The relation between a master and his/her slave depends on the circumstances that lead to the situation and not automatically natural. The connection between a slave with his/her master is mostly the presence of power and need at the same time. The factors that lead one into being a slave have everything in defining the kind of relationship that individual develops with the master. The word develop is used here to emphasize on the fact that it is not automatic that master-slave relationship is natural or not (Davis, 2003). As Aristotle puts it, natural slaves are those individuals who fathom sense but cannot apply it therefore, must be ruled. However, ruling is divided into constitutional ruling and the empirical ruling where in constitutional ruling; subjects are ruled at their own free will and to their benefit. For the other case involving masters and slaves, ruling is only intended to benefit the master alone.
To develop the argument of this paper to an understanding level, this paper will take into consideration politics, governance, and then comparing crucial elements with those of master-slave situation. As Aristotle identifies in his book ‘The Politics’, women are inferior to men and are supposed to serve men but they are not slaves. As much as the statement is chauvinistic in nature and almost unacceptable in today’s life, the subject gives a strong point for determining how natural or not master-slave relation is. The categories of ruling and leadership initially determine the beneficiary of the ruling system therefore setting a clear path to understanding of the actual purpose and bias of slavery. Master-slave relation is not natural if the obtaining of the slaves is through slave trade butit is, if the situation is achieved through territorial conquering.
A number of contributing or affecting factors defines the situation between masters and slaves. Contributing factors are those that lead to the masters obtaining and keeping slaves while affecting factors are those factors thatlead to change in the way the master and the slave relate. A contributing factor to slavery is the acts of war where a ruler would conquer a territory and obtain slaves as a means of self-rewarding (Decker & Eberl, 2005). This case was a popular scenario in ancient war times in that many of the fighting warriors were rulers and desired to have people under their command and control. The satisfaction of this situation wasmasters’ and there was little left of a choice for the slaves once captured. This situation is definitive and natural in terms of how the slave and the master would relate given the circumstances. As a slave captured because of losing a battle, it is obvious without doubt that the masters would expect a certainnumber of activities and little remorse would be expected in return.
Treatment of slaves is always expected to be harsh and inhuman for many cases. Slaves-to-be would explain that better if they were guaranteed to serve as slaves for a certain amount of time or for the rest of their lives. It seems that the term slave is speculated to mean harsh conditions under the control and power of another individual. Master on the other hand is speculated to mean one with power and means to control other people according to his/her liking. However, the true definition of the situation between a slave and a master is one with power and control over the other and obtaining services from that individual, as he/she likes without actual contract or binding contract for compensation. For this case, a slave would not expect more than meals and clothing to enable him or her work properly. For the masters, other than giving the slave a token of appreciation and reliability, they do not assume responsibility of compensating for the efforts and work of the slaves. To worsen the situation is the issue of war captives converted to slaves; most of the time war captives are believed to possess a certain level of aggression and to neutralize them they are treated harshly to weaken their ego and motives. This situation is mutual to both the master and the slave hence making master-slave relation natural in this particular setting.
Master-Slave Relation: Natural or Circumstantial
If the situation and relation between slaves and masters was natural, I guess every powerful and rich person would have and would be having slaves of his own. The poor and the powerless would submit or surrender themselves to the powerful as slaves. Given that, this is not the case and slavery is not a naturally occurring phenomenon masters label themselves as such while slaves are transformed into slaves for their lack of immunity. Immunity would be a way of avoiding or bailing out someone from becoming a slave (Morrow & Plato, 2002).
Slave trade has been a form of business in the ancient Greece and many other parts across the world. Slave trade is not a registered form of trade – not now and never was. The issue of people and their desires to obtain riches by selling slaves to rich people had everything to do with increasing slave trade in the ancient times. Philosophically speaking, the state of mind of any person would render those slaves or masters. What are the variables for attaining this psychological slavery? Aristotle argued that natural slaves would be that group of people who have sense but do not have an application for the sense. Naturally, according to Aristotle, such people should and must be ruled over by other people who can make good use of their sense.
Acquired slaves through the means of trade cannot describe the expected turn of events if they are serving as slaves for the first time. Many masters owning slaves have commanders and overseers to take care of some businesses concerning slaves and tocontrol the slaves. In this case, the treatment that a slave receives from a commander or an overseer is assumed as an authorized set of controls from the master. However, circumstances do not regard the treatment of commanders and overseers as an automatic way and means of being in control. For this case, a slave would expect to be treated fairly as long as he/she is conducting him/herself according to the requirements of the master. This little sense or expectation of appreciation goes a long way to contradict the issue regarding the relation of master and slave as natural. When traded to a master, many slaves who had been slaves expect the routine to be the same, thus putting some sense to the issue of natural relationship. However, for amateur and candidates who had never been slaves before, anything is left to chance and every event comes as part of learning. For these reasons, slaves serving a new master would not fathom most of the events occurring to be natural and the same thing would not happen to the master (Simpson, 2002).
Differentiating Women from Slaves the Aristotle Way
Philosophers are believed to argue rationally rather than morally. Aristotle’s argument of women being under the command of men and being inferior can be referred back to the Christian Holy Bible. However, the difference between Aristotle and the writers of the Bible is that the former promotes sense and rational thinking while the latter seek to promote morality. The issue of women being inferior to men may or may not be a factual thing to go about. However, considering the nature in which the two entities are created the argument can be argued against or supported. Chauvinism is a way of life brought to the chauvinist by the events taking place between him/her and the members of the sex in question. Aristotle argues that women are inferior to men and are supposed to serve men at free will. Slaves on the other hand are inferior to their masters and are therefore supposed to serve them with or without will. Rationally arguing this matter, the common inferiority shared by women and slaves can be translated to slavery at any given circumstance (Rice & Blanchard, 1846).
As much as we would like to think of Aristotle’s point to be out of line, it is worthy the try to break down his argument to variables and the smallest components. Serving at its simplest definition means performing duty or holding office. Slaves and women but while slaves are not compensated and women’s allowances may be many, it is noteworthy tounderstand that men do not compensate women and the level of defection depends on how powerful the men and masters are. Comparing the two entities, women and slaves, closely, what situation depicts a rather dense natural relation? Aristotle’s argument is correct for women concerning their relationships with men but their relation with men, inferiority, and execution of activities depicts a rather natural master-slave situation (Stephen, 1824).
The motive of Aristotle in arguing that women were inferior to men and are supposed to serve menyet they were not slaves is an indirect way of justifying the rather offensive remark. The relation between a master and a slave may or may not be natural depending on the issues and circumstances leading to the arrangement. Excluding women from the issue of slavery, the arrangement of masters and slaves depends of circumstantial variables and these fail to be all round natural.
Politics: Constitutional against Unconstitutional Ruling
Aristotle argues that constitutional ruling in the likes of kings, presidents, and other forms of public service positions are aimed at benefiting the subjects governed by that particular rule. Such ruling is governed by constitution where policies are put in place to ensure each subject’s rights are observed. Constitutional ruling has objectives that run short of minority interests and are therefore intended to serve the interests of the majority. In this case, the kingdom or the government thrives to make the subjects’ lives as comfortable as possible.
The issue and basis of differentiation between the constitutional and unconstitutional ruling is the independence of changing the modes of ruling when the ruler chooses to do so. Unconstitutional ruling depicts a typical master-slave situation where the subjects serve the ruler for his own benefit. It is an input rather than an output type of ruling whose main beneficiary is the ruler who drains the resources of the subjects to his advantage. Placing this context to the relation between master and slave, the relation is not natural but rather circumstantial if compared with the constitutional setting for ruling (Rice & Blanchard, 1846).
In conclusion, I would argue that master-slave relation is not defined by who is in charge but rather the circumstances contributing to the situation. Therefore, the relation between master and slave is both natural and dependent on other factors. For slavery to be natural, experience and circumstances would have to play a uniform role to make sure of that. A master who kills his slaves after they have refused to do their duties would be regarded as tyrannical while at the same time his slaves, serving and new, would take this nature as a defining variable of their fate (Decker & Eberl, 2005). As much as slaves are kept for serving without compensational contract, women in the context of Aristotle serve but are not regarded as slaves. This means, for one situation of a master and slave relation to become natural, their respective mindsets would have to be adjusted to reflect on the situation.