Just because there were slaves in the house and slaves in the field does not mean that either one was more free than the other. One may have enjoyed a modicum of comfort over the other. Nonetheless, they were trapped by a system in which they were at their masters' mercy. They did not need to be reminded that their lives were in jeopardy: the system did that for the masters. The fact that the masters were technocrats did not make them merciful. The fact that some proclaimed to be more benevolent did not make them so, and the slaves could not take that claim at face value.