The Dim-Post

February 24, 2009

Question of the Day

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 7:40 am

What ever happened to Stakhanovitism?

It’s not just about enough rest, enough play, family and friends, “work-life balance”, stress, happiness and overall quality of life – it’s fundamentally about who is making the decisions: time spent doing what I want to do versus time spent doing what other people want me to do. And only during the former am I really free. Every moment I spend working to pay the rent1 is thus a very real intrusion on my liberty. Which is why they call it wage slavery

Truly capitalism is just a form of slavery where we get to work pretty much wherever we want, whenever we want, doing whatever we want.

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24 Comments »

  1. If NRT and Jordan Carter don’t want to work that’s fine by me. As long as they don’t exepect to use the health and education services that others provide via their wage slavery. And don’t expect the government to put a roof over their heads.

    A truely bizarre argument for lefties to be putting forward. In stark comparison to Obama’s message – everyone has to work harder in these hard times for the communal good. But being a successful self-made individual that’s the sort of ethic one would expect.

    Comment by Neil — February 24, 2009 @ 9:07 am

  2. “Truly capitalism is just a form of slavery where we get to work pretty much wherever we want, whenever we want, doing whatever we want.”

    yeah, but not everyone has the same amount of choice. i think that’s what I/S is getting at.

    if you’ve a bad education and a poor start, then the chances of you working whenever you want for whomever are pretty limited. you’re also highly likely to be poorly renumerated, which means you have less discretionary spending, and therefore have free-time that involves watching TV.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 24, 2009 @ 9:21 am

  3. “if you’ve a bad education and a poor start, then the chances of you working whenever you want for whomever are pretty limited.”

    Maybe, but if you happen to live under the economic and political system that we in the west enjoy, then you also have a tremendous opportunity to rise out of your situation and make something of yourself. Not so much in communist countries, where everyone but the people in power lived in the gutter.

    Comment by radar — February 24, 2009 @ 10:55 am

  4. I don’t think limited access to education is a problem I/S, Jordan and Chris Trotter struggle with. Quite the opposite.

    Comment by danylmc — February 24, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  5. The “wage slavery” argument applies to anyone that receives a wage, not just to those who are disadvantaged. It sounds so much like “Tax is Theft”.

    Comment by Neil — February 24, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  6. That “tremendous opportunity” is specifically what is denied to a lot of people. Pointing to the rare case of someone who left high school at 15 unable to read or write but who nonetheless became a multimillionaire merely highlights the unlikelihood of the event.

    The wage slavery point is that few of us can choose to work fewer hours for less pay, either because we work for someone else who values “full time” workers more, or we’re small business owners who have not made the transition to being able to buy services to run our businesses. I suggest actually going to job interviews and asking about working 4 days a week for 80% of the salary if you think it’s easy to get part time work at full wages.

    I’ve lost jobs and failed to get hired in the past by saying that I’m happy to sell my time to my employer, but if I’m doing voluntary work it’ll be for an environmental NGO, not a profit-making business. So anyone saying “we expect regular overtime and that’s built in to your salary” had better have time in leiu in the contract too, or hard limits on the overtime and an above-average salary they can point to. Sure, pay me 20% over the odds and I’ll work 10%-15% extra hours…

    For those who accept that we live in a society rather than an economy, I think the idea that those who work could work less so that those who want to work but lack jobs can work more has merit.

    Comment by moz — February 24, 2009 @ 11:59 am

  7. “Not so much in communist countries, where everyone but the people in power lived in the gutter.”

    sorry radar, that simply isn’t true. having met and/or worked with numerous people from former communist eastern states? things weren’t as bad your american propaganda made out. anyone who had an iota of ability was *actively* pushed to succeed in education, sport, science (or was that putsched! bada-boom!)

    granted, conditions were shit, but in the wake of the capitalist reforms in russia many citizens (who were landless serfs before communism came along) were stating that they’d rather have bread than democracy.

    in the transition to the sterling example of western, corruption-free statehood putin’s russia is? they had neither to any great effect.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 24, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

  8. “I don’t think limited access to education is a problem I/S, Jordan and Chris Trotter struggle with. Quite the opposite.”

    yes, everyone has equal opportunity to access education. But there is plenty of research showing that your ability to make the most of that access is dependent on a number of other variables, including household income.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 24, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  9. “granted, conditions were shit, but in the wake of the capitalist reforms in russia many citizens (who were landless serfs before communism came along) were stating that they’d rather have bread than democracy.”

    Better not tell them about the famines then. Or having to queue when there were actually items on the shelves.

    Comment by radar — February 24, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  10. dude, i’m not defending communism. just saying that you might find that reality was a little different to the 1980s propaganda.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 24, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  11. “anyone who had an iota of ability was *actively* pushed to succeed in education, sport, science ”

    Once again Che gives the clue but remains clueless! “Actively pushed”: such as pumped full of life-shortening steriods so that they could win gold medals for the glory of the motherland. Or pushed to build space rockets to keep up with the west, or build nuclear weapons to keep up with the west.

    Perhaps some of the scientists and engineers who were forced to work on the soviet space programme would rather, given the choice, work for a boutique company that built beautiful sports cars, violins or personal computers.

    Mate, things weren’t as GOOD your USEFUL IDIOT propaganda made out…

    How would YOU like to live in a society where you were FORCED to design and built nuclear weapons?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 24, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  12. “Truly capitalism is just a form of slavery where we get to work pretty much wherever we want, whenever we want, doing whatever we want.”

    Or you could start your own small business and become a slave to the bureaucracy…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 24, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  13. ever spoken to someone from the USSR clunking? or you just reading from the morons guide to first year politics?

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 24, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

  14. Speaking of the USSR, Dmitry Orlov gave a brilliant presentation on how, for all its shortcomings, the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the USA will be.

    “I am not an expert or a scholar or an activist. I am more of an eye-witness. I watched the Soviet Union collapse, and I have tried to put my observations into a concise message. I will leave it up to you to decide just how urgent a message it is.

    Comment by ropata — February 24, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

  15. I JUST put that Orlov presentation onto my iPod, looking forward to hearing it when I walk home tonight.

    Or you could start your own small business and become a slave to the bureaucracy…

    You realise all the international surveys constantly rate New Zealand as the easiest country in the world to do business . . .

    Comment by danylmc — February 24, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  16. You realise all the international surveys constantly rate New Zealand as the easiest country in the world to do business . . .

    Yes, but Danyl, those surveys are written by far-left organisations like the World Bank and the Heritage Foundation…

    Comment by Eddie Clark — February 24, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  17. “Capitalism is the unequal sharing of happiness whilst socialism is the equal sharing of misery” W Churchill

    Comment by Captain Crab — February 24, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  18. But I enjoy my job…

    And, I’d also question the idea of ‘free-time’ as being a symbol of ‘freedom,’ given the way that marketers can seemingly manipulate us like marionettes. You realize that shopping is one of our most popular free-time hobbies now – is that real freedom?

    Comment by Sam — February 24, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  19. “ever spoken to someone from the USSR clunking? or you just reading from the morons guide to first year politics?”

    Good call, I haven’t actually, but then, have you meet Obama? Okay, we mustn’t believe everything we read, but all my teachers were union members and vote Labour, and even they conceded that USSR was a shit place to live. Until the anti-smacking provisions, I’ve not felt compelled to spy and report on my neighbours…

    ;^)

    “You realise all the international surveys constantly rate New Zealand as the easiest country in the world to do business . . .”

    Sure, it is worse overseas (I was in the UK for nearly 5 years and loved the place, but it nearly drove me spare) but at least they have gynormous domestic markets (that ARE wealthier than ours) and very close neighbours. We suffer the tyranny of distance and it is a REAL cost. So marginal advantages in regulation are just window dressing…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 24, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  20. @19, what does obama have to do with this? i have spoken to people who lived in the soviet union, most of them for the better part of their lives.

    the common theme is that communism is shit. but, it wasn’t as bad as the US’s propaganda made out. all your slightly mad comments about the place, and sidestepping equivocation are just bullshit.

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 24, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

  21. “sidestepping equivocation are just bullshit.”

    LOL! Point out please where I have mis-represented what life was like in the USSR. I suspect I am not even AWARE of this outrageous US propaganda of which you speak…

    And for your info, present-day Russia is NOT an example of what we would call a naked capitalist free-market: active warlords, lawlessness and a lack of respect for the rights of citizens is not prescribed in any economics text book or research paper that I’VE ever read…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 24, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

  22. I’d also question the idea of ‘free-time’ as being a symbol of ‘freedom,’

    yes, freedom = doing what I want, is an oddly Ayn Rand sort of definition of freedom.

    It ignores the web of social obligations (often mediated by the “economy”) that are an essenetial part of Society. People are free not to work but please don’t ask others to work on your behalf to provide your health care for the only reward of being insululted as “wage slaves”.

    I think the idea that those who work could work less so that those who want to work but lack jobs can work more has merit.

    But are they going to work less hours for less money or the same amount? Take nurses. OK I’m sure they would want to work less – but how many are willing to earn less? And if they get paid the same where does the money come from to pay the extra staff and where does that extra staff come from given the present shortage?

    And increasing the numner of part-time staff will always cost more than having full-time staff.

    Comment by Adolf — February 24, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

  23. clunking, you get antsy when you hear goats walking over your bridge?

    Comment by Che Tibby — February 25, 2009 @ 8:02 am

  24. :^)
    Yeah, my manners here aren’t always the best, big sorries! In truth I get antsy when a socialist opens their mouth or my wallet.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 25, 2009 @ 9:26 am


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