Based on the concept of modern servitude related to the sugarcane production and harvesting in Brazil, a critical reflection on a supposedly utopian society is made. This society relies on the alienation of the human being framed by an economic system that promotes inequality as criteria of progress. The illusion of choice hides the state of decadence of an economic and mercantile society. The machine-man lets himself be owned by what he owns. Is it that risky to question, think and change? Or is there any hope that part of our lives reject to be conquered by this system?
Deep in Brazil, where survival is left to the mercy of big businesses, which depend on manual labor, the human being is submitted to inhumane conditions. The sugar cane production feeds the big sugar and by-products
industries (such as alcohol) all over the world. Precariousness, bad living conditions, very low payment and exploitation of the individual turns the workers into voluntary slaves. Lured by better payment they find themselves trapped in a modern servitude. Resigning to this reality stops them from fighting for a better life, therefore perpetuating labor slavery that already lasts for centuries... Contrarily to this scenery of extreme poverty and indigence, the modern man consumes frenetically, voluntarily unaware that to feed his sweet toothed habits, people have to manually harvest nine tons of sugar cane per day, having no access to sugar at all in their day to day life. The irony is that the abundance of a few becomes
"As slaves build their world with the alienated strength of their work, the world’s decor becomes the jail they will be forced to inhabit; a squalid world lacking taste and scent, a host to the misery inherent in the dominant mode of production. This decor is in a state of perpetual construction, nothing in it is constant. The ceaseless redesign of the space that surrounds us is justified by the generalized amnesia and insecurity that its inhabitants must live with. The systems objective is to fashion everything in its image: every day the world becomes dirtier and noisier, like a factory."
(Brient, Jean-François, On Modern Servitude, 2009)
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