Friday, October 31, 2008

Exploitation and the Working Class

While surfing on the internet the other day, I decided to take a gander at a democratic socialism website in order to gain a greater understanding of how socialism would appeal to the common man. As I suspected, the message was geared toward an audience that has a victim mentality. It was truly shocking to realize the level of blame they place on the wealthy minority for the miseries they experience in their own lives. It was fascinating to take a peek into their view of the world. They believe “the poverty and misery, the oppression and exploitation that marks our society is the result of control of the world’s wealth and productive resources by a tiny class that exploits the vast majority of society.” Ayn Rand counters this socialist argument so much more eloquently than I ever could, so I will just let you read what she has to say about men gaining wealth by “exploiting” lesser men:

But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What
strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the
product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a
motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the
intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the
incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made--before
it can be looted or mooched--made by the effort of every honest man, each to the
extent of his ability.

Is it possible in a society as free as ours, with as many opportunities as we have, for an employer to “exploit” his workers? I have a hard time believing that there are many individuals in our society that would even take a job unless they believed that it was in their best interest, and they had something they would gain from that employment. One of the many benefits of living in a society as mobile as ours, is the fact that employers lack the ability to “exploit” their workers, because as soon as an employee felt that their employment was no longer mutually beneficial, they would quickly move on to greener pastures.

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