A horrified reader turns me an article appeared on The Sun 24 Hours a few days ago: Is reintroducing slavery an option for modern society? written by Enrico Verga on January 26th 2018: Link
The author, Enrico Verga, given the "factors that are radically changing the relationship between man and work", proposes to "reintroduce this contractual solution into the modern economy": the slavery contract.
by Maurizio Blondet
"Slavery is often seen with a negative meaning", he recognizes, however its abolition "is quite recent" and was adopted by democratic countries such as the American states.
More: "With different names, it exists and still proliferates in a good part of the world". The trouble is that today, "more or less any employment relationship exceeds the scheme of employment contract in a capitalist company against a wage" and it could be at risk of being declared slave labor by current legislation. This traditionalist legislation hampers "one of the great successes of modern society, capitalist and liberal" (in practice the descendants of Friedman), which is "the outsourcing of costs pushed to the extreme", costs that come "in fact, often charged on budget State." The market has already established new types of relationships, along the "virtuous path of emancipation of the individual from the company".
In fact, there are already "millions of VAT-paid workers" and let's not talk about "zero hour contracts", which oblige the worker to be available on call 24 hours a day and to be paid only when he is called to work: these people do not have the benefits they enjoyed in the Roman Empire as slaves. "A slave was entitled to housing, medical care, meals. Many slaves received training. Even today the costs of training covered by the boss are certainly an asset for the employee-slave".
"If we assume that the negative aspects of slavery (exploitation, uncertainty regarding one's own future, lack of freedom) are already present in a large part of the working class, I wonder if it would not be an advantage for the community and the State if large companies do not take on a slavery contract."
Now, I take - I want to take - this piece as a masterful "black" satire of terminal capitalism, on the level of the "Modest Proposal" with which Jonathan Swift, in 1729, proposed to solve the problem of the umpteenth famine in Ireland with the sale and the consumption as food (roasted, boiled or fricassee) of the children of Irish Catholics. Swift was Irish and Catholic, as well as the author of Gulliver's Travels.
However, I also understand the reader's horror. First of all, until the end, it is not clear if this Verga ("Strategic and institutional consultant, Master in International relations at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, senior analyst at Longitude", the rampant self-presentation of the Erasmus Generation) is joking or is the first to truly believe that slavery must be reintroduced as a useful innovation of the post-modern work contract and a remedy for the irreversible mass unemployment resulting from the maximum efficiency of capital. Contributes to this uncertainty the habitual skill with which he adopts the economistic and liberal jargon of the economic newspaper. In fact, doubt remains that if not the author, the management of The Sun 24 hours has published the piece not having caught the character of satire, but as a serious proposal of reform of the labor market, precisely because it has recognized the company jargon.
Nevertheless, to horrify the reader, I believe, is something worse, which does not concern Verga. The intuition that the slave labor relationship is the logical and natural development of plutocratic capitalism. And the feeling that in our society [particularly the Italian - Translator's note ] there is no longer any antibody, no ethical and political principle - we do not say religious - on which to support any popular resistance or opposition to the reintroduction of slavery.
A people that has already accepted the abortion; the twelve vaccinations [mandatory by law in Italy]; Valeria Fedeli as minister of a school that in the kindergartens prescribes the teaching of sexual pleasure to the children of 5 years; a people that has already accepted the sodomite marriages, homosexual parades and legal assisted suicide as normality and common opinion, why should not it accept slavery for itself by signing the contract in exchange for food and shelter? The Window of Overton is already open, even wide open, has already been unhinged, there are no more taboo themes that meet an organized rejection and active in the Italian people. It is not just that this people is of a petrified passivity, of sub-human ignorance. This is a people in which the parents of the Olgettine [Berlusconi's little "princesses"] encouraged their little daughters to go to Berlusconi's party, "because that has the money!". With such an endowment of personal dignity, self-respect, irresponsibility and moral standards, how can we not understand that millions of our fellow men are already predisposed to signing their own contractual slavery to eat, because they are already psychically slaves?
The only argument that can be used against the introduction of slavery as a grandiose post-modern innovation (by adopting the jargon and the economics ideology proper to The Sun 24 Hours) is to mentally remind that slavery is "inefficient" and anti-economic. That the availability of slave labor in the ancient plutocracies delayed, in the Roman Empire, the introduction of "new technologies" such as water and wind mills and even chimneys, all invented in the Christian Middle Ages. Above all, it will be necessary to remind to the post-modern capitalist about what the British agent taught to the slave masters in the Antilles: you must keep your slave when they are old and sick. Free them, and they will have to think for themselves. They free you from a cost, their emancipation increases your profits. Even for sexual pleasures that are a benefit of slavery:
"What do you think best suits you: your wife or one of these girls? ... With a prostitute costs decrease ... Who is more convenient: a slave or a wage worker? ... Feelings are not part of the economy ..."
This was said by Marlon Brando, British agent Walker, who was sent to create a "market" in the tropics of slavery who took them out with a non-monetary economy. The film was Queimada [ Burn! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn! ], directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, a leftist. You all see how in our days the Left is changed, which takes away the liberties and dignity of work by giving pleasure (for those who can afford it): do not you hope that a Cirinnà or a Grasso, or a Boldrini or a Bonino [all of them are Italian politicians] will oppose the new contract. As always in globalization, the capitalists will have to be earned to the cause, leveraging the profit discourse. Studies by major economists have already amply demonstrated it: the liberation of slaves was the first successful "outsourcing", the expulsion of the society of the expenses for educating, caring for, training and keeping workers-citizens healthy. You do not want to go back.
Original article by Maurizio Blondet:
Translation by Costantino Ceoldo - Pravda freelance
Photo Gustave Boulanger's painting The Slave Market