THE PERFECT SLAVE THINKS HE'S FREE
==================================

  "Nos han dado la tierra." ("They have given us the land.")
                                               -- Juan Rulfo

Circa 1600s,  in  England,  the  land  owned  the  yeomen and the
British Lord owned both.  The yeomen were part and parcel of  the
estate.

But  then  it  occurred that the land would be more profitable to
the British Lord if he raised  sheep on it.  Due to manufacturing
advances, a growing wool trade led to seizure of the common lands
for sheep pasture.  The British Lords managed this through  their
Parliament.   "Strong  and  active peasants were transformed into
wageworkers or  sturdy  beggars;  city  streets  were filled with
paupers." [1]

Many of the displaced yeomen came to America,  where  they  again
became  serfs  (indentured  servants) for awhile.  "Penniless and
lowly Englishmen,  arrested  and  convicted  for  any  one of the
multitude of offenses then provided for  severely  in  law,  were
transported  as criminals or sold into the colonies as slaves for
a term of years." [2]

In America, tremendous estates were  owned  by Lords of the Land.
Holland set up  a  "patroon"  system  giving  feudal  rights  and
privileges  to  select  colonizers.  The Dutch West India Company
presided over  the  arrangement,  and  several  British companies
"chartered by royal command with all-inclusive powers... held the
trade and land of the greater part of the  colonies  as  a  rigid
monopoly."  English immigrants "ardently expected that in America
land would be plentiful. They were bitterly disappointed." [3]

Still,  there  were  not  enough  laborers.  In 1619 a Dutch ship
brought the first group  of  black  slaves  to Jamestown.  In the
South, the economy depended on agriculture.  Slavery was the prop
of that system.  In the North, the Lords  of  the  Soil,  through
their  feudal  powers,  monopolized  trade and manufacture.  "All
power was concentrated in  the  hands  of a few landowners."  The
feudal lord "forced his  tenants  to  sign  covenants  that  they
should  trade  in  nothing  else than the produce of the manor...
[The feudal lord] claimed, and held,  a monopoly in his domain of
whatever trade he could seize." [4]

The British king's  Proclamation  Line  of 1763 forbid settlement
west of the Appalachian Mountains.  But home-grown elites refused
to let go of their vast landholdings, so tension grew.  In *Rural
Radicals*, Catherine McNicol Stock  explains  how  "British  army
officers  told  [frontier  Americans]  that  their best chance of
gaining freehold land was to  support the British in overthrowing
the landlords -- while their  landlords  told  them  exactly  the
reverse."  [5]

The American Revolutionary  War  was  fought.  Subsequent to that
conflict,  the  Land  Lord  class  gradually   declined   and   a
manufacturing/merchant  class  gained  ascendancy.  A new type of
slave -- the wage slave  --  was  born.  Writes Gustavus Myers (a
"leftist," by the way),

  If  the proletarian white population had been legal slaves,
  as the Negroes in  the  South  had been, much consideration
  would have been bestowed upon their gullets and  domiciles,
  for  then  they would have been property; and who ever knew
  the  owner  of  property   to  destroy  the  article  which
  represented money?  But being  "free"  men  and  women  and
  children,  the  proletarians were simply so many bundles of
  flesh whose sickness and  death  meant pecuniary loss to no
  property-holder.

Most  workers  did  and  do  pay  rent  to  that  same class that
expropriates the product  of  their  labor.   The luckier who own
their own land must still pay a yearly tribute to  the  apparatus
of Monopoly Capital. 

Recently,  an "improvement" on the wage-slave system has been the
"temping" of the  American  worker.   After  Monopoly Capital has
claimed the fruit of their labor, a few crumbs are tossed to  the
workers  and  they  are expected to go warehouse themselves -- at
*their* expense -- until  a  new  temporary need arises for their
labor.

As pointed out by Myers, Monopoly Capital has always  been  eager
for  surplus  of  labor.   For  that reason it has always favored
floods of immigrants  to  the  U.S.  This  pool of labor competes
bitterly for available jobs, driving down  the  cost  of  hiring.
When  labor, for economic reasons, seeks to slow new immigration,
paid propagandists of Monopoly  Capital float various myths.  One
myth is that "American workers won't do  certain  jobs;  we  must
have  immigrants."  But if there were fewer immigrants, the labor
pool would shrink and  better  wages  for "certain work" could be
demanded and won.  Better wages would most definitely  mean  that
American workers *would* do "certain jobs."  Another myth floated
is  "racism/xenophobia."  Economic motives of competing labor are
falsely called racial and/or xenophobic.

The solution to our slavery is *not* Marxism.  Marxists give good
analyses of  the  tyranny  of  Monopoly  Capital.  Unfortunately,
their "solution" is worse than the  problem!   Myers  shows  how,
throughout  the  life of the United States, bribery of government
officials has been systemic;  it  is  part  of how the system has
always worked and continues  to  work.   Monopoly  Capital,  from
before  the  time  of  the  Revolutionary War on up to today, has
always used bribery as  part  of  its *modus operandi*.  And, for
hundreds of  years,  there  have  always  been  scandals,  public
outrage,  official investigations, and "reform."  BUT NOTHING HAS
EVER BEEN REALLY CHANGED.  The solution to our problem is to copy
the tactics of our enemies.  The Teamsters Union  has  shown  the
way:   WE  can  give  "campaign  contributions."  That is the way
things get done.   But  we  must  organize  as  a  bloc (*not* as
individuals replying to puny, mass-mailed, solicitations.)   What
heading our bloc goes under is the question.

---------------------------<< Notes >>---------------------------
[1] *The Rise of American Civilization* by Charles and Mary Beard
[2] *History of the Great American Fortunes* by Gustavus Myers
[3] ibid.
[4] ibid.
[5] *Rural Radicals* by Catherine McNicol Stock

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