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Forum Post: Noam Chomsky on Wage Slavery

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 7, 2012, 2:31 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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83 Comments

83 Comments


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[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Oh for the halcyon days of mere Wage-Slavery, lol !!! These days it also comes pre-packaged with Generational Debt Bondage too !! On a pedantic note - the base beat of the overlayed tune was a bit distracting, lol ! Thanx 'sff'.

credite posteri ...

[-] 8 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Hear, hear.

Capitalism and huge debt is not a law of nature, though. It can all be dismantled by stripping the financial elite from their power and giving it back to where it belongs: in the hands of the people!

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Yes & that can only happen when WE, THE 99% empower ourselves through Regular Mass Collective Action On A National & International Scale !!! NOTHING Will Be Given Without Struggle !! Together We Are Unstoppable - divided, we and This Good Earth - our beautiful, fragile, shared & only home, will be devoured by Cold, Callous Crapitalism !

Educate ; Agitate ; Organise ...~~~***

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Educate ; Agitate ; Organise"

That sums it up pretty well.

And this should include striking. Striking, I think is one of the really important things that the Occupy Movements should focus on in the time to come. It's an effective way to weaken the private tyranny.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

"Labour" has to Reorganise !!! Union Leadership Structures have mostly become co-opted !!

Together We Are Stronger - Divided, We're Fukt !

Onwards and Upwards - cos what's the option ?!

dum spiro spero ...

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Workers of the world, unite!" - K.Marx

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

We "have nothing to lose but our chains" ( http://www.marxists.org/ )

Takk for det. ;-)

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

That's actually one of my absolute favorite quotes from Marx :)

Exactly. The workers must free themselves from the shackles - the wage slavery, and take the power back from the ruling non-elected elite.

Solidaritet :)

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Dyslexics of the world, untie!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

civil disobedience

[-] 3 points by letsdomore (89) 2 years ago

The elite want us to believe the 99% should work till they're elderly! Indebted wage slaves paying into the institutions they've created and obligated us to for life. It's just a more sophisticated version of an Old Cotton Mill town 100 years ago. You work and the powers that be will extract as much of your wealth as they can back to them. This vicious cycle is designed to perpetuate itself through life.

They create a laundry list of institutions and obligate us to pay into them. Banks, govt, insurance companies, utility companies, energy companies, Wall st, etc.

Then if you are able to save any money, they want your savings too. With 401k, IRA investments.It goes right back to their institutions. Even that isn't good enough for them! Now they want to take our social security and privatize it. That way Wall st and their institutions have a giant new Cash Cow to gamble with and skim a percentage off the top. It's a perfect circle of enslavement. All their bills are like giant leeches sucking the life blood and independence from the 99%. We are forced to be a consumer of their inferior products. Eating their toxic food, breathing their poluted air, driving their thirsty cars, borrowing from their debt hungry banks. TPTB have conjured up this artificial society of perverse domination. The population is indoctrinated to praise this system, but it is all they've ever known. They believe they are free. People must wake up, join together and stop having their wealth drained away into this fabricated, unnatural dystopia.

  • mortgage bill/rent
  • car payment
  • food bill
  • credit cards
  • educational loans
  • electric bill
  • gas bill
  • water bill
  • house insurance
  • car insurance
  • life insurance
  • health insurance
  • income tax
  • fed payroll tax
  • state payroll tax
  • local payroll tax
  • property tax
  • school tax
  • association fees
  • social security tax
  • medicare tax
  • unemployment tax
  • disability tax
  • sales tax
  • gas tax
  • vehicle registration tax
  • toll road tax
  • telephone tax
  • bank fees
  • tax, etc,etc,etc
[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1307) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 years ago

You mention bank fees 2nd to last but fail to list interest. Usury, the interest on debt, is the exponential factor in accelerating concentration of wealth. Interest should be at the top of the list. It dwarfs taxes of all sorts and is the reason we can never slow the exploitation and tyranny imposed by the 'system' of the elites that you so rightly condemn.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6569) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

we increase freedom when we reduce the power of money

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4784) 2 years ago

Prison slavery---We will be seeing more of it.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

If working on command is slavery then I don't see where anyone is truly free. You work at the command of a boss as an employee. You work at the command of the weather if you're a farmer. You work at the command of your belly when you're hungry. What do you expect, to be kept as a pet, and given food and shelter? That could be called slavery too.

[-] 3 points by obombya (11) 2 years ago

You think like a 1st grader. With your simplistic thought processes, you shouldn't even worry about trying to analyze complex problems such as this one.

Do yourself a favor and stick to American Idol or Jersey Shore.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

good and reasonable counter arguments is what makes your case, not ridicule :)

[-] -2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

There isn't anything all that complex about Chomsky, if anything he's overly simplistic. He ignores the fact that all life is essentially a slave to getting the necessities to survive. The term is only thrown out to incite a small following. Most workers know they are where they are through their own choices, not through any kind of servitude.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"He ignores the fact that all life is essentially a slave to getting the necessities to survive."

Based on the fact that you are aware that we now live in a modern technological and more wealthy society than ever, what exactly are you trying to say here?

"Most workers know they are where they are through their own choices, not through any kind of servitude."

Social factors and power structures limit freedom of choice substantially in many cases.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

In the first statement I'm saying the use of the word "slave" is misapplied to incite people. Workers are not slaves Chomsky is stretching it to make it fit his theory. Besides giving workers the means of production changes nothing about their actual situation in the work place. It may change their financial situation, but that could be done far more easily through advocating for an increase in wages and/or taxing more fairly.

Social factors may limit choices, but so does lack of personal effort.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"In the first statement I'm saying the use of the word "slave" is misapplied to incite people. Workers are not slaves Chomsky is stretching it to make it fit his theory."

NC said in the video that if you work on command you're some kind of slave and not a free human being. I don't see the controvercy about that. Being ruled and dominated by undemocratic power structures is in fact wage slaveryd.

"Besides giving workers the means of production changes nothing about their actual situation in the work place."

Huh? Yes it does. They then become in control of the means of production. Is not an unreasonable suggestion that people should have a right to a say in the things they're a part of and affected by.

"It may change their financial situation, but that could be done far more easily through advocating for an increase in wages and/or taxing more fairly"

I'm all for better wages and taxing the rich more, those are important short term goals, but we should also deal with some important principles. Being in control of your productive life, and having a say in the things you're a part of must be the core in any decent society we should strive to construct.

"Social factors may limit choices"

So you agree. Good. So what you said above was not correct then?

"but so does lack of personal effort."

But that has nothing to do with the structures in society. If a person perfectly capable and perfectly free to choose between x and y, choses y, then that's based on that individuals free will.

Choices that are to a large extent dictated by class affiliation, social factors and power structures is different. One’s access to resources is vital in terms of the actual choices and freedoms you have in this type of economy. The more wealth and recourses you have, the more power, choices and freedom you have.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I know what he said I saw the video, I simply think he’s wrong. Some agree with him, most do not. I believe he’s stretching the meaning of slave to shore up support. It’s a false premise but if he said, “I don’t like the voluntary arrangement between worker and boss” he couldn’t get anyone to listen to him at all. I think he would like people to view his goal as “freeing slaves” instead of “take property from its rightful owners”. You are free to see it as the former, I see it as the latter.

You’re doing the same thing using words like dominated and undemocratic. You may believe it, I don’t. People accept jobs, when they do they know the conditions of employment, if they don’t like it they are free to leave. Your personal circumstances may make that difficult to do, but you do have the freedom to do it. There are all sorts of contracts we voluntarily enter into that limit us. You can’t vote away your mortgage, car payments or utility bills, just like with a job, you’ve entered into a voluntary agreement and have to live with your decision.

Ownership doesn’t change the tasks that have to be preformed. If you are stuck in a task you hate and can’t leave when there is a single owner, it doesn’t logically follow that being one of many owners will make your task any better or make it any easier to change jobs. If the workers want to own the means of production they are free to buy a business. I see no reason to change things. People are in control of their productive life.

Social factors may limit choices, but don't eliminate choice. I'm not rich so I can't go to a private university, I have to either not go to school, go to a State school, or get a good scholarship. It isn’t anyones' fault children of single moms are more at risk of dropping out of school, doing drugs, or going to jail. It’s these social factors I was thinking of that can result in limiting your choices. Once you’ve slid into making any of those bad choices your life may become more difficult. Giving a business to workers doesn’t make any of that better.

I don’t see class affiliation, social factors, or power structures as obstacles that are impossible to overcome. I definitely don’t see them as a reason to move toward Chomsky’s vision of a worker run society.

[Removed]

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"If working on command is slavery then I don't see where anyone is truly free."

You're truly free when you control your own life and work.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/become-an-anarchistand-be-proud-of-it/

"You work at the command of a boss as an employee."

And if these capitalist structures were dismantled and replaced by a free classless and egalitarian society we wouldn't have that problem.

"You work at the command of your belly when you're hungry."

So? This has nothing to do with wage slavery and people having the right to control their own lives. What you just stated is not very relevant in a wealthy, modern, highly technological society.

What we must do is create a classless society in which we share all the wealth.

Let's spread the wealth around! http://occupywallst.org/forum/spread-the-wealth-around/

[-] -3 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

You only have that kind of control if you work alone and for yourself. In an anarchistic world the group makes the decision, so it may be that 49% of the workers are still slaves to the decisions of the other 51%. Removing capitalism simply replaces the individual boss I can see with a faceless majority with no one truly accountable. I don't see where it makes the work place or society more egalitarian. People seem to be competitive and total equality is something we will never have. Even the so called egalitarian tribal societies had the better and more honored hunters, elders, warriors. Equality of opportunity is the best you can hope for and even that is difficult to achieve

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"In an anarchistic world the group makes the decision, so it may be that 49% of the workers are still slaves to the decisions of the other 51%."

Decitions must be done by the participants thru consensus and democratic process. On some issues the majority agrees with you, on others they don't. That's a logical consequence of living in a society with other people. The society we should work to create is a classless, participatory democracy:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/become-an-anarchistand-be-proud-of-it/

"Removing capitalism simply replaces the individual boss I can see with a faceless majority with no one truly accountable."

The ones making the decitions would be the ones accountable in this society as well. The thing is that I'm against dictatorship not just in government, but also in business. The non-elected powerful rulers of corporations must be stripped from their power, as well as al-Assad.

"I don't see where it makes the work place or society more egalitarian. People seem to be competitive and total equality is something we will never have."

We should work to create a classless society which focuses on giving the individuals living there the things they need. Actually human nature is more based on solidarity and cooperation than competition:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8C-ntwUpzM&feature=plcp

but I have no problem with competition per se. It depends on the framework. Competing over money and resources should not be a part of a decent society.

[-] -1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

You keep using imperatives, there is nothing that we MUST do as far as changing how businesses are run. A vast majority see regulated capitalism and the maintaining of personal property rights as the best way to run things. Workers trade work for pay, it's their choice, not slavery. Chomsky would disagree, that's his right, but it's my right and the majorities right to believe he's wrong.

There are things you want to do, but very few others agree with you. I see a consensus based group as grinding to a halt when an emotional or controversial decision splits the group close to 50-50. The more you explain your point of view the less I see it as workable in the real world. Your talk about what should or shouldn't be part of a decent society are moral judgements that you are trying to force on the rest of society. Most see a different moral way to do things.

I also see you as wrong to think that a group can take real responsibility and be accountable for decisions. The accountability is denied by each individual in that group anything that goes wrong is the fault of no one person.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"there is nothing that we MUST do as far as changing how businesses are run."

Absolutely. Today's system is unsustainable and immoral. Capitalism/state-capitalism leads to exploitation of human beings and the destruction of the environment. It must be abolished.

"A vast majority see regulated capitalism and the maintaining of personal property rights as the best way to run things."

Attitudes can change. I also think that most people would embrace the ideas of Libertarian Socialism if they got introduced to them:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/become-an-anarchistand-be-proud-of-it/

"Workers trade work for pay, it's their choice, not slavery."

It's a little more complicated than that.

Agreements taking place in this kind of system are of course far from being voluntary. In a capitalist / state-capitalist class society, you have some people with huge wealth and recourses - which on the national and global level are very highly concentrated - and others with very few or no wealth and resources. It is of course meaningless to talk about “voluntary agreements” in such a society, because the ones owning the recourses, the wealth and the means of production etc, have much more power in society. That includes of course that they have the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring, negotiations etc. So the non-owners - the workers - are trapped in a society in which they, in order to have a decent life or necessities in order to survive, must sell their labor to people who have much more power than they. This has very little to do with voluntary agreements, rather it’s submission to necessities.

So in reality we have a system in which some people, because of their wealth and ownership, have an overwhelming power in society, including in the labor marked. The owners, the employers, then have much more influence and power when contracts and agreements are being made, whether it’s in relation to working conditions, salaries etc.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-exploitation-and-involuntary-agreements/

"Chomsky would disagree, that's his right, but it's my right and the majorities right to believe he's wrong."

Of course.

"Your talk about what should or shouldn't be part of a decent society are moral judgements that you are trying to force on the rest of society."

What are you talking about? I present the ideas of Libertarian Socialism on this forum, and you can embrace them or reject them.

"I also see you as wrong to think that a group can take real responsibility and be accountable for decisions."

There's nothing controvercial about that. We've seen it many times in history, and we see many examples of it today. Check out this video, please:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRy5ZIYZok&feature=plcp

[-] -1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

You're simply wrong. You might get a person to agree with you if you over simplify things. Tell him you're going to let him take over someone's business and he doesn't have to pay for it. That's a notion the majority will always reject.

I've seen the video, the academics offer theory with no practical application or proof that their ideas can translate into a practical method of running an economy. Spain doesn't count, that was armed rebellion, not at all democratic, and few would want to risk the atrocities that have been reported from that era.

What was done in Argentina can show that workers are certainly capable of running a facility, but that doesn't mean anything close to a majority would agree with simply confiscating property. Workers are free to lobby government and get loans to buy businesses. You're not going to get a majority to agree to simply confiscate things, it's against the best interests of that majority to do that.

Argentina was a special case, the actual owner got himself so deeply in debt he couldn't meet his obligations to his employees. Taking the factory was eventually seen as just compensation for the workers. That is very different from workers taking property from a well run business without compensating the owners.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Tell him you're going to let him take over someone's business and he doesn't have to pay for it"

This is about democracy and freedom. Immoral and unjust property rights have been dismanlted in the past; there are more left and they must be dismantled as well. Undemocratic control and hierarchy must be dismantled in favor of a real participatory democracy in which people control their own lives.

"Spain doesn't count, that was armed rebellion"

If you mean that, then you couldn't have paid much attention when watching the video.

"What was done in Argentina can show that workers are certainly capable of running a facility, but that doesn't mean anything close to a majority would agree with simply confiscating property."

Current property rights are not graven in stone; they’re not some unchangeable laws of nature. They can be changed just like they were, a certain time ago, changed into the ones we have today. Just like the wealthy business owners have been given the right to own more and more of the economic institutions, including the means of productions others are using, other forms of rights can instead be implemented like f.ex giving the workers the right to control their own workplace democratically.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/property-rights/

"Workers are free to lobby government and get loans to buy businesses."

If you like the idea of democracy you should embrace the ideas of a real participatory democracy where people don't have to lobby government staffed by concentrated private power, but instead are in control of their own lives and workplace.

"You're not going to get a majority to agree to simply confiscate things, it's against the best interests of that majority to do that."

The only ones that will be worse of in a libertarian socialist society is the small business-elite. The rest would benefit big time. It is the wealthy and powerful that have confiscated our resourses. They exploit workers, and they destroy the environment. They must be stripped from their power.

"That is very different from workers taking property from a well run business without compensating the owners."

Undemocratic hierarchy and domination is immoral. Capitalism allows some individuals to control and dominate others. Structures like these must be dismantled.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I don't see current property rights as unjust or immoral. An overwhelming majority agrees with that view. I've seen no groundswell of popular support for changing that at all. In fact the trend internationally is going away from the direction you want.

I mean Spain doesn't count as an example of a practical, or successful example of people democratically choosing anarchy. The anarchists used force and threats to get their way during a time of civil unrest.

In Argentina the workers in the factory shown in the video eventually won control through the courts. I believe the court considered the factory compensation for past wages due. A fair decision. In Germany the government is helping workers acquire factories. There are legal means open to people. While this route might be slower it gives society a chance to see if this method of management can be successful, while still respecting the laws no one, except for a handful of anarchists, is willing to give up.

I like democracy, but believe the representative form we have is better then the direct democracy leaderless form advocated by anarchists. Anarchy may be fine in running a small business co op, but in a large complex society it isn't practical to expect people to know and understand each political issue.

Saying that only the elite will be hurt under libertarian socialism doesn't make it true. There is no way for the majority to actually know who will be better or worse off under your system. There has never been a successful libertarian socialist state. Again you can't count Spain it didn't last long enough. What the majority does know is that their health care and pension funds are in the stock market making them indirectly owners of major corporations and libertarian socialism threatens to take those assets without compensation. It's a no-brainer, people will vote for what they know especially when what they don't know could cost them.

Relationships between workers and owners are fair. Work is traded for a wage. Everyone knows what the deal is from the start. You evaluate your options and decide if you are going to work for a particular boss or not. At times the balance favors the worker at times it favors the owner. Some workers unionize for greater power. This is another area where you are in a very small minority. The majority doesn't see it as immoral or see any need for it to be dismantled. You offer a different way of looking at the worker-owner relationship, but few actually agree with that view.

You'd need to have a successful libertarian socialist society operate for at least several decades to show me before I'd consider risking a change based on your speculations and interpretations. Even then I'd never support simply voting property away from owners and giving it to workers, unless the owners were justly compensated or you could prove they violated existing law.

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

This notion of wage slave is a matter of personal perspective. If you like what you do (as Chomsky says he does) or if the wages are high enough, you don't see yourself as being a wage slave.

Chomsky himself was somewhat of a slave to the academic calendar during his teaching career. It can even be said he's been a slave to the military that funded some of his research at MIT. Depending on how you parse the words, unless you are totally self sufficient anyone could be considered a wage slave.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

The point is that everyone should have the freedom to control their own work. People should work based on their own interests, creativity and wants, not because they get a big paycheck, or that they need money to survive.

People should be able to control their own lives and work; they should be able to control the institutions in which they spend their life and energy together with their associates. This kind of social organization would be what's called anarcho-syndicalism or anarcho-communism and would be a society without capitalism and wage slavery, so that individuals were truly free to live out their own creativity.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"People should work based on their own interests, creativity and wants, not because they get a big paycheck, or that they need money to survive."

People should be able to produce what they want, even if no consumers are buying what they are producing? Isn't that a waste of resources?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Decitions over production in society must be decided by the participants thru democratic process; and production should be based on creating a society that's good for all citizens, not just the effective workers.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

So instead of giving people money to spend however they want, the only things people are now allowed to consume are what we can get a majority to vote for? How does losing the ability to spend my own money any way I want benefit me as a consumer? And how would that even work?

If your concern is unemployment, why not just guarantee everyone a job instead? Replacing money with votes is a bad way to solve unemployment.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"So instead of giving people money to spend however they want, the only things people are now allowed to consume are what we can get a majority to vote for?"

Society must of course be based on democratic principles. I wnat a real participatory democracy in which people control their own lives and work.

"How does losing the ability to spend my own money any way I want benefit me as a consumer?"

If most services were made free or close to free the need for money would be less relevant. We should look at people as human beings, not consumers.

"If your concern is unemployment, why not just guarantee everyone a job instead? Replacing money with votes is a bad way to solve unemployment."

I don't know about you but I see the right to democratic say in the things you're apart of and affected by as essential to creating a decent society.

We live in a modern and wealthy society, a free ride society; put down your calculator and start embracing the ideas of a classless society where evryone are able to have a decent life.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"Society must of course be based on democratic principles. I wnat a real participatory democracy in which people control their own lives and work."

Forcing everyone to consume exactly what the majority consumes is not only pareto inefficient, it is also not democratic.

Democracy is a Greek word. But it is not a Greek word for "voting" or "mob rule" or "majority wins." It is Greek for "people power." A modern liberal democracy means political power and freedom rests with everyone equally.

Since everything you do in society requires money, your income determines how much political power you have and determines how much freedom you have.

So an egalitarian allocation of income makes society democratic.

Forcing everyone to consume what the majority wants is mob rule, it is not democracy.

.

"If most services were made free or close to free the need for money would be less relevant."

Just because you make everything free, that does not mean we no longer need money!!

Money is needed to motivate enough people to work, to prevent consumption from exceeding production and to allocate goods and services in a way that is pareto efficient.

You will not be able to accomplish any of those things when you eliminate money!

.

"We should look at people as human beings, not consumers."

The fact that we use tools and instruments to help us manage our economy doesn't make people no longer human!

Should we not give construction workers hammers so that we look at them as human beings instead of carpenters?

Should we not give firemen water hoses so that we look at them as human beings instead of firemen?

Should we not give doctors stethoscopes so that we look at them as human beings instead of doctors?

.

"I don't know about you but I see the right to democratic say in the things you're apart of and affected by as essential to creating a decent society. "

The only way you are going to give people a say in what we produce is if you give them their own money to spend.

If you replace money with voting, YOU ARE TAKING AWAY THEIR SAY IN PRODUCTION DECISIONS!!!

If I have money and I buy a $10k go-kart, I made that decision over that $10k worth of production. If you now take away my money and give me a vote instead, when I vote for a go-kart and don't convince a majority to agree with me, I have now lost my say!!

.

"We live in a modern and wealthy society, a free ride society; put down your calculator and start embracing the ideas of a classless society where evryone are able to have a decent life."

We don't need to eliminate our economic tools like money and calculators in order to give everyone a decent life!!!

And we don't need to eliminate our economic tools like money and calculators in order to have a classless society!!!

If you were given a right to a job and full pay, everyone would be able to work in any job they want and get paid from $115k to $460k for that work.

Everyone would be wealthy, everyone would have a decent life and there would no longer be classes. Everyone would be equal owners in the means of production and everyone would get equal pay for equal work.

Eliminating money will not enable you to accomplish any of those goals. It will just make the economy worse by making it unmanageable.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Forcing everyone to consume exactly what the majority consumes is not only pareto inefficient, it is also not democratic."

That made no sense.

"Democracy is a Greek word. But it is not a Greek word for "voting" or "mob rule" or "majority wins." It is Greek for "people power." A modern liberal democracy means political power and freedom rests with everyone equally."

I know what the word means.

"Since everything you do in society requires money"

It shouldn't be that way.

"your income determines how much political power you have and determines how much freedom you have."

It shouldn't be that way. That's undemocratic.

"So an egalitarian allocation of income makes society democratic."

But you're suggesting pay proportional to effort. That makes cash unevenly distributed.

Work and contributions can take many forms, the point is that it should be motivated by real human creativity, not money.

"The only way you are going to give people a say in what we produce is if you give them their own money to spend."

No. Voting with cash has nothing to do with democracy.

"YOU ARE TAKING AWAY THEIR SAY IN PRODUCTION DECISIONS!!!"

Calm down, buddy. No, in a classless participatory democracy people control their own lives, workplaces and communities democratically. Workers' self management means people really do have a say in production decitions.

[-] -1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Then who cleans the toilets? Eventually someone decides who would do it.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Let me begin by linking to a comment made by jart a couple of weaks ago who explained this brilliantly:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/alternatives-to-capitalism-which-is-best/#comment-808209

Work that noone wants to do should be shared. In the last instance some form of remuneration could also be given. For more on Libertarian Socialism check otu this video I put together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY&feature=plcp

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"Work that noone wants to do should be shared"

So doctors should be forced to clean toilets? Doesn't that now make him a slave again? And is that the most efficient use of his labor?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

People shouldn't be forced to work. If society was organized based on a participatory democracy, we'd have no slavery but freedom, and people would be more than enough willing to take part in all the necessary tasks.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"People shouldn't be forced to work...people would be more than enough willing to take part in all the necessary tasks."

So everyone gets an equal income regardless if they work?

Do you have any proof that enough people would work for free?

Why is it fair for a construction worker who breaks his back every day building our high standard of living to get paid the same who spends every day partying?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"So everyone gets an equal income regardless if they work?"

I wouldn't have a problem with that. The important thing is that people at least get access to the necessities. We should work to make as many services and goods as possible free or at least affordable/cheap.

"Do you have any proof that enough people would work for free?"

People want to participate and be creative. It's a part of who we are.

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

"Why is it fair for a construction worker who breaks his back every day building our high standard of living to get paid the same who spends every day partying?"

A classless society must also be a society with good and decent working conditions. A carpenter shouldn't have to "break his back", he should work in the pace he wants. If there are people who don't wnat to participate in work, then that's their loss. They'd miss out on a lot of stuff, including many social things. But in a highly technological society we can afford to take care of everybody

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"I wouldn't have a problem with that"

You might not. But do you think the rest of the public will when, assuming everyone continues to work part time and I doubt they will even do that, their income drops to $22,000 per year?

And how do you think morale will be among those workers when they are only getting paid $22k regardless of how hard they work?

.

"We should work to make as many services and goods as possible free or at least affordable/cheap."

If you just guarantee everyone a job and pay workers the full value of what they produce, you will be able to pay them from $115k to $460k.

They would all be wealthy. You wouldn't have to make anything free. Everyone can afford whatever they want.

.

"People want to participate and be creative. It's a part of who we are. "

Yes, but they don't want to participate in the hard, unglamorous jobs that most of the jobs we do are. That is part of who we are. Construction workers don't wake up early every day to build infrastructure because that is what they enjoy doing. They do it because they are getting paid.

If you stopped paying workers, the amount of labor people contribute will plummet.

.

"A carpenter shouldn't have to "break his back", he should work in the pace he wants."

The pace construction workers want to work for free is at zero.

You may get half the people to volunteer 1/5th the time. And they will be very particular about who they volunteer for.

At that rate, production would be 10% of what it is today. Everyone would be in poverty if we lost 90% of our production.

.

"If there are people who don't wnat to participate in work, then that's their loss"

No, that is EVERYONE'S loss. When production plummets to just 10% of what it used to be, the entire country suffers.

Doing this is not at all realistic.

And linking to a Noam Chomsky video is not proof that no longer paying workers is feasible.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I want a classless society where everyone, including the ones working hard, get access to the services and goods they need. In a modern wealthy society we can afford to give everyone a decent life.

We live in a society with such enormous wealth and technology, what we contribute is microscopic compared to what we recieve. Let's create a society where everyone gets to have a decent life.

"Construction workers don't wake up early every day to build infrastructure because that is what they enjoy doing."

How do you know that? Isn't that a little disrespectful to the workers and their vocation? Most builders and carpenters love what they do.

"The pace construction workers want to work for free is at zero."

It's not about working "for free". Everyone would have access to the goods and services they needed.

"And linking to a Noam Chomsky video is not proof that no longer paying workers is feasible."

There was an article in between there also :)

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"I want a classless society where everyone, including the ones working hard, get access to the services and goods they need"

That is not what you are doing.

You are significantly lowering the income of workers so that you can pay the same income to people who don't want to work and contribute.

That is not fair and will make society worse, not better.

.

"Isn't that a little disrespectful to the workers and their vocation? Most builders and carpenters love what they do."

That is not being disrespectful.

Construction work is hard work. Most will not continue to regularly work every day if they were not getting paid to work.

Your idea is unfair and completely unrealistic.

.

"It's not about working "for free". Everyone would have access to the goods and services they needed."

When you are not getting paid any additional money for working, you are working for free!

And when you reduce worker pay to a mere $22k so that you can pay everyone who does not work an equal income, those workers no longer have access to the goods and services they want.

.

"There was an article in between there also :)"

Which also contained zero evidence.

[-] -1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

Just an imaginary scenario that I see could easily arise. It could be in a company of any size but let us say it's a business of say 9 people, 5 vote that their particular function requires 4 hours of work a day and the function of the other 4 requires them to work 12 hours. It's an extreme example but a valid question. It doesn't have to be so blatant, it could be small office perks, extra vacation days, anything of value. How do you prevent a slim majority from abusing its position?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

And what if 51% of americans wanted to shoot the 49%? (an example borrowed from M.Friedman btw)

These are just absurd examples with no root in reality. In a real civilized participatory democracy this wouldn't happen.

So what are you saying, that democracy is a bad idea?

"How do you prevent a slim majority from abusing its position?"

Decitions must be done by the participants thru consensus and democratic process. On some issues the majority agrees with you, on others they don't. That's a logical consequence of living in a society with other people.

ChemLady, become an anarchist and be proud of it! :) http://occupywallst.org/forum/become-an-anarchistand-be-proud-of-it/

[-] 0 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

It isn't at all absurd to believe a slim majority could take advantage of the minority. There have been examples many times in history where the "civilized" majority has treated a minority as animals or slaves. Making a minority the same wage slaves you think workers are now isn't much of a stretch. It's also possible for a small group to sell their support to complete a majority.

What I'm saying is pure democracy is only workable if people have pure motives. Unfortunately people don't. Their concern doesn't go much beyond self and family, so there have to be safeguards to protect the minority. How can I believe that there won't be elements in the majority that are willing to rule unfairly? Your problem isn't with capitalism so much as it is with people.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Stupid and even immoral laws can certainly be implemented thru democratic process, sure, but society must be organized on democratic principles.There's no way out of that. The alternative is minority rule and dictatorship, and that's awful. It's important that people get to have a say in the things they're a part of and affected by, even though it could lead to some stupid laws here and there. Besides, the type of democracy I want is one that is built and controlled from below making the right to participate proportional to how much you're affected and part of things. An anarcho-syndicalist participatory democracy would keep the things you're talking about down to a minimum.

[-] 0 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

We have a society organized on democratic principles in our representative republic. If it is failing it's for the same reason an anarcho-syndicalist participatory democracy will fail. You have missed an important element in having a successful democracy. You need voters that are informed and willing to stay informed. We don't have that and it's likely we never will. Your vision depends more heavily on individual informed participation and is, in my opinion, therefore likely never to succeed.

People do have a say in how their government is run, but by failing to stay educated and participate they have voluntarily given up that right. You may want the people to have more say, but they seem to want less. Giving more power to a population that doesn't get involved can only make things worse.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"We have a society organized on democratic principles in our representative republic."

and I just want more democracy. The economy is an important factor in society, it's not unreasonable that this sphere becomes more democratic.

"You need voters that are informed and willing to stay informed."

Sure, but isn't that your wish as well? Shouldn't our goal be to create a society with more informed and knowledgable human beings?

"We don't have that and it's likely we never will."

You're making no sense. It's not a law of nature to have a society with apathetic and ignorant people. It is the statecapitalist society that produces these tendensies, adn it can all be changed.

"Your vision depends more heavily on individual informed participation and is, in my opinion, therefore likely never to succeed."

Well, in the society I want it's up to the individuals how much they want to participate and learn, and in this society people would be encouraged to become more engaged.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

What you want isn't seen by the majority simply as democracy. Anarcho-syndicalism is more an economic system than a system of governing. It's reliance on small groups makes directing a nation of over 300 million clumsy and inefficient at best. Then there is the immorality of it. One of the basic aims of anarcho-syndicalism is to confiscate private property. That is seen as theft by a vast majority of the people. Taking property from people that have not violated any laws, is an immoral way to set up a society. As immoral as actual slavery would be.

I do wish voters would become informed and stay informed. Under those conditions capitalism could be better regulated and a more fair system of taxation could be arrived at. I also believe that a representative republic would be a better form of government. I do not see anarcho-syndicalism as either workable or desirable as a method of governing the nation, even with an informed electorate.

True, it isn't a law of nature that people are apathetic about government, and maybe that personal laziness can be changed, but until it is no system of government based on participation will function as well as it could. The reality of things is that you are also right when you say it's up to the individual to participate and learn. Since many have elected not to stay informed it makes keeping a representative form of government more necessary.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"The history is a bit of a distraction from the topic at hand. Freeing the slaves was only threatened to get the Southern States to return to the Union. Even then the law, moral or not, was respected by the national government, followed, and changed under the constitution. The Southern States were given a choice and although morally disagreeable, had they chosen to return to the Union, slavery would have continued for a time."

The point I was making is that laws, even though many people support them, can be immoral and should be dismantled. Your statement "Taking property from people that have not violated any laws, is an immoral way to set up a society" doesn't seem very thought out.

"The changes we have made in those areas have all been done through the legal process, not by the mob."

Anarchism can only become reality when the people and the communities want it. I'm a strong supporter of democracy and democratic process, and I think it's important to remmeber that there's lots more to democracy and building democracy than just putting a piece of paper in a box every 2nd year.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

Laws can be immoral or become immoral when the culture changes. That isn't really relevant. A society must not violate it's own laws, even those that some view as immoral. They must me upheld until they are changed through the process outlined in a nation's constitution.

The laws you find immoral regarding the employer-employee relationship may be immoral in your view, but just saying they are doesn't make it so. That is the position of an insignificant minority. Be that as it may, if the laws are to be changed the legal path provided by the constitution has to be followed.

If you believe that anarchism can only be instituted when a majority agree to it, then that's pretty much the end of the discussion. The majority don't seem to have any desire for anarchism for a variety of reasons.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"It doesn't matter how you see libertarian socialism, many see flaws in it and over 99% of the population reject it."

And like I've said: Attitudes can change.

"It's remained a fringe movement, showing slight growth during economic downturns then fading away again when the economies improve."

The success of anarchism is far less than what I want obviously. But the main reasons for this is propaganda and existing power structures crushing attemts. Most people would embrace the ideas of Libertarian Socialism if properly introduced to them.

"Some people will always lead, dominate, or control others"

Thes kind of attitudes have been used to justify discrimination of women, blacks, minories; they've been used to justify monarchies and other frms of tyrannies. But eventually people have gotten rid of lots of tyrannical systems and discrimination. Any decent human being should not except these pessimistic attitudes but work to create a better society without these tendencies.

"If my boss is too domineering I look for a new job, I have choices, everyone does."

Like I've explained: The power structures in society limits freedoms in many cases.

"What guarantee would any worker have that the group management would feel any less domineering anyhow?"

No system will have any guaranties that everything will be perfect, but it's essentia to a decent sociuety that people should be able to control their own lives.

"Businesses that stay within our laws shouldn't be arbitrarily punished "

It's not about punishment, it's about democracy and freedom.

"Their pension funds and health care funds are invested in stocks"

In an all encompassing statecapitalist economy it's hard to avoid it totally, and many unfortunatly partialy buy into the system. It just means that the struggle must continue.

"it's unlikely that the majority would vote for anarcho-syndicalism against their own financial interests."

Anarcho Syndicalism would beneft the population big time. The only ones that will not benefit are the people with undemocratic power.

"Your opinion that capitalism must be abolished seems to be based on the idea that it is made up only of large corporations."

Wealth is in fact very highly concentrated. 1% own almost 50% of inv.capital.

But it's a matter of principls. People should have right to particpate and be in control of their productive work, no matter what size the institutions they work at are.

"I could agree that the concentration of financial power needs to be looked at, monitored, and regulated, but through the legal system we have."

Libertarian Socialism can only become reality when the people and the communities want it. I'm a strong beliver in democracy and democratic process, and I think it's important to remmeber that there' s more to democracy than just voting once every 2nd year.

"I believe the way society is organized is due to the way people are. If a majority act in a certain way you may influence others, those you don't typically make up your criminals"

Structures in society and attitudes among the population are not static, they can be changed radically.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

Attitudes won't change without some level of proof that libertarian socialism would actually be better. I see it as a flawed system.

It isn't your message being crushed that concerns me, it's the message itself I find disturbing. I see a much greater potential for positive change through the system we have. I find very little that you've said convincing and require some solid demonstration that your form of societal organization could work in the long term. I'd also want to see owners fairly treated, meaning paid for any property taken.

Again just saying anarcho syndicalism would benefit most people isn't any kind of proof, it's just your opinion. Your belief isn't enough for me. I seriously doubt it would be enough for the 54% of the population that has an interest in the stock market.

If you want to change the distribution of wealth that can be done through taxation, it doesn't require the leap of faith that anarcho syndicalism does.

You have your principles, they are based on your beliefs. I don't have the same beliefs, I see the workers as having control over their lives. They have made decisions that have placed them in their present circumstances, it isn't the role of society or government to reset their life for them. Workers make a choice to work for someone, making that choice doesn't give them the right to take property that does not belong to them. That principle of property redistribution alone probably kills anarcho syndicalism with most people.

Society can and certainly does change slowly over time. You can certainly hope for radical change, but I believe it's pointless to change society in the hopes of changing people. It has to be the other way around, better people will form a better society. Just giving people a structure won't change them.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Anarcho-syndicalism is more an economic system than a system of governing. It's reliance on small groups makes directing a nation of over 300 million clumsy and inefficient at best."

The point is that democracy is being built from below including thru the economic institutions. Anarchism can be globally spread if enough people wanted it. The point is that it's controlled from below, including representation when needed. Libertarian Socialism is about people having the right to democratic say proportional to how much one is affected and part of things. Strong local democracy is therefore important.

"Then there is the immorality of it. One of the basic aims of anarcho-syndicalism is to confiscate private property. That is seen as theft by a vast majority of the people."

What's immoral is one person controlling and dominating another. Undemocratic hierarchy and control must be dismantled, and therefore removing the right to private ownership on the means of production and economic institutions is important.

There’s nothing controversial about that. Current property rights are not graven in stone; they’re not some unchangeable laws of nature. They can be changed just like they were, a certain time ago, changed into the ones we have today. Just like the wealthy business owners have been given the right to own more and more of the economic institutions, including the means of productions others are using, other forms of rights can instead be implemented like f.ex giving the workers the right to control their own workplace democratically.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/property-rights/

"Taking property from people that have not violated any laws, is an immoral way to set up a society."

And what if the laws are immoral?

"As immoral as actual slavery would be"

Interesting that you mentioned slavery here. The slave owners didn't break any laws, their property (blacks) according to the law belonged to them. I'm guessing your principle mentioned above don't count anymore right?

"Under those conditions capitalism could be better regulated and a more fair system of taxation could be arrived at."

That would be a good start. The thing is that capitalism is immoral in it self. It allows some human beings to have undemocratic power over others. Capitalism must be abolished:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-abolished/

"I do not see anarcho-syndicalism as either workable or desirable as a method of governing the nation, even with an informed electorate."

More direct participatory democracy and co-operative economic systems is perfectly feasible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRy5ZIYZok&feature=plcp

"Since many have elected not to stay informed it makes keeping a representative form of government more necessary."

But what we need to do is to create a society in which the willingness to become and stay informed and engaged will be encouraged. In soceity run to a large extent by corporate interests many people become alienated and ignorant.

[-] -1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

It doesn't matter how you see libertarian socialism, many see flaws in it and over 99% of the population reject it. It is true that anarchy, or anything else could be globally spread if, as you say, people wanted it. They simply don't, the population has rejected the various incarnations of anarchy for centuries. It's remained a fringe movement, showing slight growth during economic downturns then fading away again when the economies improve.

Some people will always lead, dominate, or control others, that even happens in anarchistic groups. If my boss is too domineering I look for a new job, I have choices, everyone does. What guarantee would any worker have that the group management would feel any less domineering anyhow? Businesses that stay within our laws shouldn't be arbitrarily punished because they don't fit your opinion on what is moral or your opinions on wage slavery.

Yes laws can be changed, but you need majority support to do so. Lump all anarchistic movements together and you don't have 1% of the population. You may see it as something we "must" do. The majority disagrees. In point of fact the majority has an interest in maintaining a capitalistic system for the economy as well as the constitution and laws we have.

It's ironic that the groups that should be most receptive to your views, union members, have a very large investment in maintaining the capitalistic system. Their pension funds and health care funds are invested in stocks. More than half of all Americans have a financial interest in capitalism remaining successful and businesses remaining profitable. If you could hold a referendum it's unlikely that the majority would vote for anarcho-syndicalism against their own financial interests. The actions of the United Auto Workers Union back up this opinion. They have rejected worker ownership, they sold off the shares of company stock given them.

Your opinion that capitalism must be abolished seems to be based on the idea that it is made up only of large corporations. Corporations with more than 1000 employees make up less that 0.1% of the businesses in the United States. They do employ nearly 45% of the workforce, which is why regulation and laws guaranteeing workers' rights are important. The vast majority of businesses, over 75%, do not have employees at all.

I could agree that the concentration of financial power needs to be looked at, monitored, and regulated, but through the legal system we have. Your solution, to abolish capitalism in favor of a more socialistic approach, I find excessive, ill advised, and against the best interests of the majority. Unions, ordinary people, business owners it would seem agree, as demonstrated by the barely negligible support for any form of anarchy.

I believe the way society is organized is due to the way people are. If a majority act in a certain way you may influence others, those you don't typically make up your criminals. You can't simply change the organization and expect the majority of people to change, that's got it backwards. You would need to change the majority first, or wait for change in their attitudes to occur naturally, then changes in society will follow.

[-] -1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

We're getting into too many topics. I'm breaking this into two replies. The history is a bit of a distraction from the topic at hand. Freeing the slaves was only threatened to get the Southern States to return to the Union. Even then the law, moral or not, was respected by the national government, followed, and changed under the constitution. The Southern States were given a choice and although morally disagreeable, had they chosen to return to the Union, slavery would have continued for a time.

Individuals can demonstrate against what they see as an immoral law, we saw that with civil rights and we see it today with abortion, and gay marriage. You may sway opinions, you may also get yourself arrested, but that is a risk people choose to take when they take a moral stand. The changes we have made in those areas have all been done through the legal process, not by the mob.

[-] -3 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

thats a job for ms .obama. the cleaning, not the deciding.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Is there an ism in there?

[-] 2 points by ogoj11 (263) 2 years ago

Hey VQ, even though you're not very friendly I've decided to offer you the following insight into the Romney campaign.

It's all modeled on the Most Interesting Man in the World commercials.

"Stay poor, my friend."

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Lol. very funny. Weren't we in the middle of a Hugo Chavez discussion?

What happened?

[-] -1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Now be nice or VQkag2 may get you for that one.

[-] -2 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

is he the ows version of robespierre?

[+] -4 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You have the choice to work or not. You may decide to homestead in Alaska and live off the land, be a doctor, or flip burgers. We all make decisions that determine the course our life takes and may have an impact on future choices. Some choices, on schooling, drug use, participation in crimes, may limit the control we have over our future. Even so there are always choices, people can change jobs, change locations, get training.

What you want isn't possible for everyone. There will always be tasks no one wants to do. If you insist on seeing that as slavery then it will always be there.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"You have the choice to work or not."

This is a very superficial way of looking at it.

Agreements taking place in this kind of system are of course far from being voluntary. In a capitalist / state-capitalist class society, you have some people with huge wealth and recourses - which on the national and global level are very highly concentrated - and others with very few or no wealth and resources. It is of course meaningless to talk about “voluntary agreements” in such a society, because the ones owning the recourses, the wealth and the means of production etc, have much more power in society. That includes of course that they have the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring, negotiations etc. So the non-owners - the workers - are trapped in a society in which they, in order to have a decent life or necessities in order to survive, must sell their labor to people who have much more power than they. This has very little to do with voluntary agreements, rather it’s submission to necessities.

So in reality we have a system in which some people, because of their wealth and ownership, have an overwhelming power in society, including in the labor marked. The owners, the employers, then have much more influence and power when contracts and agreements are being made, whether it’s in relation to working conditions, salaries etc.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-exploitation-and-involuntary-agreements/

"We all make decisions that determine the course our life takes and may have an impact on future choices."

And these "choices" are very often deep down caused by class affiliation.

"There will always be tasks no one wants to do. If you insist on seeing that as slavery then it will always be there."

http://occupywallst.org/forum/noam-chomsky-on-wage-slavery/#comment-828060

Work that noone wants to do should be shared. In the last instance some form of remuneration could also be given. The most important thing is that things should be organized within th framework of a participatory democracy.

[+] -6 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Superficial or not, every person every worker has a choice. It can start with a simple job application, fill it out or keep looking for work. If I'm in a job I don't like I begin training for a new one. Some of us may later be trapped by our choice not to educate ourself.

On work no one wants to do, what if people refuse to do it? A highly trained professional refuses to flip burgers or wash windows or whatever. Would he be forced?

The workplace is democratic only for those that have contributed to the formation of that workplace, the owners and investors. Those that are hired for a task have no responsibility for anything other than that task and have not contributed anything to earn additional rights. If workers want democracy in the workplace they need to buy their own facility.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Superficial or not, every person every worker has a choice."

And I just said that this is not correct.

"It can start with a simple job application, fill it out or keep looking for work."

We're talking about the situation workers are in when working. It's the fact that workers are forced to sell their labor to people with undemocratic power. This is intolerable.

"If I'm in a job I don't like I begin training for a new one"

Sure.

"Some of us may later be trapped by our choice not to educate ourself."

Sure. Not wnating to become a knowledgeable human being means you're missing out, but is your choice. But this has not much to do with the issue of wage slavery and people having the right to control their own workplaces.

"On work no one wants to do, what if people refuse to do it?"

Then the task would not be done (just like if noone wanted to do a certain task in today's society)

"Would he be forced?"

Noone should be forced to work. The necessary things must be done based on voluntary agreements. In the society I advocate where people are in control of their own lives, work and community ( http://occupywallst.org/forum/become-an-anarchistand-be-proud-of-it/ ), the feeling of responsibility and participation would flourish.

"The workplace is democratic only for those that have contributed to the formation of that workplace, the owners and investors."

So are you saying that if people have contributed very little or nothing to things in society, then they shouldn't have the right to participate in the decitionmaking over these things?

It must be the participants who should get to decide over the things they're a part of. Undemocratic hierarchy with owners and investors at the top must be dismantled.

"If workers want democracy in the workplace they need to buy their own facility."

No way! Building co-ops is great, and I hope they'll grow in number, but the economy is all-encompassing. The wealthy must be stripped from their power.

[-] -1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I don't see it as intolerable or undemocratic. Workers got into their jobs through their choices. If you make a poor choice early on it may limit you in the future, that isn't the fault of the employer or the system. It certainly doesn't give you the right to determine how the business you are employed by will be run. You want something that is simply unfair to the typical small business owner.

You say no one should be forced to work. That ignores the fact that force or financial incentive may be the only way certain necessary tasks get done. You're back to the idea of what you think is slavery again.

For society in general everyone should have a say in societal issues, because we are that society, we all contribute. You're say usually ends at my door however. I have more rights then you do when it comes to my private property. Businesses are privately owned. There are private property rights and those are not likely to change, a vast majority of society wants them. The owners of a business determine how it's run, the employee decides if he wants to work under those conditions, quit, form his own business or co-op, it's his choice.

If all this fluff about anarchy and democracy is really just about vengeance against the wealthy, then simply go after changing the tax laws. That at least would have some popular support and a chance of success. Most businesses are not owned by the wealthy. Most people are employed by small businesses and it's the owner that has and should have the say in how his business is run.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"I don't see it as intolerable or undemocratic."

Corporations are not run democratically, ergo they're undemocratic.

"Workers got into their jobs through their choices."

And I countered this claim showing that this is not true. You keep repeating a claim I've countered and shown is false..

"If you make a poor choice early on it may limit you in the future, that isn't the fault of the employer or the system."

I'm not talking about poor choices, I'm talking about the social situaltion and class affiliation being a crucial factor in the choises one makes.

"It certainly doesn't give you the right to determine how the business you are employed by will be run."

Absolutelty. People should have a right to have a say in the things they're a part of and affected by.

"You say no one should be forced to work. That ignores the fact that force or financial incentive may be the only way certain necessary tasks get done."

Nope. Like I said, the society I advocate where people are in control of their own lives, work and community, the feeling of responsibility and participation would flourish.

"For society in general everyone should have a say in societal issues, because we are that society, we all contribute."

So why shouldn't people also have a say at the workplace? This is where people spend lots of time and energy.

"You're say usually ends at my door however. I have more rights then you do when it comes to my private property. Businesses are privately owned."

There are different kinds of “affairs”; some that only affect you, and the ones that affect others. What you do in your personal life; which color you decide to use when you paint the walls in your living room, or what you do in the bedroom etc, things that don’t affect other people, that’s totally up to you, and is your decision alone. On the other hand, if you choose to make decisions that affect other people in your community or the national economy, for example by being in control of a huge corporation that’s a big part of the economy, and is the workplace of lots of people, well then that’s something completely different. If you make decisions that affect other people, well then you have to expect that the ones affected will intervene in these affairs.

When it comes to the economy we’re not, as individuals, living in an isolated bubble of some kind, just “minding our own business”. On the contrary; when it comes to the economy we’re all in the same boat. The economy is all-encompassing and affects us all.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/debunking-libertarian-myths-pt-2/

Democracy in the economy is therefor very important.

"There are private property rights and those are not likely to change"

Property rights are not graven in stone. And just because today's property rights probably not will be dismantled entierly in the very near future does not mean we should't keep on working to dismanle them

"a vast majority of society wants them."

Attitudes can change.

"The owners of a business determine how it's run, the employee decides if he wants to work under those conditions"

And this is an intolerable immoral system. It must be dismanlteld and replaced by democracy.

"quit, form his own business or co-op, it's his choice."

that does not change the conditions for those still working in the privat tyrannies. The economy is also all encompassing, the whole system must be challenged and dismantled.

"If all this fluff about anarchy and democracy is really just about vengeance against the wealthy, then simply go after changing the tax laws."

It's not about vengance, it's about freedom! Higher taxes on the rich is an important short term goal, but it can't stop with that.

"Most businesses are not owned by the wealthy. Most people are employed by small businesses and it's the owner that has and should have the say in how his business is run."

Private wealth is very highly concentrated. The top 1% own almost 50% of investment capital. So much power in the hands of non-elected individuals is intolerable. State-capitalism must be abolished.

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

There is no real point in going through all this point by point. You have a faith and see things only in a way that supports your preconceived notions. The things you are calling proof I see as simple opinion. I disagree with those opinions and find what you call counter arguments unconvincing. I also disagree with the original premise that employees have no choices or that they are slaves.

I see your particular solution, anarchy, as undesirable and worse as unworkable. Fortunately it doesn't matter considering that faith in anarchy has actually shrunk in the last century. There are ills in society and capitalism needs to be regulated, but I'm not willing, and I don't see society being willing, to throw it out for some new religion of anarchistic socialism.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"You have a faith and see things only in a way that supports your preconceived notions."

Not any more than you, I think.

"I disagree with those opinions and find what you call counter arguments unconvincing."

Well why don't you counter them then? You said that workers have a choice, I say that it's not that simple and present arguments pointing to social factors etc, and then you just repeat what you said to begin with. Counter my arguments then. I'm I wrong when I point to the social factors being dominant in which decitions people make?

"I also disagree with the original premise that employees have no choices or that they are slaves."

So counter it then. (I have btw not said that they have no choices)

"There are ills in society and capitalism needs to be regulated"

That would be a good start :)

"but I'm not willing, and I don't see society being willing, to throw it out for some new religion of anarchistic socialism."

This has to do with freedom. I don't understand why you would regard the wish for real human liberation as controvercial or religious.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Your position has nothing to do with freedom. You wish to leverage the false notion that workers are enslaved into an excuse for illegally penalizing those that own the means of production.

Setting aside my beliefs that anarchy is unworkable. At present it is unattainable, and it has nothing to do with peoples' attitudes. The self interest of the majority prevents anarchy from being considered. A majority of people are directly or indirectly already owners through the stock market.

Although it's currently at its lowest, 54% of Americans currently have an interest in the stock market. What you are in effect attempting to do is to convince the majority to illegally take property from itself. You need a better approach then telling workers to unite and strike for ownership of production. More people "own" and depend on the current system then don't.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Your position has nothing to do with freedom"

Absolutely. It has everything to do with freedom. Real human liberation is not complete until people are in control of their productive life. Overcoming oppression and illegitimate power and domination is what Anarcho-Syndicalism and other forms of Libertarian Socialism is about. It's about creating real freedom.

"You wish to leverage the false notion that workers are enslaved into an excuse for illegally penalizing those that own the means of production."

I explained how workers are trapped in a system which limits their freedoms to a large extent. My arguments have yet to be countered by you.

It's not about penalizing, it's about creating a free democratic society in which individuals are in control of their own lives. Just like the immoral system of slavery had to be abolished, and the slave-owners deprived from their rights to own blacks, capitalism must be abolished and undemocratic concentrated private power must deprived from their power.

"The self interest of the majority prevents anarchy from being considered"

Achieving an anarchist society would make life much better for the entire population. If introduced to the ideas of anarchism http://occupywallst.org/forum/become-an-anarchistand-be-proud-of-it/ most people would embrace them.

"What you are in effect attempting to do is to convince the majority to illegally take property from itself."

Illegally? Change must come thru building real engaged democratic communities and cooperation. Anarchism can only be established if the people and communities want it.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

With freedom comes responsibility. The worker and employer are in the position they are in because of choices made through their entire life. It isn't the function of society to compensate some workers that used their freedom to make poor choices.

It is simply a fact that the employer has invested time, money and energy into a business, and has built it under our laws. This earns him the right to make the decisions. The employee hasn’t done any of that, he hasn’t earned the right. He's exercised his freedom in a different way, choosing to risk less, choosing to take on less responsibility.

He may bring a skill to sell, if he wishes, he may do so. No one forces him to be an employee his personal situation may make alternatives unattractive, but that isn’t the employer’s fault. It also isn't due to any lack of freedom. Employment is offered under certain conditions, the employee accepts them or doesn’t, it’s his choice.

The fact that you disagree with that legal arrangement isn’t relevant. The vast majority of our society accepts it. The anarchists from academia have been trying, unsuccessfully, to change the mind of the public for a long time. The popular view is that your choices through life lead you to where you are. If those choices turn out poorly you can’t expect to make things better by taking from others.

Even for the long term employee, he may choose to continue with his employment or terminate it at any time. It is possible, though often difficult, for anyone to change jobs at any time. You may not believe that, but I see it as a fact.

The employer may have the power, but that is due largely to choices made by both the worker and business owner earlier in life. If workers are trapped it’s because they made poor life choices building the trap themselves and freely walking into it. Now they have to live with their decisions. The majority is not going to remake the world because some workers made poor choices.

“Real human liberation is not complete until people are in control of their productive life.” I can accept that because I believe people are already in control. The employer sets the rules because he owns the business, work for him or not, you are free to choose. The worker is free to start his own business or unite with other workers, get a loan and form a co op. As I said, I believe we all make choices that lead us to where we end up in life. Once your well down that path it isn’t up to society to make it better for you or give you an undeserved do-over. Especially at the expense of the people that have made better personal, educational, financial, and business decisions their whole life.

You wish a libertarian socialist society. To get it you may have to build it one successful cooperative business at a time. There could be support for laws assisting the formation of co ops, but I don't see it ever happening for the kind of all at once change you propose. It may be difficult but not as difficult as convincing a majority to take from those that bought and paid for a business and give it to those that didn’t.

While you've said before that attitudes can change, but the views of the majority toward libertarian socialism have remained fairly consistent. It's seen more as penalizing the successful or theft of property, and for all practical purposes it has no popular support in this country. There isn't even any noticeable support from workers unions.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"The worker and employer are in the position they are in because of choices made through their entire life."

Again, class affiliation and power structures in society limit and affect the freedom of choice to a large extent.

"It isn't the function of society to compensate some workers that used their freedom to make poor choices."

I'm not talking about poor choices, I'm talking about structures in society that limit and affect choices and freedoms.

"It is simply a fact that the employer has invested time, money and energy into a business, and has built it under our laws."

And workers have invested time and energy into the business as well, they should have a say as well. laws can be changed to giving workers these rights.

"This earns him the right to make the decisions"

I don't think so. I don't want undemocratic hierarchy and domination. Any decent human being should see that all forms of tyranny, private tyranny included, is immoral and illegitimate.

"He may bring a skill to sell, if he wishes, he may do so. No one forces him to be an employee his personal situation may make alternatives unattractive, but that isn’t the employer’s fault."

Again, it's a question of democracy. People should have a right to a democratic say in the things they're a part of and affect them.

"The vast majority of our society accepts it. The anarchists from academia have been trying, unsuccessfully, to change the mind of the public for a long time."

So what. It took a long time to dismantle slavery, soviet tyranny, feudalism etcetc. We just have to keep on fighting for human liberation.

"you can’t expect to make things better by taking from others"

You mean like corporations have done for decades, and which topped in 2008 with the enormous multibilliondollar taxpayer bailout?

"Even for the long term employee, he may choose to continue with his employment or terminate it at any time."

If you think it thru you'll soon figure out that "if you don't like it, why don't you just quit/move" is an extremely poor argument.

One’s access to resources is vital in terms of the actual choices and freedoms you have in this type of economy. The more wealth and recourses you have, the more power, choices and freedom you have.

"If workers are trapped it’s because they made poor life choices building the trap themselves and freely walking into it."

You're again totaly ignoring the fact that class affilliation and access to resourses is a huge factor determining the choices people make.

"I can accept that because I believe people are already in control"

people are not in control. People don't control their own lives ad work, so we don't have real freedom.

"The employer sets the rules because he owns the business, work for him or not, you are free to choose"

The economy is all-encompassing. We're forced to live in a society with huge private power and control over our lives.

"The worker is free to start his own business or unite with other workers"

Well, the thing is that in order to start a business in a capitalist society, you very often need capital - preferably a lot of capital - in order for it to have a realistic chance of being successful. So that means that, yes, if you’re rich and wealthy it is relatively easy to create “your own business” in a capitalist economy. On the other hand, if you’re poor or an “average Joe” however, the chances of succeeding are not very high.

Many are also in a situation in which they have a mortgage for example, or small children that depend on the current income, so just quitting and trying to create a new business, means taking a very serious risk; a risk that many naturally would find pretty undesirable. There’s of course the option of working to create this business while at the same time keeping the current job, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, at least in a little longer term perspective, that would be such a hard task, take up so much time and effort, and would create such a strain that it would, to most individuals, not work for very long.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/debunking-libertarian-myths-pt-3/

"As I said, I believe we all make choices that lead us to where we end up in life."

Sure we do, but there are structures in society that plays a huge role in which choices we make and can make.

[-] -1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I disagree with your opinions that class affiliation or societal structures are primarily to blame or that people lack control over their lives. I see you as being wrong on both counts. So when I ignore the effect of class, it's because I don't believe it's a significant factor. You offer nothing in your opinions that convinces me otherwise.

Workers don't control the workplace because it isn't their property to control. The workers' right to vote on anything ends when it attempts to trample on the individual rights of others. The worker agrees to work for a wage, he may form a union to improve his bargaining power, but he hasn't earned the right to take private property. The workers return on their investment is their pay, that is what they agreed to when they became an employee, that is all they are entitled to.

It’s always possible to change laws. I don’t see any merit in your opinions or any reason for me to support a change. I don’t see workers as being forced into slavery at all. They choose to enter into an agreement to work for pay, knowing the owner makes all the business decisions. I disagree that there is any need to change this arrangement.

Money may equal power but there are better ways to redistribute wealth that don't involve libertarian socialism. Noting you've said offers any proof that libertarian socialism would actually work and you seem opposed to building it through co ops over time in order to prove its viability.

Regular people start businesses all the time. Three quarters of all businesses in the US have no employees at all, they are owner run. One in seven workers work for themselves. Yes it's a risk and some people take it and others choose not to, that is how freedom really works. If you choose not to take the risk you don't get to take the property of those that succeeded just because you made a different choice and don't like the outcome. That isn't democracy it's a form of the law of the jungle. Taking what you have the voting strength to take with no regard for anyone's individual rights.

Economic downturns happen, recoveries follow, bailouts should not be made, companies should survive or fail on their own merits. If you can find illegal activity then prosecute. If regulation is lacking change the laws. I'm opposed to giving corporations any kind of subsidy for their poor choices too. None of what happened to cause the economic downturn in 2008 convinces me that libertarian socialism is any kind of solution. It's simply adding another bad idea into the mix.

[-] 1 points by 1971 (154) 2 years ago

You also have a choice whether to accept an inferior society that exploits the population or try to fight injustice and establish a better society for our future. If the founding fathers dealt with choices like you do, they would have accepted "the system" and we'd still be paying taxes to the throne.

[+] -4 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You don't know what my more general political solution is, you only know I believe we have a choice about the work we do. You may also correctly surmise that I believe the cause of an anarcho-syndicalist society is a futile one. Partly because a vast majority don't want it but also because I believe it runs counter to human nature and would have the same basic problem that our republic has. That problem is an electorate that isn't interested in staying educated about their government.

[+] -5 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 2 years ago

Chomsky is a dinosaur. He is irrelevant.