Debt, service, and the origins of capitalism

I'm actually gonna read some of this I don't usually read the papers that that I'm supposed to read up but I finished writing this at about 4:00 a.m. last night and and I haven't actually read it yet I think it makes sense but I wanted to say something new having this whole conference and it's in order to regurgitate things so what I thought to do it was to relate some of the themes that I explored in my earlier work on debt with some of the more recent concerns I've had with the history of labor and particularly wage labor I take cover rather briefly in the new book on jobs and specifically talk about the commoditization of labor you know we have this interesting situation nowadays were waged and to a lesser extent salaried labor remain the predominant ways of organizing work them almost everywhere in the world at this point but historically if you look at the sort of broad historical sweep well such arrangements often existed in many perhaps most times in places kind of unusable even considered anomalous and most and you know while there has been a lot of very good research on the history of such labor arrangements it's actually really uncommon to see anyone put the pieces together in a any sort of broad synthetic way I mean you often see books on different forms of labor and in a certain region or labor in the Indian Ocean labor and medieval Northern Europe but it's surprising how how rarely they make that many general points so I thought I would start by taking up some of the ideas about commoditization of labor that kind of came on me when I was pursuing the work on debt and and thus I want to start with talking about bride wealth and bride price and that debate and what I thought were one of the more what I thought was one of the cooler points that I kind of came up with while I was researching that which is an intervention in an anthropological debate about the nature of pride welcome dowry and about the sort of power of debt to transform one into the other transform what are essentially social social currencies that are used when social currency is turned into commercial currencies so uh what are social arrangements can turn it become commoditized in ways that must turn them into the opposite of what they had previously been and but to go from there and that's largely about drama commoditization of women's labor through much of history through marriage systems to talking about wage labor itself so there's three parts there's that going the role of debt in sort of dislodging labor from the social nexus is in which it has been placed it seemed from marriage systems but then seen from the perspective of of wage labor itself which has a very very interesting history and in many times a place is probably most seems to emerge above all from within institutions of slavery and then finally to look at a case where wage labor actually didn't emerge from within institutions of slavery in Northern Europe and particularly England and in that case to look at the role of debt and redefining English agricultural industrial and commercial workers not as creditors but essentially as as debtors to those they worked for now you start at the beginning um so part one is bride wealth dowry and just played in bride price one of the less remark arguments in debt although as I say one of props one of its more ambitious interventions an anthropological theory I don't think anybody noticed business largely in the footnotes was a critique of Jack Goody's famous argument of the opposition between bride wealth and dowry I mean I I would see it as much as an expansion and slight modification of goodies argument rather than a concert in contradiction to it I'm pretty sure goodie would see it as in contradiction with it in fact when people raised some more points he argued against them so I seem to be on the other side good goodies core argument I think everyone has come to accept which is about the distinction between bride wealth and dowry and that actually the whole anthropological debate on the subject can actually be traced back to a political question in the 1930s the League of Nations was holding a series of debates about whether the practice of what was then called bride-price should be banned as a form of slavery you know is does pride price actually mean people are selling women and as one might imagine anthropologists work sort of called in as expert witnesses testified it evans-pritchard in particular entered the argument make a strong case that even in societies where people actually say things like yes I am buying a wife they don't really mean it such statements are not to be taken literally because even if payments only move in one direction as they all as they didn't necessarily you know there's some places there's actually payments in both directions the important thing is that things are moving around but that would would be the case off in Southeast Asia in Africa it was often when things move just one way from the wife takers to the wife wife givers no even so he argued there's no sense of payment and and there were a number of criteria that were listed as why this does not resemble a payment this if you were to buy say a cow one was on that both parties continued to have mutual rights and responsibilities and so did their lineages and clans another was that if anything was actually being purchased in the case of bridewealth and this is a period where they actually insisted that we get rid of the word bride-price entirely the substitute probably well if anything was really being purchased the argument was it was not the woman but her fertility more specifically the right of the wife take there's lineage or clan to name any children of the Union as there patrilineal descendants so in that sense woman no way resembled a slaves and slaves are by definition entirely detached from their natal love of social relations whether if I capture a purchase and of course they don't have any rights but only responsibilities and finally this is really the clinching argument for a lot of people if you're really buying a wife then you could sell them right and in fact there's pretty much no case in which someone who obtains a wife by bridewealth can then just sort of arbitrarily pass her on to others for a similar payment now as a result doesn't you know provide wealth payments were not banned anthropologists basically won the argument the assumption was that bride wealth was not buying wife through an exchange of gifts meant to create social relations or to transform them to establish a renew and alliance between two different groups now Goody's work on production and reproduction probably wealth and dowry kind of takes off from that and in particular good ii was fascinated in particular by the anomaly of ethiopia the fact that you know when you talk about african systems of kinship and marriage ethiopia seems to be the one place where almost all the rules that make africa different than Eurasia don't apply so no instead of bride Wall fell and they do dowry and they have plow agriculture instead of hoe agriculture there's not any number of different ones I could go into having to do a cuisine and everything else but his big point was that it all has to do with technology and population density actually interesting it's a purely materialist argument at root which has been widely accepted even amongst anthropologists who generally don't go for that kind of thing but he basically says is that where you have hoe agriculture others and plow agriculture you have low population densities you don't need heavy-duty technologies to produce crops and therefore it's less it's not land but labor that's at a premium bridewealth seems to correspond to those societies and and bride walls it's not the fact that one is transferring a property in order you know to the wife takers in order to gain a woman I mean that is that does happen he says but actually you know payments can move back and forth in different directions for different reasons it sets up a nexus but it's mainly about the allocation of Labor and it's the key thing for him is that bride wealth is passed back and forth by the generation above the couple that's getting married so it's actually the lineages or the descent groups clans whatever they might be that they're part of who are rearranging things together because in such a situation where land is real are easy to come by and where women are doing most of the agricultural work or you're either a lion's share of it or all of that as as they are in many African societies female labor is really important and you know plans basically have a range of options starting from trying to keep their daughters around but which is a matrilineal option in fact in in such societies where you don't have a bride bride wealth custom you tend to have matrimony to ones where there's various forms of bride service and finally flat out bride wealth oh it and polygyny where you're trying to basically accumulate as many women as possible for your own clan so essentially these are arrangements made between the elders of various descent groups about the allocation of women's ira cultural labor he argues now now is completely different because you know it's not just a reverse that dowry is it's it's the woman's family that's providing the wealth again sometimes that's not even the case what's really going on with dowry he says is that power ease premature inheritance and when you have a plough agriculture that's usually be very high population densities land is at a premium and there's various strategies to bring land together thoughts of all Bridewell societies tend to be exact I miss dowry societies tend to be in dogmas we tend to marry within the group you tend to try to form marriage alliances which will keep property together and women well the are not nearly as important as the dominant labor force and I recall agriculture which means that in many ways they're seen more as a mouth to feed he argues then as you know the core of your agricultural labor force so so as a result daughters are typically had to be provided of some kind of resources when married off either land of their own or something else that would take the burden of supporting her away away from the husband's family all right now there are a lot of cases which are kind of interior meaty area I actually was in a society like that when I did my own fieldwork in Madagascar for example they had both bride wealth and dowry and in fact it came from the same thing my husband's parents would pay a sum of money it's called the booty wound ray or rump of a shape it actually was a sum of money to the bride's family and then the bride's parents would then immediately use that money to buy furniture bedding pots and pans and other necessities for the new household which they would then give to the bride oh goody this would just be a form of indirect dowry the point is that the money ends up in a conjugal fund for the newly married couple so anyway that's the broad broad argument which you know isn't in our audience of anthropologists I thought I'd go over it and I can't assume that people know the details now and where the argument hits the shoals I think is in its treatment of social class or really it's non treatment of social class Stanley tebya who co-wrote one of the key original tax bride wealth and dowry with goodie in 1973 very soon began to raise objections to certain aspects of this based on his own detailed knowledge of the South Asian that's nog Rafi where he pointed out that there's a lot of urban societies in Eurasia or or rural societies which are part of larger urban civilizations where you have dowry at the top of the social ladder and and something that looks a lot like bride wealth on the bottom as he points out the you know the sort of magnificent seclusion of upper caste women in India who haven't often had to be provided of astronomical dowry is to keep them you know kept in the style to which they were accustomed was only made possible by the industrious labor of lower caste women who necessarily had to have completely different marriage arrangements and as a quote quote from tamiya it should be appreciated as good he failed to do in production and reproduction that high caste male freedom from menial labor and the conspicuous removal of high caste females from public view are only possible because the system of rural production is predicated on the availability and exploitation of the low caste agricultural labor both male and female moreover women of these lower orders enjoy much greater freedom of movement outside their homes bridewealth rather than dowry payments are exactly done their marriages the success accenting the greater economic value of their labor and divorce separation and remarriage including remarriage of widows is frequently open to them so in some ways they are more free on most other ways they are more oppressed um good he actually rejected this argument insisting that what seemed to be bride wealth here wasn't really bribe although actually indirect dowry it ultimately ends up in the conjugal fund of the family in question and there's a heated debate about this but I think actually tomba it doesn't really go far enough because at times anyway within these what he calls lower order circles transactions really did come quite close to simply buying and selling women and sometimes it actually did you know there was buying and selling wound because slavery was practiced in fact these were precisely the women who would otherwise be most likely to become sex workers debt peons or wage laborers so that that is who are subject being commoditized in other ways this allowed members of the elite to denounce the poor for buying and selling off their daughters and justified ever-greater sequestering of upper caste women who of course had to be protected from any possible association with such lowly practices and what Tom bhaiyya is sort of alluding to here otherwise I say he doesn't take it as far as he might is a pattern that can be observed in almost all the great grades and civilizations there's a kind of a double push and pull of a commoditization on the bottom and greater seclusion on the top the greatest detailed evidence we have for merged transactions from anywhere is from Bronze Age Mesopotamia starting them Sumer going on through old babylonian material where in the earliest tax there seems to been something like the what i observed in madagascar actually a gift by the groom's family to the bride's which is ostensibly bride wealth was actually used to provide for a lavish wedding feast and for silver jewelry which the bride would then wear so basically she would like show up at the wedding sort of dressed in money and she would have this as her fun to you know if he in case of emergencies or if she wanted investment capital for business ventures she just used that as the example implies in this early period women had a great deal of economic and social autonomy over time however this is one of the remarkable things about the middle-eastern texts as time goes on that autonomy and freedom of women to take part in public or even private life is this continually declines that freedom is steadily eroded wealthy women were sequestered even veiled poorest women really were actually simply bought and sold now one thing that I argue in the book is that in societies that don't have commercial markets but merely social currencies as I call them it's really only physical violence war if you viewed slave raids that can act as a kind of wedge that dislodges women sometimes also children from the webs of data mutual responsibilities in which they're typically embedded allowing you know what levy Stroh's famously called the exchange of women that turned into something that actually did resemble commodity exchange in societies that do have commercial markets monetary dat which of course is packed up ultimately by the threat of force can have the same effect and certainly that appears to be what happened in the case of Sumer and Mesopotamia more generally where you know at first there would have been no question of a man whose family had paid the traditional summon grain and silver to acquire a wife then being able to transfer her to someone else you know so you could say as they did in the bride wealth argument he wasn't actually a buying wife because he couldn't sell her right um however all of that changed the moment he took out a loan since in the event of default you could lose your wife um in fact the normal practice was first they go for your fields and vineyards if you have those they go for your flocks after that you know it's it you have children and ultimately one spouse who were taken away a sureties now that of course means assigning a monetary value to human beings which which in turn was made conceptually easy easier by the existence of chattel slavery there wasn't demographically that important but I think was conceptually very important at that time so what I suggested in the book was that this threat of alienating human beings from their families and communities set off a series of other changes which had disastrous consequences for the freedom of Mesopotamian women more generally first of all using family members of surety for loans gradually became a precedent for other forms of commoditization stall for instance remarks that quoted in newsy the bride price was paid in domestic animals and silver-mounted into a total value of forty shekels of silver there are some evidence that it was equal to the price of a slave girl so you're actually paying the same thing in bride prices you would if you're just buying someone now this conference is not surprising since in that same city we have evidence of rich men paying cut right bride price to impoverished families to acquire a daughter who they could then adopt so you pay the same price to adopt a daughter who you can then use pretty much as you like as concubine nursemaid servant or simply marry her to one of your slaves another quote the poorer of the girl's parents the more marriage resembles a real sale marriage arrangements in a city like New Zealand heed look like sales due to the poverty of the girl's parents and giving a dowry there was a luxury of the wealthy so not only it is about is it dowry em and bride price you know dowry for the rich and bright buys for the poor it's actually the bride price enough right well I'm in other cities adopted daughters adopted in quotes here were employed in industrial pursuits or set to work as prostitutes who provide an income for their adopters and retirement daughter's were sold or taken as who were SATs older taken his debt sureties Roth ins actually exploited became temple prostitutes or commercial sex workers and this in turn set off a kind of puritanical reaction as men began to judge one another's honor by their ability to safeguard just the sexual purity of their women folk and protect them from being taken away like this virginity is never actually mentioned in the early Texan so it becomes an issue steadily in the midst of all of this bride wealth even among wealthier families by the old babylonian period came to be referred to as the price of a virgin and this was increasingly meant literally because illegally illegal deflowering of a virgin came to be considered a property crime against her father you could pay an equivalent fine for compensation marriage came to be referred to as taking possession of a woman the same word one would use for the seizure of goods so this tendency to commoditize the bodies and services of poor women led to the sequestering even of rich women who largely lost the ability to separate even from abusive husbands and by the late bronze age would often not go out unveiled I mean their ever lost saying they had to go veiled they're actually lost saying that poor women are or prostitutes couldn't wear veils but nonetheless there was a clear dynamic whereby the commoditization of some women led to increasing sequestering of others and I think they're almost all the great Eurasian civilizations witnessed a similar dynamic but roughly 2500 and 1500 Fit BC and 1500 AD the class war between men was essentially fought out over the bodies of women and the daughters of both rich and poor couldn't daughters of both rich and poor continually lost ground as a result to take just one well-documented example Chinese legends recorded Huang Shi and elsewhere how to pronounce that report that coined money was first invented by benevolent emperors to redeem poor children who had been sold or taken away his debt pledges by the rich during times of famine so such practices existed predatory lending breakup of families was seen as a social issue in the state was seen as taking an interest in fighting it and in fact while the landed classes provided their daughters of dour ease bride-price here to continue to be practiced by the poor and it overlaps so strongly with slavery that state bureaucrats who periodically tried to ban both a long of debt peonage could hardly be blamed for concluding that all three were basically the same thing one of the interesting things about Chinese slavery and this was even more true of Korean slavery in Korea in certain periods they passed laws that men could not be enslaved only women could be enslaved in China they never went quite that far but very often but it was typical that slavery was seen as something that happens to women and not to men now it's interesting if you look across Eurasia and make the point that and I called the sort of long Axial Age chattel slavery was extremely common drove over the course of the Middle Ages it's largely eliminated at least as a factor in production and it's transformed you could say him to serfdom in the Christian West restricted largely the household slavery in the Middle East or military slavery debt peonage and other forms of caste domination in South Asia and in China it's largely restricted to women this is partly due to the peculiar nature of the Chinese patrilineal system whereby men were actually members of a lineage and have ultimately belonged to their ancestors and women belong to the men as James Watson put it where to the household which was dominated by the men it was therefore considered increasingly unacceptable to sell sons as slaves even in case of extreme debt or poverty but perfectly acceptable to sell daughters or even some places wives on the event of the death of their husbands so you could sell the son to be adopted but you had to make sure they ended up in a relatively advantageous situation but there are actually markets in in daughters and many times in places which the daughters could be bought pretty much for whatever you want the daughter's slave concubine wife or a prostitute depending on the buyers whim it was not impossible says James Watson for a girl to be purchased as a daughter in infancy exploited like a slave during adolescence and married off to one of her buyers own sons in adulthood as I say there was constant attempts by the government to suppress this kind of thing as indeed there still yes because you know there's periodic scandals about the sort of things still break out about the sale of sale of girls often they were quite young and they seemed to especially correspond to those periods which where commercial life was most could be said to be most flourishing particularly the song and Ming dynasties and which were also the periods where where women's status and women's freedom generally as seen as declining something like that that dynamic along one him commoditization of the poor in this very literal sense of poor women and and seclusion in reaction to that of richer ones seems to be happening almost everywhere and commercial DAP you know plays a key role in affecting that I mean most of these people were ultimately sold because of the need to pay dance now so thus wall for the land and classes marriage became unsurprisingly largely but largely about control of land for the labouring classes are made largely about the control of labour and women's labor in particular commercial debt played a key role in affecting the transition between older marriage arrangements which largely had to do of renegotiating relations between social groups and the incipient commoditization of labor now considering the way the debate began of this League of Nations our debate about whether bride wealth should be considered a form of slavery and made illegal and European colonial dependencies perhaps not entirely surprising that anthropologists have tended to be a little bit squeamish about following such matters through to their logical conclusions as evidence by Goody's largely holding back from dealing with marriage arrangements among the Eurasian poor at all he has this huge fat book and there's almost nothing about you know lower caste people in India poor people in Mesopotamia it's almost all elite examples it's largely being marxist and feminist anthropologists been willing to explore such territory systematically and in fact one could very easily make the case that one reason kinship has sort of disappeared as the primary sub-object of anthropology and I've always felt that this is a bit of a scandal you know it used to be thirty forty years ago if there's like this special thing that anthropologists have it's kinship you know yeah we can do these diagrams that no one else can understand it's sort of our equivalent of equations for economists um you know it's our thing or special knowledge it's like anthropology threw that away you know he talked to him the average person trained in anthropology nowadays with a PhD they probably never had a kinship course he's talked about matrilateral prescriptive marriage customs they just don't know what you're talking about um so how did that happen and and I think that the answer to that is that you know starting in the 70s and 80s no feminists made a very strong case that you can't talk about this stuff anymore except you know without taking into consideration power and domination sexism pulser ii heterosexuality you know the whole series of issues that hadn't really been discussed that these are really power systems and systems of exploitation so so the result was that most male anthropologists just said okay we won't talk about them at all anymore you girls can go talk about them and as a result it's sort of faded away rather embarrassingly in my opinion all right so that's one um so debt is sort of the wedge which allows social relations to be turned essentially commoditized in particularly women's labor now I also want to talk about the deep genealogy of wage labor that's part two in this essay I want to pursue the relation of debt and commoditization of labor by looking at the history of the wage relation itself considering the dominance of the wage system today it's actually remarkably under-researched I mean there's a lot of studies of slavery and we'll just compare how many studies of slavery there are to how many studies of wage labor in antiquity or the Middle Ages you realize okay it's true slavery was actually a more important institution but it's just like you know 50 to 1 you know there's enormous amounts of one and and surprisingly little unli on the other I can't think of a single book-length study tell me nobody told me if I'm wrong about forms of wage contract in the ancient or medieval worlds and insofar as information about which contracts is to be found it's largely inside the literature that's about slavery and that's of course significant in itself since for most of history the two institutions were in fact closely related this is well documented in ancient Greece although I think often people draw the wrong conclusions essentially Jonathan Friedman came to the famous conclusion that ancient Greek slavery was really a form of capitalism whereas I would rather make the argument that capitalism is really a transformation of slavery but it is certainly certain that slaves and wage laborers were essentially overlapping categories in in most of ancient Greek history Freeborn Athenian Corinthian for that matter of the 4th or 5th centuries BC didn't consider you know being paid to work for a government as in any way shameful right that's because if it's one's own government one is essentially working for oneself if one's doing jury duty or building a monument Athens wasn't considered an abstraction Athens it was a via Theni incent if I am an Athenian I'm working for the Athenians I'm working for myself even hiring oneself as a mercenary Oh foreign potentate was sort of an honorable thing to do however hiring went solve out to a private citizen in the same community was totally different and people really avoided that is you know it essentially marks you as a slave as a result almost all early wage labor contracts that we were aware of appear to have in fact been contracts for slave rental um these arrangements could as Friedman pointed out be quite sophisticated involving the allocation of money wages split between slave and owner to workers maintains and workshops producing for the market in many ways they did approximate what we're used to thinking of as capitalist arrangements but they were an extension of the institution of slavery itself now some of the world systems theorists have generalized from this some chase done and halt in their book rise and demise argue that capitalism and like most world systems analysts are defining capitalism in broad le in terms as basically use the use of money to make more money capitalism they say tends to develop within what they call autonomous capitalist city-states on the semi peripheries of world systems the examples they give her Dillman byblos tire seat on carthage melaka venice florence genoa antwerp and the cities of the Hanseatic League even that point is actually an extension of something that a point bro Dell had made that if capitalism can only emerge of merchants and financiers are able to allow themselves with governments then small mercantile states is where that's most likely to happen what's interesting for my own purposes is that these are also the kind of places where it's a story when us historically most likely to encounter the densest concentrations of chattel slaves even in periods where child slavery had largely been eliminated elsewhere such as the Middle Ages and and also particularly as a factor of production so it's those areas where you find sort of nascent capitalists or a lying we're taking over governments it does place where you see the most chattel slaves but it's also where you see something that resembles wage labour emerging from within the institution of slavery in much the way as you saw happen in ancient Greece I think the story ins a largely missed this because now if you look at the exceptions to this they're mostly in in in northern Europe European mercantile city-states were somewhat anomalous in this regard southern Europe actually still fits the pattern fairly well Italian city-states like Venice Genoa Florence Pisa were not only centres of Commerce and finance as we know they were precisely the part of medieval Europe where slavery classic chattel slavery held on the longest it's true it was contested in the 12th century for example the slaves that had been employed making cloth by monasteries in louvers in Venice were largely replaced by guild labor actually this is across Italy after that Italian slaves were rarely employed for producing for the market but that's largely because that was around the time that the use of servile labor for producing for the market shifted away from Italy itself to what were essentially colonial possessions particularly sugar plantations and Cretan cyprus in what many believe provided the model that was later proved exported first of the canary islands and then to the Caribbean I think all of this happened because in Europe much unlike the rest of the mercantile mercantile city-states elsewhere in the world at that time almost all of which were part of the larger Islamic a Cuban if you want to call it that where Islam and Islamic law was a sort of medium of trade or arbiter of trade and and enforce a strict division between war and commerce in Europe war and commerce was kind of mixed together in a way that um really didn't happen elsewhere talk about this a bit and the debt book which is why there's our exploitation of servile Abril for market purposes by I they're funded by directly by mercantile city-states tended to happen as part of like military and colonial ventures whereas such things um in other places happen if in the city-states themselves if you go back to the trading role of the Indian Ocean during the same period you know one finds remark with remarkable consistency labor arrangements similar to those of the ancient world where it's actually almost entirely slaves who are doing wage labor insofar as we observe wage labor contracts they are actually slave rental um either because the owners would rent their slaves out directly or because slaves um would achieved a certain amount of autonomy would be allowed to find work on their own and then be expected to turn over a share of the proceeds to their owners and again going back to my own fieldwork in Madagascar which has sort of marginal part of that larger Indian Ocean trading world um well the port cities were part of it and I was in the highlands we just sort of plugged into that that was actually the principal way of organizing labor in the 19th century um it began in port cities like kama Tov and expanded to the highlands and you know by the 19th century even Quaker missionaries active in the abolition movement had to like protest abolitionists at home that who complained that they were all basically having all their work done by slaves or being carried around by slaves on palanquin and whatnot they you know say look you know we would employ free labor but it's impossible because you know nobody who isn't a slave is willing to work for wages you know we pay these guys and in the 19th century the transport industry throughout Madagascar was entirely dominated by slave porters who formed effective unions and those porters in theory had turnover percentage of their wages to the owners but in practice they often didn't this is one contemporary missionary source they found slaves enjoy considerable freedom of action while theoretically without rights practically they enjoy a good man as there are no made roads and no wheeled vehicles in Madagascar travelers are carried in palanquins and baggage is conveyed by men slaves are permitted by their masters to hired themselves out of servants and laborers to carry baggage and messages to and further from the coast to go on long journeys of travelers back to do anything for which they can obtain wages sometimes the master receives a portion of the wages earned sometimes he receives nothing at all but in that case the slave is frequently to hire someone else to take his place and fulfill his share of the personal service when required so you here you have slaves not only hiring themselves but hiring other slaves so only slaves look for wages to work for their own master and this you know provides a fascinating glimpse for one way that slave labor labor could become commoditized another thing would shock always fascinated me about Malagasy system I've never had a chance to write about this but it will someday is is that they had partible inheritance system and in madagascar which meant that slaves quickly came to be divided up so you know if you have eight children each one gets one-eighth share of the slaves so it's not at all uncommon to see contracts for the sale of one sixteenth of a slave or a slave to owns like three quarters of himself like slowly buying himself back from his various owners what this actually meant in terms of labor arrangements is really unclear from the sources there is occasional references to division of days that slaves would have to like sort of wander around from one place to another if their various owners lived in different places but you know it's easy to see how under such conditions and slaves were tender in anyway you know systems of substitutions like that could become commonplace and and and slavery was already broken in two units and commoditized in various ways which may lent itself to further doing so through through the payment of wages um anyway Malagasy slaves in the late 19th century achieved an unusual level of autonomy but similar arrangements usually more strictly enforced could be observed in a lot of other places as sue Healy city-states are a good example most of our sources are pretty late 19th century early 20th but they're very consistent here the main employers appear to have been HOD Romi's small-scale entrepreneurs originally from Yemen notorious for purchasing slaves so as to hire them out as either craftsmen or dock workers then collecting a share of the wages so it's the same deal and precisely the same pattern appears in most of the major cosmopolitan port cities of Southeast Asia where early European sources almost always describe the bulk of the population as slaves this as we'll see might be exaggerated because most of them most of the population of these port cities seem to have been made up of people in the slightly more ambiguous condition of debt bondsman or personal dependents of large magnates and rather than say war captives and it's often they made a distinction they were all sort of collapsed as slaves for but the real slaves are the ones who were armed captured in war who had fewer rights and lower status nonetheless legal documents make clear that wage labor contracts were basically consisted of agreement to rent one servile dependence or four servile dependents to rent themselves in this is Anthony Reid in none of these trading cities in the 16th and 17th centuries can we identify a class of independent urban artisans or laborers free to work for wages or not to work if we compare wage rates given in European sources of the cost of the day's rice we find a very high labour cost so people were paid a lot but this is not a free market wage paid to the worker but the cost of hiring bondsman from a master this is a quote that read quotes it was their custom to rent slaves they pay the slave a sum of money which he gives to his master and then they use that slave that day for whatever work they wish the loss of Malacca similarly give many examples of the legal implication of hiring or borrowing slaves but none of any other type of labor contract some same thing in colonial Java there were actually free wage laborers in colonial Java appears around Batavia in the early colonial period but it's almost exclusively confined to this sort of semi criminal master list men from the countryside who are available for seasonal agricultural labor during the colonial period people who were otherwise abused by the authorities as derelicts and thugs the bulk of wage labor however continue to be formed by slaves there as well so it finally it hardly seems coincidental that plantation slavery which in historical terms is one of the rarest forms of the institution tends to appear precisely in the same context where one has mercantile city-states and the emergence of wage labor from William slavery outside of the ink from the ancient world one might point here to the slave plantations encouraged by the Oman ease in 19th century East Africa the pepper plantations in sumatra managed by merchants from Aceh Malacca still was only really unlucky on free laborers who ended up working on plantations and here's where debt comes in this is very interesting in Southeast Asia at least and I suspect that is true in a lot of places most wage labourers actually got themselves into that situation sometimes intentionally by manipulating debt since debt peons both maintain many of the rights of free people but were formally dependent on some local notable who were typically see and and we're typically seen as far higher status than the sort of criminals and vagabonds were available for casual hire if indeed anyone was the logic seems to have been this since working under another's orders particularly on an ongoing basis is by definition a relation of dependency and non freedom only those informally dependent state could really do it as a result it was not at all uncommon for someone attracted you know to work in a bustling port city like Malacca Racha makasar to take out a loan so as to render themselves dependent on some local grandi who would then hire him out and collect a share of the proceeds so if you want it like come to town and kind of sort of get get a piece of the action you intentionally take out a loan to make yourself into a debt peon and then the guy who let alone will becomes your agent um in fact he might even take the money that he got on the loan and higher debt peons of his own or servants or by people who are already slaves according to the Cambridge world history of slavery debt was by far the most common form of slavery slaves are both hired and traded on open markets and slaves themselves could participate in such markets by purchasing slaves to themselves thereby lessening their own labour obligations much like the Malagasy people are hiring slaves to fill in for themselves of course debt bondsman could also be sold off by their masters but there was a social obligation not to sell that bonds people outside their own natal society so as you might imagine these things could become really complicated very quickly with the same individuals acting as both creditors and debtors masters and slaves employers and employees often in the same transactions and at the same time much like the Malagasy slaves but debt was absolutely critical in in sort of effecting the transformation from one status to another I think that the root of all these complicated machinations however there's a really simple paradox and I think the fundamental contradiction in is the very idea of a free contract in which two parties agree not to be in a relation of equality anymore because you know any contractual arrangement assumes two parties at least some kind of formal or legal equality exists for them to enter into a contractual agreement to begin with but it how do you frame it if what they're agreeing to is not to be an operation of formal equality anymore and at least of all the terms of the contract apply in that way in purely formal terms debt contracts and wage labor contracts are actually very similar because they're both you know agreements between two ostensibly equal part part parties to enter into relation of extreme inequality for a specific period of time under certain specific conditions and I think it's this similarity which allowed that to be the conceptual wedge through which Labe wage labor became socially morally and politically possible after all in most societies the idea of temporary voluntary reduction to his status that was only otherwise familiar in relations of either patriarchal Authority within the household or outright chattel slavery um an institution which was always at least on principle conceived to be founded on right of conquest would have been either morally outrageous or simply inconceivable one does not normally think to rent oneself out as either a daughter or a slave it was the absolute quality of the moral power of dad and this is the thing that always fascinated me when I was writing the book is how the morality of debt seems to have this astounding capacity to to trump any other type of morality so that people will accept things that they would have never accept under any other circumstances if it's what's necessary to pay ones debts made it that's what made it so well suited to transform labor itself into a tradable economy either through the manipulation of marriage payments in the case of women's labor or the case of wage contracts which were mostly if not exclusively undertake but although not exclusively undertaken by men okay so now part three wage labor it's in in northern Europe or free labor as we like to call it the notion of free wage labor creates of anything an even greater conceptual challenge because in a purely technical sense in fact the usual credit creditor-debtor relation is actually reversed right and we don't really think about it this way but like who owes who unless you have a company store and you intentionally in debt your workers which was often done but in the classic scenario where you sign on you got a good job you do the work you got paid at the end of the week well you know most of the time you're doing the work you're actually the creditor and the boss is the debtor if he owes you money for your what you've already done the work and he's owing you money so you know if anybody's the debtor it's the boss right but in fact you know during during that time you're actually subordinated to the will of your debtor now this creates a rather confusing situation which is one reason we don't even like to think about it that way well what I like to argue is there was a certain amount of conceptual work had to be done in order for a for it not to occur to us that actually the boss is the debtor who owes something to do the worker and so I want to end by talking a little bit that and how that happened and the very interesting history of of what wage labor actually is in social legal and political terms how it was that in Northern Europe one area which didn't have chattel slavery in the late Middle Ages are very little and debt peonage was actually fairly limited was also the place where free labor came to be seen as alienable and the bubble was considered normal for free men and women to place themselves completely under another person's authority and under their orders in contemporary law that principle of subordination is sometimes referred to as the principle of control or the phrase you see a lot is the the open-ended duty of obedience that a hired labor arose to their employer and it still provides a profound conceptual challenge for these very reasons according to the sage handbook of industrial relations for example the term contract of employment or in fact France contracted to revive only entered general usage in the 1880s relate the main impetus for its adoption was an argument by employers in larger enterprises that the general duty of obedience should be read into all industrial hirings and the core of the concept was a notion of subordination in which the open-ended duty of obedience was traded off in return for the acceptance and absorption by the enterprise of a range of social risks so this open-ended duty of obedience implied that a hired worker was obliged to do whatever he was told to do by his or her employer insofar as those orders didn't involve either violating some other existing law or some specific provisions of their contract and in exchange the enterprise accepted responsibility for consequences of decisions that the worker could no longer make for example if he got injured in fact even this formulation was not really accepted in the Anglophone world that this was a free contract until much later and such really surprising um in in the United Kingdom employment disputes at least for industrial and manual we're not generally treated under contract law until the rise of union power in the welfare state in the 1940s before that they were largely treated under common law traditions governing relations would need masters and servants which traced back to the Middle Ages in the u.s. actually that's still the case you're still dealing with a common-law tradition that goes it's still masters and serving law basically that governs labor relations so in fact the principle of open-ended obedience as legal historians like Simon Deakin emphasized itself can be traced back to the obedience that medieval servants owed to their masters which were again tempered only by force of custom social expectations of reasonable treatment and any particular arrangements among the parties that to a service contract that might have been made however in the Middle Ages and well into the early modern period the responsibilities involved in such arrangements were assumed to be a lot more mutual most notably service contracts tended to be yearly and during the year masters were expected not only to provide agreed on wages bed and board for workers but to do so whether or not they actually found any work for the guy to do this is very important so you know if you're a master craftsman you brag you get three apprentices and you know there's a bad market nobody wants to buy your gloves on you you know maybe you're just sitting around but you still have to pay the people you also had to take care of them if they were sick or injured became pregnant whatever might happen the importance of this medieval concept of service actually in the eventual emergence of capitalist labor regimes I think cannot be underestimated something I've been banging on about for years in various ways but I think it really should be underlined here um you know even though it's a it's weirdly neglected by a lot of economic historians not all but if you look at all the sort of various Marxist transition debate straw guess starting with Swezey job I guess was the first one and you know leading up at least the Brenner debate which is all about whether capitalism starts as a top-down or bottom up phenomena you know is it do you have to look at Commerce and Finance and transformations are in which gradually affected on the ground relations or did it happen from the bottom up was it a transformation of rural collapse relations from below you'd think that like in in that argument you'd serve endless discussions of what the from below work arrangements actually were right no there's almost not you have these like statistical discussions and and the constantly throwing around the word wages wage rates but it's assumed that like what the word wage means is self-evident which is very clearly not the case at the same time detailed studies that have been made of you know what wages could have meant and the late Middle Ages an early modern period so that it actually could mean a lot of different things the often cited statistic that about a third of the population of late medieval England was dependent on wages for at least a large share of their livelihood and this appears to have been true but what wages meant in that contact could be a lot of different things and if you look at you know the details of the arrangements often people would be hired to do a specific job and they would bring their their apprentices or their servants or their kids along with them they would actually have their own hirelings so you know it looks a lot more in many of these cases like something you know the modern equivalent would be hiring a plumber or something like that you know he's not exactly a wage laborer who's under your direction they're people with their own skills mysteries as they were called at the time which you didn't know how that what they were or even if you didn't know what they were they were formed their own teams and negotiated with you and we're essentially independent contractors we would now call them more than anything else the ones who weren't were servants or hired for certain periods of time typically a year but there are also day laborers that's important but day laborers tended to avoid ongoing contracts and move around from job to job preferring short term engagements but they were famous for being hardcore negotiators in terms of terms of conditions and employment and often to their great advantage in the distress of moralists we're constantly complaining that these guys were overpaid especially disturbing tomorrow's because they to some degree overlapped with the mercury population of debt I said described as beggars harlots cat purses hawkers peddlers fortune tellers minstrels and other such masterless men and women of ill repute sort of like the ones in Java who did the day labor sort of merged with the criminal classes and as a result they could extract quite a bit so you have that you have the sort of independent contractors men you have actual service contracts service contracts were typically young people not always um you know manorial the states would have your league servants or adults but all over Northern Europe at least since the Middle Ages what's been called the North European marriage patent pattern was characterized by what's been called life cycle service and the majority of population male and female not just crafts people but peasants even Nobles were expected to spend most of their adolescence laboring as a servant and another family's household typically in a household just slightly wealthier than their own as an coos Maul writes about servants and husbandry master and servant customarily sealed their agreement with the offering and taking of a token payment the earnest hiring penny fastening penny or God's penny always like that phrase cons penny the contract implicitly bound the servant to serve the master for a year and to obey his reasonable commands and it bound the master to maintain the servant for the year and to pay the wages agreed upon whether or not there was daily work for the servant and whether or not the servant remained fit to work masters Authority was tempered by custom word reasonable appears a lot in these things servants are expected to obey reasonable orders in exchange for a reasonable wages so sort of communal standards was held to settle to these matters in much the way that sort of Jim Scott's idea of a moral economy you know there was ongoing communal feeling about what's a reasonable about to have a reasonable lifestyle during this time of course servants were literally considered members of the Masters family since family was conceived not as a kinship unit so much as a household unit of authority under the aegis of a single head of household they're also of course learning their future trades and how to comport themselves as proper adults and finally trying to accumulate enough of a nest egg so they could eventually marry and create their own farm shop or household as a result did the bulk for the bulk of the medieval English population this is I think critical and it really hasn't been thought about enough wage labour under the supervision of an employer was something one does for the first ten or fifteen years of one's working life and has little to do the way adults were expected to treat one another remember most of these other wage laborers are not really being supervised um I think one must be careful because the concept of service was used in a lot of different ways you think about it's a very conceptually richer term it can and and it was already a very conceptually rich term of a lot of different meetings already by the 12th and 13th centuries I've spent a lot of time poring over the OED and looking at different you know ways the word serve service servant were used basically all hierarchical arrangements were imagined as forms of service starting with divine service of course directed at God but continuing through feudal service which is the basic framework of the political order vassals owed various carefully specified services typically the provision of a certain number of service knights but also non military sergeants in exchange for tenure peasants of poor so the variety of services to their own Lords but the interesting thing about all those forms of service is the exact nature of feudal and memorial services tended to be really really carefully specif specified they weren't really open-ended they're often like you know exactly custom set them down to the exact detail in other words feudal arrangements tended to be the very opposite of this kind of open-ended duty of obedience character characteristic of lifestyle servants and later of employees and commercial or industrial enterprises but the fact that even highborn families were expected to send their teenage sons and daughters to serve at court so that even the powerful all had some experience of domestic servants must have ensured that that's what remained the paradigm for all other forms of service the word was used really broadly but the sort of the sort of conceptual center of it was domestic servants and this is why you know common usage at the time again a calling on the OED includes if you look at the verb to serve and medieval examples to be a servant to perform the duties of a servant to attend upon to render habitual obedience to to become the extension of another's will or purposes but also to wait upon a person at table hence to set food before or to help a person to food there's a million different variations of serving as in giving food to the latter of which is already by at least 1362 extended to to attend to the request of a customer in a shop so to serve a customer actually comes before say serving one's country becoming a public service serving and the Armed Forces which is all rather it comes later the absolutist state so the paradigm attak active services serving food and and you know you look at the history of the word waiter is actually really telling there it's one common term for a domestic servant but among particularly among the elite serve circles you have ladies and waiting gentlemen waiters not only waited at their Lord or lady's table but really waiting for their inheritance so they didn't have to do it anymore to acquire the means to marry and become the master or a mistress of their own household and get servants of their own so I think what's important here is that it brings together three key features that I think are intrinsic to the notion of service as it existed at the time which is still kind of lingering in the background of the term used now when we use the terms like goods and services right first of all that it involved an open-ended duty of obedience second that it was educational in the least in the sense of being formative of character and third that it was conceived in terms of what we would now call carry labor right the servant well attended to the physical needs visitor master of mistress of fed him or her who in turn was expected to care for the servant as required as they would any other member of their family so the transition from a system like that to one marked by permanent wage labor has began to happen with the breakdown of the guild system in the 16th and 17th centuries meant that a very large number of servants particularly apprentices in journeyman suddenly found themselves in a position where they could never become masters and thus found themselves trapped in permanent social adolescence this had a number of really profound social effects some some of which I've written about elsewhere for example I point out there it's I'm almost certainly no coincidence I think that it's exactly the period where employment could no longer be conceived as a process of character formation education leading to one's eventual full moral person that one gets a household of one's own this is exactly the time when the employing classes know who have essentially shot the proletariat out of such social adulthood suddenly develop an intense interest in the moral reformation of the poor so they're basically trying to do the same thing through other means I mean you look at medieval texts middle-class people really couldn't care less about the world you know behavior of the poor but suddenly it becomes an obsession right right around the period with us old service system breaks down legal historians I have gradually been able to reconstruct how the terms and conditions were transformed in the centuries leading up to the Industrial Revolution government played a key role here and it's actually and now very much analogous to what happened with debt in the depth book I observed and I was basically following the research here of craig mull drew in most english communities in the late Middle Ages cash was very rarely deployed in everyday transactions villagers in towns look alike preferred to rely on complex credit systems which meant that it's sort of considered normal for everybody to be at least a little bit in debt to everybody else that was sort of seen as the lifeblood of sociability and an ass there's a material or material no aspect of community itself or of communal love and at the same time starting in Lisa Elizabethan times more and more members of the emerging middle classes began to turn to the courts to enforce stats and people used to lodge the debts in the courts but they wouldn't actually go to the courts to enforce them one reason for that was simply because the law was really harsh in fact I truly persistent creditor could have debtors imprisoned or even executed and starting in the late 16th and early 17th century a lot of people started doing that which had those crazy paradoxical effect of something that had been considered the very substance of sociality itself we suddenly have actively criminalized now around that same time local courts also became really interested in regulating labor which there had been some interest in fo the government in the wake of the Black Death but it only and you don't really starts kicking in then with a statute of artifice resistance but as deacon points up for example the initial impulse to do so had to do with the peculiar nature of English welfare system at the time the settlement act centrally insisted that elderly incapacitated Labor's anyone in need of relief had to go to their own parish um they couldn't you know demand relief in someone else's parish exceptions were granted only for those who could demonstrate they dunder take in yearly contracts as servants in the parish in which they currently resided now obviously that meant that it was up to the courts to decide who had a real contract and who didn't which is interesting because previous to that is as Cosmo and others have pointed out and Cooper or the whole domain of service which was you know basically the entire adolescent population we're essentially off the books in terms of as far as the government was concerned they had almost nothing to do with there was some occasional interference in in apprentices contracts and things like that but basically they don't even know who these people were suddenly you know we welfare legislation being what it was government local courts and magistrates had to decide who was really employed the conditions of employment were put under the microscope in effect and this was happening at the same time as the famous enclosure movements and all this sort of endless Marxist scholars have documented Cottagers are being driven from their natal natal villages the existing fluting summons I mean criminal population casual laborers sort of swollen by those guys were seeing suppressed by ever harsher vagrancy laws which are essentially trying to force as many people as possible into these one-year household servant contracts at the same time since welfare responsibilities were being shifted to the parish the service relation came to be defined in much more one-sided fashion as being defined around the Masters unconditional Authority and here's a quote in this way the settlement laws helped to initiate the open-ended duty of obedience which later came to characterize the contract of service although a servant could not be made to work quote unreasonable hours of the night and he is punished if he profanes of Sabbath day it was with it was determined that a rate of control and authority at least so far as it relates to the general discipline and government of the servant must reside in the master at all times during the continuance of the service is one of the criterias per who actually was a servant and actually lived where so this was the primary criterion for judging whether a relationship of employment existed it meant that this that element of unconditional obedience you know became both extremely important and enforced by the state and this increased dramatically over time by the 18th century when households in workplaces increasingly separated and owners of mills mines and somewhere enterprises began employing large numbers of wage laborers working regular hours you know they that was the criteria and they chose for who's really working for who control authority at the same time though magistrates were being granted ever more powers to intervene in different types of employer-employee relationships you know under the statute of artificers was large it was pretty limited and courts have been given the right to set up maximum wages and regulate relations between masters and servants in husbandry since Elizabethan times but it was really just right before the Industrial Revolution that it was extended to everyone else with the masters and servants law of 1747 in a series of other laws that followed in the decade or two afterwards so that same supervisory function was extended to artificers handicraftsmen miners Colliers Killman Pitman Glassman Potter's and other laborers employed frees any certain time or in any other manner which not only that's extended the principle of open-ended obedience to skilled craftsmen who had previously been more of the you know dependent contractors but allowed the courts intervene on the employers behalf by imposing fines and even up to three months imprisonment on any workers found to have absconded from their yearly contractual responsibilities so suddenly these people who had been hired you know because they had certain skills that you didn't have on a part-time basis that were being forced by courts to take on these year-long contracts where the employer no longer really had any responsibilities to them but they were expected to have an absolute right of obedience to their employer now what does this all have to do with that here I can only make a series of suggestions but I think it's really interesting and significant that well what effect of punitive government interference in these master-servant laws was to nullify the advantage gained by workers from the fact that they were as I pointed out you know creditors their employees rather than the other way around you look at that God's penny you know it was presented to the servant as it just sign a contract it's now called a material consideration in the same way that you know even if you have a contract for you know pay someone money you have to give them like you know one piece so that you can say money changed hands there's a real contract well that goes back to this which was a sort of pledge where you give them God's penny or an earnest and as a promise of future payment but that's exactly the same thing that a debtor does to a creditor it was the same thing you give cons penny so essentially employers a masters would actually pose themselves as not as the creditors but as the servants I mean as sorry as the debtors to their servants um in least in that formal way now this might not have had a lot of practical implications but about certain moral ones and it did and it probably had something to do with why it was that servants weren't such relatively advantageous situations that people are constantly complaining in the late Middle Ages that essentially they were in like a really advantageous negotiating position we're constantly getting overpaid and coddled and sparking endless and apparently only unevenly successful government attempts to hold down wages government intervention in the 17th and 18th century particularly aim to destroy both the moral and economic basis of working-class power at the same time as it also aimed to reinforce the absolute right of employers to dispose of workers as they wished for instance a key 18th century ruling held that if he workers fired for any act of disobedience or quit before the agreed on date he forfeited the right to collect any wages owed for work he might already have done and it's really important because it would often took them ages to pay people and um you'd be waiting and waiting sometimes six months to a year so so they would forfeit anything the moment like the judge agreed that you did something you were that disrespected your absolute you know obligation to obey orders in other words so the employers Authority was held to trump the employees status as a creditor such precedents were maintained and even augmented when the masters and servants law was replaced in Victorian times by the employers and workmen Act of 1875 which continued to give the courts the rights to intervene in the terms of employment contracts in a way that almost entirely unprecedented in any other form of contractual law she's a I don't know if anyone's heard Carole paid Munro to book called the sexual contract where she points out that marriage and employment contracts are we similarly weird because any other form of contract you can get the two parties and negotiate the contract to basically make up the terms and marriage is extremely significant considering we've been looking at marriage transactions and and employment transactions these those are the two forms of contract where you can't do that you know you can't say I these two people want to marry those three people I mean even if they want to they can't you know almost everything about the marriage contract is already set out and can't be changed by the people actually making the contract it's completely different than a commercial contract rates so so similarly employment contract you know there's no way that like a government would come and impose fines and law or lock up somebody who was a business partner who like somebody complained it violated the contract it might make them pay pay something but they wouldn't you know impose punitive sanctions they did that all the time to employ employment contracts and the nature of what could be done or there's a whole part of the duty you couldn't negotiate that away the duty of obedience I was already there similar to the marriage contract so and in fact they would regularly impose fines on workers for insubordination which would cancel out any debts of unpaid wages that the employer might have owed them workers who insisted on attempting to withdraw from or negotiating contracts were not only stripped of what they'd already earned but could be threatened with debtors prison so in that way it was a reversal of the debt relation which actually made this kind of generalize relation of subordination which lies in the heart of what we call free labor possible so Dan then these are only provisional notes for what could be and I ever have the time much more ambitious and systematic project of research I'd like to very much pursue this someday but I think it's enough to reveal a persistent link between debt and the commoditization of Labor European case unfree labor in the colonies became the basis for the creation of fortunes that were to become the main object of the first stock exchanges in financial markets while back at home the rise of free labor as it was termed they term only used to refer to three wage labor it was made possible largely by a legal regime that effectively that effectively redefined creditors as debtors as in the case of the transformation of local credit systems that occurred around the same time this squared a great deal of government intervention and to what had previously been considered market transactions but markets which if left to their own devices led to outcomes almost precisely the opposite of what modern-day market enthusiasts imagined they would have produced modern labor law which assumes a free contract between employer and employee is really very recent um it allows for such things as negotiated job descriptions periods of notice on that sort of thing is really actually not a product of industrial or commercial workers at all since they fell under the master-servant laws it's actually comes out of clerical or administrative workers who didn't fall under master servants laws so it's really the clerks who worked for the bosses who started demanding to have some rights as part of a labor contract you could call this the bob cratchit effect if you like because they were yeah you couldn't find them for breach of contract and gradually with unionization yeah Industrial Workers started demanding the same thing although that process was really only completed in the UK after World War two and in the u.s. wasn't really completed at all the achievement a full contractual status for industrial arrangements was not only historically quite recent it was also historically quite brief being followed by the rise of what's tellingly called the service economy which appears to be driving the commoditization of labor up to including that of thought and feeling in unprecedented directions and I'll end on that [Applause]

  1. evil putting American in Debts, and want them to stay there!!!, Let us
    burn all Debts on Holy Altar of God!!!!! include students loan!!!) and
    medical bills!!! Only USA Citizens are bankrupt due to medical bills
    (about 1,000,000 Americans per year)

  2. Devil putting Children of God in Debt!!!! God want you to be free of
    debts!!! Let us burn all debts of Children of God on a Holy Altar

  3. Legend has it that this is the same cup of undrunken coffee from his lecture on debt from 2012 at Google.

  4. it would be great to see people get behind the 21 hour work week – we need to slow down, reconnect with nature each other, self and community, – to have time to care to learn, create and share – crazy world in which we live where people are now having pay others to care for their own pets – what's next paying other people to go on holiday for us – we're outsourcing care to people to the bottom of society to poor people often struggling to get by with much suffering in their own lives and we wonder why 'care homes' have such a bad rep and many are afraid of them including me – they seem more like holding bays for death while psychiatrists blindly experiment with bombarding people with psychiatric drugs

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