Labor and capital are enemies or partners? - Basics of economic theory

Labor and Capital Enemies or Partners?

The sizes of the salary and profit are closely linked by mutual inverse dependence. Therefore, the level of pay at all times was the main point of disagreement between wage workers and owners of production. According to Marxists, the relationship between labor and capital is always exploitative: all entrepreneurs are obsessed with "the interests of dirty capitalist avarice & quot; (Lenin) and deceive the workers, "giving them sausage to win a ham" (Engels), i.e. underestimating wages and gratuitously appropriating the results of their labor. Hence, according to Marxism, the irreconcilability, hostility and class struggle of the working people against the oppressors are inevitable.

However, is it justifiable to see the exploiter in each the employer and the great worker in each employee? Is it fair to proceed from the interests of only one class of society? Is it humanely to contrast one class with another and talk about the superiority of any of them? Finally, is it prudent to advocate for confrontation in society and for "revolutionary violence"? to resolve the completely natural contradictions between people?

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A different approach is more wise and constructive: weighted the analysis of inevitably conflictual relations in society and patient search for peaceful ways compromise solving specific contradictions. Moreover, Alfred Marshall, for example, recommends that researchers of acute social problems not only not quarrel people, but also intentionally manifest and create a kind of "interclass kindness". "That rare benevolence," emphasizes the British economist, "which allows people to put themselves in the shoes of not only their companions, but also representatives of other classes" (26-1.103). With such a benevolent approach to the problem, it becomes clear that entrepreneurs and employees are not at all "class enemies", but partners, because they are equally useful to each other friend (Figure 3.6).

In fact, it is entrepreneurs that provide those who do not want to burden themselves with their own business, the ability to work and earn means of life, as well as the consumer goods and services that they need. In turn, employees & quot; supply & quot; > consumers of goods and services, without which the sale of production of large-scale production would be impossible.

Necessity of social partnership between entrepreneurs and employees

Fig. 3.6. The need for social partnership between entrepreneurs and employees

By the way, from the last point follows an important conclusion - on a countrywide scale underpayment the worker turns into a fall in sales and profits of businessmen. Knowingly, Ford is asking a rhetorical question: is not the understatement of wages does not mean a decrease in the purchasing power and narrowing of the domestic market? (45-99)?

In general, the "businessman of the century" (which is recognized by Ford on the basis of the XX century) urges employers and workers to avoid the endless mutual claims to each other. Both camps only lose from this. More productive - cooperate. In particular, the worker, writes Ford, should not "threaten the entrepreneur with his fist," demanding to increase the rates, and together with him to think about how to improve the business and get a bigger product. After all, "not the owner pays the salary to the employee, he only gives it out." The salary is paid by the product & quot; (45-101, 55-01.11.99.1).

Thus, the fundamental interests of business and labor are not the opposite. According to basic positions, there is an approximate balance. According to Ford, every business enterprise is a "kind of partnership" . And the relationship between employers and employees is always mutual: "The boss is a companion of his worker, and the worker is his own boss's comrade" (45-99,100). As for the inevitable disagreements on terms and pay, they require a civilized settlement primarily through the legislative activities of the state.

It is no coincidence that today in well-organized societies employers and employees act as social partners (for example, in Germany, the position is enshrined in the constitution). Moreover, the most shrewd economists saw objective reasons for such a partnership in the middle of the 19th century.

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For example, the American Cary (1793-1879) and the French Bastia (1801-1850) put forward in the time the theory of harmony of interests between different classes of society. According to it, all the participants in the production (capitalists, workers, landowners), as it were, say to each other: "Do it for me, and I will do this for you"; (Bastia). Their relations are thus built on mutual provision of services and obtaining an appropriate share of remuneration.

The authors of this theory predicted in the future the improvement of capitalism and the gradual rapprochement (as production efficiency increases) of the welfare levels of different classes. Marx, as usual, selflessly and tactlessly criticized these ideas, recalling, in particular, about Bastia as "comic" & quot; dwarf economist & quot; and "the most vulgar representative of vulgar and economic apologetics" (25-23; 91,92,18).

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