The last thing that those in charge want is a meritocracy with everyone in the world able to fulfil their full potential.
Structural handicaps are there for a reason. Discrimination against women, often applied ” barefoot and pregnant” takes half the race out of the competition for life’s goodies, while ensuring a large supply of free/low cost goodies for everyone else – dumping the unpaid drudgery on them, and endless supply of dirt cheap labour, and prostitution. No, the exploitation of women is not stupid, it is a bonanza for the exploiters. Thus the rage against feminists and anyone else attempting to free the golden goose.
The classics of course are slavery and racism. Label a group of people slaves, and then having categorised them as garbage, give yourself the right to treat them as garbage, because THEY, not you, have no value. But then insist these WORTHLESS people work for you. Whatzat? The people labelled are garbage, NOT the people who attached the label? And worthless people are expected to work their b…s off? I thought they were worthless. Surely you don’t get anything useful, like work, out of worthless people. Another con trick, which somehow those with higher social clout get away with. Why is that? Why do we believe lies and blatant rubbish when it comes from the mouths of the higher ups?
Combining slavery with race is a clever move. Otherwise the slavers must make a big investment in differentiating the people oppressed who otherwise are identical to their oppressors. Can a Western eye tell the difference between an Untouchable and a Brahmin? White bonded labour to the United States looked the same as every other migrant. Try and blend in if you are African.
And just to make sure there was no blending, laws were invented to outlaw inter-race marriages.
Laws to maintain, enforce or create, social demarcations of privilege, are no accident and historically cover a huge area of legislation. Bias in the laws is easily discernible. They follow a consistent pattern of protecting the rights and privileges of the haves, while obstructing the have-nots at every turn.
If a person on the bottom rung of society wants to raise herself, everyone in society will want to raise themselves to maintain the differentials. Easier just to crush that person out of existence. A woman? Good, all women are prostitutable. Let her channel male frustrations and make lotsa money for other men, higher ups somewhere siphoning off their tithe.
A frustrated worker realising he will never get promoted no matter how good he is, however hard he works, decides to evade the structure by starting his own business – create a sea of legislation so that business start-ups are only possible for the already privileged.
An entire social class manages to raise itself on the basis of its education, work and initiative – trash them all back into the gutter by flooding the market with cheap labour, allow crime to run rampant, remove social protections, stigmatise that group by association with the imported criminals and bingo! Satisfactory status quo restored. Oh, and steal their worked for wealth. Now they are labelled as criminals, you can pretend that it was the proceeds of crime.
Above all intelligence and creativity have to be crushed. Dumb down the culture. This hampers intelligent people because the dummies don’t understand what they are talking about, when they explain what is happening. Creative people work out ways to get round the handicaps so legislation is in a constant game of catch-up to prevent people un-handicapping themselves. Ancient laws both Hebrew and Arab criminalised women passing as men, as a way of throwing off the female handicap. The cultural practice of a man holding another man’s balls when concluding a contract ensured women could not step outside the role men imposed on them. Individuals who realised they could avoid the high cost of housing and high rents which meant they could never afford to buy, who bought a garage to live in, suddenly found there was legislation which did not allow them to live in a garage, and they were visited by the police, a luxury that victims of burglary can’t expect. The general experience of the lower classes. You can rely on the police to be there to interfere and obstruct harmless activities, but if laws are being broken against you, if you are being attacked, they are strangely absent and indifferent.
Every time a subordinate finds a way to counter a handicap, a law is implemented to block their avenue of escape. Like Gulliver in Lilliput, an ordinary person can hardly use any initiative without being immobilised by thousands of tiny, unbreakable cords.
Is this how slavery is advanced? In multiple tiny steps?
What those in charge fear most are the people in society, not of their elite, who are intelligent, talented, enterprising, hard-working, socially co-operative, creative and lateral thinkers. The feudal overlords have nightmares about the intelligent peasant, the archetypal problem-solver, who might one day solve the problem of why their life is so difficult.