Musings

Dave Long dl@silcom.com
Wed, 17 Oct 2001 11:45:03 -0700


> >                                ... entire political
> > philosophies were built around the importance of the
> > independent farmer, not just as the center point of
> > the economy, but also as the sine qua non of human
> > life. Later, political philosophers were written around
> > the factory worker, though these saw factory work
> > as necessary rather than as ennobling.
>              Just as Jefferson's defense of the ennobling character of 
> agrarian life was written long before industrialization threatened it; just 
> as Marx's work on the ennobling character of non-alienated labor was penned 
> well before automation threatened factory jobs.

Was Jefferson's emphasis on *independent*,
or on *farmer*?  It's been a while since
I last read him, but I think he wasn't
defending agrarian life as much as he was
defending liberal life.

It is easy to imagine farming being done
by either hired hands or independent yeomen
(with a possible nod to efficiency to the
former); it is difficult to imagine assembly
line work being done by independent hands.
(would that then be non-alienated labor?)

-Dave

> This is an interesting point, although I'm not sure that there were really 
> any political philosophies built around the factory worker and factory work 
> as necessary.

Syndicalism?

> stock options were supposed to eliminate the "manager/agent problem" that 
> berle and means identified by giving them something that would make them 
> think like owners.

My fiancee reports that goshawks continue
to hunt so long as one gives them a few
bites of the quarry.  They don't need the
lion's share, just a piece of the action.

I had been thinking there ought to be
applications to the commisioned worker,
but perhaps this model applies to the
management in a human-capital concern
as well.