Should Slavery be Restored?

Note: This arrived in my inbox a few days ago, with a false return address. The covering note says:

“Please find attached an article which I would like to submit for publication on the Libertarian Alliance blog site.

“If you do not accept submissions, or if you think the article is rubbish, please let me know.

“Obviously the name is a pseudonym, and perhaps it is best to keep it that way.”

We do accept submissions, and the article is not rubbish – though it is rather eccentric in its conclusions. As ever, comments welcome. SIG

Should Slavery Be Restored?

By Arthur St Hugh

“Slavery will everywhere be abolished, or everywhere be reinstituted”. So opined the Virginian advocate for slavery George Fitzhugh in 1854[1]. As slavery has not everywhere been abolished should we now ask whether it should be formally restored?

The date 1807 could instead be remembered as signifying the rise of capitalism as the rival economic system to that of slavery. Whilst Thomas Carlyle would forlornly hold out for compulsory labour the British navy would attempt to enforce the abolition of the slave trade on an unwillingly world. With the conquest of the Confederate States of America capitalism would become the economic system of the West. But Carlyle’s American admirer Fitzhugh had already foreseen that slavery would have another champion in socialism. And indeed under communism slavery would be restored by the socialist. But the gulag would prove to be short lived because industrialisation made large scale slavery inefficient and economically unnecessary.  However, while the latifundia of  the Southern States and the kolkhozy of the USSR no longer exist, slavery, at a smaller economic scale, not only continues to exist but is now making inroads into the capitalist heartlands of the West.

And what is the definition of slavery: bondage, servitude, exploitation, compulsion, dependence, obligation? – but these are by degree present in all forms of economic life. Perhaps for some people the definition is that which would see a difference between the institution of slavery – formalised, regulated, legally enshrined – and non-institutionalised slavery. But this is a deception, albeit a psychologically powerful one. Where there is the institution of slavery people fool themselves into believing they too might be enslaved, whereas where there is no such institution people fool themselves into believing that they are not enslaved. Perhaps it is the institution of slavery which generates the fear of slavery, rather than slavery itself?

If there can be no certainty as to what slavery actually is we can be certain that there are slaves and that it seems that nowadays there are three types: those used for sexual purposes, those used for domestic work, and those used for light-industrial work.

Women and children are routinely bought and sold across countries and continents, it has been unremarkable for decades. The League of Nations in the 1920s would acknowledge the matter but international organisations have proved incapable of stopping international slavery. Sexual exploitation could well be the most predominant form of slavery, both for women and children according to The Centre for Social Justice’s 2013 report It Happens Here[2]. Prostitution cannot be stopped because of the nature of man, but it can have the appearance of being controlled and regulated – and then taxed. There has been a move to redefine prostitutes as ‘sex workers’, to make it a job like any other, thus making the trade acceptable. Regulating prostitution reassures conscientious male punters that their whore has made a job choice rather than has been trafficked, in the same way that the conscience of those concerned about the environment is salved by the phrase ‘responsibly sourced’ on a tin of tuna.

Whilst Western males’ use of sex slaves is generally in the form of prostitutes, Asian males also partake of them in the form of concubines and it is this market which will grow exponentially this century due to sex-selective abortion. Gender imbalance will make the need for concubines an imperative; as Asia demands so Europe will supply. But, this is not a geographical phenomenon. Sex-selective abortion is clearly practiced by immigrants to Britain as the Lost Girls report by The Independent showed[3].  Whose girls then will fill the place of these ‘lost girls’? The phenomenon of  ‘Asian paedophile grooming’ in Britain (the word Asian invariably being used by the media to refrain from indicating that the colonists are from Pakistan) would seem to be an expression of the demand for concubines rather than an expression of an unnaturally high level of paedophilia; and paedophilia is here ill-defined with the British media’s definition of paedophilia in contrast to Sharia law relating to puberty. Pakistan features in the top ten countries for slavery according to the Global Slavery Index 2013[4]; it would seem logical to conclude that some colonists from Pakistan are simply replicating in Britain the practices of their homeland.  Considering the profits to be made from this unquenchable demand for concubines the question is will the Government demand a cut? The machinery is already in place: the public accept without demur that children may be taken from parents by social workers and put ‘into care’; who cares what their fate is thereafter?

Servants remained in use in Britain long after slavery officially ended, and their image is in enshrined in popular television series such as Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey.  Real life servants came to offend the left’s notion of egalitarianism, but foreigners are not afflicted with such bourgeois feelings of guilt. The preference though seems to be for children rather than for grown-ups in costumes. For the British nowadays children are idlers watching online porn and binge drinking, but in Africa, for example, children are put to profitable use. The International Labour Organisation in its 2013 report Marking Progress Against Child Labour noted that the “risk of child labour is highest for children in sub-Saharan Africa, where one child in every five is in child labour.”[5] As with  ‘Asian paedophile grooming’ it would seem that the use of domestic child labour in Britain is merely reflecting the normal economic practices of the homelands of the immigrants; as indeed  The Centre for Social Justice accepts this “form of exploitation can reflect cultural practices in a wide range of countries”[6] and that “domestic chores and beatings may have been the norm in their home country”[7]. The report also recognised that “domestic servitude represents a labour market that is out of sight and predominantly beyond regulation”[8] . Yet despite this difficulty the solution proposed is to expend tax payers money without end on various means to ‘safeguard’ immigrant children. In the near future though could there be elected a Government which acknowledges the reality of the cultural diversity it preaches and simply accepts the norms and demands of the immigrants?

If the thought of children being used as slaves occasionally causes a morality spasm amongst Western do-gooders, sweatshops prove to be more problematic, not least because Western consumers are indebted for their low priced goods to low paid workers. Sweatshops are an essential part of some countries’ economy, and Bangladesh is invariably given as the atypical example.  Do-gooders have called for improved rights for sweatshop workers, but perhaps War on Want[9] and others have missed the point. For the globalists sweatshops are recognised as a necessity to be extolled. The journalist Alex Massie commenting on the matter stated that sweatshops have been “a force for good”[10]. Having already relocated a proportion of their population here then surely it follows that we should welcome these ‘forces for good’ being relocated here as well? The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report Forced Labour in the UK (2013) noted there was “concern about the overall direction of travel for labour markets in the UK”[11], that “some migrants appear willing to accept exploitative and abusive employment” and that this “can lead to a downward spiral where everything is acceptable as long as those who are employed accept it”[12]. However, acceptance might be obtained by force, but such “forced labour is difficult to detect”[13]. The report recognises as a key factor a “significant migrant workforce with which to fill low end work” and that “the availability of migrant workers has not simply resulted in open work slots being filled readily, but more fundamentally that is has changed work and labour market dependencies “[14]. It  is that fundamental change which should be kept in mind.

For the left the issue of slavery can be ‘resolved’ by the application of international laws and human rights  – by which is meant regulation. The free movement of slaves has been made easier by the promotion of mass movement of people for economic ‘development’, as overseen by the UN and partners such as the Global Migration Group and the Global Forum on Migration and Development. This makes even the appearance of the slave trade impossible to defeat as it was in the 19th century. Seeking to address the issue with the ‘protection’ of ‘human rights’  is in effect to accept the slave trade, but to regulate it, to make human bondage humane as it were. The ruling elite are just  being plain pernickety in claiming a distinction between trafficked workers and migrated workers, however they get here it is still the capitalisation of human beings.

The mainstream politicians are committed to the idea that population growth is essential to economic growth; who can doubt the simplistic logic that more people means more investors, more consumers and more output? A declining birth rate under this theory means recourse to immigration. Add to that the scarcity of labour theory, whereby increasing population does not equate to an increase in those labouring, means immigration with end (a circular argument)[15]. Politicians are also wedded to the idea that immigrants by virtue of being immigrants bring economic benefits. The positive argument for immigrants is they reinvigorate the economy by providing innovation to start up new businesses to replace the existing businesses  – in other words Joseph Schumpeter’s ‘creative destruction’. The negative argument is that immigrants are necessary because they do the work no one else will do – which is precisely what slaves do. From the perspective of dynamics, however, there must then be a certain number of immigrants necessary to put the emphasis on the creative part of creative destruction; and what would happen if that number were exceeded, would capitalism then tilt towards destruction? Malthus had previously noted that the “wage of labour will always be regulated by the proportion of the supply to the demand” and forewarned that the “number of labourers  also being above the proportion of work in the market, the price of labour must tend to fall”. Immigration economic theory would have that mass immigration depresses the price of labour and thus makes slavery uneconomical. However, this is – ironically – stymied by the promotion of labour rights and the welfare state which means that the price of labour can never bottom out, thus leaving an increasing margin of profit in slavery. Liberals have unthinkingly parroted socialists in denouncing those who criticise immigration as ‘racist’ rather than considering immigration in economic terms; perhaps it is an example of what Hayek described as “economophobia”? Whilst New Labour’s policy of mass immigration can be viewed as an attempt at voter replacement perhaps what should be asked is did Labour’s open door immigration policy tilt the balance in Schumpeter’s process of creative destruction and create a fundamental change in the nature of the labour market? Whether done so with that aim in mind or inadvertently can be debated, but Schumpeter himself believed that capitalism would destroy itself and be replaced by socialism.

What no one seems to have factored in is the immigrants themselves. They are imported to bolster the capitalist economy but no one seems to have thought that they might be more than just economic units and instead have cultures of their own. Importing immigrants en masse means importing their cultures en masse, and in some cases that has clearly included a preference for, acceptance or toleration of, slavery. Mass immigration creates colonies where these cultures can live and grow. What goes without saying it that politicians have been shy to admit their responsibility for this.  New Labour’s policy of mass immigration in itself purposively changed the equilibrium in the market to the detriment of the working class, whilst at the same time uncontrolled immigration and multicultural toleration has brought in slavers and slave-owners as well as the enslaved. Joined together these two elements might well create an environment conducive to the formal restoration of slavery. With the unions seemingly following the British working class in turning their back on Labour, and with Labour seemingly entirely reliant on migrant voters some of whom are slavers, slave-owners or those who otherwise profit from slavery, can we perhaps see a time, not long hence, when the new Labour Party becomes the old Southern Democrats? For the far-left this is an inevitability if they hold
to the Marxian view that the superstructure of society reflects the substructure of the economy – and, dare we say it, maybe this development is welcomed by them? Slavery has become a factor of production in the British economy, how it is managed is the question.

The Government seeks to enact in 2014 a Modern Slavery Bill[16] (why the addition of the word Modern? Does it mean we can look forward to Post-Modern Slavery?). This will introduce ‘Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders’ – ASBOs for the overseers – and an Anti-Slavery Commissioner (has calling such appointees ‘tsars’ gone out of fashion?). But an anti-slavery act which merely seeks to criminalise the effects but disregards the causes of slavery is nothing but a sermon from the pulpit, well-meaning, but irrelevant. And undoubtedly it will end in compromise, just as the Government compromised over Sharia law, tolerating Sharia courts in return for the creation of sukuks, just as it compromised over genital mutilation of children, campaigning against it for females but endorsing it for males. Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary has recently commented, some “minority communities” police themselves[17].  Can we really be certain then that the Modern Slavery Act will apply to those parts of Britain where other British laws no longer apply?

Slavery has returned to Britain, should it now be formally reinstituted – with appropriate ‘safeguards’ ands ‘rights’ for the slaves of course? For some people, perhaps even for many, the reinstitution of slavery will be a moral dilemma. But the decision to reinstitute slavery will not be based on moral considerations because that is not how bankers and politicians think, rather it will be an adjustment to reflect the new economic situation created by unlimited immigration in tandem with the democratic desire of the politicians to represent the values of the ‘new communities’. The Modern Slavery Bill may tackle the excesses of slavery, but its only effect is, as the UN already does, to make a distinction between what is and what is not acceptable: we all know that plantation whips and gulag starvation should have no place in the global economic agenda for the 21st century, don’t we?

After 1807 English liberals were able to use the ships of the British Empire to curtail slavery, irrespective of the wishes of the world. Now that Britain is no longer free and great, merely “a small island no one pays any attention to”, the world can not only return to slavery irrespective of the wishes of the liberals, but can even do so in the liberals’ own country. Based on current trends, it seems that English liberals will shortly be watching in impotence as slave marts are erected across the British Isles.

[1] Sociology of the South; or The Failure of Free Society p53

[4] The Global Slavery Index 2013: Pakistan

[5] The International Labour Organisation: Marking Progress Against Child Labour (2013) p3

[6]  It Happens Here p41

[7]  Ibid p44

[8]  Ibid p41

[10] Alex Massie “In Praise of Sweatshops” The Spectator blog 26 April 2013

[11] The Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Forced Labour in the UK (2013) p81

[12] ibid p83

[13] Ibid p5

[14] Ibid p11

[15] The ‘orthodox’ economics of immigration was exemplified by the American economist Julian L Simon

[16] Home Office: Draft Modern Slavery Bill December 2013

12 responses to “Should Slavery be Restored?

  1. This is most interesting.
    Of course, if it was not for socialism having come into being in the 1800s – shortly after England criminalised slavery the world over – then there might even by now be no slaves of any kind on the planet.

    The rise of the GramscoFabiaNazis correlates rather well with the gradual creeping-fungus of modern slavery.

    I’m not going to mince my words any more about these ghastly people, who will simply have to go.

  2. gerrydorrian66

    A very interesting and thought-provoking polemic – thank you for publishing it.

  3. The main problem I have is that the author is largely basing his thesis on the assumption that the definitions of slavery, and numbers of purported “slaves” promoted by organisations like the CSJ and Rowntree mob are reliable.

    Broadly speaking, particularly the matter of so-called “sex slaves” what we have is an almost identical repetition of the “white slave panic” of almost precisely a century ago, and it seems to be similarly constructed from stuff and nonsense and an assumption that any migrant (sex) worker, or indeed any native one, is in some degree of slavery.

    Very high numbers of slaves are claimed to exist, but mysteriously the authorities never seem to know of any specific ones; articles by Fraser Nelson on behalf of the CSJ (Iain Duncan’s Smith’s vanity charity) in the Telegraph recently have described curious situations involving migrants involved in the drug trade and lapses of detail suggesting either incompetence or dishonesty; describing 18 and 19 year olds as “children” to imply infants and waifs in dire straits, describing said “children” disappearing back into slavery (when the BBC report of them has them attending repeated court appearances for compensation etc) and describing, oddly, that unless held in “secure facilities”, the freed slaves keep escaping. The slavery promoters have recently been so desperate as to cause a great flap about “slaves” in Brixton, only for us to find they were remnant 1970s Maoists from a commune; the story having subsequently gone remarkably quiet.

    And meanwhile, we are regaled with a bizarre tale- which amounts to an urban legend- of a wandering tribe of enslaved pubescent waifs who wander from sports event to sports event like the children of Israel.

    So I’m not entirely sure we should run with the premise of the article.

  4. Slavery for everyone who votes for Welfare Statism — an idea whose time has come! ;-)

  5. George Fitzhugh was an admirer of both slavery and socialism – and an enemy of Northern (and British) “capitalists” and their so called wage-slavery.

    Like Rousseau (a century before – and the Abbe de Mably who inspired Rousseau) George Fitzhugh believed that voluntary employment for cash wages was evil, and that forced work for the collective was good – because (as we are all part of the collective) then we would all be “slaves without masters”.

    On balance (and all things considered) I believe the best (or least bad) answer to George Fitzhugh and his slave owning (“down with capitalism!”) friends and their desire to expand into the West (indeed to control the whole world) may, perhaps, be to send General Sherman to blow them all to Hell.

    If George Fitzhugh and his friends were content to stay in their own slave utopia I would NOT support war against them – it is their desire to expand slavery (into the West, hence “Bleeding Kansas”, into to the whole world) that makes war against them inevitable – and better war when they cover only a small part of the surface of the world, than a large part of the surface of the world.

    The “Slave Power” must try to expand – because people (following what Rousseau called “the will of all” rather than the noble “General Will” of the “Lawgiver” – or what Marxists call “false consciousness”) keep trying to escape – they do not understand that slavery is “good” and keep trying to get away – so the Slave Power must seek to take over the places they might flee to.

    The Islamic factor…..

    Islamic theology has historically been pro slavery – this goes back to the Koran and the hadiths (the sayings of Mohammed) and the practical example of Mohammed (who, unlike Jesus, was an enslaver, someone who made free people slaves, kept slaves, and traded in slaves).

    It is quite true that Muslims do NOT regard Mohammed as divine – but they do seem him as a person whose example is to be followed in all mattered (therefore hope that Islam will ever adopt a strong anti slavery position would appear to be a vain hope).

    It would be as if modern Southerners regarded General N. B. Forest (like Mohammed a military commander of genius and someone of considerable personal charm) to be an example to be followed in all things.

    General Forest had been a slave overseer before the war (i.e. not some remote owner who did not understand the reality of slavery – but someone who laid on the whip with his own hands), killed all black United States soldiers who came into his hands during the war (“they never tried to surrender to me”) and founded the KKK after the war.

    In reality modern Southerners do NOT look to General Forest as a role model – they look (if they look to that generation at all) to General Lee and General “Stonewall” Jackson (both men who had, if anything, a hostile attitude to slavery – but considered they had to fight on the side of their own neighbours against invaders).

    Sadly the same can not be said of the forces of Islam – Mohammed is the role model that Muslims are told to emulate.

  6. Too lazy to read it, but as Ian B. indicates, the sex-trade was one of those exaggerated moral panics, where genuine cases turned out to be very few…

    IMO, all the good things in life such as love, respect, belonging, morality, virtue and most importantly – empathy; come out of sharing and exchanging resources. But when Group A can draw resources from Group B without reciprocation, using the biggest gang in town (the State) then things become problematic. Group A will quickly forget where its resources really come from and can totally dismiss Group B. Should a member of Group B have the ‘audacity’ to complain about their predicament – then members of Group A can easily club together and shame them into silence. Consequently, Group A becomes more immature, selfish, entitled, narcissistic and degenerate. The smaller or more marginalised Group B becomes – the easier it is to ignore it and justify its exploitation – no matter how valuable its production is. Well that’s democracy in action for you.

    Good examples of Group A would be:
    State workers/make-workers
    crony capitalists (crapitalists)
    single moms.

    Good examples of group B would be:
    Members of the traditional working class (especially male ones – as ALL females have intrinsic social and mate value; rooted in biology).

  7. I wrote an article on the Sex industry and interviewed an individual who wanted to be referred to as a sex worker –

  8. Dear Mr St Hugh

    Socialism is slavery. Socialism treats people as livestock: human livestock are slaves.
    Slavery has never been abolished. Taxation is a politer form of part-time slavery. This is not enough for the powers that like to think they be, hence the introduction of community service orders, a form of gulag light which will become heavier with time.

    Wholesale slavery is alive and well. The peoples of the United Kingdom have been sold to the EU for an undisclosed sum, but which will include for the sellers, their friends and relations, powerful positions with lavish salaries, expenses, low taxes, tax free exclusive shopping, dachas in the very best parts of the EU, Zil lanes and to go abroad on the few remaining flights.

    Many classed as slaves by those who have too much time on their hands and must therefore invent problems to be solved, are the envy of their contemporaries back home. However dire their circumstance by those who judge them here, it is many times better than the situation back home – here they have running water, electricity and no water- or insect-borne diseases. Though they are deemed to be ‘exploited’ in Western eyes, when they send money home it magics into 10, 20 or even 100 times its UK value in local purchasing power. Who is exploiting whom?

    Slavery never went away at government level. At the retail level, your question is in effect: would I like to be a slave? To which my answer is no.


  9. Julie near Chicago

    Definition of slavery: The subjugation by force, fraud, or other coercion of one mentally capable man by another. To enslave a person is to force, deceive, or extort him to act in accordance with the enslaver’s demands, rather than acting according to his own uncoerced will.

    Not that hard. But this:

    “And what is the definition of slavery: bondage, servitude, exploitation, compulsion, dependence, obligation? – but these are by degree present in all forms of economic life.”

    completely muddles the issue, because a healthy society does not accept that moral judgments apply to the fact of nature that makes it necessary to produce if one would eat. To contract freely to spend x hours per day doing whatever the boss says, does not enslave one in any moral sense, because one is always free to turn down the contract in the first place (even if he would necessarily starve to death without it — unlikely though that might be) and one is also in fact free to break the contract, although it might be wrong of one to do so.

    (We do talk about how we’re “slaves” to this and that. For instance the pianist Reisenauer said he was a slave to his piano, meaning that he played compulsively even when there was no need for the playing nor pleasure in doing it. Or one is a “slave” of the circumstance that one must work in order to get the wherewithal to buy food. But such usages are purely metaphorical, and aren’t intended to be taken as slavery in the moral sense.)

    . . .

    A prostitute is not necessarily a slave. He or she may choose to role-play a “sex slave” for fun or profit. But the fact that he or she has decided to provide sexual gratification to others on his or her own terms, for pay as freely agreed to by both parties, does not in any way suggest that he or she is an actual, as opposed to a metaphorical, slave.

  10. Technically speaking taxation is not slavery – it is extortion. “If you earn any money I want my cut – but you are free to stave to death if you wish”.

    Not that extortion is a good thing……

    • Depends on the context. You are still legally obliged to pay council tax in my city even if you have no income or savings.

  11. Julie near Chicago

    Good point, Paul. Although now you given me a very nice semantic problem at which to nibble.

    For if you face domination by someone else unless you submit to the demands of the extortioner, you’re in the position where EITHER way you’re subject to the demands of the extortioner, i.e. you’ve lost your autonomy (right of self-determination) to the extent of the demands of the extortioner.

    So I’d say that certainly extortion is not slavery, any more than (say) kidnapping is slavery. The words refer to different concepts. But the fact is that extortion puts one in the position of being enslaved if one gives in to the demands. If and while one is resisting the demands, one is in the position of refusing to submit to slavery as such.

    Here endeth the analysis for now. Thousands cheer!

    Thanks, Paul.