By Ace Omozuwa
The Libyan slave market is a moral blight. It shows endemic greed is a cause of most human maladies, a cause of civilizational regress. Greed is destroying the bastions of freedom, hope, and egalitarian progress.It has debased the ontic realities of human life.
Slavery is an abhorrent moral evil. Fundamentally, because, it objectifies people, makes people tradable like properties, like objects that can be owned and discarded. The idea of owning a person(s)negates personhood. From Lockean concept of liberalism, the denial of personhood is an abjuration of the fundamental rights to life, liberty, freedom, and property. Hence, slaveholders do not feel morally prohibited to harm, abuse, exploit or kill their slaves. In the past, legal systems offered little protection to slaves.
Slavery is as old as humanity. From age to age, and in various societies, slave drivers have exploited their slaves to accomplish many tasks. Some slaves work on landed estates, others on industrial facilities. Some serve in households, farms, while others are exploited for military, religious, or sexual purposes.
The abolitionists of 18th and 19th centuries envisioned a world where freedom and equality are the centerpiecesof socioeconomic relations. They fought for it, and achieved remarkable success. Manumissions and emancipations became common occurrence.
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s led by the apostle of nonviolent resistance, Martin Luther King, fought against systemic racial injustice. Institutionalized racial injustice was essentially a residuum of America’s slave system. The movement also achieved huge success.
With the end of slave systems in the ancient Mediterranean, and the modern Atlantic, the doctrine of human rights became popular. Human pride ballooned. Particularly, as freedom fighters of the 1960s passed unto us the blazing torch of human liberty. Sadly, it is fizzling; its brilliance has been marred by human trafficking, and the Libya slave saga.
Libyan slave market mocks the epochal progress humanity has made, and reveals the fault lines of globalization. Clearly, freedom and cooperation are not the bedrock of globalization, refined helotism is. Where laws are weak the strong is free to enslave the weak.
Slavery flowers anywhere economic relationships are marked by strong social inequalities, and weak legal system. So, Libya is not an exclusive enclave of barbarity. Barbarity is not provincial. It is not a native of Africa. It is universal. It manifests anywhere nanny is euphemism for servitude. It manifests in the posh streets of Europe where licentious men sexually exploit young African girls. It shows its ugly face in Bangladesh where over a million children between the age of 10 and 14 work long in inhuman sweatshops,garment factories. It manifests in cultureswhere bride price means ownership.
Libya is a society with slaves, not a ‘slave society’. Slavery is not the mainstay of Libyan economic and social life; indeed, there is no evidence that indicates the state profits from slavery. There is no extensive class of slaveholders. Its economic mechanisms of production, distribution, and consumption of goods are not built around forced labor. Yet, all these do not reduce the heinousness of this crime against humanity.
Enslavementand enlightenment are not conterminous. They cannot flourish simultaneously in the same time and space domain. The presence of one spells the absence of the other. Humanity has regressed to the dark ages. Animalistic greed animates humans in the 21st century.
The slave market of Libya has unveiled another dark side of globalization. Globalization is not altogether good.It is not a potent altruistic force of human liberation. Equity, fairness, and justices are not its essential definers. It allows freedom of movement without making freedom from subjugation impossible.
From the viewpoint of Libya moral and spiritual crises, globalization is nothing but a metastasizing force, a universalizing force ofgreed and human depravity. It is a euphemism for barbarity without borders.
When the naïve hears of globalization he thinks of prosperity for all. He thinks of an economic-political Elysium where the human spirit flourishes, where man is empowered to transcend the finitudes of nature. He thinks of a world governed by the enlightenment ideals. Such thoughts are nothing but arrant ideological delusion.
The migrant crisis in Libya shows globalization is colonization in new ideological package. Itsnotion of equity is close to the notion ofmight is right, which fosters shambolic order, the order of a madhouse. The basic difference between colonization and globalization is like the difference between a fishhook without baits, and a fishhook laced with threadbare baits.
We cannot duly decry slavery in Libya without decrying the amoral force of globalism. Globalization is not seeking to create an ideal moral universal where the commodification of mankind is unthinkable. Globalization does not seek to end the objectification of the female gender. Its drivers of cultural dominance inadvertently promote it. To the point that a movie is no longer good, if it is not sexualized or objectifies the feminine gender.
The West is implicated in the Libyan slave market. For it is the dominance of the West that plunged Libya from a state of order to cesspool of anarchy. Some schools of thoughts are more categorical. They are saying the former American President, Barrack Obama, is the architect-in-chief of Libyan chaos.
With messianic zest the West intervened in the domestic agitation in Libya that culminated in the rat-like death of Colonel Muammar Mohammed Gaddafi. In a rare form of compassion fatigue the West has shifted its attention from Libya to self-amusing rhetoric of freedom, while Libya wallows in the abyss of savagery. This does not imply that there are no enlightened souls in the West crusading against the end of this morbid revitalization of slavery.
No doubt slavery is a universally abhorrent evil. But it is a sterile abhorrence. It stimulates magniloquent conservations that inspire minimal action. Primitivism is fueled by abhorrence that lacksredemptive force. Slavery is an evil that cannot be extirpated from society without multi-pronged collective action.
We must propagate and uphold the dignity of the human person. For this civilization not to collapse, it is imperative that we extend the grace of enlightenment to benighted souls, yesterday’s victims of oppression. Victims of oppression oppress and exploit the weak in their sphere of influence.
In the 21st century, universal sociopolitical equilibrium remains a myth. It is the skewed power relations of global politics that make economic migrants become articles of trade. Oppression corrupts human nature. Nothing is sacred where oppression rules, not even human life.
We are all victims of the nightmares of barbarity. Everyone acquainted with the tales of Libyan slave market is witnessing the funeral of human dignity. The glory days of humanity are gone. Animalistic greed has eclipsed the light of civilization. The spirit of liberty has gone on exile. Mankind is no longer free. The crown of creation is enchained, enchained like a beast, enchained by benighted human beasts.
Do not weep for Libya migrants. Weep for humanity. Humanity has plumbed the depths of savagery. Humanity is destitute of love. Empathy is an alien in human societies.
Human felicity is endangered when freedom is savagely constricted. It is wrong to speak of human flourishing and felicity when human decency is not a global norm. Should we speak of human flourishing when there are no inherent bulwarks against human right violation in multicultural and multiracial societies?
If skin color is a barometer for human worth and dignity should we not say inane hope drives globalization? The ultimate destruction of values occurs whenever and wherever the value the human person can be equated in monetary terms.
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