SLAVERY- In Soul of the Beast, John and his mates are captured and taken somewhere to be sold as slaves. What is a slave?
The usual concept of a slave is someone who is owned by another person and treated much like we would a horse or a dog. That is not saying a slave is no better than a horse or dog because all humans have infinite value. But the similarity of a slave’s treatment to animals is a terrible truth. The slave has no rights and must do anything the slave owner tells him or her to do. The owner can punish the slave as often and as severely as he or she chooses. The owner can kill the slave for any and no reason. Using this definition, many people throughout history were in fact slaves even though history and society called them something else:
IRISH PEASANTS were effectively slaves during the British Empire.
CITIZENS living under the complete control of totalitarian governments and dictators are in reality slaves. People living in the Soviet Union, Communist China , and under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein of Iraq are good examples.
Americans are well aware that the SLAVERY OF AFRICANS existed in North America during the British Colonial period and in the United States up until 1865. What most Americans don’t realize is slavery existed throughout the North, Middle, and South Americas long before the arrival of the Europeans. It was a common practice of the native tribes and civilizations already living here.
Many people believe that slavery is becoming less common and that the world is becoming an increasingly kinder place as we grow more advanced in our thinking. The truth is the exact opposite. There are more slaves today than at any other time in human history.
Below is an excerpt from an online AlterNet article by Ben Skinner:
“August 24, 2009 …One hundred forty-three years after passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and 60 years after [the U.N.] banned slavery and the slave trade worldwide, there are more slaves today than at any time in human history — 27 million.Today’s slavery focuses on big profits and cheap lives. It is not about owning people like before, but about using them as completely disposable tools for making money…”
The last sentence refers to the slavery of the sex trade. Many women, men and children in the sex trade are slaves and involved against their wills. In many cases, the iron chains of the 19th Century have been replaced by intimidation, desperation and drug addiction.
Life for slaves is not always bad. There have been good and kind slave owners, rulers and dictators, and the slaves under their control lived better lives than they would have on their own. The problem is good and kind slave owners, rulers and dictators die. And the people who replace them are often not good or kind.
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