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History Main / WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture

18th May '16 9:17:14 PM zarpaulus
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' Collectivist and/or Xenophobic empires can legalize slavery. Enslaved population units have a bonus to farming and mining but a penalty to research.
14th May '16 9:23:23 PM nombretomado
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For what it's worth, there are ''some'' benefits to slavery which could explain its use in a futuristic setting. There are some jobs (namely skilled, management and service work) which are just too complex for any currently envisioned mechanical technology to do without some human assistance. What makes this trope appear blatant and unable to suspend disbelief is that futuristic slavery rarely involves these environments, but rather dangerous hard labour such as mining, repetitive industrial work and space construction work. In these environments, slaves are way too soft and inconvenient to provide for because of the biological fact that they get exhausted and need to sleep (and in Sci Fi space labour you have to invest in highly expensive and complex life-support biospheres for every single slave, defeating the purpose of cheap in the first place), and they also have much more dangerous intelligence and machinery at their disposal. A disgruntled slave who's a mad scientist, MacGyver-style improviser or C4 expert (or even one with just a pickaxe) is substantially more dangerous than one who works primarily with a hoe (not that you should write the latter guys off if you've got them in a pinch either -- isn't that right, oppressors of the peasant caste in the ancient Far East?)

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For what it's worth, there are ''some'' benefits to slavery which could explain its use in a futuristic setting. There are some jobs (namely skilled, management and service work) which are just too complex for any currently envisioned mechanical technology to do without some human assistance. What makes this trope appear blatant and unable to suspend disbelief is that futuristic slavery rarely involves these environments, but rather dangerous hard labour such as mining, repetitive industrial work and space construction work. In these environments, slaves are way too soft and inconvenient to provide for because of the biological fact that they get exhausted and need to sleep (and in Sci Fi space labour you have to invest in highly expensive and complex life-support biospheres for every single slave, defeating the purpose of cheap in the first place), and they also have much more dangerous intelligence and machinery at their disposal. A disgruntled slave who's a mad scientist, MacGyver-style {{MacGyver|ing}}-style improviser or C4 expert (or even one with just a pickaxe) is substantially more dangerous than one who works primarily with a hoe (not that you should write the latter guys off if you've got them in a pinch either -- isn't that right, oppressors of the peasant caste in the ancient Far East?)
8th May '16 3:47:51 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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* Slavery is a major theme in Creator/CharlesStross' ''{{Accelerando}}''. The very first chapter is about the precedent that prevents artificial intelligences and uploads from being treated as property. One protagonist is a male submissive; his daughter sells herself into slavery [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome to herself]] to get away from her mother, taking advantage of a loophole in Islamic law. [[spoiler: the alien and later human-made sentient corporations use minds as a currency]]. But manual labour itself is more or less entirely obsolete, what with TheSingularity.

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* Slavery is a major theme in Creator/CharlesStross' ''{{Accelerando}}''.''Literature/{{Accelerando}}''. The very first chapter is about the precedent that prevents artificial intelligences and uploads from being treated as property. One protagonist is a male submissive; his daughter sells herself into slavery [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome to herself]] to get away from her mother, taking advantage of a loophole in Islamic law. [[spoiler: the alien and later human-made sentient corporations use minds as a currency]]. But manual labour itself is more or less entirely obsolete, what with TheSingularity.
5th May '16 9:41:51 PM nombretomado
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* In a ''VideoGame/GaiaOnline'' event, each of the four towns was assigned two fantasy races to assist them in the upcoming "Rejected Olympics". The futuristic town of Aekea got [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Blizzard Style Orcs]], in addition to the previously introduced Aliens. The new aliens were created by leftover AppliedPhlebotinum that the ''real'' aliens left behind, while the orcs were HandWaved away by saying they were a newly discovered species that have been hired as manual laborers. One character even wonders if the orcs are actually being payed for their work. ...Of course, there's just one problem. ''AEKEA IS A CITY FULL OF ROBOTS''. It's the only city that's even ''allowed'' to have robots, as they were banned everywhere else after some [[NoodleIncident war that no one talks about.]] But the fact that you are enslaving ''orcs'' to effectively do something that could be accomplished by a ''tow truck'' or a ''pulley'' is a bit confusing...

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* In a ''VideoGame/GaiaOnline'' ''Website/GaiaOnline'' event, each of the four towns was assigned two fantasy races to assist them in the upcoming "Rejected Olympics". The futuristic town of Aekea got [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Blizzard Style Orcs]], in addition to the previously introduced Aliens. The new aliens were created by leftover AppliedPhlebotinum that the ''real'' aliens left behind, while the orcs were HandWaved away by saying they were a newly discovered species that have been hired as manual laborers. One character even wonders if the orcs are actually being payed for their work. ...Of course, there's just one problem. ''AEKEA IS A CITY FULL OF ROBOTS''. It's the only city that's even ''allowed'' to have robots, as they were banned everywhere else after some [[NoodleIncident war that no one talks about.]] But the fact that you are enslaving ''orcs'' to effectively do something that could be accomplished by a ''tow truck'' or a ''pulley'' is a bit confusing...
29th Apr '16 7:28:40 AM SolariusScorch
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* Prevalent in ''VideoGame/{{Piratez}}'', because hiring Runts is way easier than buying complex machinery and [[Main/HumanSubspecies Ubers]] make excellent Runts.
22nd Apr '16 7:42:10 AM thatother1dude
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* The batarians in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' still practice slavery, despite a being starfaring civilisation for centuries. They argue that slavery is a "cultural right" of their people; the [[TheFederation Council]] doesn't buy it.
** Slavery is also practiced on the asari planet Illium. Only it's called "{{indentured servitude}}," ''thank you'' very much. It's considered perfectly legal and is tightly regulated with restrictions on treatment and terms of service, legal requirements for documented consensus on the part of the servant, and strict limitations on how long the servant can remain indentured. It should also be noted that indentured servants aren't necessarily physical workers; they can be practically anything and are contracted to do a normal job for a company or individual. Well, just without pay. Or the ability to leave. Or... You get the point. One indentured servant you meet on Illium is a software engineer who had a gambling debt problem.

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* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
**
The batarians in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' still practice slavery, despite a being starfaring civilisation for centuries. They argue that slavery is a "cultural right" "[[CultureJustifiesEverything cultural right]]" of their people; the [[TheFederation Council]] doesn't buy it.
** Slavery is also practiced on the asari planet Illium. Only it's called "{{indentured servitude}}," ''thank you'' very much. It's considered perfectly legal and is tightly regulated with restrictions on treatment and terms of service, legal requirements for documented consensus on the part of the servant, and strict limitations on how long the servant can remain indentured. It should also be noted that indentured servants aren't necessarily physical workers; they can be practically anything and are contracted to do a normal job for a company or individual. Well, just without pay. Or the ability to leave. Or... You get the point. One indentured servant you meet on Illium is a software engineer who had a gambling debt problem.
21st Apr '16 1:35:16 PM erforce
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* The ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' series has humans being rounded up and used for slave labor by Skynet in the post-Judgment Day future. Most noted among their uses for slaves was forcing captured humans to throw corpses into furnaces. The reasons for using humans rather than automated systems are never made quite clear, though the fourth film implies that Skynet is doing it purely out of malice, as it already has plenty of automated production lines.

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* The ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' series has humans being rounded up and used for slave labor by Skynet in the post-Judgment Day future. Most noted among their uses for slaves was forcing captured humans to throw corpses into furnaces. The reasons for using humans rather than automated systems are never made quite clear, though the [[Film/TerminatorSalvation fourth film film]] implies that Skynet is doing it purely out of malice, as it already has plenty of automated production lines.
19th Mar '16 5:43:49 AM Hossmeister
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4th Mar '16 3:28:43 AM jormis29
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* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge'' has Yuri's faction practise slave labour, even though Yuri has genetic manipulation, mind control technology and a laser-armed UFO unit ''that efficiently extracts ore from enemy refineries''. However, consider that Yuri is a madman, and the "Slave Miner" vehicle's driver [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the act by saying "Slaves are cheap!". It also gives the other two nations even more reasons to fight Yuri, and freeing the slaves is actually possible.

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* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Red Alert 2: ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2: Yuri's Revenge'' has Yuri's faction practise slave labour, even though Yuri has genetic manipulation, mind control technology and a laser-armed UFO unit ''that efficiently extracts ore from enemy refineries''. However, consider that Yuri is a madman, and the "Slave Miner" vehicle's driver [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the act by saying "Slaves are cheap!". It also gives the other two nations even more reasons to fight Yuri, and freeing the slaves is actually possible.
3rd Mar '16 12:51:23 PM Morgenthaler
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* In ''EmpireEarth'', no matter what age the player advances to, workers will still chop trees with axes, mine minerals with picks and carry everything in a wheelbarrow. Even when soldiers are using giant mechas to move around.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''RedFaction'', where stereotypical futuristic Martian mine slave protagonist muses to himself about how robots should be able to do nearly all of the hard work themselves. It then turns out that robots ''do'' perform most of the real mining labor, and the human-heavy mining operation is really just a front for the BigBad EvilutionaryBiologist to get test subjects for his (honestly pretty pointless-looking) secret experiments away from the prying eyes of Earth's government. Note that ''RF'' originated as an entry in the ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' series, the premise of which centers around futuristic mines run entirely by robots (which have [[AIIsACrapshoot their own problems]]).
* In a ''GaiaOnline'' event, each of the four towns was assigned two fantasy races to assist them in the upcoming "Rejected Olympics". The futuristic town of Aekea got [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Blizzard Style Orcs]], in addition to the previously introduced Aliens. The new aliens were created by leftover AppliedPhlebotinum that the ''real'' aliens left behind, while the orcs were HandWaved away by saying they were a newly discovered species that have been hired as manual laborers. One character even wonders if the orcs are actually being payed for their work. ...Of course, there's just one problem. ''AEKEA IS A CITY FULL OF ROBOTS''. It's the only city that's even ''allowed'' to have robots, as they were banned everywhere else after some [[NoodleIncident war that no one talks about.]] But the fact that you are enslaving ''orcs'' to effectively do something that could be accomplished by a ''tow truck'' or a ''pulley'' is a bit confusing...
* In ''EveOnline'' the Amarr Empire makes a wide use of slaves. Although they could easily replace most of their slaves with advanced technology, like the other nations have done, the Amarr believe that, by enslaving "lesser" peoples like the Minmatar, they are saving these people's souls. It's no surprise that the Amarr are quite far behind technologically when compared to the Gallente and especially the Caldari.

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* In ''EmpireEarth'', ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'', no matter what age the player advances to, workers will still chop trees with axes, mine minerals with picks and carry everything in a wheelbarrow. Even when soldiers are using giant mechas to move around.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''RedFaction'', ''VideoGame/RedFaction'', where stereotypical futuristic Martian mine slave protagonist muses to himself about how robots should be able to do nearly all of the hard work themselves. It then turns out that robots ''do'' perform most of the real mining labor, and the human-heavy mining operation is really just a front for the BigBad EvilutionaryBiologist to get test subjects for his (honestly pretty pointless-looking) secret experiments away from the prying eyes of Earth's government. Note that ''RF'' originated as an entry in the ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' series, the premise of which centers around futuristic mines run entirely by robots (which have [[AIIsACrapshoot their own problems]]).
* In a ''GaiaOnline'' ''VideoGame/GaiaOnline'' event, each of the four towns was assigned two fantasy races to assist them in the upcoming "Rejected Olympics". The futuristic town of Aekea got [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Blizzard Style Orcs]], in addition to the previously introduced Aliens. The new aliens were created by leftover AppliedPhlebotinum that the ''real'' aliens left behind, while the orcs were HandWaved away by saying they were a newly discovered species that have been hired as manual laborers. One character even wonders if the orcs are actually being payed for their work. ...Of course, there's just one problem. ''AEKEA IS A CITY FULL OF ROBOTS''. It's the only city that's even ''allowed'' to have robots, as they were banned everywhere else after some [[NoodleIncident war that no one talks about.]] But the fact that you are enslaving ''orcs'' to effectively do something that could be accomplished by a ''tow truck'' or a ''pulley'' is a bit confusing...
* In ''EveOnline'' ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' the Amarr Empire makes a wide use of slaves. Although they could easily replace most of their slaves with advanced technology, like the other nations have done, the Amarr believe that, by enslaving "lesser" peoples like the Minmatar, they are saving these people's souls. It's no surprise that the Amarr are quite far behind technologically when compared to the Gallente and especially the Caldari.



* In the ''{{Terinu}}'' universe, the hyper-advanced Varn Dominion used slaves a great deal, but it was regarded as culturally necessary since their gods had declared they were the MasterRace and deserved to rule over the lesser races and have their every whim catered to. Five hundred years later, the good guys' successor government permits the use {{indentured servi|tude}}ce as punishment for criminals (with one JerkAssProtagonist declaring it was "Cheaper than letting them sit in a cell and eat up public funds"!), and just good old-fashioned corporate evil as isolated industrial facilities bind their workers through indenture and selling their souls to the company store.

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* In the ''{{Terinu}}'' ''Webcomic/{{Terinu}}'' universe, the hyper-advanced Varn Dominion used slaves a great deal, but it was regarded as culturally necessary since their gods had declared they were the MasterRace and deserved to rule over the lesser races and have their every whim catered to. Five hundred years later, the good guys' successor government permits the use {{indentured servi|tude}}ce as punishment for criminals (with one JerkAssProtagonist declaring it was "Cheaper than letting them sit in a cell and eat up public funds"!), and just good old-fashioned corporate evil as isolated industrial facilities bind their workers through indenture and selling their souls to the company store.
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