Slavery is a system where a person is forced to work by the orders of another person under a threat of violence.[1] It is forced labour at below free market wages. The slave can be the property of a master. The master compels the slave to work at tasks that the master wishes. As a reward the slave only gets subsistence or less than the slave would have accepted voluntarily. It is sustained through violence or threats of violence. This makes it a hegemonic relationship. Disobedience of a slave can be punishable by law if it is legal in a certain place. For example conscription, jury duty etc. This is in contrast with a voluntary employer-employee relationship. There the employee's labour is a factor of production for the employer rather than the employees themselves.[2]


There is historical evidence that shows slavery existed even before writing was invented. Various types of slavery existed in nearly every culture and continent on Earth. Some societies had laws about slavery and used it extensively. There were many slaves in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

In the Aztec Empire (1345 CE and 1521 CE) prisoners of war from states the Aztecs conquered were sold as slaves or sacrificed to their gods.[3] The lowest classes of Aztec society were serfs and lastly slaves. Slaves had no rights and were bought and sold on Aztec markets.[4] It was possible for a slave to buy his or her freedom with enough money to be a commoner.[5]

In the 20th century nearly every country forbid slavery as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and it is banned by international law.[6] However, slavery still exists in some countries.[7]

In 3304 CE, slaves are almost universally illegal and shunned by most civilized nations. Great efforts have been made to stamp out this trade in misery, however a few star system markets remain open.[8]

It is illegal in the Federation so they opt for robots, androids and AI. In the Empire slaves and clones are legal. There's a dark underbelly of legalised slavery.[9] They do the work which machines usually perform in other parts of the universe.[10][11]

Imperial Slavery

In the 34th century, on the edges of Imperial space, the line between savagery and civilisation blurs on an almost daily basis. Such as commanders cross the border to smuggle massive quantities of Imperial Slaves to sell in black markets controlled by the Kumo Crew.[12]

In Imperial society, having an unpaid debt is seen as utterly dishonourable. An honourable Imperial citizen would sell themselves into slavery to clear a debt they couldn’t otherwise clear.[13]

The Empire has a clear distinction between legal and illegal slavery. Under Imperial law, citizens are not permitted to sell their Imperial Slaves for service to non-Imperial citizens, nor are they allowed to sell Imperial Slaves on worlds outside of Imperial space. Those found breaking the law run the risk of being forced into service themselves, although in reality Imperial frontier security services tend to turn a blind eye to the practice.[12]

According to the Imperial Slavers Association stated: “The sale of Imperial Slaves outside of the borders of Imperial space is strictly prohibited by order of the Senate. Any members of the ISA found engaging in such activity will be removed from the guild and reported to the appropriate authorities.”[12]

People who are found to hold slaves beyond their fixed term of service receive a warning. Imperial slaves found in these circumstances are restored to full citizenship and reimbursed for the labour they performed beyond their established term. The slavers are subsequently indicted for these violations.[14]

The Imperial Slave Association concerns the treatment and transportation of imperial slaves. It also operates slave training facilities in imperial space.

The senator Zemina Torval built her wealth on slavery and supports it.[15] She emphasises the importance of Imperial slavery and of taking proper care of one's Imperial Slaves.[16]

The charitable organization Stop Slavery Stupid opposes slavery in the Empire. It's supported by Aisling Duval.[17] On 19 Jan 3304, Aisling said "Illegal slavery is an abhorrent practice that negates its victim's fundamental human rights. The amoral profiteers operating in Guuguyni must be stopped."[18]


The Scottish economist Adam Smith (16 June 1723 – 17 July 1790) is known as the father of modern economics. Smith defined a slave primarily as a prisoner of war. Smith rejected both imperialism and slavery on economic grounds as well as moral grounds. He said "It appears, accordingly, from the experience of all ages and nations, I believe, that the work done by freemen comes cheaper in the end than that performed by slaves."[19][20]


  1. Murray N. Rothbard. "1. Types of Interpersonal Action: Violence", Chapter 2-Direct Exchange, Man, Economy and State, online edition, referenced 2010-12-12.
  2. Murray Rothbard. "Involuntary Servitude".
  3. van Teurenhout, Dirk R. (2005). The Aztecs: New Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. p. 157. ISBN 978-1576079218.
  4. Fagan, Brian; Durrani, Nadia (2015). People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory. Routledge. p. 443-447. ISBN 978-1317346821.
  5. "Aztec Indians". Tribal Directory. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  6. "Slavery Convention". The United Nations. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  7. BBC Millions 'forced into slavery'
  8. Slaves, commodity in-game description
  9. The Empire Sourcebook excerpt
  10. Newsletter #22
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Savage Side of Imperial Slavery
  13. Newsletter #22
  14. Imperial Slave Association Audited
  16. Meet the Powers – Zemina Torval
  17. It’s Time to Stop Slavery Stupid
  18. Eliminating Slavers in Guuguyni, 19 JAN 3304
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