Support For Voluntary Slavery

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Support For Voluntary Slavery The new millennium confronts prosperous nations with two apparently intractable problems. One is persistently high unemployment, with the number of long term unemployed also at high levels. This threatens to create an underclass locked into welfare dependency, educational underachievement, despair and alienation. The second problem is that many of those who work suffer marginal and insecure employment. Increasing numbers of workers in Western nations are engaged in low-paid casual or part-time or temporary contract work, or are beset by economic insecurity. For many, this has meant that planning for the future is out of the question. Relentless restructurings and ruthless downsizings in both private and public sectors are driving more and more people into unemployment or marginal employment. While Western economies are growing quite strongly as the century draws to a close, those workers who are not yet unemployed are either actually insecure and relatively impoverished, or justifiably anxious. This is part of wider trend to increased economic inequality. The wealthy of advanced capitalist societies are getting seriously richer while the real incomes of the majority of working people are stagnant or falling. In affluent but widely unequal societies, substantial numbers find themselves without sufficient resources for a decent life within the prevailing social conditions. The condition of those on the bottom of the pile — the unemployed underclass — is tantamount to social exclusion. At the other end of the social spectrum, the top ten per cent of our societies has opted out of threadbare public structures into a world of largely private provision - private schools, private health car... ... middle of paper ... ...n the rather simplistic ground that it is, in principle, a bad thing. So is killing. However, just as most of us believe that we can have just wars, so too we could have justified enslavement, if there is no better alternative on offer. The scale of welfare dependency and the unaffordability of state welfare are major difficulties currently facing our liberal capitalist societies. The welfare state is not working; it cannot provide sufficient welfare and, furthermore, as most mainstream analysts now believe, it has morally pernicious effects on the poor. Leaving people hanging around in idleness at taxpayers' expense is now seen as a sort of cruelty masquerading as beneficence. The institution of voluntary slavery would be a huge help in stemming the tide of taxpayer-funded welfare payments, and would provide work for those now mired in self-destructive idleness.

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