A libertarian arguing why wage labour is never exploitative

A libertarian arguing why wage labour is never exploitative

A marxist arguing why wage labour is always exploitative

How can deadlocks like this be overcome?

Other urls found in this thread:


I agree that this is the key issue that separates socialists and libertarians. I usually to press on the "voluntary" part. For one, just because it's voluntary doesn't necessarily mean it's ok: The Universal Declaration on Human Rights says “no one should be held in slavery or servitude, slavery in all of its forms should be eliminated.” - it doesn't say it's ok if it's voluntary. Secondly and this is the main one: is it even "voluntary"? In capitalist society saying wage work is voluntary is like telling someone to punch themselves in the face or you'll shoot them and then saying they punched themselves voluntarily.

All value is produced by human labour. Nothing else. For example gold aquires value only once a miner has invested labour to extract it. Machines and technology do not create value, they are simply a multiplier, they allow a worker to produce more value for the same amount of labour.
The employer claims to have the right of ownership over part of the worker's labour because he owns the means with which such labourer created value, the implication is that it was his possessions to create said value through the worker and not the opposite. Of course it is not the case for what we said before, the worker is being robbed of his labour.

good enough?


This is an easy one. The capitalist mode of production is not voluntary. I didn't agree to live under it, and as a consequence of having been born under it one must also work under it or starve to death. And if one is forced to work for an employer or starve then it is in no way unforced.

Libertardians are of the belief that it's no longer slavery if you voluntarily give consent

Actually fuck all of these. Moral critiques of capitalism are weak and too slippery. We should be more scientific and selfish about it.
1. It doesn't matter if capitalism is moral or not; it's an unstable system that's going to collapse
2. I don't give a fuck about your rights or morals, I personally want a shorter working week and more money

It's not a deadlock, the """"libertarian"""" is a dishonest idiot who believes employer and employee contracts can only be voluntary. Ignoring the fact that his private property pushed people off from subsistence farming and into wage slavery.

By saying this you reveal quite clearly that you don't know what moral actually means. Exploitation is not a moral judgement.

And even if it was not the case it is necessary to dismantle the moral armour of capitalism if you want to bring more people out of the spectacle.

Socialism vs capitalism wasn't ever about morals, it was about inefficiencies, contradictions, and exploitation

Pointing out the fact that people are forced to live under capitalism isn't moralism. It's just the reality we live under today.

It is this sort of thinking in absolutes why libertarianism implodes in irony. By bringing conceptions like voluntarism, consent and freedom to absolutes, by replacing their undefinable meaning with defined rules, they change into something that is unrecognizable to their original conception, often as kafkaesque contradiction (prime example being the Rand cult and Molyneux with his defooing). Like madness does not have to be a lack of rationality, but can also be over-rationality, so is totalitarianism not a corruption of ideology, but ideology grinded upon its own axioms. Think of the Larsen effect which renders any piece of music into deafening resonance. My criticism of marxism is similar.

There must always remain a personal judgement, a conscience.

This is like the taxation is theft argument, and so is my answer; this is not what is meant with robbery.

That's one perfectly logical conclusion, effectively taking voluntarist logic to it's end conclusion of existence itself being involuntary and therefor immoral.

Way to go, killer.

No, they're redefining exploitation. not to question the marxist concept of exploitation, the dictionary definition.
2 :to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage

"Voluntaryism" completely throws the social context you are born in out of the window. You don't choose your government, you don't choose the layout of your town, you don't choose the way schools teach subjects etc.
There is a massive accumulation of choices made before your birth which affect you.

verb (used with object)
to utilize, especially for profit; turn to practical account:
to exploit a business opportunity.
to use selfishly for one's own ends:
employers who exploit their workers.
to advance or further through exploitation; promote:
He exploited his new movie through a series of guest appearances.

exploit verb [ T ] (USE WELL)

B2 to use something in a way that helps you:
We need to make sure that we exploit our resources as fully as possible

exploit verb [ T ] (USE UNFAIRLY)

B2 to use someone or something unfairly for your own advantage:
Laws exist to stop companies exploiting their employees.

exploitation isn't when put a gun in someone's face and make them do something for you. exploitation is when you dupe them, like with get-rich-quick schemes, dubious wording, inbetween the lines contracts, deceiving advertising, psychological manipulation…
The working class aren't forced to have their surplus value extracted, revolt is always an option, exploitation is only exploitative because they're previously BLINDED BY IDEOLOGY

What if the miner is an autonomous robot?

Say what? How can the electricity company exploit a nuclear plant then?

Unless you find a way to calculate the surplus value of every worker (an impossibility) and offer no provisions for those incapable of work, they are.

Their solution for the people who do not want voluntaryism/anarcho-capitalism is those people aquiring land where they can do whatever they want. Their ideology requires an abolishing of all nations, with all of humanity then neatly reconciling their differences through carving up the earth in privately owned areas to be divided among them according to their beliefs. The complete impossibility of such an enterprise, let alone that there is nothing that prevents the property rights based system of planet ancap from collapsing in the first seconds of its inception is completely irrelevant to them. It simply must be so, because to make an argument, you need to own your argument, for which you need self-ownership which means anarcho-capitalism.

I can personally aim a gun at you at all times and say if I fire and kill you it's not my fault since you voluntarily chose to stay in that position.
even better if you do it on your property and claim the NAP

the robot didn't make itself


u wot
pages 12-15 m8

Labor vouchers suck. Gib energy backed currency.

Whether the ancap arguments work depends on how you define the terms. Running to a thesaurus does not solve our problems though, even if we have exactly the same one, since one word has multiple meanings, and understanding the definitions requires that we understand those words. Ultimately, the words don't prove their meaning by themselves, our understanding is not something a baby can learn by being locked up with a dictionary, you have to get out in the world and interact with people. Words like "fair" and "justice", even though not strange words to tweens, are incredibly complex concepts and there are quite some differences between cultures. I once overheard a co-worker talking with an immigrant colleague who was very upset that somebody posted bullshit on social media about him. The immigrant asked about how to talk with the police and whether the co-worker can be a witness and so on, and the co-worker had to repeatedly explain that it's just BS and nobody cares and takes that seriously. The immigrant was very upset (but, my honor!), since he really expected that sort of thing would result in the "criminal" getting several months in jail.

"Defense" and "aggression" seem like simple concepts, but determining what is the status that deserves to be defended is not, and with that, the non-aggression principle is a very muddy issue. We all know that history is not a story of people respecting NAP, there is people taking land from others, slavery, spoils of war etc. and it is impossible to rectify all of that (even if we had the force or consensus to do it, we don't have all the data). A hypothetical ancap future society has to create a starting point for NAP-violation reparations for NAP to be a practical concept, and based on where you put that point, you arrive at different NAP-conforming wealth distributions. It's also unclear how much defense can be allowed, any defense? Killing somebody for stealing a paper-clip?

Implicit in many ancap arguments is defining a non-exploitative change in the following way: two people promise each other to do something and share the result in some ratio, both people follow through and prefer the new situation to the old (which is why they agreed to it, duh), then it can't be exploitation. There are some obvious problems with that: If person A causes a problem for person B and then offers to help finding a way to improve the situation again, though all in all it's worse for B than the situation of complete non-involvement of A, then your ancap friend probably sees that as a NAP violation. So far, so easy. But there are billions of people in the world and people as groups create problems for each other. If group A makes life worse for group B in aggregate, while individual people from group A help individual people from group B, the analysis that only sees pairs of people can't see the injustice in that. Suppose group A digs trap holes, group B falls into the holes, individuals from group A who know where the holes are help people from group B out of holes they personally didn't dig themselves in exchange for money. If you only look at the individual pairwise deals before judging the situation, doing that is okay.

"There is no such thing as society, only individuals." LOL. There is no way you can ignore society. Let's go back to the situations with really only two people, a potential seller S and a potential buyer B, both have an individual threshold value, the price point where they are okay with the deal to happen, and for S the situation is even better if he gets more money than his threshold value, and for B the situation is of course even better when he gets to pay less than his threshold value. Suppose the threshold value of B is higher than that of S, then the trade should happen and some amount of money anywhere in that interval will improve the situation for both relative to the trade not happening, BUT what will the actual price be? There is no way to create a computer program that does all of the following: 1. figures out a price by having both tell it their threshold values, 2. let's a trade happen whenever B>=S, 3. that doesn't tax or subsidize the amount of money changing hands, 4. that works in a way that telling it your honest threshold value is never a sub-optimal strategy.

What follows from all of this is that price formation is a technical-social process involving more people than two, and it involves making estimates how desperate somebody is, and so it also involves bluffing that you are less desperate than you actually are (this is massive structural disinformation cancer throughout the system as everybody is dishonest about how shitty they are really doing), and when you are desperate you will sell cheaper and buy higher than you would if only you could afford to wait a bit, and it's a repeating process where people who are very desperate in one round tend to be very desperate in the next, desperation appearing to cause itself again and again in the same people.

How do we prove this conclusively? Some jobs don't do shit really and exist for no reason. In some ways Marxism doesn't apply to all situations and we need a broader critique. Honestly no Marxist has been able to satisfactorily explain to me the BS jobs phenomenon.

the reason is that there is a guy who wants to make a lot of money without doing a lot of work, so he hires people to do a lot of work in exchange for a fraction of the money. the rest of the money is called surplus value.

This is actually one of the best arguments for why the ideal free market is impossible. You can't have something that relies on perfect (or at least equal) access to information when the reality is a sort of game of chicken between how much effort you want to spend deceiving and manipulating someone vs how much effort the other guy wants to spend getting information and defending against scams. The best counter-argument to this would be that since both parties are interested in doing that it should ideally lead to a sort of equilibrium… but of course nothing even remotely close to that ever happens, and if it miraculously did you would probably just see one or both sides walking away from the deal.

I understand this, but what you're ignoring is that sometimes people get paid an average amount of money for not doing shit. I know people with desk jobs who just fiddle around with spreadsheets and what not, and they're not bosses. This is why critiques of capitalism need to expand beyond Marxist ideas, which were developed under conditions different from our post-industrial economy. Here is Graeber, a non-Marxist libertarian socialist on the idea: evonomics.com/why-capitalism-creates-pointless-jobs-david-graeber/

I've still never heard a Marxist adequately address this before.

I don't know how Marxism handles it but I know most classical economists would consider that behavior a form of rent-seeking.
In fact, the rent-seeking nature of modern labor contracts definitely deserves to be critiqued if we want to point out capitalist inefficiencies.
Austrians might reply that it occurs because the labor market is not liquid enough due to labor laws and other statist meddling or whatever, but this ignores both the more fundamental reality of the human resource management process and the constraints that get organically included in labor contracts through bargaining without any legislating, especially at the upper levels where bullshitters proliferate the most.

It can’t. Libertarians need to realize that just because something isn’t coercive, does not make it voluntary. If your options are work or starve then it’s no different than work or be murdered. So even though the capitalist isn’t the one imposing exploitation on the worker, the worker still is not making a voluntary choice when they submit to it. In other words the relationship isn’t voluntary, especially when you take into account the fact that the resources to feed/clothe/house people already exist, meaning that the threat of starvation isn’t inherent or natural, it’s imposed on them by restricting access to those resources. So the choice is forced on the worker, not just by want, but by want caused by coercion.

To simplify it, no system where a tiny elite monopolizes the goods needed to survive and only allows the majority access to them in exchange for servitude can be called libertarian.

of course, but the entire point of marxist critique is that capitalism is grossly inefficient and produces these exact situations. you need to have pointless jobs because capitalism squeezes everything it touches to the point it's not profitable anymore and then you have to make up something else to keep the system going.

I think there is a more rudimentary distinction beneath this one, it's not just this issue of value, it's a philosophical belief about the absolute invariant agency of the individual. All of libertarian beliefs are predicated on the idea that individuals are free from social influence or interference aside from government taxation and anything else should just be seen as a stumbling block to "pull yourself over." They seem almost incapable of believing anything can be involuntary other than a few government actions and extreme situations like slavery.

This reminds me of what happened with a poster I refer to as 'Herr Neoliberal' in . This person made the same claims as any libertarian world, then when confronted with dilemma between working and starving he said 'well if you don't want to starve or work go to the forests and survive there'. First, labour would be inescapable and gruelling. Second, there is no need for livelihoods to be so brutal and unproductive as far as I can see; so far he has merely provided is-ought fallacies. He did not like it when I brought up mutual-social benefit and screeched about his morals and social-Darwinism. I also told him about the large amounts of disinformation and how perfect welfare-maximising 'rationality' is a meme and nothing more, which he acknowledged when he screeched inequality was natural (and 'good' in his analysis because muh Darwin).

Well, if you don't want the commies to steal your shit, just don't possess shit.

no, kys

Well, if you hate property just don't let people have property.

R A F I Q | W A S | R I G H T | A G A I N

ah yes, those very intelligent proles would most certainly make very good use of that money if it was given to them

we're gonna throw it all in a volcano and make you watch

Land has value

Fuck off I'm coming for that toothbrush

Y'all muthafucka need Spooner;

– No Treason (1870)

All true value is the utility of what is valued. Any other system of labor is paradoxical and frankly fucking retarded (I'm looking at you capitalism as well, with your fucking retarded speculation systems and irrationality).

Land only has value of what can be done on it or what can be extracted from it. Algeria owns a lot of land, but it's shitty desert with no utility.

only if a farmer invests labour on it.

So we're entitled to confiscate the property of all those Rich Kids of Instagram is what you're saying


It has no utility value, only subjective value to the individual.

However, exploiting nature for money is (almost, you filthy porky) universally agreed to be fucking shit morally.