In Reply to: Re: To be forced to work for someone else posted by Klara on October 17, 2001 at 13:08:11:
i don't think choices are the same in all societies and at all times. if you were born in a society where it is normal to work for yourself then you would not think it natural to work for someone else. is it natural to be a slave? not any more or less than it is natural to be a wage worker. i read the same thing as carole and think that it is a good point. you end up being a wage worker when someone takes away your land and your other property needed to work for yourself and leaves you no choice but to work for someone else. the reading also said that things were different in the home country than in the colonies. in the home country people are used to capitalism and so i think people would think more like melissa and bobbie. it would seem normal to work for someone else. but in the colonies it was not normal and people did not want to work for someone else. to make them work for someone else the colonists needed to use force, to get their government to oppress the local people, like in the mission. melissa, do you think the guarani would have voluntarily worked for the spanish and portugese? this was an earlier point i made about how in capitalist society you are taught to fit into a certain stereotype according to which one has to market yourself to employers and a lot of our education and training is about that. in a different society, like the communist society of the guarani, a person would never think it natural to sell themselves to an employer. klara, i do think it is different to work together for a common goal than to work as someone's wage employee, just like it is different being a wage employee instead of a slave.
: But the choice situation wouldn't be so black and white. The issue at stake here is not the present-day choice situation of joining either wage-earners or capitalists. Carole, I wish you could put your message in other words, to clarify the point.
: : i agree with you. i wouldn't want to have to start my own business. i just want to graduate and find a good job.
: : : I don't think that it is unnatural for someone to work for someone else because some people don't have the determination or focus to employ themselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing, if that is what makes you "happy" and truthfully, we need those people to assist those who do wish to work for themselves.
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: : : : This is related to your point, Klara. I actually like the reading on colonization because Marx seems to poke fun at the idea of supply and demand for labor. He shows that the supply of labor is not just a function of utility maximization but is created by historical processes. People have to be forced into a position where they have to work for a wage instead of work independently.
: : : : : I found the idea that it is difficult to impose a capitalist system on people who are used to a different economic system, very intriguing.
: : : : : Although I generally do not like talking in terms of what is natural and what is not, that is definitely how I feel about this subject.
: : : : : Question: do you think that it is unnatural (i.e difficult for a human being) to work for someone else? And how would you define working for someone else? Surely, cooperation to achieve a common goal is another matter, but how?
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