Identifying Slavery Isn’t Difficult

This conversation started after a mock post to r/ShitPoliticsSays that went, “The worst thing about the January 6 insurrection was that they didn’t do a bit more damage”. The user that posted it and the commenter I was engaged with appear as deleted. I had to use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to get the other side of the conversation. Enjoy!


Skyler: I wouldn’t mind seeing that monument to slavery torn down.

deleted: What monument are you talking about?

Skyler: Capitol building.

deleted: How is it a monument to slavery?

Skyler: It was built in large part by slaves, and it represents the continued enslavement and oppression of the American people. A friend and I talk about it somewhere in this episode: https://everything-voluntary.com/ark3-returns-pessimism-us-capitol-building-bureaucratic-character-1h3m-episode-456

deleted: Being built by slaves doesn’t mean it’s a monument to slavery. If that’s true you’re using a monument to slavery to write your comments right now.

Skyler: So you’ll just ignore the second point? Because you agree with it? You think my Dell computer was built by slaves? If so, why do you think that?

deleted: They make their computers in China which is known to use slave labor to make their products. And I ignored the second part because it was too stupid to respond to. How are Americans still oppressed and enslaved?

Skyler: To the extent that self-ownership is not respected, you have slavery (other-ownership) and oppression. Does America have coercive laws that violate self-ownership, that take away personal choice over this thing or that thing? Yes. To the extent that self-ownership is violated, Americans are enslaved and oppressed, as are the rest of the world, to whatever degree. And it’s all directed from the Capitol Building (and elsewhere).

deleted: That is not slavery and it’s kind of a slap in the face to real slaves past and present.

Skyler: It’s absolutely real slavery to deny people their self-ownership. What else should you call it when self-ownership is being denied? If you aren’t allowed to own yourself, your body, then somebody else is claiming ownership of you; I call that slavery. The only difference is one of degree, not of kind.

deleted: How are you not able to own yourself, or your body?

Skyler: Ownership is the exclusive right of control. States everywhere deny self-ownership to people when they pass laws that coercively prohibit how we use our bodies (speech, sex, drugs, religion, self-defense, etc.) and coercively demand that we share the fruits of our body’s labor (taxes and property takings).

deleted: You literally don’t know what slavery is.

Skyler: If you aren’t the owner of your body, then somebody else is. That’s slavery in my lexicon. Why don’t you tell me what slavery means in your lexicon?

deleted: But I do own my body. I can do whatever the fuck I want with it.

Skyler: Presumably, according to many a legal code around the world, you may not do whatever the fuck you want with it, with impunity. You are coerced to do only those approved actions by the rulers that claim rights over you, ie. slavery.


They never responded, and subsequently deleted their comments. I suppose they realized the errors in their thinking? Anyway, chattel slaves were also self-owners that could do whatever they wanted with their bodies. I believe that, but their so-called “masters” did not, and used violence and manipulation to keep them from believing and acting on it. The only reason you wouldn’t believe that “citizens” are also enslaved is if you don’t accept a chattel slave’s self-ownership. If you do, then you understand that although they are a self-owner (because slavery is illegimate), they are under extreme duress to behave as their “master” demands they behave. Exactly the situation wither every person on Earth vis a vis their government masters. Slavery and oppression.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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