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Published:March 28th, 2011 15:24 EST
Are We Done With Slavery?

Are We Done With Slavery?

By Ignatius Fernandez

"God whispers to us in our joys, speaks to us in our difficulties and shouts to us in our pain."
 C. S. Lewis.

News on Libya is shocking. What is happening in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria leaves us numb with pain. Can man be so power-crazy as to shoot his own, just to cling to the seat of power? The turmoil in North Africa and the Middle-East is one more sign that we are not done with slavery. The ugly visage refuses to hide.

Centuries ago Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Vikings lorded over slaves. The hiss of the whip cut deep wounds on bare backs and the task-master`s torments were harsh and unending. Slaves suffered the pain in silence - they had no option and no hope. But they prayed that one day Hope could hope again.

That prayer is being heard now, with people who slaved under their rulers, defiantly casting off the heavy yoke thrust on them. Not just with protests and rallies, but in violent rebuffs to the reluctant overtures of their bewildered masters - who replaced back-breaking hours of labor and the whip with oppressed confinement and torture. It is pay-back time.

On the home front, slavery has a long history. The suppression of women and children is age-old. They were treated as possessions to be dealt with as men pleased. They were bought and sold; owned and disowned at the whim of their masters - the men. Even today, when women and children are relatively free, there are homes where women suffer at the hands of abusive and violent husbands and children are traumatized by tyrant-parents. The autocratic boss will thrill to see his staff cringe before him. The dominant player in the market place will manipulate the downfall of lesser competitors and rejoice at the fall. Slavery is a many-headed monster that refuses to die. Why?

It will not perish because it is not just the suppression of rights but also the insatiable craving of the EGO. To feel power over somebody is to revel in the helpless of the enslaved. It is very satisfying for sadists. That is why slavery will not end until man learns to balance his ego; until he stops feeding his lust for power.

But the pain of those who suffer will not be ignored; their cries will be heard. Over the din God shouts to them. Divine justice is slow but sure; and those who inflict pain will have to answer. The brutal Roman Empire fell; so did the Egyptian, Greek and Viking Empires. Mubarak fled. Soon the others will follow as  the wave of dissent gains momentum. Their days are numbered. But the sad part is that one gives way to another and history will repeat itself because of man`s power-drunk ego. A new master will rise to lord over a new set of slaves.

No, we are not done with slavery.