Marx and whether his theories apply to what Is happening in today’s modern workplace Factory workers In the sass might find discussion of ergonomic desks and wrist pads for keyboards slightly petty.
Improvements to their work conditions would more likely be related to the brutal physical conditions their jobs demanded of them? extreme exposure to heat and cold, poor light and ventilation, machines which moved about them dangerously and with poor safety mechanisms, and the constant occurrence of infection and illness from the hazardous conditions of the intimidated and over-crowded factories.
Wages were not negotiated like they are in today’s white collar Jobs, wages were fixed and one was happy to have a Job after waiting outdoors all day to be picked among other men, women and children forced to work 14 hour days (10 for women and children) In slave-like conditions. If you didn’t Like It, help yourself out the door, there are others waiting for your spot In the factory. Mortality and Illness rates In factories were high (no workers compensation here) and the threats employees faced In those days are not comparable to the plight white-collar workers face today.
It is true that benefits and employment are down from other recent decades in many industries, but no one is in imminent danger of dying because their employer is not matching their 401 K contribution. In contrast to my view of today’s labor conditions, Fraser likens today’s workplace to a sweatshop, one in which she says is part of a “downward spiral for America’s corporate middle class”.
Her demounting of corporate management is reminiscent of Mar’s theories on labor and class conflict, which also blame corporate management (or in his time, the capitalists or the bourgeoisie) for exploiting the proletariat. Not only does Framer’s plummeting theory seem to be In line with Marxist thought, but the two also seem the share a view of why this happens to the worker. When asked in an interview if there is a larger societal case for her perceived deterioration of the workplace, Fraser asserts there was a fundamental shift in our social priorities during the sass’s and ass. … We were preoccupied with the economic boom and our prolonged bull market. We began to leonine America’s Coo’s” (http://www. Resonance-pub. Com/fraternity. HTML) Here she points to greed, how allowing a period of great economic success of the go’s and go’s, greed and material success consumed Americans and as production increased we turned a blind eye to the new and increasing demands being placed on the American worker?which she characterized as inhumane.
In parallel with Framer’s theory, Marx also believed that social change was a result of the “evolution of production” In society. Marx stated that production Is the driving force of society, and that once we start organizing ourselves to produce, class conflict Is Inevitable. In this process Marx says the laborer will be exploited, disoriented, and ultimately complacent to the abuse and perversion he undergoes ruling ten production process. “Money Is ten plump… Twenty one’s Tie and one’s means of life. In essence, the individual prostitutes himself, sells his soul for the sake of production and for the benefit of the powerful, detaches from his work (because it is no longer his own) and allows his own humanity to be taken over by a sense of commodity. When Fraser explains how the individual needs of the worker got lost in the process of success and production, this resonates with Mar’s view of owe natural relationships turn perverted following production as people begin to relate to one another in abstract economic terms.
Here are two quotes, one by Marx and one by Fraser, and it is my intention to show how strikingly similar their views are: “Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. ” “The single-minded pursuit of [financial goals]… Has gradually transformed the paternalistic workplace… To [a sweatshop]. ” One might not know which quote belongs to Marx and which to Fraser. Both seem to suggest that the capitalist system is based upon the exploitation of the laborer by the capitalist.
Which brings me to suggest that perhaps Fraser is a modern days Marxist, at least Marx-ask, and at best a recycled version of the utopian socialist Robert Owen. Marx saw capitalism as a system of production driven by profit and not need, one that bred inequality and serves to only benefit those who own the means to production (the very wealthy). And in fact, according to the IRS, the last time the richest 1% of Americans held such a high percentage of the national income as they o now was in the sass.
At the same time, the wages for the middle class, when adjusted for inflation, are decreasing. In Dash Capital Marx states “pauperism forms the condition of capitalist production and of the capitalist development of wealth… In proportion as capital accumulates, the situation of the worker, be his payment high or low, must grow worse”. If one wanted a demonstration of the evil forces of capitalism, they would find no more satisfaction than in the financial crisis Americans are finding themselves in today.
Recently Americans have experienced a dramatic elapse of the financial markets, decrease in the value of their dollar, massive Job cuts and a decrease in the value of the wages. Three of the five largest independent investment banks have failed (or been sold) and what was once one of Wall Street’s strongest performers has come to be part of the largest bank failure in American history (Washington Mutual). These are events that to Americans are comparable in its catastrophe only to the depression of the sass. The collapse of the markets will be felt by the people, the middle class.
I presume Marx would refer to his theory of ministration which warns that in capitalism there will come a time where profits will increase faster than wages, capitalists will experience a surplus value as a result, and laborers will bite the dust. The events of today Marx would say, is proof that capitalism does not serve the people like the capitalist would have us believe. Observe the centralization of capital, globalization, and the lack of corporate regulation and resulting injustice and exploitation, and see that the monopoly that capitalism leads us towards will end in an economic burst?the apocalypse of capitalism.