The future of modern slavery for those living in Western nations will primarily be brought about by each individual’s growing complete reliance on an ever shrinking and consolidating number of powerful institutions. The issue will further be compounded by the complete loss of personal privacy and the inability to compete against entrenched institutions that hold massive information advantages over others.
In the United States, these institutions will trend more towards the private sector and include monopolies in areas such as finance, education, health insurance, and corporations which provide digital services essential to being able to participate in the modern economy.
In places like Northern Europe, an ever growing public sector, which already currently employs a third of the population, will need to further collect and redistribute the wealth of its citizens to fund it. It’s already not uncommon for people to pay over half their income to taxes, in addition to having to most consumer goods taxed at a 25% rate. While a social safety net to a certain extent is a good thing, a system also should not discourage or limit the productivity of its workers.
If you are forced to completely invest your time and energy into a system to a point where you have no resources left to devote to your own development and growth, you are essentially a slave to the system. If you are relying solely on a future pension from the system to sustain yourself in old age, its very unlikely that you will challenge it in anyway.
Countries such as Sweden are moving the fastest towards becoming completely cashless societies. Every transaction you make will be monitored by credit institutions or banks, which help the government make sure that you are not hiding any money that they can tax. The banks and financial institutions profit from transactions fees, interest payments and amassing an incredible database of consumer purchasing information. Through your credit card purchases, every place you go and every purchase you make will be tracked.
This is one of the reasons that I potentially see cryptocurrencies being an important part of our future, as well as why there is a good chance governments will try to regulate them out of existence.
As the average person becomes relatively poorer and their purchasing power (how much they can afford in their local environment using the local currency in which they are paid) decreases due to predatory private institutions and/or excessive taxation by governments, social narratives will need to be crafted and disseminated to the public to justify their pain and defend the current systems which are pillaging them. As when inequality grows too large in any society, the populace starts demanding answers.
While the historical favorite scapegoats of those on the right have always included immigrants stealing jobs and people on welfare, the left is now pushing a potentially even more destructive social narrative that everyone is a victim. The complete removal of personal responsibility that goes along with having victim mindset will only accelerate the demise of personal privacy and freedom. It will do so by lending credence to the idea that only large policing institutions (university discipline committees, corporate HR departments, big government, etc.) can effectively protect people and disseminate social justice.
The growth of this ideology is rapid because it is helping fill a vacuum of meaning and lack of purpose in people’s lives. This vacuum has grown in nations such as the USA, where citizens no longer even pay lip service to the historically traditional values and ideals of family, nation, religion, honesty and personal integrity. This is not to argue against the massive progress and needed reforms that has been made within these arenas in recent decades, but instead to warn against the risks of completely throwing the baby out with the bath water and becoming a rudderless society.
Having only a few centralized and powerful institutions, which monitor our thoughts through social media as well as our every financial transaction, infused with the notion that they must be the curators of an incredibly narrow and strictly defined notion of social justice, is an inherent risk to our personal sovereignty.