With the benefit of hindsight it is easy to see how often our fathers were enslaved; to land barons, or kings. The systems on enslavement we see in history are transparent, and looking back, you wonder why the peasants put up with it. Why di they allow themselves to be enslaved?
What is harder to perceive is that the same forces still operate in our society (and in all societies as far as I know). In the west we may consider ourselves to be free – we are free to chose where we live, and what employment we take, for example. However, we are not free to chose whether we participate in this system.
Yes you can chose what house you live in, and whether to rent it or buy it, but you cannot make a housing choice that doesn’t require you to service it with large monthly sums of money, which also enslaves you to a job. Yes, you can chose who you work for, but you cannot chose not to work at all.
The trick of the capitalist system is to remove a figurehead from the position of “master”. None of us are slaves to another person directly, we are slaves to a system. This illusion of freedom keeps those who are enslaved under control much more effectively than a system where the enslaved are aware of their slavery. The illusion of freedom keeps the slaves in subservience.
True freedom is free access to the resources necessary for life: water, food, and shelter; in short access to land. It is with access to these resources and the freedom to use them, that one can provide for the basics of life. If one can provide for these needs, then one is no longer required to work for shelter, or food.
Access to land is kept out of the grasp of ordinary working people for this very reason. In the UK this is what the planning system is designed to do – yes farm land itself is not vastly expensive, but access to this land to provide for the basic needs of life is prohibited – homes are required to be sited on building land for example.
The rights of ordinary people to provide for themselves from the natural resources around them have been taken away, thus enslaving them to a system which is designed to generate more wealth for the wealthy.
None is more enslaved than the slave who believes himself to be free