21st Century Enslavement Index (Part 3) – What is a Slave?

Put your abstraction hat on for a little.  You must understand this, you must not think in black and white, but in shades of gray.

A slave is not just what you imagine from thoughts of the American south from the 17th century through the mid 1800s, or the Egyptians and the pyramids.

There are different degrees of slavery.  For instance, while the enslavement of Eastern European slaves of Muslims and the African American slaves of white southerners was atrocious, there are even worse types of slavery.  Three come to mind immediately:

  1. Jews in Nazi concentration camps – worked to death to feed the Nazi war machine, and horded into gas chambers by the hundreds when their physical constitution was sucked to the bone
  2. American and Chinese POWs and Civilians enslaved in Manchuria by Unit 731 – similar to some Roman gladiatorial slaves, but even worse.  In my opinion, this was the worst slavery in history.  These people were dissected alive with no anesthetic.  They were forced by the Japanese to be in a confined room with terminally diseased people to see how long it would take for the disease to infect and kill them in horrible ways.  They were horded to a place in a firing range and had parts of them blown up to test Japanese weapons on live humans in a lab setting.  The Japanese made these slaves into human lab rats.
  3. Roman gladiators – sometimes they weren’t even given a chance to live, just tied up to a pole to be tortured to death.  Other times they could fight to earn the right to fight again, but live.

So if slavery is a shade of gray, what makes it darker or lighter?  You probably already get it.  It’s basically: how little freedom do I have?  How much am I coerced into doing things I don’t choose to do?  How horrible are the things that I am forced to do?  How many people are taking advantage of the output of my labor and sacrifice, while they are not forced to do equal labor and sacrifice to get the same just rewards?


(0.1) In the worst case, slaves are like lab rats in Unit 731.  No living quarters, no modest food to stay a little bit healthy, no procreation or even possibility of relations to a family structure.  Just inhumanly tortured beings, where death is the goal once the usefulness of the captive is expended by the captor.  They would not even release them if they have no more use for them.  What they are forced to do is certain torture and certain death.  Lab rat humans.

(0.2) In yet a second to worst case – they are allowed very little freedoms but asked to do deadly things like the POWs of Japan forced to build deadly Japanese bridges.  Like an Asian sex slave of the 21st century.  Like the Egyptians.

(0.3) In yet a third to worst case – Eastern European slaves of Muslims, and African American slaves – held to daily tedious and exhausting work at the point of a gun and whip, while allowed some incredibly small and trivial bit of freedom in their living quarters.

So let’s draw a line there as true, dark, and the most evil slavery, Category Zero.  Those three sub-types of slavery are truly some of the most inhuman circumstances you can imagine.


Category 1 involves imposition by despots, feudalism and communism.  The ruling class might give the slaves some limited freedom to choose what they do on a daily basis, but they control the masses of the underclass with total economic control – giving them few options; narrow boundaries to roam within.

(1.1) Communism – your freedom of speech and religion is limited at penalty of imprisonment or death, you are told what you can and cannot do to make a living, you cannot own property in a real and lasting way, when you work, you work for one employer – the government.  They do not tolerate and type of thoughts of individualism and freedom and have carpet bombed peoples neighborhoods to show the ultimate control and punishment for disobedience.  This type of slavery murdered over 70 million people in the very country of governance throughout the 20th century, by starvation, murder, and inhuman prison camps.

(1.2) Feudalism – Most Europeans, ancient Japanese, and Chinese are familiar with this type of slavery.  You are born into a system where you will produce for a feudal lord.  They tell you how much you can keep, whether you like it or not.  They might even demand to have sex with your wife if they want to.  They might conscript you for warfare and send you to certain death if they need to.  You are free to live in your hut, toil at the behest of the feudal lord, and keep the scraps they throw at you.


In category 2, we see more freedom to choose, but it is characterized by being born into very limited mobility.  Your chances of picking yourself and your family up through society upon your own merits is highly constrained by government redistribution of wealth and regulation.  Look for suspicious phrases that include the word “social” such as “social justice”, “social democracy”, “socialism”, “socialize”.

(2.1) Social Democracy (21st century socialism) – Do you have dreams of owning your own business?  Making your own innovation?  Not so fast in social democracy.  A ruling class puts severe constraints on business freedoms so that only the large companies who are friends with the ruling class have a chance to gain power. 

They keep so much money in the control of government with entitlement redistribution that the actual amount of money in your pocket that you have earned is very small.  You do not have a choice with most of your money, but the government seizes a majority to force-feed you entitlements and services that you may or may not need or want. 

So much power and control and money is in the hands of government that perhaps a mid-size business might see a small stint of success if they have friends and connections in the ruling class, and can win contracts from the government. 

Social Democracy is a highly inefficient system of communism-light that has ravaged 21st Century Europe, stifled their growth, stifled their output, reduced the quality of workmanship, created psychological and sociological problems by divorcing ownership and pride from work, wrecked their economies, bankrupted their systems, and brought unemployment twice as bad as capitalist countries in the same time period.

In stark contrast to the Calvinist “calling” which glorified even mundane work as exciting and for a high purpose (see Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism), Social Democracy says “just serve the government lord and let them give you what they want to, how they want to”.  Social Democracy relinquishes decision-making on lifestyles and spending to the government.  A typical socialist, social democrat sentiment is “I work to live, not the other way around”. 

Where a person with the Calvinist “calling” and spirit of capitalism says “I was born for a purpose to produce and help society and the economy, and I am proud to do my duty and serve my ‘calling’.”

Baked into the philosophy of Social Democracy is an inevitable indifference to work, as just something that needs to be done to survive.  As such, it is fundamentally flawed if the goal is to get people to do the best possible job and make the highest possible achievements for their own potential.


Category 3 is still being written as we speak.  In fact, category 3 is the type of slavery that this series is all about.  It’s about showing you how the US government has given you the illusion of freedom as they limit your freedom with taxation laws, regulatory laws, while big businesses play games at the same time to keep their power and crowd out small contenders.

A simple example can be seen with gas costs and auto expenses.  How do I get more money from you?

  1. Increase demand for more gas
  2. Limit the supply of gas
  3. Convince you that bigger cars are better and justify increased markup costs with the fact that there is more materials that are required for gigantic SUVs and large vehicles
  4. Bigger cars suck up more gas, so I get more money from you that way too – you have to buy more gasoline, very simple

What happens when in the 1990s, 50% of the sales of vehicles have been herded by mass media and marketing to SUVs and trucks? 

Based on CAFE standards for gas mileage of cars versus SUVs/Light trucks, it means that thanks to your SUV driving neighbor, the world will run out of gasoline about 15% sooner.  So if the world has about 250 years of gasoline left, it means that we’ll run out about 40 years sooner than we had to, just for your neighbor to enjoy the luxury of a slightly bigger vehicle.  It also means that you get to pay more for gas because of their increased demand.

See, even you you are “free”, you are not entirely “free”.  When big government and big business herd massive numbers of people to do things, these massive economic choices impact people who have nothing to do with the movements – they impact the people who opt out and choose smarter paths.

The “affordable housing” crisis which led to our economic downturn, unjustified bailouts, big-business welfare, and other economic crimes – this affected wise people who had nothing to do with the mess, because they lived within their means, and made responsible choices for themselves.

The phrase “we’re always at the mercy of idiots” comes to mind.  When big government and big business manipulate hordes of “useful idiots” all of society feels the pain. 

When the hordes of idiots get together with the big business and vote for big government puppeteers, they feed off of each other, give each other power, and the responsible and noble citizenry are subjected to constant injustice and encroachment on their freedoms.


When government is used to simply punish bad guys, keep big business from being unfair, and make fair environments and rules for people to work within – ultimate freedom is achieved.

This requires ZERO redistribution of wealth and ZERO “spreading the wealth around” as Obama likes to do.  It means that you are responsible for your retirement, your healthcare, and everything else you want to buy.  It means that you are not entitled to anything that nature doesn’t provide a naked and isolated human being. 

It means that everyone is entitled to nothing but what they can gain based on their own hard work and merit.

Ultimate freedom is a meritocracy.  The people with better work ethics, better skills, and better talents deserve equal reward for their contributions.  The people who strive less and are capable of less get less, commensurate with their lower contributed value to their neighbors.  There is no envy because everything is fair and based on merit.  There are no government handouts, no favorites, no special rights, no privileges.

A rich person is charged the 50% death taxes so that their children must find decent things to do with the estate if they want to stay rich – or else in a few generations, that wealth is going right back into the pot.

Rich people buy luxurious things, and invest in other businesses, and smart and hard working business people charge a lot of money to make good livings for many people to provide those services.  Any time money is extracted from those who are better-off, it is done in a fair way, through purchases, demand, and self-determination of all parties involved.

Truly incapable citizens are supported by the free and charitable choices of better-off citizens.  The government cannot be charitable.  It involves coercion and theft of wealth, and redistribution as they see fit.  Charity is by definition a willing act.  There is no charity in receiving an impersonal and heartless check or handout from a bureaucrat in the government.  Charity happens when the recipient looks a person in the eye and that person says, “yes, you can share my table and my food with me and my family”.  The recipient understands what it took to get that food, and human bonds are created.

By definition, with socialism and redistribution of wealth – charity is impossible.  It is impersonal, heartless, and bureaucratic.  Corruption always ensues, as unscrupulous players suck the heartless and impersonal funds dry.  Why wouldn’t they?  They’re just impersonal funds of the “collective”, what’s a few million dollars from the “collective”?

So we have defined what ultimate freedom is; zero slavery.  It’s when every single hand in society that is lifted for laborious activity results in direct payment that is agreed upon by the employer and employee.  There is no redistribution of any resulting wealth from that lifted hand without a one-to-one direct approval of that transfer of wealth to a person who did not labor.  That’s called REAL charity.

We are far from ultimate freedom today.  As the middle class is compressed and wealth is redistributed to big business, big government, and the “under served” we see that there is much less incentive to work hard and strive.

To measure the level of stagnation, compression of the middle class, and redistribution of wealth, Ascending Intellect has invented the “21st Century Enslavement Index”.

This is slavery CATEGORY 3, which certainly can head into CATEGORY 2 Social Slavery if the USA stays on the path of European Union socialism.

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 12:20 AM  Leave a Comment  

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