An argument for slavery

I am grateful to some of my readers who have inquired concerning my health, this in view of the fact that I have not posted for several weeks.  Imaging and I have just returned from a couple of weeks in Istanbul,Turkey.  The jet lag of nine hours is a killer.  I am still exhausted.

As most of you know, I was born in Wyoming and have spent most of my life here.  That makes me little more than a provincial innocent who has sparse first hand appreciation of the history of the human race.  My knowledge of history, as it is viewed on the ground, is one of Indians, and French fur traders and homesteaders, and when it is all gathered up it spans little more than a century.  Growing up and living in Wyoming one never actually touches ancient human history.  But in Istanbul it was a different story.

I was immediately taken by the history there that hit one in the face no matter where one went, the walls of the old city, several yards thick and thirty feet high, or higher – still standing after more than a thousand years.  The mosques, monstrous domed buildings with inlaid tile, the palaces of the Ottoman kings – I mean, if you began to dig a basement there you would encounter centuries of civilization beneath the surface.  I was astounded and left reeling.

I do not mean to turn this post into a travelogue.  But I was told that thousands, yes, hundreds of thousands of slaves built the Blue Mosque in five years, a feat we could not duplicate with our modern machinery.  Slavery.  Nearly every great nation in history was built on the backs of slaves – the Romans, the Egyptians, yes, the castles of the English lords.  The cathedrals in Italy, the Pope’s own quarters, are mostly the products of slave labor.  The human race has advanced on the crumbling bodies and endless sweat of those whose lives were stolen from them by those in power.  The foundation of our nation, too, was a system of slavery.

Nothing changes.  But we have learned to cloak slavery with the myth of freedom.  That is quite an accomplishment.  Yet remember, the slave had a guaranteed sustenance.  He had a pallet of straw to sleep on and he was fed, although little and cheaply.  When he died he was buried in a shallow grave by the master.

Ask the millions of unemployed today who desperately search for work if they are slaves – slaves without masters.  Parents struggle and sacrifice to send their children to college so they can become slaves of corporations that will use them up, and when they are finished with them, cast them out, nowadays often without pensions.  In the old slavery, a child was taken from his parents and sold.  In the new slavery the child, born in Seattle, will leave his family to be educated in Connececut and to work for a corporation in, say, Los Angeles.  The family is no longer a unit that protects its members.  The tribe is gone (unless by becoming a fan of a football or baseball team one joins such an impersonal tribe.)  If we work for others we are slaves with few rights.  When the dead master (the corporation that is and never has been alive) is finished with the slave the slave joins the ranks of the unemployed, feels worthless, worried, lost and wasted.  If we work for ourselves we are slaves to the system, to taxation, to rules of law, to endless regulations that, at last, are mostly intended to benefit the money interests of the nation.  No one can escape the slavery.  The farmer works himself to the bone to reap his crop, but the price he gets is the price that all farmer slaves get – the amount that the corporate system will allow.

I am not arguing against this brand of slavery.  Much of it is necessary in a civilized society, some for the protection of citizens.  But at the bottom of this whole mess of rules, customs, the philosophy of free enterprise, the stock market, the entire business world, the laws and the court system is the overriding interest of power.  We protect money before we protect people.

So when I got back from Istanbul I came to the conclusion that the human species, once we have abandoned the tribe, is hopelessly indentured. The trick, of course, is to become the kind of slave one wants to be, and to exercise enough control over one’s slavery that some happiness, some fulfillment can seep in.  I expect that the slaves who built the Blue Mosque might well have stepped back and seen its beauty and gathered in a bit of pride that they gave their lives to such a monument, one they doubtlessly believed in, as we, indeed, sacrifice our lives to our own various forms of slavery.

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64 responses to “An argument for slavery

  1. Slaves built the White House, USA, too.
    Col Lee, Robert E Lee, the commander of the South, after he graudated from West Point was working on the Mississippi River to keep its channels open for slave traffic(commerce).
    That was before Jeb Davis, and the South seceded from the Union.
    Exploitation is the new term to replace slavery.
    But, the gift of ones man labor, tears, and sweat, goes to some ruler, who wants a caste system.
    What are the names in the new caste system ?
    I have to study in deeper layers of the sands of time this word “gift”.
    You have reached back far.
    But, the black slave was stolen from his own land, and sold as cargo to those traders in another land.
    Slave trading was a major business..
    But it was not free, it was not a gift, like a new Bike at XMAS to the young son.
    Oh, that word “gift” it has me scrambling to understand, the deeper aspects of power, and
    society.
    “Gift”, must not be in the context of Webster,
    In that context a gift is given voluntary.
    The temples, palaces, and
    mounments were not given “voluntarily”.
    They were the result of brutal indimidations –to those who were forced to carry the stones on their backs.
    And, are some now places of worship, long past to the powers of submission at the levers of those who control the spigots of raw power.
    Welcome back to America, Gerry, you give us new reasons to wonder, and inquire, and
    ponder.

    • I don’t know how the movie, “American Violet” slipped by me…but it did. My wife knows I like legal drama type movies, and brought it home last night from a Red Box. The movie is a true story of how modern day slavery is implemented under “the color of the law.”

  2. This pops out:

    “The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.” excerpted from

    OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

    Oh, so the contemplative class, and its society, with its underpinnings, on the “ugly work” for survival of the culture of the refined.
    Say, in the Ottman Empire weren’t white guys the ones in chains ?
    Who were the slaves that laid the Blue Mosques out for the Sultan, to get his
    desires fufilled, in the highest glory of Allah..?

    Widle noted, also:

    “Every great man has his disciples and it is always Judas who writes the biography”.
    “To arrive at what one really believes, one must speak through lips different from one’s own.” another Oscar Wilde, pointed perception.

  3. Dear Mr. Spence,
    I am so glad that you and your wife enjoyed your time in Turkey.
    Your subject on slavery is an interesting one, and I do agree with you on the likely necessity of some of the systems many of us are employed.
    However, I want to weep whenever I ponder that too many people are unhappy slaves and unwilling to do the simplest things to alleviate their suffering.
    I have been pondering this and I have been writing down outlines as to how our American citizens can diminish the tyranny that we are living under (Not that I think our country is the worst or that it is hopelessly irrepairable.
    What are your thoughts on this matter?
    Also… besides offering classes to lawyers, do you allow non-lawyers to come to your college to simply sit and listen and absorb what you and other lawyers have to say?
    Sincerely,
    Vincent D. Faini

  4. Dear Mr. Spence, Thank you again for your words of wisdom as it makes us all think more of what is truly our most precious possession.One’s Self……

  5. Spence:

    I agree that we are all slaves now… wage slaves with no security. I am 60 and I don’t recall a time when people have had less security of work, health care, and all the things that make life sustainable.

    I wonder if you have noticed the how USPS is purging the older and the disabled employees from its workforce through the National Reassessment Program?

    We’ve been trying to save these people’s jobs but we are stymied by an EEOC that seems unconcerned and that has de facto raised the burden of proof on the victims.

  6. Spence:

    I agree that we are all slaves now… wage slaves with no security. I am 60 and I don’t recall a time when people have had less security of work, health care, and all the things that make life sustainable.

    I wonder if you have noticed how the USPS is purging the older and the disabled employees from its workforce through the National Reassessment Program?

    We’ve been trying to save these people’s jobs but we are stymied by an EEOC that seems unconcerned and that has de facto raised the burden of proof on the victims.

  7. 912, that is the new FOX slogan Tea Party gimmick.
    Of course, it is a play off of 9. -11. It is a call for government corruption to stop. That is about like making a plea for the sun not to rise in the morn.
    In the case of some like Glenn Beck , the Fox bloviator, the saying talk is cheap applies, it means nothing, just noise and static on a screen, but it works up some into a tizzy.
    There is a great feeling of insecurity, however, sweeping the land.
    Did the U S dollar even equate to much in Turkey ? In other places, it is becoming the new Peso.

  8. For all our ills, as individuals and a society, we should pose the question, whi si the enemy? Is it Karl Marx, Mao, capitalism, communism? Or is the enemy ourselves? We owe it to our children to wipe the slate clean, and teach them that.

  9. As a sixty-something who has just been RIF-ed for the second time, I know exactly what you mean. The first time I had over twenty-three years in and was tenured. An ALJ, two Circuit Court Judges and the State Court of Appeals (3-times thus far) have ruled in favor of those of us who lost our jobs or were cut back in pay and against the agency that cut us. We have yet to see a crying dime of it. They have already spent more money with this suit than it would have cost just to keep us until we retired. Most of the employees envolved were either 50 or older or had health issues or both when this began. Wage slaves tossed out on the rubbish heap, indeed!

  10. Gerry you say you are not arguing against the slavery of a farmer who gets peanuts working himself to the bone from some AG-Corp, who has some market control, to rig prices to pay the farmer SQUAT..(or cyber- pleas to that effect, see above)
    I don’t know why you make the case for slavery(in between the Blue, and the deep)
    I suppose you never heard of a Wyoming rancher who sued some big grocery chains for anti trust violations.
    His case was handled by the young Joe Alioto, son of the ex Mayor.
    Young Joe blew it, and the Wyo rancher sued the CA firm for malpractice..
    And won..(OF RECORD, not citing anything not in the REPORTED PUBLIC RECORD)
    The mayor had to damn near sell his CA manison to pay off the malpractice award.
    But, maybe some in Wyo just can’t find lawyers to take on the GIANT AG-Grocery chains, or
    TRADING CARTELS, @
    Oh, sure Gerry, you and Argus can pick up some cheap lean BEEFchops at the local butcher, and call that culture, and society, some big bennie, in the mix of the slave food chain.
    You know that Nixon crowd floated stores Alioto was part of the mob, because he was an Italian to ruin his chances of being Governor of Ca.
    Joe, Sr was a great attorney, a man of the people, a stand up guy, his son was a bit wet behind the ears.
    The real mob, the Nixon klan was rigging heatlh care too(how we got today).
    So, you go into an ER room for 2 hours, and walk out with a $ 10,000 bill., and wonder about RIGGED prices.. to bankrupte people, all over America
    Come on Gerry get off your supporting slave rackets, after your jet lag from the Tureky blue Mosque, Wake up man, you are back in Buffalo land..
    Or, is it, the rich enclaves that have all the Mexicans servants in S Ca..> ?, the plush, Hacinda’s of the
    Endowed CLASS, in CA..
    No comprende, Amigo..

  11. See “Thoughts Upon Slavery” by John Westley for somewhat of a TLC presentation of the evils of the 16th and 17th century African slave trade.

    ajok

  12. I’m with you Gerry, so what next? Begin the process of self-realization and recognition of the Self, but what then? I believe that once one gets to such a point that he is reliant on nothing but the sun and the earth. So what now? Keep living our truth and know these chains will disintegrate when Love prevails. That’s at least what I keep saying to my self. I still can’t seem to figure out exactly what to do even though that in my heart, I know.
    Thanks for churning my thoughts today, PEACE!

  13. Just so you know, the Wyo rancher was the owner of the Y Cross Ranch. He donated his 56,000 acre ranch to CSU for its AG Science Dept, in conjunction with the Davis Foundation.
    Courtney Davis is the one who sued the law Firm in CA for malpratice, because it was not stand up in an anti-trust suit.
    The Univ of Wyo also has a role in its AG Dept operating the ranch.
    So, Gerry, you may have been impressed by the blue mosque in Turkey, but people are learning how to be ranchers still—today in the high plains, USA.
    Besides, you must know ,Gerry, it is ranchers who largely control Wyo politics.
    Why–you got a beef with ‘em ?

  14. Wasn’t Bird Woman, the most famous person from Wyoming, from a Tribe that had slaves, and she was given over to a French fur trapper. They were the key to the Lewis and Clark exepidition.
    Her image, and Indian name is engraved on the
    dollar coin.
    Some University of Wyoming professor wrote a bogus story about her.
    She is not buried in Wyoming.
    Do you know about her
    Wyoming — is not the name of the Shoshoni Tribe.

  15. Mr. Spence,
    Physical slave that I am, I am happy for my heart and mind that lets me keep finding ways to connect to my ever growing tribe of other fellow human beings who are still human. Great to hear you are quite well and had a nice trip. May your health & humor always be well tuned.
    P.S.
    Here is how to spell that state starting with a ‘C’: Connecticut ~|:-)

  16. Gerry- I’ve come to admire your work over the past 5 years an dhave read many of your books. I am currently a second year law student. My question for you is do you feel that you have lived a life of slavery? I realize that is a big question but perhaps I could narrow it a bit. During what point in your life do you feel you were the most free?

    • Dave, I have lived a life fighting slavery. Hope you do to. gerry

      • I am not sure I understand the purpose or benefit of broadening the definition of “slavery” to include any economic ties or contracts between persons. You could also say we are all “slaves” to physical laws, but I am not sure there is anything we can do about it. Contracts and associations can be changed or expire, unlike the particular institution of human-to-human bondage that I thought the word “slavery” referred to.

  17. Gerry,
    I appreciate your words. I marvel that you quoted Leo Toltsoy (a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist) in your blog recently. According to Wikipedia, Tolstoy believed that a true Christian could find lasting happiness by striving for inner self-perfection through following the Great Commandment of loving one’s neighbor and God rather than looking outward to the Church or state for guidance and meaning. America’s greatest and most effective evangelist, Charles Finney (actually a country lawyer), believed much the same. Love God with all the heart, mind and strength. And as John Wesley said, “it’s all about the loving.” Loving is done from the heart, unselfishly out of a desire to do good to the one you are loving. Our true intention/s, selfish or unselfish will be the determining factor of where we end up on our judgement day when God will judge everything about us. Our intentions, selfish or unselfish, blame worthy or praise worthy give the true picture of who we truly serve. Those who truly love God are willingly His slaves (bondservants). No other way of life is truly rewarding… and all the works of man are of no use if Eternal Fire is the outcome of the judgement we all will face.
    God Bless, Don
    PS: I have found that it is true, as you say in America, “Justice For None”. In Eternity, there shall be Justice For All. Sadly, Liberty will only be granted to His servants.

    • Don,

      I didn’t know this until a few years ago…Leo Tolstoy wrote, “The Kingdom of God is Within You.” If you haven’t already read this book, it might be worth your while to read it.

  18. Question and I hope this does not take us too far off topic, but are all our politicians also slaves to the lobbyists and special interests they serve? When I see articles like this, attached, it looks like slavery goes clear to the very top.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/roy-sekoff-blasts-max-bau_b_287954.html

  19. One should remember the differences between slavery, invountary servitude, serfdom, caste system, indentured servitude, forced conscription, and debt slavery. There are different degrees, motivations, reasons, moral implications, and different times/areas for the above. One could also examine the moral difference between the “physical” punishment and “imprisonment” punishment systems and how that impacts an individual- and society. Lastly, why has Gerry not have a “tribe”? No family, friends, church, group, race, party, religion, creed, belief, or anything? Surely there is some group in which you can feel solidarity- at least in theory. The problem is that instead of finding/fostering these connections we go for the “job” or the “economy” or “case” over our interests- which sometimes can be collective without being government issued big brother regulations, taxes, or laws.

  20. A Wyoming cowboy with his bride wandering around Turkey. You gotta love it.
    Indenture by or of choice is a great way to live. Pick the ride and enjoy it and if not enjoying it, change the ride. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

  21. Dear Gerry,

    I’m glad you and Mrs. Spence enjoyed your trip to Turkey. I’ve only been as far as England, but I still remember the jet lag.

    Your observations about all of us being slaves in some way is accurate, albeit painful. No one wants to think of ourselves as slaves, but when we think about how easy it is for employers to let workers go for any reason or for insurance companies to reject/deny people for coverage, the ugly term definitely applies.

    Your question about how to become “the kind of slave one wants to be” is one well worth considering, and even that isn’t easy. Many professions, not just law, require a considerable amount of money to be educated and to join them, and if one doesn’t have the money, that person is simply out of luck. Of course for some professions like medicine, that demands extensive education and skill before a person can become a doctor, nurse, fireman, etc. But I believe some professions can be learned by independent study, with less money required to learn. I don’t believe that education begins and ends with the classroom; it’s a continuing process. Good to see you back. :)

  22. Gerry,

    I know this question is not directly related to the post above, but I’ve wanted to ask you about this for a long time. I agree with you that the death penalty is wrong, but in some ways life in prison seems worse. The convict has little or no hope of ever experiencing life outside of jail. I believe you have mentioned in your books that prison life is a form of slow death. Do you feel that life in prison as a punishment for the worst crimes is better than the death penalty because it would at least allow us to correct a mistake if we discover than an innocent person has been convicted? Or is life in prison a better alternative simply because the state avoids directly killing a human being?

    Please pardon my lack of understanding on the subject. I have never been in your shoes and defended clients against such punishments. Few, other than you, have ever advocated for a defendant that you have prosecuted to receive life in prison instead of the death penalty.

    I would be grateful if you would write a post on the ethics of life in prison under the current system. How is this not a slow, tortured form of the death penalty?

    Thank you,

    Craig

    • Life in prison is hell. But where there is life there is the opportunity for the condemned to contribute, and many do. For us, life in prison gives respect to life and not death. We cannot condemn killing and become killers.

      gerry

  23. That is wonderful commentary. and most timely..
    Time is something God gives and the State takes away and tells families that they”- State ” are in charge of you/r children’s time, and will decide what and how many hours you/r child thinks about something that they decide is beneficial; usurpring the family ( tribe ) and its role to be in relationship/right to control body mind and spirit _ and responsible for family.. ( extended families included) ( the right to think and act for oneself is my idea of liberty _ where did I go wrong? )
    The inherent God given rights of families including liberty to marry without license, ( is the State God ?) and to secure their children in relationship to author of time and rights and responsiblities to self govern. to learn to seek and to find answers, but most important the quest.. the right to question.. was stolen by Compulsory education laws begun in 1850 ( as to presume the quest is over the state has all the answers ).. and have usurped parents and tribes from authority over their own gift of time, , and stewardship of family, so that families now produce for the state, except we restore the title of God given liberty of people , that the state is servant of the people and not the people the servant of the State.;.
    Restoring Truth, Liberty and order for Sustaining Truth and Righteousness, ( the LAW for the protection of the people to liberty and Peace)..

    I am Wyoming girl from Pinedale, Green River Lake area. and will always claim Wyoming as my home..( the stars are brighter there ). God bless… .
    camilliadolson.wetpaint.com

    Now that I think about it, with the unconstitutional federal reserve act, and removal of gold and silver as money,, not only do the representatives break the oathe of office ( violate constitutional law – and the commandments, _ thou shalt not bear false witness ) as to take their money in paper without backing, ( States shall make nothing but gold and silver as payment for debt) but cause that the people do not have real wealth , only the paper dependent on the banks… I believe the constitution was about empowering equally the people to honest weights and measures that each may be independent and not dependent on the value that banks give.. So in effect the government is stealing that which is most precious, you/r family’s time, and money , but most of all Liberty… of the people.. rights of families and relationships in time according to the dictates of conscience communion with God.

    • I did’t see any strippers on Gerry’s web site, what kind of eye glasses is Mr Cook looking through, when he comments, here. ?
      As to people going up there, to tIe in ” fresh air”,
      if so much of it is so fresh, why is Wyoming the least populous State in America ? There is less oxygen in Pinedale. Frank. And, no needs for carbon caps .

  24. If prostituion is the oldest profession, slave masters must not be far behind.
    But, they must be called by another name in the so called enlightened age.
    Any know what those are, who are chained to their key boards ?

  25. Mr. Spence, I’ve always admired you as a great trial lawyer and an advocate for the oppressed.

    I want you to know that you, nor anyone else in America right now, truly knows slavery. Slavery was our nation’s original sin. The enslaved men and women couldn’t live free and use their minds. We lost 200 years worth of possible scientists, doctors and lawyers. God only knows how advanced our civilization would have been today.

  26. Human trafficing in young woman from other countries as sex slaves is not something that is absent from the world/ and in the USA.
    And, they(young women) are exploited, in fear, and often are afraid to go to the authorties(the State which some grip at in abstract manifestos). And, after their bodies have been sacraficed at the alter of their neo slave masters, and the cash is stripped, and funneled, and laundered, it is not a pretty sight.
    It is not a breadth of fresh air.
    Slavey in any form is not a breadth of fresh air.
    It is so chilling, that many turn their eyes, as if it does not exist.
    But it does— in 2009.
    It any think slavery is a breadth of fresh air, that is truly sad, and the topic was not some flower market in the chic sections of Santa Barbara.
    It must be wonderful for some to ride their pony, how little they know about the dark side of the world, that WALK on the WILD side, that is out their, catering to so many John’s.

  27. Hello Mr. Michael Paul,
    I would like to hear what you or Mr. Spence has to say on my slant about the Postal Service.
    I am a former Marine and also a former Postal Worker. I have put in a grand total of almost twenty-eight years and I took the opportunity to accept early civil service retirement.
    I would have rather worked till I was seventy, however, certain bad things happened where I worked. A few of my friends and coworkers died unnecessarily and a few of us were forced out of work.
    I fought to get my job back with the conditions that they initially denied me.
    However, my battle taught me a lot.
    One… while it is nice to have a strong union on your side and a passionate and competent lawyer – Mr. Spence being the top choice of course – the most powerful weapon or perhaps resources is oneself… in addition to having a large group of family, friends, coworkers and members in the community who stand up for each other. The more people that stand up for you and you for them… the more powerful one can be; and if we take this to the final conclusion the more powerful we can be as a community and as a nation and ultimately as a loving and cohesive world community.
    I found that in the Postal Service…. the workers tend to give more power to the managers than is warrented.
    We literally talk ourselves into impotence.
    People are trained to treat us the way we allow and in those instances when they move against us despite our most vigorous protestations… then there are ways to let government administrators, agencies, legislators know that we have rights and they must allow us to protect our rights.
    The second key – transparency!
    Evil people hate the light of truth and publicity.
    Using these tools I was able persuade the Postal Service to allow me to do what they intially fought me tooth and nail against me doing.
    I put in my time and now I have a meager government pension.
    Sadly… it is better than what most Americans have.
    Transparancy!
    Animals and humans always behave differently when they feel they are being observed and the more people observing them… the more they tend to tow the line.
    I am interested in what your feelings, or Mr. Spence’s feelings or for that matter anyone’s on this theory.
    Sincerely,
    Vincent D. Faini

  28. Hi,
    SInce I am on a roll or a rant or what ever you would call it – I like to address the subject of slavery.
    Some people feel as if we are less secure and safe today in our current socio-economic climate than in times past.
    I do not argue whether that is true or not… I suppose I am too young to know (Since I will be turning 54).
    The fact is… I have never felt secure or safe in my entire life.
    Ironically, it is not the corporations or business or the military or any employer that I have worked for that makes me feel so insecure… so vulnerable.
    No, instead I have made decisions that often not been the best for my own self-interest; or I have found that the people who should be there for each other, such as family, friends and coworkers, or even neighbors often are not.
    Most people not only do not do what they should to prepare for mishaps during insecure times, but they often will work aggressively against their own self-interest.
    I have a few theories on why this is, however, for now, let us just understand that much of life is really paint by the numbers insofar as taking care of our basic infrastructure of our personal life.
    Meaning not putting ourself in situations that find us actually forced into slavery of a nowhere job or prospects… bankrupting our time, money and emotional resources.
    If we all only realized how to save and prepare for rainy days… then we could avoid our self imposed slavery and work where we may when we may.
    Your thoughts are appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Vincent D. Faini

  29. How refreshing to encounter someone who approaches life with the same degree of cynicism that’s been a staple of my existence since I attained the age of reason. I grew up questioning the human condition and as a career public defender, attempting in some small way to improve upon it as my life’s work. There’s no doubt, the vast majority of us have been sold a bill of goods as to life’s purpose. One of my many pet-peeves begins with the concept of the 5-day work week. 5 on with 2 off? And grateful to get those 2 off so we can rest up and do it all over again on Monday? Who settled for that division of our time as some kind of reasonable way to live one’s life? Except for the upper 1% we’ve so often heard about during the past year, we’re settling for scraps and just enough of them to allow us to nourish, cloth and house ourselves. And, oh yeah, I almost forgot, just enough other “stuff” so as to convince ourselves that it’s all worth it. So, yes, the remaining 99% of us are all slaves. The argument is limited to matters of degree…

  30. The U S Supreme Court approved slavery around 1857 in the Dredd Scott case. Thus, legal prostitution has a rather sordid history in the U. S.
    Explotatiton of labor, and workers in the U S is deeply entrenched, even today, well past 1857.

  31. Does the 14th Amendment apply broadly to the Federal Government..?
    How can it, Gerry must know one sues the Federal Government and the defense of soverign immunity is applied.
    The U S Supreme Court will apply equal right notions when it issues chad rulings ti rig an election( Gore v Bush), but

  32. Slavery. are we not all slaves of one form or another. Slaves to our jobs, so that we can live, feed, and clothe our family. Slaves to our own government who place another tax on top of another until all we do is pay taxes. Are we not all slaves in our marriage,if one has honor, we married ones promised for better or worse. If the worse comes do we abandon honor and run or stay true to ones honor and stay….as promised. Are we not all slaves to a person we love. I have lost my 34 year old son who gave his life trying to save the life of one of his friends. He was my soulmate, my other half of my heart, the other half of my soul. It has been 3 and 1/2 years and I sob everyday for him and me. For him, he missed out on what it is like to be loved by his children. For me I miss him everyday. I even told my family that if God came to me and asked if I wanted to be with Spencer, knowing I would have to die to be with him, I would not hesitate. As Mr. Spence has said “death is total freedom”. God bless you Mr.Spence.

  33. The upper 1 %(by rate), of U S tax payers pay more federal taxes than the botton 90 %.
    And, a large % of people in the USA pay no federal taxes. Despite the massive trillions the Fed Gov takes in, it can’t balance its books, and runs massive deficts, yearly.
    Ironic, those paying no taxes, are branded slaves, and those paying the most taxes are the targets.
    While Uncle Sammy can’t even build a floodgate, in time, as a major U S city becomes a lake, New Orleans.
    As John Edwards(Mr trial lawyer with the Mansion), made rich/ poor his big issue, as his campaign was funneling off big booty to his video(Vanity) producer that he knocked up, and gets his campaign manager to feed the public lies.
    Gerry, that Blue Mosque in Turkey, must have really made you ponder about civilization.
    How long can a U S civilization go on with its trillion deficits ?
    Amazing the % of people in the U S who pay no taxes, and demand FREE RIDES, FREE Lunches, and free CARE, free DEALS, and FREE wheels..
    It must not be totally free, in the final impacts to a society.
    At least in Jackson Hole in the 1870′s, all those beaver furs, became part of the Astor Fortune Empire, as now all the world bankers meet in the Tetons, ever summer, the DAVOS of the Rockies.
    The biggest prostituion ring in the U S is in Washington D C, the beltway, it is on the verge of bringing the Nation to its knees, due to its lack of morals, honesty, and accountability.
    Gerry, you must be damn near, if not in that 1 %, huh ! But, then your fight against slavery must have made sure enough meat was in the storage bins for all those hard winters..

  34. Gerry, I am often astonished at your spirituality when , of course you deny that yu are religious. Indeed, your have said a person should be religiously nonreligious to be “free.” You are like most philosophers, you are constantly seeking truth, constantly questioning, trying to learn “Why am I here?” Some people find their answer with the traditional religions, which is comforting since they often meet as if they were a “tribe.” Others try to find the answer in being monastic asthetics, trying to lose themselves in the contemplation of their insignificance in the grand scheme of things. Others simply give up and lose themselves in drugs, alcohol, or other diversions. But few of us really find the answer. Some, like you, continue to seek to learn about the world and about themselves. But I wonder if we are really capable of finding the answers to the ultimate question, “Why am I here?” We can only do our best.

  35. In this equation of slave relationships that go to hard core slavery, there must be a master.
    But, who is it ?
    When the chains were visible, and the whip marks were bare to the eye to see, it was most clear.
    But, now is it the client, or the Esquire, the tribunal, or the forum, the payee, or the payor ?
    Lets, take the Marcos Empire, they enslaved the people of a Nation, robbed , and stole from the Nation’s treasury, laundered booty(big bucks) all over the world.
    Of course, they can employ, those to defend those ways.
    All, for the price of maintaining some USA military presence in the Phillipines.
    But, who paid for that: oh you did Mr and Mrs taxpayers(USA).
    Seems Blue Mosques come in different designs, and forms.
    Seems slavery has evolved to more sophiscated forms, that now another(more subtle) code word(s) are used.
    But, the master is there…. pulling the strings, and
    working the ways, to
    subjugate those who are easy targets, which is most of the citizenry.
    Recall, the Bush, address as he took the oath to be Pres:
    He said: “I want you to be a citizen, not a surf “.
    Really…..
    So, are you which, now, really what are you at this point ?
    Is this a board for the slaves to post up their latest trip down explotation lane..?

  36. So, Gerry, if you are a slave, are you a house slave, or a field slave ?

  37. Mr. Spence,
    After all these years of reading various books and articles of yours, I am still awed by how much your thinking and my thinking are a like.

    Having “said” this, I am not too sure I totally agree with you on the idea that as slaves we should accept our status as slaves and find some peace and contentment.

    Brenda, I don’t think your comment about Mr. Spence having “saved up enough meat to last thru harsh winters” as he fights against slavery is with merit. I mean, I know only Mr. Spence know his heart and his mind, but from what little I know about him, I honestly believe his sentiments on slavery would still be the same if he were a homeless person on the street. That is not to say that I don’t understand where you are coming from…because I do, but at the same time, I am not too sure that a generalization (as you have made) can be applicable to everyone that is with means (like Mr. Spence). I would be willing to bet that he wishes he could wave a wand and nature and humanity were wholesome, but he can’t…not even with all his means (and even I am making a statement that I am not too sure I have all the facts on; for all we know, he could be living paycheck to paycheck)

    Nonetheless, regardless of whether he is in the top 1% or living paycheck to paycheck. I assure you that he is trying with all his humanity to do the best he can, make sense of what he sees, and communicate with others who wish to hear (in hopes that someday we will make progress towards being a better world).

  38. Gerry, in your arguments for slavery, are they made by you as the master, or the slave. ?
    You obviously seem to be
    the captian of your own ship.
    The blessings of some form of liberty, has not escaped you. Will the surfs in the Postal Service seek you out to free ‘em from the toils and troubles that surround them, constantly, the daily grind.

  39. Gerry! Come back! I miss you!

  40. The Master whips the word through its abuse of power.
    As you may recall Gerry, at some point, Congress decreed corporations are
    “natual persons”.
    Then, those who do not see fellow humans as persons, handed over so much power to this new master.
    So, you may say Corporations do not breath, or have a pulse, or
    a unique DNA, and that master is dead(in our way of conceving), yet, the new King-Corp has an army of lawyers(from Yale, Harvard, and Ivy Law Place advancing its cause, so much so some are decreed to have no ability to have independent knowledge, and the hammer is pounded down, the court house doors are closed, slammer shut(No human standing there), and the cold winter chills our bones.
    But, we have a life cycle, but the corporation spans the gaps, and knows no limits to its manipulations, and it is able to advace its beefs endlessly, ad naseum.
    And, we watch the snow line starting in Sept creeping down the mountain, until it is on us–the first snow in the valley, as the cycle of the Sun rotates away on its axis from Earth.
    The grass will come to life in a new day, its resting period, starts down stream in time.
    And, the clock grinds on in appeals, papers, and high arguments among the black robed.( who protect the elite, powerful, and those who you say are dead).

  41. Brian:
    I am not aware that Gerry took a vow of poverty, are you ?
    I see nothing wrong if Gerry is in that 1 %, do you ?
    On having enough meat in the bin, for a hard winter, is that a problem with you ?
    One way to fight slavery is to be the Captain of ones own ship, to set a true compass.
    Mr Spence says he is a hunter, did you really read his books ?
    Mr Spence does not live in a tepee, so Mr Brian Gibson, your judgemets on
    ” merit”, are inconsitent with the facts.
    So, Gerry did not take a vow of poverty, surely you are not confusing him and Mother Terresa.
    I actually read his books,
    he is just a country lawyer,
    who can shoot straight.

  42. Brian
    I wish I could wave a wand, and presto, the world is pure as the driven snow.
    But, there is that thing human nature.
    What is it you have learned about human nature, here,
    applicabe Brian, please illuminate..

  43. Do Corporations put beef in the bin, to sustain life in the human food chain ?
    I dare say, life is a food chain, just look at the salmon coming into the bay, up the river.
    You have had him on your plate, most likely. Brian.

  44. Brian:
    Gerry can not catch salmon in Jackson Hole, he is left to select out the Elk.
    Did you not read about Spence, the Elk, and circles. ?
    Why would Spence have the same view on slavery, even if he was “homeless”,
    the proposition you put out.
    Spence has wonderful big luxury homes in Jackson Hole, and Rizy Santa Barbara.
    Your suppositions on Spence don’t hold water., they just don’t, Brian

  45. Brian, your food bin, is Safeway, or some other big super market Corporate store, even Gerry gets his
    Colonel Redenbacker popcorn there, when he has Argus over to plot tactics on the really big beefs in federal courts.

  46. Gerry:
    Gov and big corporations may not breath in Wyoming, or eat hay, or
    have a pulse, or high blood pressure, but they sure have plenty of Party cads pulling strings in Wyoming like Dick Cheney and his cabal of fixers.
    You must know that, as a Jackson Hole old timer…??

  47. Brian:
    if you thinking and Spence’s are the same, do you have houses, whose value are well over $ 5 million/ net ?
    What does Spence think about the fellow Jackson Holer, Dick Cheney, since you can read Spence’s mind ??

  48. I did not read Gerry as saying we as Americans should accept savery as some fixed status, Brian.
    I did read he had jet lag, however, after being in Turkey, and since some things happened when he was gone from America
    I am posting to set the record straight, thus mutiple postings up here, and a reply to you, since you created so many major issues.

  49. We are all now indebetd to the U S Government, who has made us slaves.
    Yet, we hear slogans, “we the people.” The large corporations long ago killed democracy. Our legacy to our children is
    surfdom.
    We the people, never tended to democracy for the common good, rather we allowed explotiation,
    to set up the means to destroy America, as it once was.
    Why, can any tell me why, without some Fox spin ?

  50. Too bad! The world only has one Gerry Spence! I’ve been reading his books and am so amazed at his brillant mind and communication extraordinare! A wise, insightful, and more caring human doesn’t exist. And do I ever know what you mean by jet lag! Mine is a twelve hour experience, and 5 days later it’s still bad. Observing people’s lives in Europe gives one a very different perspective on our American culture.It appears the people matter more than large corporations. Thank you very much, Gerry Spence!

  51. I cannot agree more with Annette. Even one more Gerry Spence would make this a better world. I have been reading his books and they have changed my life, the way I look at life and death. Thank you Gerry.
    Your friend Bill Frenette

  52. Guillermo Rivera

    Such wonderful thoughts about Gerry bring me to my mind the late Alexis Carrell about past, present and future:

    To prepare the society for tomorrow, we must first grasp the reality of today. This apprehension of reality demands a sincere and persistent effort to understand the events going on about us, not only in our own village or town but also in the nation and the world.

    No effort is more difficult. Both in Europe and in America we are all alike immersed in the lies of the radio [Television] as well as those of newspapers and books.
    The subtle techniques of propaganda have to all intents and purposes suppressed liberty of thought. We have not fully realized the humiliation and danger of this new form of slavery and we have not yet learnt how to rebel against it.

    Furthermore during catastrophic periods of history, a strange darkness always spreads over the masses as well as over their leaders. The French, for example, have not yet understood the significance of the defeat. They continue to live obstinately with the ghosts of the past in a world as unreal as a stage setting.

    The democracies of Europe and America suffer from a declining birth rate, from diminished public and private wealth and from an enormous increase of expenditure due to the war. The same symptoms were observable during the Peloponnesian War at the beginning of the decline of ancient Greece. But, just as in Greece, the causes of our decline are moral rather than political or economic. In the years before the war, the disunity and lack of patriotism of the people and the dishonesty of their leaders were no less evident in France than in Greece at the time of Demosthenes.

    It is important to understand that the principal phenomenon of our time is not universal war. Undoubtedly the last war was a formidable event in the history of Europe. It was, nevertheless, only an accident; a sharp crisis in a chronic disease, hitherto incurable, which has attacked all former civilizations at a certain point in their history.

    The danger is, therefore, extreme. Nevertheless, we have some reason to hope that history will not repeat itself for us since we possess means of knowing and acting not available to our ancestors. For the first time in the history of the world, a civilization which has arrived at the verge of its decline is able to diagnose its ills. Perhaps it will be able to use this knowledge and, thanks to the marvellous forces of science, to avoid the common fate of all the great peoples of the past. We ought to launch ourselves on this new path from this very moment.

    We are incapable, in our present state of division and confusion, of transforming our institutions all at once. Modern society is a heavy construction weighed down with all the errors of the past. At this moment we have neither the intelligence nor the strength to build up every single part of a new world. Before renewing our institutions, we must renovate ourselves and this effort of renovation can be begun here and now by anyone who chooses. It may seem absurd to believe that we, obscure as we are, should be capable of effecting the revival of our nation by a tiny individual effort. Yet a very feeble effort becomes irresistible when it is multiplied millions of times. No one should think his contribution to the common work useless, however insignificant it may seem to himself.

    Nothing is harder than to strip oneself of one’s egoism, intemperance, boorishness and laziness; of all those vices which arrest the development of our personality and make us odious to others.

    We must go untiringly repeating this extremely arduous and difficult attempt to reconstruct ourselves, with the help of physiology and psychology, until we succeed. Once we have recovered our strength and our clearness of vision, we can begin the transformation of our methods of education, our ways of life, our legislation and our government. Thus, little by little, there will develop a social environment in which the generation which succeeds us will be able to develop all the potentialities hidden in the germ plasm. It is thus that, stone by stone, the new City will come to be built.

    Life only develops to its fullest and best in appropriate conditions; conditions which society has gradually created over thousands of years. Isolated and independent man has never existed except in the imagination of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We depend entirely on other men: on those who live with us and above all on those who have preceded us. Society is composed of the dead as well as the living. Robinson Crusoe would not have survived without the help of the tools and the weapons he found. Even in his solitude, he benefited from the efforts of other men.

    The future will be what we are ourselves. It is beyond doubt that the principle of least effort, the morality of pleasure and Liberalism are in contradiction to the laws of conduct inscribed in the very structure of our body and soul. They must therefore be firmly rejected.

    What will life, as it demands to be lived, give us in exchange for the satisfaction of our sloth and our appetites? At first it will bring us effort, sacrifice and suffering like any discipline intended for the training of the mind, organs or muscles. Later it will bring us something of inestimable value; something of which those who live only for pleasure, profit or amusement will always be deprived. This peculiar, indefinable joy, which one must have felt oneself to understand, is the sign with which life marks its moment of triumph; the moment when our physical and mental activities attain the end prescribed by the order of things. It is the joy of the runner breasting the tape, of the artist before his work, of the woman hearing the first cry of her new-born child, of the scientist on the verge of a discovery, of the hero leading his people to victory, of the saint falling asleep in the peace of the Lord.

    Before those who perfectly perform their task as men, the road of truth lies always open. On this royal road, the poor as well as rich, the weak as well as the strong, believer and unbeliever alike are invited to advance. If they accept this invitation, they are sure of accomplishing their destiny, of participating in the sublime work of evolution, of hastening the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. And, over and above, they will attain all the happiness compatible with our human condition.

    The above is taken from the long out-of-print book Reflections On Life by Dr. Alexis Carrel. Published posthumously in 1950. He was a winner of the Nobel Prize, and he is best known for his Man the Unknown book, English edition.

  53. Well, Hilter loved large corporations, Beyer, etc.
    Look it up. google it, don’t take my word for it, any others… Oh wait, Germany is in Europe.
    Corporations, some are good some are bad, just like people.
    Hitler changed the way some look at life and death, and he was some great speech giver–elected, no less, spell binding.
    What is it that makes a better world ?
    Is it to see the beauty in the world and the beauty in people ? If that is there, really there..?
    Yet, some would like to strip the dignity from our lives.
    I am glad that some are inspired by Gerry, but is that “better world” some thing like a fall day, a matter in the eye of the beholder.
    One of those in the “eye of the beholder”.
    Since the subject is slavery, slave labor camps were big in places in Europe, no not in the 1600′s, but around the 1930′s-1940′s
    Gee, that was not that long, ago, in the ticking sands of time

  54. I dare say, there are, fortunately, many “Gerrys” out here, who toil tirelessly in furtherance of the same principles and goals advanced by Mr. Spence. They live there lives, however, in relative obscurity, winning small battles, here and there, in the fight for justice. In my experience, many of these warriors, given their mind-set, come unequipped to realize the profit or notoriety associated with the “business” side of this fight, saddled, for better or worse, with a personal disregard for the attainment of wealth or status. So while I am to be counted among those who have long admired Gerry Spence, let it be said, he is certainly does not constitute a one man army…

  55. … come to think of it, you might call such people “Gerry’s Kids”.

  56. Most of us,after reading the comments about slaverly are probably a little saddened and shocked. The next feelings are awareness, understanding and and a deep realization that these words are true. Then the realization that we as humans on this planet have a long road to travel before we can use the words democracy and freedom as reference to our way of life. Thank you Gerry Spence for your insight, courage and wisdom. We are all so very fortunate to read your words. Sincerely Annette Spear 10/29/2009

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