Graveyard Leprechaun
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74 meses

In my opinion, as it currently stands it is exploitation. A gig employee does not (usually) receive health benefits, paid sick leave, vacation or overtime pay. Employers, recognizing this, get rid of their full-time employees who DO get these benefits in favor of this much cheaper (and more easily exploited) workforce.

@snek_boi
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44 meses

Here’s my take

Just like any capitalist enterprise before, workers have to create more value than what they earn. So in that sense, it’s exploitation. Also, the average wealth increases. Just like capitalism, workers will gravitate towards higher-earning jobs. And just like in capitalism, there will always be a socially-negotiated distribution of surplus. This surplus, however, has a large chunk of it that has to go to investors; otherwise you wouldn’t have capitalism. So there’s an inherent limit to how much of the surplus goes to workers

So, inherently exploitation (because surplus doesn’t go to workers, and because workers can only get so much of it), but there are also inherent opportunities (like wealth creation and the negotiation of surplus).

Having said that, I think the gig economy can make it harder for people to unionize and tilt the odds to their favor. So it lays the foundation for even more exploitation. People push back, of course, but mobilization has to happen higher up, at the level of industries or the State, rather than at the company.

@greensand
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34 meses

It’s exploitation disguised as opportunity. The companies should pay all workers properly or go to hell

I think it could be opportunity, but atm, with all the apps etc coming from corporations with venture capital they are just exploitation and with uber etc it’s very obvious.

But a coop rideshare or something like that with an app could be an opportunity I believe, in theory.

See the book “Riding for Deliveroo” by Callum Cant. You’ll have a clear answer (at least when it comes to the food delivery platforms). (You can find it at http://libgen.rs/).

@const_void
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14 meses

Clearly exploitation in my view.

@DPUGT2
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14 meses

What exactly is exploitation, and why is it bad?

If two parties each have something the other wants, and they agree to the transaction, where is the exploitation? If we posit that exploitation exist any time that either party has an advantage over the other, then it becomes true that the only fair trade possible is when both are in exactly equally advantageous positions.

This means no one richer can ever trade with anyone poorer. And the poor stay poor. This is a bizarre result for claims that originate in wanting to make things fairer.

Now, that’s not to say that some practices aren’t immoral. If someone commits crime… they use violence or threat of violence to compel trade, this is wrong. Use a stronger word than “exploitation” for that though, call it what it is, violently criminal. If someone uses fraud to deceive someone into trade, call that what it is again: criminal, fraudulent.

The gig economy is definitely opportunity. But what sort of opportunity? Likely it is a bad one. It isn’t exploitation (I don’t think such a thing exists), but that doesn’t mean that this sort of work is anything worth taking. Uber, for instance, seems little more than a way to siphon value out of new/newer cars, until they are worn and broken.

@BlackLotus
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34 meses

If two parties each have something the other wants, and they agree to the transaction, where is the exploitation?

If a freed slave opts to stay working for their previous master because it’s all the slave knows, this is still exploitation.

This analogy extends to capitalism. If someone who only knows the exploitative relationships between worker and capitalist, and therefore opts to maintain the status quo, it does not change the reality that exploitation is inherent to the relationship.

@DPUGT2
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-14 meses

If a freed slave opts to stay working for their previous master because it’s all the slave knows, this is still exploitation.

An interesting example which is in the modern era completely hypothetical. Given that the former slave is a victim of violence (enslavement), they don’t stop being that victim just because someone signed a piece of paper 1800 miles away. Calling that exploitation is rather asinine. Call it violence.

This analogy extends to capitalism. If someone who only knows the exploitative relationships between worker and capitalist,

I believe that at this point your definition for exploitation is circular, and pretty meaningless. It’s exploitation now because it’s always been exploitation before.

You’ve neither told us what exploitation is, or why it’s bad.

@BlackLotus
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24 meses

is in the modern era completely hypothetical.

No, just no. It’s not hypothetical. It’s historical fact that these things happened. You don’t get to hand wave it away because you don’t like it.

Calling that exploitation is rather asinine. Call it violence.

What? It’s both. Slavery was an exploitative system with a higher level of violence than capitalism, but ultimately both rely on immense amounts of violence. After your boss doesn’t pay you your wage, try to get the money for it. Especially if you’re not in the imperial core (US, Europe, etc.) When you can’t, try stealing from his shop to make up the difference and see how the violence of the state immediately comes down hard on you and observe that the violence of the state never came to back you up when your employer stole wages from you.

I believe that at this point your definition for exploitation is circular, and pretty meaningless. It’s exploitation now because it’s always been exploitation before.

Read a book. You’re not educated on this subject, and you sound unintelligible. It is exploitative because the only generation of value comes from the working class. If you were to automate all jobs away such that no worker surplus value could be withdrawn from the system, you end up with a very clear and obvious formula.

The limit as x approaches infinity for the equation of surplus value, referring to the value available in the form of profit to the capitalist, where x is the level of automation is zero. If all the capitalists can produce products with a cost of zero after materials, then (assuming the beloved capitalist competition exists) there will be a race to the bottom on surplus value extraction that ends at roughly zero.

Not only is it “bad” which is a relatively meaningless term in the historical development of economic systems, it’s also inherently unsustainable.

The cyclical nature of the crises of capitalism are directly related to capitalism’s inherent contradictions. They are getting more volatile and more pronounced as the rate of profit continues to fall closer and closer to zero.

As capitalists cut cost by reducing labor hours and wages, fewer people can purchase their goods (on the whole, this does not apply to every industry at every time, but the vast majority of industries are affected in this way.) This cycle leads to mass unemployment every 7-10 years, more or less.

@DPUGT2
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-14 meses

No, just no. It’s not hypothetical. It’s historical fact that these things happened.

In the deep past. Unless time travel has happened, all you’re doing is muttering about ancient history.

Your example offers no insight, when we’re talking about something that is a current problem or at least an alleged current problem.

What? It’s both. Slavery was

Which is my point. Supposing that “exploitation” is even a valid concept, then it must be the lesser of the two when compared with violence. So use the stronger argument and say “that was violence”. Not “that was exploitation”.

However, without a good explanation of what exploitation is separate and distinct from violence, it’s not even clear there is such a thing as exploitation.

Read a book. You’re not educated on this subject,

More so than you, apparently. Like, can you give me a book title, or an author? Without that, your jab’s just a schoolyard taunt.

I am educated. I am intelligent, and I’m pointing out that there isn’t some common sense or widely accepted definition of what exploitation is. Everyone talks about it (because it has emotional punch), but without anyone even hinting at what it is.

If it is exploitation any time two people of unequal wealth (or power, or whatever) trade, then this disallows all trade effectively, keeping the poor in poverty.

It is exploitative because the only generation of value comes from the working class.

Huh? What is value, other than some arbitrary number assigned to a good or a service, which explains how much demand there is for it? That is, by its nature, subjective. Changing.

What demand you have for something now might differ in a year. Or an hour. What you demand and what I demand are different, therefor values differ.

The universe and physics didn’t manifest with magical numbers assigned to the poor quality left shoes that the Soviet Shoe Factory produced.

Even if I accepted the marxist twaddle that “the only generation of value comes from the working class”, you’ve still failed to define exploitation in a meaningful way. If the workers generate this value (indeed, the only way that it can be generated!), then the transaction they have agreed to is to give away that value for other compensation. They have not been enslaved, they do not have a gun to their heads. No violence has occurred.

If they cannot do this, if some principle prevents them from doing it, if they are not allowed to exchange that for their compensation, then what? Are they to starve? Certainly they aren’t producing goods that they use themselves… were that true, they’d do so and have no need for trade/exchange. Yet clearly they fail to (refuse to?) do that. Trade will need to occur at some point.

If they then trade these things to the consumers of the goods, how are they not then exploiting those consumers? Clearly there is a power imbalance… the shoeless can’t shod themselves, and these workers hold those shoes hostage.

Trade is, by definition, mutual exchange. If one side gets goods and the other doesn’t, then it’s not trade at all, it’s just robbery. But those workers are compensated (they’re not slaves). Are the workers not exploiting the capitalist factory owners?

Thus, I conclude that “exploit” is just a word that people use to whine about their inability to negotiate satisfactory terms. The good news is tomorrow is another day, they can try again.

@BlackLotus
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14 meses

In the deep past. Unless time travel has happened, all you’re doing is muttering about ancient history.

Ok, same argument could be made for someone exploited 10 minutes ago. Stop being obtuse.

Your example offers no insight, when we’re talking about something that is a current problem or at least an alleged current problem.

Exploitation is still a current problem, the forces of violence used to exploit workers is more abstract, but it’s still present, albeit in less severe form than during the era of slavery.

Which is my point. Supposing that “exploitation” is even a valid concept, then it must be the lesser of the two when compared with violence. So use the stronger argument and say “that was violence”. Not “that was exploitation”.

However, without a good explanation of what exploitation is separate and distinct from violence, it’s not even clear there is such a thing as exploitation.

A lot of words which show you don’t know what you’re talking about. They were both violence AND they were both exploitation. Use your brain.

More so than you, apparently. Like, can you give me a book title, or an author? Without that, your jab’s just a schoolyard taunt.

Marx’s Capital would be a good start. There’s no better analysis of capitalism than that one.

I am educated. I am intelligent, and I’m pointing out that there isn’t some common sense or widely accepted definition of what exploitation is. Everyone talks about it (because it has emotional punch), but without anyone even hinting at what it is.

Exploit: to make use of meanly or unfairly for one’s own advantage

That’s the definition sane people are using with the word exploit. Exploitation is, then, the unfair use of an advantage. In the context of slavery, it was the slavers unfairly using their advantage of being a slaver and having authority to use as much violence as they wanted against the enslaved.

In capitalism, it wasn’t that long ago when the capital owners regularly brutalized their workers. This is even still the case in parts of the world other than the imperial core that I’m sure your pampered ass lives in. Either way, even without the explicit violence of the owning class members, the police are categorically a violent arm of their dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, which is the “democracy” in which you live. Assuming you don’t live in one of the very few dictatorships of the proletariat.

If it is exploitation any time two people of unequal wealth (or power, or whatever) trade, then this disallows all trade effectively, keeping the poor in poverty.

No one said anything about trade, trade isn’t capitalism. Read a book. Capitalism is a system where the capitalists control the capital and the workers must sell their labor in order to obtain the means of subsistence from the owners of capital.

Huh? What is value, other than some arbitrary number assigned to a good or a service, which explains how much demand there is for it? That is, by its nature, subjective. Changing.

Yeah, hence not educated. You clearly went to school, because you are capable of stringing semi-coherent sentences together, but you are uneducated on this topic. Read about political economy by non-bourgeois authors for a change.

poor quality left shoes that the Soviet Shoe Factory produced.

You’re clearly insanely biased and you have no concept of material conditions or reality.

I’m done with this conversation. I encourage you to approach again this topic with the humility that you should have. You should not be asserting anything, you should only be asking questions and trying to learn. You are not informed or educated on this topic. The only information you have is insanely biased from bourgeois thinkers who want to keep the working class enslaved.

If two parties each have something the other wants, and they agree to the transaction, where is the exploitation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03GYzR0LyQM

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