Meaning of Slavery
What is Slavery:
Slavery is understood as the social system that is based on slavery as a social regime. Slavery also indicates the mode of production that is based on forced labor, which only receives in exchange what is necessary to survive.
Therefore, slavery is a legal condition in which a person, whether man or woman (slave or slave), is the property of another, that is, of a master. The slave is not free to make his own decisions, he has no rights and is cruelly exploited.
Slavery has existed since prehistoric times, when primitive communities began to break down and man began to use other individuals for commercial purposes.
When developing agricultural activity, the human being had to seek greater social and labor organization, for which he used slaves for commercial purposes based on the idea of property.
That is, slaves were part of the master's belongings and were considered as the means of production, without any benefit, they only had to follow orders and work.
Consequently, slaves had no right to defend their will and were used by their owners until all their strength was exhausted, regardless of their health.
Slavery was part of the social order both in the oldest social organizations, as well as in pre-Columbian societies. For example, in India, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, slaves were employed in homes, commerce, building palaces and mausoleums, agriculture, etc. In America, the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas also used slaves for similar purposes.
Slavery grew as the strongest and richest peoples invaded and conquered other smaller and poorer towns from which they obtained slaves.
In other cases, there were people who sold themselves as slaves in order to pay their debts, and others were slaves reduced to slavery for having committed a crime.
However, although there are still various cases of slavery, there have been countless people throughout history who have fought against it until its abolition.
Currently there are international treaties against slavery and December 2 of each year was established as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
Causes and consequences of slavery
Slavery is part of the development of social and agricultural organization, which replaced the old communal regime and generated an economic system of slave production taking into account the following:
- Productivity development: As new tools and methods of agriculture and animal husbandry were developed and invented, economic development increased and more labor was required, that is, slaves.
- Private property: this idea arose as work instruments were developed that led to greater production and diversification of products, in order to sustain themselves and do bartering or business. By having greater profits and wealth, more slaves were required to be bought or exchanged.
- Wealth inequality: as people got rich they had to strengthen the security of their belongings and their armies, which had the task of invading smaller and poorer towns in order to seize everything they found. People who captured or survived vandalism were taken as slaves.
- Social classes: once social groups were organized, they were differentiated by their wealth and power status, and were divided into upper, middle and lower classes. The lower class had few resources, it was generally made up of artisans and peasants, and from there a large number of slaves were obtained.
- Appearance of the State: the States were conforming, maintaining the measures of repression of slavery and denying their rights, on the contrary, their existence and hard work were justified even more. Slavery spread for years thanks to the support of various politicians and judges who supported the slavery position.
Slave production mode
The best way to develop the mode of production was slavery, as slaves work hard, day and night, in order to generate higher levels of productivity. Slaves were the people who worked the land, construction, livestock, and mines.
This workforce drove significant economic and commercial development. So much so that at first slaves were considered as a type of exchange currency with which payments could be made, until the appearance of metallic currency.
The slave mode of production developed an important industrial production force that drove economic activity. Before the abolition of slavery, wealthy families possessed great wealth that was listed in real estate, luxurious objects, slaves, among others.
At that time, the works carried out by the slaves were rudimentary and handcrafted, no type of machinery was used.
In the slave mode of production, the labor force is subjected to slavery and all that this entails, that is, only work and no type of remuneration for effort or productivity.
This mode of production is also based on property and law, that is, only the slaves who had the possibility to pay for their freedom were freed, otherwise they would continue in that situation.