Friday, November 29, 2013

Wal-Mart accepting donations by employees for employees and McDonalds talking about how to stretch dollars illustrates proletarianization

The disgraceful and shameful act by Wal-Mart, where bins were set out in advance of Thanksgiving to collect food for employees who are not paid enough to get decent Thanksgiving dinners portrays Marx's concept of proletarianization in a nutshell.

Marx's idea was that capitalism works on a vicious cycle with regards to wages, where if nothing is done to stop it the tendency is for wages to get as low as they can before the employees themselves can no longer literally afford food and shelter.

It's a process that doesn't have to happen, and that in fact can be stopped by state intervention, in the form of higher minimum wages and other measures.

The absence of a good way to figure out how to deal with such a thing is a main weakness of anarchism. Usually, the suggestion for countering this is organizing on the job and direct action, but it's surely much easier to have the State approve a higher minimum wage and force employers to honor it or face the consequences.

A popularly empowered State that took action on these things could accomplish quite a lot.

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