Proprietism and Employee Rights

Western “cowboy” Capitalism has had more than its fair share of casualties. If I had to pick a low-point, I’d say the Homestead Strike of 1892. In the late 19th century, and throughout the 20th century, workers rights increased and became the norm. I have a controversial theory as to why this occured: The Communist Manifesto was a self-defeating prophecy. True Marxism involved the workers overthrowing the owners in a highly industrialized capitalist society (The Bolshevik revolution and others were NOT this). The viral spread of Marx’s ominous ideas in the middle and late 19th century caused business owners to lighten up a little. The bug entered their heads: “I could either make some reasonable financial sacrifices that would increase the happiness of my workers, or I could continue to exploit them until they kill me.” Whether coerced or voluntary, employers over the last century and a half have given far greater respect to their workers and their rights.

Hopefully we’ve matured as a society to the point of understanding that worker’s rights are not just something you honor because the government is forcing you to do so. Extending rights to your workers makes the most sense for your business, because happy workers are loyal and productive. As proprietism continues to emerge, most “employers” will grant considerable and fair rights to their workers without coersion from a higher authority. Those who do not respect their workers rights will face a threat akin to the one discussed in The Consumer-Regulated Business.” Remember that proprietism is built off the Internet–“employers” who treat their workers poorly can be exposed easily in a connected world, which may have a devestating impact on their business.

That answer will definitely not satisfy everyone. What if someone who hired badmouths you even though you treated them well? They will probably be exposed for who they are soon enough. What if someone hires you, treats you poorly, but systematically holds you back from speaking freely? Try to get a different job. What if you were treated poorly by an employer, spoke up about it, but nobody cares? Eventually, people will care. If it sounds to you like I believe that karma exists in the business world, you are right. Bad business is bad business, and the only ones who can get away with it are the ones who exploit a system like our current one.