The Coming Nation, 17 October, 1896

The Secret of the Exploitation of the Laborer.

The wage system is admirably adapted to blind the eyes to the manner in which the laborer is wronged. Wages are estimated and paid in MONEY. The amount received is apparently equal in value to the value of his services, or their exchange value; but the real value, or value in use, is this amount plus what the employer receives for these services, and this value in use the laborer has no means of knowing. If he were paid in kind, instead of in money, he could see what proportion of the fruit of his labor went to the employer; or, if he worked for the latter one day and for himself five, as under the feudal system, he would not be deceived; but when paid in money he seems to be working for himself all the time, whereas he is really working for him employer so many hours, and creating for him so much value that he grows rich while the labrer remains poor, although the latter receives the amount in wages which he has demanded. In this way the employer is enabled to appropriate all the surplus value created by the laborer, and this Socialists declare is the secret and method of the exploitation of the laborer.

The Labor Vote


Toward the Nominations

Toward November 2


© 2000, Rebecca Edwards, Vassar College