Inequality of Power

  • Machiel Karskens


Freedom and equality are fundamentals of the political organization. They also have become the moral standard for social relationships in private and public spheres of today’s modern Western society.

Even after the prohibition of slavery, coercion by power has shown itself to be unavoidable. It manifests itself in a different way, however. While the unfree slave was put to work by force and violence, servitude today is considered as a virtue and duty of the free human being. This begs the question as to what has happened to our society. How can it be that we are considered as ‘free and equal’ while we are all entangled in unfree and subjugating social and political power relationships. Slavery, far from having disappeared, manifests itself within organizations where labor and the output of the organization as well are subdued to a fierce control system.


Coercive power Inequality Enslavement Self-mastery 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Machiel Karskens
    • 1
  1. 1.Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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