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Encyclopedia > Wage slavery

Wage slavery is a term first coined by the Lowell Mill Girls in 1836[4], though articulated in concept as early as 1763 [5] and elaborated on by various subsequent thinkers. It refers to the similarities between buying and renting a person, and denotes a hierarchical social condition in which a person chooses a job but only within a coerced set of choices (primarily working for a boss under threat of poverty or starvation), [6] [7][8][9] which make that "person dependent on wages or a salary for a livelihood,"[10] "esp[ecially] with total and immediate dependency on the income derived from...[wage] labor"[11] Wage slavery, in the pervasive socialist and anarchist usage of the term, is often understood as the absence of 1) democratic or non-hierarchical worker's control of the workplace and the economy as a whole,[12] [13][14], 2) unconditional access to non-exploitative property and a fair share of the basic necessities of life [15] [16] and 3) the ability of persons to have say over economic decisions in proportion to the degree they are affected by those decisions.[17] In terms used by some critics of capitalism, statism and various authoritarian systems --particularly anarchists-- wage slavery is the condition where a person must sell his or her labor power, submitting to the authority of an employer in order to prosper or merely to subsist.[18] [19] [20] Tintype of two young women in Lowell, Massachusetts Lowell Mill Girls is the colloquial name used collectively to refer to female textile workers in Lowell, Massachusetts in the 19th century. ... Democracy is a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. ... A hierarchy (in Greek hieros = sacred, arkho = rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things. ... For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... Statism (or Etatism) is a term that is used to describe: Specific instances of state intervention in personal, social or economic matters. ... The term authoritarian is used to describe an organization or a state which enforces strong and sometimes oppressive measures against the population, generally without attempts at gaining the consent of the population. ... Anarchists can refer to several things, among which: The movie Anarchists Supporters of the principles of anarchism The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes), a famous song from Léo Ferré A List of anarchists This is a disambiguation page—a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Labor power (in German: Arbeitskraft, or labor force) is a crucial concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. ... This article is about authority as a concept. ... ...

Contents

Comparison with chattel slavery

The first articulate description of wage slavery was made by Simon Linguet in 1763, describing how it undermined self-ownership in the sense of individual autonomy, by basing it on a materialistic concept of the body and its liberty i.e. as something that can be sold, rented or alienated in a class society:

“The slave was precious to his master because of the money he had cost him… Men's blood had some price in the days of slavery. They were worth at least as much as they could be sold for in the market…It is the impossibility of living by any other means that compels our farm labourers to till the soil whose fruits they will not eat, and our masons to construct buildings in which they will not live. It is want that drags them to those markets where they await masters who will do them the kindness of buying them. It is want that compels them to go down on their knees to the rich man in order to get from him permission to enrich him… what effective gain [has] the suppression of slavery brought [him ?] He is free, you say. Ah! That is his misfortune… These men, it is said, have no master—they have one, and the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is, need. It is this that reduces them to the most cruel dependence. They live only by hiring out their arms. They must therefore find someone to hire them, or die of hunger. Is that to be free?”[1]

According to this view, then, the fundamental differences between a chattel slave and a wage slave are:


1. The chattel slave is property ("capital"). As such, its value to an economically rational owner is in some ways higher than that of a wage slave who can be fired, replaced or harmed at no (or less) cost. For this reason, in times of recession, slaves couldn't be fired like wage laborers. American chattel slaves in the 19th century had improved their standard of living from the 18th century[2] and, as historians Fogel and Engerman's reported, slaves' material conditions in the 19th century were "better than what was typically available to free [i.e. wage] urban laborers at the time"[3]. This was partially due to slave psychological strategies under an economic system different from capitalist wage slavery:

“…the preindustrial nature of these labor systems allowed slaves to establish a distinctive African American culture which eschewed the values embraced by the master class. Although intrusive and oppressive, paternalism, the way masters employed it, and the methods slaves used to manipulate it, rendered slaveholders' attempts to institute capitalistic work regimens on their plantation ineffective and so allowed slaves to carve out a degree of autonomy, manifest in their cultural assumptions and behavior, under slavery. On the one hand, planters wanted to see themselves as beneficent masters, a position which their exploitation of slave labor required them to qualify. On the other, slaves exposed the hypocrisy of the paternalist double standard and by merely obeying but not necessarily complying with their masters' orders 'acted consciously and unconsciously to transform paternalism into a doctrine of protection of their own rights,' an 'assertion of their humanity,' and, ultimately, the transformation of privileges into customary rights and the attendant affirmation of their African American identity (Genovese, 1976, p.49) The effect of this accommodation-resistance dialectic, so fully described by Eugene Genovese, was to render slave-holders non-capitalist masters and, more importantly for this section, made slaves pre-industrial workers whose insistence on customary rights frustrated planters who were trying to exploit slave labor. (Genovese, 1976) […] Slaves' partial retention of an African, essentially preindustrial work ethic which, according to Genovese, stressed hard work but within a cultural framework which eschewed freneticism, time discipline, materialism, and acquisitive individualism, was a product of slaves' labor on southern plantations which were run by essentially precapitalist masters. This experience enabled slaves to create autonomous spheres — personal relationships, familial bonds, [and] a distinctive slave religion. [Slaves] developed a variety of subtle techniques such as feigning illness, sabotage, and deliberate go-slows in order to protect themselves and their culture… slave women, by using contraceptives, engaging in sexual abstinence, and occasionally practicing infanticide, not only limited their own exploitation but circumscribed the planters' profits (Hine, 1979)… Once this [slave] system came under increasing political attack in the 1850's by northern proponents of free wage labor, southern masters found themselves fighting for their political independence by defending a slave society and plantation system that while not economically profitable was nonetheless ideologically and socially crucial to their way of life.”[4]

Similarly, various strategies and struggles adopted by wage slaves are deemed to have created extra-capitalist structures (unions, welfare institutions etc) that can constrain the destructive mechanisms of wage slavery. These institutions could test the limits of wage systems and eventually lead to their overthrow, though they can temporarily also appease the masses; preventing the overthrow of the elites that often take credit for the creation of these institutions. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article is about financial assistance paid by government organizations. ... Alternative meaning: Elite (computer game) In sociology as in general usage, the elite (the elect; sometimes the French form élite is used) refers to a relatively small dominant group within a larger society, which enjoys privileged status and, almost invariantly, exploits individuals of lower social status. ...


2. A wage slave's direct choice is "work for a boss or face poverty/starvation". Indirectly, prison, beatings, insults and other punishments, including death lay in store for those who try to survive without working for (or becoming) a boss (workers trying to democratically run a capitalist's factory, live freely in buildings or grow and collect food, medicine and other goods freely from the land and factories capitalists own etc). If a chattel slave refuses to work, a number of punishments are also available; from beatings to food deprivation- although an economically rational slave owner would likely try positive reinforcements (offering women, gifts etc) before killing an expensive slave and losing his investment.


3. Unlike a chattel slave, a wage slave can sometimes choose his boss, but he can't choose to have no boss unless he wants to face poverty or starvation.


4. “The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily and hourly. The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master's interest. The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence. This existence is assured only to the class as a whole. The slave is outside competition; the proletarian is in it and experiences all its vagaries.” (Karl Marx)[5]

Tintype of two young women in Lowell, Massachusetts
Tintype of two young women in Lowell, Massachusetts

The similarities between chattel and wage slavery were certainly noticed by the workers themselves; for example, the 19th century Lowell Mill Girls, who, without any knowledge of European radicalism, condemned the "degradation and subordination" of the newly emerging industrial system, and the "new spirit of the age: gain wealth, forgetting all but self", maintaining that "those who work in the mills should own them."[6][7] In their 1836 strike, this was one of their protest songs: Image File history File links Size of this preview: 398 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (631 × 949 pixels, file size: 98 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works cannot attract copyright in the U.S. according to the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 398 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (631 × 949 pixels, file size: 98 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works cannot attract copyright in the U.S. according to the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. ... This is a ferrotype, circa 1870, possibly made in Philadelphia, of an African-American man leaning on a hitching post. ... Tintype of two young women in Lowell, Massachusetts Lowell Mill Girls is the colloquial name used collectively to refer to female textile workers in Lowell, Massachusetts in the 19th century. ...

Oh! isn't it a pity, such a pretty girl as I
Should be sent to the factory to pine away and die?
Oh! I cannot be a slave, I will not be a slave,
For I'm so fond of liberty,
That I cannot be a slave.[8]

Noam Chomsky, who believes that such sentiments are "just below the surface"[9], has used the militant history of labor movements, Bakunin's theories about an "instinct for freedom", Kropotkin's mutual aid evolutionary principle of survival and Marc Hauser's evidence supporting an innate and universal moral faculty[10], to explain the incompatibility of such oppression and greed with certain aspects of human nature.[11] Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian — Михаил Александрович Бакунин), (May 30, 1814–June 13, 1876) was a well-known Russian anarchist contemporaneous to Karl Marx. ... Peter Kropotkin Prince Peter Alexeievich Kropotkin (Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин) ( December 9, 1842 - February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of what he called anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communist... Marc Hauser is an ethologist who teaches at the Psychology Department at Harvard University. ...


Supporters of wage and chattel slavery have linked some of the unavoidable features of reality (the subjection of man to nature) with the seemingly avoidable conditions of social structures (the subjection of man to man); arguing that hierarchy and their preferred system's particular relations of production represent human nature and are no more coercive than the reality of life itself, which therefore cannot be improved upon by social structures--only made worse. Consequentially, any well-intentioned attempt to fundamentally change the status quo is naively utopian and will result in more oppressive conditions.[12][13][14]Bosses in both of these long-lasting systems argued that their system created a lot of wealth and prosperity. Both did, in some sense create jobs and their investment entailed risk. For example, slave owners might have risked losing money by buying expensive slaves who later became ill or died; or might have used those slaves to make products that didn't sell well on the market. Marginally, both chattel and wage slaves may become bosses; sometimes by working hard. It may be the "rags to riches" story which occasionally occurs in capitalism, or the "slave to master" story that occurred in places like colonial Brazil, where slaves could buy their own freedom and become slave owners themselves[15][16] Social mobility, or the hard work and risk that it may entail, are thus not considered to be a redeeming factor by critics of capitalist wage slavery:

Even if the amount of social mobility in capitalism were as great as supporters of capitalism claim, it would not matter. If it is possible for someone to move from the lowest position of an authoritarian system to the highest position, it is still unethical because it is an authoritarian system. If it were possible to go from homeless person to dictator within a fascist system, fascism would still be wrong. In many Leninist states there were individuals who went from being a worker to being part of the ruling class, in some cases even joining the Politburo, yet that does not make Marxist totalitarianism an acceptable system. In Colonial Brazil, there were slaves who managed to become free and even become slave owners themselves. It was as rare as workers becoming capitalists in contemporary capitalism, but it did happen and was theoretically possible for many slaves. Just as the theoretical possibility of a slave becoming a slave owner does not justify slavery, the theoretical ability of a wage-slave to become a capitalist does not justify capitalism. The existence of social mobility does not justify a social system… Capitalists like to claim that their wealth is the result of them working hard by running their business, managing portfolios, etc. A mafia boss also does lots of work to plan his robberies and keep his illicit enterprise going but his actions are still theft. Many capitalists don’t even run a company, they derive their income solely from stocks, bonds, interest, dividends, rent, etc. This attempt to justify capitalist exploitation completely fails in these cases because they aren’t even running a company or doing any work at all. Manipulating portfolios doesn’t produce anything useful; sticking money in the bank and letting it accumulate interest isn’t hard work. It is true that investing usually entails taking risks (one could lose the investment), but just because someone is taking a risk does not mean that s/he is producing anything. Most human activity involves risks of some sort. If a criminal robs someone at gunpoint s/he is taking a risk as well. S/he could go to jail, the robbery could go wrong, s/he could get hurt, etc. That does not change the fact that it is robbery. The same is true of the risks taken by capitalists. The workers take as much of a risk, if not more, as the capitalist. If the business fails the worker is unemployed. The worker is then usually in a worse situation then the capitalist because the capitalist is wealthy and can weather such a situation much easier than those on lower levels of the hierarchy. In addition, many jobs entail risks to workers' life or limb, whereas investment does not.”[17]

The methods of control in wage systems, differ substantially from those in chattel systems. For example, in his book, Disciplined Minds, American physicist and writer Jeff Schmidt points out that professionals are trusted to run organisations in the interests of their employers. The key word is ’trust’. Because employers cannot be on hand to manage every decision, professionals are trained to “ensure that each and every detail of their work favours the right interests – or skewers the disfavoured ones” in the absence of overt control. Schmidt continues:


"The resulting professional is an obedient thinker, an intellectual property whom employers can trust to experiment, theorise, innovate and create safely within the confines of an assigned ideology."[18] In Propaganda (1928), the father of public relations Edward Bernays argued that "[t]he conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of."[19] Similarly Walter Lippmann argued that "the manufacture of consent" amounted to "a revolution" in "the practice of democracy" and allowed the "bewildered herd" to be controlled by their betters.[20] // Dictionary. ... Cover of Bernays 1928 book, Propaganda. ... Walter Lippmann (September 23, 1889 - December 14, 1974) was an influential American writer, journalist, and political commentator. ...


Some supporters of chattel slavery claimed that those who hadn't studied in depth the economic and social aspects of slavery, could not form a reasoned opinion on the matter.[21] Similarly, some modern economists believe that the uneducated are not in a position to reject economic systems involving wage slavery. For example Paul Samuelson asks: "…without the disciplined study of economic science, how can anyone form a reasoned opinion about the merits or lack of merits in the classical, traditional economics?".[22] Paul Anthony Samuelson (born May 15, 1915, in Gary, Indiana) is an American neoclassical economist known for his contributions to many fields of economics, beginning with his general statement of the comparative statics method in his 1947 book Foundations of Economic Analysis. ...


Role in the development of the modern nation-state

Wage slavery played a very important role in the modern consolidation of the nation-state structure that originated in the pre-capitalist "...feudal period with battles for power between feudal lords, kings, the Pope and other centers of power which gradually evolved into systems of nation states in which a combination of political power and economic interests converged enough to try to impose uniform systems on very varied societies...In the course of the development of the nation state system, there also developed on the side various economic arrangements which about a century ago turned into what became contemporary corporate capitalism, mostly imposed by judicial arrangements, not by legislation, and very tightly integrated and linked to the the powerful states, [which are] [un]distinguish[able]...from the multinational corporate system, the conglomerates that rely on them, that have a relation of both dependency and domination to them...[T]heir intellectual roots...come out of the same neo-Hegelian conceptions of the rights of organic entities that led to bolshevism and fascism." [21] [22] The term nation-state, while often used interchangeably with the terms unitary state and independent state, refers properly to the parallel occurence of a state and a nation. ... Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root *fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. ... Look up kings in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Pope (disambiguation). ... Corporate may refer to either A corporation, a type of legal entity, often formed to conduct business Corporate (film), a 2006 Bollywood film starring Bipasha Basu. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... Fascism is a term used to describe authoritarian nationalist political ideologies or mass movements that are concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence and seek to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by placing the interests of the individual as subordinate to that of the nation or race and promoting...


The close link between property and the state has been noted by many outstanding thinkers. For example John Locke, who in 1690 wrote that "[t]he great and chief end...of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property" [23] or Adam Smith who described how "...as the necessity of civil government gradually grows up with the acquisition of valuable property, so the principal causes which naturally introduce subordination gradually grow up with the growth of that valuable property... Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions...The appropriation of herds and flocks which introduced an inequality of fortune was that which first gave rise to regular government. Till there be property there can be no government, the very end of which is to secure wealth, and to defend the rich from the poor" [24]This tight link between property and state was also noted by US Founding Father James Madison, who said that government "...ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." [25] For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ... For other persons named James Madison, see James Madison (disambiguation). ...


In this respect, statist welfare measures can be seen as a consequence of the elite's fear of dispossession--yielding to some degree in order to appease the organized pressure of wage slaves. [p.199 Bad Samaritans, Ha-Joon Chang]


Though seemingly paradoxical, the most prominent current critic of wage slavery, the anarchist Noam Chomsky, has defended the temporary use of state power on the grounds that it prevents even more oppressive forms of authority and wage slavery: Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ...


"I don't think the federal government is a legitimate institution. I think it ought to be dismantled, in principle; just as... I don't think people ought to live in cages. On the other hand, if I'm in a cage and there's a saber tooth tiger outside, I'd be happy to keep the bars of the cage in place -- even though I think the cage is illegitimate...The centralized government authority is at least to some extent under popular influence... The unaccountable private power outside is under no public control. What they call minimizing the state -- transferring the decision making to unaccountable private interests -- is not helpful to human beings or to democracy... so there is a temporary need to maintain the cage, and even to extend the cage."[26] [27]


Treatment in various economic systems

Wage slavery exists in various systems, including communist states, but given the prevalence of modern capitalism, it is often described as a lack of rights in the market system; especially in the absence of extra-capitalist structures stemming from some degree of democratic input (welfare system, social security etc). The concept seeks to point out how the only rights a worker has are the rights he or she gains on the labor market. S/he faces starvation when unable or unwilling to rent him/herself to those who own the capital and means of production. The capitalists own the means of life (land, industry etc) and make profit simply from granting permission to use them. This they do in exchange for wages. Though most anti-capitalists favor possessions for non-exploitative personal use, they oppose the "freedom" to use property for the exploitation of others; claiming that private ownership of the means of life is theft and that sometimes a person's freedom ends where another person's begins[23] (e.g. my freedom to opress, kill, steal etc violates yours). Given that workers are the majority, they believe that the elite maintain wage slavery and a divided working class through their influence over the media and entertainment industry,[24][25] educational institutions, harsh laws, nationalist and corporate propaganda, pressures and incentives to internalize values serviceable to the power structure,[26] state violence (the police will arrest workers who freely collect food & medicine or try to democratically run a capitalist's factory), fear of unemployment and a historical legacy of exploitation under prior systems: For the direction right, see left and right or starboard. ... Look up Market in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Capitalism generally refers to in philosophy and politics, a social system based on the principle of individual rights, including property rights. ... Slave redirects here. ... 1967 Chinese propaganda poster from the Cultural Revolution. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ...

“Other workers, not capitalists, produced the means of production. The capitalist often obtains them with the money from previous profits. Those profits in turn came from previous profits and so on back to the origins of capitalism. Those original accumulations of money used to start this whole process of capitalist accumulation came from fortunes made as a result of conquest & direct expropriation (such as colonialism, the slaughter of native Americans etc) as well as fortunes achieved under pre-capitalist class societies such as feudalism or slavery. Thus from a historical perspective capitalism cannot be considered just.”[17]

Adam Smith, who gave an argument for markets based on the notion that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets would lead to perfect equality, articulated in the Wealth of Nations some factors in the development of wage slavery: Download high resolution version (1456x2173, 850 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1456x2173, 850 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ...


The interest of the dealers in any particular branch and trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from and even opposite to, that of the public.... [They] have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public...We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate... It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily... [while] [t]he man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible to become for a human creature to become. The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life. [28] [29] [30]


Capitalism

Wage slavery as a concept is often a criticism of capitalism, defined as a condition in which a capitalist class (often a minority of the population) controls all of the necessary non-human components of production (capital, land, industry etc) that other people (workers) use to produce goods. This sort of criticism is generally associated with socialist and anarchist criticisms of capitalism, and could conceivably be traced back to pre-capitalist figures like Gerrard Winstanley from the radical Christian Diggers movement in England, who wrote in his 1649 pamphlet, The New Law of Righteousness, that there "shall be no buying or selling, no fairs nor markets, but the whole earth shall be a common treasury for every man," and "there shall be none Lord over others, but every one shall be a Lord of himself."[27] Not to be confused with capitol. ... Because land is a limited resource and property rights include the right to exclude others, land rights are a form of monopoly. ... Religious socialism Key Issues People and organizations Related subjects Socialism refers to a broad array of ideologies and political movements with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ... Anarchism is a generic term describing various political philosophies and social movements that advocate the elimination of hierarchy and imposed authority. ... Gerrard Winstanley (1609 - September 10, 1676) was an English LEZZ CED religious reformer and political activist during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. ... For other meanings see Diggers (disambiguation) and Levellers (disambiguation) The Diggers were a group begun by Gerrard Winstanley in 1649 which called for a total destruction of the existing social order and replacement with a communistic and agrarian lifestyle based around the precepts of Christian Nationalism, wishing to rid England...


Somewhat similar criticisms have also been expressed by some proponents of liberalism, like Henry George [31], Silvio Gesell and Thomas Paine [32], as well as the Distributist school of thought within the Roman Catholic Church. Criticism of capitalism on these grounds, however, might not always be connected to the belief that one should have freedom to work without a boss. Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... Henry George Henry George (September 2, 1839 – October 29, 1897) was an American political economist and the most influential proponent of the Single Tax on land. ... Jean Silvio Gesell (March 17, 1862–March 11, 1930) was a merchant and finance theoretician. ... For other persons of the same name, see Thomas Paine (disambiguation). ... Distributism, also known as distributionism and distributivism, is a third-way economic philosophy formulated by such Roman Catholic thinkers as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc to apply the principles of social justice articulated by the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Pope Leo XIIIs encyclical Rerum Novarum[1] and... Catholic Church redirects here. ... For other uses, see Freedom. ...

Anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin
Anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin

The extreme subordination generated by wage slavery has also been recognized by right wing bosses like US financier & railroad businessman Jay Gould (1836–1892), who famously said "I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."[33] The concept of wage slavery suggests that even where the conditions of chattel slavery do not apply, wage earners may experience social and psychological predicaments which are similar to those stemming from chattel slavery. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 605 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1614 × 1600 pixel, file size: 611 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 605 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1614 × 1600 pixel, file size: 611 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Prince Peter (Pyotr) Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: ) (December 9, 1842–February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society free from central government. ... Jay Gould (1836-1892) Jason Gould (May 27, 1836 – December 2, 1892) was an American financier. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into slavery. ...


Anthropologist David Graeber has noted that, historically, the first wage labor contracts we know about — whether in ancient Greece or Rome, or in the Malay or Swahili city states in the Indian ocean — were in fact contracts for the rental of chattel slaves (usually the owner would receive a share of the money, and the slave, another, with which to maintain his or her living expenses.) Such arrangements were quite common in New World slavery as well, whether in the United States or Brazil. C. L. R. James made a famous argument that most of the techniques of human organization employed on factory workers during the industrial revolution were first developed on slave plantations.[34] David Graeber David Graeber is an anarchist and anthropologist. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... Look up Malay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Swahili (also called Kiswahili; see Kiswahili for a discussion of the nomenclature) is an agglutinative Bantu language widely spoken in East Africa. ... This article is about the water body. ... Frontispiece of Peter Martyr dAnghieras De orbe novo (On the New World). Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, 1722. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... A sugarcane plantation at Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 2005 A plantation is a large tract of monoculture, as a tree plantation, a cotton plantation, a tea plantation or a tobacco plantation. ...

To Marx and anarchist thinkers like Bakunin and Kropotkin wage slavery was a class condition in place due to the existence of private property and the state. This class situation rested primarily on Image File history File links Karl_Marx_001. ... Image File history File links Karl_Marx_001. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Marx is a common German surname. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian — Михаил Александрович Бакунин), (May 30, 1814–June 13, 1876) was a well-known Russian anarchist contemporaneous to Karl Marx. ... Peter Kropotkin Prince Peter Alexeievich Kropotkin (Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин) ( December 9, 1842 - February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of what he called anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communist... A social class is, at its most basic, a group of people that have similar status. ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ...

  1. the concentration of ownership in few hands,
  2. the lack of direct access by workers to the means of production and consumption goods
  3. the existence of the reserve army of unemployed workers.

and secondarily on Means of production (abbreviated MoP; German: Produktionsmittel), are the combination of the means of labor and the subject of labor used by workers to make products. ... The Great Depression, shown here in Dorothea Langes Migrant Mother, caused a massive surge of cyclical unemployment Economists distinguish between five major kinds of unemployment, i. ...

  1. the waste of workers' efforts and resources on producing useless luxuries;
  2. the waste of goods so that their price may remain high; and
  3. the waste of all those who sit between the producer and consumer, taking their own shares at each stage without actually contributing to the production of goods.
Collectivist anarchist Mikhail Bakunin
Collectivist anarchist Mikhail Bakunin

A disparity in bargaining power compels wage slaves to accept a predicament they wouldn't otherwise consent to. Some critics of capitalism argue that wage slavery is present in all capitalist societies, even the richest ones. This is for two reasons: Full shot of Mikhail Bakunin File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Full shot of Mikhail Bakunin File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian: Михаил Александрович Бакунин, Michel Bakunin on the grave in Bern), (May 18 (30 N.S.), 1814 – June 19 (July 1 N.S.), 1876) was a well-known Russian revolutionary, and often considered one of the “fathers of modern anarchism. Born in the Russian Empire to a family of Russian...

  1. Even in a rich country like "the United States, the richest 1% of the population (the capitalist class) owns more wealth then the bottom 95% of the population combined. It is physically impossible for that one percent to work harder than the other ninety-five percent. The average American worker works around 50 hours a week; for the capitalists to work ninety-five times more than the average worker he would have to work 4,250 hours a week. There are only 168 hours in a week; it's not possible for this wealth disparity to be the result of capitalists working harder." [35] [36]

2. The higher wages received by some workers in industrialized countries do not obviate the authoritarianism critics perceive in capitalist institutions—just as the improving material conditions of chattel slaves in the American south didn't obviate chattel slavery. Labor is treated as commodity, just like food or healthcare. The lack of democratic control of industry means that workers do not have a say over decisions in proportion to how much they are affected by those decisions. This, in turn prevents workers from directing their destinies and achieving a society where, as Marx said "work is not only a means of life, but the highest want in life." [37] Even high -paid professionals and intellectuals like lawyers and scientists may be considered wage slaves, since many of them rent and subordinate their mental powers to capitalists and other elites— getting ahead in the hierarchy by internalizing values that are serviceable to the powers that be. Even if every wage slave managed to become well fed, clothed, had healthcare etc; he'd still be in a position of subordination and deprivation of freedom.


To this argument, Marx added:


"The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers...Masses of laborers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army, they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois state; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, in the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is...The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason the social forms stringing from your present mode of production and form of property -- historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production -- this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property...You are horrified at our intending to do away with private ownership of the means of production. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society." [38] [39]


Many advocates of wage slavery claim that consumer choice in capitalist societies constitutes an improvement in the standard of living and that today's wage slaves have many more consumer choices than chattel slaves. They claim that the market system reflects "what people want" and that people "vote with their dollars". [40] There is indeed evidence that many wage slaves in the 21st century have higher standards of living and more consumer choice than chattel slaves in the 18th and 19th century (although 21st century wealth inequalities are vast[41]); but some historians don't find the comparison of vastly disparate time periods to be particularly revealing. Historians Fogel and Engerman, for example, reported that slaves' material conditions in the 19th century were "better than what was typically available to free [i.e. wage] urban laborers at the time" (Without Consent or Contract, New York: Norton, 1989, p. 391). Wage slaves' standard of living has improved since the beginning of the industrial revolution and similarly, American chattel slaves in the 19th century had improved their standard of living from the 18th century [42].


Critics of capitalism claim that "voting with dollars" means that those with more dollars have more votes. They maintain that several undiscussed factors affect consumer behavior. For example, educational institutions cater to the ideological needs of the biggest employers (government, corporations); the media are profit seeking corporations selling affluent audiences to advertisers and relying primarily on business and government information; intellectuals tend to get ahead in the hierarchy and become influential by adopting and disseminating ideas that are serviceable to power; and a stated purpose of the advertising industry is to artificially "create wants" and stir away from consumer choices that may harm capitalist power (e.g. the most popular newspaper in England, the Daily Herald went out of circulation because of advertiser discrimination; news organizations stir away from programs hinting at systemic causes for societal problems even if these programs are popular. [43]). All this, they claim, distorts the framework of consumer choice and the psychological make up of consumers in a way that reflects elite interests and will, rather than that of consumers. Furthermore, in state capitalist societies, corporations in conjunction with governments have pushed for measures such as elimination of public transportation and alternate forms of energy as well as propaganda to justify subidies to high technology industry through military expenditures. These measures, as well as the subsidies and protectionism that allowed many countries to develop and create products at the public's expense (and without their consent), altered available choices and ideas and also allowed many industries to become competitive in subsequent "free markets" [44] whose development had therefore little to do with consumer choice [45].


A number of psychologists and environmental experts have presented evidence showing that rampant western consumerism is harming the planet (and human beings), and becoming a substitute for activities that are emotionally more fulfilling. [46] [47] Most importantly, critics claim that "consumer choice" is only half the story, because people are not only consumers— they are also workers, and their choice in the capitalist work environment is "work for a boss or starve"; i.e. it is limited to a (sometimes possible) choice among bosses and it doesn't involve choices and decisions regarding production, distribution, working hours, regulations, hierarchy etc (i.e. the choice to have higher control over one's productive life therefore one's destiny) because the workplace and the economy (including the advertising industry and entertainment industry) are not run democratically.


Already in the 19th century, Marx had pointed out some of the ways in which technology could be used to alienate workers: "Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labor, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labor, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. What is more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labor increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time, or by increased speed of machinery, etc."[48]


Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm believed that the lack of worker's control and unhappiness/ dissatisfaction at the workplace means that people compensate their emptiness by seeking substitutes elsewhere (religious fundamentalism, drugs, consumerism etc). Fromm thought it very likely that a democratic working environment enabling more choices for workers, and a not-for-profit environment, would have a drastic effect on subsequent consumer choice and all the mechanisms currently associated with it (advertising, marketing, concentration of capital etc) — as well as on the human psyche.[49] Erich Fromm Erich Pinchas Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was an internationally renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher. ...


In Manufacturing Consent and "The Myth of the Liberal Media" Edward S.herman and Noam Chomsky present a substantial body of evidence showing striking qualitative and quantitative differences in the coverage of facts and events in the corporate capitalist media on the basis of their serviceability to elite groups. Their propaganda model identifies 5 major institutional factors affecting media behavior. In order to be hired, journalists, like other intellectual wage laborers, are pressured to internalize the ideological constraints of the institutional structure-- a task that usually starts in educational institutions and works as a filtering system. Therefore, unlike journalists in totalitarian states, western journalists can serve elite interests without being subject to state coercion. As their counterparts in totalitarian states, they identify freedom with the elite that dominates their power structure: Manufacturing Consent may refer to: Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process under Monopoly Capitalism, a 1979 book by Michael Burawoy Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, a 1988 book by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, a 1992 documentary... The propaganda model is a theory advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that alleges systemic biases in the mass media and seeks to explain them in terms of structural economic causes. ...


"We have a free press, meaning it’s not state controlled but corporate controlled; that’s what we call freedom. What we call freedom is corporate control. We have a free press because it’s corporate monopoly, or oligopoly, and that’s called freedom. We have a free political system because there’s one party run by business; there s a business party with two factions, so that’s a free political system. The terms freedom and democracy, as used in our Orwellian political discourse, are; based on the assumption that a particular form of domination—namely, by owners, by business elements—is freedom."[50]


In a thorough study of war coverage comparing Soviet and western journalism, medialens concluded that MediaLens is a media analysis website based in the United Kingdom. ...


"[l]ike the Soviet media, Western professional journalists adopt and echo government statements as their own, as self-evidently true, without subjecting them to rational analysis and challenge. As a result, they allow themselves to become the mouthpieces of state power. It is fundamentally the same role performed by the media under Soviet totalitarianism."[51]


A number of economic think tanks have recommended a return to the days of Keynesian state capitalism, suggesting that the increased inequalities and slower rate of world economic growth in the neoliberal period (from the 70s till the present), exacerbate the conditions of wage slavery.[52]


Other economists consider wage labor to be the central cause of the capitalist business cycle: The business cycle or economic cycle refers to the fluctuations of economic activity about its long term growth trend. ...


"The key to understanding the business cycle is to understand that, to use Proudhon's words, "Property sells products to the labourer for more than it pays him for them; therefore it is impossible." In other words... the system is based upon wage labour and the producers are not producing for themselves.... Capitalism is production for profit and when the capitalist class does not (collectively) get a sufficient rate of profit for whatever reason then a slump is the result. If workers produced for themselves, this decisive factor would not be an issue as no capitalist class would exist. Until that happens the business cycle will continue, driven by "subjective" and "objective" pressures -- pressures that are related directly to the nature of capitalist production and the wage labour on which it is based. Which pressure will predominate in any given period will be dependent on the relative power of classes. One way to look at it is that slumps can be caused when working class people are "too strong" or "too weak." The former means that we are able to reduce the rate of exploitation, squeezing the profit rate by keeping an increased share of the surplus value we produce. The later means we are too weak to stop income distribution being shifted in favour of the capitalist class, which results in over-accumulation and rendering the economy prone to a failure in aggregate demand. The 1960s and 1970s are the classic example of what happens when "subjective" pressures predominate while the 1920s and 1930s show the "objective" ones at work...At its most basic...the resistance to hierarchy in all its forms... is the main cause of the business cycle.... [C]apitalists in order to exploit a worker must first oppress them. But where there is oppression, there is resistance; where there is authority, there is the will to freedom. Hence capitalism is marked by a continuous struggle between worker and boss at the point of production as well as struggle outside of the workplace against other forms of hierarchy. " [53] Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (pronounced Pruood-on, not prowd-hon) (January 15, 1809 - January 19, 1865) was a French anarchist of the 19th century. ...


Communism

Arguably, there is as much difference (e.g. in economic policies, popular participation, atrocity levels etc) between states termed "communist" as there is between states termed "capitalist"[54]-- in spite of the lack of distinctions (as well as propagandistic labeling) that has been applied (particularly to the former), due to ideological and other power-related reasons.[55] In fact, even anarchist critics who condemn abuses by states termed "communist," have credited certain communist parties with providing forums of public participation that served a positive function vis a vis wage slavery, among other things. [56] However, the isolation of some states termed communist has prevented them from acquiring the foreign technology required for an economic growth that can sometimes allow workers to struggle more effectively for a less oppressive form of wage slavery. North Korea is a case in point. In contrast, South Korea, applying a mixture of trade with state controls and protectionism[57] --originally through a harsh dictatorship-- developed into an industrial powerhouse with a workforce that is better equipped to combat wage slavery. [58][59][60] At the same time, some analysts have pointed out that a less oppressive form of wage slavery would have been achieved by communist movements in places like Vietnam were not for the attacks by states termed "capitalist" like the US and France--which feared the demonstration effect of successful and independent socioeconomic development in the third world, from which they derive cheap labor and resources. This was a development that, according to Noam Chomsky, was monolithically labeled "communist" and "totalitarian" as a pretext to act against it and maintain the exploitation that is seen in "free market" zones in places like Bangladesh, Burma, Indonesia, Guatemala, Haiti etc [61] Such policies seem compatible with the observation of Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang, that the developed countries want to prevent economic independence in the third world by forcing them to institute "free market" policies, which "kick away the ladder"[62] because the rich countries developed with extensive state intervention and protection of what US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton called "infant industry". [p.49-50 Bad Samaritans, Ha-Joon Chang] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 455 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (880 × 1160 pixel, file size: 500 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 455 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (880 × 1160 pixel, file size: 500 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Lenin redirects here. ... Ha-Joon Chang (b. ... Alexander Hamilton (November 20, 1755 or 1757 - July 12, 1804) was the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, lawyer, Founding Father, American politician, leading statesman, political economist,] financier, and political theorist. ...


Alleged benefits of state economies over private ones include non-profit production, increased equity among citizens, the ability to maintain employment (thus consumption) in times of recession (which increases demand and helps the economy get out of recession); the development of "natural" monopolies such as electricity, water, gas, railways, landline telephones etc, and the improvement upon capitalist monopolies and competitive markets in pricing and production of socially optimal quantities due the decline in the profit motive, which, in capitalist monopolies causes them to "produce only up to the quantity where its profit is maximized... [which] under normal circumstances [is] lower than the socially optimal one" while in a competitive market it may cause overproduction, phenomena such as the 80/20 rule and other inefficiencies due to the absence of communication among competitors and lack of "freedom to set the price, as a rival can always undercut them until the point where lowering the price further will result in a loss." [p.114 Bad Samaritans Ha-Joon Chang] In economics, overproduction refers to excess supply of products being sold on the market. ... The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity) states that for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes. ...


Anarchists, who have also been called "libertarian communists", believe that as long as any elite is in power, oppressive forms of authority such as wage slavery will continue. They describe how in all self-designated "communist" states the working class follows orders and does not do away with wage labor— at the point of production workers just switch bosses (from capitalists to state bureaucrats)[63]. The state bureaucracy controls the means of production—not the workers. This, they argue, is why Vladimir Lenin's view of socialism was that it "is nothing but state capitalist monopoly made to benefit the whole people,"[64] who must trust the benevolence of their leaders. Anarchists can refer to several things, among which: The movie Anarchists Supporters of the principles of anarchism The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes), a famous song from Léo Ferré A List of anarchists This is a disambiguation page—a list of articles associated with the same title. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy, usually within an institution of the government. ... Lenin redirects here. ...


Anarchists believe that true socialism (self-management and worker's democratic control of the means of production) will come only with the elimination of both, capitalism and the state, via the creation of a decentralized system of free associations with consumer and worker's councils, regional federations, national assemblies and part-time rotative delegates with no power above others i.e. with no professional politicians, as was achieved to some extent, during the Spanish anarchist revolution. A workers council is a council, or deliberative body, composed of working class or proletarian members. ... Look up assembly in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A delegate is an individual (or a member of a group called a delegation) who represents the interests of a larger organization (e. ... Anarchism, the political philosophy advocating a libertarian society without hierarchy, based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, historically gained the most support and influence in Spain, especially in the seventy or so years before Francisco Francos victory in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. ...

Spanish anarcho-syndicalists successfully organized autonomous communities during the Spanish Revolution (1936 – 1939).

As the Infoshop FAQ points out: woman with cntfai flag This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... woman with cntfai flag This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This is a list of anarchist communities, past and present. ... In Spanish history, there have been several revolutions. ...


"Anarchists consider one of the defining aspects of the state is its hierarchical nature. In other words, the delegation of power into the hands of a few. As such, it violates the core idea of socialism, namely social equality. Those who make up the governing bodies in a state have more power than those who have elected them. Hence these comments by Malatesta and Hamon: 'It could be argued with much more reason that we are the most logical and most complete socialists, since we demand for every person not just his [or her] entire measure of the wealth of society but also his [or her] portion of social power." [No Gods, No Masters, vol. 2, p. 20] [65] A hierarchy (in Greek hieros = sacred, arkho = rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things. ...


The rejection of the state is also advocated by some libertarian Marxists, such as Anton Pannekoek, who observed talking about revolution that "this goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie", but can only be "realized by the workers themselves being master over production."[66] Libertarian socialists thus believe that rejecting such goals on the grounds that they were featured regularly in the rhetoric of leaders like Lenin and Stalin, is as illogical as rejecting freedom and peace on the grounds they were stated goals of Hitler and many other dictators. As Noam Chomsky says: "No rational person pays the slightest attention to declarations of benign intent on the part of leaders, no matter who they are. And the reason is they're completely predictable, including the worst monsters, Stalin, Hitler the rest. Always full of benign intent. Yes that's their task. Therefore, since they're predictable, we disregard them, they carry no information. What we do is, look at the facts. That's true if they're Bush or Blair or Stalin or anyone else. That's the beginning of rationality." [67] Just as critics of capitalism don't believe that improvements in the standard of living under capitalist wage slavery justify it, critics of state Communism don't think communist wage slavery is justified by the fact that the poorest workers in Communist Russia in the late 80s (during the fall of communism) were better off than the poorest workers in 1916 (right before the bolshevik take over), or 1918 (right after). [68] See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... Anton Pannekoek Anton Pannekoek (January 2, 1873 – April 28, 1960) was a Dutch astronomer and Marxist theorist. ... Bourgeois redirects here. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ...


Chomsky has found striking similarities in the elite managerial ideology of wage slavery in communist and capitalist states:


..Lenin was to decree that the leadership must assume "dictatorial powers" over the workers, who must accept "unquestioning submission to a single will" and "in the interests of socialism," must "unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of the labour process." As Lenin and Trotsky proceeded with the militarization of labour, the transformation of the society into a labour army submitted to their single will, Lenin explained that subordination of the worker to "individual authority" is "the system which more than any other assures the best utilization of human resources" -- or as Robert McNamara expressed the same idea, "vital decision-making...must remain at the top...the real threat to democracy comes not from overmanagement, but from undermanagement"; "if it is not reason that rules man, then man falls short of his potential," and management is nothing other than the rule of reason, which keeps us free.[69] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism. ... For the figure skater, see Robert McNamara (figure skater). ...


Fascism

The various authoritarian ideologies of fascism (such as race-based theories of superiority and social darwinism) affected social and economic relations, but in terms of economic structure, fascism has traditionally consisted, like most modern first world economies, of a mixture of state and private control. Fascism, however, was more discriminating of trade unions than modern economies like Spain or the United States (countries which nevertheless do impose laws to limit union influence). [70] [71] [72]


Workers didn't control the workplace democratically. They worked for wages provided by their superiors in hierarchical institutions like corporations and the state—therefore, wage slavery continued. Fascist economic policies were widely accepted (and praised) in the 1920s and 30s and foreign (especially US) corporate investment in Italy and Germany shot up after the fascist take over. [73] [74] In Germany, this foreign investment, in conjunction with Hitler's economic policies, led to economic growth and an increase in the standard of living of some Germans,[75] though critics do not believe that such improvements justify fascism nor wage slavery. [76]


Psychological effects

Analysis of the psychological implications of wage slavery goes back to the enlightenment era. In his 1791 book On the Limits of State Action, classical liberal thinker Wilhelm von Humboldt exlained how "whatever does not spring from a man's free choice, or is only the result of instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very nature; he does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness"— and so when the laborer works under external control, "we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is." [28] Wilhelm von Humboldt source: http://www. ... Wilhelm von Humboldt source: http://www. ... Wilhelm von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt (June 22, 1767 - April 8, 1835), government functionary, foreign diplomat, philosopher, founder of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, friend of Goethe and especially of Schiller, is especially remembered as a German linguist who introduced a knowledge of the Basque... Look up enlightenment, Enlightenment in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Wilhelm von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt (June 22, 1767 - April 8, 1835), government functionary, foreign diplomat, philosopher, founder of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, friend of Goethe and especially of Schiller, is especially remembered as a German linguist who introduced a knowledge of the Basque...


More recently, investigative journalist Robert Kuttner in Everything for Sale, analyzes the work of public-Health scholars Jeffrey Johnson and Ellen Hall and concludes that "to be in a life situation where one experiences relentless demands by others, over which one has relatively little control, is to be at risk of poor health, physically as well as mentally." Under wage slavery, "a relatively small elite demands and gets empowerment, self-actualisation, autonomy, and other work satisfaction that partially compensate for long hours" while "epidemiological data confirm that lower-paid, lower-status workers are more likely to experience the most clinically damaging forms of stress, in part because they have less control over their work." [Kuttner, Op. Cit., p. 153 and p. 154] Stress and other emotional problems, might be closely related to suicide and diseases such as obesity and nicotine addiction. Robert Kuttner is the co-founder and current editor-in-chief of The American Prospect, which was created in 1990 as an authoritative magazine of liberal ideas, according to its mission statement. ...


Wage slavery, and the educational system that precedes it "implies power held by the leader. Without power the leader is inept. The possession of power inevitably leads to corruption… in spite of… good intentions … [Leadership means] power of initiative, this sense of responsibility, the self-respect which comes from expressed manhood, is taken from the men, and consolidated in the leader. The sum of their initiative, their responsibility, their self-respect becomes his … [and the] order and system he maintains is based upon the suppression of the men, from being independent thinkers into being 'the men' … In a word, he is compelled to become an autocrat and a foe to democracy." For the "leader", such marginalisation can be beneficial, for a leader "sees no need for any high level of intelligence in the rank and file, except to applaud his actions. Indeed such intelligence from his point of view, by breeding criticism and opposition, is an obstacle and causes confusion." [The Miners' Next Step, pp. 16-17 and p. 15]. Wage slavery "implies erosion of the human personality… [because] some men submit to the will of others, arousing in these instincts which predispose them to cruelty and indifference in the face of the suffering of their fellows." [quoted by Jose Peirats, The CNT in the Spanish Revolution, vol. 2, p. 76].

According to anarchist Murray Bookchin, "a hierarchical mentality", stemming from mechanisms such as wage slavery "fosters the renunciation of the pleasures of life. It justifies toil, guilt, and sacrifice by the 'inferiors,' and pleasure and the indulgent gratification of virtually every caprice by their 'superiors.' The objective history of the social structure becomes internalised as a subjective history of the psychic structure… Hierarchy, class, and ultimately the State, penetrate the very integument of the human psyche and establish within it unreflective internal powers of coercion and constraint…By using guilt and self-blame, the inner State can control behaviour long before fear of the coercive powers of the State have to be invoked." [The Ecology of Freedom, p. 72 and p. 189] Similarly, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin pointed out that "power and authority corrupt those who exercise them as much as those who are compelled to submit to them." [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 249] "Power operates destructively, even on those who have it, reducing their individuality as it 'renders them stupid and brutal, even when they were originally endowed with the best of talents. One who is constantly striving to force everything into a mechanical order at last becomes a machine himself and loses all human feeling." [Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism, pp. 17-8] [29] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Anarchism is a generic term describing various political philosophies and social movements that advocate the elimination of hierarchy and imposed authority. ... Murray Bookchin[1] (born January 14, 1921) is an American libertarian socialist speaker and writer, and founder of the Social Ecology school of anarchist and ecological thought. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian: Михаил Александрович Бакунин, Michel Bakunin on the grave in Bern), (May 18 (30 N.S.), 1814 – June 19 (July 1 N.S.), 1876) was a well-known Russian revolutionary, and often considered one of the “fathers of modern anarchism. Born in the Russian Empire to a family of Russian...


As the Infoshop FAQ points out "Tacitus said, 'We hate those whom we injure.' Those who oppress others always find reasons to regard their victims as 'inferior' and hence deserving of their fate. Elites need some way to justify their superior social and economic positions. Since the social system is obviously unfair and elitist, attention must be distracted to other, less inconvenient, 'facts,' such as alleged superiority based on biology or 'nature.'"[30]— "facts" that may be internalized by the victims themselves. An infoshop is a storefront or community space that serves as a node for the distribution of anarchist information, typically in the form of books, zines, stickers and posters. ... For other uses, see Tacitus (disambiguation). ...


Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist who conducted the famous Stanford prison experiment, said: Philip G. Zimbardo (born March 23, 1933) is an American psychologist, best known for his Stanford prison experiment and bestselling introductions to psychology. ... A psychologist is an expert in psychology, the systematic investigation of the human body, including behavior, cognition, and affect. ... The Stanford prison experiment was ostensibly a psychological study of human responses to captivity and its behavioral effects on both authorities and inmates in prison. ...


"Most of the evil of the world comes about not out of evil motives, but somebody saying get with the program, be a team player…When a person feels, I am not personally responsible, I am not accountable, it's the role I'm playing or these are the orders I've gotten, then you allow yourself to do things you would never do under ordinary circumstances. [My book] The Lucifer Effect is really a celebration of the human mind's infinite capacity to be kind, or cruel, caring or selfish, creative or destructive. To make some of us be villains and some of us heroes. And it all depends on the situation. When we have total freedom, we choose situations that we know we can control. But when we're in situations where other people are in charge, in the military, in prisons, in some schools, in some families, we are – we can be transformed." [31]


The magnification of negative human tendencies in wage labor-based state and corporate systems has prompted some experts to regard them as psychopathic. For example, using diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV; Robert Hare, a University of British Columbia Psychology Professor and FBI consultant, provides a detailed analysis comparing the legal person embodied in the modern, profit-driven corporation to that of a clinically diagnosed psychopath. His findings corroborate typical psychopathic behavior such as superficiality, callous unconcern for the feelings of others, incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, diffusion of responsibility, emphasis on short-term goals, predatory egotism, reckless disregard for the safety of others, deceitfulness: repeated lying to and deceiving of others for profit, incapacity to experience guilt, failure to conform to the social norms with respect to lawful behaviors etc. [32] Dr. Robert D. Hare is a researcher renowned in the field of criminal psychology. ... The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a Canadian public research university with campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna. ...


In Marx's opinion,"[t]he following elements are contained in wage labor: (1) the chance relationship and alienation of labor from the laboring subject; (2) the chance relationship and alienation of labor from its object; (3) the determination of the laborer through social needs which are an alien compulsion to him, a compulsion to which he submits out of egoistic need and distress these social needs are merely a source of providing the necessities of life for him, just as he is merely a slave for them; (4) the maintenance of his individual existence appears to the worker as the goal of his activity and his real action is only a means; he lives to acquire the means of living…" And so "the more the worker expends himself in his work, the more powerful becomes the world of objects which he creates in face of himself, and the poorer he himself becomes in his inner life, the less he belongs to himself. It is just the same as in religion. The more of himself man attributes to God, the less he has left in himself. The worker puts his life into the object, and his life then belongs no longer to him but to the object. The greater his activity, therefore, the less he possesses … the alienation of the worker in his product means not only that his labour becomes an object, takes on its own existence, but that it exists outside him, independently and alien to him, and that it stands opposed to him as an autonomous power. The life which he has given to the object sets itself against him as an alien and hostile force… the alienated character of work for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his work but work for someone else, that in work he does not belong to himself but to another person." [33]


German-Jewish psychoanalyst Erich Fromm argued that wage slavery fosters alienation and is "connected with the marginalisation and disempowerment of those without authority" because "[t]hose who have these symbols of authority and those who benefit from them must dull their subject people's realistic, i.e. critical, thinking and make them believe the fiction [that irrational authority is rational and necessary], … [so] the mind is lulled into submission by clichés … [and] people are made dumb because they become dependent and lose their capacity to trust their eyes and judgement." [Erich Fromm, To Have or To Be?, p. 47]. Fromm noted that advertising, consumerism, and other means of off-work elite control, also contribute to these psychological effects. Erich Fromm Erich Pinchas Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was an internationally renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher. ...


Psychologists themselves are subject to these pressures and often work on behalf of elites—helping individuals adjust to the status quo, pathologizing rebellion against authority[77] and sometimes participating in advertising, propaganda, unnecessary profit-driven drug prescriptions, war and torture.[34]


It is important to note that wage slaves, just like chattel slaves, remain so even if they think of themselves as free due to propaganda, self-deception, or false consciousness. Critics of capitalism point at the fact that chattel slavery was once also perceived as legitimate because of the ideological influences of its power structure, and that, in fact, moral arguments were offered in its favor.[35]. Noam Chomsky claims that there is no reason to believe that one day humans won't look back at the days of wage slavery with the same moral outrage with which they react to chattel slavery. [Language and Politics p. 468-469] For the existentialist treatment of the same concept, see bad faith False consciousness is the Marxist thesis that material and institutional processes in capitalist society mislead the proletariat — and other classes — about the real relations of forces between those classes and of the actual states of affairs with respect to... Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ...


Social effects

Systems based on wage slavery have been blamed for creating a a cruel society that represses our moral instincts and pits people against each other for the benefit of elites. Such systems have also been blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of human beings. For example, Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen did a study of democratic post-colonial India from 1949-1979 (which had an economic system based primarily on private ownership of the means of production[78]) and concluded that "every eight years or so more people in addition die in India — in comparison with Chinese mortality rates — than the total number that died in the gigantic Chinese famine" of the late 50's [79]— i.e. over 100 million in those 30 years alone.


In many instances —such as Stalin's Gulags, the Holocaust and various wars— wage slavery was only one of several interlinked contributing factors (others being racism, nationalism, social Darwinism etc). Some experts deem that tens of millions of human beings die every year due to the direct and indirect consequences of systems based on wage slavery (e.g. wars, work-related injury/illness, deaths associated with rampant consumerism, environmental destruction, people dying of hunger and disease because they don't have access to the means of life and it's not profitable to help them, etc).[80]


Environmental degradation and the handling of nuclear weapons by people following orders for wages hint at the mass suicidal tendencies of hierarchical systems such as wage slavery. This may be due to an incompatibility with the moral and survival instincts that developed in the more decentralized hunter-gatherer power structures that possibly encompassed most of hominidae evolution—though too little is known about Homo Erectus to know for certain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that humans retain strong altruistic and anti-hierarchical tendencies.[81] [82] Also, the anecdotal evidence in Lawrence Keeley's book "The Myth of the Noble Savage"[36] was counterbalanced by William Eckhardt's statistical and mathematical evidence, which together produced the possible conclusion that primitive warfare was constant but of a very low intensity, and mainly psychological. According to Eckhardt, wars of civilizations produce far more destruction than all of the primitive wars, both absolutely and proportionally.[83] Binomial name (Dubois, 1892) Synonyms † Pithecanthropus erectus † Sinanthropus pekinensis † Javanthropus soloensis † Meganthropus paleojavanicus Homo erectus (Latin: upright man) is an extinct species of the genus Homo. ...


Human nature, law, and war

Militaries epitomize the subordination of labor
Militaries epitomize the subordination of labor
Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that supposedly underlies the legal system. Her blindfold symbolizes equality under the law through impartiality towards its subjects, the weighing scales represent the balancing of people's interests under the law, and her sword denotes the law's force of reason and the power of the sovereign to enforce the law.
Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that supposedly underlies the legal system. Her blindfold symbolizes equality under the law through impartiality towards its subjects, the weighing scales represent the balancing of people's interests under the law, and her sword denotes the law's force of reason and the power of the sovereign to enforce the law.
Madison dollar, released November 2007
Madison dollar, released November 2007

The general environment of obedience and subordination created by those who are forced to rent themselves in order to survive and/or prosper—from police and lawyers, to the general population— entails that wage slavery is a primary element of law formation and enforcement, though in many parts of the world, to varying degrees, grassroots struggles have also been able to exert a positive counteracting influence. The subordination to the needs, interests and perceptions of elite groups in society has an inordinate influence on most aspects of the law—distorting the framework used to apply our intrinsic moral and intellectual faculties. This also means that the law doesn't exist in a vacuum. Apart from the direct influence of powerful groups, it is also shaped by other factors. For example, educational institutions catering to the ideological needs of the biggest employers (government, corporations); natural mechanisms that induce intellectuals to get ahead in the hierarchy, make money and become influential by adopting and disseminating ideas that are serviceable to power; the mainstream media—which are profit seeking corporations selling affluent audiences to advertisers and relying primarily on business and government information; economic phenomena like capital flight, nationalistic and commercial values and propaganda spread by a huge advertising industry and powerful government apparatus, the threat of unemployment or even the passivity and ideology spread by spectator sports and entertainment industry [84] [85]. The influence of elite groups on the law and conception of "democracy" is seen in even the most advanced government systems prior to the era of corporate globalization. For example, in the first part of his magisterial two volume work The Transformation of American Law, Morton J. Horwitz writes: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2242x1495, 268 KB) [[Category:Military File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Prince Harry of Wales Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom) Michael... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2242x1495, 268 KB) [[Category:Military File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Prince Harry of Wales Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom) Michael... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (448x675, 123 KB) photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran aka Carptrash 19:52, 12 October 2006 (UTC) . I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (448x675, 123 KB) photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran aka Carptrash 19:52, 12 October 2006 (UTC) . I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free... Lady Justice Lady Justice (Iustitia, the Roman Goddess of Justice and sometimes, simply Justice) is an allegorical personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system. ... EQUAL is a popular artificial sweetener Equal (sweetener) Equality can mean several things: Mathematical equality Social equality Racial equality Sexual equality Equality of outcome Equality, a town in Illinois See also Equity Egalitarianism Equals sign This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise... In the metaphysical or conceptual sense, balance is used to mean a point between two opposite forces that is desirable over purely one state or the other, such as a balance between the metaphysical Law and Chaos — law by itself being overly controlling, chaos being overly unmanageable, balance being the... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 600 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2000 × 2000 pixel, file size: 6. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 600 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2000 × 2000 pixel, file size: 6. ... The rise of technology has allowed our environment to be characterized as a global one. ...


"During the eighty years after the American Revolution, a major transformation of the legal system took place... [which] enabled emergent entrepreneurial and commercial groups to win a disproportionate share of wealth and power in American society. The transformed character of legal regulation thus became a major instrument in the hands of these newly powerful groups." [Transformation of American Law 1780-1860 p. xvi Morton J. Horwitz]


And even before this transformation, US Founding Father James Madison had already stated at the Constitutional Convention that: For other persons named James Madison, see James Madison (disambiguation). ... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ...

“In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.”[37]

Similarly, the President of the Continental Congress and first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Jay said repeatedly that "The people who own the country ought to govern it." [86]


This ideology has often been rationalized with appeals to "the tyranny of the majority"; self-servingly assuming that 1) rule by the minority is better because the masses are incapable of organizing themselves effectively; and 2) democracy always mean majority rule, rather than "people having a say over decisions in proportion to the degree they are affected" [87] — which entails respect for the legitimate rights of minorities.

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky believes that the rationalizations for this elite government function have been fallacious: Image File history File linksMetadata Noam_chomsky_cropped. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Noam_chomsky_cropped. ...

“Modern political theory stresses Madison's belief that "in a just and a free government the rights both of property and of persons ought to be effectually guarded." But in this case too it is useful to look at the doctrine more carefully. There are no rights of property, only rights to property that is, rights of persons with property. Perhaps I have a right to my car, but my car has no rights. The right to property also differs from others in that one person's possession of property deprives another of that right if I own my car, you do not; but in a just and free society, my freedom of speech would not limit yours. The Madisonian principle, then, is that government must guard the rights of persons generally, but must provide special and additional guarantees for the rights of one class of persons, property owners" [88]. ""[In] [r]epresentative democracy, as in, say, the United States or Great Britain… there is a monopoly of power centralized in the state, and secondly — and critically — […] the representative democracy is limited to the political sphere and in no serious way encroaches on the economic sphere. Anarchists of this tradition have always held that democratic control of one's productive life is at the core of any serious human liberation, or, for that matter, of any significant democratic practice. That is, as long as individuals are compelled to rent themselves on the market to those who are willing to hire them, as long as their role in production is simply that of ancillary tools, then there are striking elements of coercion and oppression that make talk of democracy very limited, if even meaningful…”[38]

Marx's indictment of elite systems of justice contains similar observations:


"The civilization and justice of bourgeois order comes out in its lurid light whenever the slaves and drudges of that order rise against their masters. Then this civilization and justice stand forth as undisguised savagery and lawless revenge...the infernal deeds of the soldiery reflect the innate spirit of that civilization of which they are the mercenary vindicators....The bourgeoisie of the whole world, which looks complacently upon the wholesale massacre after the battle, is convulsed by horror at the destruction of brick and mortar."[89] More generally, Marx perceived that "[y]our very ideas [of freedom, culture, law, etc] are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class."[90]


A large percentage of lawyers do work to defend the interests of corporate and state elites— though the potential for change becomes apparent when despite pressures, incentives and other elite-driven selection processes, some determined lawyers don't. The law has also been shaped by their struggles, as well as those of other constituencies e.g. labor movements, women's and civil rights movements or even the liberal values of economically conservative elites who don't want state oppression to affect them personally, or are in favor of oppression only to maintain their privileges (thus opposing laws against gays, ethnic groups, abortion etc). Nevertheless, if it's true, as Frederik Douglass said, that "power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will" [91] wage slavery, so long as it exists, will remain a strong factor ensuring the resiliency of a system of law that overcriminalize the powerless and decriminalizes the powerful. The law can ensure that moral principles are applied, but will tend to do so only when it does not fundamentally alter the hierarchical status quo that is at the root of most crime in society. Given that most lawyers and judges will resist the idea that they maintain a system of injustice, this double standard will be maintained by ignoring the corrupting influences of elite rule on the general population, and through the application of rationalizations, selective rationality and morality (e.g. criminalizing marijuana and other drugs rather than the more lethal tobacco, punishing petty thieves rather than big exploiting corporations, prosecuting subnational terrorists rather than state war criminals, criminalizing individual support for terrorist groups, but not state support for dictatorships or terrorist groups like the Contras, etc). Wage slavery also contributes to making powerful groups unaccountable to the law (e.g. US violations of international law, [92] police brutality [93] etc). The capacity to unjustly and arbitrarily influence or violate the law is related to the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few. Those who advocate the elimination of wage slavery and the decentralization of power and wealth, (e.g. anarchists) maintain that the law —together with the general culture—should more pervasively reflect human instincts of justice and freedom and should therefore be used not to maintain hierarchy, but to maintain an absence of hierarchy by placing a heavy burden of proof on those who advocate authoritarian measures such as violence and exploitation. For other uses, see Contra. ...

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That is because anarchists and other advocates of decentralization believe that hierarchical institutions magnify the worst features of human nature (violence, greed etc) and that by relinquishing their subordinate role as subservient, unthinking and insentient "cogs in a machine", people would feel more independent, responsible and aware of their actions; they wouldn't be indoctrinated by centers of power, and would become appalled by behavior that now is condoned within the hierarchical institutional structures. That's why the root causes of war and environmental destruction are deemed to lie in the hierarchical mechanisms of society— capitalist and statist wage slavery being a central part of them. Anarchists believe that if the state was eliminated and people directly controlled the economy democratically, they would use it for their own benefit rather than for the benefit of elites, and would therefore foster values of solidarity, equality, peace, generosity, creativity and long term survival of the planet. Anarchists can refer to several things, among which: The movie Anarchists Supporters of the principles of anarchism The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes), a famous song from Léo Ferré A List of anarchists This is a disambiguation page—a list of articles associated with the same title. ...


Generally speaking, in hierarchies there's an incentive to not be completely honest with one's superior and to tell him/her want s/he wants to hear. This lack of honest communication accumulates the higher it goes up the hierarchy and is reflected once again onto the society by those powerful enough to exert influence — primarily the elite who, having a lot to lose, have strong incentives to subordinate and atomize the general population by spreading untruths. It is easy to abuse someone when one has power over them, and human beings often numb their independent sense of morality when they subordinate themselves to arbitrary decree from above (one can dismiss one's complicity in a destructive system by simply saying "I'm just following orders" or "I'm just doing my job, earning my bread", "My superiors are good and know what they are doing" etc). Under authority people tend to become instruments of someone else, instead of free agents directing their own destiny, discovering and gaining a taste for more freedom. This entails that even when the outcome of actions is positive, the framework in which they're undertaken will remain to a large extent amoral and fortuitous. From this point of view, hierarchical structures like the state and capitalism foster dependence and a lack of personal responsibility vis a vis humanity and the environment—allowing those on top to influence the lives and thoughts of society, and corrupting human behavior:

Most people don't go around punching and killing people, and the average person wouldn't steal food from a child just because there are no police around and he happened to be hungry. If he did we'd find such behavior pathological, not normal (as you'd expect if we were really so greedy).Yet states have killed millions through war, and corporations will literally take away water from children for profit (e.g. Bechtel in Cochabamba, Bolivia) and kill millions of workers through horrible working conditions and negligence. They act as magnified projections of our worst tendencies, and negate the fact that cooperation is more important for survival than competition, (as Russian scientist Kropotkin demonstrated in his book Mutual Aid). If you count the number of people killed (and the number of dollars stolen) by capitalist and state institutions and compare it to the smaller criminals (bank robbers, Ted Bundys, gangs, Islamic terrorists etc), it is not even close. Furthermore evidence seems to show that, contrary to popular belief, institutions of power do not restrain criminal behavior, but actually promote the alienation and socio-economic disparity that creates these smaller criminals… Even a saint who gains state power will become an important cog in a repressive power structure, just like CEOs and slave owners could be very nice people, yet in their institutional role they are oppressive. "Good" men in power are responsible for much more death and suffering than "evil" men without power, that's why unlike capitalists and Marxists, anarchists have never imposed dictatorship and mass murder on anyone.

[94]

David Graeber

According to some thinkers, however, there's something called the "bad apple theory" that argues states are natural structures. Yale anthropologist David Graeber explains it: Photograph of David Graeber. ... Photograph of David Graeber. ... YALE (Yet Another Learning Environment) is an environment for machine learning experiments and data mining. ... David Graeber David Graeber is an anarchist and anthropologist. ...

All you need is one group in a fairly large region that decides to be predatory raiders and beat up on their neighbors and everyone has to either militarize their own society, or endure being periodically victimized. But consider this: if we have a biological inclination to be warlike and aggressive, then why is it so few take the former option? Studies show that most tribes don't immediately imitate the aggressive group and start organizing for war in self-defense, but endure the raids (which happen on average every five or ten years) just so they don't have to. If we have a natural tendency, it's not to organize ourselves for war, because even people with a very concrete material interest in doing so often don't do it.

[95]

Howard Zinn

Some historians argue that most soldiers do not go to war out of an intrinsic desire to kill. They have to be trained, deceived and desensitized. As historian and WW2 bombardier Howard Zinn, says: Image File history File links Zinn. ... Image File history File links Zinn. ... Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922) is an American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright, best known as author of the bestseller[5] , A Peoples History of the United States. ...

“Wars don't take place out of the rush of a population demanding war: it's the leaders who demand war and who prepare the population for war. You didn't have the American public clamoring to go to WW1… people did not want to go to war…. That's why Wilson [to get elected] said "no we are not going to war". Then he is elected, and almost immediately calls upon the nation to go to war [and] a massive propaganda campaign was mounted. On the one hand you had the propaganda, and on the other you had the [state] coercion, the draft and the punishment… in other words, it takes powerful inducements and threats to mobilize the young population of a nation for war and if you had a spontaneous urge for war you wouldn't have to do that. The consequence of believing that war happens as a result of human nature is to place the blame on the citizenry, and to take it away from the leaders of the nation who are driving the country to war… it's like telling the poor that your poor because of your own faults,…”[39]

Ward Churchill
Ward Churchill

Similarly, historian Ward Churchill explained how Image File history File links Ward-churchill. ... Image File history File links Ward-churchill. ... Ward LeRoy Churchill (born October 2, 1947) is an American writer and political activist. ...

“Hanna Arendt had gone to the Eichmann trial to confront the epitome of evil in her mind and expected to encounter something monstrous, and what she encountered instead was this nondescript little man, a bureaucrat, a technocrat, a guy who arranged train schedules, who, as it turned out, ultimately didn't even agree with the policy that he was implementing, but performed the technical functions that made the Holocaust possible in the efficient manner that it occurred, in a totally amoral and soulless way, purely on the basis of excelling at the function and getting ahead within the system that he found himself….He was a good family man, in his way. He was loved by his children, participated in civic activities, was in essence the good German. And she, Arendt, said, therein lies the evil. Anyone in a mindless, faceless, bureaucratic environment could be "the Nazi"…Eichmann symbolized the people that worked under him; the train conductors, the technicians who were making the gas, all of these people who didn't directly kill anybody, but performed functions that made the Holocaust possible.”[40]

The struggle against wage slavery has often been linked to other anti-hierarchical struggles. For example, Mujeres Libres (English:Free Women) was an anarchist women's organization with over 20,000 members in Spain that aimed to empower working class women by pushing the idea of a "double struggle" for women's liberation and (anti-capitalist anti-statist) social revolution. The organization argued that the two objectives were equally important and should be pursued in parallel. In revolutionary Spain of the 1930s, many anarchist women were angry with what they viewed as persistent sexism amongst anarchist men and their marginalized status within a movement that ostensibly sought to abolish domination and hierarchy. They saw women's problems as inseparable from the social problems of the day; while they shared their compañero's desire for social revolution and vehemently opposed the Nationalists, they also pushed for recognition of women's abilities and organized in their communities to achieve that goal. Citing the anarchist assertion that the means of revolutionary struggle must model the desired organization of revolutionary society, they rejected mainstream Spanish anarchism's assertion that women's equality would follow automatically from the social revolution. To prepare women for leadership roles in the anarchist movement, they organized schools, women-only social groups and a women-only newspaper so that women could gain self-esteem and confidence in their abilities and network with one another to develop their political consciousness. Despite these activities, the group refused to identify itself as feminist due to feminism's perceived association with upper class, conservative women in Spain who called for capitalist political reform. Unlike other leftist women's organizations in Spain at the time, the Mujeres Libres was unique in that it insisted on remaining autonomous from the male-dominated CNT, FAI, and FIJL and fought for equal status with these established anarchist organizations.[41][42][43] Mujeres Libres (English:Free Women) was an anarchist womens organization in Spain that aimed to empower working class women. ...


Environmental destruction

air pollution
air pollution

According to Murray Bookchin, "all our notions of dominating nature stem from the very real domination of human by human." The "domination of human by human preceded the notion of dominating nature. Indeed, human domination of human gave rise to the very idea of dominating nature." This means that "it is not until we eliminate domination in all its forms … that we will really create a rational, ecological society." [Murray Bookchin, Remaking Society, p. 44] In other words, to save the planet, people must "emphasise that ecological degradation is, in great part, a product of the degradation of human beings by hunger, material insecurity, class rule, hierarchical domination, patriarchy, ethnic discrimination, and competition."[44][45]. "[N]ature, as every materialist knows, is not something merely external to humanity. We are a part of nature. Consequently, in dominating nature we not only dominate an 'external world' — we also dominate ourselves."[46][47] Image File history File links AirPollutionSource. ... Image File history File links AirPollutionSource. ... Murray Bookchin[1] (born January 14, 1921) is an American libertarian socialist speaker and writer, and founder of the Social Ecology school of anarchist and ecological thought. ...


From this point of view, the materialistic and competitive "grow or die" maxim of capitalism is inherently anti-ecological. A centralized state structure, though partially restraining of destructive market forces, cedes great power to a few individuals, which has the consequence of standardising and disempowering the majority while imbuing it with an inability to handle the complexities and diversity of life and its ecological systems.[48]


Criticism

Gary Young argues that the same basic reasoning that considers the individual to be forced to sell his labor to a capitalist in order to survive, also applies to the capitalist in that he is forced to hire a worker to survive otherwise his capital will be exhausted through consumption leaving him nothing to purchase the necessities of life.[49] In this sense, the capitalists are as "enslaved" by the workers as the workers are by the capitalists. Some point out that the owner of capital does have a third alternative, which is to sell his labor power to an employer.[50] Gary Plantman Young (May 3, 1954) was the first drummer of the 90s seminal alternative band Pavement. ...


According to the viewpoint of Austrian economical theory[51], what is exchanged between individuals is irrelevant for the result. For a consistentcy with austrian economics, the concept of wage slavery would extend to cover all actions taken by individuals in their relations with other parties. Hence compensation in forms other than wages should also be condemned by advocates of wage slavery. The Austrian School is a school of economic thought which rejects opposing economists reliance on methods used in natural science for the study of human action, and instead bases its formalism of economics on relationships through logic or introspection called praxeology. ...


Further, utilizing the Misesian analytics of individual action, human beings must always engage in production in order to consume and survive. Thus, man would be enslaved to nature itself. If man is always enslaved in some form or another, according to this view, the concept of slavery is of little use in order to draw distinctions between what is a coercive interpersonal relationship and what is not, thereby defeating the analytical purpose of wage slavery theory.


Wage slavery is also in contradiction to the Rothbardian notion of self-ownership. Under this view, if a man does not own himself, he must be owned by either another individual or a group of individuals. The ability for anyone to consent to an activity or action would then be placed in the hands of a third party. Further, the third-party's ownership would also be in the hands of yet another individual or group. This regression of ownership would transfer ad infinitum and leave no one with the ability to coordinate their own actions or those of anyone else. The conclusion is therefore that if under wage slavery, self-ownership is not legitimate, there is no right for anyone then to claim enslavement to wages in the first place.[51] Murray Newton Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an influential American economist, historian and natural law theorist belonging to the Austrian School of Economics who helped define modern libertarianism. ... Self-ownership or sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty is the condition where an individual has the exclusive moral right to control his or her own body and life. ...


According to Eric Foner, black abolitionists in the U.S. regarded the analogy of wage earners to slaves, symbolized by the term "wage slavery," as spurious. When Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and took a paying job, he declared "Now I am my own master." According to Douglas, wage labor did not represent oppression but fair exchange and former slaves for the first time receiving the fruits of their labor. According to abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, "wage slavery" was an "abuse of langauge."[52] This article is about the abolition of slavery. ... Frederick Douglass, ca. ... William Lloyd Garrison William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805–May 24, 1879) was a prominent United States abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. ...


References

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  15. ^ Family and Frontier in Colonial Brazil, Alida C. Metcalf, p. 201.
  16. ^ Metcalf, Alida (2005). Family and Frontier in Colonial Brazil. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292706521. 
  17. ^ a b Capitalism. Question Everything.
  18. ^ Schmidt, Disciplined Minds – A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals And The Soul-Battering System That Shapes Their Lives, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000, p. 16.
  19. ^ History is a weapon.
  20. ^ ZMag.
  21. ^ Doc South. UNC.
  22. ^ Perlman, Fredy. Introduction to Commodity Fetishism. Infoshop.
  23. ^ Property is theft.
  24. ^ Democracy Now (2007-10-19).
  25. ^ CHOMSKY, Noam (1992). Interview.
  26. ^ Thought Control. Socio-Politics. Question Everything.
  27. ^ Robert Graham, Anarchism - A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas - Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300CE to 1939), Black Rose Books, 2005
  28. ^ Year 501: Chapter One [6/12]
  29. ^ Infoshop.org - An Anarchist FAQ - B.1 Why are anarchists against authority and hierarchy?
  30. ^ Infoshop.org - An Anarchist FAQ - B.1 Why are anarchists against authority and hierarchy?
  31. ^ Democracy Now! | Understanding How Good People Turn Evil: Renowned Psychologist Philip Zimbardo On his Landmark Stanford Prison Experiment, Abu Ghraib and More
  32. ^ [1] The Corporation
  33. ^ Fredy Perlman: Intro Commodity Fetishism - Infoshop Library
  34. ^ Truthdig - Reports - Hypocritical Oath: Psychologists and Torture
  35. ^ [2] [3]
  36. ^ Ellingson, Terry (2001). The Myth of the Noble Savage. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520226104. 
  37. ^ Books. Google.
  38. ^ Interview. Chomsky.
  39. ^ YouTube. Google.
  40. ^ Democracy Now (2005-02-18).
  41. ^ Mujeres Libres. Struggle.
  42. ^ Women in Spain.
  43. ^ WSM.
  44. ^ Bookchin, "The Future of the Ecology Movement", pp. 1–20.
  45. ^ Bookchin, Which Way for the Ecology Movement?, p. 17.
  46. ^ John Clark, The Anarchist Moment, p. 114.
  47. ^ FAQ. Infoshop.
  48. ^ Economy. FAQ. Infoshop.
  49. ^ Young, Gary. 1978. Justice and Capitalist Production. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8, no. 3, p. 448
  50. ^ Nino, Carlos Santiago. 1992. Rights. NYU Press. p.343
  51. ^ a b interpersonal exchange on The Ludwig von Mises Institute accessed at March 11, 2008
  52. ^ Foner, Eric. 1998. The Story of American Freedom. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 66

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Fredy Perlman (August 20, 1934 -- July 26, 1985) was an author, publisher and activist. ... Property is theft! is a slogan coined by the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his book What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right of Government. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 292nd day of the year (293rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film critical of the modern-day corporation, considering it as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychologist might evaluate an ordinary person. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

9 to 5 is a phrase which refers to the time (9:00AM to 5:00PM, or 0900h - 1700h) at which some office employees work each day, usually from Monday to Friday. ... A guaranteed minimum income is a proposed system of income redistribution that would give each citizen a certain sum of money independent of whether they work or not. ... Citizens dividend is a proposed state policy based upon the principle that the natural world is the common property of all persons (see Georgism). ... The capitalist mode of production is a concept in Karl Marx’s critique of political economy. ... Distributism, also known as distributionism and distributivism, is a third-way economic philosophy formulated by such Roman Catholic thinkers as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc to apply the principles of social justice articulated by the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Pope Leo XIIIs encyclical Rerum Novarum[1] and... Freiwirtschaft (German for free economy) is an economic idea founded by Silvio Gesell in 1916. ... For other uses, see Human trafficking (disambiguation). ... Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that aim to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies - a society in which all violent or coercive institutions would be dissolved, and in their place every person would have free, equal access to tools of information and production, or... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ... In government regulation, a race to the bottom is a theoretical phenomenon which occurs when competition between nations or states (over investment capital, for example) leads to the progressive dismantling of regulatory standards. ... Salaryman (Japanese: サラリーマン, salarīman) is a Japanese term for a white-collar worker. ... Religious socialism Key Issues People and organizations Related subjects Socialism refers to a broad array of ideologies and political movements with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ... Syndicalism refers to a set of ideas, movements, and tendencies which share the avowed aim of transforming capitalist society through action by the working class on the industrial front. ... The Idler is a bi-yearly British magazine devoted to promoting its ethos of idle living and all that entails. ... A truck system is an exploitative form of employment — or, more specifically, unfree labour — under which workers are: paid in a form of limited direct credit or tokens, which may only be used at a company store, owned by their employers, or; paid in unexchangeable goods and/or services. ... Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer in which the worker sells their labour under a contract (employment), and the employer buys it, often in a labour market. ... Working poor is a term used to describe individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses. ...

External links

  • Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery
  • Das Kapital
  • Essay on Societal Slavery
  • Industrial Workers of the World
  • Land and Liberty
  • Photo-story on modern-day slavery in Brazil by photographer Eduardo Martino
  • Special situations in the USA
  • Wage Labour and Capital
  • Wage slavery as a part of a larger picture
  • Working for Wages, Martin Glaberman and Seymour Faber
  • Wage slavery at OpenWiki

  Results from FactBites:
 
slavery: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (12125 words)
Slavery was an established institution in the Greece of Homer's time, and a large portion of the population of the Greek city-states in later days were of the servile class.
Slavery is the social and legal designation of specific persons as property or chattel, for the purpose of providing labor and services for the owner without the right of the slave to refuse, or gain compensation.
Many progressive thinkers have discussed the idea of "wage slavery" or "economic slavery", although it is generally accepted that payment of a wage signifies "free labor", with the quite different disadvantages experienced by such workers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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