Blog # 147 SLAVERY, A PERIENNIAL REDUX

In mid-April of every year, people of Jewish ethnos, institutionally recall the departure of the ancient Hebrews from Egypt, in their escape from servitude, as described in the well-known literature of the Bible (“Exodus”). A prominent feature of the holiday observance is the traditional meal (Seder) in which symbolic foods are employed in the recounting of the event, i.e., bitter herbs, slavery, and a sweet dish, freedom from bondage .It is an important  tenet of the observance that as long as slavery exists anywhere, no man is truly free.

Slavery may be described as a system or practice in which the concept of property and property ownership is applied to human beings, such that they may be purchased, owned, bartered and sold in the manner of business equipment or chattels.  It is truly discouraging to learn that the practice of slavery in this modern age still continues, and as reported, includes upwards of 21million souls.

The dynamics associated with slavery is such that the slave himself is dehumanized and exists for the sole purpose of furnishing unpaid labor for his owner (farm, mine or industrial). He is kept alive by the minimal subsistence required to keep him alive and working.

In 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Dred Scott case, proclaimed as the law of the land, that black people could never be citizens but were, eternally, property. This decision, famously penned by Judge Teney, {bless his compassionate  heart} was shortly thereafter criticized as the worst decision ever rendered by that august Court.

Inarguably, classic slavery is an anathema to virtually every American citizen, although, reportedly, is still in minimal (sub rosa) practice in the United States, particularly with reference to illegal aliens. It would seem to us that, in this day and age, the inability or refusal, of the slave holder to identify with the slave as a fellow human being, is sociopathic and perversely evil.

The right to live free and to develop one’s individual persona and identity, as well as the opportunity to strive for a fulfilling and enhanced life, is the natural portion of every member of the human species. There are instances however, short of traditional slavery, which would qualify for inclusion within the   ambit of improper servitude. These include marriages featuring co –dependency and those where physical or emotional abuse is regularly and voluntarily endured. Other servitudes or impediments to freedom of choice and action occurs as the unfortunate result of alcohol or drug abuse, adherence to extreme political or strict religious dogma, and those living the hopeless and unfulfilling life of ignorance. In many of these instances, life enhancement may possibly be attainable as applicable, through counseling and therapy, medical treatment, and where possible, enlightenment.

The theft of another’s freedom far exceeds the most egregious act of grand larceny which, at its worst is a crime involving property, a felony under the criminal law. The theft of another person’s independent right to live his life is no less than unspeakably evil and an unforgivable offense against nature.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Literature Student and enthusiast.

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