27 februarie 2018

4.The technological cause for replacing classical slavery with the wage subordination

The references to slavery evolution from antiquity to the present 4.The technological cause for replacing classical slavery with the wage subordination

This entry continues the precedent one: 
Pentru varianta in limba romana clic aici   

The classical slavery was recently abolished in history, little more than a century ago. However, I have previously shown that its abolition did not happen at once, but gradually. The establishment of Christianity as an official religion in the state involved replacing classical slavery with the feudalism free slavery. This was a masked slavery in the sense that the middle age subordinate (usually called serf or free peasant) had to fulfill some orders from the master to be allowed living. And the unpaid working days for the land owner use or the taxes to it, as he claimed every right over all the proximate lands, are rather signs of the slavery transformation but not its eradication in fact. Living on these lands implies the payment of a certain tribute to the "owner". The difference from classical slavery sequestration inside the work place is not as big as it may seem. Just like the classical slave , the "free" medieval peasant / serf was not also allowed to live normally in the lands of Europe.

The Christian morality profoundly rejected the classical slavery, just as it did to the interest-bearing loan. For this reason, it has very rare found in Europe in the post-Constantinian period, as well as the usury. These practices have been exceptions tolerated by the lack of tools to completely eradicate. For this reason the 19th century classical slavery in Europe was much more restricted than the Greco-Roman one. It was practiced only in high status families and for more delicate work than the ancient ones. The European economy was already sustained by the agricultural feudalism "free" peasants and the industrial age "free" workers. However, throughout the Europe, the disgust for the classical slavery was already widespread among the lower classes.

In the Americas things were different; the economy was totally classical slave based because there was not a classical civilization period social experience. The native populations discovered by Europeans in the "new world" had a primitive-ancient culture. In addition, the new masters of the Americas have imported massive slaves from Africa. These were the pre-classic mentality people (called barbarians), incapable of rioting and association to organize themselves. They were not revolted on the slavery social system, when were recruited as slaves, because they did not know a better one. But, exactly as in the ancient European slaves’ case, the non-Europeans have come to the same depressive form psychopathological problems after several generations. Later, they too came to revolt. Finally, the classical slavery was banned by law, initially peacefully in Europe, and then as a result of the famous North-South war in the US.

But, although it was claimed to be a moral war for the slaves’ freedom, yet its main stake was not a moral base. The moral issue was used as a pretext to begin and continue it. In this case, having the morality and the profit with the same interest of the classical slavery abolishing was a happy coincidence. In fact, it is known that in the field of business the morality is a very weak tendency ... Simply, the US Nordic industry has noticed that former fugitive slaves from the South were much profitable than the local laborers. The "freedom" spreading among the Southern slaves was just bait that would cause them a cultural shock, as great as the one experienced by their ancestors once deported from Africa. So this war was, in fact, one of transforming them from classical slaves into wage slaves.

This social mutation was due to the emergence of the industrial era, beginning with the Renaissance and consolidated in the eighteenth century. It consisted in automating the work generally made by the classical slaves. These jobs were taken over by the automatic devices so that the classical slavery had to redefine according to the new economic demands.

Since then, the technological automation, the production lines and the devices have produced a huge economic revolution in western civilized society. If we compare the over 100 horsepower engine cars of the modern era with the vehicles tracked by horses of the classical era, then we can form a vision of the role of the higher profit that replaced the horse by the cars. This is the most important reason for replacing the classical slavery. By controlling the machines, an industrial or digital worker manages to do the same work done by a group of classical slaves in agriculture, much more quickly and alone.

But all these benefits came with a dark side. A new type of pressure was placed behind the slavers and slaves owners: the subliminal pressure. The classical slavery simply threatened: "Execute the orders or be punished in case of refusal!". The modern industrial subordination uses a more diffuse threatens, but even more cynical: "Leave conservatism and fatalism! Become more active! Become more educated and skilful with the new work tools! Whoever does not keep up will be thrown into the garbage."

The main stake was the higher profit. Here is how, at that moment, the paths of morality and profit have separated once again; the industrial mentality changed the classical form of slavery into a deceivingly free exchange working on money. The classical slavery practiced by certain "social old-fashioned" people was not seen by the new opportunists as a bastion of immorality, as the moralists saw it. It was seen as a "human resources" wasting that could be more productive than focused on the classical agriculture. Besides that, those classical jobs had begun to be replaced by automatic devices. They were much faster and, therefore, more profitable.

By releasing from the classical slavery, the modern order takers have been systematically deceived that have climbed to a superior social stage. They became like the slavers supervisors in the classical slavery. From being the last on the hierarchy scale orders transmission they reached the penultimate stage; they have become machines supervisors. They learned to use the steering wheel, the lever, the mouse, and various other buttons, just as their predecessors used the whip or different weapons to make them work harder and more profitable in the past. There has been thus a social level rising.

The old slaves "liberation" by the classical slavery abolition was in fact an evolution of it towards two new qualities specific to both the industrial and the contemporary digital era. The first is to train the classic slave to handle industrial or, more recently, digital machines. Working with these machines is much more complex than working with the classical slavery rudimentary tools in agriculture. Their handling requires creativity, solutions found at the moment and, therefore, it brings also stress. Because of this, the modern order takes can no longer carry out a sustained work for a period of time equivalent to the daylight, such as the classical slaves. They only could do the routine work, in agriculture or rowing vessels.

The modern order taker must alternate the work period with a resting and even having fun period. The eight hours of freedom received by the modern order taker are part of that extra property that the modern masters have agreed to offer them following the new modern era negotiations. But even these eight hours have been achieved by the famous prolonged labor strikes at the end of the nineteenth century in Chicago. Until then the number of hours worked was 12. For that time, the workers wanted the decreasing number of work from 12 to 8 hours. Although the protests have resulted in deaths after workers' clashes with the police (more details about this event can be found here:), the 8 working hours were proved to be satisfactory for employers as well. Since then, everyone has settled at the same rate of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep and 8 hours of free time, or a 1/3 proportion of free-time besides, if the 8-hour period is exceeded.

During those events the Chicago employers were driven by horrible greed, preferring to scare strikers with the police guns, and making casualties in both camps. But as a whole, as happens every time in the strikes cases, they had got a high profit even after this limit of 8 hours of work. However, since then they have understood that the modern wage slave needs a longer resting time. It is far more profitable to give this person more freedom and longer break than to keep her/him connected into continuous work and to reach inferior performance. Unfortunately, there are too many jobs today that abuse this 1/3 proportion between work, sleep and resting time. Strengthening the repressive forces will not solve the rioting feelings that develop in the heart of these abused persons.

Given the status of social inferior or doomed, the classical slave could not come out of a certain state of fatalist mentality. Such an attitude, however, is totally unproductive for both the industrial and digital era of today. Thus, instead of having a completely obedient slave, but incapable of performing more efficient jobs, there come out this modern order taker that negotiates its freedom. This person can resign and can withdraw from his or her servant status for a longer or shorter period. Instead of being held by force and developing feelings of rebellion towards the new industrial masters, they have developed a very efficient strategy of hiring, exploitation and dismissal the slave. Giving new liberties to wage subordination was a solution to counteract these natural rebellion and revenge tendencies that the subordinates develop in time toward their hierarchical order giver. The wage subordination allows temporary paid vacation, resignation, and even the temporary dismissal to calm down, resent, and eventually take it all over again at a certain moment. In order to meet this modern order taker appetite to refresh and recharge mental batteries the system has developed the entertainment industry with its false promises on which I will write in the next entry.

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