Do you support slavery? Most people do.

The SlaveMy position is that slavery is alive and well in the US and everywhere else in the world, that most people are in favor of it and actively working for its furtherance, and that most of them would deny fervently that they are doing anything of the sort.

I will support my position, and if you disagree with me you are invited to debate, but to debate, you MUST follow the blog rules.

First, let me define terms.

individual: A human being. All human beings are individuals.

individual rights: Every individual on this planet is born with the following inherent rights (and only these rights), which exist independent of any grant or external source, by virtue of the fact that the individual is alive:

  • The right to life—that is, the right to sustain his or her own existence.
  • The right to liberty—that is, the right to choose to take such actions as permit the individual to sustain his or her own existence, so long as these actions do not infringe on the rights of other individuals.
  • The right to the pursuit of happiness—that is, the right to pursue any work or activity that the individual finds rewarding or pleasurable, so long as his rights do not infringe on the rights of other individuals.
  • The right to self-defense—that is, the right of the individual to respond with force to preserve his own existence when faced with the threat of force used against him or her. No individual has the right to initiate force against another.

No matter where you live, no matter what sort of government you live under, these are your rights as a human being, by virtue of your existence as a human being, and these rights may not be taken away from you ethically or legitimately for any other cause than that you have initiated force against another human being (Example: You attack someone to steal his money.), or have caused such force to be initiated. (Example: You hire a hit man to kill someone, so you bear equal guilt for murder with the person who physically killed him.)

ethical human being: An ethical human being acknowledges individual human rights as the origin and underpinning of all rights, deals only voluntarily and consensually with all other human beings, and uses force against another individual only in self defense. No human being who deals with individuals in any other way is an ethical human being. Ethical human beings are rare, and have to work hard to remain ethical, but do exist.

ethical government: Any government that exists under constitution as the servant of the individual, with its laws created to protect individual rights and with individual rights reserved equally for all individuals, and that exists only to protect the individual from the use of force against him, either within or without, and which is paid voluntarily by the individual to provide the services free human beings require:

  • A military force to protect individuals and their rights from force originating outside the nation’s borders,
  • A police force to protect the individual and his rights from force originating within the nation’s borders.
  • An impartial judicial system held to the same standard of law it enforces, charged with ensuring that laws protect the rights of the individual, which will enforce contracts and decide objectively and without bias in support of individual rights when disputes exist, and which is held accountable for every decision made by the individuals who serve within it.
  • A representative executive system made up of individuals chosen by the vote of all those individuals represented, where the representatives must live under the laws they create, and who are charged with and entrusted with the making of laws to preserve the rights of the individual—and NO other sort—and who are held accountable for and will be judged for the laws they create.

An ethical government is the only entity which has the right to initiate force, and may initiate force against individuals or nations who have used force against its citizens or who intend to. Because it is the only entity that may legitimately initiate the use of force, ethical government must be closely controlled by ethical human beings: those who hold the preservation and protection of individual rights as their sole standard, and who do not seek to turn human beings into slaves. At present, I am unaware of the existence of any ethical governments in the world.

slavery: 1) Outright ownership of one human being by another human being or by a government, OR 2) outright ownership of the products of the labor of one human being by another human being or by a government, OR 3) the involuntary removal of the products of labor of one human being by force for the enrichment of another human being or a government.

Involuntary and by force in the definition above are actually redundant because they mean exactly the same thing, but because most people accept one of the two above as acceptable, but not the other, I’ve included both.

There is no such thing as the right to enslave.

Now I’ll give examples, by sections of my definition of slavery.

Form 1—Outright ownership: If you walk down to the corner slave market and buy Bob so that you claim a right to force Bob do whatever you tell him to do, you are a slave owner and Bob is your slave. Same thing if you stick a gun to his head and take him into captivity so you can claim the right to force him to do what you tell him to do.  If you hire an agent of the government to capture Bob and give or sell him to you so that you may force him to work for you, you are a slaveholder, and Bob is your slave. If your local, state, or federal government sends an agent into Bob’s house to claim ownership of him so that it may force him to work, the government is a slave owner, and Bob is its slave—BUT if you are the beneficiary of the spoils of Bob’s forced labor, YOU are also a slaveholder, and Bob is YOUR slave as well as the government’s.

Form 2—Serfdom: If you don’t actually own Bob, but claim the right to force Bob to give you everything he makes (either in terms of money or physical goods), you are a slave-owner and Bob is your slave. If you hire an agent of the government to take everything Bob works for to give to you (either in terms of money or physical goods), you are a slave owner and Bob is your slave. Likewise, if your government lays claim to the products of Bob’s work, even if it does not claim to own him, the government is a slaveholder, and Bob is its slave. AGAIN, however, if you receive any of the spoils of Bob’s stolen labor, YOU are a slaveholder along with your government, and Bob is YOUR slave as well as the government’s.

The euphemistic term for a human being who is not owned by an individual or government, but who does not own what he produces, is serf, but in truth, serfs are slaves.

Form 3—Enslavement by degree: If you don’t own Bob, and don’t lay claim to 100% of his production, but do claim the right to stick a gun to Bob’s head to force Bob to give you some percentage of his production for as long as he produces, (whether in terms of money or physical goods), then you are a slave-owner and Bob is your slave to the degree of the percentage of his production that goes to you. If you hire an agent of the government to force Bob to give you a regular percentage of the results of his productive efforts for as long as he works, you are a slave owner, and Bob is your slave by degree.  If the government claims the right to force from Bob a percentage of his productive effort for as long as he produces, then Bob is a slave of the government to the degree that what he has created is taken from him—AND if you receive any portion of the products of his forced labor, you are a slave owner by degree, and Bob is your slave by that same degree.

You as an individual are free to the degree and percent that your individual rights are protected and observed by your government and other individuals, and that the products of your effort to sustain your own existence belong to you.

Some of you are looking at instance #3, and thinking, “Wait a minute, that’s, um… familiar. She doesn’t really mean that.

Yes, it is familiar, and yes, I do mean that.

Enslavement by degree is the version of slavery most people actively and enthusiastically support for exactly as long as they can pretend that it’s not really slavery.

I had my one brush with attempting to be a slave-owner back in the early nineties, when I applied for a grant from a government-funded arts council. I was writing a book outside my normal genre, and doing it on spec, and I thought it would be nice to have a little extra money to live on while I took the chance on a book I couldn’t be sure would sell. I hoped it would sell, of course, but I couldn’t be sure, and we were hurting financially.  (I think the book I tried to get the grant for was a very early version of what became MIDNIGHT RAIN.)

I applied for the grant, waited a long time, and eventually heard back from the council. My grant application was turned down…but the reason it was turned down was both fascinating, and—when you take the time to actually think about it—horrifying.

My work did not receive a grant because it was deemed to be commercial fiction.

Okay.  What is commercial fiction?

Commercial fiction is any fiction that one human being voluntarily purchases from another human being.

The act of volition, of having one person say, “I think this is good enough that someone will be willing to pay me for it,” and of having another human being say “I like that enough that I’m willing to pay for it,” makes a work commercial.

If just one person is willing to pay you voluntarily for your work (not donate to you: pay you—in that you set the price, and your reader purchases the right to read your work), then you are a writer of commercial fiction. If you cannot make a living from one reader, you are STILL a commercial fiction writer. The right to the pursuit of happiness does not guarantee that you will be able to make a living wage from whatever you love and pursue. It simply grants you the right to pursue it, and if you don’t make a living wage at it and you wish to be an ethical human being, you’ll have to support yourself with a second job, the way all ethical writers start out, and the way many ethical writers continue for as long as they create.

HOWEVER, I was, back then, still screwed up enough that I was willing to look at money without questioning too hard where it came from. Before that rejection, I would have happily taken the grant, and I would not have looked at the price other people paid for it to exist.

That incident—and trying to figure out the standards by which the individual handing out the grants was using to select work—forced me to look at where the money DID come from, and by what standards it was being handed out. If commercial work—work people would happily pay for—was not considered appropriate for government-funded grants, then what work was considered appropriate?

And the answer was: Only work that the individual handing out the grants decided no one would pay for voluntarily, and that individuals should be forced to pay for, whether they liked the work or not.

Take a moment and think about that, and think about the horror that underlies it. Government money is being taken at the point of a gun (and if you would debate this point, first try not paying your income taxes, then call me from prison to let me know how that’s working out for you), and it is being taken to give to people who have not earned it.

In the case of government-funded writing grants, the money taken at the point of a gun from individuals who work to support their own existences is being given to those who are creating works some individual has decided no one would pay for voluntarily. Because that’s what non-commercial work is.

Non-commercial work is work people are not willing to pay for voluntarily, and government grants are the means by which governments force people who would not willingly buy a work to pay for it anyway.

I’ve rephrased that same statement three times, and I apologize for the repetition, but this matters.

So what sort of ethical government grants exist?  None.

If you are a writer and you accept a grant funded by government taxation, you become a slave owner. You are a person who has willingly participated in the forcible removal of the products of another individual’s production, which should by right belong solely to him to support his own existence. And, because you used an agent of the government to apply force against another human being for your benefit, you have walked away from being an ethical human being.

Any human being can regain his ethics. To do so, you agree that never again will you be party to the use of force against any other human for your benefit, that you will only deal with other human beings voluntarily and by mutual consent, theirs and yours. And that you will resist in any legal manner you have available to you the use of such force against yourself.

Remember, the right to enslave does not exist.  Not for anyone, not for any reason.



Comments have been closed for the simple reason that the vast majority of commenters EITHER had not fully read the post and chose to think I said that ALL taxes are slavery, which is nothing like what said, or what I think,OR were A) supporting slavery while B) NOT demonstrating WHY they believe people must be slaves for civilization to work.

For those who offered insightful response, thank you, and I appreciate your input.

For those who think that “slavery is okay if it’s just a little slavery,” I’ll note that your argument is the same as “poison is okay if it’s just a little poison,” as well. Both arguments remain false.

Finally, for the folks who were attempting to argue that human beings have no rights, please unsubscribe from my list. You have the right to think whatever you like, but I have no desire to help you make a better life for yourself.

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143 responses to “Do you support slavery? Most people do.”

  1. Nandini Avatar

    Hi Holly,

    Indulge me while I give you an analogy:

    Say I invite you to play a game of monopoly with me. You agree. But when you start playing you find out that you are the third player to join a game that has been in progress for quite some time, that other players have already been around the board several times and have bought up most of the properties, and built hotels and houses on many.

    You demand that they return all their properties and monies to the bank and start the game anew, in order to be fair to you, the new player who has just joined. They tell you it is impossible. You say that you wish to leave, you are not interested in playing the rigged game. You are told that is also not an option.

    In this scenario, is it “slavery” to demand that everybody who has already been playing for a while should share some of their property or money with newer players, in the interests of making the game just a little less unfair? Is it “slavery” to demand that the bank dole out a big loan to you at a smaller rate while you catch up to the other players?

    Let’s say you play a while and manage to somehow avoid the big rents and to buy up what’s left of the property on the board. And now a fourth player has been conned into joining, with literally no chance of winning… the only reason she is here is so that she can be bankrupted by the other players who will then go hunt for new blood….

    What do you say to her when she protests how unfair this game is?

    The world is a game of monopoly. In a laissez faire economy with that bare-bones government you listed, it will be even more so. No Yellowstone, no public beaches, no libraries, no public schools, no space program, no *nothing* unless you can pay for it. If, by the accident of birth, you are poor and cannot afford luxuries like a walk in the park or a basic education, because you are too busy selling your body to pedophiles to put food on the table for your brothers and sisters… what then, Holly?

    And please don’t tell me I am hyperbolising. This is what the world was actually, literally like during the industrial revolution.

    I think every child born into our world deserves a fair shot at a decent life. This involves the child getting food, shelter, medical care, and a basic education. If we need taxes in order to ensure all children – even those with no parents or worthless parents – are given these things, then so be it, in my humble opinion. I think such “slavery” is far more acceptable than letting innocents function as grist for the mill of society.

    1. Holly Lisle Avatar
      Holly Lisle

      By an “accident of birth” I WAS born poor. I worked my ass off to change that.

      And “slavery” in quotes is still slavery, and there is no justification for it.

      Individual freedom is what created the industrial revolution. Arguing in favor of slavery by pointing to the industrial revolution and saying “Look at what the world was like before that,” supports my case, and disproves yours.

  2. Joan Coy Avatar
    Joan Coy

    I concluded a couple of months ago that anyone working in the corporate world is nothing but a paid slave. My company owns me to a degree. They control a large amount of my time and what I am supposed to do with it. They can even tell me how many earrings I can wear. Yes, we are slaves and if you think otherwise, you need to look a little closer.

    1. Megan Avatar


      I disagree, but then again, I don’t know the exact terms of your employment.

      You choose to work for your employer. By choosing to work there, you choose to comply with their earring policy. You choose to give them “a large amount of your time and what you are supposed to do with it.”

      Your employer pays you for your time, and therefore directs how you will spend that time, and what you wear during that time. If you don’t agree with the terms of your employment, you can choose to quit.

      “We” are not all slaves, and it is not just because I am not looking closely enough. I believe in self-determination.

      1. Joan Coy Avatar
        Joan Coy

        And if I end my employment there what do I do next? I go work for another company that rules my every minute. Right? The only way you are not a slave to a company is not to work for one. If you work for yourself you are free of the boss hanging over your shoulder. Then you just have to worry about being taxed to death for being self-employed.

        1. Megan Avatar


          I am in no way attempting a personal fight, I am responding in a debate manner.

          My point is that you choose to work for a company, whichever company that may be. They do not “rule your every minute,” they own the minutes of yours that they pay you for.

          You are only a slave if you are being forced to do something that you choose not to do, or if they are somehow not paying you in a just manner for your goods/services rendered.

          1. Joan Coy Avatar
            Joan Coy

            I’m not fighting with you. If you wish to see it that way, it is your right to do so. I see it differently. I do not choose to work for anyone. I have to work in order to pay my bills unless I should like to live on the streets. I don’t think my family would appreciate that. There is a big difference between ‘choose’ and ‘have to’. Living on the streets is not a choice.

  3. Megan Avatar

    I really need to be doing other things right now, but this debate has me fascinated. Two more points, which are similar:

    Roads. Others have brought up the fact that all citizens benefit from the use of road infrastructure, and therefore everyone should have to pay for them. I agree, but the current method is taxation. I prefer the idea of toll roads. You pay for the roads you use and the amount that you use them, instead of taxation – which I’m not even sure how it is determined how much each person pays, or how just that calculation is. For those who don’t drive, they don’t pay for the roads. It could be argued that even if you don’t drive, you still use the roads because that is how goods are delivered to grocery stores and the like, but if they just work the cost of the toll roads into the goods you purchase, then you are paying your share of the road usage. Yes, it would increase the cost of the goods, but then at least you would be paying your share and not some calculated number through taxation which is most likely not a justifiable number. So the cost of your goods would go up, but then you wouldn’t be paying a tax that isn’t justly applied.

    Medical care. I strongly disagree that we have to pay, through taxation, for medical costs. Some citizens seldom have to have medical care, some pay for the full cost of their own care either out of pocket or through insurance that they pay for, while other citizens use medical care quite a bit – and yet, those various citizens pay their taxes, which are applied once again through some algorithm that is unjustly applied. Then you can bring in the debate as to whether voluntarily-obese persons or chain-smokers should receive the same medical care as purposefully-healthy people do, and for the same cost, or lack of cost. Furthermore, you can expand the debate to cover the fact that citizens pay the medical costs of non-citizens – just take a look at the Houston hospitals, if you’d like a staggering example. Many would argue that medical care is a basic right, but I disagree. You have the right to seek and pay for medical care, and others have the right to give it to you, either in return for payment or by choice of donation – but you do not have the right to force others to give you medical care.

    My suggestion? I believe that you should pay for what you use. Roads can be paid for through an electronic device that charges you for what roads you drive on and how often, or you can pay the costs of roads through an embedded cost in the goods you purchase. Medical care can be paid through your own cash, or an insurance policy that you voluntarily purchase, and you can choose to donate through a county- or state-specific tax that you have to show identification for in order to utilize services in that county or state.

    Many would argue that these suggestions ignore the fact that some people can’t afford these options. While this may sound harsh, that is not the problem of other individuals. You live within your means, and don’t force others to give to you what you can’t afford (because that’s slavery). Is it a child’s fault that they get cancer and their parents can’t afford the treatments? No, of course not – and that is where voluntary taxation kicks in, or donation-based grant organizations. People will choose to donate – they do it all the time – and if they aren’t forced to pay for other things that they don’t personally use, then they will have more money available to donate willingly, or more money to use on themselves and therefore will have to work less and have more time available to donate through volunteer work. Many would argue that it isn’t their fault that they can’t get a job that supports their lives. Once again, that is not the problem of the government or other individuals. You can always find work, always always. You choose where you live, you choose what you eat, you choose what work you do. Why are those who are financially successful in life be forced to support those who aren’t?

    1. Holly Avatar

      Why are those who are financially successful in life be forced to support those who aren’t?

      Because corrupt power-seekers of all political parties have discovered that those who promise to rob Peter to pay Paul will always have the vote of Paul.

  4. Ian Avatar

    Thanks, Holly, for stimulating an interesting and thought-provoking debate on your idea of slavery. From the definitions laid out at the beginning it is easy to follow your train of thought and hard to disagree with your conclusions, as evidenced by the arguments put forward by others. I have no issue with your idea of out and out slavery ie no-choice ownership of one person by another. However, I think the idea of modern government and corporate bodies turning people into slaves is use of the word only in a wider sense.
    It strikes me that your position is based on the assumed beliefs and mores of the large population (and therefore complex society) found in modern America, tempered with a certain amount of hope for a utopian existence.
    In attempting to define my own ideas about slavery I wondered what concept of freedom a single prehistoric cave dweller might have and what effect on that idea a newcomer would have, not only on the first cave dweller, but on both of them.
    If you add people to the cave one by one, considering how the dynamics change with each newcomer, and then imagine them becoming first a family and later a group or village, which in turn joins another group and so on, you can follow how human needs develop and which ones are important (eg concepts such as slavery/freedom). It quickly becomes apparent that every time the group grows, each member tends to get more or less responsibility and lose a certain amount of freedom. It also means that we have to change our definitions of things like so-called basic rights, responsibilities and freedom as such changes take place.
    When eventually we arrive at the modern world, with its huge population and highly-sophisticated structures, it seems to me inevitable that we are all forced to make compromises to a greater or lesser degree in the particular society in which we live ie we have become slaves in some form, willingly or otherwise.
    Over time most societies/civilisations formulate a group code or convenient set of rules by which to live, sometimes seen as universal rights and wrongs, but they are merely useful concepts. They will probably continue to change as social needs and desires change.

    1. Holly Avatar

      If you reduces people to the level of animals (your lone prehistoric cave dweller) the only value is simple survival.

      However, your responsibility in an ethical socienty is always for your own survival. It is at the point where people start trying to make someone else responsible for their survival that slavery is born.

      Civilization is where men trade with each other by volition. Slavery is where men steal the efforts and lives of other men with or without the assistance of the government.

  5. Megan Avatar


    I am in the military. This brings up several specific aspects to Holly’s definition of slavery.

    I volunteered, as all current military servicepersons have – but in volunteering, we sign away many of our personal rights by contract. Some Servicepersons have been pressured into the military through various means – either parents making their children (minor or adult) think that they have that power over them, or by judges giving them a “deal” to get out of whatever prison sentence they may be given by agreeing to join the military instead, or by the war clause which states that during times of war, our contracts can be altered without our consent. But most Servicemembers made the free choice to be in the military, which in itself wouldn’t be considered slavery.

    Here’s a big question to everyone, though: If we are in the military of our own free will, and have agreed to give away many of our personal rights, but then the government orders the military to participate in an action that we disagree with, does it become slavery? We are constantly harassed by civilians who tell us that our involvement in various wars makes us evil – even though as Soldiers, we do not have the right to not do as we are ordered (and we have agreed, by signing our contracts, that we will follow orders regardless of personal feelings). I am not saying that if someone ordered me to murder a civilian that I would do it – in fact, it’s considered an illegal order and some of our Servicemembers are currently serving life sentences in military prison for those very sorts of war crimes (by the way, military prisons are much more horrendous than normal prisons – worse treatment, even more limited rights to outside communication, forced labor, etc.). But I am saying that if I am ordered to participate in a war and that the orders I am given support the war in a manner that doesn’t violate the Geneva Conventions and other such internationally agreed-upon war laws, then I will comply.

    I know the true reasons (I say true reasons due to my frustration with the media for portraying things incorrectly or flat-out lying and spreading falsehoods) for the wars and other military actions that the United States is currently involved in, and they all fall under Holly’s definition of being the only force that may ethically initiate the use of force (and I would strongly argue that we didn’t initiate these military actions, they were in response to aggression against our citizens). Therefore, I see our involvement as ethical, and my participation as ethical. Many citizens have publically disagreed with this, though. Some are blatant: throwing food at as in public places, telling us that we are going to hell when they identify us, protesting military funerals and saying horrible things to grieving families. Others are less blatant: stating that they “support the troops, but not the war,” a mantra that is ridiculous in so many ways, or simply failing to do their research to understand the wars and therefore believing that they are unethical.

    My uncomfortable feeling begins when I debate whether our government is ethical – I do believe that many things in our government are wrong, and there’s no such thing as sort-of ethical. I do believe that our government, as written, is as ethical as it could be with flawed humans writing it, but over time it has been twisted and muddled. So does that mean that I am both a slave, due to the fact that my very person is considered government property (no joke, we can get punished for not taking proper precautions to not get a sunburn or failing to take preventative medications because it is considered damage to government property), and also a slaveowner, due to the fact that I complete actions on behalf of an unethical government?

    And if that is the case, then what is the answer? Simply refusing to participate after signing a contract is illegal, and a horrible thing to do to your fellow Servicemembers. No civilian force would protect me from AWOL laws if I chose to leave the military illegally based upon the claim that the government is unethical. If every Servicemember left the military illegally whenever they disagreed with something, then we wouldn’t have a military. Without a military, our nation would fall. If the nation fell, then our country would be chaos and anarchy at best, and slaves to another country or other entities at worst. The answer that I am considering is working within the system to get it back on track: voting for representatives that we believe are ethical, passing laws that are ethical, etc. But the system is very slow, and often there are no ethical representatives to vote for. So at what point do we decide that our government is too unethical, and then what?

    We are paid (directly, and with benefits, and often supported by various organizations) with tax money, but we pay taxes as well. But some citizens believe that we do not need a military, or they don’t like how it is used, and yet they are still forced to pay taxes. So does that make my paycheck slave money?

    There are many other aspects to the military that I could address with this debate, but I must go to work, so until later I will let them rest. I look forward to responses!

  6. Maja Avatar

    “I agree with Sarah” is not a form of supporting argument, and this post HAS no support for its support of slavery. Because the post itself is unsupported, it’s content has been cut. I have far too many like it, and do not wish to live uncontested, unsupported arguments in favor of slavery on my weblog.—Holly Lisle

    Hmmm… Interesting post and replies.

    First, I agree with Sarah.

    [snipped for unsupported argument]

  7. klharrds Avatar

    Hmmm, this is interesting. At first I was inclined to agree with the first poster who stated that Holly must have been recently wronged to set off this post, but then I remembered you guys are having elections start soon so I guess it may have been something in your media which got Holly going on this. Either way I was intrigued but the idea of slavery three.

    I would have liked to think that I was against slavery in all its forms, but I guess I can’t say that on Holly’s definitions.

    Because the post itself is unsupported, it’s content has been cut. I have far too many like it, and do not wish to have uncontested, unsupported arguments in favor of slavery on my weblog.—Holly Lisle

    [snipped for unsupported argument]

  8. Amber J. Gardner Avatar

    “I think Holly thinks” is not an acceptable argument, and replying when not reading the post is not an acceptable post. I have kept this post as an example of what NOT to do, and am deleting others that have done the same thing.—Holly Lisle

    I’m not going to debate with you about this subject, especially since I’ve yet to read it completely. From the beginning I could already figure it out. You were wronged in some way and this is your strong reaction to that wrongness you felt has been committed against you.

    I don’t know what to say about all this, except I wanted to say something (and say it for some time) and maybe it will help you. I don’t know. Also, I could be wrong.


    It’s to my understanding that writing posts like this one is the reason you have health issues.

    You focus so much attention with such intense emotion on something negative, that you yourself see as wrong in the world. This post is huge! And I can feel your passion in it.

    Passion is good. But such intense negative passion/emotion can be damaging to the body.

    Please, consider my words and become aware that putting so much thought and focus on something negative won’t help really help the situation and won’t help your health.

    And that is all I wanted to say.

    1. Caitlin Banks Avatar

      Wow. You know, just wow.

      This post, while passionate was factual and expository about an important issue. To make a comment like that on a post without even reading the whole article.

      Not a lot of things leave me speechless.

    2. Michael Avatar

      Do you realize how arrogant you sound, forming an opinion before reading what was written? If you had read the post, you would know how off base your reply is.

      Normally I don’t acknowledge people who do this, but you seem like the type of person who genuinely cares. I don’t have all the answers either, but I do want to clarify some things for you.

      1. Holly is not focused on negative passion or even a negative topic in her post. This is largely a matter of projecting tones where there is only text. As such, it’s subject to interpretation. However, I’ve heard Holly speak audibly. She’s the kind of person to make a definitive point with clear, concise logic, not lash out with emotion. You can hear where her words would be underlined, so I see this in reverse: emphasis indicates emphasis, not emotion.

      2. The post is not huge. A hook, a list of definitions, a brief description of three forms of slavery, and a few paragraphs to clarify what she’s getting at and drive home her point. “Huge” in this case can only be a relative term.

      3. She is not writing this because she was wronged. She is writing this because others were wronged. There is a huge–yes, I’m using “huge”–difference. What happened to her, if you had read the post, was not really a bad thing. It didn’t harm her, it made her think. And in searching she discovered that she never should have wanted what she had been asking for in the first place, because it is a great wrong against others.

      4. This topic should not be downplayed as an insignificant rant. I encourage you to actually read the post and look into these issues, because they affect you and every American. The founding fathers were adamantly opposed to percentage taxes on income, and you will find no law in America that demands income tax. The government is unlawfully forcing its citizens to pay interest on the national debt out of their personal income. That is one step away from serfdom. Slavery by degree, as Holly puts it. So, no, this is not just “something negative,” this is something horrible that every American should know is being done to them. And, through this post, hopefully more people will search these things out for themselves.

      So, as I said, I hope this doesn’t come across against you exactly. You obviously care about Holly’s wellbeing. I just felt to do what I could toward the same end. Please read through posts before commenting on them. Everyone makes opinions from the beginning–I do it all the time. But much more often than not, first impressions are mistaken. It is always–I do believe always–better to learn the whole matter before forming an opinion of it.

      Thank you!

  9. Emerald Avatar

    Because the post itself is unsupported, it’s content has been cut. I have far too many like it, and do not wish to have uncontested, unsupported arguments in favor of slavery on my weblog.—Holly Lisle

    [snipped for unsupported argument]

    1. Neil T. Avatar
      Neil T.

      “a truly run-down, ungoverned country”…Don’t you get it? Our current trend in US government…to spend far more than is available from the people…will make the US into the next Euro failure. Can you not see that your very position on government and taxation is what defines and created the current state of Ireland and other Euro government failures?

  10. Don Morrow Avatar
    Don Morrow

    Wow! You have just proved that all welfare recipients are slave owners and I am the slave. That is, the feds put their hand in my pocket and delivers my money to those who won’t work.

  11. Sasha Fitzgerald Avatar

    Very interesting article Holly. You’ve made me realize some things that I think we all try to ignore. I’m still forming my own thoughts on this, so I may come back and write more later.

    Keep on writing these thought-provoking articles Holly! 🙂

  12. mitzim Avatar

    Because the post itself is unsupported, it’s content has been cut. I have far too many like it, and do not wish to have uncontested, unsupported arguments in favor of slavery on my weblog.—Holly Lisle

    [snipped for unsupported argument]

  13. Jack of Hearts Avatar
    Jack of Hearts

    You make a very well spoken and coherent argument and I agree with it totally. I am pleasantly surprised. Keep up the good work!

  14. Benjamin Avatar

    I was ready to disagree with you completely, but then I read what you had to say. Funny how that works out. It seems that you are taking a classic libertarian position and I agree completely.

  15. Sara Lindstedt Avatar
    Sara Lindstedt

    Mostly, I’d say you were right. However, I think that in this article, you do not differentiate between what people do of their own free will, and what the government forces you to do. I can not speak about the United States, or Australia, or even Germany, but at least where I live, in Norway, we pay taxes voluntarily. We pay them to have mostly free hospitals, free help for people who have other needs, and so on. If a person does not want to pay taxes, all that person has to do is to stop working. Of course, that would make a basis for even less income, but we have chosen to have taxes ourselves. So if taxes is partial slavery, then partial slavery is all right. But if you go by definition, then taxes would be paying for a service the government issues. Which, by definition, is not slavery.

    Just thought I’d clear that issue up, even if just to myself.


  16. Anthony Avatar

    Hi Holly,
    Your reasoning puts me in mind of the great SF writer, Robert Heinlein, (and I mean that as a compliment).
    The issue I have is that anybody could apply your reasoning to any pet tax expenditure dislike.
    While you,ve used the example of funding non-commercial writing, someone else could use the same argument against, for example, funding an army, if one were a pacifist. (I note that you – and I fully agree- consider a military as a legitimate expenditure, but others don’t).
    My point is that given that anyone can use this logic against any kind of tax expenditure, then aren’t you simply making a case against taxation in any form?
    I have to say that I’m not comfortable with that idea.
    Whilst any government is never going to be the epitomy of efficiency, given that democracy is inherently messy, I think that for the most part our taxes are resonably well spent.
    I should say that I’m an Aussie, but our societies and cultures aren’t that different.
    Anyway, great subject for debate, and what a provocative way of introducing it.

  17. Karen Avatar

    I recall a while back you wrote that you’d discovered Ayn Rand, so I’ve been kinda expecting this. It’s a hop-skip farther down the same road that Howard Roark’s jury speech took in The Fountainhead.

    Gotta love Rand.

  18. Bart Palamaro Avatar

    Wow, Holly, you sure know how to shake up the world. I agree with everyone of your points.

  19. Sarah Avatar

    Because the post itself is unsupported, it’s content has been cut. I have far too many like it, and do not wish to have uncontested, unsupported arguments in favor of slavery on my weblog.—Holly Lisle

    [snipped for unsupported argument]
    You are free to think as you do, just as I am free to think quite otherwise because freedom to think (though not to express) our own thoughts is the only ‘inherent’ right we have. All other rights are rights which are agreed to and enforced by SOCIETIES- the same entities that decide, in their various ways, on what objects and activities have value and create and use money as a (sometimes) convenient measure of that value.

    1. Martin Avatar

      Well said.