[ExI] What is Meant by "Slavery"?

painlord2k at libero.it painlord2k at libero.it
Sat May 30 18:36:14 UTC 2009

Il 28/05/2009 5.41, Lee Corbin ha scritto:

>  > When someone sell himself in slavery, what is selling?
>  > Is he selling his fealty and his labour? Is he selling his body?
>  > Is he selling an object or a service?

> On the most usual reading, I think he's selling his services.
> Often there are laws that limit what the slave owner can do,
> and this was true of most of the instances in history.

Usually, these were religious limits or socially useful limits (like the 
limits of what an owner can do with his dogs - things dangerous for the 
community are usually forbidden).

>  > My opinion is that he is selling his body, an object. Not a service.
>  > This because the slave owner have the right to kill, maim and order the
>  > slave to do anything he like. The slave is an object, like a car or a
>  > cow. The slave owner own the body of the slave and can do with it
>  > whatever is able and willing to do.
> This was true in some cases, but by no means all.
> Take modern Brazil, for an interesting current
> example.

> Yes, this extends what is meant by "slavery" a bit,

I would say a "large bit".
In many ways, these labourers could be considered in a "slave-like" 
situation, but they were not legally slaves.
They could not be legally forced to work, they could be legally sold and 

> but I think it's typical of the way that governments
> usually limit what can be done to people under forced
> conditions.

Apart when is the government that force them (like in Gulag and Lao-gai, 
for example).

> (Incidentally, it's amazing to me that the outright
> slavery currently practiced in Africa, and near-
> outright slavery in this example, elicit few objections
> from most people. We perhaps take it for granted that
> other cultures (than the developed West) are by
> necessity less culpable.)

To go and protest or do something really useful for these people is 
dangerous and there is not much to gain. Then, many of the professional 
protesters are covert racists.
For example, the "extreme-right", "racist", "xenophobe" Lega Nord of 
Italy have a number of groups of people that, in their spare time or 
when retiring, go to Africa and help people there to build shops and 
teach them how to work with wood and in other crafts. Real Italian 
artisans, not students. But this is very rarely recognized by the press.

> Well, you are just talking about extreme examples of slavery.

It is slavery or it is not.
There are other definition to other conditions, like "force labour", 
"serfdom", etc.
To call "slavery" something that is not is cheapening the word.


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