Two Steps to Purchase a Slave in the 21st Century
Buying a slave in the 21st century is needlessly frowned upon. I can assure you that there is a perfectly legal method of doing so and I will happily talk you through it today.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world.
When I mention 21st century slavery I’m not talking about the swept-under-the-rug style of modern slavery, though I’ll forgive you for thinking of that. That slavery is not legal, the kind I’m referring to is.
It is not something happening in dirty and corrupt parts of the third world. It is happening on your street. Right now – I can guarantee it.
I’ve seen estimations that there are forty million slaves in the world today
I can assure you that this is a gross under-estimation. In truth, there are billions of 21st century slaves. Not only that, but almost all of these individuals opt-into this slavery.
They actually apply for positions as slaves. Not only that… they compete.
Step One… pay a person slightly more than the market rate for their current skills and capabilities.
Step Two is… nothing.
When you say ‘jump’, they will say ‘how high?’
Credit to Nassim Nicholas Taleb for educating us on how to legally own another person. There are those among us who are addicted to paychecks, for very understandable reasons. But with the paycheck, negotiation power is lost.
Our economy is good at getting people addicted to a paycheck that they don’t really need. At distracting them from the Minimum Viable Lifestyle they could be living instead.
The slave who is most trapped is the one unaware that they are captive at all.
When you see and accept your captivity you will have the desire to be free. Look down at your hands and feet. Do you see chains or handcuffs?
No, but you might still be chained and handcuffed. Because this type of slavery has chained your mind. When you look around at the world you inhabit today, it appears that you are free.
If you do not realise you are enslaved, if you are oblivious to ‘the Matrix’, to ‘The Truman Show’, then you will not have the desire to break free. You have accepted this reality, because it is the one you have always been presented with.
A high salary, but a high mortgage to go with it.
We glorify businesses that have high revenues, like that is a mark of success. But revenue is a vanity metric! Profit is what matters. A business can make $10 billion a year but have $11 billion in expenses – and in such a case your local liquor shop will probably be more profitable.
High salaries are the everyday person’s revenue, and profit is what makes it into the savings account. The two don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. When they give you the high salary, they give you the high mortgage and living expenses to go with it.
They give you the stress and anxiety for free. 21st century slaves work around the clock and trade all their time for the feeling that they are sophisticated and high status.
Were hunter-gatherers freer than you are?
Hunter-gatherers spent around three to four hours a day ‘working’. I can only assume that, as the name implies, this work consisted of 1) hunting and 2) gathering. Of course the caveat is that they also had to evade saber tooth tigers in the wild, that they hadn’t won the food chain game yet.
But did they have to ask permission to go home to their family? To see their child perform in the play? To have an extra five minutes for lunch?
Why don’t these things seem ridiculous to us?
Is it because we’re used to asking permission to go to the toilet, eating and leaving class only on the strict chime of the bell as school students? Is it because this system plants its roots when we are young and vulnerable?
Lessons on Valuing Your Time.
As we learnt from the horrific kidnapping of Marshall Godeyemi, there is no reasonable rate for which you can trade your time for.
What if you only got paid to do jobs that you would pay others to let you do? That you would do for an Audience-of-None?
I would probably pay someone to be able to sit here in this cafe and write this for you.
In other words, if your MVL is not under-threat, never trade your time if all you’re getting in return is status and more money. Never trade your time to feel important or like you are ‘advancing’. You are, by nature, steering yourself away from the higher returns on offer in life.
The Minimum Viable Lifestyle is Freedom. Not a High Salary.
You are a contractor. The only reason the whole economy is not a contractor economy is because the government does not trust individuals to pay their own taxes. They decide to trust the bosses to, because people by default are poor at managing money.
They are of course poor at managing money because money management is only taught by particularly money-savvy families, and not through public education systems. That’s an issue for another time.
Whatever the contract arrangement – employee, entrepreneur, investor, freelancer or sub-contractor… be accountable. As Taleb would also encourage… Have skin in the game.
Your time is finite. There is no conversion rate for your ‘time’ without submitting to slavery.
You cannot trade your time for money and status alone, without handcuffing your mind and making yourself blind.
The worst prisoner is the one who cannot see the bars. Who mistakes the small cell they are in, to be the entire free world.
This mistake is easy to make. After all, most of us are born into this cell.
Who do you think of when you read this? Would this piece ‘open a door’ for someone you know?
Why wouldn’t you share it with them?