The Philippines has no history of its own. Filipinos have no memory of their own tribal origins. The history of the Philippines, in effect, begins with Magellan landing and declaring it a Spanish colony. And so it was, and for 377 years it was the Filipino serving their Spanish masters.
The history of the Philippines is a history of slavery.
Slaves are not allowed to tell the truth. Slaves are not allowed to offend their masters. Slaves are not allowed to express preferences. Slaves must always manage their masters. Slaves must always be on guard. Slaves must always shy away from punishment. Slaves must always fear their fellow slaves. Slaves are not allowed to feel curiosity. Slaves are not allowed to feel genuine emotion. Slaves can only react to propaganda.
If the slave cannot escape, and is beaten if he does not work hard, then his vengeance will always take on a more subtle form.
The slave will perform his work slightly more slowly – not enough to be punished, but enough to irritate his master. Or perhaps the slave might not accomplish the task quite right, with intentionally poor workmanship. There are any number of ways that a slave may obey orders to the letter but not in spirit.
The slave will pretend to be less intelligent than he really is, so that when he loses or breaks things, he will be more likely to escape punishment, since he is pretending in effect to be a child.
The slave will also do what he can to promote any negative habits his master may have. If his master likes to drink, the slave will always be on hand to refill his cup. If his master has a tendency towards jealousy, the slave will innocently “mention” that he saw his master’s wife chatting with another man.
If the slave is particularly cunning, he will also do everything that he can to inflate his master’s ego. He will sing his master’s praises, claim joy in “knowing his place,” thank the master for everything he does, and remain fanatically “loyal.”
This hyperinflation of the master’s ego inevitably creates pettiness, vanity, hyper-irritability, and unbearable pomposity. In other words, the slave will always turn his master into an unhappy man – who is constantly annoyed, who cannot experience love, and who engenders no respect from those around him – particularly his children.
As a result of the slave’s passive-aggressive manipulations, the master becomes prone to violence, self-abusive habits, crippling self-blindness, and sinks into a bottomless pit of discontent and misery.
This is the vengeance of the slave.
By enslaving his master, the slave gains a sense of control – and also recreates in his master his own experience of enslavement. It is a subtle cry of hatred.
A slave can only hope for freedom by making owning slaves unbearable for his master.
Not only might the slave’s endless passive-aggressive noncompliance and provocation provoke suicide on the part of his master – but his master’s miserable existence might also serve as a warning for others who might wish to own slaves. In other words, the slave that makes its “owner” miserable is performing an enormous service to the freedom of other slaves, since anyone else who is thinking of enslaving will look at the stress experienced by existing slave owners and do pretty much anything to avoid that fate – thus leaving others free.
The greatest danger for the slave is that he becomes addicted to the sense of control that comes from manipulating his master. In other words, the great danger for the slave is that he becomes addicted to his slavery.
If a slave begins to believe his own master-destroying propaganda, then in the absence of masters, he will create them.Published in