The official line is that we all have rights and live in a democracy. Other unfortunates who aren't free like we are have to live in police states. These victims obey orders or else, no matter how arbitrary. The authorities keep them under regular surveillance. State bureaucrats control even the smaller details of everyday life. The officials who push them around are answerable only to higher-ups, public or private. Either way, dissent and disobedience are punished. Informers report regularly to the authorities. All this is supposed to be a very bad thing.
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"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction." U.S. Const. amend. XIII.
It is a violation to coerce someone "by improper or wrongful conduct" into service by causing and intending to cause him "to believe that he . . . has no alternative but to perform the labor." Brogan v. San Mateo County, 901 F.2d 762, 764 (9th Cir. 1990)(citation omitted). The fact that someone must perform certain duties as a condition of his employment, does not violate the Thirteenth Amendment. Cf. United States v. 30.64 Acres of Land, 795 F.2d 796, 800-01 (9th Cir. 1986) (requiring lawyers to perform pro bono services does not violate Thirteenth Amendment because requirement is a condition of practicing law).
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