SLAVES OF WAGE


Economy, jobs, wages, unemployment, food inflation, cost of living, housing, education, career, savings, retirement we all worry about almost constantly, especially in recent decades of violent economic and financial instability that already cost hundreds of thousands lives and millions their livelihood. How this happened that honest, hard work, basic morality, humanity and personal responsibility means nothing in the world ruled by financial oligarchs destroying fabric of our society.

The gaining basic understanding of what’s going on out there is the only approach to find a way out of this quagmire. However, it would require complete reevaluation of our own views and some values we thought are universal but in fact they are just propaganda inserts necessary to lead us unwittingly toward social collapse.

The first and most important myth, we believe in, is that in 30 years after WWII the capitalist economic system was better organized and run in more egalitarian ways so majority of American people benefited from American ingenuity and spoils of war. The truth is that it was not capitalist system that was responsible for unprecedented growth of US economy after war but instead, dramatic departure from it, The US, for many decades, was running almost entirely command and control economy where government made all critical economic investment decisions in centralized autocratic manner, exactly like in the USSR or Japan, that enormously raised standard of living and tremendously grew their state controlled economies.

It was president Eisenhower who by warning nation about power of Military-Industrial Complex i.e. concentrated economic bureaucracy, revealed true autocratic mechanisms of American economy and politics at that time. Only in early 1970-ties process of disengagement of government from investment planning and directing of economy, and slowly returning to system of “free” capitalism began with all devastating consequences for American working people suffering wage collapse since then.

What we are facing now is reverting to true face of natural form capitalism that existed in form, as described by Adam Smith in middle of eighteen century, namely brutal crony capitalism directed solely toward support for oligarchs of power and their courtier class.

The system aims to leave 99% of population in misery or even dead. The true state of Union covered up by meaningless political spectacles of pseudo-democracy written and directed by propaganda industry a.k.a. media whose only goal is to produce tons of fake hopes and dreams enough until next blow against population is prepared and executed.

So called economic data that is being presented to ordinary people as reliable measure of economic activity, as consequences of harsh, rational laws of economy, which we all suppose to quietly submit to. In fact all this data is pure fabrication of “creative” accounting and/or direct result of precise and deliberate policies of ruling elites.

We suppose to care and understand that Chinese worker with Ph.D makes 10 dollars a day and that we should not even try get educated since it is not economically viable, while bankers refused to loan money for high paid jobs in US and demanded outsourcing instead. We suppose to be aware that enslaved children in sweatshops in Burma are working faster for almost nothing and there is no chance to surpass them in “productivity” while equalizing trade tariffs aimed for halting extreme exploitation and necessary capital controls which help ordinary people all over the world, are considered unutterable words of blasphemy. We suppose to realize that we are unreasonable to demand fair wage for job that can be done by exploiting prison slave labor in the US or abroad while human right laws are openly violated with impunity.

The God loving, flag waving patriotic oligarchs demand that we stoop into medieval reality of precarious life of a slave, otherwise, we may as well kill ourselves since there is no place for us in their owned country of USA. That is true political message to American people from US ruling elites.

To cover it up this horrifying message, millions of courtiers of the system are employed everyday in order to maintain mass illusion of superficial variability, unpredictability and unbounded possibilities of the economic and political development, which in fact is step by step, in minute detail dictated and controlled by the ruling class.

Overtures of false compassion, perverted “good” intentions and straight lies spewed through political/economical megaphones every two years, are mixed with proposed insane solutions to non-existent issues and problems. While gaping blindness and amnesia toward real suffering of formal political constituents, being robed of their means of subsistence, are prevalent in a class of political courtiers, slaves to puppet masters ruling from behind political stage.

Thirty years of squealing about too high unemployment, too high food inflation, problems that could be solved in a year or two, repeats itself as a mantra every so-called election cycle as meaningless chatter with no consequence for government policies that are always sub-servant to oligarchic power. One has to be insane to believe that any of these politicians care about anybody else but their masters, themselves and their cronies, their careers, retirement or cushy job after supposedly serving “public good”.

These are mercenaries of the system, and worst enemies of American working people, ordinary people who work for living. Do they really want to solve problem of unemployment, declining wages and rampant food inflation? Or they are there to defend system of crony capitalism that breeds unemployment, food inflation and depresses wages. Let’s examine this more precisely in historic context.

It is important to note that wage labor system, developed as a part of immoral process of exploitation of common man by 1% elite, was step up in cruelty from horrific exploitation of slavery as explained below.

Through wage arrangements cost of labor was externalized outside of worker alone toward his wife, children, family, his community and environment. In other words before, owner had to pay cost of 24 hour subsistence of his slave as well as attend to slave needs for health, food and shelter in order to maintain quality of investment. After introduction of wage system that alienates labor from worker’s body, the overall cost dropped to 16h, 12h, 8h,../day of individual subsistence cost as well eliminated substantial property upkeep cost. The wage labor system became rent-a-slave scheme.

The introduction of the system was a major reason for highest increase in productivity in history of civilization, much more than introduction of industrial machines, as rapid financialization of the economies ensued.

It’s worth to note that, it is not worker who is more or less productive as propaganda makes us to believe but it is all about efficiency of deployed capital in constant form (technology, real estate, and other organizational investments) and variable form (wages and fees, costs). The productivity is a measure of overall capital efficiency, not only workers efficiency. In financialized capitalistic system supported by monetary policies, workers are treated as necessary evil, often hired just for satisfying sadistic inclinations of the bosses, and are kept until they’re exhausted and finally disposed off in maddening quest for capital accumulation and profits.

In order to transform, out of slavery or feudal servitude, “modern” financial capitalists needed new invention, namely consumer food market that was non-existent in XV century for 99% of population. What I mean by consumer food market is market for those who need to buy daily food in order to avoid starvation. The consumer food market was formed by policies of late medieval governments of massive, brutal and ultimately illegal purge of peasants from their bread giving land acquired for use under feudal system. New at that time, economic necessity to earn wage in order to survive, became main mechanism of wage suppression and externalizing production costs through food inflation. The forceful creation of consumer food markets in XVI century enabled wage system to be widely deployed. The other forced “free” markets for cloths, shoes and other goods followed.

Another invention of last 250 years by financial capitalist system was unemployment that did not exist before at all. The feudal system was based on obligatory work for land Lords and the Church hence every able body was needed and gainfully employed to pay their dues in currency of their labor. No need for money to buy food, pay tax or any other obligation.

As manufacture owners complained, the shortage of a “free” labor was so severe that workers were being paid relatively high wages for their work in XV-XVI century England forcing government of Queen Elisabeth I to introduce Maximum Wage and Vagrancy Laws. Such laws increased supply of new worker rank by peasants just removed from their land as well as curbed competition for workers among different manufacturers, clearly actions, against free market principles.

Those two major factors: artificial creation of unemployment and illegal removal people from their land against their will, were necessary for establishment of modern “free” financial capitalism decreed by governments and serving oligarch class alone. The oligarchic governments created armies of dispossessed poor, needlessly homeless and needlessly jobless people and forced fed them into new slavery of wage system.

This is political system of crony, financial capitalism we live in now. This is the system that needs unemployment, low wages, high food inflation and human suffering to survive and thrive. This is the system that wants to and does destroy people’s livelihood, their work ethos, their morality, their values, their solidarity and their sense of culture and community.

Are we going to stop believing in the system that destroys us? Are we going to create new system that works for regular, working people? Or are we going to remain slaves of wage?

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8 thoughts on “SLAVES OF WAGE

  1. thanks for posting this, I found you through zerohedge – interesting historical perspective about wages – I look forward to more of your posts

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  2. Your writing is indeed contrarian. Your historical perspective of trading one’s labor for wages is unique. This is the first article of your’s that I’ve read, so obviously I don’t have a context for your opinion. You paint a dark, broad-brushed picture of our economic system. That system is based on a division of labor. Trading our labor (time, energy, skills) for money is central to economic activity. We then exchange that money for things we need.
    Please forgive the following question – based only on this single article…
    Your last three sentences above seem to condemn our labor-for-wages economic system and asks, “Are we going to create a new system that works for regular, working people?” Could you describe what you think that system should look like?
    Thank you for your thought-provoking, contrarian opinion.

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    • I very much appreciate your comment. That’s exactly why I write this blog, to provoke new thoughts, to suggest new perspectives for the reader, to present at least equally plausible alternatives to commonly shaped understanding of the world around us.

      As far as solutions are concerned, I am just a next guy/gal like you. I am writing about the world I see through my own prejudices, experiences and human limitations. That’s all.

      However, part of an answer about what just and fair social system could be or should be is that there is no one single answer to the question about meaning of our existence as individual members of our society. However, after great philosophers I could offer some modest guidance instead.

      We could have a just social system that enables almost everyone to go through full social life cycle from cradle to grave with well-defined tasks and duties to be accomplished for the benefit of others by means of cooperation within the society.

      The stages of full social life cycle in just society could be described as follows:

      1. Developing, Learning and Experiencing stage.
      2. Creating , Building and Achieving stage.
      3. Directing, Managing, Planning and taking Responsibility stage.
      4. Advising, Documenting, Judging and Teaching stage.

      From observation of my own society when one or more of life cycle stages are denied or delayed, strive and instability ensues causing social de-cohesion in form of addictions, mental illness, depression, murder, suicide, aggression, intimidation, alienation, other crimes as well as political extremism leading to collapse of economical foundations of society. That’s why just society is not an option it is an imperative.

      The only happiness that I personally could fathom is to have opportunity to help others in need when I can. And for me social life cycle could provide such a happiness and hence provide a meaning of individual life within society.

      But that’s just my humble contrarian opinion.

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      • There are solutions: resource-based economies, public banks & regional currencies,decentralization of vital systems-authorities, cyclical-voluntary council-governance..before any humane solution can even begin to be implemented, however, enough people will have to wake up out of their blind-acceptance of status quo

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  3. I read this article a while ago and many good points are brought up in here. And I just reread it. The problems we face have existed since the first empires were built and have culminated over time. Anyways, to get to my point David Korten does have an alternative economy that can replace capitalism. He spells it out in his book call ‘An Agenda for a New Economy’. He thought it out and has solutions which are viable. Thank you for the article. It is important that people share their ideas and come together because real change will have to come from the bottom and work its way up. You are spot on.

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