“The best slave is the one who thinks he is free” – Johann von Goethe
Are we all slaves?
Yes, we are.
Born into a cage we cannot see, taste nor touch, we live believing we are free while our life force is syphoned off by a landed ruling class ever seeking to extend its hold on our lives.
Governments, which are owned by the ruling class, serve only to protect the interests of the rulers while becoming bloated from the work of the ruled. Resources once freely given by the earth are privatized and sold back to the people who work as debt slaves, beholden to a system which profits from our obedience.
But these are all symptoms of our enslavement. They are not the cause.
The cause resides in our minds and hearts. It’s there where our enslavement begins.
So it’s there where our freedom must begin.
Fellow slaves, I invite you to read this article to end so you may learn to recognize your enslavement.
To see the cage is to leave it.
Please Watch The Following Videos
The videos are graphic. If you are utterly unfamiliar with the concept of “human farming”, the videos will likely make you uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I invite you to watch them through, for our growth lies in our discomfort.
The first one is a video essay, originally published by Stefan Molyneux in 2008, titled “The Story Of Your Enslavement”:
The second is an allegory for the democratic capitalist system most of us inhabit. It puts the information contained in the first video into an easy to follow story about slavery on a plantation:
Did you watch the videos? I hope you did. It will prepare you for what’s ahead.
How Our Modern System Of Enslavement Came To Be
Our civilization runs on slavery. Slavery is defined as the condition in which one person is owned as property and is under the owner’s control, especially in involuntary servitude.
Let’s break down the definition of slavery and see if it applies to us.
Are we owned as property? We are born into a country, receive a birth certificate, and become citizens beholden to a government which we have no say in choosing. The state compels us to go to school. Once we start working, it takes part of what we earn. It even prohibits us from using certain consciousness-altering substances like psilocybin, while allowing us to use others like alcohol and caffeine. We don’t even have a say in the financial system, which is owned by the banking families. Our choices are controlled, which means we are owned, at least in part.
Are we under an owner’s control? Like in the video about the plantation, we can choose between two or more options, but they are two wings on the same bird. Because our choices are controlled, we are controlled, without being aware of it.
Do we live in involuntary servitude? Did we choose the current system of the world? Or were we taught to accept it as “normal” from the time you were a child?
I’d say our situation adheres to the definition of slavery, wouldn’t you?
This Is Only “Normal” Because We Believe It To Be
Human beings are biased to believe that the way we live now is the way we have always lived. Because everyone is indoctrinated into accepting this system, we believe this is the natural order of things.
Things are as they always have been, the rulers rule and the ruled work. That’s how life is.
But that’s not how things have always been. In fact, for most of our existence we lived as hunter-gatherers; sovereign individuals in egalitarian communities.
There were no rulers. Nor were there police to enforce the rules imposed by the rulers. There were no social expectations to conform to other than those which aligned with our survival; cooperate with others, share, be kind, tell the truth and you’ll thrive.
For hundreds of thousands of years that was how we lived. And we thrived doing so. We were happy and healthy, because we were free and together (read “Civilized to Death” by Christopher Ryan to learn more about this).
Then, 12,000 years ago something happened which changed everything.
Agriculture: The Trap We Walked Into
In his best-selling book “Sapiens”, Yuval Noah Harrari argues that agriculture was a trap humanity unwittingly walked into. He contrasts the lives of hunter-gatherers to those of sedentary farmers.
When compared to hunter-gatherers, farmers:
- Work longer hours.
- Have a less varied diet and thus, poorer nutrition.
- Are shorter and weaker.
- Have shorter lifespans.
- Suffer more injuries due to the strain of repetitive movements.
- Experience more disease due to living in proximity to livestock.
- Are subject to a ruling class which administers resources and skims off excess production.
In school, I was taught that agriculture allowed humanity to give up the strenuous, time-consuming task of hunting and gathering. I learned that, thanks to agriculture, our ancestors were able to dedicate less time to survival and more to learning and creating. The story I learned was that agriculture made our lives better.
That’s a lie. Agriculture did revolutionize our lives, not for better, but for worse. Our populations exploded, but our quality of life declined. That statement is backed up by archaeological and anthropological evidence.
With agriculture, private property developed and along with it the practice of inheriting land from parents to offspring. This resulted in the concept of “marriage”, wherein a male became the administrator of the female body in order to ensure the children she produced were his genetic offspring. There is no doubt who the mother of a child is, but the same cannot be said of the father.
Females went from being equal to males, to being secondary citizens, relegated to producing babies and serving males. In many parts of the world this remains the case.
Agriculture Produced A Population Boom
Resource availability and fertility (the number of babies per female) are positively correlated. In other words, the more resources there are, the more babies we have. Farmers could stockpile resources. Hunter-gatherers had to carry everything they owned.
For a hunter-gatherer, raising a child was a tremendous caloric endeavor. Not only would a tribe have to collect food for themselves, but also for the babies who were not able to procure resources for themselves.
For a farmer, raising a child was less calorically taxing, so they had more of them. Farming communities exploded in population and fought with hunter-gatherers.
While hunter-gatherers were fitter than farmers, they were less numerous, so they were gradually defeated by the farmers and forced to accept agriculture.
Hunter-gatherers resisted farming. Agriculture had to be imposed upon them. Unsurprising, as human beings’ natural state is one of health and freedom. Why would a human being willingly choose to live in a system which enslaved and sickened him/her?
We wouldn’t choose it. It would have to be forced upon us.
And so it was that around 12,000 years ago, agriculture appeared simultaneously in various parts of the world and slowly spread throughout human populations. The driving force behind its spread is unclear as of now.
We domesticated plants. And in turn, plants domesticated us.
We have been paying the price ever since.
We Believe The Story That Says “We Need Rulers”
The same system of dominance which emerged with the advent of farming remains in place today.
The administrative class allocates resources and creams off the excess production of the working class. It does not create, it only administers. The system has shed its skin several times since the beginning of farming, as noted in “The Story Of Your Enslavement”. But at it’s core it remains the same.
Feudalism, socialism, fascism, communism, democracy, capitalism, they are all ideologies designed for the same purpose: human livestock management.
Ideologies are shared stories, in which there are always two sets of characters: the administrators and the administered. Human beings make sense of the world through stories. By accepting a story we assume a role in it. Most of us play the role of slave. Some slaves get paid more than others, but that’s not important.
Today, the task of maintaining these shared stories falls upon the institutions which form the spine of our civilization:
- The financial system
- The food production system
- The schooling system
- The media system
- The energy production system
- The healthcare system
- The political system
But Do We Really Need Rulers?
All of these subsystems take what is given freely by the world, corrupt it, and sell it back to us. They perpetuate the story that humans need rulers because we are incapable of deciding what is best for ourselves and our communities. That belief is central to all the ideologies.
It’s also false. Ever seen a school of fish with a leader? Or a flock of birds? They have no leaders, yet they function cohesively. Humans are no different.
We might argue that human beings aren’t fish or birds, we’re primates. And primates are aggressive and competitive, so humans are to and we need leaders to keep us in line. Just look at chimpanzees; they are known to engage in organized lethal aggression and they too have a dominance hierarchy.
Well, that’s partially true. And we do share around 97% of our genes with chimpanzees. But we also share 97% of our genes with bonobos, and they are peace-loving, sexually promiscuous bohemians.
Why must our behavior be closer to those of chimpanzees than those of bonobos? Are we violent by nature? Or is our violence the result of a story we’ve accepted?
The story we believe to be true determines the role we play. Where did the story that we need rulers come from anyways? Cue religion and the “divine right to rule” of kings and queens of old.
It might seem like there is no escaping from this system of slavery. This is the way it has been for 12,000 years and that is how it always will be. But that’s not the case. There is a way out. It happens individually.
To wake up to the stories, is to wake up to the enslavement.
The System Doesn’t Enslave Us – We Enslave Ourselves
We must be crystal clear about something from here on out. It’s not the system which enslaves us.
We enslave ourselves.
It’s true that the system of dominance begins to condition us into acceptance before we’re even born.
But to say we have no choice in accepting it is to say that we have no free will to choose for ourselves.
And that’s false. We have free will. We are not slaves to our environment. We may not have chosen to be born into this system, but we can choose how we respond to it.
We are human beings; the creators of our lives. To believe otherwise is to surrender our creative power to others.
What follows is how we can transcend our slavery.
Fully Accept Your Slavery To Transcend It
Have you ever seen the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”? It’s one of my favorites.
The movie tells the story of a man, Andy Dufresne, who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Andy has his imprisonment forced upon him, through no choice or fault of his own.
Sound like the story of the human race much?
While in prison, Andy suffers every kind of abuse imaginable. He is humiliated, beaten, repeatedly raped by a prison gang and thrown into solitary confinement for months at a time. Throughout it all he never complains. He knows it would do him no good.
Instead of complaining, Andy makes the most empowering choice he could make.
He accepts his circumstances. He accepts that he has been unfairly imprisoned for life. He does not offer resistance to his new reality as a prisoner. He surrenders; he becomes one with his life as a prisoner.
And it’s by surrendering, by accepting his reality without flinching, that he is able to create a way out of it.
By fully accepting his life as a prisoner, Andy becomes capable of working within the system. He begins to see its inner workings, and learns how to transcend the mechanisms which maintain his imprisonment.
He becomes capable of seeing the weaknesses within the system. Every system has a weakness, a chink in its armor which the observant individual can focus on to exploit.
Accept Your Slavery, To Transcend It
In order to transcend our enslavement we must first accept that we are slaves. Only then will we be capable of seeing the chains which keep us in bondage. And once we see the chains, we can begin to cast them off.
We have to first accept that we are enslaved, develop an intimate understanding of our holding pen; its walls and its ceiling as well as the laws which underpin it.
Once we understand the laws, we can bend them. Or in some cases, break them.
Being born into slavery can be seen as a gift. It’s an invitation to dig deep within ourselves and discover what we’re capable of. Will we use our head and heart creatively to escape? Or will we give up and remain trapped within our holding pen?
We are players in a game. Accept it, learn the rules, and escape.
This is the power that comes from accepting our slavery. Most people refuse to accept that they are slaves, and because of this they never see their shackles, so they can never make the choices which lead to freedom.
In the movie, Andy could have allowed his circumstances to break him. He could have surrendered his creative power and become a victim. Instead, he became a stoic. He became imperturbable, observing his environment as it was, not as he wanted it to be.
This allowed him to come up with the solution which eventually granted him his freedom. He played within the system, and won. He then helped his best friend, Red, upon his release from the prison.
We can all learn much from Andy.
Slavery Starts In Our Hearts
Human beings are ruled by emotion. Therefore, those who rule our emotions also rule us. The chains which bind us are attached to our heart.
Most humans have poor emotional control. They are unaware of how their emotions determine the choices they make. So they surrender control of their emotions to their environment. They live in permanent reactive mode; getting angry/sad/frustrated over the smallest thing. Their environment controls them. They remain shackled slaves.
But make no mistake, we are capable of mastering our emotions. And when we master our emotions we master what we create.
Someone who has never explored their power to control their emotions will believe that he/she is incapable of controlling them. And that will remain true until the person takes the time to develop their emotional mastery.
Believe me when I say emotional mastery is achievable by everyone. And mastery begins with our attention.
Our Attention Is The One Thing We Can Control
Attempting to control our emotions directly is impossible. We have to start somewhere else.
We have to start with our attention.
Our attention is the only thing we can all control. And many of us can’t even control that anymore thanks to our addiction to technological distraction.
But our attention is creative.
By choosing what we pay attention to we choose what comes into our life. We can remain reactive and focus on our anger/sadness/frustration. Or we can take charge of our attention and focus on our gratitude/abundance/peace. We can focus on what we can’t control and surrender our power. Or we can focus on what we can control and discover our power.
What we focus on we create more of.
That’s how our attention works, believe it or not.
Our slavery starts in our heart, which most of us cannot control to begin with. But, by sharpening and honing our attention through meditation and then directing our attention to empowering emotions, like love and gratitude, we begin to file away at the shackles of our hearts.
As we begin to understand the laws which underpin our prison we become able to bend them.
And eventually, to break them. Just look at Wim Hof.
Freedom Is A Realization Away
This article started off on a harsh tone. I believe in talking straight. Just as there is good and beauty in the world, there is also evil and hideousness. It’s the mature individual who can accept both sides of reality and make his/her own choices based on the observations.
The internet is brimming with people who are waking up to their slavery. But few people offer solutions.
That’s what I’m offering here, a solution. We can’t control what others do. We can only control what each of us does. I choose to direct my energies to the activities which will allow me to escape my slavery. I do what Andy Dufresne did; I control my emotions, observe and craft my escape. By helping others free themselves, I also free myself. That’s how life works.
In the end, the solution lives within each of us. Only the people who have had enough of being slaves will make the choices which unshackle their hearts and grant them freedom. If you have read this far, you are one of those people. Congratulations!
Freedom lives within us. It takes a steadfast determination, a spine of steel and an unconquerable spirit to unearth it. But it’s there, within us.
Will you take the plunge to find it?
To our wealth and success.
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