The Slave's Revenge

If the slave cannot escape, and is beaten if he does not work hard, then his vengeance will always take on a more subtle form. The slave will perform his work slightly more slowly – not enough to be punished, but enough to irritate his master. The slave will pretend to be less intelligent than he really is, so that when he loses or breaks things, he will be more likely to escape punishment, since he is pretending in effect to be a child.

[...] the slave will also do what he can to promote any negative habits his master may have. If his master likes to drink, the slave will always be on hand to refill his cup. If his master has a tendency towards jealousy, the slave will innocently “mention” that he saw his master’s wife chatting with another man.

If the slave is particularly cunning, he will also do everything that he can to inflate his master’s ego. He will sing his master’s praises, claim joy in “knowing his place,” thank the master for everything he does, and remain fanatically “loyal.” This hyperinflation of the master’s ego inevitably creates pettiness, vanity, hyper-irritability, and unbearable pomposity.

In other words, the slave will always turn his master into an unhappy man – who is constantly annoyed, who cannot experience love, and who engenders no respect from those around him – particularly his children. (One of the worst aspects of being a slave-owner is that it turns you into a terrible and abusive father.) As a result of the slave’s passive-aggressive manipulations, the master becomes prone to violence – verbal and physical – self-abusive habits, crippling self-blindness, and sinks into a bottomless pit of discontent and misery.

This is the vengeance of the slave. All slaves are Iago. And, for the most part, all children are slaves. As you were.

[...] the great danger for the slave is his capacity to become addicted to the dark “satisfactions” of passive-aggressive vengeance. By enslaving his master, the slave gains a sense of control – and also re-creates in his master his own experience of enslavement. It is a subtle cry of hatred – and plea for empathy. [...]A slave can only hope for freedom by making owning slaves unbearable for his master. Not only might the slave’s endless passive-aggressive noncompliance and provocation provoke suicide on the part of his master – but his master’s miserable existence might also serve as a warning for others who might wish to own slaves.

[...]However, as mentioned above, the greatest danger for the slave is that he becomes addicted to the sense of control that comes from manipulating his master. In other words, the great danger for the slave is that he becomes addicted to his slavery. If a slave begins to believe his own master-destroying propaganda, then in the absence of masters, he will create them.

[...]Most of us are raised as slaves. Our opinions are rarely sought, rules are rarely explained – and moral rules never are – we are shipped off to schools where we are treated disrespectfully; our subservience is bought with rewards, and our independence is punished with detentions. Scepticism and curiosity are scorned and belittled, while empty abilities like throwing balls, learning dates, sitting still and “being pretty” are praised and elevated.

Lies about our history become cages for our futures. Lies about our own intelligence and originality lead us to the petty enslavement of “good citizenship” – and horrifying fairy tales about life in the absence of coercive or religious control scare us back into our slave pens the moment we even think of glancing outside to the green and beautiful hills beyond our bars.

Collective punishments turn us against each other; the “kibbles and whips” of the classroom reward us for laughing at each other to gain the favor of the teacher; terrifying and brutal “morality” is inflicted upon us. We are punished for not treating those in authority with “respect” (do they treat us with respect?) – and we are bred for a life of subservience, fear, productivity and dependence as surely as fattened calves are bred for veal.

Where in the past we were not taught to fear the priests, but rather the imaginary devils the priests warned us of, now we are not taught to fear our politicians, who can debase our currency, throw us in prison and send us to war – but rather we are taught to fear each other. We are taught to imagine that the real predators in this world are not those who control prison cells, national debts and nuclear weapons, but rather our fellow citizens, who in the absence of brutal control would surely tear us apart!

The entire purpose of state education is to make sure that we never truly “leave” our childhoods: that we spend our lives trembling in fear of imaginary predators, begging for “protection” from those who threaten us with the most harm.