How to Eradicate Slavery in Your Life, Now and Forever by Jim Klein

Publisher’s Note: Jim has been a friend and correspondent of this blog since its inception and his philosophical ruminations have had a tremendous influence on me. He was kind of enough to pen this gem, Enjoy. -BB

What is slavery?  Let’s not get distracted with convoluted definitions.  At essence, slavery is the forceful (aggressive, compulsory, coercive) subjugation of one person or group of people, by another person or group of people.  This is always done with physical force or the threat of physical force.

Why is slavery wrong?  Slavery is wrong because it treats the two parties as inherently different with respect to each other, and they are not.  In the relationship between ruler and ruled, the ruled party is treated as chattel and the ruling party assumes the role of directing the ruled party’s actions.

What is equality?  In human social interaction, being equal does not mean being identical.  No two people are identical.  Equality means that with respect to other humans, and in interacting with them, the moral stature of each is identical in the absence of any contrary evidence.  This is because in relevant respects, they are both free-willed autonomous individuals.

What are rights?  It doesn’t matter what rights are.  What matters is that they are the same for each person, again in the absence of any contrary evidence.  This is what it means to say, “All men are created equal.”  Slavery is an instant denial of rights, because it instantly denies the equal rights of the two parties.

How can slavery happen if each person has equal rights?  Slavery doesn’t “happen;” slavery is done.  Slavery is one party denying the equal standing of the other party, and it can only be done through forceful coercion.  Without that, the ruled party may walk away from the ruler and the slavery doesn’t occur.

Why is the threat of slavery–or aggression or compulsion–wrong?  As all humans are creatures of free will, the declaration of the intent to impose physical aggression against another, is tantamount to actually doing it.

What is agency?  Agency is the voluntary agreement between two or more people, that some will act on behalf of the others.  Because it is voluntary, the party on whose behalf the acting is done, carries the same responsibility for the act, as the party doing it.

Can I not have the responsibility for enslaving another person, by having an agent–or even millions of agents–do it for me?  No.  Responsibility is something that is attendant with the state of being a free-willed individual.  Because agency is itself a voluntary choice, the responsibility does not disappear.

Can I pretend that I don’t have responsibility for enslaving others if I have agents do it for me?  Yes.  Being creatures of abstract conceptualization, any person can imagine anything at all, including counterfactuals.  Denying responsibility for an act by virtue of agency, is an example of such a counterfactual.

So how can I eradicate slavery in my life now?  Simple…be neither ruler nor ruled.  If you have the physical power to enslave others, don’t use that power.  If you are going to be enslaved by the physical power of others, prevent it.

Why shouldn’t I enslave others?  It is always wrong to use your mind to deny that which is, and the person whom you can enslave has the same standing socially, as do you.  To enslave that person is an admission to yourself that you are something other than a rational, identifying creature and this is necessarily harmful to you.

How can I stop others from enslaving me?  You stop them however you can.  Ideally, you might persuade them.  Less than ideally, you counter them with more powerful defensive force.  For starters, you can read the post below and understand what it means, and recognize that you have tremendous stopping power against others…likely far more than you imagine.  It still may be the case that you will be overwhelmed physically, but nobody promised you a rose garden.

How does that stop slavery forever?  “Forever” in your life means as long as you live.  If you choose to “live free or die,” and you decide that it is “better to die free than live as a slave,” then you will never ever be ruled.  And if you choose to honor the fact that other people are the same sort of creature as you, then you will never ever be a ruler.

These are all lovely thoughts, but how do thoughts accomplish anything?  They don’t.  It’s the action that arises pursuant to those thoughts that accomplishes things.

Okay, I want to eradicate slavery in my life now and forever, so what do I do? Just do it, that’s all.  You can easily choose not to enslave others…don’t engage violence or aggression against them, or threaten it, and they won’t be enslaved.  You can also choose not to be enslaved by others, to the best of your ability.  You can arm yourself, you can train yourself, you can work with others, you can devise defensive mechanisms…you can do whatever you are able to do, to stop others from enslaving you.

Does this guarantee that I will never experience slavery in my lifetime?  Yes, for as long as you live.  Does it guarantee that you will never die?  No.  Everyone dies and like everything else in your life, whether you admit it or not, the choice to rule or be ruled is just that—a choice.

Do you actually want to eradicate slavery in your life, or do you want to pretend that you do?  If the latter, then keep yapping and go vote.  If the former, then just do it!

1 thought on “How to Eradicate Slavery in Your Life, Now and Forever by Jim Klein”

  1. Hi, Jesse. While your response to what you imagine I wrote, might be interesting to some, I personally would be very interested in any response you might have to what I actually wrote. Here’s some extra of these if you need ’em–” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” “

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