Thursday, April 07, 2016

Freeing slaves

(Previously posted to Patreon)

I'm opposed to all forms of slavery. That is why I am an abolitionist, a voluntaryist, an anarchist, a libertarian.

I'm not thrilled to see all the ways others try, with varying degrees of success, to enslave me. I attempt to thwart them at every turn- also with varying degrees of success.

Nor do I like seeing others enslaved.

I am reminded of Harriet Tubman's quote*: "I freed a thousand slaves- I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."

I don't claim to have freed even one slave, and in actually accomplishing that I admire Harriet Tubman greatly.

I do, however, point out the slavery on a regular basis- many times per day. But it's sneaky slavery today. Not the physical chains and ropes of previous eras (other than with the "criminal justice system" and military, I suppose). "Comfortable" slavery that mostly goes unnoticed by the slaves.

Many people seem to get angry at me for pointing it out. Either they don't want to see the ways in which they are being enslaved, or they like their slavery. In some cases I am not sure which it is.

Their anger makes me reflect and reconsider.

Which is worse? Being a slave who doesn't know he's a slave, or being a slave who knows he's a slave?

If someone doesn't know he's a slave, are you doing him a service by telling him?

What if he's happy in his slavery before you tell him he's a slave? Is it right to make him realize his situation and ruin his happiness?

Obviously, I would hope the unhappiness would inspire the slave to free himself. Some people really don't seem to believe they can- if they even want to.

I believe the first step in no longer being a slave is to see the slavery for what it is. Only then can a person aspire to liberty. But, getting people today to see the slavery, honestly, is a dangerous undertaking. They'd much rather kill the messenger than refuse to obey "authority".

*As with all quotes, I don't care if the person it is attributed to actually spoke or wrote the words or not- truth isn't dependent on who said it first. I'll assume she actually said this; if not, someone else did and it's still true.

Self respect

There are some jobs I couldn't do and still feel good about myself. Such as working in a feedlot, a packing plant, or anything that industrializes death.

I'm not saying it's wrong; I'm not judging those who do that kind of work, nor am I saying I would never do it-- just that I couldn't do it and keep feeling good about myself.

Feeling good about myself- respecting myself- is important. Especially right now.

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