Workers of the World, Unite!
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Today, May 1, is International Workers’ Day. According to Wikipedia, it is “a celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement, anarchists, socialists, and communists and occurs every year on May Day, 1 May.”
If only workers all over the world were to come to the realization that socialism and communism are their worst enemies and that the greatest friend of the working class is libertarianism.
Imagine a society in which everyone is poor, verging on starvation. How is socialism going to help the working person in that society? Socialism is based on forcibly taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. But that obviously won’t work here because there are no rich people. Everyone is poor.
How about passing a minimum-wage law? That won’t work here either because there are no businesses. That’s because everyone is poor and almost starving to death. With no businesses, there are no employees. Thus, enacting a minimum wage would be meaningless.
So, the real question is: How do we create wealth in this impoverished society? How do we create a base of prosperity, one in which people are no longer on the verge of starvation and actually experiencing increases in their standard of living?
That’s where libertarianism comes in. You leave everyone in this society free to engage in any economic enterprise, with no government interference whatsoever. No permits, licenses, or other official permission to open a business, sell a produce, or offer a service. No governmental interference whatsoever with any economic trade or transaction. No price controls and no minimum-wage laws. People shall be free to accumulate everything they earn. No income taxes, capital-gain taxes, or inheritance taxes. No governmental control over money. A totally free-market monetary system.
At first, people will, of course, still be poor. That can’t be avoided. But now they have a real chance to survive. Each person figures out what type of product or service he can offer to others. Some people decide they want to start a business and hire others. At first there is barter. Gradually, people find a common medium of exchange, maybe gold or silver.
People begin accumulating wealth. They save it. They deposit it into banks, which some people are now opening. The bankers lend the money to businessmen who wish to purchase better equipment and tools, which make their workers more productive. Higher productivity leads to increased revenues, which enables employers to pay higher wages.
Do workers have to depend on the benevolence of employers for higher wages? Absolutely not! They need only depend on a number of businesses competing for labor services by offering higher wages. The more businesses, the better off the workers will be.
Thus, contrary to what socialists have maintained ever since Karl Marx, there is a harmony of interests between employers and employees. Employees have a vested interest in the success of the firm they are working for. And they also have a vested interest in the success of many other businesses. The more overall prosperity there is in society, the better off workers will be.
For that matter, the greater the amount of wealth in society, the more voluntary charity there will be.
As the overall standard of living rises, unfortunately the statists pop up, arguing that it’s not fair for some to have more and others to have less. They persuade workers that socialism and economic fascism are in their interests. So, the government begins taking from the rich and giving to the poor. It enacts price controls and minimum-wage laws. It requires licenses and permits to engage in selected economic endeavors. The result is that the wealth-producing process is reversed, with society moving into a downward economic spiral rather than an upward one.
If workers of the world want poverty, they should embrace socialism, fascism, or communism. If they want economic prosperity and rising standards of living, they should embrace libertarianism.
Workers of the world, unite! For libertarianism!