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  1. #41
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Argueably, slavery has survived. We're all slaves to a point, buying our homes and land and food, slaves to our own money.

    The only difference is that we are free to evolve and prosper to a certain point if we aim for it. Whereas slaves were surpressed regardless of the individual skills and talents.

    So todays slavery doesn't have the evil and negative stamp on it anymore.

    [failed Victor impersonation]

    And slavery has been assimilated into the term society. And has been accepted as a norm.

    Without it, things would be anarchystically chaotic, and the world would be much worse without modern slavery. This we can imagine and understand, and so we accept todays form as slavery, masochistically.

    [/failed Victor impersonation]
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  2. #42
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    How many people in the world do you suppose are actually free of the need to work in order to survive?
    The few who genuinely own capital. That's the difference between being in the "capitalist" class and being in the "working class", rather than style of work.

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Damn smartphone. I typed up this great response and it didn't upload. Boo.

    In a nutshell - "slavery" and "wage slave labor" or even "slavery to debt" are not apples to apples but more gradations. Also it is almost impossible to separate a "normal" amount of pressure and difficulty that goes into any labor and the "exploitation" of an economic system. I think it was Oberon who said in another thread that the worker is always exploited in any system. I assumed he meant its just a matter of degree.

    I think the idea of being a slave to wages only applies in a global context to developing countries and the very poorest in non commie/socialist countries in the developed world. In the us the analogy is good for pointing out how the working class is kept working class and how different kinds of labor are rewarded (or not)

    Is "wage slavery" the same as actual slavery? No not at all.

    If you described it more as an analogy of how jim crow laws were the legal extension of slavery, that argument would be easier for me to agree with.
    If you mean chattel slavery, then no, but chattel slavery, as practiced by Europeans upon Africans in the New World, was a very unique instance of unfree labor in the history of the world.

  3. #43
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Chattel slavery was not likely to have survived except as a political symbol, if then. [...] I believe the South would simply have discovered that slavery wasn't the best way to manage labor.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Slavery has been abolished at various times throughout history, but it never really stuck until after the Civil War. For example, Cyrus the Great insisted on paying wages to all workers, but as we all know slavery existed long after Cyrus the Great was gone. I think the end of slavery had more to do with industialization and the resulting changes in the structure of the economy.
    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Well, if we're going to step outside the cosy "Western" bubble when considering contemporary slavery, there's actually no shortage of traditional chattel slavery still, although it's much less widespread than it's used to be. Mauritania is the outstanding example, I believe.
    all 3 of these posts seem to have a similar thread, which is that with the onset of industrialization and the societal change it engendered, slavery was less practical.

    If you mean chattel slavery, then no, but chattel slavery, as practiced by Europeans upon Africans in the New World, was a very unique instance of unfree labor in the history of the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by brandeis
    Traditional slavery, often called chattel slavery, is probably the least prevalent of the contemporary forms of slavery. According to the American Anti-Slavery group (black girl modern slavery doctor at anti-slavery.org), in Mauritania, where slavery was legally abolished in 1980, 90,000 darker-skinned Africans still live as the property of the Muslim Berber communities. Although the Africans in Mauritania converted to Islam more than 100 years ago, and the Qur’an forbids the enslavement of fellow Muslims, in Mauritania race seems to outrank religious doctrine. Such chattel slaves are used for their labor, sex, and breeding, and are exchanged for camels, trucks, guns, or money. Children of chattel slaves remain the property of their master. And even among freed slaves, a tribute is often paid to former masters, who also maintain inheritance rights over freed slaves’ property.

    In Sudan, slavery is making a comeback as the result of a war waged over the past twelve years by the Muslim north against the Christians and Animists in the south. Sudan means "land of the blacks" in Arabic, and for centuries black Africans were abducted in Sudan as part of the Arabian slave trade. Anti-Slavery researchers describe a revival of a racially-based slave trade where armed northern militias raid the southern civilian villages for slaves. Reports to the UN Commission on Human Rights have underscored the racial aspect of such practices as victims are exclusively persons belonging to the indigenous tribes of the Nuba Mountains (darker-skinned Africans). Government-armed Arab militias are known to kill the men and enslave the women and children as personal property or to march them north to be auctioned off and sold.
    just interesting info to bring us up to date

  4. #44
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    all 3 of these posts seem to have a similar thread, which is that with the onset of industrialization and the societal change it engendered, slavery was less practical.
    This is correct. And bear in mind that societies where slavery is commonplace today are mostly non-industrialized.
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  5. #45
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding like a pretentious jerk, I think most of you are missing the big picture here, although none of you are wrong, per se, since this is mostly philosophical. But take a look at this definition to help get into the mindset of what is considered slavery before I explain why:

    (slavery - definition of slavery by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.)

    1. The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household.
    2.
    a. The practice of owning slaves.
    b. A mode of production in which slaves constitute the principal work force.
    3. The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence.
    4. A condition of hard work and subjection: wage slavery.

    (Slavery - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

    1: drudgery, toil
    2: submission to a dominating influence
    3
    a : the state of a person who is a chattel of another
    b : the practice of slaveholding

    (my definition)

    An occurrence of recognizing being taken advantage of when the amount of work a person puts into something produces a constant reward for that person and a variable reward for another person that increases as the amount of work done and completed over a period of time is increased and decreases as the amount of work done and completed over a period of time is decreased and where the net difference of the increases and decreases produces an overall net increase of variable reward for that other person.

    So if you think about this, slavery becomes apparent when they recognize they are doing either of the above. Thus for slavery to exist all one has to do is either recognize that they are taking advantage of a person or people or recognize that they are being taken advantage of them-self. What is done thereafter is unimportant to the current situation, and a direct result of this effect creates the idea of freedom, because without slavery currently existing, freedom can not currently exist. And as you might have noticed, freedom in the context of slavery is also limited in context to only human interactions. The world and its forces and physics that bind us are considered more or less out of our control, but how we interact with it seems to be in our conscious and subconscious control. So to have and recognize that control limited in any way by another human being or other life-form is what we pretty much consider the idea of slavery. Let me reiterate this point: "So to have and recognize that control limited in any way by another human being or other life-form is what we pretty much consider the idea of slavery." If you think about what this means 'to also recognize' is that we are essentially talking about someone concerned with fulfilling their needs, whatever they might be and whatever they might think and believe they are. If they are fulfilled they will probably be much less likely, if at all, concerned with whether or not they are a slave to someone and will not recognize it or even choose not to recognize it. So what are considered needs vary between person and are always a point of debate or up for discussion, but I think we can at least agree that we have biological needs that need to be fulfilled to survive before we can worry about our other needs. And I think this is what you all are talking about in placing this biological or (as Maslow I think calls it) physiological need of slavery as having more relevance and importance in discussing the OP and slavery in general, but it's much too specific and vague without discussing the full extent of what slavery essentially is. And now from that and from all that being said...

    So in the context of minimum wage, companies hire people to do a portion of the workload of the company, and if the company produces a profit, the minimum wage workers do not get more money, but the plus side of this is that if the company does not do well, the workers do not get less money, however businesses that do not take in a profit will soon go out of business, so most minimum wage workers can be seen to be taken advantage of and having their control of their life taken from them overall. Whether the workers can go to college or get promotions or create a civil war to better their positions becomes just a choice for the future and irrelevant to the slavery of their current situation.

    But since time is also a consideration, if we consider time as well, then slavery becomes even more apparent when one is indebted to another (loans and credit cards) or is not able to save money from their minimum wage job, minimizing their potential choices for the future compared to maximizing the potential choices of another person, which could reduce their health and longevity, overall life productivity, overall happiness, etc. while increase these things in another or others; and this would be considered slavery just as well, of course.

    In summary, humans interact with one another, but are only enslaved when they recognize and can show how they are being taken advantage of, or when they recognize and can show that their future choices are limited compared to another person while increasing the future choices of another person at the same time, a form of being taken advantage of and thus a form of slavery.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Argueably, slavery has survived. We're all slaves to a point, buying our homes and land and food, slaves to our own money.

    The only difference is that we are free to evolve and prosper to a certain point if we aim for it. Whereas slaves were surpressed regardless of the individual skills and talents.

    So todays slavery doesn't have the evil and negative stamp on it anymore.

    [failed Victor impersonation]

    And slavery has been assimilated into the term society. And has been accepted as a norm.

    Without it, things would be anarchystically chaotic, and the world would be much worse without modern slavery. This we can imagine and understand, and so we accept todays form as slavery, masochistically.

    [/failed Victor impersonation]
    Actually, I believe that throughout history most slave-using institutions have made it possible for slaves to purchase their own freedom, so in a sense we're no better off now than they were then...

  7. #47

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    OK, its possible to philosophise about the condition of workers but the reality is that I wasnt talking about that, what I meant was slavery as a legal, popular and conventional institution could it have survived if it had not been forceably abolished by the authorities of the dominant nations? At its most basic that people are bought and sold as beasts is a pretty different thing to being treated badly by a human resource department.

    I'm always worried about the arguments about the comparability of workers and slaves made by liberals or left wingers, even when its very, very bad and tantamount to slave like conditions its not the same, which is why wage slavery is refered to as wage slavery and not simply slavery. These arguments which make the point that it is comparable are illiberal in the extreme exactly because they make the point that they are comparable, they could contribute to a change of popular opinion suggests slavery would be fine, its just a particularly bad condition of wage earning isnt it?

    Similarly there is a movement on the right wing, particularly within libertarianism which suggests that individual sovereignty should allow for the possibility of selling yourself into slavery, its making the point of comparable status again.

    Now sometimes I think these arguments are made by people who want to use libertarianism as a flag of convenience, the same way the racists in the south of the states used to be southern democrats insisting on the will of the majority in the face of desegregation but switching camps to libertarianism because of its high regard for exclusivity in private clubs. Other times its adolescent or extremist desires to be the most hard line or the most consistent and support what they perceive to be their ideology even when it appears highly contradictory.

    So, no, whether its left or right wing I dont think comparisons should be made, its not a philosophical or academic distinction, class struggles are not the same as slavery per se.

  8. #48
    Senior Member You's Avatar
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    Slavery does exist.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post
    Slavery does exist.
    As an institution in the US?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #50
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    I see your point. Now I feel a bit foolish. And I'm not sure I'm as educated as you on this, but if this doesn't bother you, then do you really think having a monetary system means the poor don't or won't get treated as beasts (or animals?) at times? I'm sure homeless have been victimized by police and other members of society for being poor and seen as animals (sometimes less than animals) in ways. The US has and does exploit third world countries across the world, aware of the damage that's being done to the people of those countries. But for some reason, people in general are fine with this.

    And mainly, because of the aggressive nature of capitalism, people tend to see the poor as a nuisance and with general apathy. Because why would you help someone who is a competitor when you are barely keeping your own head above the water? So I could see someone coming up with an argument that it is better to be treated as a beast and at least have your basic survival needs met by an owner, then to struggle and have your efforts end up in vain and have your needs ignored when they could potentially be taken care of if the person (slave) was considered property.

    Really it goes both ways. If someone is a slave, the slave owner will want to take care of them if they see value in doing so. If the value of the slave isn't there, then they will not take care of them. And it's the same in a capitalistic system; if a person doesn't carry enough monetary value then they will not have the money to take care of themselves. But if they do carry value, they will see that value by gaining or producing monetary value. It's the same underlying issue, just with a different conceptual paradigm.

    It's about inherent human behavior/motivations with ethical systems and beliefs. It always has been. Take the nuclear family, for example. In a healthy nuclear family, each member has a bond with each member in such a way that all people involved not only want to help each other, but want to be as useful as possible for each other as well. When these bonds aren't there, in the worst case, people either think or believe the other person will take advantage of them by being lazy or believe the other person will leave them to die in a corner if a benefit can be received when the opportunity to make that happen arises. One can't get rid of slavery unless people are able to form these bonds. It really doesn't matter if the person is formally considered property or free. The only real better difference between the two systems is that the economy is arguably increased because we have more theoretical choices to maximize usage of resources. And again, theoretically, we will then have less slaves. But it's purely theoretical that this will always be true. I find it much more interesting the reasons why these bonds end up not existing, then worrying about an arguably minor distinction in types of slavery. Although I'm sure to thoroughly understand the former, the latter must be understood to a degree as well, but the latter seems much more inherently subjective since it deals with the psychology of seeing oneself as property, rather than free, limited in scope to how the collection of individual perceptions is conglomerated. I don't think that will lead to a better overall understanding and solution, but instead purely circumstantial solutions, for the basic reasons in this post. But if that's what you want, I'll just shut up then since I'm not entirely convinced there is a difference in the grand scheme of things and because my knowledge is quite limited.

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