Free and Unfree Labor
A student asked his history professor: “Where did slavery come from?” “You’re asking the wrong question,” the professor replied. “The real question is: Where did freedom come from?”
Slavery is one of the oldest and most universal of all human institutions. Slavery has existed among peoples around the world, as far back as recorded history goes— and archaeological explorations suggest that it existed before human beings learned to write. No one knows when slavery began. It is the idea of freedom for the great masses of ordinary people that is relatively new, as history is measured— and this idea is by no means universally accepted around the world, even today. Slavery was stamped out over most of the world during ...