Speaking on behalf of the rest of the world, why do you put up with this?
One might say the American trade union movement has completed a perverse historical experiment, testing the possibility of constructing a labor movement on the basis of hostility to socialism and defense of the profit system. Today, fifty years after the founding of the AFL-CIO on the basis of Cold War anti-communism, history has rendered its unequivocal judgment: a resounding “no.”
What they actually sell to the capitalist for money is their labour-power. This labour-power the capitalist buys for a day, a week, a month, etc. And after he has bought it, he uses it up by letting the worker labour during the stipulated time. With the same amount of money with which the capitalist has bought their labour-power (for example, with two shillings) he could have bought a certain amount of sugar or of any other commodity. The two shillings with which he bought 20 pounds of sugar is the price of the 20 pounds of sugar. The two shillings with which he bought 12 hours' use of labour-power, is the price of 12 hours' labour. Labour-power, then, is a commodity, no more, no less so than is the sugar. The first is measured by the clock, the other by the scales.
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