Being unemployed and not working isn’t a bad thing, so unemployed people weren’t arrested.
But working was considered a duty, so the people who didn’t work were failing to uphold their duties.
As punishment, they had to pay more taxes.
…Or at least, that was the idea behind why such a tax was implemented. Unfortunately, the tax only worsened many people’s lives.
The tax could be avoided so long as one worked, but if one had family members that didn’t work, then even with a job, one was still damned to suffer from the unemployment tax.
And what awaited those who could not pay their taxes was forced labor as a slave.
The introduction of the unemployment tax also unintentionally empowered the employers.
Since employees no longer sought work just to earn money but also to flee from the threat of heavy taxes and slavery, the employers started demanding more from them.
The employees grew to fear unemployment.
Before long the employers even started thinking that it didn’t matter even if the working conditions worsened. Because of that the lives of those who worked under others became even worse. …But the clergy and the nobles who were in charge with coming up with the laws were originally a privileged class, that or they received money from the wealthy who bribed them, so the introduction of the new tax had little effect on them.
Because it was such privileged people in charge of the laws, the situation never improved. Power began to centralize, the country lost the ability to fix itself, and the disparity in wealth between the slaves and the employees versus the ruling class continued to worsen.
After this the country finally took a grim turn.
It only stands to reason that such an unequal system would cause people to grow unhappy. Among those unhappy people were people not reluctant to use force. Like that a rebel army that stood against the country’s policies was born.
In the end, the rebel army managed to destroy the country’s army and successfully bring about a revolution.
The leader at the time was a ‘black-haired black-eyed man’ with the power to match a thousand warriors and the cunning to command the battlefield.
This man is probably an otherworlder.
There are plenty of black-hair-black-eyes men in this world, but certainly not many that can match a thousand warriors and possess the cunning to command the battlefield. Moreover, this man would later become the prime minister and pour his heart out toward improving the working conditions of the slaves.
For some reason there aren’t a lot of documents pertaining to this man, but the only thing clear is that this man’s parents were slaves.
One excerpt reads:
Based on other references that surveyed the conditions at the time, it is improbable that a child of a mere slave would be able to learn the martial arts and war tactics needed to accomplish such feats. Presently, it is believed that the man’s pedigree was spread around solely to increase the morale of the army. In truth, it is likely that a person of the privileged class cooperated with the rebel army…
But if this man is in fact an otherworlder, then it would make sense even if he were born to a slave family.
“You’ve really taken a liking to that book, haven’t you? Is it that interesting?” [Reinhart]
When I heard Reinhart-san’s voice, I noticed that the woman who brought us our drinks had come again.
“Would you like more tea?” [Woman]
“Ah, thank you very much. History is really interesting.” [Ryouma]
“Oh, come to think of it, didn’t a part of the slave laws become an heroic tale or something? Sorry to bother you.” [Reinhart]
“Not at all. Thank you for informing me.” [Ryouma]
Apparently, I was so caught up with the book that I didn’t hear the woman calling out to me at all.
As my cup of tea was refilled, I talked about the interesting part and then went back to reading the book.
…After the success of the revolution, the man poured his efforts into bettering the treatment of the slaves.
‘Don’t just improve the working conditions! Get rid of the slave system altogether!’ At the time, there were a lot of people who held that opinion, but it was hard for a country that was – just some time ago – wantonly producing slaves without regard for human rights to suddenly abolish the slave system. Going from a hundred to a zero was simply too difficult.
Doing so would have taken away work from all the people with jobs related to slavery.
Moreover, not everyone who abused slaves according to the old slave laws were criminals.
There were people who followed the law to protect their livelihood and families as well.
Besides, what was the country supposed to do with the slaves once they were set free?
The slaves didn’t have any properties of their own. If they were set free, then they will lose even the one job they had that kept them fed.
If they were to be so suddenly kicked out into society, a free man, how were they meant to live?
It was indeed possible to get rid of the slave system altogether, but doing so would only lead to more chaos and wars.
The black-hair-black-eyes man insisted that that was the same thing as irresponsibly throwing away the problems of slavery.
As such, he and his friends poured their lives into improving the treatment of the slaves.
…Unfortunately, after the man died, the country also passed, but the fruit of his life, the ‘new slave system’ that gave much importance to human rights, spread to the neighboring countries along with the problems of the old slave system and the inhumane history of their country. The basic principles that the man came up with remain today in the modern slave system.
This book only contains the important points.
I’m sure I can get more specific information if I were to investigate the topic.
I might be able to get even more information if I ask Gayn and the others about it.
This black-hair-black-eyes man probably lived a grand life full of suffering.
…It’s a life someone like me living in leisure and happiness can’t understand.
I hid my face behind the book and offered a silent prayer.