An Introduction to Modern Slavery

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://modernslavery.calpress.org/?p=91">Modern Slavery</a>

Modern slavery should need no introduction. Modern slavery already intrudes into every aspect of life, debasing all it touches. It is the underlying organizing principle for all major economic institutions east and west, north and south. Its support and defense are the unspoken but automatically-understood objects of all major – and the vast majority of the minor – social, political and cultural institutions. Its infrastructure and demands extend into the deepest levels of modern consciousness, coloring our dreams as well as our nightmares. Yet modern slavery is largely invisible.

Modern slavery is officially non-existent. It has been tossed down the memory hole. It is not spoken of in polite company. Every institutional and government functionary, from the lowest levels of bureaucratic purgatory to the upper levels of elite power, knows instinctively that any explicit mention of its name as a contemporary reality means instant social death within the hierarchy. It is a rare day when it is acknowledged in any public context, even by the most radical or reckless of iconoclasts.</td><td><img title="Are terms like slavery really helpful to a libertarian project?" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/wordviolence.jpg"></td></tr...

The dwindling numbers of union organizers and rank-and-file union members in the post-industrial nations less and less often speak even of wage slavery, despite a long and persistent history of naming this scourge during the dark decades of modern industrialization. Conservative writers usually reserve mention of slavery, if it’s mentioned at all, to excessive governmental regulation of business operations and, especially, of juridical property rights (which themselves are, ironically, always codified and enforced by that same government). Radical leftists (never mind the even more tamed moderates) are almost embarrassed to bring up the subject of slavery these days, except when speaking of history or, maybe, describing sweat-shop labor in the still-industrializing regions of the world. Even the extensive slave-labor systems employed in US prisons are unfit for public discussion, much less condemnation, especially in the allegedly “free” commercial press. Most of the population is blissfully unaware of their very existence.

Only the most extreme or titillating discoveries of enslavement around the world are usually acknowledged in these enlightened days. Stories of underground criminal syndicates running sex-slavery enterprises, stories of illegal immigrants imprisoned in slave-labor factories, or stories of slave-holding in the so-called “backward,” more “primitive” regions of Africa are given occasional exposure. This is largely in order to sell papers and magazines – or web ads, of course, along with drumming up charity support for administration-heavy humanitarian organizations. But it is also to demonstrate a moral lesson showing how much better off the rest of us are. After all, everyone knows that slavery as an institution has been officially abolished almost everywhere on the planet! It’s what we are taught in schools, what we hear the media, and what all the other social and cultural institutions tell us. Today, we’re all “free.”<!--more-->
<h3><strong>But “freedom” has become just another word for modern slavery</strong></h3>
The always ongoing propaganda wars for ideological hegemony have long been locked down by the religious, corporate and statist powers that be. Not just fought to victory over surrendering but still visible popular insurgents, but fought through to the virtual oblivion and disappearance of those now utterly demoralized foes. The ongoing crises of the age of revolutions were ended through the successful totalitarian – and semi-totalitarian – war-time mobilizations and post-war stabilizations of the mid-20th century. This was especially thanks to industrial commodity overflow and the immense semantic powers of the spectacular media to define reality, in full coordination with the immense social, economic and political powers of the major institutions of modern civilization. We now live in this spectacular brave new world, yet most people have little or no comprehension of what it means.

Everywhere we look slavery still exists throughout the civilized world. The trick is that it is not permitted to be named as such. And even those who would attempt to question its ubiquitous existence are most often no longer strong enough to name it explicitly for themselves, much less publicly for others as well. Instead, the entire concept of slavery has been ideologically narrowed, distilled and reified to the point where it is reflexively understood as including only the most obvious and egregious forms of chattel enslavement – which is itself for the most part functionally obsolescent in modern, industrialized societies. The new (both conservative and liberal) politically-correct redefinitions of slavery conveniently serve to obscure the actual meanings and existence of the modern forms of bondage and servitude. The historical fact that chattel slavery has been vanquished precisely because it is generally inefficient, even incompatible, with more effective modern forms of labor domination and exploitation is not mentioned. Instead, the naive republican and democratic myth that chattel slavery has been suppressed primarily due to the victories of modern morality and political idealism is everywhere promoted.

The correlate of the disappearing act performed on institutionalized slavery has been the nearly ubiquitous rise of state-guaranteed freedoms – even under the most repressive and despotic of modern political regimes, along with the rise of democratic institutions around the world. Aside from a few remaining unapologetic kingdoms, theocracies and military dictatorships, every regime with pretensions to modernism attempts to project at least a semblance of social, economic and political freedom functioning within democratic institutions of some sort. What is never officially spoken – especially by the organs of mass media – is that the new forms of modern freedom can be legally expressed only in terms defined by the enforcers of state repression and work discipline. Once there still existed substantial numbers of people who maintained a modicum of autonomy guaranteed by their ability to live largely outside the commodity economy. Now there are only masses of (increasingly dependent, deskilled, demoralized and often functionally disabled) wage slaves, unemployed and homeless people inhabiting the major population centers of the modern post-industrial states. As long as they have the cash or resources they are “free” to buy commodities and sell themselves on the market. But any significant degree of autonomy or personal self-possession has long been absent. The commons have been appropriated, sold off, regulated or paved. Dispossessed of any significant means of livelihood beyond the economy of commodity exchange or stingy government handouts (“social benefits”), and of any genuine community outside of the local homeowners association, food co-op or Facebook people have for the most part lost even the ability to imagine what substantial freedom to live their own lives might mean. The only remaining utopian goal is to make a world of never-ending slavery more humane and more comfortable – if not as lived reality, then at least in its depictions in the spectacular media and the new frontier of blogs and social media! Left liberals and democratic socialists now settle for inspiring new visions in which a change in figurehead leaders, legal technicalities and regulatory personnel makes everything so much better! While all the ideological libertarians and anarchists of left and right tag along demanding a world of self-managed slavery!
<h3><strong><em>Modern Slavery</em> calls for a renewed struggle to abolish <em>all forms</em> of slavery!</strong></h3>
As Lewis Perry points out in his essay “European Anarchism and the Idea of Slavery,” the mainstream of European anarchism – as well as those marginal to this mainstream – “defined [anarchism] by attacking slavery.” (see the appendix to Lewis Perry, <em>Radical Abolitionism: Anarchy and the Government of God in Antislavery Thought</em>, Cornell University Press, 1973, p. 309) It was hardly surprising then that large numbers of abolitionists in the Antebellum United States quite logically turned toward anarchism, even in the absence of any established North American movement. And even then it was not uncommon for anarchists to point out that abolition of chattel slavery in order to inaugurate a new regime of generalized wage-slavery was not necessarily much of an improvement if there was no provision for any real autonomy and self-possession after manumission. Today anarchists have largely forgotten this central truth.

This is the reason <em>Modern Slavery</em> has been launched. To remind the libertarian milieu in general that promoting visions of freer slavery is no more than a continuing road to nowhere. For libertarian projects and movements to become relevant and more than sometimes amusing side shows to an onrushing future of post-modern cybernetic
totalitarianism we need to stop all the self-defeating compromises with the pro-slavery left and right: both socialists and capitalists, red fascists and black fascists. If we can’t call slavery “slavery” and show ourselves and others that we won’t tolerate it, then we haven’t got much worth contributing to any anti-political, anti-state debate. If we can’t demonstrate that it’s possible to build new communities where slave holders, slave drivers and slave auctioneers are an extinct species, why call ourselves
libertarians or anarchists at all?<em></em>

<em>Modern Slavery</em> is a meeting space for all those interested in moving on beyond the dead-ends of ideology and postmodern fashions. <em>Modern Slavery</em> is for anyone and everyone interested in choosing to live their own lives to as great an extent as possible here and now. <em>Modern Slavery</em> is not the place to read the latest theories about organizing the masses, buying ecology-friendly commodities or reforming capitalism through direct democracy, neighborhood associations, industrial unions or abolishing the Federal Reserve! <em>Modern Slavery</em> is written, edited and published for those who think and act <em>for themselves</em> and want to encourage others to do so here and now and always.
<h3><strong>Critical self-theory and the</strong><strong> non-ideological critique of ideology</strong></h3>
<em>Modern Slavery</em> promotes the non-ideological critique of ideology. There is a direct correlation between the rise of institutions of slavery and the rise of ideology. Prior to the development of shared ideological systems defining and justifying enslavement, the existence of slavery could not develop beyond particular individual instances. It takes a community-wide ideological system in which legitimated roles of domination and submission are explicitly defined in order for slavery to become institutionalized in developing hierarchical societies.

So the spread of ideology around the world, initially in the form of religion, accompanied the spread of slavery – all the various forms of forced labor. It can be argued that the rise of civilization – the centralization of religious, political and economic power in hierarchical, urban centers dominating their respective territories of resource extraction – has been co-extensive with the rise of both institutionalized ideology and slavery. In fact, it would be hard to find any factual arguments <em>against</em> this thesis, although there will probably always be apologists ready to argue that the role of slave in ancient Greece or the latifundia of Rome, serfdom in medieval Europe, indentured servitude in imperial colonies, or wage slavery under capitalism really isn’t so bad! And the reason this simple truth is<a href="http://modernslavery.calpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Introductio... class="alignright wp-image-114" title="Introduction to MS pull-quote" src="http://modernslavery.calpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Introductio... alt="" width="300" height="300" /></a> almost never taught in schools, admitted by professional historians, or spoken of in any of the organs of dominating institutions isn’t hard to understand. Those who are subjected to the systems of forced labor – all of us without the means of livelihood and the power to live our lives unmolested by the regulative hierarchical institutions of modernity – will remain easier to manage as long as the dominant culture sings hymns to our many “freedoms” in order to drown out any occasionally discordant notes.

It becomes obvious, then, that the fight against slavery is also the fight against all the ideologies of slavery, the ideologies by which the institutions of forced labor are legitimized. However, this fight is complicated by the historical evolution of the institutions of slavery themselves, whose developments are always accompanied by appropriately new forms of ideology. This has given us the entire panoply of competing modern ideologies: nationalism, liberalism, socialism, fascism, Marxism, communism, etc. (Many naive – or occasionally cynical – people turn libertarian<em>ism</em> and anarch<em>ism</em> into competing new ideologies as well.) Superficially, it can seem that some of the more radical of these ideologies claim to oppose <em>all</em> ideology. However, a closer examination always reveals that none can rise above the level of the competitive <em>ideological</em> critique of other ideologies. The only way to genuinely move beyond <em>all</em> the ideologies of modern slavery is to move beyond <em>any</em> apologies for any forms of forced labor. This requires a non-ideological critique of ideology, which can only arise from unreified, non-institutionalized theory and practice. This means a completely libertarian practice and theory that rests on no artificially-constructed subjectivities that can be turned back around to demand our subjugation and domination. This especially means no collective subjectivities that are represented as something other than or more than the particular persons who make them up at any given moment in space and time. And this, in turn, leaves us with any non-ideological critique of ideology arising from – and only from – the critical self theory of particular living individuals in their own chosen relationships with each other. Critical self-theory is the non-ideological critique of ideology, and this is the ultimate basis for any non-ideological anarchy.
<h3><strong>Neoliberal potlatch and the</strong><strong> end of empire</strong></h3>
<em>Modern Slavery</em> will examine the neoliberal economic crisis – a structural crisis far more serious and long-term than has been generally yet acknowledged. And the predictable effects of the collapse of neoliberalism – the end of empire for the United States. We have already seen the Soviet empire collapse in 1989 and subsequent years. The upcoming collapse of neoliberal empire may be even more spectacular, though it will be likely to last for a decade or more of increasing retrenchments, unlike the rapid Soviet collapse. Whatever else we can expect there is no actual neoliberal “recovery” in sight as the Eurozone disintegrates, structural unemployment continues to grow throughout the industrialized world (clumsily hidden in the US by classifying most of the unemployed as not part of the work force), and much of the world’s financial systems and stock markets collapse. With peak oil, the effects of global warming, and the impending declines of the world’s agriculture, fisheries and fresh water supplies, combined with still growing populations and onrushing worldwide industrialization, there is no hope for economic stabilization under the rule of capital over the coming decades. The world is on a path towards massive social, economic, technological, military and political upheaval. It is extremely important that we get out in front of the coming changes in order to anticipate what will be ahead and act appropriately as the world’s population and development trends for centuries grind to a halt before they turn to decentralization, deurbanization and the winding down of overly complex technologies, as well as irrational development patterns, and production and distribution systems. The world will neither look or feel the same in the upcoming decades, and the pace and direction of the changes will undoubtedly surprise most of us.
<h3><strong>No future for modern slavery?</strong></h3>
The end of neoliberalism, the end of the US empire, the decline of fossil fuel production, and the intensification of the ecological crises of our time do not mean that the end of 10,000 years of human slavery is necessarily in sight. None of these processes guarantee on their own or together the end of capitalism, the end of hierarchical social institutions, the end of resource despoliation or the end of mass species extinction. If modern slavery is to be ended it will only be ended by people refusing to submit any longer as slaves here and now in all aspects of our everyday lives. This can be accomplished only by beginning to live differently in convivial, mutually-beneficial, non-hierarchical and anarchic relationships. And, most importantly, doing so with an eye on preventing recuperation of our efforts through the creation of ever newer forms of enslavement by all the ideologues and bosses ready to take over. Will you join us on this journey?
<h4>From the new journal <strong>Modern Slavery: The libertarian critique of civilization</strong></h4>
Check out the web site at: http://modernslavery.calpress.org

Comments

"Modern slavery should need no introduction."
Well then, I guess we're done here. I wonder what the rest of it says... oh well, guess we'll never know.

What exactly is a "non-ideological critique of ideology"? This whole thing sounds pretty ideological to me...

although i do question the dogmatic (seeming) tendency of anti-ideologues (myself included), i would be interested in hearing your specific explanation. why do you say that statement sounds ideological?

Yeah, that was one of my favourite parts.

Proof against being drawn in to the same old leftist debates is discussing the dynamics almost exclusively on a personal level. Not *I'm a lumpenprole* with my marx and bakunin abstractions but simple and personal.

As in -

*I don't want to take orders for a shit-wage at all and the fact that society tries to force most of us in to that is why I'm an antagonist til I'm too old to care anymore*

or maybe I'll end up dead or in jail, depending on how the next few decades play, but yeah.

The personal level analysis is a good defence against the trap of ideology.

Looking forward to reading more, as I am to an end of "modern slavery". Don't feel very hopeful about that today, however.

Capitalism cannot exist without slavery. It is fundamental to it.

I think the same claim can be made about civilization in general. Civilization cannot exist without slavery.

what are you talking about? capitalism can't exist without wages, capitalism replaced feudalism and chattel slavery with wage slavery. so unless you're using the term slavery in reference to wage slavery, I don't know what you're talking about.

Capitalism is a global system that relies on a large base of slave labor to reproduce itself. This is not controversial. Many capitalist economists admit it.

I'm glad to see some real anarchist stuff on here and I'm also glad to see CAL press is alive and kicking. Good stuff.

I am one of the trolls around here, and I have to admit that I liked this article.

That being said, I found this image today and had to share it with you all.

http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/11000/Bad-Baby-Courtney--11405.jpg

the origin of this ‘implicit slavery’ that is now to us like water is to the fish, derives from Western civilization’s trading out of ‘free association’ [physical reality] for ‘free will’ [psychical notion of 'things-in-themselves-that-do-stuff on their own (out of the context of any web of relational interdependence's they are uniquely situationally included in)]

a mass of people in the space on the surface of a sphere can freely associate. as they do, clusters or swarms form here or there, depending on the relative nurturance in that space. as people continue to freely associate, the clusters or swarms or ‘cities’ APPEAR to grow larger and then smaller, as the consuming of the nurturance outpaces its renewing, or as the prospects for being nurtured become better elsewhere.

if the total number of people in this free associating dynamic remains roughly the same, we can understand that the notion of ‘growth’ or ‘shrinkage’ of a city/state is ‘psychical’ rather than physically real. the real physical dynamic is the free association of the overall collective.

this is not the way Western civilization has trained ‘its own’ to understand the world. we give the ‘city’ a word-name and then attribute to it, its own jumpstarting powers of authorship; i.e. the power to ‘grow’. meanwhile, the ‘real dynamic’ is this free association or ‘conjugate habitat-inhabitat relation’, and the growth or shrinkage of the ‘swarms’ that we call ‘cities’ is ‘schaumkommen’ or ‘appearances’ that come to mind if we focus on a particular swarm within the continuously transforming free-association [and break it out of its relational associations by imposing a notional absolute space, absolute time reference frame over it].

the ‘growth of a city’ is not a real physical dynamic. if we could get our head around the whole freely associating dynamic in the space on the surface of the sphere, we could see that when a person departs from the visual feature we call city A to move to the next popular swarm called city B, what is going on physically is a rearranging of the global collection of inhabitants relative to themselves. the ‘cities’ are not ‘things-in-themselves’ that are capable of ‘their own self-development’ [growth, shrinkage etc.]

how does this happen? how do we manage to think in terms of ‘cities growing’ when the actual physical dynamic is the continuing spatial relational redistributing (by free inhabitant-habitat association) . the whole issue of ‘central direction’ aka ‘slavery’ is tied up in this mind-twist.

it happens by the power of ‘the word’; i.e. by giving the local swarm within the global collection of swarms a name such as ‘new york’. new york is a swarm-feature within the global freely associating people collective; i.e. people are continually redistributing themselves globally. i.e. the basic dynamic which is the real physical dynamic is ‘spatial-relational’ and the ‘growth of new york’ is not the primary dynamic, but rather ‘appearances’ that arise if we focus on this particular swarm in the transforming relational web of swarms. it is our Western habit to impute the power of development and behaviour to the notional ‘thing-in-itself’ that we have given a name to, ‘new york’ and it is the power of ‘the word’ that imputes ‘authorship’ to this feature or ‘dynamic form’ within the larger dynamic of spatial-relational transformation or ‘free association’ of the global collective.

nietzsche explains it thus;

“Our judgement has us conclude that every change must have an author”;–but this conclusion is already mythology: it separates that which effects from the effecting. If I say “lightning flashes,” I have posited the flash once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, “is” and does not “become.”–To regard an event as an “effecting,” and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we are guilty.” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’, 531

‘the city grows’ is the same thing. the freely associating collective of people is continually redistributing itself ‘over the surface of the globe’ and the ‘swarms’ that are continually gathering and regathering are themselves dynamic features within the larger dynamic of free inhabitant-habitat association. once we give a name to one of these swarms, we give it ‘beinghood’ or ‘thing-in-itselfhood’ so that in our mind, it is a ‘being’ that, notionally [psychically] has its own local powers of authorship of its own development and behaviour.

william blake captured this in his plate 11 of the ‘marriage of heaven and hell’. he said that the poets [homer etc. way back when] had imputed ‘spirits’ to local visible features of nature’s dynamic continuum, and that ‘the priesthood’ formed by taking these poetic inferences literally, so that people began to belief that there really was a ‘spirit’ within each ‘individual’ or power-of-the-word implied ‘thing-in-itself’;

“The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could percieve.
.
And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity.
Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects; thus began Priesthood.
.
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
.
And at length they pronounc'd that the Gods had order'd such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”

blake is talking about the ‘birth of the powerboater-thing-in-itself view of the dynamic features in the flow’ (swarm, city etc.).

we can’t forget that the priesthood of ‘science’ uses this same ‘powerboater-thing-in-itself’ PSYCHICAL REDUCTION and treats it as if it were ‘physical reality’. that is why Mach ‘quit the Church of Science’.

science has no problem if we speak of ‘the growth of a city’ or ‘the growth of a sovereign state/nation’, because science fragments the dynamic unity of nature into a zillion parts all made of local, material particles called ‘atoms’ so the ‘spirit’ of the world dynamic is broken up and re-rendered as something that animates each ‘independently existing thing-in-itself’, such as science’s ‘organism’ [a notional local, thing-in-itself machine]. our living space as a relational plenum is no longer ‘to be seen’ in this psychical scientific-analytical synthetic deconstruction of the world into ‘what-things-in-themselves-do’ terms.

as mach says, Western civilization is confusing the ‘psychical’ for the ‘physical’ , and the ‘physical for the psychical’. that is, one can share with people the common scientific view that the earth’s lithosphere is circulating [space is relational] and that the notions of ‘continents’ and ‘plates’ that drift and collide are ‘appearances’ that we impute ‘being’ to. most would agree that this scientific view is a useful way to scenarize the world dynamic we are included in [the continually relationally transforming world dynamic] IF NOT PUSHED BEYOND ITS UTILITY BY CONFUSING IT FOR PHYSICAL REALITY, but when one suggests, as mach does, that the physical reality is the formless continuing becoming that is purely spatial-relational, Western scientific thinking people balk. they will listen but they will still insist that the ‘continents’, the local, visible, material ‘thing-in-themselves’ existences/beings are ‘physical reality’, and that these ‘things-in-themselves’ have the power to ‘undergo metamorphosis’ and ‘change their shape’ etc. as if they can do things in their own right as 'independent beings'.

adding to this confusing of the psychical realm of cities and states as ‘things-in-themselves’ that are animated, notionally, out of their own internal centres, is the effect of ‘money’. ‘money’ serves as an intermediary between the nurturances of the natural living space that orchestrates the swarms, and the inhabitants of the nurturing space. the taxes that the city central authorities levy against the wages of those ‘in the city’ and the residency fees, contribute to an artificial sourcing of nurturance that stands between the inhabitant and the habitat, ‘deking out’ the orchestrating influence of the fertile valley or sheltered fishing port and ‘deking out’ ‘free association’ as the natural organizing principle.

while the city or ‘city-state’ or ‘sovereign state’ is initially the product of free association, ‘money’ as the synthetic nuruturance intermediator between inhabitant and habitat lends ‘apparent’ credence to the notion of the city/state being a ‘thing-in-itself’ capable of its own development and behaviour. it ‘dekes out’ ‘free association and in order to stay and suckle the teat of the habitat, one must accept the supreme central authority of the notional city/state as ‘thing-in-itself’ with its own central sourcing of animation, and if one does not accept it, paid mercenaries of the state [police, military] will force acceptance. this is ‘slavery’ that has replaced ‘free association’ through the psychical mind-warp engineered by the combination of language [setting up common belief in the ‘independent existence’ of ‘things-in-themselves’] and money [setting up common belief in the intermediating synthetic nurturance, that disconnects the inhabitant from the nurturant teat-suckling relation with habitat. the common belief based ‘’things-in-themselves’ of cities/states and corporations get full and exclusive direct access to teat-suckling and give the rest of the population little paper certificates saying ‘in God we trust’ that certify that you have just proxied your suckling of the teat of the habitat, without having to have any real direct relationship with the teated body of the land, as in the era of free association wherein the relation of inhabitant to habitat was primary, which is not totally gone but in full freefall/decline.

slavery is the norm in Western civilization’s world view. everyone must ‘serve some central authority’ and the more that things are done exclusively with money [the more that money flow orchestrates organization instead of the habitat-based flow of nurturance] under the direction of the authority centres that control its flow, the less that ‘free association’ is operative in the world and the more that slavery becomes the norm.

if you could only write engagingly you might be able to approach something like pirsig's zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. but it's already been done and your style is too obnoxious, so best keep up the trolling here. such is your aspiration for living. behatzlacha!

If you could just write with your pen in your ass .

i do and just used that one you are sucking on. might wanna sniff your toothbrush before you use it next time, too.

Quite fine, if a bit repetitive. But where's the critique of civ part?

civ, of course, rhymes with shiv, the cutting & slicing instrument or demi-urge, god of democracy and labour and patron of civilization. It chops up poetry into bits of tit-for-tat language of discrete signs as representatives or delegates of artificially bound slices of life necessary for any confinement within a jail or city where the orders are simple: one obeys or the clamp is tightened. The confusion or misperception of the material city (as space occupying or necrophilic lesion in and of itself) with the in and out movement of former inhabitants to analogous artificial container-forms or the farm or outdoor workplace with more cutting & piercing implements (sword or plow, spear or slug, well or grave, tower or rack, salad bowel or microwave toilet, they're all the same) sets up the refusal to see the equivalence between wage-labour and all other forms of slavery as anything but superficial. It's like saying one hijacked from their home and transported across the sea is somehow more a slave that her offspring who are born into slavery and come to call it freedom. A slave with a boss and a self-managed slave are both still slaves, and in a kindred fashion, the slave to an illusion through reification or deification (both are called religion or hypereal ideology) is no less slave than one who manifests a ball and chain. This relationship where the being and its element or "essence" (both terms refer to a context freely navigated -- hence the fish and its water) of a "creature" are located apart from each other is unique to civilisation, unless a fish in an aquarium, another sort of slavery.

f.

A brilliant upbeat dirge I must say!

Brilliant!

the separation of space from matter [habitat from inhabitant] does indeed characterize the globally dominating 'civilization' or 'culture'.

this separation is purely 'in one's head' and, at the same time, in one's language.

to regard it as 'a way of doing things that we need to change' is to miss the point that it is firstly a [distorted] way of thinking [Mach]. the acculturated behaviours we see; 'authoritarianism', sovereigntism, 'capitalism' etc. follow from this way of thinking.

the way of doing things, based on this distorted way of thinking, is headed for collapse, and to simply wait for it to collapse misses the point. what has to collapse is the way of thinking, and without that happening, some new variant of civilization and 'the way we do things' will be devised based on the same dysfunctional thinking.

when we understand that the habitat and inhabitants are a dynamical unity within a relational space as in Mach's principle, then the current popular worldview in terms of 'what things-in-themselves do' disappears, and it is subsumed by the view that we live in a continually transforming relational space wherein 'creation' and 'destruction' are intellectual concepts [not physically real] the we invent by notionally splitting apart the one dynamic of relational 'transformation'. in relational space, destroying forests [to mill lumber] and constructing cities are not 'two separate dynamics' but 'one dynamic', the dynamic of relational transformation.

but what has become foundational in our culture is to 'play language games', so that if you want to build some new houses in a beautiful natural setting [pro-development], you pull together all of the virtues of the creation aspect, and if you are already living in that beautiful setting that you want to preserve [anti-development] you pull together into your argument, all of the virtues of leaving the sacred space of nature untouched. our civilization has us PRETEND that one of these arguments is 'more meaningful/truthful' than the other. it is a game, nothing more, but it is a game that the culture foists on itself. it is a game called 'politics', and it derives from denying that transformation is the physically real dynamic and dividing any change-dynamic into Fiktional opposites; (a) that which will be lost, (b) that which will be gained. Did the colonizers bring more to the Americas than the Americas lost with the coming of the colonizers, or was more lost? the question is nonsense. all such 'gain'-and-'loss' questions are nonsense. the physical reality is that we live in a transforming relational space. 'development' is in physical reality, 'transformation' and 'destruction' is also 'transformation'. 'transformation' is the only physically real dynamic, 'development/gain' and 'destruction/loss' are intellectual concepts.

western civilization is playing a game with itself by notionally splitting apart space and matter, habitat and inhabitants, and in the process, notionally dividing change up into 'pluses' and 'minuses', or 'gains' and 'losses' that political arguments are then based on. we debate these non-physically real intellectual concepts as if there were 'really' a 'correct answer' and as if 'one side of the argument' really were 'the right answer' ['more correct' than the other]. it is a game of bullshit where the best bullshitters gather the most support. meanwhile, it is the predominating way of life in our 'civilization'.

“They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.” – R.D. Laing

we can wait for this current version of 'the way we do things' in the civilized world to collapse [on the basis that we have more to gain and less to lose by this approach], but without a collapse of 'the bullshit game' of seeing 'change' in terms of 'opposites' ['gain' and 'loss'], all we are waiting for is a 'new and improved' version of 'the way we do things' based on the same old bullshit.

* * *

synopsis. --- capitalist society/civilization is based on the 'gain' and 'loss' balance sheet, not only with respect to material goods and services and related transactions, but also as the general basis of decision-making in western civilization programmed minds. the 'gain' and 'loss' balance sheet has no basis in physical reality. 'loss' and 'gain' ['creation' and 'destruction'] cannot be tallied separately, there is only one physically real dynamic and it is the continuing transformation of relational space. 'capitalism' is based on the illusion [Fiktion, schaumkommen, Maya] of 'creation' [gain] as a separate dynamic from 'destruction' [loss], an illusion that depends on the psychical splitting apart of space and matter, habitat and inhabitant that enables re-rendering relational dynamics in the notional terms of 'what things-in-themselves do' as if in an absolute fixed, empty and infinite euclidian operating theatre.

very judgemental for a hippocrite hey >

Modern slavery is not talked about in polite circles not because it is impolite but because no one talks about it in any circles. Duh.

What about if I run around in a circle, naked, smearing my own shit on myself?
Politely.

I think the most basic level of the inherent slavery of civilization is actually really simple to explain: the urban/agricultural/domestication complex replaces "wild" (for lack of a better term) spaces, in other words they replace the material basis for non-civilized subsistence. Civilization doesn't even have to be intentional about it (although it often is), by simply building itself, by simply existing civilization eats up those "resources" which made any other way of life possible.

Bam! You no longer have a choice of how to live. Take up farming or die because your wildlands are gone.

The loose definition of collective thought = ideology is not convincing to me though. Actual philosophy, in the classic sense, was effectively anti-ideological, and like all things built in community, had both necessary individual and collective components. Individualism still seems too new-fangled and unbalanced to be to be worth paying much attention to.

Yeah the social paradigms of many hunter-gatherer collectives/tribes does allow for individualism up to what may be described as the permitted threshold of behavioral licence, which is incredibly broad and lenient if we place it beside the complex over-regulated western social model. But we have to feed in the dysfunctional western capitalist victim's interplay within its mileau, how a snowballing complexity of the many alienated and discarded human expendables, victims of its unsustainable structure, further exacerbate and exponentially increase surveillance and a security culture. It is doomed of course, and one of the reasons why many anarchists prefer the waiting rather than the activist way.

There's plenty of hours in the day for both ... action (not activism) doesn't preclude waiting for the economy to collapse, if anything it helps to pass the time (you lazy fucks)

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
Human?
q
c
B
s
P
d
K
Enter the code without spaces.
Subscribe to Comments for "An Introduction to Modern Slavery"
society