Posts tagged Serfdom
Posts tagged Serfdom
I belong to that ubiquitous group of people who pay their taxes. I am, as it were, a taxpayer. And, not altogether incidentally, I am an indentured servant. I am forced, by my masters, to fill out paperwork and they do not pay me for this task. Rather, they force me to give them up to half of my earnings through their income tax, property tax, sales tax, gas tax, corporate tax, and an infinite array of other taxes, fines and fees.
A while ago I had a conversation with a friend of mine who had recently graduated from college. He was, coincidently, a Socialist who was espousing the virtues of public schools and Socialized Medicine. He was, however, unwilling to admit that those things were paid for through the threat of violence from the state. If I do not pay my taxes, I explained to him, then I will be arrested. If I do not want to be arrested and I choose to defend myself I will likely be shot and killed.
Then, just a few months ago when I was filling out the paperwork for my tax returns, a thought occurred to me: How great would it be if I had a few indentured servants of my own?
Why do I want indentured servants? Well, it’s really quite simple. I want to make money.
I want indentured servants who will accept my claim of ownership to all of the land they live on. Since I owned the land, I would charge them something like $5,000 per year for a title that granted them the privilege of living on my land. If they were to refuse to pay their tributes to me, however, I would quickly take back those titles and kick them off the land. Of course, they could never buy the land off of me and they would lease it for eternity, but they would be allowed trade the titles amongst each other, for a fee. This would give them the illusion of ownership over the land.
My indentured servants would probably not like this idea, but I would have a deceitful trick up my sleeve. I would tell them that I was taking their hard earned money to pay for the schools that I permitted their children to attend. Meanwhile, the children would perform poorly in my schools and their intelligence would be lower than the students in the neighboring schools. My indentured servants would still pay, however, because they would not want the other servants to believe that they did not care about the children.
I want indentured servants who will pay me for the right to work. Anyone on my land who had a job would have to pay me at least 20% of his or her income. I will tell them that this money is being used to pay for the roads and protection, but the roads would remain in horrible condition. The road crews would constantly be working, but nothing would ever get done. The police, whose salaries would be paid by my servants, would not protect and serve. Their only true purpose would be to fine and imprison my indentured servants when they did not obey my rules.
I want indentured servants who will automatically and blindly accept my rule of law no matter how obscene the rules become. I would be able to spy on them, claiming that I am doing it for their own protection. In reality, I would be looking for the dissenters among them who might be forming a resistance to my rule. The police would take care of these bad apples .
I would trick my indentured servants into fighting in conflicts with our neighbors. These conflicts would benefit defense and weapons corporations that I have investments in to help me pad my coffers even more.
The children of my indentured servants would inevitably pay me because that is what their parents did. Their lives would not be terrible, so they would have no reason to revolt.
I want indentured servants because I want to live like a king.
Really, it’s the perfect set up. Who wouldn’t want indentured servants?
I wrote this essay a few years ago, but I always like to bring it up around tax time just to remind people of their serfdom. It is posted in its original form, so there are some potential quibbles. Perhaps indentured servant was not the best term to use. Maybe slave, serf, or fief would have drove home the point more concisely. Either way, the point still rings true.