Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Slavery, a convergence of human beliefs

A few days ago, the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that 40 million people lived in modern slavery in 2016 (GS, ILO). That is more than 3 times the total number of 12.5 million Africans who were forced into slavery between 1500 and 1866 (Smithsonian). The ILO news report (PDF) got less media attention than the average International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

It is wrong to assume that only humans indulge in slavery. The slave-making ants, a brood parasite, also enslave their own species. Interestingly, there are 2 types of slave-makers: permanent social parasites and facultative slave-makers. The 1st type cannot live without slaves and will experience high mortality. The 2nd type will adjust to self-sufficiency within 30 days (eg, BBC, Cracked, my blogs on ants-humans, Nat Geo, Wiki).

According to Wikipedia, “evidence of slavery predates written records, and has existed in many cultures. Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations because it requires economic surpluses and a high population density to be viable. [] slavery became widespread only with the invention of agriculture [] about 11,000 years ago”.

War and slavery are closely related. In the ancient Sumerian civilization, “serfs and slaves made up majority of population and were responsible for all manual labor. [] Eventually, the Sumerians made slaves of other Sumerians they had captured in their wars with each other, but originally they acquired their slaves from peoples beyond Sumer. [] And they justified their slavery as would others: that their gods had given them victory over an inferior people” (source).

Slavery is rooted in 6 of the 7 Belief systems: Money (trading profit), Philosophy (eg, Aristotle, inferiority), Politics (spoils of war), Religion (eg, holy books), Science (eg, Darwin), and the Truth (eg, Snopes). Slavery might even be an example of a convergence of the 6 selfish human beliefs. This convergence is perhaps the reason that human slavery still exists today. 

Love, the 7th Belief system, is the only selfless human belief compared to the 6 selfish beliefs. Mumford and Sons have beautiful lyrics to reflect this: “Love; it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free”. Songs like “Love will set you free” are quite common: Engelbert Humperdinck, Kodaline, Whitesnake. Please listen to my favourite one below.

Someone may now argue that the original text contradicts my argument as “the truth will set you free”. However, verse 8:32 of John the Apostle states: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. As always, context is crucial and is found in preceding verse 8:31: “So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples.”

Like any true prophet, Jesus‘ word was about (selfless) Love. Not Money, not Philosophy, not Politics, not Science, not the Truth, and certainly not Religion as “God has no religion” (Mahatma Gandhi). Please also see my blogs Faith vs Religion and Humanoid Sapiens (5).

Love will set you free (1980) by Carrie Cleveland

artist, bio-1, bio-2info-1, info-2, lyrics, video, Wiki


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