The Return of Legal Slavery; Parts 1 and 2

January 26, 2014

slavery 2

It seems unbelievable in our modern time that there is talk about bringing back slavery, but the concept is steadily creeping back into western culture. For instance, in the 2008 Presidential campaign, Republican thug candidate Newt Gingrich opined that schools should fire the janitors and have the children clean and repair the school. People scoffed, but deep within the conservative psyche the idea has always been on the back burner.
Now, in austerity strapped Greece, the proposal for mandatory work with no pay has been floated as a solution for mass unemployment. From the financial website Zerohedge:

Europe’s Modest Proposal To End Unemployment: Slavery
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/24/2014


Having spent weeks talking amongst themselves about the chronic and dangerous rise of youth unemployment in Europe (as we warned here), the Center of planning and Economic Research in Greece has proposed a controversial measure. As GreekReporter reports, the measure includes unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees. “Unpaid” work sounds a lot like slavery to us… but it gets better; the report also suggested “exporting young unemployed persons.” No comment…

Europe’s youth unemployment problem is epic – 24.4% of Europe’s under-25 population is unemployed…

GreekReporter notes the solution to Greece’s problems…
Centre of planning and Economic Research in Greece has proposed a controversial measure in order to deal with the problem of increasing unemployment in the country.
The measure includes unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees. Practically, what is proposed is the abolition of the basic salary for a year. At the same time the “export” of young unemployed persons was also proposed to other countries abroad, as Greek businesses do not appear able to hire new personnel.

Whether it’s Europe in the 1930’s or the US during the same period (conflicts between strikers, the National Guard and armed militias), unemployment can create a powerful cocktail of unrest.
But turning your nation’s young into slaves does not seem like a good solution to us…

If you look at what’s going on, Germany stands to benefit if such a plan is “put to work”. German policy has forced austerity on southern Europe. There have been plans floated that would create various “free trade zones” in the impoverished countries. German manufacturing would be free to move in and have unlimited resources of low – or no paid workers.
Additionally, the article above states that unpaid workers could be slated for export to other countries. What about forced conscription for military service with foreign nations? Where would the lines be drawn?

Part Two: The Libertarian dream of “Voluntary Slavery”

While illegal slavery still exists globally, in the form of prostitution, conscription into third-world guerrila armies and other types of forced labor, those types of slavery are still illegal.
However, that peculiar version of conservative dysfunction called Libertarianism has re-thought the concept of “voluntary slavery” and shoe-horned it into their mythical platform.
Let’s take a look at Walter Block, a big-wig in The Ludwig von Mises Institute, a premier think tank in the Austrian school of economics.
In a white paper for the institute, Walter Block outlines how “voluntary slavery” fits in with Libertarian ideology:

Walter Block*

PDF link
(excerpts only, thankfully)

“I cannot make a gift of myself to you; I cannot voluntarily
agree to be your slave. If it is non-salable, then I cannot sell
myself to you as a slave.
However, the following scenario will illustrate a problem. You
are a rich man who has long desired to have me as a slave, to order
about as you will, even to kill me for disobedience or on the basis of
any other whim which may occur to you. My child has now fallen ill
with a dread disease. Fortunately, there is a cure. Unfortunately, it will
cost one million dollars, and I, a poor man, do not have such funds at my
disposal. Fortunately, you are willing to pay me this amount if I sign
myself over to you as a slave, which I am very willing to do since my
child’s life is vastly more important to me than my own liberty, or
even my own life. Unfortunately, this would be illegal, at least if the
doctrine of inalienability (non-transferability) is valid. If so, then you,
the rich man, will not buy me into slavery, for I can run away at any
time, and the forces of law and order will come to my rescue, not yours,
if you try to stop me by force.
There is another way to put this matter. As a first approximation,
commodification can be defined as the opposite of inalienability.”

That, in a nutshell is a nut’s way of bringing back slavery; change the definition of “inalienable rights”.
46 more pages of my life later, Block reaffirms that everything is available for commodification, everything is for sale, even you – as a slave.

We are looking at hard, hard times with a global economic system that has siphoned all the wealth towards the top, and that’s not enough. Now they want our bodies and souls.

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One Response to The Return of Legal Slavery; Parts 1 and 2

  1. Cosmo on March 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    The hard times are indeed upon us DoJo Rat and they are only going to get worse as the world moves ever closer to the end of its cheap, hydrocarbon fuel-based economic system. Regardless of what kind of “alternative energy” technologies may evolve over the next century there is no doubt that the masses are going to suffer terribly. To such a degree that slavery may seem desirable to some, when faced with the alternative.

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