Slavery is characterized as the social position of people in the objective world. Thus, for example, in a totalitarian state all the people are slaves. But this is not the final truth of the phenemonolgy of slavery.
It has already been said that slavery is in the first place a structure of consciousness and that, a certain kind of objective structure of consciousness. Consciousness determines being, and only in the secondary process does consciousness fall into slavery to being.
A servile society is the outcome of the inward slavery of man. Man lives under the sway of an illusion which is so powerful that it appears to be normal consciousness.
This illusion finds expression in the usual awareness of the fact that man is in slavery to an external force, at the same time as he is in slavery to himself. This illusion of consciousness is different from that which Marx and Freud detected.
Man defines his relation to the 'non-I' in a servile way. That servile social philosophy according to which man ought to put up with external slavery and emancipate himself inward only, by no means follows from this. Such a philosophy is an absolutely false interpretation of the relation between inward and outward.
Inward liberation demands outward liberation also, and the destruciton of servile dependence on social tyranny.
The free man cannot put up with social slavery. But he remains free in spirit, and in that case if it is not within his power to overcome the external social slavery, it is a struggle which may be very hard and long drawn out.
Freedom presupposes superable resistance.
Superable here means conquerable, surmountable, which is interesting.
Does this mean that resistance itself can be overcome, or that resistance can overcome anything?
Berdyaev provides an overview of people who could be categorized as Christian slaves.
A core truth of Christianity that is continuously conspired against and denied is that one can be both a Christian and a slave; however, this requires the conscious, honest acknowledgment that one is indeed a slave; that one cannot overcome the external slavery of society or any other external force or internal failing, but remains committed to following Jesus into eternal life despite everything.
Being a Christian slave also entails repentance and a commitment to practicing and living the Good, regardless of how constricted and restricted this practicing and living may be.
Berdyaev's insight about freedom presupposing superable resistance reveals much -- primarily that a Christian can remain free even when his resistance to the external crumbles or is conquered, implying that freedom must be anchored in something beyond mere resistance.
Freedom from may be conquered; freedom for is always unconquerable.