Capitalism, sweatshops horrible conditions, choice and regulation.

TheGrandmaster Personal Commentary Leave a Comment

While capitalism does many good things in a society, there is no denying that it excels also at taking advantage of desperation and destitution. That you can get almost anyone to do almost anything, if only they are already miserable enough, and call it “choice” or “improvement.” Sweatshops, low wages, and unbearable working conditions are justified under the banner of “free choice.” In this way, corporations, capitalism, and exploitation can masquerade as heroism, if only you offer sweatshop labor to the most miserable on Earth. You will often be told that “people are better off than they were” when markets and capitalism builds sweatshops in third world countries. But this argument can also be used in domestic environments too, where regulation for horrible working conditions is dismissed as unnecessary. 

Electronic devices and Sweatshops – The people who build these devices live lives of such unendurable drudgery, that they regularly hurl themselves off the rooftops at the factory where they work. Nets have been installed to catch their falling bodies. This is the standard, this is the baseline that we’re told these people are supposed to be appreciative of.

That in order to improves people’s lives, your system has to co to a place so devoid of happiness and human spirit that the prospect of performing menial, dangerous and deadly boring work for a few dollars a day is the standard for “improvement.” Your system takes people who’s lives aren’t worth living and puts them in a position where the best course of action is to go ahead and commit suicide. Kudos.

If you have to go to an unimaginable, unendurable, third world shithole to find people who are better off working for you and your system you probably don’t have anything to brag about, and your system and job probably has even less to recommend it.

This, I suppose, is how you measure success in Hell.  

Blame the victim is here because people in horrible jobs are often told it’s ‘their own fault’ after they made a horrible choice from a menu of even worse ones.

Market Fundamentalism is related here because the wonder and grandeur of markets doesn’t just perform magic and lift people out of poverty, it often only “improves” people in a god awful situation, who wind up better off dead anyway.

Regulation is relevant here, because “the capitalist,” in an environment of terrible conditions and no competition, may have no incentive to offer anything like human conditions or safety to desperate people, according to market theory. Here, human beings step in, and a human mind insures that “freedom to make a terrible choice from a menu of even worse ones” doesn’t mean you are “choosing” to work in an insufferable death trap. We regulate these places when competition and incentive won’t, for the sake of human dignity and the reduction of the most abysmal human suffering. Let the capitalist remind you that he doesn’t care about human suffering, while he prattles on about how noble he is. 

Choice theory is obvious here, because it reminds us choice doesn’t reveal preference, and making an abysmal choice in an a world of unbearable alternatives doesn’t mean you are offering someone a “good” choice. You don’t have to be responsible for the conditions either, to be taking advantage of a person. If you came upon a women who was being beaten and was about to be murdered for certain, and told her that you’d save her only if you could rape her, it would take a rather sadistic and demented mind to think you were really “helping” her, and no one would say you weren’t taking advantage of her. 

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