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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) True Democracy (Read 6428 times)
Proletariat
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #20 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:26am
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keauxbi wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:01am:
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The Industrial Revolution is a very real, non theoretical example of the upper classes being able to exploit the proletariat without using and state force/privilege whatsoever.

You assume that workers during the industrial revolution were exploited.  The fact is they weren't.  If there was a better wage to be had, they would have gone after it.  The workers that were "exploited" in factories of that time were "exploited" on a voluntary basis since working in the factory provided the best means of employment for them.  That is the common misconception that many socialists have.  The better standard of living that the poor now enjoy, the progeny of the "exploited" worker, comes from the "exploitation" of the industrial revolution era. 

Certainly the workers could have had a better wage provided by their employer and certainly they could have had better working conditions but the fact remains that they chose of their own free will to work at those places.  If you deny their choice then you assume they were sold into slavery to the robber barons of the day.


Keep in mind that we are not talking about people being forced to put in unpaid overtime, we are talking about children having stunted growth as a result of spending 16 hours a day in a coal mine. These people chose these awful conditions straight out of Dantes inferno because there was no other option, except starvation. Their bosses absolutely exploited them by taking advantage of their lack of choice and financial desperation. The point is we need laws to prevent this sort of thing, we need laws that state that a 12 year old cannot consent to spending day and night in a coal mine simply because his parents are poor. And it boggles my mind to no end and drive me up the wall why a member of the working class would honestly be so opposed to the idea of providing people with livable working conditions and wages at the expense of abstract, bourgeoise moralisms such as the right to choose ones own working conditions if that means choosing between a sweatshop and starvation?


keauxbi wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:01am:
So you set a law that does X or Y, at the end of the day you give an unskilled, most likely uneducated worker a say so in dooming the company.  So everyone's wages are raised and now the company must "raise their own funds", but where do those funds come from?  No investor would willingly risk money in a company with such mismanagement as that leaving the check to be paid by the customer.  To cover such a hefty pay increase the customers would leave seeking a less expensive competitor.  In the end, the company goes bankrupt.

Ever heard of Hostess? GM? Chrysler?  Detroit? Our recent economic history is rife with union workers bankrupting their employer that their salaries depend on for the sake of their self interest.


All private sector companies would have to raise their own funds and then spread them among their workers and managers. Most workers would be rational enough to know that they better make smart and efficient decisions as to maximize the company's and consequently their own earning power. Some wouldn't, but some bosses drive their own companies into the ground today with bad decisions making so it wouldn't be any different. And yes, many of the workers are uneducated but, at the end of the day, they learn and see what works and doesn't. The manager, who works for them as opposed to vice versa, says hey guys plan X is working but plan Y isn't to raise profits. The workers are rational enough to choose plan X, granted no human/environmental/labour laws are infringed on by X.

  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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Crystallas
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #21 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 10:01am
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Proletariat wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:08am:
I like how you avoided addressing the points: that many people cant really just choose to change jobs and, without the intervention of the government, are stuck in horrid working conditions and poverty. Some people arent the products of personal responsibility but are instead the products of an unfair dictatorship or unfair free market. (And before anybody brings it up, yes technically libertarianism do believe that voluntary unions are fine and that anyone who is being mistreated at work can form one but whats to stop an employer from firing all of them at once?)


How does a person avoid answering someone's strawman argument? I guess I can claim anything to be true without much accuracy, and others would be obligated to succumb.
  
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #22 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 10:13am
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Crystallas wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 10:01am:
How does a person avoid answering someone's strawman argument? I guess I can claim anything to be true without much accuracy, and others would be obligated to succumb.


Ok, fair enough, I'll give you a chance to defend your views. If many a person is stuck in a terrible work environment, how is that, in a libertarian environment, supposed to be dealt with? And it's not a strawman, libertarians play the "he/she made a choice to work there and should/could switch jobs" card plenty, but that's besides the point.
  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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Liberalterian
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #23 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 10:59am
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Damn, you skipped my post Proletariat. Back on the first page, very bottom.
  
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Crystallas
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #24 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 1:30pm
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Proletariat wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 10:13am:
Ok, fair enough, I'll give you a chance to defend your views. If many a person is stuck in a terrible work environment, how is that, in a libertarian environment, supposed to be dealt with? And it's not a strawman, libertarians play the "he/she made a choice to work there and should/could switch jobs" card plenty, but that's besides the point.


But, it IS a strawman. You're making multiple claims here, stating that both are attached to each other. You are claiming to make the libertarian argument as your point. This is a strawman argument. It's not a matter of opinion, and really, it doesn't bother me if that is what you want to do. Allow me to remind you, I am not the libertarian seeking a proletariat site, trying to make the proletariat argument.
  
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Crystallas
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #25 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 1:31pm
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Liberalterian wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 10:59am:
Damn, you skipped my post Proletariat. Back on the first page, very bottom.



He skipped a lot.
  
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Liberalterian
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #26 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 2:41pm
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Crystallas wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 1:31pm:
He skipped a lot.

I guess it's understandable since a lot of us suddenly posted our own thoughts. Still am interested in hearing his opinion on my post though.
  
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keauxbi
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #27 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 3:13pm
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Proletariat wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:26am:
Keep in mind that we are not talking about people being forced to put in unpaid overtime, we are talking about children having stunted growth as a result of spending 16 hours a day in a coal mine. These people chose these awful conditions straight out of Dantes inferno because there was no other option, except starvation. Their bosses absolutely exploited them by taking advantage of their lack of choice and financial desperation. The point is we need laws to prevent this sort of thing, we need laws that state that a 12 year old cannot consent to spending day and night in a coal mine simply because his parents are poor. And it boggles my mind to no end and drive me up the wall why a member of the working class would honestly be so opposed to the idea of providing people with livable working conditions and wages at the expense of abstract, bourgeoise moralisms such as the right to choose ones own working conditions if that means choosing between a sweatshop and starvation? 


That is what worker's unions are for.  If the workers of a community have no other means of employment and the employer are offering substandard means of employment, then the workers can organize and negotiate as a group for better working conditions. But as you illustrated, they all agreed to take the best possible option rather than not. 

As a "member of the working class" I acknowledge that I am responsible for my living conditions and I don't want it provided, I would rather earn it. 


Proletariat wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:26am:
All private sector companies would have to raise their own funds and then spread them among their workers and managers.


How do private sector companies raise funds?
  

Keauxbi
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LibertariCAN
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #28 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 6:01pm
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Proletariat wrote on Aug 4th, 2013 at 1:22am:
My response to Crystallas applies here too. There is practically nothing the grocer clerk can "do in a free society to make a statement". Next to nothing. Also, "voluntary association" is one of those buzz words like "freedom to choose" that really means nothing. It's not that simple. Those who have no alternatives but to be grocery clerks as a career (i.e. they have little power over their lives and they take what they can get due to a lack of alternatives) deserve a minimum wage, safe and clean working conditions, etc... And we, as fellow citizens, absolutely owe them that. And we, as fellow proletariats, would be wrong to support abstract moralisms such as the "right to choose" over vigilantly struggling for decent living/working conditions for our fellow proletariats stuck (either by choice or circumstance) at the bottom of the totem pole of the labour market.


Quote:
My response to Crystallas applies here too. There is practically nothing the grocer clerk can "do in a free society to make a statement". Next to nothing. Also, "voluntary association" is one of those buzz words like "freedom to choose" that really means nothing. It's not that simple.


Practically nothing a grocery store clerk can do? That's an absolute notion that leaves no alternatives in mind. In a free society, there are multiple things a grocery store clerk can do to make a difference about his conditions of employment, his wages, and of course WHERE he works.

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[These people] deserve a minimum wage, safe and clean working conditions, etc... And we, as fellow citizens, absolutely owe them that.


Laws that enforce things like minimum wages, and certain working conditions often do more harm than they do good.

And we as fellow citizens do not "owe" anyone anything. I believe, for instance, that if I ran a grocery store, it would be my moral duty to provide good working conditions and also be open and honest with my employees. That's a set of morals, but these things should not be enforced by laws.

I would also not want MY idea of how a grocery store should be run implemented into law either. Essentially, that is what regulatory laws are; bureaucrats deciding what THEY think a workplace should be like. It has nothing to do with reality or what voluntary entities want to do/have.

Quote:
And we, as fellow proletariats, would be wrong to support abstract moralisms such as the "right to choose" over vigilantly struggling for decent living/working conditions for our fellow proletariats stuck (either by choice or circumstance) at the bottom of the totem pole of the labour market.


You say that it would be wrong as "proletariat" to support a moral system that lets our fellow workers choose whatever they want to do and be their own self-serving entities? I believe the complete opposite:

What is completely wrong is the notion that we have the "duty" or "right" to force, what we believe to be, good working conditions, minimum wages, and other regulations, on our fellow workers and citizens. That is wrong.
« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2013 at 8:17pm by LibertariCAN »  

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Proletariat
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Re: True Democracy
Reply #29 - Aug 5th, 2013 at 3:14am
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Liberalterian wrote on Aug 3rd, 2013 at 9:51am:
That said, let me address some of the details of your post. As for the CEO who can change wages "At will" this is not actually accurate. If a CEO suddenly changed wages however he liked then he would lose a lot of his workers. Imagine if I as CEO (in a condition without the minimum wage) lower your wages from 7.25 to 3 dollars in one day. What do you think would happen? Do you think that the people working for me would say "well, nothing we can do!" or do you think that my competitors would gobble up most, if not all, of my employees? The forces of the markets (through such mechanisms as competition) determine the wages, not any one CEO. That is why even in a monopoly structure you do not see companies paying their workers too little because competition would spring up if they did, they couldn't keep up the low pay indefinitely.


This is not true for unskilled labour. Good points otherwise though.

Liberalterian wrote on Aug 3rd, 2013 at 9:51am:
As for your example of "exploitation" let me just say this. You said there are NO alternatives open to these people, right? So if the "exploiter" didn't arrive those people would have no job of any sort and would starve to death? So tell me again how the sweat job situation is worse... if this improves their lives then it appears to be a benefit, and not a negative situation. Sure the wages might not be great but any wage is better than no wage. Indeed, without the sweat job many people would starve to death or turn towards prostitution to simply survive. Why would you want to relegate people to such a miserable condition?


The exploiter could, by law, be forced to provide bathroom breaks, reasonable schedules and wages, etc... Avoiding a whole lot of misery even though it infringes on the "right" of a bourgeoise to through "voluntary association" suck the life out of desperate people with no alternatives.

Liberalterian wrote on Aug 3rd, 2013 at 9:51am:
Also, as the country develops thanks to the "exploitative" sweat jobs and other investments you gradually see an improvement in quality of life as well as working conditions. This happened EVERY time. Look at Britain, the United States, Germany, and now China. They industrialized and started off with terrible conditions but now everyone is better off thanks to the initial investment. It takes time but Capitalism truly is the best situation in the long term.


I adresses this when I told Crystallas my example of country A, country B and country C and globalization (which he ignored). I too agree that capitalism is the best solution, but not full blown, survival of the fittest capitalism.
  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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