Slavery vs Self-Ownership vs ???

dgmdgm
edited August 2017 in Religion & Philosophy
Slap said:
..Forcing someone to work isn't inherently evil...
And then vwtool said:
Can you flesh this out a bit?
And then I said:
Yeah I don't get that either. As a human you own yourself, which means that you own your efforts. You may voluntarily exchange that which you own for that which you want, but anything beyond that requires coercion, or some notion that you have lost self-ownership.


So, given all of that, what did Slap mean?

Comments

  • Can't we just agree on the happy middle ground of serfdom?
  • As long as I don't have to be the Serf...
  • Anacho-syndicalist commune it is then.
  • edited August 2017


    ...Anacho-syndicalist commune it is then.
    Building consensus around a pile of chips and melted cheese is always a good idea.

    image
     


    Or did you mean arachno-syndicalist, in which case:


    image
  • God Dammit
  • Sorry for the detour, but I couldn't let a Monty Python reference go.  :-)


    I'd like to continue this discussion, too.  I wonder what he means by "force," for starters.  
  • dgmdgm
    edited August 2017
    What can force mean other than coercion?

    There are places in the US where, during incarceration, you are forced to perform labor. That labor produces unearned value for private prisons, which operate various sorts of factories using such labor.

    This is the modern-day equivalent of plantations.



    Now combine this with laws that are disproportionately enforced against blacks (e.g. drug laws) and you have an extension of antebellum black slavery.



  • dgm said:



    What can force mean other than coercion?...




    Damned if I know.

    I agree with the rest, and I think it's why our racial troubles persist. Slavery didn't disappear with the end of the Civil War, it just went underground and came out in harder-to-recognize forms.
  • dgmdgm
    edited August 2017
    vwtool said:


    I agree with the rest, and I think it's why our racial troubles persist. Slavery didn't disappear with the end of the Civil War, it just went underground and came out in harder-to-recognize forms.

    I think it's one reason. The destruction of the black family unit is another significant one. You can draw a straight line from leftist social policies like welfare, to that particular issue.

    When 70% of black children are born to single mothers, multigenerational poverty is more or less inescapable other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • edited August 2017
    Slap said:

    ..Forcing someone to work isn't inherently evil...

    vwtool said:

    Can you flesh this out a bit?


    Sure.  At the benevolent end of forced labor, parents make their kids do their homework.  We accept this imposition on children's freedom because they're not adults with the fully developed judgment necessary to exercise choices.  Toward the less kind end of the "forced labor" spectrum, we have convicts (whose choices led to their conviction) who then get a choice between working and being punished mildly (more limited food rations, not being let outside, etc.)

    Toward the even more cruel end of the "forced labor" spectrum are the people who voluntarily enter into contracts/circumstances that they can't actually quit.  This is why prostitution is illegal in so many places, even if there are a small number of women who might benefit from selling themselves, too many wind up resembling indentured servants subdued by their pimps via addictions.  This is almost as bad as slavery, but there is *potentially* an element of personal choice/responsibility for their terrible circumstances.  This may be analogous to the *the first generation* of people who go to war, lose, and instead of being put to death, are enslaved.  Its awful, but their choices led their suffering in some way.

    And then we pass a threshold where the spectrum of forced labor goes from "pretty bad" to evil.

    People who never made any choices, people who bear no personal culpability for their circumstances: this includes the experiences of historic debtors prisons, where children inherited their parent's debt, and lived and worked to pay off that debt to regain their freedom.  Until the abolition of debor's prison, the line between some "free" men and a slaves was fairly thin.

    Further out on that end of the spectrum, chattel slavery.  And even further out, labor camps with high mortality rates, including Nazi, Soviet, and some rarer historical forms of indentured service, like sugar cane plantations where indentured servants with sentences of 7 years, rarely survived for more than one year.  These are people treated worse than livestock.

    The key to distinguishing where forced labor shifts from benevolent; to somewhat cruel, but justified; to evil, depends on the reasons used to justify those practices.  Parents would be more cruel to let their children grow up without an education, than to make them study.  Convicts (in a legitimate legal system, as opposed to something like Soviet show trials) have been individually determined to bear responsibility for their crimes, justifying their punishments/labor.

    Historically, most cultures had some kind of hereditary debt, until the first world started stamping that idea out, along with slavery.  I suppose it made sense in a world with scarcer resources and lower life expectancies, to reflect the natural law that children do tend to suffer the consequences of their parents poor choices.  It isn't surprising that the first world took a long time to reject such a natural consequence.  But we have, and that's *genuine* progress that shouldn't be sacrificed to enable a Leftist power grab.

    Does that clarify why the combined elements of chattel slavery aren't all equally weighted when figuring out *why* its evil?  Property is an element, but property rights are generally a good thing.  Its completely coincidental or in tension with the conclusion that slavery is evil.  Slavery is evil, despite the fact that outlawing it might strip some slave owners of a property right.  Property is an insufficient good, to outweigh the evil elements of slavery.
  • Many prisoners who refuse forced labor are punished with solitary confinement, which I believe is a fairly clear 8th amendment violation. But nobody gives half a fuck about convicts, so getting a case like that before SCOTUS is basically impossible.
  • dgmdgm
    edited August 2017
    "Convicts (in a legitimate legal system, as opposed to something like Soviet show trials) have been individually determined to bear responsibility for their crimes, justifying their punishments/labor."

    Does a conviction for possession of marijuana justify forced labor?


    "This law allows Louisiana residents to be incarcerated and sentenced to forced labor for well over a decade upon a defendant’s third “offense”, regardless of how minor it may have been."
  • edited August 2017
    dgm said:



    Try to get a day's work out of one of these people.

    Dave, I largely concur in the point about the over-use of solitary confinement. At a practical level, it seems to be a cause of derangement.  I am not a fan of even ordinary incarceration as a punishment though.
  • Just tell them all how disappointed you are with them.
  • dgm said:

    Just tell them all how disappointed you are with them.

    First, I would send them a letter telling them how disappointed I am.
  • dgm said:

    Does a conviction for possession of marijuana justify forced labor?

    The morality of forced labor for prisoners is, like many moral questions, a balancing act rather than a single criteria. What's the balance among those many factors?  What are prisoners doing if they aren't working? Rotting in a cage where their only socialization is learning how to become worse criminals?  How hard is the work and what kinds of risks does it entail?  I like the idea of a legal/estate claim against the State/warden whose prisoners are injured while working in his custody.  Is there a propensity for abuse?  We've all seen Shawshank Redemption.  Even if forced labor can be done well, if it routinely isn't, we'd be reasonable to outlaw it.
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