The same time the US abolished the System of Chattel Enslavement it imposed three new systems of enslavement; Wage Slavery, Debt Slavery, and Industrialized Sweatshop Slavery. It also maintained Legal Enslavement through the courts and prison system, and Spiritual Slavery through the imposition of colonial religions.
During the era of Chattel Enslavement most of the slaves were passive and offered no resistance to the system or their masters, they simply sought out what pleasures the system offered them and avoided offending or provoking their masters. There were even those slaves who felt blessed to subjugated and to server their masters, as they would server their God.
The exact same behaviors can be seen in modern day slaves with one exception; the modern day wage, spiritual, and debt slaves are all but unaware that they are slaves. To quote B. F. Skinner: “the is no better way to enslave a man than to allow him to think he is free.” Or as the great Harriet Tubman remarked: “I could have freed more (of my people) if they only knew they were slaves.”
As I organize for resistance and liberation, I find it hardest to organize with those who are “spiritually free,” or “individually free, who pretend that "freedom is a state of mind,” or who have invented some other rhetoric or conception of freedom that is detached from their reality and the reality of the world.
It is impossible to free slaves who don’t recognize their bondage, or who embrace their bondage and see it as “the way things are and always will be.”
There is no shame in being enslaved, imprisoned, or impoverished; the only shame comes from passively submitting to such conditions, and not fighting those who impose and profit from you oppression; that is most shameful.
We who are aware of, resentful of, and willing to organize against enslavement and oppression should only invest a very limited amount of our resources into convening Happy Slaves to oppose this system. The bulk of our talents and energies must go into uniting and organizing among each other and building from within. As we construct alternatives, as we build resilient and intentional communities and systems, then we will win more to the cause; more than we can win by debating and pleading with Happy Slaves.
We need Alliances of the Aware.
The Bloom Collective.