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25.10.12

Over One Billion Served

If there's one thing that has remained consistent in human history, it's slavery.  Nearly every civilization ever conceived by humans has involved involuntary servitude, whether by conquest or debt.  Even most of the gods we have conceived require absolute obedience and submission.

Things haven't changed much, despite an effort over the last couple of hundred years to become more enlightened.  Those who think their nation is so enlightened as to have eradicated slavery need only ask how long it's been since the last military draft.

In fact, submission to government is one of the most pervasive and insidious forms of slavery today.  An legal code of behavior that is enforced by the use of deadly force and incarceration is an institutional form of slavery, whether you adhere to it voluntarily or not.

Even more insidious is the bondage of debt, and considering nearly all world currencies are a form of monetized debt, slavery would seem to be more rampant than ever.  By this measure, nearly every human on Earth is a slave.  Even those who issue the currencies are slaves to their own greed and avarice and desire to dominate others.

Slavery, despite our self-deceptions, exists today in many overt forms.  The human trade for domestic servants runs unabated throughout much of the world.  Young women in Indonesia are frequently sold out to wealthy Arabs, Chinese and other groups.

If you need another example, ask anyone at the BBC about the sex slave trade taking place backstage of your favorite sit-com or drama.  The Euro elite have been trading lives for sexual gratification for centuries with no sign of abating, and that is hardly an isolated example.

Slavery expresses itself in certain 'lifestyle' choices, such as Master/slave or Dom/sub, which is a large and growing form of power play in the West, where women have been granted carte blanche to run rampant over men as retaliation for the perceived ills of past generations.  In this case, powerless and ineffectual men (usually) seek out meek and even more powerless women (usually) in order to have someone to lord it over.

There are even institutionalized forms of covert slavery.  The intern system, which most college graduates will have to endure, involves a powerless student working long, arduous hours for little or no money in order to prove their worth to the employment masters.  For their part, the students submit both for the letter grade and hours, and in the hopes of securing a wage slave position in the future.

No matter who you are or where you live, you are a slave of one sort or another.  In most cases, we are products of slave indoctrination from the cradle.  We are taught to submit to churches/mosques/temples run by self-appointed elites who feel they have every right to slide a hand into your pocket in exchange for some future glory of serving a vengeful god for all eternity.

For those less inclined to that form of slavery, there is a government over us who also feels empowered to slide a hand into our pocket and rob us of our labor and productivity in exchange for...well, for nothing, really.  The governments set up systems of controls on humans and then charge them for the priviledge.  None of it is really useful to anyone but the life-long bureaucrats who leech off society in general.

Ultimately, it makes one take pause and wonder if humans weren't indeed created to be a slave race.  There is a growing body of scholarship pointing to the possibility that humans were genetically modified from some base animal in order to serve a master race.  Could it be that embedded in our genetic codes there is an unavoidable impulse to enslave ourselves to those we perceive as able to supply our needs in exchange for our undying subservience?

In an era when science is finding 'gay' genes, and 'fat' genes, and even 'crime' genes, has anyone noticed that there doesn't seem to be any effort whatsoever to find a 'slave' gene?  Perhaps no one is looking because no one wants to find it.  The basic impulse of humans to bond themselves is a handy device for those aware of it and wiling to exploit it for their own gain.

Slavery is embedded at such profound levels of our psyches that we hardly even notice it.  Our love songs and poetry celebrate the complete submission of one person to another.  Our literature, such as Pygmalion, Frankenstein, golems, and zombies, is suffused with the creation of slaves.

Even now, the elite are working feverishly to create a new class of slaves that we commonly call 'robots'.  Slaves have this annoying habit of requiring food and care, and at some point, they always awaken en mass and throw off their old shackles to look for new.

But if the masters could create a slave of steel and cable that would work tirelessly 'round the clock, without pay, holidays or benefits.  If they could build for themselves an army of unquestioning 'doers' that obeyed every whim.  If they could finally free themselves from their own slavery of having to care, no matter how little, for the fact that the slave is in some part human.  What a grand life they would have.

Short of eradicating religion, government and elitism of every kind, there seems to be no way out of the slave mentality.  We are steeped in this culture of servitude from birth and from all angles.  We spend our lives slaving away at 'jobs' in the hopes of gaining enough wealth and position to be able to control slaves, rather than be one.  We create 'lifestyles' that allow us to feel some amount of control in our lives, no matter how illusory it is.  We even domesticate animals in order to have something around us that obeys our wishes.

We submit our work for approval.  We submit payment for services.  We demand good service for our money.  We build service economies.  Indeed, it would seem that to rid the world of slavery would imply tearing down all that has come before and starting from scratch, and even then could we conceive of a world in which one group did not submit to another, whether by force or positive action?

It would seem that those who scream the loudest for the end of slavery in all forms are the most clueless.  They have not stopped to consider that our entire Universe is built on the premise that someone must serve another.  Slavery is, in fact, endemic in human affairs.  It is our own feelings of powerlessness that lead us to strive for a position in which we can force others to submit their power to us.

If we are serious about ending slavery, then the concept must be opened up to include slavery in all its forms.  We must further ask the question that never seems to be expressed: are we in fact a slave race?  Is slavery so deeply ingrained in our constitutions that we cannot perceive a world without it?  Indeed, could humanity honestly survive without the submission of one group to another?  Are we capable of not only conceiving, but building such a world?

Or are we doomed for our brief turn on the stage of history to seek out an exploit the labor of others because we know no other way?

Perhaps the only way to proceed is to control the expression of slavery in an open and honest forum, rather than try to extract the very heart or humanity.  The first step is to admit that we are all slaves of one stripe or another.  Then we can move forward with effectual efforts to slow the pace of exploitation.

Until then, get back to work, slave!