The first step towards abolition is the widespread public understanding that human rentals are illegitimate. Education about inalienable rights can occur at a grassroots level despite its absence from the formal education system and routine self censorship of the mass media. It is of course the goal of the human rental system and its substantial supporting infrastructure to ensure this kind of education never occurs.
In the age of the internet and mass communications a select few ideas or news items spread quickly and become widely known, while the vast majority get buried. The selection of what will become widely known is highly random. Certain ideas that conform to the doctrinal system or at least don’t directly contradict it have the best chance of beating the odds. Public relations campaigns and advertising skew this selection process and can easily channel perceptions into acceptable modes of thought.
Yet every so often unwanted ideas slip through. A successful propaganda system will make “the truth” seem so foreign that it is simply dismissed as too outrageous to be taken seriously. The idea that inalienable rights might be applied to human rentals falls into this category. The education necessary to over come this trained reaction requires more than a simple slogan or quick sound bite. It is something that this website will hopefully help surmount.
There are several common responses upon learning that human rentals violate inalienable rights. Probably the most common is some variant of “Human rentals don’t seem wrong”, or “What’s immoral about my job.” Another version is “I don’t feel like anything is wrong with renting myself.”
An analogy with slavery may be helpful. House slaves (as opposed to their field counterparts) tended not to express discontent with their position. Some were willful slaves who genuinely believed that there was nothing wrong with their position. However, their willingness to be slaves did not mean their inalienable rights were not being violated. Widespread support by slaves or the population at large does not negate inalienable rights arguments or legitimize the institution of slavery. The same is true of human rentals.
While the topic is by no means simple, the emphasis needs to be on popular (not academic) education. The academic record is well populated with David Ellerman’s writing and has been for decades. In the pure sciences we would hail Ellerman’s insight and analysis, commend the thoroughness of his arguments, award a Noble Prize, and never hear of human rentals as a valid form of labor again. In economics we’re stuck fighting dead ideas.
In the end education and awareness are necessary but not sufficient, structural change is also needed. The structure of work and the employment system must be fundamentally changed.