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The Servile States (Unemployment Assurance?)

By Tsun

Servants are despicable. They're worse than slaves; after all many slaves have been warriors, taken in battle, and others whose hearts were not into their (involuntary) servitude.

But every servant makes the choice; every servant stands, hat in hand, begging for his "position" (forehead to the ground, rump in the air?). Nowadays, they also pee into cups.

That's right: employees are servants. If you don't believe me, take a look into Black's Law Dictionary. "'Servant' is synonymous with 'employee.'" The employer/employee relationship is a master/servant relationship. That's right; I said: "Master!"

So, employees are servants and servants are slave wannabes. I think we're in trouble!

95 Percent slave?

Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have said that a nation can't live "half slave and half free." Indeed! How about ninety-five percent slave and five percent free? See what I mean? We're toast!

And you wonder what happened to the Bill of Rights -- to freedom in America! How could it compete with a nation of servile slave wannabees begging elected panderers to make servitude more pleasant? How could freedom compete with employers and powerful corporations lobbying (bribing) government to insure them a plentiful supply of willing slaves? How could either of the above have been accomplished without limiting freedom?

Consider the irony: In days gone by, masters paid a lot of money for good slaves. Today, the servile at heart pay a lot of money to be good servants! College educations; professional training; power ties. . .

I'd better take a moment to deal with the obvious objections: "Everybody does it! And if servitude becomes pleasant enough, isn't it desirable? Isn't it a form of freedom? Freedom from want?"

No. Because the bottom line is: servants are not only unfree; they're also disposable!

You see, despite what Hollywood implies, Masters tended to take good care of slaves -- after all, the creatures cost a lot of money. Translated into today's economy, a slave "worth" $600 gold dollars in the last century could cost nine to twelve thousand of today's "dollars." In case you're interested, that's based upon the price of gold. $600 in gold coin equals thirty $20 gold pieces, each weighing about one ounce. At $300 per ounce, you'd have nine thousand "dollars," and at $400 per ounce you'd have twelve thousand. But even if the slave only cost five thousand dollars, it's a lot of money.

Slaves are not disposable. But servants are. This was well illustrated when the Erie Canal was built. "Loan us your slaves; well pay you for their labor!" the plantation owners were coaxed. "No way! You'll work them to death;" the slavers replied "Get yourself some indentured Irishmen." And so they did. One servant worked to death, maimed, crazed, or discarded is easily replaced by another. There are so many! What is not so obvious (but it is implied) is that when there are only two static classes (Masters and servile folk), why should the Masters keep around more "serviles" than they need for the tasks at hand? Why should they allow their slaveys to own and use land? Or arms? Why not coax the servant class into limiting its offspring, and aborting as many as possible? Indeed!

America's Dirty Little Secret

Now America has a dirty little secret. You see, once upon a time, an entrepreneur who opened a wonderful factory could hardly find labor to fill it. Did you know that? I didn't either, until I read it recently, and it makes sense.

You see, free American people were willing to work for another, but for just so long -- usually only long enough to save up enough money to strike out upon their own, doing what they really wanted to do (though not everyone became a success -- not every time). Disgusting! Something had to be done!

Ever hear of the "company town"? This was a scam that may have been unlawful, but not if the sheriff was in on it. In a company town, he usually was in on it. Coax the "residents" into a debt that they can never pay off, and you'll have them!

Now we have a "company country." Don't we?

There are many conservative types who appear to believe, "If I'm making money, that's good." Not necessarily! If you are honest, you must ask yourself what would happen if the "employment" upon which you depend; without which your wife would divorce you, and your friends avoid you. . . what if it went away? What if you lost your job? Would you be able to continue life as you now know it? For most employees, the answer is, "No!" Also, perhaps you should take a closer look at that pretty "money" in which you are paid. Doesn't it resemble plantation scrip? Notice it's no longer backed by gold and silver, although both metals are still valuable (and highly valued by your Masters).

There's nothing wrong with the division of labor. It makes civilization possible. And there's nothing wrong with contractual relationships in which each party is on somewhat an equal basis. I wrote "somewhat," because of course, someone always gets the better of a deal, but as often as not it's the "contractor," and if it isn't, he or she still does pretty well; and probably has other irons in the fire.

Servility is another story. It ruins the soul and kills the spirit. Servants are untrustworthy (especially public servants, but that's another article).

You probably wonder: "Could everyone live as you demand? How could a factory be run like that?" Well, I don't demand that "everybody" live one way; and many factories and industries probably couldn't be run by independent contractors or by a thousand quasi-equal co-owners. Not presently, though it's probably do-able. But does that mean everyone must be a slave?

Don't be fooled: this may be the seminal question of the age, and it's been a great problem for a long, long time. President Woodrow Wilson asked it well before 1920. Read his book, for which his administrative program was named (or vice verse): The New Freedom (e.g. slavery). Franklin Roosevelt brought us a "New Deal:" give up (lean and hungry) liberty for well fed servitude, along with the enumeration and government bureaucrats and databases that are necessary for all the programs implicit in such a "deal."

And now, we stand upon the brink of the twenty first century -- the dawning of a new electronic millennium -- and William Jefferson Clinton (or the players who back him) are coaxing us into a "New Covenant" -- a "Bridge to the 21st Century."

I'd think long and hard before climbing onto that bridge!

Did you know that the next-to-last verse of "The Star Spangled Banner" has some very uncomplimentary things to say about "hirelings and slaves?" Why don't you read it sometime?

As for me, I'll frame my request to Big Brother thusly: "Please spare me your programs and 'benefits.' What I would like though, is a little "Unemployment Assurance!"


P.S. Hillaire Belloc wrote a fascinating book, titled "The Servile State" in the early part of this century. Many have not read this who ought to. . . have you?

© 1999 Tsun

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July 30, 1999