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Bondage and Imperial Decline
Marcus Mickus Wonders about Historical Parallels for the Near Future
© 2021 James LaFond
“We are obviously in a period of imperial decline—I've fought for this empire on two continents and its obvious. My question is, how did the end of Rome, its final stages of decline, change slavery? Did that bring in the concept of indentured servitude? And how might that serve as a model for what is to come?”
-Marcus Mickus, Saturday, 6/19/21 as the rain pattered in the canopy above our patio seats

The word slavery takes much deconstruction, as it has been politicized, as does the word servant. The concept of being “indentured” is an anachronistic academic corruption of the realty of being “indented” in early English Modernity. Leaving aside the first two of these misleading words and saving the state of being “indented” for later, let's state that during the Plantation Era, from roughly 1550 through 1861, that the blanket legal term under which all forms of forced labor, including some 15 other stations such as made, boy, girl and transport, and unfree living was “bond man” or “bond woman.”
What we are discussing is the varying fate of human bondage and how this state fluctuated with the fortunes of the State [traditional, feudal, imperial, and industrial nation states included] over time and particularly in decline.
The decline of Rome was not just the fall of the Imperium, or of Rome as an entity that had existed as a traditional, feudal, republican and imperial entity as each in its turn failed and was rebooted, but the actual fall of Antiquity. This was essentially the failure of agrarian-based imperial forms of exploitation governance in the face of pastoral pressure from the barbarian hinterlands which now came equipped with the stirrup.
The feudal order ushered in by Asiatic, Germanic, Arabic and Norse invasion did not extinguish any form of slavery. It did, along with the semantic sensibilities of Christianity, which had become the moral operating system for Christendom—formerly Rome—reduced chattel slavery to a punishment of earthly damnation. Formerly, to be owned by another person was the fate of most. Now, to be the abject property of an individual was generally a punishment for failing to please God. Beginning about 500, the slave of a person, became the slave of the land, absolving Christian masters from the taint of trafficking Christians. This was in large part a rural re-interpretation of bondage after the fall of an urban civilization that had been based on agriculture but also divorced from it in an inauthentic way. Now that the ruling class lived within scent of dung heaps and in sight of plow boys, moral distance was desired.
The other difference in bondage ushered in by the Fall or Rome and the Rise of Christendom, was that slave trading itself was outsourced to Heathens, Muslims and other non-Christian parties. In many ways, banking as we know it, totally divorced from national or local identity and being an autonomous macro-parasitic international operating system, began when the Christian ruling class's desire for bond men and bond women, coupled with their public relations needs not to be seen whipping gangs of chained slaves from Christian Austria, over the alps, to be sold in Italy to Africans, Arabs and Turks. Another party needed to be employed.
Likewise, when Christendom fell to the Mercantile Nation State between 1543 and 1648, those nations positioned to engage in maritime activity by way of the technology of sailing ships, had a very real need of two things:
-1. redefining a justifiably Christian state of bondage based on the Biblical crime of failing to show “fruits” from one's labors
-2. divorcing this state of bondage from its traditional feudal multi-generational attachment to the land.
Bondage systems have always been based on the ideal of debt:
-Antiquity: debt to the conqueror for sparing your life
-Christendom: debt to the landlord for shelter and protection
-Plantation Era: debt to society for failure to economically thrive and for crimes
-Industrial Era: debt to the government for protecting your dependents while you work away from home and for permitting your employer to access natural resources for you to turn into finished goods
-Atomic Age: debt to creditors for loans, debt to government for freedom of speech, debt to society for crimes when in prison, debt to government for police protection...
The question is, what forms of debt will be used to achieve bondage of the individual for the purpose of economic extraction, which has been the only historical use of state systems since antiquity?
What we see above is an increase over the ages of debt complexity, with more ways to fall into debt and also of voluntary compliance, such as the belief that paying taxes is a social contract and not a farming system.
The process has been skewed by the continual introduction of less productive people, through immigration and off-shoring, to replace highly productive people at cheaper rates. This has resulted in the need, amplified by economy of scale and automation, for the system to elevate the less productive folk to overseer status and bind the more productive folk as a debtor class.
I see this taking three forms:
-Financial debt schemes will continue to expand, particularly in the direction of renting over buying of living space becoming the norm.
-Atheism and media machinations will be used to place producers into medical debt, with medical systems and law enforcement beginning to blend, and to include social debt. For instance, unvaccinated people will be denied insurance, employment and access to facilities and services.
-Original Sin, an ancient and hallowed social debt scheme, is even now being reapplied as racial guilt and will be expanded to medical guilt by applying the current mechanics of thought criminality. Those people who have been placed by both the Leftist and Rightist thinkers of the false polarity of America, as the scions of the races that were supposed to have been the people whom Western Civilization worked for, at the expense of toiling others, will be assigned race-based debt, translated into taxes, tithes, prohibitions and even direct, individual reparations. Currently, every one I know who holds a job above the service industry, must undergo regular indoctrination into the Cult of Anachronistic Guilt.
Indentured was not an actual term, but a later obfuscation of the condition of being “indented.” Note that we do not say indebtured, but indepted. For even our system of exploitation clearly recognizes that the person who has taken out a loan, is not the actor, but the subject of the actor. The figure of the loan shark is instructive. The debtor has made one submissive action out of need, desire, desperation of even greed. But that one submissive action causes a chain of monthly aggressive actions against him for years and even decades. If he fails to comply, legal action may be taken, including repossession, eviction, fines, penalties, etc.
Just as “indented” servant men of the Plantation Era were acted upon by both systems of human bondage and individuals, the modern debtor will be increasingly an involuntary actor, a renter rather than a buyer, a guilt-indebted benefactor of past inequities rather than a rights-possessing benefactor of current equities. Laws against homelessness are already on the books in most municipalities. Once buying homes has been placed beyond the reach of most individuals and couples, and large corporations dominate the rental market, the will to criminalize homelessness will return. Vagabonds and trailer dwellers will, by force, be settled in apartments and assigned jobs, with their income going first to the landlord. Welfare housing schemes have placed the balance of the rental mechanisms in action. These need only be synchronized with the enforcement of vagrancy law to bring about the return of serfdom under a new urban feudal order.
I hope that is cogent enough, Marcus.
On behalf of Alaric, who kicked in the door in 410, I decline to apologize.
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Marcus Mickus     Jul 18, 2021

Always informative and entertaining.
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