The mechanism of exploitation

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 10:25
Print

Marx was much concerned with the notion of exploitation, which he regarded as inherent to Capitalism. But the only people who can exploit other people's labour are landowners. They can even exploit owners of capital, properly defined. (that is one of the defects of Marx, he lumps land and capital together and calls them both capital). The situation is understandable with this parable.

Twelve people arrive on a fertile island. Under a pile of stones on the highest point on the island, they find a chest with the title deeds to all the land on the island. They share it out equally between them. An hour later, another boat arrives and the passengers disembark. They have no alternative but to accept whatever labour contract the first arrivals will offer. Or they can starve. The fact that they might have brought with them capital in the form of machines or domestic animals matters little.

So far as I am aware, Marx does not postulate this situation, which lies at the root of all exploitative situations.

 

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site

EU Cookie Directive Plugin Information