In his fictional work, Bell has tried to relate past events with the current social associations. This paper seeks to identify the relationship between past events and social associations as presented by the author. In his work, Bell focuses on the racial discrimination that has been characteristic of the American history. The black people have been a source of racial prejudice ever since the colonial era. The color of an individual’s skin has been a great issue for most people with colored skins. Essentially, being color skinned meant that one was less of being human and more of a slave to the whites. The Space Traders is a work of fiction that tries to analyze this situation and bring a concession, which reveals this as a social injustice.
Social relations involve a number of aspects that enable people to live together in unity. It is evident how issues on race have been a major source of conflict between the whites and the colored individuals. Ever since historic moments, the black people have been considered subordinate to the Americans because of their skin color. They have had to survive through being astute and devious. This is evidenced by the way the historic slave trade was conducted and the way Bell reveals the new deal by the space traders to give away the colored citizens in exchange for an economic solution, which would be solved by the gifts being offered in exchange for the black people. The white population seems to be in favor of this without considering the effects of the exchange on the blacks. This brings a division between the two groups because of their contradictory interests.
Social conflicts in relation to the differences in ideologies are another concept of social relations. In his work, Bell reveals this through the contradictory feelings that the people have towards the proposal by the space traders. Whilst the majorities are in favor of the exchange, the affected group is seemingly formulating ways of preventing this exchange. Different groups had tried to come together and fight against this seemingly social injustice. However, their efforts bore no fruits as the decision of the majority surpassed their attempts. As seen on the third day after the trade proposals, the Anti-Trade Coalition gather to strategize ways of fighting the looming social injustice. This is evident in, “… There were plans for direct opposition action protests and boycotts…” (Bell 6).
Generally, for a nation to work there has to be a relation between the rulers and the subjects. However, in most cases, the interests of the leaders appear to over ride those of the citizens. For instance, in historic times during the expansion American territories, the transactions for the purchase of Louisiana were not in consideration of the legislature. On the same note, the president in Bell’s work agrees to the trade because of the benefits the country would have in exchange. Further, this is evidenced by the way the cabinet members are quick to accept the proposals of the traders. This in essence has an effect on the populace, overly; it is evident that the general population always goes with the decisions of their leaders. Thus, in Bell’s work, The Space Traders, the stand taken by the cabinet in accepting the exchange appears to have an impact on the general populace of the white.
Additionally, it is characteristic of society to work together towards a common goal or good. In his work, Bell identifies a group of traders and business personalities who come together to oppose the proposed exchange. They choose to use the media for influencing the general populace to join their effort. Historically, the media has been a major source of information and a great influence on the decisions and behaviors of individuals. Choosing to utilize this form of communication was in an effort to gain support for their conquest.
Being sensitive to other people’s ideas and feelings is a major contribution to social relations. In the Space Traders, the President seemingly tries to be considerate to the black populace, which is being offered in exchange to economical recovery by asking Golightly to attend the cabinet meeting and speak on behalf of his people. For instance, “the president had asked Gleason Golightly … to attend the meeting” (Bell 3). This move was in attempt to disperse the media highlighting the discrimination against race. Moreover, the officials try to negotiate on the terms of the exchange by offering the individuals in custody; a move denied by the traders, they make the officials to stop the blacks from moving out of the country until the trade is over. This move is seen like a violation of the rights of the blacks, it contradicts the freedom to movement of all citizens, “... the Space Traders warned that they would withdraw their proposition… halted the flight of …blacks fleeing the country” (Bell 12).
In addition, despite the forecasted benefits that the exchange would bring to the country, the traders raised concerns about the effect this would have on their business. They worried that the country’s ability to pay off its debts with the gifts being offered would affect the factors of trade that enabled them to carry out their business effectively. Furthermore, the absence of the black population would lead them to lose a big market niche for their services and products. This can be related to the global recession in the recent past, which led to a great imbalance in the economy. That is, having a high liquidity in the economy would render the currency redundant and thus make traders face a major loss. Bell’s story highlights the importance of having a balance in the economy by allowing traders to conduct their operations by balancing the supply and demand of products. This he states in the line, “… Though seldom acknowledging the fact… understood that blacks were crucial in stabilizing the economy…” (Bell 9). The presence of the blacks was beneficial for them to conduct their business as they provided a greater market for their products.