Debate and Discussion

Is Slavery Unrealistic in a High Tech world.
Aurora Moon at 8:21AM, May 1, 2007
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hmm. well, I would say it's not very economic.

Think about it: Slaves, they need food and shelter if you want them to continue to work for you a very long time for as long as they live.
Even if you give them only enough for them to stay alive barely, it still becomes costly when you add it all up.

Whereas machines… well, they may be expensive to get at first, but then they pay off in the end by being able to serve and work tireless 24/7.

organic beings such as human slaves, they need rest. so they can't work 24/7 unlike an machine.

The only way slaves could be economic… at least, this is just how I see it:
–The Machines are way too expensive to even make up for it in their labor, like costing 1 million when you only make like 50,000 a year off your crops, etc…so in the end the machines would had put you into the poorhouse.

–For it to befits not only the slave-owners but to impact the world economically, there would have to be like laws and contracts that states that you are only allowed to keep an slave for an small amount of time, before having to let them go free… and having the slave-owners pay the now-free slave for their years of labor, along with their families too at the end. That way the slaves would be able to pay for things on their own too, which means more people buying and selling things in the world. more money being passed around, instead of just piling up in the pockets of slave-owners.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
ozoneocean at 8:41AM, May 1, 2007
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If you have a society where people have rights, then you can't have slavery.
Morals and economics aren't exclusive concepts, it's all part of the same thing.

If everyone has rights it's impossible economically for slavery to exist because that means a part of the population wouldn't be entitled to the status of being human. When you're talking about economics you talk about production, consumption, earnings etc; the calculations are all based around the human element, slavery requires that you ignore a certain part of that human element and pretend they're not even in the equation. So you get false economics.

Even in our current systems though we can do this to an extent with illegal immigrant workers. And it's easiest to do it when you include the production or earnings from another country… The children making sports shoes in South East Asia, marble quarry workers in India, coffee, banana, and coca plantation workers world wide.

If you can somehow justify and maintain institutional subjugation and degradation of part of your population (or that of another country), only then can you make slavery work for you. But when you deal with slavery you deal with the devil: it means you're working inherent instability into your system; a deathly weakness that has proved the inevitable undoing of many civilisations and political systems throughout history.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
Phantom Penguin at 9:32AM, May 1, 2007
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Even with humans expanding to different planets (if it ever happens) there will always be a group of people who want labor for cheap, or even free. Will it be legal? No. But it will still happen.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 2:32PM, May 1, 2007
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There's still slavery now, just not as well known.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafficking_in_human_beings
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:03AM
ccs1989 at 3:04PM, May 1, 2007
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If you have slaves, you have to care for them. You have to support them and build places for them to live and make sure they don't die before you can make a profit from them. If you hire people at minimum wage however you don't need to do any of that. You just pay them so that even if they worked for 40 hours a week every week of the year they would still be thousands of dollars below the poverty line.

These days instead of buying slaves, people in first world countries just outsource to third world countries. Outsourcing is the new slavery.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
The Sando at 3:51PM, May 1, 2007
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Well, you could use slave robots, like if you program robots that have personalities to work for free, then you have slaves. If you make them ‘want’ to work for free then you've got thought slaves.

I like robots because they work as a big ole zombie, golem or slave metaphore.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:15PM
Vagabond at 4:19PM, May 1, 2007
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Why would we need slaves? We already have people who are willing to work extremely long hours for low wages to do extremely difficult menial labor.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
StaceyMontgomery at 8:34AM, May 2, 2007
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Human trafficking still happens because slaves are cheaper than laborers, and some people want to have slaves. There will always be people who want to be free of rules and restrictions. Nowadays, a lot of slaves are used for cheap domestic work. You pay them less than laborers, and you can mistreat them however you like.

Slavery is like most other evils - you don't defeat it, you have to keep fighting it forever. I hope we will.

- stacey
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
marine at 10:12AM, May 2, 2007
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Vagabond
Why would we need slaves? We already have people who are willing to work extremely long hours for low wages to do extremely difficult menial labor.

The service industry! Think of fast food, valet parking, telemarketers, or comic creators.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
subcultured at 10:19AM, May 2, 2007
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star trek had a lot of sex slaves…especially the first one.
that's what the villans always throws at kirk.

Slavery only stagnates the wisdom of a society, where great minds may be locked because of thier work conditions. They have no time for slef growth if all their life they are pleasing thier master's will.

today's we have a more specialized society that there ever has been. we don't have to hunt and gather, cook our own food, babysit our young, and make our own shelter. that's why actors are able to make millions.

according to maslow's pyramid


bieng a useful part of a society helps to fullfill the first and second steps.
we fill in each other's needs. a doctor can treat a mailman who delivers mail to the garder of that doctor. specialization is a sign of a great civilization, and not statues or memorials.


J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
isukun at 12:44PM, May 2, 2007
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I think people forget that machines require maintenance and power/fuel. You're talking at least one full time specialist who will get paid far more than minimum wage as well as the power/fuel required to keep the machine running and any and all parts needed for regular service. Machines also tend to not last as long as human beings. They eventually wear down or become obsolete.

well, they may be expensive to get at first, but then they pay off in the end by being able to serve and work tireless 24/7.

That depends on how advanced the machine is. For simple menial tasks, you probably aren't going to want some advanced AI robot. It isn't cost effective for the simplicity of the task. With a simpler machine, however, you also have a higher failure rate and nobody wants to come in to work the next day to find the factory burned to the ground. This is why most automated factories today still require a human element and int he absence of that human element, they go offline.

Now the real issue which makes slaverly less cost effective for manual labor is the efficiency. A machine speeds up production greatly. In the time it takes a team of slaves to manufacture a circuit board, the same number of machines might make hundreds. That's where the payoff is, not in durability or cost, but in sheer efficiency.

Think of fast food, valet parking, telemarketers, or comic creators.

I'm not sure I would trust food served by an oppressed people. Although it is true that jobs requiring human contact tend to be better received when there is an actual human serving you. Most fast food restaurants today could probably get away with being large vending machines, but the customer still prefers to interact with a live person when ordering, even if it's just screaming through an intercom.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM

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