To be free there also has to be a slave Essay
To be free there also has to be a slave, 500 words essay example
I think there's something to what your saying, but you have to remember that to be free there also has to be a slave as well. The story goes that man starts out as an animal, as another object in nature that obliterates other objects. But man wants to be assured that the he is not just another object, but something more. He needs recognition from an outside source for this, because he could be mistaken. Everything he encounters he consumes, in other words he transforms to suit his ends. He eats food to fill his hunger, he burns wood to satisfy his desire for warmth, but there is nothing that remains that can fill that recognition for what he is, or rather what he wants to be.
Until he meets the other. The other is problematic because it is another force that consumes, and he is disturbed by the thought he could just be another object for the other, just another animal to be preyed on, seed to be planted, wood to be burned etc. This must be avoided. The other must be compelled to recognise him as something more than another element in the natural order. Now this can end in two ways. Either he fights the Other, and one of them dies, and we are just where we are before, or the other is forced to submit in the face of death. This is the loss of autonomy for one of the two, while the winner proves that he was willing to risk death for something that was not just an immediate end (hunger, cold etc) elevating himself above the animal.
But the master finds himself at an impasse. The slave cannot serve to recognise him, precisely because he yielded in front of death, and so proved himself to be just another natural object. Therefore he is consumer in a sense that he is just another object to achieve ends for the master. He cuts the wood, prepares the food, and so on, but he cannot recognise the master.
The slave on the other hand is in an interesting position. True he yielded in the face of death, and sacrificed his autonomy. But now he is in the position of working, of carrying out plans, for another. No longer is he cutting wood to end his cold, preparing food to fill his hunger. Now he is acting for something removed from himself, he is mediated. He transforms the world with his labor in the service of an idea (the master's desire). Paradoxically, the slave in his bondage elevates himself through his labor to an abstraction while the master is in no better position because he is just filling his desires consuming things like before. This sets in motion the possibility of the slave gaining both his freedom, so being autonomous, but having gained the ability to effect change in the world in a way that is not just filling his desires like an animal, proving his humanity.