The Real Problem with Slavery

First off, let me be eminently clear: slavery is not only wrong, it is evil. There is no justification for holding an innocent person in captivity and making them labor against their will. Even forcing convicts to work is sort of sketchy.

Unfortunately, not everyone got that memo. Even after all the damage it has done to everyone, I am sure there are idiots out there who still think slavery is a good idea. They don’t care about morality or basic human dignity. Still, even if you don’t care that it’s evil and stick completely to logic, any honest discussion of slavery will reveal how it is a fundamentally bad idea.

The basic idea behind slavery is to get a lot of work done, but not actually have to do any of the work; To get things done for free, or at least, very cheaply. Wanting to make things easier for ourselves is a natural human desire. The trouble arises when you try and keep a human in captivity to do work for you.

Fancy Roman

“You expect me to carry my own liter? That’s impossible!”

There are animals that will work for fee, and some of them don’t even mind. Certain animals like dogs and horses do fine in captivity. Other animals, like gorillas and sharks, fare much worse. There is no animal more ill suited for life in captivity than Homo sapiens.

We can debate the inherent value of human life for eternity, but the fact is that humans are indeed animals. But a human is an animal like no other. They are smarter than gorillas, and more dangerous than sharks. Humans are capable of learning, and remembering. When one human takes another into captivity, they are teaching the captive a powerful lesson: That it is ok to take other humans into captivity. Now that he knows this is ok, what’s to stop the slave from turning around and enslaving the master?

Chinese Slaves

Mostly it’s the chains…

So the Song of Slavery is a lot like the Song That Never Ends. It’s better not to start singing, because you will end up singing forever. Just because. Once one person enslaves another, its starts a never-ending cycle of fear, resentment, and revenge. Even if a master wanted to free their slaves, which most of them eventually do, it is a tricky proposition. “Yeah, just set us free, man. We promise we won’t take revenge…”

Enslaving other people is a really bad idea. Not only is it wrong and evil. If you take slaves, you give tacit permission to be enslaved yourself.

If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t kill Hitler or save JFK. I would go much further back, find the first person to think of slavery, and tell the lazy bum to do his own work.

Future Slave

Or bring him a robot.