Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On Prison Labor and the Fifth and Thirteenth Amendments

Written on December 2nd, 2015
Edited on December 6th, 2015

The 13th Amendment didn't "outlaw slavery", it merely legalized "involuntary servitude" except as punishment for a crime. So the prison system is modern-day legalized slavery. Incarcerated inmates in prisons work for slave-level wages, and in fact, Georgia and Texas have laws providing for a maximum wage of $0.00 per hour for such prison laborers.
But the rest of us living outside of brick-and-mortar jails and prisons still have to serve others, by paying taxes on our income, and, in some jurisdictions, serving whomever comes into our businesses.
If we do not do so voluntarily, then we are serving others involuntarily. And since that's only legal as punishment for a crime, we have to ask, if we are being punished, what crime did we commit?
How are refusing to pay taxes, and refusing to serve would-be customers on private property, "crimes", in the real sense of corpus delicti (“body of the crime”, i.e., evidence, i.e., a corpse) meaning that a real harm or taking must result from one person's action, depriving another of legitimate property, or harming them?
They're not. One person's labor, and the product thereof, are not the property of anybody else.

On another note, the 5th Amendment says that no property shall be taken for public use, except with compensation. The federal government took the slaves owned by their masters, but did not compensate the masters.
My point is not that it's too bad they weren't compensated, my point is that the slaves were taken for public use. We, the public, are all being compensated for the slave masters' losses, with the funds gained through slaves' descendants' free-of-cost prison labor and involuntary labor in the "free" economy.
The only difference between 1865 and now is that today, people of all races can be commanded to serve people they don't want as customers, and put in prison and forced to labor for the benefit of others (actually, that's a distortion of fact, because many Irish, Scots, and other whites were held as slaves prior to the end of the Civil War).

So we are now faced with the puzzling condition that we, along with our “duly-elected representatives” who wield partial power of attorney over us, are part-owners of ourselves as involuntary servants.
Ah, breathe that free, free air. Isn't it great?

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