Servants, Masters, and the Art of Bantering

There is something indescribably wrong, we're compelled to feel, about a man completely enslaving his spirit to that of another man. The Remains of the Day, in both its literary and movie form, tells a highly didactic story. With all the respect d

Issue: Spring 1994

Aristotle, in his Politics, mounts a spirited defense of slavery. "For that some should rule, and others be ruled, is a thing not only necessary but expedient, for from the hour of their birth some are marked for subjection, others for rule: " This duality originates "in the constitution of the universe." With qualms regarding only noblemen and free men reduced to slavery after capture in battle, Aristotle insists that the lower sorts of human being "are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master." He adds matter-of-factly that, unsuited as they are for political life as well as for the arts of both war and peace, "the use made of slaves and of tame animals is not very different."

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