Is indenturing/enslaving people right ?

Hell YEAH
6 (40%)
HELL NO
9 (60%)

Total Members Voted: 14

MacFall on October 21, 2010, 11:47:50 am
I have yet to hear anyone tell me how indentureship is any worse than incarceration. Especially since the criminals "time" will be determined by how hard he/she works, rather than by the arbitrary decision of a judge.
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

quadibloc on October 21, 2010, 11:49:50 am
And who hasn't heard the old song The Company Store?
I never heard that one, but I did hear Tennessee Ernie Ford singing Sixteen Tons.

MacFall on October 21, 2010, 11:52:26 am
Sandy, can you direct me to that study about slaves consuming 90% of their output? I'd be interested to read it.
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

SandySandfort on October 21, 2010, 11:55:32 am
Prison inmates in the US are often used as effective slave labour, though they're paid a minimal wage as a cover for it and it's seen as paying off their debt to society.

Yes, but you left out the biggie, the military draft. Now that is slavery! Even "voluntary" military service is more like slavery than indenture. Once you are in, it is almost impossible to change your mind. Even at the end of your tour of duty, you can arbitrarily be held over if the military thinks you might still be of use.

SandySandfort on October 21, 2010, 12:13:20 pm
Sandy, can you direct me to that study about slaves consuming 90% of their output? I'd be interested to read it.

I wish I could. I probably have that issue of Freedom Today... in a storage locker in San Francisco. Otherwise, I would have no idea where to find the article today. This was a third of a century ago. There was no internet.

STOP THE PRESSES! I just did a web search and found this reference to the article:

  KETCHER, MIKE, The Taxpayer as Slave, 2pp, in PP 1656-1659: 458

It is listed on a site belonging to LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING
http://www.butterbach.net/lmp/lmp_sup2.htm

Also, I just dropped Mike a note asking if he still had a copy.

Suralin on October 21, 2010, 12:46:10 pm
People like Roland assume that without a strong government to keep things under control, the rich become the most powerful force in society and are unstoppable. This overlooks the obvious fact that what the rich do now is utilize the power of the government to get their way, and without that government power, it becomes more costly for the rich to screw over other people, which affects their bottom line. *snip*

*delurk*

Alright, I need to weigh in on this bit and mention something I think you've overlooked.

Mercenaries.

Yes, it'd be expensive for the rich guy to hire them. Yes, they'd take pretty intense losses if the rich guy decided to use them take over an AnCap society, and turn it into his private fiefdom, because the population is (hopefully) well-armed. More so over time due to guerrilla fighting wearing the mercs down.

But the depressing possibility remains that he might still try, and cause a worrying amount of utter chaos, depending on a number of factors (level of equipment the mercs are using, intensity of resistance, possibility of someone else buying out the mercs' contract, etc). Not unstoppable by any means, but still possible.

Remember, the human desire to control people is not necessarily limited to governments. In this hypothetical case, it's clearly overriden the rich guy's business sense. He'd be wrecking the very place he sought to profit from. But as you well know, in some eyes that pales in comparison to the prospect of UNLIMITED POWER!!


Sorry for the digression. Back on topic!

As far as the "indentured servitude vs. slavery" argument goes, I can live with indentured servitude, as long as fair ground rules are put in place to protect said indentured workers from mistreatment (or, say, from someone jacking up the interest rates to keep them indentured indefinitely). Beats throwing someone in a cage to rot for X years, no one has to pay to upkeep the prison, there are fewer social problems than incarceration, and they get job experience to boot.

But out-and-out slavery, no way. Human beings should not be able to be owned. We are more than property.

terry_freeman on October 21, 2010, 02:09:08 pm
Except for testosterone points, why would a rich person hire mercs to enslave an AnCap society which would resist fiercely? What merc would be crazy enough to put his life on the line for such a cause?

It is said that the Japanese decided not to invade America because "there was a rifleman behind every blade of grass." Where would be the profit in trying to invade an AnCap society where that statement was literally true - where every AnCap member was armed and trained to defend their lives and property?

AnCap people are not worth the bother of trying to enslave; they have not been habituated to the easy acceptance of tyranny. They have to be broken one by one; no central Great Leader can be forced to surrender an entire people to a would-be conqueror.


Kurita_Yorinaga on October 21, 2010, 03:41:45 pm
Except for testosterone points, why would a rich person hire mercs to enslave an AnCap society which would resist fiercely? What merc would be crazy enough to put his life on the line for such a cause?
...
AnCap people are not worth the bother of trying to enslave; they have not been habituated to the easy acceptance of tyranny. They have to be broken one by one; no central Great Leader can be forced to surrender an entire people to a would-be conqueror.

i just registered to reply here and as much as i liked to see an AnCap state or community become reality... it is thing like this that make me rather doupt that it will ever happen:

indentured servitude

if it is possible to hold someone in indentured servitude, a businessman of ill intend has every means to legaly "enslave" you, without ever needing even ONE merc.
How? rather simple, ether through having(or creating) a monopoly on a product or service, hell even much simpler... through gambling.
Want an Examples?
I, the shady businessman start a Lotterie(or any other game of chance) and hey, i'm such a nice man, you don't even have to pay me up front, pay me when you win...didn't win? ooh sad, do you have the money, no! oh well... do you want another ticket? rince, repeat, ad nausem... till he owes me enough to never be able to pay it back.

same works for drugs, if its AnCap, who can stop you from producing ANY good you want/can and sell it or stop someone from buying it from you, its the buyers health, if he likes to party that way... i just have to inform my buyers of possible "sideeffects"... (just in case he trys to sue me for poisoning him).

i just have to keep a straight face and say that it just for fun and then i have any legal claim to your sorry ass, as i'm maybe not the most moral guy around, but hey its a contract between me an you, my costumer and you got what you paid for(tho i would prefer to try the lottery, for the moral high ground), that way i get my wageslaves (like we're all are already) AND make some dollars on the way too.

sure, if you have friends, they might be able to pay your tap... but whats with others that don't? And don't tell me that no one will buy drugs... there always are some.

terry_freeman on October 21, 2010, 03:46:49 pm
"Nice, respectable" shark of a businessman, no self-respecting AnCap would be interested in your silly games. You might ensnare one or two, but you'd never get as far as any typical government does, because you'd never win the cloak of "legitimacy."

sams on October 21, 2010, 04:27:38 pm
indentured servitude

if it is possible to hold someone in indentured servitude, a businessman of ill intend has every means to legaly "enslave" you, without ever needing even ONE merc.
How? rather simple, ether through having(or creating) a monopoly on a product or service, hell even much simpler... through gambling.
Want an Examples?
I, the shady businessman start a Lotterie(or any other game of chance) and hey, i'm such a nice man, you don't even have to pay me up front, pay me when you win...didn't win? ooh sad, do you have the money, no! oh well... do you want another ticket? rince, repeat, ad nausem... till he owes me enough to never be able to pay it back.

same works for drugs, if its AnCap, who can stop you from producing ANY good you want/can and sell it or stop someone from buying it from you, its the buyers health, if he likes to party that way... i just have to inform my buyers of possible "sideeffects"... (just in case he trys to sue me for poisoning him).

i just have to keep a straight face and say that it just for fun and then i have any legal claim to your sorry ass, as i'm maybe not the most moral guy around, but hey its a contract between me an you, my costumer and you got what you paid for(tho i would prefer to try the lottery, for the moral high ground), that way i get my wageslaves (like we're all are already) AND make some dollars on the way too.

sure, if you have friends, they might be able to pay your tap... but whats with others that don't? And don't tell me that no one will buy drugs... there always are some.

It will never make it full scale to a point were he have a fiefdom, see place like Somalia no one acquire large swarm of Slaves ... despite the fact that in theory they could, because at one point those people are armed and they won't obey.

Indentured service only work with the consent of the person paying the debt ... if you have 1000 people in the same situation they will get ideas. The most efficient way to enslave people is to put guns on their heads.


This whole discussion miss the point that we ALREADY have indentured slavery when Parents are forced to give up part of their income has child pension to live up to their responsibility.


Anyway who said that indentured work should be hard, low paid, degrading or unpleasant ? wouldn't be in all people interest if the indentured got a high paid job to pay off the debt quickly ?

Kurita_Yorinaga on October 21, 2010, 04:44:26 pm
"Nice, respectable" shark of a businessman, no self-respecting AnCap would be interested in your silly games. You might ensnare one or two, but you'd never get as far as any typical government does, because you'd never win the cloak of "legitimacy."

hehehe, i didn't say that I want or even need "the cloak of legitimacy" for this, to be honest... the shark in my examples has to even run much much more closer to the rules(not the ideals) of an AnCap society to get his scam to work, then anyone else(because he might get under scrutiny of others). And it has nothing to do with self-respect... well, maybe if you mean the drugs, but sure not with a lottery, hey if you're a capitalist businessman, you try your luck with every contract or product... as an example... if in EFT a prospector finds out that his MassCon is just unusually dense rock instead of metal... its quite likely that he spend money(even if its just for the O2) and may even end up broke if its worth less then what he spent. Or if you produce airseals for spacesuits and one fails because it slipped through your quality testing... you might face trail for compensation of a lost

that said, the shark businessman just has to hope that everyone else upholds the ideals(unlikey him)...  else someone WILL just say "F**K YOU! i don't honour our contract"...

but then, what happens to someone that breaks a contract in an AnCap Society. Yeah, you will not get emperor of the universe that way... but hell, you'll get an easy life with just a few dozen.

All i want to say is, that it takes just ONE individual that uses the rules to twist the ideals to make everything go down south if you can force someone to work for you in any job you want.

J Thomas on October 21, 2010, 06:11:43 pm

Anyway who said that indentured work should be hard, low paid, degrading or unpleasant ? wouldn't be in all people interest if the indentured got a high paid job to pay off the debt quickly ?

Say there are some jobs that society depends on that are hard, degrading, and unpleasant. Mining was traditionally that way.

We need the work to be done. But if we pay free men what it takes to get them to choose that work when there is a labor shortage, then we will pay more than we can afford. Of course, if there are people who for one reason or another cannot get better work, then we are home free. Give them a token payment on top of ther subsistence. Problem solved.

Of course, we might solve the problem with brilliant application of high technology. That might work better than slave labor. But that requires brilliant technologists, while lots of people know how to create and apply low-pay degraded humans.

The basic trick is to get people to lower their expectations. Once they have it straight that they just plain aren't going to get very much, they can be motivated almost as well by the prospect of a beer or two at the end of the day as they would by a sizeable IRA contribution at the end of the year. But it's vitally important that they do work which is easy to monitor. If you can't tell how well they're working then they will goof off.

If they are doing simple tasks where it's easy to tell how well they do, how is it better to use slave labor instead of simple automated machinery? The automated tools might be expensive or inflexible, hard to program. And the slaves might be available and cheap, and not good for much else. But I expect that often it would be better to automate those jobs.

If you can easily monitor the work and tell how well the slave is doing, how is that work worth high pay? In general, high-paying jobs require exceptional judgement. It isn't obvious how well that judgement is working until later. A manager who can do a good job of supervising that sort of work deserves extra high pay. If you think your slave can do that work then sure, give him a chance. But you have to consider that his exceptional judgement did not keep him from being enslaved in the first place.

But there are exceptions. There were high-pay boxers and gladiators. High-pay musicians and composers.
http://www.africanloft.com/ignatius-sancho-1729-1780-from-african-slave-to-composer-author/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Willis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Tom_Wiggins

But imagine a slave CEO or CFO. He could embezzle money, he could do things that would cause the company to collapse shortly after he got the money to free himself. Who would know? Some jobs require not only competence, they require a whole lot of trust that people may not want to extend to slaves.

quadibloc on October 21, 2010, 07:36:45 pm
Anyway who said that indentured work should be hard, low paid, degrading or unpleasant ? wouldn't be in all people interest if the indentured got a high paid job to pay off the debt quickly ?
The reason it's likely to be like that is that people who resort to thievery presumably lack the appropriate skills to make the money they want honestly (and at lower risk), and a lot of the better-paying jobs require the employer to be able to trust the employee.

terry_freeman on October 22, 2010, 03:33:00 am
I work in one of those high-paying, high-responsibility professions, as a unix systems administrator. Like many other administrators, I often have access to high-value computer systems which hold the keys to the business. We have both the knowledge and the access to be able to do great and terrible damage to our employers. Nor is it possible to monitor our activities in any meaningful way.

With very rare exceptions, system admins do not abuse their powers. How is this possible, if we are merely "wage slaves", if the only thing keeping us in check is those greedy, unscrupulous capitalist slavers?

Part of it is the internalized sense of ethics; we want to be good at what we do, which  includes using our powers responsibly. Part of it is "reputation risk" - if one ever gets a reputation for screwing over one's employer, it becomes hard to find another job. In addition, the terms of our "wage slavery" are not intolerably oppressive. Marxist "wage slavery" theory aside, there is a very real difference between being owned by a slaveowner or government who may dictate the terms and conditions of employment, and being able to move from one employer to another at will.

quadibloc on October 22, 2010, 09:12:21 am
With very rare exceptions, system admins do not abuse their powers. How is this possible, if we are merely "wage slaves", if the only thing keeping us in check is those greedy, unscrupulous capitalist slavers?
I'm not sure how this is a reply to my point, since what I was noting was that it's probably not a good idea to let an armed robber work off his debt by working as a system admin.

I'm not trying to argue for the nonexistence of honest people, merely for the existence of a few very dishonest people who can cause damage far out of proportion to their number (for it is easier to destroy than to create) if our systems don't take their existence into account.

 

anything