Similarities Between Modern Wage Labor And Chattel Slavery

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What does modern wage labor have in common with chattel slavery? What’s different? While some like to refer to wage labor as “wage slavery” and call workers “wage-slaves,” others dismiss such figures of speech as misguided rhetoric and say wage labor has nothing in common with slavery. However this idea is misguided, and this paper will present not only the differences but also the similarities between wage labor and slavery so uncanny that it can be said that wage laborers are, in fact, slaves in all but name themselves. To compare chattel slavery to modern wage labor we must first define what each of them is. Chattel slavery is so called because people are treated as chattel (personal property) of their master and were bought and sold as …show more content…
In exchange for wages often the least amount possible all the work productivity becomes the property of the employer. Wage is a fascinating mechanism; it has all of the benefits of the slave system without the abhorrence of being slaveholders. Wage laborers are compelled to obey the orders of the “boss,” who owns the instruments of production, and in all cases decides what to produce and how to produce it. Nothing belongs to the laborer neither their labor nor their activity. However, in wage labor there is remuneration through wages in slavery there is not. One might say you can’t compare wage labor to chattel slavery because of the palpable difference in one you are free in the latter you are not. However, are you really free? If you are fortunately situated, you get up every morning religiously to prepare to go to your nine to five job, where your boss treats you well and you are satisfied with your work. Slaves could also be content if they also had kind masters that clothed and treated them well. The truth is you are at the mercy of your employer’s whim. Whether the economy is doing good and job are abundant is not relevant you will need to find work to survive, hence you are a slave to work where you must sell your labor to survive; if you and your employer have a severe disagreement the one ending up fired is the …show more content…
Some would argue there is no comparison because wage slavery does not exist. However, it would be foolish not to think of wage labor as slave labor. Yes, chattel slavery was cruel and abhorrent and is now illegal in every country, but to say it is more abhorrent than wage slavery would be a misnomer. Yes, the most obvious difference between chattel slavery and wage labor is a person 's freedom. Yet are you free? Would you be able to survive in modern society without some type of wage? The dependency on wage for subsistence is not any different from a slave and master

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