The detriments of slavery are both short and long-term, especially category slavery. That is where candidates for being slaves is attached to race, sex or socio-economic status.
1. Slavery is inefficient. Being a slave demotivates. A person will work hard for their own benefit, but there is no point in bothering when someone else takes the benefits. Social potential is lost and the productive level across the board is reduced.
2. Slavery creates personal, moral, social, philosophical and politically destructive mind-sets. Human psychological health is destroyed along with social health. Once the slave discovers the social value placed on him is worthless, he may apply the same value to everyone. As slavery is maintained by violence, the method educates the slave to use violence. And he has already been educated to view life as worthless.
3. The slave is forced to adopt a different mind-set where respect for authority, trust in anyone, and cooperation all become redundant. Qualities such as love or affiliation not only become redundant but self-destructive. The slave disinvests in himself, the people around him and society in general. What else can he do? Society is his enemy. Effort is futile.
4. Once a person has experienced slavery because he belonged to a category, even after he is released from slavery the damage continues. Trust between the exploited group and the exploiters may never return. If slavery was upheld by law, as it usually is, respect for law may be completely lost. If slavery was practised by one social class against another, class hatred may become permanently entrenched. Human and social relationships are poisoned long into the future. Slavery creates ongoing insecurity in the “owners” and guarantees future social conflict.
5. Those who enslave others undermine their own personal, family and group security long into the future. They have worked to create a large category of enemies, given them a justification for retaliation and educated them how to oppress, employ violence and kill as the only possible self-defence.
6. The slavers cannot depend on the support of their slaves if they are under attack or need help. They have created and trained a large category of potential supporters for their enemies. It is in the slaves interests for the society which enslaved him to fail. A society that relies on slavery makes itself vulnerable.
7. Making others slaves turns friends/potential friends into enemies.
8. For what? Fragile egos which need massaging – inferiority complex? Greed? Laziness? In life there are no short-cuts. Every option has a price tag. Slavery might look good value – obtaining the value of someone else’s work for nothing. Degrading others is self-degrading. And the eventual price to pay is unknowable and could be unaffordable.