In the past people were enslaved. Some, literally through the threat of violence or death.
Others were enslaved through economic means. This can been seen in the feudal system and also when factories were first started up. The former was in a rural setting where the lord held the majority of the means of production, ie lands. The latter was in an urban setting where the capitalist held the means of production.
We like to think that in this day and age that we are free. Yes, on the surface, most of us in developed and developing countries appear to be free. But that’s only because there are more insidious means of enslavement nowadays.
What are the things that enslave us today? What are we in the thrall of? Entertainment is a case in point. Yes, entertainment…err.. entertains. But is it useful? Is it necessary or essential? Yet how many people do you know who have FoxTel installed? How many hours of television do they watch? You are literally earning money to pay for the priviledge of wasting your time.
Your telly becomes a master, demanding tribute, requiring you to go out and work. Of course, the amount might not be that significant, depending on how much you are earning.
But still you are devoting yourself to the idiot box. Worshiping it in a sense. It is an addition and people even “binge” on it.
I’m using the television as an example but my point applies to all forms of entertainment. Yes, it may be permissible, even good. But there is a saying, “I will not be mastered by anything.”
Is entertainment something that you can give up? Something that you hold lightly? Or is it something that has a grip on you, that you hold so tightly (and it you) that you can’t let go.
It’s not just limited to entertainment, it also includes (for me) gadgets, laptops, smartphones, etc. What is it for you?
So, are you a free man?
Or are you like a zombie shuffling through life. Driven by urges you can’t control, drifting through life in a haze induced by the lack of sleep because you are stuffing your life full of the “good stuff”, full to the brim?