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How slaves became employees.

Updated on July 6, 2010


Merriam Webster defines a slave as, "a person who has lost control of himself and is dominated by something or someone else." No wonder many employees, shackled to their jobs with little freedom to control their day-to-day work or their career, feel like slaves.Employees are "dominated" because what they do, when they do it, and where they do it are controlled by their employer. They are like slaves because their employer controls their time and their space. Many employees live in a state of perpetual anxiety about losing their jobs. Indeed, research shows that more than half of all employees feel insecure in their jobs and inhibited about expressing their views openly.

Technically, of course, employees are voluntary workers and are legally free to leave whenever they please. In practice, however, this is not the case for most people. The job market today is extremely tight and the prospect of finding a job elsewhere is daunting. The slave analogy is also relevant because employees do not feel management cares about their well being or gives them the authority to make their own decisions. Research conducted by Discovery Surveys also shows:

Less than half of employees believe that management shows a genuine interest in their well being;

Half don't trust the information they receive from management;

Only 58 percent feel that they have the decision-making authority they need; and

Only one-third feel that they are involved in decisions that affect their day-to-day work.

Many employees live in a perpetual state of anxiety because they lack what psychologists call "the perception of control." Psychological studies have shown that the perceived control over one's destiny has more of an influence over anxiety than does the actual control.

Black's Law dictionary defines employee as "A person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, where the employer has the power or right to control and direct the employee in the material details of how the work is to be performed." By that definition, we begin to see how similar the modern day employee is to the servants and slaves of times past.


Part 2 - History of the employee.

Where did the idea of employment come from?

During biblical times, people were self-employed, contract laborers, or servants obligated to a long-term service. A contract laborer is seen in the parable of the field hands who were hired to harvest grapes (Matthew 20:1-16). Servanthood, or slavery, was generally entered through some obligation: a person might have incurred too much debt and had to sell his services to meet his obligation, he might have been on the wrong side of a battle and was captured, he might be learning a trade as an apprentice, or he might be earning something that he could not normally afford, such as Jacob's fourteen years of service to Laban for the right to marry Rachel (Genesis 29:15-30). The length of service lasted until the obligation was fulfilled. It could last a few years or could be a lifetime of service.

Most of the Bible's comments on employment focuses on servants or slaves. Outside of self-employment, it was the most common form of labor; and it was the main form of labor that kept the employer (the master) tied to his employees (servants). A master had to supply his servants the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. Servants became a part of the master's household. Now as you might suspect, when men are involved there were a wide variety of masters; some took good care of their servants, but many did not. Slavery was modified throughout Europe during the medieval times into what is known as 'serfdom', which simply gave the 'serfs' slightly more rights and protection than slaves. Serfs differed from slaves in that slaves could be bought and sold without reference to land, whereas serfs changed lords only when the land they worked changed hands. However, slavery in the United States existed as a legal institution on American soil before the founding of the United States in 1776, and remained a legal feature of American society until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865. During the rise of the Industrial revolution, the plantation owners became plant owners, and many slaves were transferred from plantations into plants. The same rich people who had been slaveowners now became company owners and CEO's, and they used slaves to mass-produce goods in order to boost their bottom line. As slavery was abolished, these rich men were forced to hire help, at a cheap cost of course, in order to continue to grow their company and yield more profits. Thus the transformation of slave into employee began.


Part 3 - The comparison.

Is employment really similar to slavery?

Let's compare the similarities between the modern-day employee and the slaves from 300 years ago: A. The farmer supplied all the slaves with accommodation.

B. The company pays all the employees a salary to pay for their accommodation.

A. The farmer supplied all the slaves with food and other household necessities.

B. The company pays all the employees a salary to pay for their food and other household necessities.

A. On all the major holidays like Christmas and Easter the slaves receive a day or two off from working

B. On all the major holidays like Christmas and Easter the employees receive a day or two off from working.

A. The farmer supplied the slaves with medical care when needed.

B. The Company supplies all the employees with medical aid for when a doctor is needed.

A. If a slave broke the rules or ran away, the farmer would punish them with lashes, verbal abuse or take away their necessities like food.

B. If the employees break the rules or stay away from work the company will punish them with written warnings, hearings or even pay deductions so that the employees can't afford to pay for their necessities like food.

A. The farmer would occasionally supply the slaves with some refreshments and a party to keep them happy and motivated.

B. The company will occasionally supply the employees with some refreshments and a party to keep them happy and motivated.

A. The slaves were controlled by the fear of not being able to survive away from the farm.

B. The employees are controlled by the fear of not being able to survive away from the company.

I'm not saying that all employment is seen as slavery. There are certain industries where employment is a necessity like hospitals, banks, etc. But modern day slavery still exists and they are in the industries where people are hired for their skills. All of us have our own unique skills and most of us are being enslaved for it. Many people will argue that slavery does not exist not only because of the existing laws, but, moreover, because they don't actually see people shackled, whipped and forced to work. Considering our modern lives, however, in light of the definition given by Webster's Dictionary, slavery does affect us all, and applies to many of the practices in which most of us engage. Many in our society are slaves to jobs, slaves to car payments, slaves to credit cards, and slaves to rents or mortgages in much the same way as the slaves of the past. This type of "modern" slavery may be, to an extent, self-imposed, but still fits the definition, and shows yet another way the face of slavery keeps altering its appearance to remain alive. Americans need to understand this or they will continue to enslave themselves and continue to promote the general acceptance of that which they believe does not exist.


Part 4 - Our society

What we've been trained to believe.

In our society, we have been trained to become employees. We are taught to get a good education, go out and find a good job and work at that job until your old and grey, at which time you'll be released from your duties with a few years of life remaining and just enough money to get by on. Most of the time, however, we only hear about the first half of that scenario, and never seem to think about the second. As many of us know, the system in corporate America has been set-up to keep the rich rich, to keep the poor poor, and to keep all those in the middle right in the middle. Otherwise, if we were all given the chance to become financially independent, there would be no employees to serve others and to make the rich man's company grow. That's why the majority of employees are paid just enough to get by on, but never enough to be able to quit or retire early. Many of us know this, but most of us do nothing about it. We just accept it as the way things are, and continue to work for others because we're forced to believe that is what we must do, and we believe this is the only way to have a sense of security. Do you truly feel secure knowing you'll have to work until the age of 65, just to retire and live a meager existence until you die? Is this the way you feel God intended for our lives to be? ..or do you see how this system was set-up by the corrupt world we live in and primarliy only benefits the rich? So what can we do about it?


Part 5 - Time for a change!

Are you ready to go from servitude to financial independence?

So, here's the big question. Are you ready to make what could be the most dramatic change of your life? Most people are not willing to take a chance to get what they really want out of life. Unfortunately, it is those same people who will be stuck at their job for nearly all their lives, and end up nearly broke by the time they retire. Popular surveys show nearly 98% of people are either dead or dead broke by the age of 65, and many continue working after that because social security just doesn't pay enough for their expenses. If you want change, you have to make a change. If, over the next five years, you keep doing the same thing you've been doing for the last five years, what makes you think your situation will change for the better? If you really want financial independence, and you know you will never get it from your J.O.B. (which stands for just over broke), then it's time to retrain your mind from that of an employee to that of an entrepreneur. It's time to do what you have to do to get the financial and time freedom that you deserve.


Part 6 - The options.

You're already doing it, why not get paid?

There are many ways someone can go about working for themselves. First, you can start your own business, which usually requires a lot of time and start-up money, and typically you have to either supply a product or perform a service yourself. Second, you can open up a franchise, which is quite expensive and also very time consuming. Another way is to try all the get rich quick schemes on the internet and see if that gets you anywhere, which it usually won't, hence the term 'scheme'. The best and least expensive way I have found to earn great money while working for yourself, after trying nearly everything else over the past 10 years, is network marketing. Many people are immediately turned off by that term, and most people who haven't done it don't really know what it means. Network marketing is a simple marketing strategy used by many companies today, which is easier and less expensive than other forms of advertising. Let's say you and I had a great idea for a business, and we decided to try it out. Since we're just starting out, we don't have a lot of money to pay for advertising, so what we would do instead is tell (market) our friends and family (network) about it, and anyone else who we may meet. That would be a great and inexpensive way to start off, and we could ask the people we tell to tell others, and eventually we would develop quite a bit of customers. That is network marketing, in it's simplest form. Most of us have done network marketing without even realizing it, and usually without getting paid for it either. Has anyone ever asked you about a shirt you were wearing, or maybe a pair of shoes. and you told them where you got it from and recommended them to the store? If so, that was network marketing, only you probably didn't get paid anything from that store for referring them there, regardless of how much the person you told may have spent. Ever recommended a movie to someone? Probably, but I doubt the theatre or movie rental store paid you if the person you told to see the movie actually went and saw it. So you've probably been network marketing for years, just without knowing it or getting paid.


Part 7 - The solution.

The best way to make money working for yourself.

There are many companies out there which will pay people for recommending others to their product or service. Many of these companies don't have a solid system in place, and the majority of them don't offer anything unique that the average person can't get from wal-mart, or some other nationally branded store. Most of them sell vitamins, juices, water purifiers, skin care products, jewelry, etc., therefore, there is so much competition already in the market that most people will struggle to make any money with that company. How many people do you know earning a good, stable income from selling mary kaye, avon, or nu-skin products? Those are all companies which use network marketing, but since the market is already saturated with similar products, there is not much opportunity for a decent income with them. When evaluating a business opportunity, Harvard Law school recommends five points you should focus on to see if there is truly a good opportunity with that company. 1. The Company 2. The Need/Marketplace 3. The Product 4. The Compensation 5. The Timing If you can find a rock solid company that fills a need or demand in the marketplace, which offers a unique product or service and pays you well, and you have the chance to get involved at the right time, you can position yourself to make more money than you've ever dreamed of! Honestly, there are very few legitimate companies that offer all five of these aspects, so these opportunities can be quite hard to find; and since most of these companies only use their associates to advertise for them, you really just have to find the right person, or hope they find you, while the time is right. I have been blessed to find a great company which is publicly traded on the NYSE, that truly contains all five points mentioned above, and offers, as stated by financial expert and author Robert Kiyosaki, "The best compensation plan I've ever seen"! Now I am sharing this great opportunity with you, and after reviewing this, you will never be able to honestly say you never had a chance. Since you're here, now, you are in the right place at the right time, so it's your turn to position yourself in such a way that you can achieve true financial success, and have the time freedom you've only dreamed of. So stop being enslaved to your boss, your company, and your bills, and start living the life you've always wanted. Just click on the link below to see how easy it is to begin your journey torward freedom. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. You've taken the first step by reading this article. Now the second step is to click on the link, and where you go from there will be completely up to you. Thanks for reading this post. May God bless you and yours, and I hope and pray for your success!


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