I find the Right’s assumption that the bosses are acting in some greater interest fascinating. There’s this unwillingness to believe that the bosses would be acting in their own interests and that what’s in their interests are often not in the interests of the rest of us.
Look at the comments yesterday on the Telecom engineers’ dispute. Flat out refusal from the righties to even countenance the arguments or the independent evidence, despite having no counter-evidence. In fact, the righties just assumed there are other facts out there that show the bosses are acting benevolently and generously towards the workers. It’s interesting that they even find they need to event these fairy-tales. If they support capitalism, why aren’t they comfortable with its true face?
The nature of the capitalist economic system carries with it an inherent conflict of interest between capitalists and workers. The workers’ labour makes the products using capital owned by the capitalist. The product is owned by the capitalist, so they’re the ones who get to apportion the profits from those products between themselves and the workers. The more they pay the workers, the less they get themselves.
Now, who do you think they’re going to favour? What interest do they have in paying workers more than the minimum necessary to retain sufficient workers with the necessary skills and willingness to work? None.
So, they pay them as little as possible. They try to break unions and weaken labour laws, all to drive down the cost of labour, maximising their returns. These people aren’t evil; don’t cry that I’m calling them baby-eaters. They’re looking out for their individual interests. The interests that are inherent in being a member of the capitalist class in a capitalist economy, which means (often) working against the interests of the workers.
Doesn’t mean the rest of us have to bow down and take it. Our strength is in our numbers and in our unity. When workers refuse to undercut each other and demand fair wages and conditions, they can force the bosses to agree to them.
That’s the nature of capitalism. The bosses pay as little as they can get away with, the workers have to band together to get a fair deal. There’s no need to play make believe and pretend otherwise.