The playwright Sergi Pompermayer has written Amèrica, a play in which a wealthy family discovers with uneasiness that their wealth comes from a slave-owning ancestor. A dramatic denunciation that is part of the current trend regarding slavery in the form of essays and novels.
In Spain, slavery was abolished in 1837, on the Peninsula, but not overseas, since it persisted in Puerto Rico until 1873 and in Cuba until 1880. Such a lucrative economic system deserved to be extended as long as possible. A century and a half, then, since the scourge was banished as a mode of production, capable, however, of evolving accordingly.
Is there slavery today? And if there is, what forms does it take? People who suffered the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in April 2013 can be considered slaves. The textile businessmen ignored the warning that there were cracks that threatened a collapse and 1,127 workers died and another 2,500 suffered injuries. They all worked for miserable wages, and others like them continue to make clothes for the lowest minimum wage in the world.
In Turkey, both adults and children collect hazelnuts in ten-hour days, and the same occurs in obtaining cocoa in African countries. The big companies supply us with sweet foods purchased with the same carelessness with which our predecessors supplied cotton garments from slave plantations. They supply us with cheap clothes, converting us like those into collaborators in slavery. There is fair trade, devoid of slavery, but Spain is one of the European countries that pays less attention to it.
One can imagine that within a hundred years books will be written concerning current slavery. It is possible that in a drama an opulent family appears in which its members must be ashamed of their present slave-owning ancestors. Now, this would only happen if human beings had already overcome the exploitation of some people by others, if the law did not allow it. Currently it would be impossible to practice the type of slavery of yesteryear because it was abolished. Time ago it was legal, not legal, as illegal are the current labor abuses.