Friday, November 28, 2014

Revisit: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 -- On Modern Day Slavery

Because of statistics, I got to read this (below) again.

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What I have been thinking about is that I don't know what techniques were used to convince the slaves to stay in slavery, but whatever they were then, more effective ones are being used now to keep people in slavery that they don't even question as slavery.
       
I was with a child, not my own, the other day, and in her chattering she said something about something not being fair. I remarked, "Fair isn't something you look for in life." To which she chattered (and you know this is just something she's heard, she does that, passes on everything she's heard, ever), "Nope, a nice house, a nice car, and a good job -- that's what you look for in life."
       
You can possibly imagine the horror I felt at that moment, with the meaning of life defined as a house, a car and a job.
       
A few minutes later the little girl said, "I'd so much rather be here than at school;" and her great-aunt said, "Yeah, I'd so much rather be here than at work;" and I said, "Yeah, I'm so glad I'm here instead of at work." The joke was, of course, that I *was* at work and so we all laughed and I launched into telling about a trailer for a new tv show about mountain men wherein one of them says, "People ask me what I do for a livin': I LIVE for a livin'." To which the aunt said, "Well, that's fine as long as I don't have to feed you."
       
So, evidently, I'm supposed to sell myself to the highest bidder rather than do what I want to do, and so are you, and so long as you believe that it is your work that feeds, houses, clothes and cares for others, and as long as you have a nice car and a nice house and a good job, you are in the clear.
       
What you are is a slave.
       
If you have been paying attention you know I'm not advocating dependency. What I'm identifying is a system, an entire paradigm, where the people who actually do the work are impoverished and the people who bet on that work and exploit that work and add nothing to its value live opulently. Perhaps you can see it best at the fringes, the high and low points, but it exists throughout the spectrum.
       
And there isn't a person in this country who doesn't live opulently and that is because this country exploits (enslaves) the rest of the world (people and environment) and living here there isn't anything at all we can do except live in that particular milieu.
       
What that makes you is a slave owner.
       
What that means is that as far as I participate in the system, I am a slave and a slave owner; I am enslaved and I enslave others.
       
It is not a good thing.
       
And as inescapable as it is, it is not a thing to ignore. Sure, you are gonna die one day but in the meantime, you're health is important and what you do does impact it. Greatly.
       
So, what I'm offering, and what I'm asking for, is another way of seeing; another way of being. It doesn't get us out of the milieu, but it does prepare us for the paradigm shift that is actually already underway. The balls are up in the air and they can't all be caught; the plates are spinning and some are beginning to crash down right now.

The cornfield is planted.  There are blueberries ripe already.  Cheeses are being waxed.  Greens are being parboiled (ok, really steamed) then frozen.

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Of  course, this time of year it is firewood coming in mostly, to maintain a level of warm most wouldn't put up with in modern slavery times, today's slaves being accustomed to a thermostat and a sprained wrist being able to turn it up.

2 comments:

Shane Watson said...

Just wanted to comment and say how much I enjoy your writing. I've checked in here off and on for what must be 10 years. Anyway, thanks for the glimpse into your life and brain. Shane

CG said...

Wow, thank you. Yes, it has been just over 10 years. I went back recently and revisited some of the first ones -- it was interesting. Glad you've been along for the ride!