“We used to own our slaves, now we just rent them.”

–       Anonymous.


The American anthropologist David Graeber once remarked that the difference between wage labor existing today and slavery is rather small. In the past people were so in debt that they had to sell their lives to others in order to survive. Nowadays people are so in debt that they rent their bodies for periods of time to their employers. In a world where student loans can become so colossal that you have to work for your creditor for years, only in order to remain hopeful that paying your debts is possible at all, the distinction between labor and slavery becomes simply a dispute of legal vocabulary.

As a consequence of the economic crisis, most of the European youth find themselves in the situation Graeber describes. Youth unemployment is massive, especially in the southern countries of the…

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Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. Have you read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In? Its’ all about how it’s women’s fault we’re poor. She’s the CFO of Facebook. Guess how many working women’s scholarships she offers to women? Or small business start up loans/grants? It rhymes with Nero. http://www.morgainm.wordpress.com



    1. Wow that’s amazing. I would love to read her take on it. It sounds…um…interesting? lol



  2. With 12 million unemployed, Congress just voted to allow MORE guest workers “with critical, high-tech skills” into the country under H1-B…as if to say, there STILL aren’t enough people in this country without those skills; possibly the biggest lie being told here today.

    Face it; the wealthy, ruling ‘class’ are ‘selling’ citizenship; which is really a package of ‘indentured servitude’ to a lot of foreigners who are willing to move from place-to-place in this country every 5 years or less under the H1-B program rules.

    There is no more ‘setting down roots’ and remaining in a good-paying, middle-class job for your entire career so you can have a home and be part of a community in America…this is exactly what the wealthy, ruling class DOESN’T want. It makes it harder to destroy the middle class, which is clearly their goal.

    “Divide and Conquer” was NOT Ceasar’s battle strategy against his enemies…it was how he ruled his own people, which is why the Roman Empire ultimately fell apart; just like it is here.

    And with no place else to go – a la wealthy Romans who fled the Empire with their private security forces to places like France to build castles where they ‘ruled’ over poor people through ‘fear and intimidation’ – the uber-wealthy are setting themselves up for a French-style Revolution in this country. Their private security today aren’t going to be able to stand up against an angry mob of hungry poor people.

    God help us if we ever had to fight a real war – not this phony sh*t going on the Middle East so the wealthy will have abundant fuel for their super yachts and private planes – because I think:

    1. we’re tired of this ‘War Without End’; too many poor enlistees are coming home with arms and legs blown off, and
    2. they’d be hard-pressed to find a large group of volunteers willing to fight for what has become a very ‘English’ country of a very few rich and a lot of working poor.

    Freedom? Freedom to do what? Serve in the Army, go to college, take on a lot of debt, then work 3 years until you’re laid off, and spend the next 7 years unemployed looking for a job you busted your *ss to learn; only to be turned away in favor of some Gook who shows up here with some bullsh*t paper, never having served in this country’s military…from some country whose government and people HATE this country?

    It is as I said in 1977; “One day, America will cease to exist as a country”. I based that statement on the notion of a country where certain rights were inherent to citizenship in that country, and the concept of ‘citizenship’ used to be taught in American public schools.

    Not anymore.

    This too is part of the wealthy war on the middle class; control what gets taught in the schools…keep the poor people ignorant of their rights…make military service the only real option for those too poor to attend college…get ’em all pumped up on religion and stylized violence so they’re a-rarin’ to go get into a fight with poor people from another country so we can take their natural resources, and make no mistake; this ’10-year war on terror’ is nothing more than a “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight”.

    We may get away with it for now; it may not always be so, which is why I’ve arranged an ‘exit strategy’ so that my son can avoid the ‘conscription’ that’s coming the next time we elect some retard Republican who thinks he can ‘make war at pleasure’.



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