No, slavery is not forced labor. It is not a legal term. It is not a form of property. It is not racism, or nationalism, or an empire. These things are the symptoms of slavery, but they are not its essence.
It is not a “mode of production.” Neither is it an “historical stage in the evolution of humanity.” These are only convenient mantras used by those who want to conceal the real essence of slavery.
The essence of slavery is elsewhere. Few are those who understand it and are willing to say it publicly. Even fewer are those who self-consciously stand against it.
The essence of slavery can be seen clearly in Moses’ experience with the Hebrews. The nation of Israel was in slavery in Egypt where they were forced to heavy exhausting labor under cruel taskmasters. They had no so-called human rights, and their children were being massacred by their oppressors. And when Moses led them out of the land of slavery to take them to the Promised Land of Liberty, they rebelled against him and complained: “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic” (Num. 11:5). The former slaves didn’t remember the slavery with the taskmasters, the whips, and the forced labor. They remembered it with the things that they “did eat freely.”
The Strugatsky Brothers—well-known science fiction writers in Russia—see the essence of slavery in the same way in their novel The Second Invasion from Mars. In the “first invasion from Mars” in H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, the Martians come with weapons and force. The Martians in the Strugatsky’s novel are smarter, and they know well the very nature of man. Instead of force, they offer goods. Freely. And conquer without a shot.
The triumph of slavery.
Slavery doesn’t start with the slaveholders. It starts with the slaves. It doesn’t start when someone draws a gun and forces others to work for them. It starts when the others refuse to take care of themselves and their families, when they ask for someone to give them what they want—from cradle to grave. Freely. Slavery starts when a man abandons the responsibility to make decisions for his own life and let others make those decisions. The real essence of slavery is in the deliberate surrender of individual rights and responsibilities to others. Slavery is in the instinct to be a sheep and find others to feed you and shear you.
In today’s world, slavery is government welfare. Government healthcare is for those who never do anything about their own health. The government Social Security is for those who refuse to care for their own future. So-called free government education is for the children whose parents can make children but refuse to take the responsibility to educate them. Government regulation of the economic and family life of a nation is slavery. The government bailouts for irresponsible corporations and banks. The tariffs that protect inefficient domestic industries against domestic customers. The labor legislation that regulates employers and gives security to workers irrespective of their skills and work ethics. The government academic tenure for life for professors to protect them against younger and innovating competition. The government licensing regulations for whole industries to protect the old guilds against effective newcomers. The racial and ethnic quotas that favor people on the basis of their belonging to a group rather than their skills and commitment. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
All these are slavery. They have the same motive for their foundation: Man’s desire to escape the responsibility for his own life and work. The people who want them, raise the same cry as those Hebrews in Moses’ time: “We were doing so good with the fish that we did eat freely, and with the leeks, and the garlic, and the onions.” We had others to think for us. We want others to think for us. Even if that entails whips and forced labor under the scorching sun. Even if that means 60 percent taxes, waiting for hours at the mercy of faceless bureaucrats, humiliations and forfeiting our rights to life, liberty and property. Give us our free piece of bread every day!
A nation of slaves has no future. Eventually it dies. Whether of invasion, or of extinction, one day it ceases to exist. No government can save it. No promises for daily pieces of bread—freely —can save it. Slaves have no future-oriented worldview, and therefore they have no future.
Only those who are free indeed have a future. The future belongs to those who take the responsibility for it. Anything else is a lie and self-deceit.Bojidar Marinov (dead link)
Go get your future.
The one God wants to give you as a freeman.
The reward for your perseverance and obedience and fear and trust in God.
As opposed to powerful men.
Just a snip from the other blog:
…the welfare state is what provides the masses with their treats to reward obedience, just as the police (secret and uniformed) provide the masses with the sticks needed to punish disobedience.
“You can just use sticks… but then, you use authority, control, leverage. Even your legitimacy, your Mandate to Rule, if you are breaking your promises to Feed and Heal and Protect the People.”
“Feed and Heal and Protect the People? Sounds like a towering lying idol to me.”
“A god beloved by the masses… unlike your hard and demanding Lord, will all those Commandments and Judgements and Hellfire!”
“Better harsh truths than pretty lies.”