Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advanced forms of slavery

Version 0.4

The key here was actually combines the WikiLeaks release of the 250,000 US government documents with the results of last month's election. The insight took the form of:

"The truth shall make you free? But what if the truth is that you are a stupid slave?"

In theory, the main value of the so-called Fourth Estate is the exposure of government corruption so that democracy can function.

What has actually happened is that news has devolved to the best propaganda that money can buy. Since the rich people have more money, they can afford to hire the best propagandists, and the result is that they can distort the reality to the point where their mindless greed is probably going to to lead not only to the destruction of the economic system that made them rich, but quite possibly to the destruction of the human race.

For most of history, most of the people have been slaves, though most of the written history has focused on the adventures and exploits of the few non-slaves. I'm not just talking about the officially recognized slaves who had the title. Almost all people lived their lives with little or no freedom. The largest obvious category is women, who were basically treated as property, and though many women have more freedom now, there are still large numbers for whom nothing has really changed. However, there are so many other categories of quasi-slaves and semi-slaves that I argue that most people have lived most of their lives as slaves. Another large categories is the serfs and peasants and various other impoverished farmers who were more or less firmly bound to the land of their peasant ancestors. In spite of the free exploits of the generals and admirals, most of the actual soldiers and sailors lived in disciplined conditions of de facto slavery. Even most of the hunter gatherers lived effectively without any choices but to repeat the lives of their parents. that's already covered most of the people who've ever lived.

Nowadays we've largely moved to economic forms of slavery. We even recognize them as wage slaves. The new chains are not made of steel, but of legal barriers to bankruptcy for the average people and improved law enforcement systems, even to the international scale. I'm not sure the slaves of old lived in greater fear of their masters than the indebted middle class now lives in fear of losing their jobs... In relative terms, being sold to a different master probably feels like the same thing as before. In contrast, if you start by living in a good house, and then you are forced to start living under a bridge, or are driven to criminal acts while trying to feed your children and winding up in prison... Well, those are big steps down, and plenty to be afraid of.

There's yet another form of modern slavery that may be the key to the destruction of humanity. That's in the form of national restrictions against migration combined with increased knowledge of the national differences. In brief, nowadays almost everyone in the world knows about advanced and wealthy life styles, with America having the wealthiest and at least one of the more advanced forms. However, for essentially all of the people living in poor countries, they are as unfree as the slaves of old when it comes to changing their lots in life. Most of the adults probably accept that they could never become wealthy doctors or lawyers--but they still believe their children would have much better chances at such lives if only they could live in rich countries. They also know that the lives of relative poverty in those rich countries would be no worse than their current lives, but with that enormous difference for their children...

Why the key to our destruction? Because the existing rich people and the increasing numbers of newly rich people can only sustain their wealthy status by squeezing more blood from the poor turnips. In other words, the rich don't only get rich and the poor poorer, but the rich people must translate more and more of their wealth into the wasteful military tools of oppression to keep the increasingly desperate poor people in their places. The asymmetric so-called war on terror is NOT going to go away, but only become more and more vicious and desperate. The natural and probably inevitable outcome will be a true doomsday weapon (probably a super bioweapon) in the hands of people who are willing to use it...

The punchline? It's that "Live free or die" is an American slogan. The Americans are both leading the modern forms of slavery and proud of claiming that they would rather be dead than enslaved.

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As a blogger from before there were blogs, I've concluded what I write is of little interest to the reading public. My current approach is to treat these blogs as notes, with the maturity indicated by the version number. If reader comments show interest, I will probably add some flesh to the skeletons...