
Similar though perhaps less momentous processes of psychological compensation have repeatedly occurred in the history of the world.
Whenever some social or psychological monstrosity is created, a compensation comes along in defiance of all legislation and all expectation. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Paras 249-250