Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wobbly Times number 72
Could you please explain your statement, "Wage-labour is not freedom"?
Well, it's like this. In the marketplace for commodities there are buyers and sellers. Buyers and sellers have opposing interests. Buyers want lower prices and sellers want higher prices.
Wage-labour is a commodity. Workers wish to sell their skills for higher prices and employers would prefer lower prices. Wages are the price of skills and time. Workers sell their skills on the market and when their skills are bought they're employed. They're employed to make goods and services for their employers. The employers own the social product of the wage-labourers they employ. Thus, the product is separated from the producer and the producer becomes a servant and is in fact, dependent on the owners to buy their skills on the market in order to make a living.
Freedom has a lot of aspects; but a major factor is owning and controlling the product of one's labour. This is why so many aspire to become 'their own bosses' in small enterprises. To be bossed is not freedom.