wage slavery? [Re: St. Columba...]

Dave Long dl@silcom.com
Fri, 12 Apr 2002 11:04:57 -0700


>                                                      If you can't earn your
> living without the permission of an overlord your little better than a
> slave.

A true statement, but we don't seem
to fall under its antecedent.

> I kind of think people are still frequently held as property and serfs
> except now we're fed so much bs that we fail to recognize it.

Neither property nor serfs can work
"at will".  (would managed game be
a better analogy?  their owners do
not have direct control over their
actions, but they can be generally
expected to hang out: (a) where the
rest of the herd is, and (b) where
supplemental* food has been thrown)

>                          You can't very easily find decent land you can
> just claim and work for your own food and shelter.

Counterexample:

"Re: A modest question: Should we abolish the PhD degree?"
Whitehead, Fri, 31 Aug 2001 10:49:29 -0700 
<http://www.xent.com/pipermail/fork/2001-September/003319.html>
> For example, undeveloped land in California's Shasta Valley (near Yreka) is
> going for around $250-$300 an acre (that's three hundred dollars, not three
> hundred thousand dollars). For less money than you paid for your last new
> car, you can have an 80 acre estate. If you build it yourself, you can add a
> nice house for another $50k-$75k. Much of the food you eat could be grown on
> the property. Electricity would come from solar and wind. Once in place,
> this lifestyle could be supported by about $10k of income per year (mostly
> for insurance, supplemental food and entertainment). Most on this list could
> earn this in a month (or less) of consulting.  Assuming 2 months a year
> maintaining the garden, this leaves 9 months a year of COMPLETE TOTAL
> FREEDOM. You can have a lot of creative ideas in 9 months.

and that's just in California.
I'd expect New Zealand (perhaps
northern Mexico?) to be cheaper.

-Dave

* in Pawson & Matthews (I need
to find the original Taylor --
anyone have pointers?)
> ... using thousands of experiments [Taylor] sought to find the
> optimal answer to every aspect of organizing manual work: from the
> optimal size of a shovel to the optimal frequency of work-breaks.
> To encourage workers to adopt his optimum practices, Taylor advocated
> the introduction of differential piece rates, where the incremental
> rate of pay rose with performance.
> 
> Still Taylor wasn't satisfied.  The workers were making use of his
> techniques, but not consistently.  The solution was to remove all the
> decision rights from the workers: to script their every action.  Taylor
> realized that the workers wouldn't give up their self-determination
> lightly.  To get them to do exactly his bidding -- to order their
> tasks as he said, arrange their space as he said, work when he said,
> and rest when he said -- he would need to increase their overall rate
> of pay.  The amount of this pay increase was just another value to
> be determined scientifically, and the result turned out to be 35%

which pretty much goes along with
Hall's observation:
"middle-class marx [Re: I-P: Capitalism vrs. commies]"
<http://www.xent.com/pipermail/fork/2002-March/009802.html>
> If workers lives are intellectually stunted, it appears that this is
> preferable to them than the poverty that would result from lack of
> specialization.