- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Someday you'll be old and disillusioned

Posted by: Stuart Gort ( USA ) on October 13, 1999 at 12:57:34:

In Reply to: Someday posted by Barry Stoller on October 12, 1999 at 12:31:42:

:: Stuart, you have apparently misunderstood or dodged the substance of my unanswered posts 8470 and 8587.

:: The point is not income.
:: The point is what people have to do in order to live.
:: The point is that most jobs in our affluent society require little to no imagination or autonomy or skill.

:: Yes, some people can transcend that problem by becoming capitalists. But every capitalist must have wage laborers and wage labor must be broken down into simple, low skill, monotonous routines in order to compete with all the other capitalist companies doing the same. Thus, the problem of unimaginative, unautonomous, unskilled work is perpetuated again and again.

:: You avoid this point!

The only thing I'm avoiding is the headache associated with banging my head against a stone wall, Barry. Half of the businesses in this country employ less than 20 people. Those businesses employ a full 20% of the work force. Sorry if numbers like 50% and 20% seem anecdotal to you but none of these businesses can function at all utilizing the practices you just decribed.

:: Another problem you overlook is that profit is produced by wage laborers who do not receive a full share of what they produce. If laborers received all they worked for, there would not be any profit---unless you wish to assert that profit is the result of 'simply marking up the price of a commodity,' something not even Adam Smith would countenance.

I wish you were around during the 17 years I worked for someone else. I might have learned long ago that my bosses were making money on me and everything was futile short of a revolution. Man, if I knew that I wouldn't have worked so hard for those guys. I could have just relaxed and developed an attitude instead of trying to please them and get raises. Of course, my family, my dreams and hopes, and my future would all be suboordinated to the nursing of this malaise of malcontent. But at least I'd be off the hook as far as my responsiblities go.

:: Why is that? Because, in return, you would purchase your materials at a higher cost each time and would be compelled to mark up your prices after production was complete. What goes around comes around---but that wouldn't add one iota of value once everyone did it (no matter how many times they did it)!

:: Therefore, you must concede that profits originate from the unpaid portion of what labor produces.

No, I mustn't. In your jargon, I'm only taking the paid portion of my customer's labor with their consent. Your nonsense is only a method of framing an arguement to allow for a moral judgement of capitalism. If I take unpaid labor, I'm stealing from the proletariat. Well my employees and I made a deal. They give me of work - I give them money. My customers and I make deals. I give them propellers - they give me money. Any outsider feeling the need to analyze simple transactions any further than that should mind their own business.

:: To defend such a system is untenable.

Only to people who accept your moral code, Barry. Very few people do though. Your moral code holds me responsible for the starvation of every single person who doesn't wish to work for me under my terms.
Stuff that nonsense. Freedom means doing as you please in this matter.
Get a gun and be a mountain man if you can't work, Barry. Your free to do that too but that will be much harder than working for me.

:: To distract the worker with your tall tales of lottery wins is sheer legerdemain.

Refute the facts of my post or lose this argument, Barry.

:: Someday, the marks will wise up. Have your passport in order.

You called them marks, Barry - Freudian slip?

Have a nice revolt,

Stuart Gort

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