never simply a question of economics


[…] For Romans masters, owning slaves was never simply a question of economics. Being followed by a great retinue was a status symbol that made masters feel powerful and important. One prefect of Rome, Pedanius Secundus, had 400 slaves in his household. In the same way that a fine horse reflected well upon its rider, so a well-mannered and deferential slave highlighted the merits of his owner. If there were hundreds of them, then so much greater the glory. So too the modern corporate leader are sometimes tempted to bloat their staff as a means of advertising their own importance to the wider world, whether or not those people are really needed for the task at hand. It is our own form of empire-building. […]

Jerry Toner,  Slaves or wage slaves

Sobre soliplass

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