Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wobbly Times number 65

What is a Wage-Slave?

A wage-slave a person who has to sell their skills and time for a price to an employer in order to make a living. One has to be educated in order to have skills. Are you a wage-slave?

Employers make their living by selling the goods and services which are made by the wage-slaves whom they employ. Members of the landlord class make their living from renting and selling real property which they own.

To sum up: the employing class makes its living from selling the property which its wage-slaves produce. The landlord class makes its living from renting and selling the real property which it owns. The working class makes its living from selling its skills and time to the employing class for a wage. Only the working class owns a property which can add wealth to what wealth already exists in class dominated society. The workers are forced to sell their skills and time to the employing class because they don't own any other exchangeable property other than maybe the house they live in, if the bank doesn't own it, or their socks and shoes. The employing class owns the places and machinery needed for the production of wealth. The employing class could be nested in the State apparatus or, more likely in privately owned corporations or small businesses. It is because the working class is obliged to sell their life-time to another class that they are wage-slaves. They are in bondage to their employers during the time they've sold themselves for.
Of course, the working class is also free. After all, the working class are not chattel slaves. The working class is free to go homeless and collect cans for the recycling industry in order to keep body and soul together. But this is just a sub-minumum form of wage-slavery. The working class is free to sleep under hedges as opposed to buying a home from the banks or renting from landlords--using their wages of course. The working class is free to travel to another country where the political State uses its hired, armed bodies of men to enforce capitalist property laws. The working class is free to use its time and skills to grow vegetables. The working class is also free to become members of the capitalist class, if they can get enough capital together by saving their wages or engaging in selling illegal commodities. Risk ideology is big amongst the promoters of capitalism. But, in essence, most of the working class are wage-slaves and will remain so, until they become class conscious enough to organise One Big Union.

1 comment:

  1. I like this a lot. I'm a newbie to socialism, having come to it late in life via 'mature age' university entrance. I wish I had been able to access your writings here about 6 months ago when I was doing intro sociology. But pleased to have 'discovered' your writings, and I will definitely be back again - and probably again - for another read!