Owner : worker
How long has it been this way? Always?
Why is our relationship to each other in regards to producing goods and services organized this way?
Is this hierarchy the root cause of inequality?
When did I become subservient to you? When did your needs become more important than mine? When did my children, my home, my well-being assume to be lesser-than than yours? Is this some extended form of patriarchy; the father in charge, and the sons (and daughters) accepting less or portions of the harvest, the land, the wealth?
When the first merchant-like person requested help from their neighbor, to make pots or plant grain or chop firewood, did that person not consider that both he and they were equals? Or did that person, upon that singular act: “Do this for me and I will reward you,” create the first class system?
And have we lived this way ever since?
Capitalism, the outgrowth from such a domination hierarchy, and its founder, Adam Smith, seem conflicted:
“Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.”
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
The fallout from this relationship, today’s corporatism, has turned the worker in to a puny commodity, one which is denigrated and slighted, so much so that they lose all power in society. Only the owners, the capitalists shall be granted voice and power in this wealth based society.
From this we get the incomprehensible inequality we have today. The capitalists own thousands if not millions more wealth than the workers on whom they have depended, in a word, exploited.
Could we have built any other type of system — from the start? Could that first merchant-like person have not said: “Do this and I will reward you” but “We’ll do this together and the both of us shall be rewarded.”?
Could Adam Smith not have reinterpreted his beliefs such that:
“The price of labour shall be the price of ownership where all who struggle and persevere shall benefit from their toil.”
Or, “It is from the understanding that all who endeavor at a goal be it animal husbandry, brewing, or baking shall be rewarded with not only the fruits of their labour but ownership in that which their labour supports.”
Could these not have been the way we moved forward as an economically driven species?
Could we ever redirect our trajectory toward such an equality oriented system?