I am not taking about modern tax slavery, bank slavery or marriage slavery. I am talking about true slavery where people are worked to death and traded as livestock. If we do not want to see a world wide return of slavery, we most consider possible hypothetical scenarios where it could return.
First lets look at all the ways that people were traditionally turned into slaves. In the Ancient world if one city/state went to war with another, the loser would be enslaved. The logic behind this was that the loser was damned by the Gods. The thinking at the time was that such people damned by the Gods should be put to death (men, women and children). An exception was made for those to be used as slaves. In the Ancient World Slaves were considered dead people. Hence they had no rights as live human beings.
Another scenario is that of Debt Slavery. These were people who could not pay their debts and either sold themselves as slaves or forced into slavery in lieu of payment. Such people often had the right to buy their freedom back or gained their freedom after working off their debt. They where given a little more respect as human beings.
Another scenario is one in which travelers where often kidnapped and taken into slavery by pirates. Travel in the Ancient World was very dangerous.
These common forms of slavery probably existed as the norm from the Stone Age right up to about 1,000 AD. These common forms of slavery fell out of practice with the growth of Christianity when slavery was banned in Christendom. It is important to note that even as slavery was banned in Europe, it continued to thrive in the rest of the world in traditional form. Europeans did not invent Slavery in Africa. It just never stopped. The Europeans entered a preexisting market in Africa in the 16th century.
Slavery in the New World (Americas), represents a departure from traditional slavery as it existed for thousands of years. The reason is the by the 11th century slavery has been well established as taboo by the Christian church. Christian people could not be enslaved. People could not be enslaved. This is the point were “Race” becomes an issue. The argument by Slaver’s was that people of other races where not Fully Human. It was on this basis that they were able circumvent the Christian ban on Slavery. This of course was false… and the proof of it was that people of different races are able to inter-bread and produce mixed race children.
The important point that I wish to bring up regarding Slavery in the New World that was race based and that this was an exception to historical slavery norms. For almost all of human history… EVERYONE was at risk of being ENSLAVED. Proof of this can be seen in the Viking raids of Northern Europe between 800 and 950 AD. The Vikings primary business was Slave Making. They raided northern European villages and sold white slaves to the Arabs in North Africa and what is now Spain.
The Vikings are a perfect example to study for how to make slaves. The Vikings had a very simple business model. “If you were strong, they traded with you. If you were weak, they enslaved you”. That there is the answer to the question “Can Slavery Make a Comeback?”. The difference between Viking Culture and European Culture is that in Viking culture ALL Men where trained in the use of arms. All Scandinavian Farmers could wield a sword or battle ax. European Culture on the other hand forbid European Peasants from carrying a sword. Unarmed people make great slaves.
So how can we best prevent the return of slavery. All people in our society most be free of own and train with modern weapons so they can protect their freedom. Things may seem stable now, but we are one Global Disaster away from a breakdown in the social order and a return to slavery for all who are unarmed and unskilled in the use of arms.