use Of the easement modern

De la servidumbre moderna

Servitude in modern is a book and a documentary of 52 minutes completely free of copyright, produced by Jean-François Brient and Victor León Fuentes. The documentary has been made from fragments embezzled of fiction films and documentaries.

The documentary:

According to its authors, the central objective of this film is to update the condition of the slave modern in the framework of the totalitarian system in commercial and give out the forms of mystification that disguise this condition servile. It was conceived under the sole intention to attack the organization ruling the world. (More information: here)


This documentary film is divided into 20 chapters, each preceded by an epigraph. Presents the bondage of modern as a voluntary servitude, and describes the appropriation of the territory by part of capitalism, environmental degradation and food, the essence of alienated labour, the illusion of parliamentarism and the omnipresence of the images and the divertimientos, among other things. Develops the concept of the “totalitarian system commercial” which is defined as the colonization of all aspects of social life and intimate, and also of the whole of the space on the part of the goods. It constitutes, therefore, the aspiration made of any totalitarian system: that nothing escape its influence. In parallel, to hide our condition of slaves, and the dementia of the social organization in its whole, the totalitarian system commercial has put in place all the paraphernalia of mystification. The last sequence of the film is a call to rebellion and revolt against the domination present.

Technical data sheet

  • Title in Spanish: servitude In modern
  • Original title: De la servitude moderne
  • Realisation and text: Jean-François Brient
  • Edit: Victor León Fuentes
  • Translation: Alfonso Echeverry
  • Release date: may, 2009 in France and Colombia
  • Duration: 52 minutes
  • Producer: Les temps Bouleversés
Below is the video of the documentary followed by an analytical commentary, prepared by Esther C. García Tejedor, in his blog post, Seven Steps, which we greatly appreciate your concession.

Documentary: bondage modern

Servitude in Modern – Jean Francois Brient from Teotl Nahualli on Vimeo.


Critical commentary

[…] I must say that I do not know the author and I can’t find references about him, so I take what I do from the mere quick overview of the film (including the documentary at the end).

The fact that I call the attention is due to the concern that the crisis and the attempt of revision of values that are proliferating in our society. It seems that it wants to do something, and they are springing up in attempts intellectual and ideological to change things. But I don’t know if it is doing since the old clichés subversive only. I think that further review of all the contributions to the political thought could help the creation of new perspectives, that represent an evolution, and not stay anchored in the thinking of the past.

The point of view strikes me and I share your intention to awaken consciences; other reviews it seems to me that come out of that really can be reported: on the power, property, or freedom. Let’s look at some.

“The power there is that conquisarlo, you must destroy it,” he says. This in itself, said so general, it seems to me naive: there is that to reveal the ideology as it is understood in the sense of a marxist.1

My opinion is that you have to destroy the “doxopatologías” (a term which I take of Emilio Lledó: it would mean something like “disease of the mind or belief”); but the power itself is something that goes in our own animal nature. That phrase, poorly understood, and potentially in defense of totalitarianism: the philosophy of Marx concerning the nature and power of the ideologies it seems to me acertadísima and a practical necessity of understanding necessary for any society; but let us not forget their interpretation and use violent resulted in some cases in other forms of totalitarianism thoughts and ideological monolithic and unidirectional, which may override individual freedom, the evolution of the cultures and creativity (which is, in fact, is supposed to make any ideology when it solidifies).

The tone of the message is clearly marxist, but it also has something rousseauniano; the romance rousseauniano has some contributions very beautiful, but their political conclusion also resulted in a declaration of the need to cancel individual freedom, perhaps, by the bad management of what could be or mean of the “general will”, that I want to interpret or translate here, to analyze our society, as “public awareness”.

It is true that the struggle against the oppression of power, disguises, from the latter, as attacks against the established order, either by calling him subversive actions, terrorist or whatever, and stays in hiding. But there is not a clear proposal of action and that lack of proposal, together with the attitude of rebellion that is hinted at with images, it seems violent, and it is not the answer for two reasons:

The first is that it tends to talk about the subversion and the violence only from the point of view of “forces of good struggling from the darkness”, and you can drop in a use of the message as an apology of some sort of violent movement and attitudes were fans of bright that autoproclamen saviors of mankind. The marxian dialectic, if we forget the individual in favour of the class struggle, it is manichaean. To prevent this possible misuse, it would be necessary to complete the message with a clear and resounding education in that the end does not justify the means: a means of evil will never generate an end purely good.

Let’s face it, any ideology, when it is born, can serve to awaken consciences with respect to the previous one, but it always ends up crystallizing in the hands of some, in something stuffed that becomes another ideology stun would also have to destroy.

The second reason why this final seems to me dangerous is that, not taking into account the above, it proposes attitudes that really freed the human conscience and respect the freedom of the individual: prior to the definition or demarcation of when and how you can use the individual freedom and the general will (which in its concept is the same used from the power, so careful with the ideologies that they seek to impose and which involve look bad to the questioning any of your points).2

My proposal is to: educate to pertenecerse to oneself, in the sense of being always owners of our consciousness and develop from the autonomy rational. To do this it is necessary to be aware of our spheres of private and public: in private, to develop the critical reason as a means of opening up to the world. In the public sphere: to understand what is public opinion and how it forms in our society (the instruments with which the opinions are made public, in the sense that it is “speech” or the set of interpretations made, in opposite directions, on that of what you are talking about -I am referring to the “for” and “against” that what you are talking about). To understand what is the public opinion (which is not the same as common opinion) there are that observe new media forms in our society: no longer are only the MCM, but that include social networks.

In the second extract that I make of the Politics of Aristotle I would like to observe the similarity with the theory of Marx is the natural value and the value of “goods”. Marx is part of a conceptual view, from my point of view, parallel -and saving the distances contextual and intentional – to that of Aristotle. But Marx used to denounce, from there, the alienation of the man, who identifies himself with his ability to work. Aristotle, simply, it is analytic (it is not intended as a complaint), and to this is added that, in context, slavery was something normal, accepted by all as a natural form of economic and political system. That intention analytics is reflected in the second snippet you extract from the same work. For Marx, all forms of bondage is alienating; for Aristotle, some are born masters of themselves (“as the head should be of the body”) and others are not; but however it reveals that the slavery that is in fact not always responds to that, he believes that he should be: in nature. In this way, there are men who, being masters in their nature (higher mentally) are reduced to slavery by the circumstances (remember that many of the slaves were spoils of war; others are sold by poverty). I am not taking sides on whether it really some men are born slaves by nature; yes I emphasize the message of Aristotle that what makes us free, by nature, is the domain of our intelligence and our reason.

I don’t think that we are only reason; I think that, in essence, we are something more profound. But I do think that the reason (the logos) is the only means to subdue our mind, opening ourselves to the world in an active and participatory, and to establish a communication towards living together better.



On the instruments of production: inanimate and animate, and the instrumental use of the human being

(Approach the two possible approaches: whether to be master or slave is something by nature or by convention)

It follows that, as well as the other arts need, each in its own sphere, of special instruments, to carry out their work, the economy (domestic) must also be yours. But among the instruments, there are a few that are inanimate and others who are alive; for example, for the pattern of a ship, the rudder is an instrument without life, and the sailor in the prow as a living instrument, because in the arts the operator, it is considered as a real instrument. (…)

Property is a word which it is necessary to understand as they understand the word party: the party not only part of a whole, but that belongs in an absolute way to a thing distinct than her. The same thing happens with the property; the lord is simply the lord of the slave, but not essentially depends on him; the slave, by contrast, is not only a slave of the lord, but it depends on absolutely. This is clear proof that the slave is in himself and what he can be. The that by a natural law does not belong to himself, but which, however, being a man, belongs to another, is naturally a slave. He is a man of other the that as man becomes a property, and as property is an instrument of use, and completely individual.

Aristotle, Politics, book 1 cap 3


On the two uses of the property and the origin of private property in the State

The whole property has two uses that are primarily, though not in the same way: the one is particular to the thing, the other is not. A shoe can serve to fit the foot or to verify a change. At least you can get him this double use. That changes a shoe for money or for food, with one who has need of it, used well this shoe as such, but not according to their own use, because it had not been done for the change. So I will say all other properties; for the change, in fact, can be applied to all, since I was born originally among the men of the abundance at a point and a shortage at another of the things necessary for life. It is too clear that in this sense, the sale does not form in any way part of the acquisition natural. In its origin, the change is not extended beyond the first needs, and it is certainly useless in the first association, that of the family. For that nazca is necessary that the circle of the association is more extensive. Within the family everything was common; separated to some members, the creation of new societies for purposes not less numerous, but different from that of the first, and this must necessarily give rise to a change. (…)

This kind of change is perfectly natural, and is not, to say truth, a mode of acquisition, since it has no other object than to provide for the satisfaction of our natural needs. However, here is where you can be found logically the source of the wealth. To the extent that these relations of aid mutual is transformed, unfolding through the import of the objects that it lacked, and the export of those which abounded, the need introduced the use of the currency, because the things essential to life are naturally difficult to transport.

It was agreed to give and receive in change a matter which, besides being useful by itself, be easily manageable in the common uses of life; and so they took the iron, for example, silver, or other substance to the same effect, and whose size and whose weight were set since then, and after, to avoid the annoyance of constant corrections, are marked with a particular seal, that is the sign of its value. With the currency, originated by the first changes which are indispensable, was born also the sale, other form of acquisition overly simple in the source, but it perfected very soon by the experience, which revealed how the movement of objects could be a source of considerable profits. Here’s how, apparently, the science of purchase is intended to the money, and how its main purpose is to discover the means of multiplying the goods, because it must create the wealth and opulence. This is the cause of that you assume many times that opulence consists in abundance of money, as that money revolve acquisitions and sales; and, however, this money is not in itself more than a thing absolutely pointless, having no other value than that it gives you the law, not nature, since a change in the conventions that take place between those that served themselves of him, you can decrease completely your estimate and make you entirely unable to meet any of our needs. In fact, what can not happen that a man, despite all his money, devoid of objects of first necessity?, and do not is a wealth ridiculous one whose abundance does not prevent the one who has to die of hunger? It’s like the Midas of mythology, which led to his unbridled greed, he did convert to gold all the delicacies of his table.

So with much reason the men wise wonder if the opulence and the origin of the wealth are in another part, and certainly the wealth and the acquisition of the natural, the subject of the economy (domestic), are a very distinct thing. The trade produced goods, not in an absolute way, but by driving here and there, of objects that are accurate by themselves. The money is the one that seems to worry the trade, because the money is the element and the order of its changes; and the fortune that is born of this new branch of acquisition seems not to have really no limit. (…) Far from this, the acquisition of the business does not have finally the object which is proposed, since its purpose is precisely an opulence and a wealth indefinite. But if the art of this wealth has no limits, domestic science, because its object is very different. And so you might think, at first glance, that all wealth, without exception, necessarily has limits. But there are facts to prove the opposite: all the traders come grow your money without locking or term.

These two types of acquisition are so different they used the same capital to both aspire to, but with a view very different, as that the a has for object the increasing indefinite the money and the other other’s very diverse. This similarity has made to believe to many that the domestic science also has the same extension, and are firmly persuaded that it is necessary at all hazards to preserve or increase up to infinity the sum of money you have. To get to achieve this, it is necessary to worry only care to live, without being cured to live as you should. Having No limits to the desire of the life, you see one directly drawn to desire, to satisfy you, means that you do not have. The same that is to live moderately, are also in search of enjoyment body, and as the property appears to secure these enjoyments, all the care of the men is directed to the piling up of goods, where is this second branch of acquisition of which I speak. Having the pleasure of absolute necessity of an excessive abundance, look for all the means which can procure it. When you can’t get these with acquisitions natural, it goes to the other, and applies one of his faculties to the uses that were not intended by nature. And so, the agenciar money is not the object of the value, that should only give us a men’s safety; nor is the object of the military art or medicine, that they need to give us that victory, this is the health; and, however, all of these professions are seen converted into a business of money, as if this is your purpose of your own, and as if all should reach out to him.

This is what he had to say about the various means of acquiring the superfluous, having made to see what are these media and how they can become for us a real need. As for the art that aims at the real wealth and necessary, I have shown that it was completely different from the other, and that is no more than the natural economy occupied solely with the care of the subsistences; art that, far from being infinite as the other, has, by contrast, limits positive.


The money should only be used for the change, and the interest that he takes, he multiplies, as it clearly indicates the name, which gives the Greek language (…). The interest is money produced by the same money; and of all the acquisitions is this the most contrary to nature.

On slavery: by nature or by convention

It is necessary to see now if there are men who are such by nature, or if they do not exist, and if, is this what you want, it is fair and useful to be a slave, or whether all slavery is a fact contrary to the nature. Reason and facts can easily resolve these issues. Authority and obedience are not only things necessary, but they are eminently useful. Some beings, from the moment they are born, are destined, some to obey, some to send; though in very different degrees in both cases. The authority is exalted and is improved as much as do the beings who practice it or those who it governs. (…)

So soon the living being consists of a soul and a body, made naturally one for sending and the latter to obey. (…) This predominance of the soul is evident in the man’s perfectly healthy of mind and body, one that we must consider here. In men, corrupted or willing to be, the body seems to dominate at times as a sovereign over the soul, precisely because their development spot is completely contrary to the nature. (…); because, obviously, it cannot be denied, that is not natural and good for the body to obey the soul, and for the sensitive part of our being, to obey reason and the part smart. Equality, or the dislocation of power, which is shown between these various elements, it would be equally disastrous for all of them. (…)

This is also the general law which must necessarily govern among men. When is one lower than their peers, as much as they are the body with respect to the soul and the gross respect of the man, and such is the condition of all those in whom the employment of the physical strength is the best and only party that can be drawn from his being, is a slave by nature. These men, as well as other beings of which we speak, can’t do nothing better than submit to the authority of a lord; because he is a slave by nature, which can be given to another; and precisely what requires him to be of another, is not being able to get to understand the reason, but when another is displayed, but not possess it in himself. The other animals can’t even understand the reason, and obey blindly to their impressions. (…)

Many times it happens otherwise, I agree with this; and so there are those who are not of free men more than the body, as others are only such as the soul. But what is certain is that if men were always different from each other by their appearance the body as what are the images of the gods, it should be unanimous agreement that the less beautiful must be the slave of the other; and if this is true, speaking of the body, with more reason, we would be talking of the soul; but it is more difficult to know the beauty of the soul that of the body.

Is this what you want, it is clear that some are naturally free and the others naturally slaves; and that for these latter slavery as useful as fair.

For the rest, it could hardly be denied that the contrary opinion carries any truth. The idea of slavery can be understood in two ways. Can one be reduced to slavery and stay in it by law, being the law of a convention in virtue of which the vanquished in the war is recognized as the property of the victor; the right that many examiners considered illegal, and as such we believe many times the speakers politicians, because it is horrible, according to them, the stronger, only because you can use violence, to make your victim a subject and a slave.

These two opposing views are held equally by wise men. (…)

There are people who, preoccupied with what they believe a law, and a law always has the appearances of right, assume that slavery is fair when it is the fact of the war. But it incurs in a contradiction; because the principle of the war itself may be unjust, and never be called a slave who does not deserve to be (…).

Aristotle, Politics, book 1 on hold 2


Esther C. García Tejedor / Phd in Philosophy

February 13, 2012


Source of the synopsis and technical card of the documentary:

Original comment from Esther C. Garcia:


  1. on the meaning of ideology in Marx, to see in Seven Steps “Marx II: introduction”, “Marx, for problems” and “History and philosophy of politics” [↩]
  2. To apply the right message, and to counter their possible interpretations recommend specific texts of two authors: the first is Kant, whose fragment of An answer to the question what is the Enlightenment? I posted on this same blog in the article “On criticism of the indignant”(; and the second is Aristotle, which I will quote below. [↩]
  3. For reasons of convenience, the version is taken from the internet, according to the version of Patricio de Azcárate, 1873, although on occasion I have changed the term “science” domestic “economy”, which to me seemed more suitable to reflect what he is talking about Aristotle; I put “domestic in parentheses because the word economy, in Greek, means rules or standards to manage the family farm: oikós means house). The underlines are mine. [↩]

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