Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: "Ben Tilly" <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 20:13:28 -0700

 Sat, 13 May 2006 20:13:28 -0700
On 5/13/06, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net> wrote:
> David Fetter wrote:
> > On Sat, May 13, 2006 at 02:35:53PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
[...]
> p.s.: I'm still puzzling over this statement from Stephen:
>
>     Michael> I believe estimates are 1-2 million women and children
>     Michael> are sold as sex slaves every year.
>
>     I agree that that is slavery, but I should have specifically excluded
>     it from the kind of slavery can be abolished for economic reasons.
>
>     Those slaves are *consumed*, and as long as people (speaking *very*
>     loosely) have a taste for such consumption, it will never be
>     abolished.   :-(
>
>
> It seems to me that demand is only half of the equation and that if supply
> evaporates, there can be no such trade.    Would not the supply evaporate
> if (no small matter) poverty and oppression were wiped out?

That would greatly limit the supply, but not eliminate it.  For
instance hard-core pedophiles sell children to each other.  It is not
money that is at stake here.

> Don't get me wrong.   In a prosperous global society some people *still*
> might choose to become "sexual slaves" of a sort -- but at some point you
> have draw the distinction between true slavery and a condition imposed by
> dysfunctional masochism.

Let me make this personal.

I knew a woman who effectively became a sex slave.  The story was that
she believed that addiction was a matter of willpower, and she had
excellent willpower.  So she tried drugs she shouldn't have, got
addicted, and wound up dropping out of law school to become a
prostitute.  Her pimp then traded her to a pimp in another city to
make it more difficult for her family to intervene.  I don't know what
happened to her after that.

I consider her to be a sex slave.  You may disagree.  But this type of
abuse is a growing problem in the USA and Canada, and has nothing to
do with poverty.

Cheers,
Ben