Why you are a slave

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I am afraid that it is my unpleasant duty to inform you that you may be a slave.

by managing editor David Donovan

You may own a rather large plasma TV, be able to afford a bang-up dinner at an excellent restaurant and live in a rather nice house – that you are paying off to the bank – but you may still be a slave.

You may have a BMW sitting in your three car garage, drink French champagne every night, or go yachting on the weekend — but still, you may be a slave.

If you owe a bank money – and need to keep making money to keep them from taking away your life — then you are a slave.

I know quite a lot about slavery — I used to work in investment banking.

And the truth is — most of us are slaves.

We are slaves because we work in jobs we hate — that we never dreamed of doing in our childhood, but do now only to make ends meet.

We are a slaves — because every day a customer – or our boss – tells us what to do and we meekly acquiesce — even though we know they’re wrong.

We are slaves — because we can’t quit, because to lose our job may very well mean we’ll lose the house we – and maybe our spouse and kids – live in.

We’re slaves — because we dream of retirement, but continue to do whatever the hell it is we're doing — and it doesn’t make us happy.

We’re slaves — because we meekly accept the way things are, without ever questioning whether they're the way they really need to be.

The free market, to me, does not seem so free. When we go to work each day and cower before our corporate superiors and cringe beneath or banking masters — then it ain’t so free.

The first way to become free is not to owe our corporate overlords any money. Once that happens, they lose much of their power. The next step is to work for a person – maybe yourself – and not a multinational.

I have three other rules, developed through a lifetime of being a corporate slave, but who slipped out of their steely grasp — for now at least:

  1. No human being is better than any another — subservience to others, for any reason, is wrong.

  2. Our aim as a species is not to consume — increasing consumption can only end in species extinction, unless we can find other worlds to devour.

  3. Money, in itself, is meaningless — when you die, rewarding recollections are all that will really matter.

  4. When I say that you are a slave, I don't mean it —  you know that you are not a slave — at least not completely.

    You have a mind, and you have a voice, and you still have the right to consider the way things are — and the way they should be.

    Consider a world where there were no more slaves.

    If we all did what we enjoyed — wouldn't the world thrive?

    Maybe satisfaction, rather than money, should be what we all should value most.

    You are not a slave.

    Not if you don't want to be.

    Creative Commons Licence
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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