Monday, 24 September 2012

Waged and Salaried Slavery

A.R. Orage, editor of The New Age, was one of a number of writers in the early twentieth century who portrayed the truth about the employment system. Better to put oneself into the position of the owner of land and capital, and thereby work on one’s own terms, than to place oneself in a position of waged or salaried slavery to an employer. No matter what the perks, total dependence upon a wage or salary from an employer or employing body is wage (or salary) slavery. The capitalist can be an individual entrepreneur, but today is more likely to be an employing body, a private or state corporation. Either way, the employee serves the capitalist in a position of servility. As Orage explained in An Alphabet of Economics (1917), published during the First World War:
“The capitalist owns one or other or both of the two only tools employed in the production of wealth: elemental tools—part of the land, water, or air; or secondary tools—the implements of production: ships, machines, houses, etc., or legal promises of them. Now as, without access to the elemental tools or the use of the secondary tools, labourers, however skilled, can produce nothing, it follows that for permission to use them they must be prepared to pay, unless the permission is given them. But it is of the essence of the character of the Capitalist that he will not give permission to workmen to use the tools he possesses. He will only sell permission to them. And again, he will not even sell to them, if he can help it, but he will only lend to them. And, still again, he will not lend to them if he can help it, but he prefers that the labourers should lend themselves to him. This lending by labourers of their energy and skill to the capitalists who own the main tools of production is called working for wages; and in England four men out of five belong to this class. They are slaves of the tool-owner, since without his permission—who has, be it remembered, both classes of tool in his possession—they can produce absolutely nothing. This lending by men of their energy and skill to the owners of the tools of production is disguised in the case of the clerical, managerial, and professional classes in various ways—by calling a job an appointment, or a wage a salary, or by being permitted to wear a bowler and a white collar on work-days. In fact, however, all men who do not possess one or other of the tools of production are proletariat, depending upon the sale of their energy and skill for a living.”
Easier said than done? Watch this space! And see The New Home Economics Study Guide, published in The Social Crediter (Autumn 2012), available on

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