Yes, all of us, the living, are indentured in some form of slavery. A few slaves are better off than most. In the slavery of the old South the house slaves lived closest to the master and shared some of his comforts not known to the wretched slaves who labored in the fields. The field foreman, who were also slaves, wielded whips they laid on the backs of fellow slaves. But slavery, not poverty, is the universal life-taking force that is suffered by the rich and the poor, by the boss and the CEO who, as slaves, lay their economic and emotional whips on the backs of the worker slaves.
The master, the corporate power structure, has an insidious, built-in guarantee against reform, one that preserves the master’s perpetual power. The rich slave exploits the poor slave. The rich slave often accumulates hundreds, even thousands of times more wealth than the poor slave — usually from the sweat and toil of the poor slave. To justify his excesses, the rich slave proclaims he has worked harder and is self-made, while the poor slave is said to be irresponsible, lazy or stupid and entitled to what he earns which is often a mere pittance. By reason of his self interest, the rich slave refuses to recognize and renounce his own slavery and to join the poor slave in a mutual quest for freedom. Instead, the rich slave will fight for the master, the said corporate power structure, against his poorer brothers and sisters. But a few rich slaves are beginning to realize that riches do not provide freedom. Riches create only a different genre of slavery.
I say the master is dead because the corporation does not breathe, nor love, nor feel. Our life’s breaths can be counted, and to contribute our limited breaths for the greed of a dead master is monstrous at best. And slavery itself is a form of death. Yet slaves can be taught to embrace nearly any degradation, any dehumanizing condition – to love it, fight for it and to die for it, even with gratitude. The means by which the dead master achieves its infinite power over us is called propaganda. Our masters own the airways we listen to, the television channels we watch and the newspapers we read. Our masters are masters at propaganda and mercilessly bombard us with false messages of our freedom during all of our lives.
As a consequence we good and obedient slaves, rich or poor, believe down to our toenails that we are free. We have embraced this fable since we were first able to understand the simplest ideas. We, as children, have been taught that we are a nation of free people that provides liberty and justice and equal opportunity for all. By the time we have become adults we innocently laud this false freedom, and in its name we become free only to impose all nature of pain and misery on the poorer slaves who themselves have come to believe they are inferior by reason of their inability to acquire their fair share of the promised life. And we support evil wars against other slaves in other lands in the name of their freedom but which wars, in the end, are fought by our children who bleed and die to enrich our master.
Our dead master continues to exist long after we and our children are gone. The insanity of it is that the corporate master, although dead, enjoys an eternal life and continues to educate generation after generation of slaves who believe they are free. And the master continues to profit as long as we believe we are free – so long as we fail to realize that rich or poor we are slaves together .
So how then do we speak to each other as slaves? Ought we not speak to each other out of deep respect, out of a love for our brothers and sisters? Are we not best able to understand the pain of slavery of the poorest of our brethren having experienced degrees of its overarching pain ourselves? Ought not our servitude cause us to care for one another in ways we have not considered before?
Now, dear friends, I am seeking a dialogue. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how to lawfully confront and overcome the slave master and to provide liberty and justice for all, as is the promise of our constitution. Give this careful consideration in your concise responses here. Let us speak to each other out of our caring, with at least as much caring as we would offer a captured bird in a cage with a broken wing who is yet able to sing.