What Does Modern Wage Labor? Essay

998 Words Nov 9th, 2016 4 Pages
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 if they were commodities. (Singh) When enslaved all the work productivity of the slave’s labor belongs to the master, without any compensation. Chattel slavery is illegal in all countries today, but in some form or another, there are still people living in conditions that would no doubt be considered slavery. For example, after the civil war, the abolition of slavery delivered a devastating blow the economy in the south. To counteract the hit “"an extensive prison system was created in the South in order to maintain the racial and economic relationship of slavery," a mechanism responsible for re-enslaving black workers.” Which means frivolous laws were created to turn newly freed slaves into inmates to be exploited. (Khalek) Today…

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