The Problem of Natural Slaves

The problem with libertarianism is that most people don’t care about freedom. In fact, I would go farther: most people aren’t just apathetic about freedom but actively hate and/or fear it.

Freedom is naturally frightening. It is inherently risky and a free man’s actions will have consequences. The freedom to choose is the freedom to choose poorly.

A free man will face this fear, accept the risk, and live with those consequences, for good or ill.

Libertarianism and English liberalism are based around the concept of the free man and made for the free man.

Even right-wing ideologies that eschew freedom and abhor libertarianism still require the free man. Personal responsibility is an aspect of every right-wing ideology and only the man free to act, can be responsible for those actions. Organic community can only grow through free interactions, it can not be forced by the state. Even will-to-power fascism and related ideologies require free men, in the form of Nietzchian ubermensch and Platonic philosopher-kings, at the top to lead the natural slaves.

The free man is whom right-wing ideology is geared towards.

On the other hand, many, if not most, people are natural slaves. A natural slave is not capable of freedom, in fact, the natural slave loathes freedom.

Aristotle was the first to write on the natural slave in his Politics:

For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.

For the words slavery and slave are used in two senses. There is a slave or slavery by law as well as by nature. The law of which I speak is a sort of convention- the law by which whatever is taken in war is supposed to belong to the victors.

for it must be admitted that some are slaves everywhere, others nowhere.

We see then that there is some foundation for this difference of opinion, and that all are not either slaves by nature or freemen by nature, and also that there is in some cases a marked distinction between the two classes, rendering it expedient and right for the one to be slaves and the others to be masters: the one practicing obedience, the others exercising the authority and lordship which nature intended them to have. The abuse of this authority is injurious to both; for the interests of part and whole, of body and soul, are the same, and the slave is a part of the master, a living but separated part of his bodily frame. Hence, where the relation of master and slave between them is natural they are friends and have a common interest, but where it rests merely on law and force the reverse is true.

For there is one rule exercised over subjects who are by nature free, another over subjects who are by nature slaves. The rule of a household is a monarchy, for every house is under one head: whereas constitutional rule is a government of freemen and equals. The master is not called a master because he has science, but because he is of a certain character, and the same remark applies to the slave and the freeman.

Essentially, some are slaves of circumstance but not of soul, while others born to subjection and will be slaves no matter the circumstance. The latter are called natural slaves, the former we will refer to as circumstantial slaves.

What makes a slave?

For that which can foresee by the exercise of mind is by nature intended to be lord and master, and that which can with its body give effect to such foresight is a subject, and by nature a slave; hence master and slave have the same interest.

Hence we see what is the nature and office of a slave; he who is by nature not his own but another’s man, is by nature a slave; and he may be said to be another’s man who, being a human being, is also a possession. And a possession may be defined as an instrument of action, separable from the possessor.

Some are so afraid of acting self-destructively or choosing poorly as they are incapable or unwilling of choosing that they would rather have someone exercise their mind and foresight for them than to have to exercise their own mind in freedom. These people are naturally another man’s as they are incapable or unwilling to be their own man.

These are the natural slaves.

****

In Western society, direct slavery is mostly extinct (barring some illegal sex slavery) and even when it did exist it was slavery by law and by war, circumstantial slavery, rather than natural slavery.

Natural slavery on the other hand is a dominant political thought-stream throughout the west.

The natural slaves continually beg for their own disarmament. They plead for themselves to be left at the mercy of predators and their masters.

Half of the US population is on government benefits while the government controls 41% of the economy, and still the natural slaves demand more government and more dependence. While the US is self-destructing, the natural slaves debate frivolities. Most of the rest of the West is as bad or worse.

Feminists, and women in general, get on their knees begging for the state to control their bodies and provide them with choice at the expense of freedom. They believe themselves entitled to the enslaved labour of men.

We already see the end result of the natural slavery mindset in Black Americans. A group that whole-heartedly supports the political party that dedicated itself to their slavery. The party that continues to purposely force dependence and weakness on them, enslaving them through the welfare state.

White society is following rapidly behind.

Westerners are becoming so afraid of freedom, that they are willingly and purposely selling themselves into dependence and slavery.

****

Now, admittedly, many modern people with servile minds may not be natural born slaves. The state indoctrination system has had a large hand in training modern society to a mind state of servility, and so many of the people who may appear natural slaves, may simply be circumstantial slaves who have been trained that way. But having been indoctrinated so thoroughly in the servile mindset, I fear many, if not most of them, will not become free men any time soon, so I will, for the purposes of this post, count them as natural slaves.

****

The problem is, how should a free society do with natural slaves?

The will-to-power right-wing ideologies can answer this question easily, have the ubermensch be their masters.

But freedom-oriented right-wing ideologies have a conundrum: how can the natural slave be integrated into a society created for free men?

It is cruel to oppress free men with a slave society, but is it not also cruel to impose a free society on those whose very natures revolt against against it?

How can a society oriented around exercising freedom be anything but oppressive for those incapable of exercising freedom?

Even if the natural slaves are integrated into a free society, given sufficient time, won’t their natural hostility to freedom assert itself, leading to the decline of freedom in that society, as is currently occurring throughout the English-speaking nations?

I don’t really have answers to this.

The existence of natural slaves poses the probably the greatest ideological conundrum for the libertarian.

****

That’s not to say I don’t have any ideas, but I’m not sure if any will suffice as an answer.

Could children are educated as free men from an early age, could we not make circumstantial free men, just as a slave-mentality oriented education produces circumstantial slaves? Is that possible? I don’t know, but it seemed to work, somewhat, for English-speaking countries prior to the mid-1900’s.

We could create a voluntary program, where natural slaves can contract away their freedom to the government or to other individuals in exchange for the protection and provision of the government. It’s a possibility, but it seems prima facie unworkable and impractical.

The best bet is probably subsidiarity; we could concentrate power locally. This way natural slaves and free men could self-segregate. Free men could live in municipalities and states/provinces where freedom was valued, while natural slaves could live in municipalities which took freedom away in exchange for comfort. The US and Canadian federal systems could, with some tweaking, provides a good backbone for this sort of system. but how long could this last until the natural slaves envy and hatred of free men and their masters’ lust for power led them to try to re-assert centralized authority?

Maybe free men could simply create their own country and refuse natural slaves entrance? But how would you test for natural slaves and keep them from the country? Who’s to say they wouldn’t invade out of their hatred for freedom?

I’m not sure what the proper response to natural slaves it. What do you think of the problem posed by the natural slave?

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26 responses to “The Problem of Natural Slaves

  • allamagoosa

    When I was reading all I could think of was this little piece by Kafka:

    Couriers

    They were given the choice between becoming kings or the couriers of kings. In the manner of children, they all wanted to be couriers. As a result, there are only couriers. They gallop through the world shouting to each other messages that, since there are no kings, have become meaningless. Gladly would they put an end to their miserable existence, but they dare not, because of their oaths of service.

  • ivanovich76

    slavery is emphatically not dead in western civilization.

    1. Make something everyone does illegal
    2. Use prisoners as slave labor

    1% of the US population is incarcerated.

  • Young Hunter

    This was a great read, and actually a topic Dr. Illusion and I have been discussing. Today in fact.

  • The Observer

    Aye, this has been a topic of late. Jim at jim’s blog and moldbug have been discussing the “moron problem”:

    http://blog.jim.com/economics/moldbugs-solution-to-the-moron-problem.html

    And Aurini has made videos on the zero scarcity economy and the natural slave in his “Why do people like Star Trek?” and “Freedom and Authority” videos.

    You might want to check them out.

  • sth_txs

    Great post! Most people whether on the left or right are natural slaves.

    A few years ago I would post on this self described ‘left of center’ economic blog. I posted how I would love to be in charge in a country of people of such a slave mentality because that is what they are. They were oblivious to the 4 to 6 months a year many Americans work for local, state, and federal government before and after their check along with whatever other taxes you can’t count.

    The vitriol was amazing. Yeah, I hate most of my fellow ‘merikans to most of the time.

  • Aurini

    I think it’s our responsibility – us who are the natural aristocracy – to take upon us the mantle of leadership. To accept that we’re of a different nature, and that it is right for us to lead – with all the benefits and responsibilities which come along with it.

  • zhai2nan2

    >It is cruel to oppress free men with a slave society, but is it not also cruel to impose a free society on those whose very natures revolt against against it?

    Living things are cruel.

    The big-eyed fawns who munch on flowers do not care that the flowers scream as they die, and the cute, fuzzy wolves who munch on fawns do not care that the fawns scream as they die.

    It is very hard to minimize cruelty – getting rid of cruelty altogether is not a practical possibility.

    >The best bet is probably subsidiarity; we could concentrate power locally.

    Yes.

    And you can take subsidiarity all the way down to the individual level. You can establish a culture of “you are free to follow me and do what I do, if you please; and you are also free to wander away, if you please.” That is the attitude of a natural aristocrat.

    The difficult part is that true aristocrats are not just haughty; true aristocrats are also generous.

    This is the hunter-provider instinct of humanity. We humans hunt in groups. We bring back meat to feed those who cannot hunt. Generosity is the flip side of aristocratic violence. But the pseudo-generosity of the bread line and the Roman Colosseum is not aristocratic; it is degrading. How can an aristocrat be generous without spoiling those who depend on him?

  • Cogitans

    Great post. I don’t know if there is anything we can do save be ready to pick up the pieces once everything falls apart. Natural slaves gravitate towards individuals with a plan. This is how the unscrupulous rise to power during times of great crisis, and this is the greatest fear I have for my country; that during the next major crisis the last vestiges of the republic are twisted and skewed under an Marius/Sulla/Caesar or Augustus. Men who knew how to manipulate the natural slaves towards their own end. I’m hoping, due in large part to the internet, that somehow the west can avoid this fate.

  • Heraclitus

    My research in psychology has lead me to the idea that most, if not all, adults have a part of themselves that is still a child desperately craving for a parental messiah to come and save them, love them, and free them from the yoke of responsibility. Formed during the dependency of childhood, I believe this slave mentality can be trained out of most people (the men especially) by learning the rigors of self-sufficiency. However, today our world of progress and technology has allowed for dependency and weakness to become a virtue. The wall we built to keep the enemy out eventually becomes a prison. We become slaves to our machines just as the machines are slaves to our needs.

    Weakness is a virtue so long as we worship at the altar of Marxist egalitarianism which has been the only true religion practiced in the west. It is morality which controls the people, not truth, not appeals to the virtue of freedom. If truth and freedom were popular ideals than religion would not dominate the world and libertarians would not be such a small part of the population. Instead the people look to moral and ethical principles, espoused by a person embodying strength (authority) to command them, “thou shalt and thou shalt not.”

    There is some evidence that this submissive tendency is not learned but innate. Julian Jayne’s book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” lays out a theory that people seek religion and moral authorities because of bicameralism. The bicameral mind is divided into two parts – speaker and listener. The speaking part was heard by the listener as an auditory voice of god. The speaker was the master part of the mind and the listener the slave. But some change in our environment caused the master part of the mind began to fade and introspection occurred.

    Masters in our time are those people who have been able to merge both the master and slave part of consciousness into one. The slaves remain largely bicameral but with the master section of the brain turned off leaving them in confusion, desperately seeking the “voice of god.” These people often turn to “moral authorities” to find direction. The state, the church, a dominant love partner, are some examples. What they don’t do is introspection or critical thinking.

  • Free Northerner

    @alla: An intersting little piece.

    @ivan: I had not thought of that. That might be more indirect slavery, but I’ll have to consider it.

    @ Observer and Young Hunter: Seems we’re all part of the reactionary zietgeist.

    @sth: Emotion replaces clear thought all to often.

    @Aurini: Not sure if I’m natural aristocracy. I’m not much of a leader; more of a loner.

    @zhai: I guess acceptance of the reality of the cruelty of nature is a good approach. That would be a good culture to adopt.

    @Cog: I don’t think you can avoid having the great men manipulate the natural slaves, even with the internet. What we need is a great man manipulating for the cause of freedom and reaction.

  • PC Geek

    Julian Jayne’s book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” lays out a theory that people seek religion and moral authorities because of bicameralism. The bicameral mind is divided into two parts – speaker and listener. The speaking part was heard by the listener as an auditory voice of god. The speaker was the master part of the mind and the listener the slave. But some change in our environment caused the master part of the mind began to fade and introspection occurred.

    Would be interesting if it wasn’t just more goofy pseudo-scientific storytelling. The neuroscience community in general does not regard Mr. Jayne’s work highly, and the evidence he gives for his arguments is really damn funny. To put it mildly, this guy’s theories are not even remotely settled science (they are not scientific anyway since they are untestable).

    In his work he claims that human consciousness came about over the last 10 thousand years – totally without any actual evidence though, and there is considerable evidence that would suggest against it.

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  • Abelard Lindsey

    The neuroscience community in general does not regard Mr. Jayne’s work highly, and the evidence he gives for his arguments is really damn funny. To put it mildly, this guy’s theories are not even remotely settled science (they are not scientific anyway since they are untestable).

    Jayne’s ideas are testable.Go find some uncontacted stone age tribe in the Amazon or New Guinea and observe their behavior. Jayne’s ideas were actually brought up at an anthropology conference sometime in the 90’s. When asked why no one bothered to test them by observing such stone age tribes, the response was it was politically incorrect to think that primitive think differently from modern people and that no one could get a grant to actually do the research!!!

    Political correctness in action!

    Jayne’s ideas remain untested. I find them credible, though. Jayne’s ideas are based on the notion that the human personality is a system of sub-selves. There are several versions of this concept, including Eric Bernes’ “Transactional Analysis” and Marvin Minsky’s “Society of Mind”. Janye’s idea can be considered a more specific example of this concept.

    After all these years, I still find Jayne’s explanation for the origin of religious thought in humans to be, by far, the most credible explanation I’ve run across. Its the only one that actually makes sense to me.

  • David Flory

    The natural slaves of our society are governed by propaganda, and the enticements of sex and consumption. The slaves think they are free, and the masters don’t have to take responsibility for taking care of them. As Aristotle makes clear, it is in the natural slave’s benefit to have a natural master, since the slave would be far worse off if left to the whims of his own unreasoning desires (and in the ancient world, would have quickly starved or died of disease if he were not forced into slavery).

    Our problem is not that there are natural slaves–one could not have a civilization without them. Our problem is that natural slaves are nearly a majority (at least) among both our leaders and the electorate. Even the liberally influenced Founding Fathers understood that only men who had proven their abilities to rule over their own properties could be trusted to wield greater authority as voters, jurors, and public officials.

  • whodatbe

    Possible “solution” in the framework of a representative republic:

    Restrict the ability to participate (vote, run for office, hold judicial positions) to Citizens who meet a strict set of criteria.

    I’m thinking 1) own property, 2) be married, 3) have natural-born children, at a minimum. This way they have a STAKE in society. Also, requiring the ownership of property will limit the percentage of natural slaves that can participate.

    If I had my way, I would also include 4) citizenship oath of allegiance and 5) membership in the Church that forms the backbone of the nation. Because like it or not, religion is a part of culture and culture is what unites a society into a nation.

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  • Abelard Lindsey

    “I’m thinking 1) own property, 2) be married, 3) have natural-born children, at a minimum. This way they have a STAKE in society. Also, requiring the ownership of property will limit the percentage of natural slaves that can participate.

    If I had my way, I would also include 4) citizenship oath of allegiance and 5) membership in the Church that forms the backbone of the nation. Because like it or not, religion is a part of culture and culture is what unites a society into a nation.”

    No. None of these are good. The only criteria is economic productivity.

    Instead I suggest limiting the franchise to those who file Schedule “C” along with their 1040’s. Filing Schedule “C” means you are either self-employed or a business owner. I consider this the modern-day equivalent to owning physical property.

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  • Anonymous

    Non-English folks are natural slaves but we guys are Übermenschen and natural aristocrats. Aha. Sounds like 19th century social Darwinist biologistic rationalization for abusing other people.

    As always with anarchism, once you lift the curtain you will find the very opposite of freedom behind it.

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