Lessons of modern age slavery

Even though slavery was abolished in the modern world more than hundred years ago it still exists in many societies across the globe. There are different types of slavery starting from human trafficking and self restriction. In this post I want to talk a bit about the slavery I am facing in my life and the things I’ve talking lately to my friends.

Slavery in Russia was abolished not so long ago in 1861 by the Russian Emperor Alexey II. Since then the national psychology did not change much. By national psychology I mean a slave’s mentality in its pure form common for many people living in the country nowadays. After the abolishment the nation experienced a heavy burden of Stalin’s repressions, GULAG, the spread network of conspiracy and secrecy. People were living under the constant threat and self restriction. Those who disagreed with the regime created the sophisticated underground network; people were sharing the forbidden books and ideas. Nonetheless all this underground movement did not contribute to the disappearance of slave’s mentality. After the collapse of the Soviet Union people were finally allowed to express their views freely. During the Eltsin’s era the media was as free as never before in Russian history.

Unfortunately with the Putin’s regime things changed dramatically: media was controlled and owned by Kremlin allies, there were no political talk shows in prime-time on TV (the main medium in the country), people stopped discussing politics. The regime is becoming stricter year after year and the slave’s mentality does not allow people to speak up. The slave’s past suppressed nation’s ability to revolt and openly disagree with the existing political situation, corruption and bureaucracy. The logic behind this behavior is the following: I would better be silent, will not rebel and suffer in a way because it does not touch upon me directly. This wait-and-see position does not bring anything good for the society overall, since people are not used to fight for their rights and government constantly forgets that it exists for people but not vice versa.

Indeed the Russians never really fought for their rights throughout history: equal rights for women were granted by the soviet regime. Compared to the US particularly how the black population was fighting for their rights, Russia has nothing like this. People got used to silence their disagreement and expect someone else to do something about it. In the meantime the protest movements sometimes occur in various regions of the country; mainly they are silenced in the national media. Therefore these protests do not have the tangible effect on masses.

This is one example of self-restricting slavery in Russia. The other sort of slavery I encounter myself is job slavery. Some people may say that human beings turned into slaves of their jobs and lifestyle, the situation is worse for fresh graduates. A lot of companies employ these fresh graduates as slaves on the unpaid basis up to 6 months. I find it really disturbing and disappointing. In the meantime it is considered to be legal and legitimate. I assume that this situation divides the society even more: some students or their parents can afford working for 6 months and not get paid for this, some not. This situation does not surprise anyone and is considered to be quiet normal nowadays.

Probably we are all slaves of our desires and ideas of good life. That is why students agree to be slaves of the companies for 6 months. The thing is that slavery exists in many forms and shapes and some types of it are socially acceptable. Of course human trafficking is a serious crime and cannot be compared to a slavery of an unpaid internship; there is no doubt in this.

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