Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gettin' Free

There's an historical day coming up on August 21st, one which commemorates the 175th anniversary of a bloody uprising led by enslaved individuals with little or no hope of winning their freedom. On August 21st, 1831 a man named Nat Turner led slaves from his plantation and others, in revolt. There was virtually no chance that Mr. Turner and his compatriots were going to win, the best they could hope for was vengeance upon their masters and those who supported them. It was a bloody moment in history that brought a number of things to light. The pointed hopelessness and helplessness of the slaves was brought to out for the world to see. The uprising also made it abundantly clear that there were people who would rather be dead than enslaved.

Nat Turner was left with few avenues in his bid for vengeance. Escape to freedom was unlikely, as there were few places for a large group of escaped slaves to go. When there is no place safe to run to, bloody vengeance or continued servitude are often the only recourse one has and things have not changed so terribly much in the intervening years. Lincoln waged his war and claimed a victory wherein the "slaves" were freed and even tho the plantations as we know them are gone the people of America are only slightly more free than those poor souls who were kept shackled in bondage by their old world slave masters.

Despite the platitudes mouthed by people in this country concerning their freedoms and liberty, we are in reality not quite so free as they would have us believe and the new slavery cuts across all boundaries of race, creed, education and political belief. No longer does the American slave work the fields, farms and plantations of the antebellum world. The new masters of the American slave are government, corporations, religious institutions, companies and....their fellow slaves, as usual.

The slavery is obvious to many of us, but we tend to sugar coat things so as not to offend or be taken the wrong way. I'm crotchety, I just don't give a hoot any more if someone becomes offended because I choose to point out the facts. If you work for a corporation they own you in any number of ways. They control your ability to obtain the necessities of life, such as food and shelter. Without the scrip, provided by yet another master of ours, you cannot obtain anything unless it is through "illegal" means. Many of the corporations folks work for control significant portions of their lives outside of work, via qualifications for insurance and "employment" and they use fear as their greatest motivator to produce. That is the hallmark of a master/slave relationship.

The greater master - the government, owns significant amounts of your life, around 1/3 for a large majority of people and this includes the poor, as well. Through their taxation they reclaim the scrip they issue to you and with it they take back a portion of your life and you can never reclaim it. Like the corporate and company masters they also use fear as their motivator, their only carrot is that they might leave you alone, if you're lucky.

Try to avoid allowing the government any claim on your servitude and you'll likely be demoted from house slave to field slave or even worse. Massah may let us run around unchained for the most part, but you get uppity and those chains can and will be slapped back on you in a heartbeat. If you don't believe it just ask one of the 192,000 +/- people currently in chains, all of whom will be "branded" once they are released and relegated to the fields, once more. It's a sad state of affairs and there is seemingly little we can do about it, other than keep our heads down or run away to the hinterlands and hope they never find us.

Even today that flight to freedom is fraught with danger and those who would return you to the clutches of your master. Some are employed by our masters, some are simply people who make their living returning escapees to their former lives of servitude. Others are seemingly well meaning people who wish to be overseers and gather some of the power of the masters unto themselves, justifying it as an attempt to give us a little more freedom, rather than freeing us entirely. They call it incrementalism, as opposed to 98% slavery. Others are spiritual leaders, telling their adherents that they should render unto Caesar that which is his and wait for a better situation after death, forgetting all the while that Caesar wishes all of their Earthly and material wealth, leaving just enough for subsistence in many cases, (especially amongst those who can afford it least).

The first step to finding a solution often lies in identifying the to take a look with me? Maybe we can find a way of gettin' free from the masters and the Liberty Jihadist's.

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original_author said...

Michael said...

Two people on the same page...that's a start.