self-bondage and choice

Hard bondage is coerced and abusive, while soft bondage is when we choose our imprisonment, restricting ourselves, or self-enslaving.

Often there is an aspect of survival in subjugation (soft bondage): the position will help me emotionally, socially, or economically traverse the world’s hardships.

It is familiar to imagine a destitute wife reliant on a callus, abusive husband. But we can also consider the Knight or Soldier, who offers allegiance and loyalty. In both positions, they must self-abnegate and tolerate 1,000 cuts against their personhood to maintain their status.

While the examples are extreme ranges of context, disposition, and agency, we must consider what is voluntary versus compulsory (or obligatory).
The knight undertakes strife for God and King, gaining personal valor, purpose, and authority: the tribe promotes the sacrifice. The dominated individual’s sacrifice is seen not as a sacrifice but as permitted subjugation or failure of choice, thus not a gain or loss to the tribe.

In either case, the role of the submission (self-bondage), according to Erich Fromm, is a choice to escape freedom; that is, the freedom from making choices.

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