To me it appears to be true that servitude of the masses have to be largely voluntary because the serfs always outnumber the masters. Two quotes on servitude follow but first a bonus quote from Ayn Rand.
“A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment … is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule.”
A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.
It is as difficult to make a people free that is resolved to live in servitude, as it is to subject a people to servitude that is determined to be free.
To usurp supreme and absolute authority in a free State and subject it to tyranny, the people must have already become corrupt by gradual steps from generation to generation. And therefore all such as desire to make a change in the government of a republic, whether in favor of liberty or in favor of tyranny, must well examine the condition of things, and from that judge of the difficulties of their undertaking. For it is as difficult to make a people free that is resolved to live in servitude, as it is to subject a people to servitude that is determined to be free. In any such attempts men should well consider the state of the times and govern themselves accordingly.
From “Discourses” by Machiavelli “On the Books of Titus Livius.”
Quotations are little nuggets of wisdom I treasure. I have a collection here.
Also, here’s a 10-year old post on Étienne de La Boétie’s Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1576). The free pdf of that book here.
One thought on “On Servitude”
This is what goes on in India.
The society cheers on young people to become IAS – which is essentially a state tool to extract other people’s money via the implicit threat of state sanctioned violence
The society does not appreciate creators, it appreciates “taker of other people’s money” …
The masses not only go along with it, they prefer it … And one wonder why prosperity is elusive
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