In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote: The liberal reward of labour, as it encourages the propagation, so it increases the industry of the common people. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives. A plentiful subsistence increases the bodily strength of the labourer, and the comfortable hope of bettering his condition, and of ending his days perhaps in ease and plenty, animates him to exert that strength to the utmost. Where wages are high, accordingly, we shall always find the workmen more active, diligent, and expeditious than where they are low.
And in another place, he explains the advantages that the business owner has over the workers, being able to dictate the wage negotiation, while the worker has no means of making demands. If the worker does not like the agreement, he is welcome to be replaced by another, and leave his own family to starve:
A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate.
In Marx’s description of the same truth, he is more blunt:
Wages are determined through the antagonistic struggle between capitalist and worker. Victory goes necessarily to the capitalist. The capitalist can live longer without the worker than can the worker without the capitalist.
In other parts, Marx very critically describes the destruction of the capitalist imposition upon its workers:
But political economy knows the worker only as a working animal — as a beast reduced to the strictest bodily needs. “To develop in greater spiritual freedom, a people must break their bondage to their bodily needs — they must cease to be the slaves of the body. They must, above all, have time at their disposal for spiritual creative activity and spiritual enjoyment. ” Money, then, appears as this distorting power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be entities in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence, and intelligence into idiocy. Since money, as the existing and active concept of value, confounds and confuses all things, it is the general confounding and confusing of all things – the world upside-down – the confounding and confusing of all natural and human qualities.
- capitalist: the false “owner” of production who has purchased a piece of land, been given a “title of ownership”, invested collected wealth to build a production facility, and then employs poor workers as slave animals to create more wealth for himself.
- political economy: the conditions under which production or consumption within limited parameters is organized in nation-states
Alienation is a major subject of Marx’s writings. It begins with the fact that in our current system, unnatural ownership of land and production rights have been delegated to the wealthy, while in truth, the workers have as much right as any to utilize our earth for home and creative production. So, the worker has been alienated from his/her natural right by a government document that consigns those “rights” to wealthy individuals. Alienation continues in that the worker has a nature that enjoys creative and beautiful production. However, the worker has been separated from that right and human nature by being forced into a “job” of repetitive actions that are dictated by the owner and factory manager. The worker is not allowed to enjoy the full and natural process of transforming raw materials into a beautiful product. They’re only allowed to screw on a piece of it. The worker is further alienated at the time of getting paid. Instead of receiving the pile of items he/she has actually worked to produce, they are instead given “money”, which is always a fractional value of their actual product. So, from beginning to end, workers are deprived of those rights that are dictated by human nature – equal ownership and productive rights, creativity, and reward – are all stripped away.
So, it would make sense, what we see in our society, the endless pursuit of amusements, chemical abuse, mental illness, and even suicide. We live in a system that does not allow most humans to be natural humans. And the disgusting reality is that the system in its entirety depends on THE WORKER ! Not on the fat-ass capitalist sipping champagne on his yacht.
The existence of capitalist organizations like ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) is the continued and expanded collusion of capitalists with false “government” to extend the privileges of their “ownership” of society. They bust union efforts, keep wages below the poverty level, eliminate environmental responsibility measures, and purchase the politicians who will enact their privileges into Law. Since the 1950’s, the U.S. has engaged in no less than 50 covert actions to assassinate leaders, topple governments, and destroy nations. Hegemony is the idea of dominating all of humanity and leaving no alternatives. So, anytime a nation of people is developing along alternative lines, or is “uncooperative” with the U.S., they can expect to be annihilated.