Technology has always played an integral part in shaping our lives, but how technology influenced slavery is often overlooked. Before there were mass production facilities, tools, or machinery to work with, building and producing things was much more time consuming and expensive.
Up until the Industrial Revolution, technological advancements focused mostly on creating bigger, faster moving machines that did not require too many people to operate them.
These new technologies made it possible to produce large amounts of something quickly, which is why most people are familiar with the word “industrial” as it relates to manufacturing.
However, this also meant that there was a limited number of positions open for these advanced manufacturing equipment, making it harder to hire additional help. This is where slave labor comes into play!
Slave Labor In The Manufacturing Industry
There have been many theories about what causes slavery to exist, one being that it is needed to fulfill the human need for power. Another theory suggests that some individuals are inclined towards dominating and taking advantage of others, which can sometimes lead to enslavement. A third possibility is that someone else may possess resources that you want, so you offer your services in exchange for a job and income.
Whatever reason exists for slavery to occur, technological advances allowed for the existence and growth of this harmful practice. Modern day slaves are not physically forced onto farms or mines, but employment opportunities remain scarce due to lack of motivation and/or availability of suitable jobs.
Over the past two centuries, advances in technology have allowed for an ever-increasing amount of communication, which has led to more efficient ways to produce goods and distribute them. This includes distributing merchandise via marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, or through online shopping sites that people create accounts with to purchase things directly from them.
By offering these services free to use to anyone, they gain access to a larger audience, which can generate business for their company. Technology also makes it easy to distribute information, such as advertisements, blogs, and websites.
This is important because most industries rely on advertising to make money, so without it many companies would not exist. Online marketing allows for easier distribution of this information, creating opportunities for others to earn income off of it. Websites like Facebook and Twitter allow for users to advertise themselves and their products, which brings in revenue for the site while helping your friend win new customers!
Slaves were one of the major beneficiaries of technological advancement. A few decades ago, almost no one owned a cell phone, much less used the internet. Telephone lines were expensive to connect to and only wealthy individuals could afford them, making long distance calls extremely costly.
Nowadays, however, virtually everyone owns a cell phone and the cost has plummeted, allowing for continuous contact between buyers and sellers. Similarly, laptops and desktop computers are commonplace and relatively inexpensive, easily accessible by even those who do not possess a high income.
For many centuries, wealthy people were not able to communicate with anyone outside of their own language. This made it very difficult to do business, keep in touch, or understand what others were saying about you.
For example, if someone talked bad things about your family or you, they would have no way to know whether these comments were true or false unless you told them in another language.
With the introduction of translation services like Google Translate, this has changed. Now, anyone can go onto the internet and translate anything for free!
This makes it much easier to compare prices, find out what words mean, and get explanations in other languages. It also helps when something is written in a foreign tongue – now you can look up the meaning of each word!
Many businesses use translation services as part of their marketing strategy.
Commercial air travel
Since ancient times, sea voyages have been an important way to connect with other countries and cultures. For most of our history, sailing ships were the main form of transportation for large groups. This is why powerful empires such as the Romans and Greeks had vast fleets that they used to expand their influence.
With the advent of commercial air flight in the 20th century, it became possible to visit any country within weeks instead of months or even years. This has huge implications for how long it takes to build international relationships and understand different culture.
It also gives people more opportunities to return home if they are not happy there. Being able to quickly relocate means some nations become less stable than others which makes it easier to use labor as a commodity.
Slavery was never officially abolished anywhere in the world but it did slowly decrease in importance due to technological advancement. Improvements in manufacturing technology made goods cheaper to produce so wealthy elites could no longer rely exclusively on using slaves for work.
Technology has allowed for an ever-expanding market of services that incentivize more slavery. Online shopping has made it easy to spend money, even if you don’t have much money to start with.
Services such as Amazon push us towards buying things because they earn revenue off of our purchases. This influence is very powerful since most people now live their lives in front of a screen and online shopping is a way to satisfy a need we have (to shop) while also earning some extra cash.
By creating dependence on spending money, companies create a situation where people are addicted to them. This addiction can easily turn into debt and debt bondage at its worst.
For example, many individuals begin investing due to media advertisements or word of mouth. Once they invest their hard-earned money, the next thing they know is that their investment company was bought out by another company which means they lose all access to their funds!
This creates a dependency on the investment firm so that person will keep investing with them until they find out they’re closed. It becomes clear how technology helped facilitate enslavement.