Tell us, Julian," said the doctor, "did the rich go to one another and ask the privilege of being one another's servants or employees?"
"Of course not."
"But why not?"
"Because, naturally, no one could wish to be another's servant or subject to his orders who could get along without it."
"I should suppose so, but why, then, did the poor so eagerly seek to serve the rich when the rich refused with scorn to serve one another? Was it because the poor so loved the rich?"
"It was, of course, for the reason that it was the only way the poor could get a living."
"You mean that it was only the pressure of want or the fear of it that drove the poor to the point of becoming the servants of the rich?"
"That is about it."
"And would you call that voluntary service? The distinction between forced service and such service as that would seem quite imperceptible to us. If a man may be said to do voluntarily that which only the pressure of bitter necessity compels him to elect to do, there has never been any such thing as slavery, for all the acts of a slave are at the last the acceptance of a less evil for fear of a worse. Suppose, Julian, you or a few of you owned the main water supply, or food supply, clothing supply, land supply, or main industrial opportunities in a community and could maintain your ownership, that fact alone would make the rest of the people your slaves, would it not, and that, too, without any direct compulsion on your part whatever?"