The other day, I was speaking to a friend about the current book I was reading in Philosophy class, Disposable People (spreading awareness, right?!). I was telling her about how these extreme forms of slavery exist around the world and how there is usually a never-ending cycle in each country that makes this slavery continue. In some countries, debt bonding causes slave families to work for a debt that will essentially never be paid off. This is an ongoing cycle that relies on factors to keep it going; such as slave owners cheating out the records to make sure that the slaves do not overcome their debt.
My friend mentioned something that she had learned in her International Studies class about conflicts between countries around the world: there exist all over the world core countries and periphery countries. The core countries are developed countries, often being rich, while periphery countries are developing countries, often being poor. This existence of the two types of countries allows a similar cycle as slavery does and creates a situation in which these countries are potentially never going to move out of their position. The concept of this phenomenon is that core countries keep the periphery countries poor and weak, while periphery countries keep core countries rich and strong. The periphery countries rely on the core countries for resources to stay alive, creating dependence on the core countries. This means that there is going to be an unofficial debt that the periphery countries will owe the core countries; this creates the cycle. Since the first concern of countries is security, the core countries exploit the periphery countries so that they can get cheap goods from them and so that they can keep the periphery country where it is, and no threat will be put upon the core country.
This core-periphery country idea is a cycle similar to slavery, but is it slavery? I think it is just as much slavery as is exemplified in Disposable People. At some point the periphery countries are put at a point that does not allow them to move up. They have only one option and it is being “controlled” by the core countries. Slavery in this sense is having no other option but slavery.