In today’s world of unlimited credit, consumers become modern-day slaves to their creditors. What is the difference between slavery in 18th century America with imported African slaves and the America of 2013? There is no difference besides the physical abuse of the African slaves by their owners.Actually, a good argument could be made for classic slavery as better than this modern form of debt slavery. When a person is the property of an owner, he/she will likely be taken care of to insure that he/she remains productive as a laborer for the owner's enterprise. Such a tendency would never enter the minds of a bank executive toward one of its debtors.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up