Are "Dolls" slaves?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Borgified Corpse, Sep 22, 2009.

?

Are Actives slaves?

  1. Yes

    23 vote(s)
    59.0%
  2. No

    16 vote(s)
    41.0%
  1. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    One of the recurring points on Dollhouse is that many people assert that the Actives are slaves. Even if they volunteered for it, they say no one can sign a contract that makes them a slave.

    I would disagree that the Actives are slaves at all, at least not in principle. (There is evidence in "Echoes" that at least some Actives were extorted into joining. It seems that if the Rossum Corporation catches someone snooping too close to one of their secret projects, they offer them a choice of a 5 year contract with the Dollhouse or bringing them up on criminal charges.) But lets assume that, aside from a few unsavory exceptions, most Actives joined the Dollhouse willingly. Are they slaves?

    I would argue that they're no more slaves than any other working person. All they are doing is leasing the use of their body to the Dollhouse for a substantial monetary fee. Are the Actives made to do things they would not otherwise do? Sure, but so does pretty much everyone. I'm sure a cashier would rather be doing something else but they do it because they are paid to and they prefer working over starving.

    So why the consistent references to slavery? A slave is someone who is owned by someone else and does not benefit from the fruits of their own labor. If the Actives volunteer, are paid well, and get their bodies back after the contract expires, how can they be slaves?
     
  2. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

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    Yes. They are. A normal worker has a choice, they aren't kept in a child like stupor and then programmed to be something they had choice in. In fact, they are almost the perfect slave, as they can forget all their hardships.
     
  3. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    But they chose to be temporarily put into that childlike stupor.
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I realised the other day that Dollhouse is Joe 90 with tits. Echo even wears his specs at one stage in Ghost. ;)
    Joe 90 was even creepier given that the father was programming his son -- perhaps an extrapolation of how parents fcuk up their children (as Philip Larkin put it in This Be The Verse).

    IMO the dolls are slaves in that their mental state prevents them from opting out.
     
  5. Checkmate

    Checkmate Commodore

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    So?

    And, actually, they were indentured into it through contracts and promises that they have absolutely no way of making sure are kept. The contracts may as well have been written on toliet paper. This is proven all the more in the beloved (even though it just made me roll my eyes -- to each their own) episode, Epitaph One. You know, where the company just spontaneously decides to sell them as new bodies for the wealthy.

    They're slaves. Mindless ones at that. Zero question about it.
     
  6. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't buy indentured servitude = slavery stuff in grade school history and I don't buy it here.
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, they are.
     
  8. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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    Then your history teacher was incompetent, and you need to read some black history books, or ones that are off the beaten track:rolleyes:
     
  9. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    I voted yes mainly because actives have no way to "opt out" of their contract. And like someone said above, the company can simply keep actives around long past their contracted period of servitude quite simply because the actives would have no recollection of the contract, or its duration.
     
  10. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Yes, but I can understand how the people in charge might fool themselves into thinking otherwise.
     
  11. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For the question: are they slaves? To some degree they allowed themselves into that. They knew going in they couldn't "opt" out. Some like Alpha who were prison inmates recruited I could see as more slaves than those who agreed, either willingly or under duress.
    To me this question is what makes shows like this good. Some moral ambiguity to make us all think and rethink what we believe we already know as definitions for things.

    My main answer: NO

    I don't recall off hand now but did Millie/November seem to act as if she knew Adelle and had fulfilled her contract at the season close? I know I don't recall her, at the point we come into the conversation, acting weirded out by what was going on.

    I have a thought on that scene: Spoiler
    Is it possible that Adelle/Topher tricked Ballard by just programming November with an alt mode of who she was to trick Ballard into thinking he got his way? We are told Miracle Laurie will have some role this season.
     
  12. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    OMG if you sign a contract to be a soldier, then you try to 'opt-out' they thrown you in jail. WTF SLAVERY OHNOES!!!1!
     
  13. Alpha_Geek

    Alpha_Geek Commodore Commodore

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    To quote Rush (the band),

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."
     
  14. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :guffaw:

    Except that indentured servitude was the mechanism by which the majority of Europeans emigrated from Europe back in ye olden tymes. They weren't slaves. Exploited in many instances, sure! But not every exploited person in the world is a slave... sorry. If anything trying to equate the two downplays slavery of blacks in America.
     
  15. Tomato

    Tomato Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But you know what you are doing and you still have a choice in your actions 100% of the time. And that is still a choice to be thrown in jail, you must have consciously disobeyed some command.

    Like these Dolls are being rented out as high class escorts has anybody even bother testing the dolls or even the people that rent them out? They are always being forced to do more and more dangerous things.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I agree that the Dolls' situation is technically indentured servitude, not slavery. Slaves are forced or born into servitude; indentures sign away their rights for a period of time. Can indentured servants be abused or tricked into prolonging their indentures? Absolutely. But anyone in any type of work can be exploited or abused. That doesn't change the fact that these labels have distinct definitions. An indentured servant is not the same thing as a slave. They're both bad things, but they're different bad things.

    In some ways, though, a Doll is worse off than an indentured servant or a slave. At least people in those two categories retain their sense of self. The Dollhouse is a whole new way of using people, one that probably can't be defined with any of the old terms. It raises whole new questions that have no pat, familiar answers, and that's what makes the show so fascinating.
     
  17. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So I guess black slaves in America weren't really slaves. After all they had the choice of trying to escape and maybe being executed. They really had it a lot better than people who want to whore out their bodies for a few years for personal gain and not remember it :lol:

    Hrm... perhaps... we shall call them....... dolls. ;)
     
  18. Teelie

    Teelie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's almost exactly what I would say. These people willingly signed the dotted line to do it and knew it would probably involve things they would not want to do.

    On the other hand if it means doing things they don't like, they will never know about it which in some ways is better than what a soldier or indentured servant would have since they'd know what they were doing and remember it.
     
  19. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are actives slaves? No

    Are people idiots for using actives as hostage negotiators and covert operatives? Yes.

    Is the show asinine? Yes.
     
  20. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But but.... ANYONE CAN HAPPEN!!

    What did you install an ad blocker or something :klingon::klingon::klingon: