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Slavery in our modern World.

On Sunday 25-3-7, we celebrated the two hundredth anniversary of Wiliam Wilberforce's great achievement. After spending much of his political lifetime campaigning, Britain's Parliament finally abolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade. At least no more slaves would be carried in British ships or by British crews.

In 1833 slavery itself, throughout the British Empire, was officially abolished by a further act of Parliament. In 1865 the United States Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This made all people, (other than convicted criminals) within U.S. jurisdiction, free from slavery or involuntary servitude.

Most people thought that this was the end of slavery. Many still think slavery is a thing of the past, as well as a blot on the civilised World. Unfortunately slavery is still rife, usually masked by various euphemisms.

Obviously this depends on how slavery is defined. Originally slavery usually meant the 'ownership' of one person by another. Modern slavery is defined in a slightly different manner.

Modern Slavery.

A rigorous definition of slavery today: Being forced to work without financial renumeration, involuntary servitude as the 13th Amendment specifies. Emphasis has generally moved away from 'ownership', it now mostly involves control, the use of force, threats or imprisonment.

Dr. Kevin Bales has written a book 'Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy'. From his research he has confirmed that slavery touches all our lives today, as he says in the book.

"Slaves in Pakistan may have made the shoes you are wearing and the carpet you stand on. Slaves in the Caribbean may have put sugar in your kitchen and toys in the hands of your children. In India they may have sewn the shirt on your back and polished the ring on your finger.

In Brazil slaves made the charcoal that tempered the steel that made the springs in your car and the blade on your lawn mower. Slaves grew the rice that fed the woman that wove the lovely cloth you've put up as curtains.

Your investment portfolio and your mutual-fund pension own stock in companies using slave labor in the developing world. Slaves keep your costs low and returns on your investments high."

Dr. Bales' research was conducted in Brazil, India, Mauritania, Pakistan & Thailand. Interviews with pressure groups & slaves was risky. Slavery usually thrives becase of government corruption, he was in danger of being arrested. Slavery is illegal throughout the World. Despite this there are currently twice as many victims as the total abducted from Africa during the 4 centuries of Euro-American slavery.

He differentiates between true slavery & poverty or low paid labour. With this tight definition there are around 27 million slaves in the World. More than the population of Scandinavia, Canada & many other countries. To put it in perspective the figure equals more than half the population of England, far more than the rest of the British Isles put together.

It is estimated that several thousand people, mostly girls, are enslaved in modern Britain. This country is considered a prime destination, for human cargo, by international traffikers. Most finish up in the sex industry, London is naturally a favourite destination.

This horrific trade seems to go mostly un-noticed by the Authorities, including the Police. Escaped sex slaves are not taken seriously or helped in any way. As far as most Police are concerned, prostitution is illegal. Therefore the girls are the criminals, not the men who prey on them.

This blot on our society needs to be tackled at Government level. By criminalising the use of sex slaves and prostitutes. As things stand it is the victims, willing or otherwise, who are targeted by laws.

Starburst

We humans share Earth with all other life. We do not own her, we are merely tenants. We originate from her, she nurtures us, feeds us & provides for our needs. It is our responsibility to care for her, not vandalise & destroy what has been created. Otherwise we will eventually face eviction.

Starburst
It is time to restore Creative Vision to the World we live in. Conformity has controlled our lives for far too long. This reflects in the lack of any new cultural ideas for many years.

A new Cultural Revolution is needed. Not one like Marxist China's. That was a state sponsored campaign to crush individuality & free thinking wherever it was found.

What we require is a force to make culture, music & the arts a major part of all our lives. This may lift the crushing burden of finance based materialism. Money may not be the root of all evil, but its pursuit above all else has created a drab, sad, soulless world.

A world in which many groups of people find themselves totally excluded from the mainstream. Their extreme poverty & lack of hope frequently makes them easy recruits for manipulative fanatics. Thus it becomes an increasingly dangerous world for all of us.

In mediaeval times the Roman Catholic Church formed the Inquisition to impose religious conformity on the peoples under its control. Tools used included Religious Courts, Excommunication, torture, & Burning at the Stake.

Today financial institutions & states impose financial conformity. Their tools include credit reference database agencies, status reports, courts & credit blacklisting. Not so much physical pain but the pressure to conform is greater than ever. Lives are blighted & ruined even more easily.

Enslavement to any kind of conformity should be actively resisted. Regardless of whether it is social, cultural, political, religious, scientific, financial or linguistic etc. We are all individuals & capable of equal importance in the scheme of things. This should be respected & encouraged at all levels.

Our problems in the West are nothing compared to those endured by much of the world's population. Such a small proportion of the developed world's resources would make such a vast difference if only the will was there. Hope springs eternal, but real action is needed, urgently.

We consider ourselves developed because our technological society has evolved, giving us material wealth. But it has not given us cultural wealth, perhaps our humanity needs to evolve, to keep pace?

Unfortunately George Orwell's 1984 has largely come true. Big Brother does now exist and controls all our lives in Western society. At the moment this is mainly at a financial level. World wide databases show almost everyone's credit history, likes, dislikes and buying patterns. This information is currently used for social control, targeting 'junk' mail or telephone sales, etc.

Genetic control of humans by selective breeding and sterilisation was attempted in Hitler's Germany. Selective sterilisation for the same purpose was also practiced in Sweden until the late 1960s. The theories behind these atrocities were unscientific and have since been discredited.

Now genetic science has advanced enough to give real control over peoples lives and existence to large corporations as well as governments. Already in America anyone found, during routine medical screening, to have a perceived genetic disposition to heart disease, cancer, or various mental problems may go on a credit blacklist. We will soon follow, if we have not done so already.

The next step will be to decide who gets medical treatment, based on such information, who lives and who is allowed to die. It is only a matter of time before genetic screening becomes compulsory. How long after that to the point of routine non-reversible sterilisation of all children soon after birth if they fail to meet the criteria set?

The 'science' of genetics is in its infancy, but a little knowledge is dangerous.

Science does need to be controlled to truly advance mankind, but similiar controls on politicians are needed. It is more important than ever that everyone takes part in the democratic process. Otherwise that process will cease to exist and a darker age than ever before will dawn.

Sweden believed that being poor or an unmarried parent was a genetic disorder & could be eliminated by compulsory sterilisation. It was only stopped because the influential middle classes wished for a free life style & the 'eugenic' legislation posed a danger to them.

Author; Ron Lebar.

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The Global economy is an essential part of life on Earth. In today's World no country can or should remain isolated. The World Trade Organisation, a target for fanatical terrorists, is potentially a unifying influence for our planet. Only however, if it is truly World wide. Every major city in every country should have a World Trade Centre. It is essential that all peoples share the benefits.

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He who knows not & knows that he knows not. He is ignorant, teach him:
He who knows & knows that he knows. He is wise, honour him:
He who knows not & knows not that he knows not. He is a fool, despise him:
He who knows & knows not that he knows. He is asleep, wake him.
An old proverb, still valid today.

Slavery. Updated on the 26th of March 2007. Ron Lebar, Author.