Friday, May 02, 2008

Wage Slavery

From: Wage slavery is a term first coined by the Lowell Mill Girls in 1836, though articulated in concept as early as 1763 and elaborated on by various subsequent thinkers. “Wage slavery is the state where you are unable to perceive choices and create courses of action different from the grind of the job”. It refers to the similarities between buying and renting a person, and denotes a hierarchical social condition in which a person chooses a job but only within a coerced set of choices (primarily working for a boss under threat of poverty or starvation), which make that "person dependent on wages or a salary for a livelihood, "especially with total and immediate dependency on the income derived from “wage labor”. Wage slavery, in the pervasive socialist and anarchist usage of the term, is often understood as the absence of the following aspects
  • Democratic or non-hierarchical worker's control of the workplace and the economy as a whole.
  • Unconditional access to a fair share of the basic necessities of life, and
  • The ability of persons to have say over economic decisions in proportion to the degree they are affected by those decisions.
In terms used by some critics of capitalism, statism and various authoritarian systems --particularly anarchists-- wage slavery is the condition where a person must sell his or her labor power, submitting to the authority of an employer in order to prosper or merely to subsist.

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