Britney Spears’ latest audio revelations of her years-long abuse at the hands of her father, assisted by her mother and sister, are striking and terrifying. One night, the helicopters flew in, and Britney’s life began to end — or so it seemed. Compelled to continue releasing album after album, Britney’s musical maturation went hand-in-hand with exploitation of her talents and robbery of her right to privacy. One day, she said no to a dance move, prompting a backroom gathering of her team, aghast at her persistent desire to be human. The next day, she was admitted to a clinic as insane and an addict. But Britney’s only real addiction was to being human. Her team’s addiction, evidently, was to power.
Her power, that is. Spears’ team, spearheaded by her father, saw Britney Spears as an indisputable pop superstar, to grossly understate Britney’s world-historical significance, and wanted to control this musical phenomenon. They almost succeeded. But in the end they lost, a friend got Britney a lawyer, the conservatorship has apparently concluded, and a new era may dawn. Or so we hope.
It is important that Britney’s father, at least, is prosecuted, and the grounds must be more morally substantial than monetary theft. Forcible enslavement of a human being is illegal. Britney couldn’t say no to a dance move? Even in Hobbes’ grim view of the world, liberty consists in a prisoner moving about in the constraints of their chains. Britney was forcibly exploited and intentionally demoralised. What did Britney do to deserve such heinous treatment? Britney was banned from smoking, but, as Britney notes, prisoners on death row can smoke. Britney’s family did not have a death wish on Britney: they merely wished her to suffer in this lifetime. For God knows what awaits abusers in the afterlife. On Earth, we can only insist on what is in this life — that abuse will lose, and humanity will win. Free Britney.