Sunday, June 22, 2008

We Are All Slaves?

One of my classmates posted this:

Melissa, our assumption is that the United Statutes is a democratic country, on paper maybe, but in reality it's a capitalistic country. The man with the gold makes the rules. In other words, if you are poor you are nothing but a free slave. Slave, because you have no choice but to work for someone else and on their terms.

I stewed and stewed on this for awhile.  I originally just intended to leave well enough alone and ignore such obvious ignorance.  But I couldn't let it stand - responding thusly:

I can think of nothing more democratic than capitalism. The goods and services that are available are chosen directly by the people.

Capitalism drives so much choice that nearly every preference can be accommodated.

Careers aren't chosen for us by a faceless bureaucracy, they are the result of the choices that we make and the preferences that we exercise.

The comparison to workers as slaves is deeply offensive as it makes light the true plight of slavery - looking at the wealth that the average American (indeed even the poorest American) has it is difficult to imagine the American system as anything remotely close to the abject humiliation, cruelty and barren living conditions experienced by slavery.

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1 comment:

  1. "Slave, because you have no choice but to work for someone else and on their terms."

    Really? No choice? With all those public schools and student loans and taxpayer subsidies that somebody else pays for and are designed precisely to offer such "slaves" ever more choices? Not to mention going into business for oneself and assorted other career paths?

    In realty, what terrifies people like this is precisely the fact that in capitalism they are required to make choices. It instills outright panic in them.