Freedom To Starve
June 26, 2019 9:01 AM   Subscribe

“Workers even lack the power to hold their bosses to account for a wide range of abuses at work — even when those abuses are illegal, such as sexual harassment and wage theft. The scale of wage theft — effected by forcing workers to work off the clock, work overtime without extra pay and numerous other scams — is vast. It exceeds the sum total of all other thefts in the U.S.” Capitalist Workplaces Set Bosses Up to Be Authoritarian Tyrants (Truth Out) “Employees won a few of their smaller, concrete goals, such as getting laid-off people rehired, but the international caved in to management when it came to the demands among Lords-town wildcatters for greater control over their own working conditions. “They were unable to win freedom from work,” Loomis said, “or freedom from that kind of work, because they were just starting a conversation and it never had the time to really come to fruition.” The Road Not Taken (New Republic)
posted by The Whelk (11 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
 
Liz Anderson, we stan a philosopher queen. Here's one of her priors on the blue.
posted by grobstein at 9:16 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Yeah big fan of Anderson here, she's popular in my little political circles. What is the point of equality, eh?

Denison has the words “Union Thug” tattooed across his forearm in sweeping script.

Nice.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 9:50 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Great article. Had to take a break from it because of angry.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:54 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


There might be interest in a book I'm currently reading, Direct action gets the goods : a graphic history of the strike in Canada. Well researched and illustrated. Just out this year; TPL has ten copies.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:01 AM on June 26


I've said this before, but this is the reason libertarianism is stupid. If your goal is to prevent tyrants from telling you what to do, concentrating power in the hands of business is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Totalitarian secret police blush at the level of control businesses have over their workers.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:14 AM on June 26 [16 favorites]


Its not just that firms take on the function of authoritarian governments in the lives of their employees, but also increasingly in the lives of the individuals and firms who purchase their services. For example (google is failing me right now for the articles) the fact that you probably have to sell on Amazon to survive as a small business and if someone decides to sell products effectively identical to yours but inferior in quality and without your permission under a brand trademark deceptively similar to yours, Amazon probably won't care and there's nothing like a judicial system and body of law and policing authority that you can turn to for help or redress. Because Amazon is both a monopoly and a monopsony. And the libertidiots who dominate Silicon Valley and the Republic Party think that somehow this is OK or something called the free market will fix this. Agh.

Anyway, I'm now going over to my authoritarian overlord shopping website to purchase Elizabeth Anderson's book.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 10:23 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Well, I mean every libertarian sees themselves as the tyrant in their libertarian Utopia.
posted by Reyturner at 10:23 AM on June 26 [19 favorites]


The calculus for most is as simple as the choice to serve in the palace or beg in the street.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:06 AM on June 26


I've said this before, but this is the reason libertarianism is stupid. If your goal is to prevent tyrants from telling you what to do, concentrating power in the hands of business is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Totalitarian secret police blush at the level of control businesses have over their workers.

Libertarianism is better characterized as dishonest than as stupid, in that the name (which Rothbard boasted of having stolen from the left) only makes sense if you go into the dictionary, erase the meaning of "liberty", and replace it with "See Property". The fundamental belief of Libertarianism is that the right/relation of property must be absolute and unchallenged; everything else flows from that. For example, they do not believe that you have a right to traffic in and take drugs because you have an autonomy and privacy that should be respected, but because you are the owner of yourself and your body and that property relation must be absolute and unchallenged.

You might think that they don't want to talk about the implications of human beings being something that can be the object in a property relation (after all, if you can't sell something, your property right over it is not absolute), but that's not universally true. It's just that the ones who are open about that are also the ones that tend to drift rapidly enough into Libertarianism's nextdoor neighbor, fascism, that they become less visible unless you're directly looking at fascism.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:31 AM on June 26 [9 favorites]


> You might think that they don't want to talk about the implications of human beings being something that can be the object in a property relation (after all, if you can't sell something, your property right over it is not absolute), but that's not universally true. It's just that the ones who are open about that are also the ones that tend to drift rapidly enough into Libertarianism's nextdoor neighbor, fascism, that they become less visible unless you're directly looking at fascism.

well and also ,without regard for the libertarian theory on property, libertarianism is also adjacent to fascism (or perhaps more appropriately feudalism) on a material level. once you adopt property rights as the sine qua non of liberty, and once you affirm market exchange as the foundation of production / human social interactions, you're forced into acknowledging that whatever distribution of power and resources that derives from property rights and market exchange is necessarily just.

the thing is, there's a natural tendency for market exchange to produce massive wealth concentrations. marx gets into this in the first few chapters of capital; this tendency is also reflected in folk sayings like "it takes money to make money" and "it's not what you know, it's who you know." the ultimate result of affirming "free" market exchange of property as the foundation of liberty is a condition wherein a few people have great huge piles of money (and thus great piles of practical liberty) while most people have no resources to sell other than their own skin (and thus have almost no practical liberty whatsoever, even though they've got the useless theoretical liberty of being able to freely sell things we don't have). this distribution of resources/practical liberty results in a society that's largely feudal in structure, with most people forced to serve/kiss up to the neo-aristocrats who hold great masses of inherited wealth in order to simply survive.

i'm not at all surprised that most of the dudes i know who were libertarian-leaning back in the 2000s have shifted over to Internet-flavored intellectual movements like the dark enlightenment, which call for no fooling the reëstablishment of monarchy.

tl;dr: it's not just that libertarianism is ideologically similar in certain aspects to fascist ideology, or slaver ideology, or feudalism. it's that when libertarianism is implemented, the economy starts naturally tending toward a fascist/feudal distribution of resources, power, and liberty.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:28 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]




« Older Learning from our ancestors: Chavin and Wari water...   |   Truly, she is America's Judge Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments