Is a slave really a slave when he doesn't know that he's been enslaved?
It depends on who is assessing it.
All of us, on the outside, will look into the situation and define slavery for the "victim" based on our understanding of morality, social norms, religion etc.
However, the "slave," if he/she is content in his/her life, has no reason to apply terms of misery and opression to his/her circumstance. "Slave" is subjective. And, while I know a lot of you will be instantly incensed by that, I ask you to throw off the easy-answer crap you were spoon fed in school and THINK about real human experience.
You were raised a certain way by your parents. Some other parents will condemn how you were raised. Were you "deprived?"
Some union leaders will decry what you get paid is an outrage. You might think it's fine in this economy. Some starving guy in a poor country might curse you for a blind American a-hole who doesn't recognize how amazing your life is. So, are you a slave, a sell out, or an elitist a-hole?
Slave is always slave, even when they are freed. Very few manage to escape the mentality...
The question is definitely one for the ages. Reminds me of the opening to a song I wrote some years back. Please note that the reference to "master" means "master of myself" in this context, while "slave" can be "slave to ANYONE or ANYTHING":
A man must be either master or slave
And I don't quite know which one I rate
But I don't think the chains are made
That can hold me tight
The cheaper ones I can easily bust
I can outlast iron till it turns to rust
And I'll leave the golden sort
I said the same question the other day "For how does one know if he is imprisoned if he cannot see his captor's bars?"
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