Re: The Worker / Employer Relationship

Eric Watt Forste (
Mon, 04 Nov 1996 11:34:49 -0800

banjo wrote:
> Although Marxists say that engaging in these activities *is*
> alienating, especially for wage earners.

The typical Marxist's use of the word "alienate" is so sloppy,
urgent, and confused that I can't get much out of it. They tend to
confuse alienation from the product of ones labor (which *I* consider
to be good, natural, healthy, and all that good stuff) with alienation
from ones fellow human being (which I don't care for any more than
they do), and so since they take as one bad thing what I take to
be two different things, one good and one bad, it's hard for me to
make sense of what they say.

> i'm not denying that "commerce is natural", i'm only denying that
> "commerce is all"

Oh, I must have been confused then. No one thing is "all", so I can't
possibly argue against your position if that's the entirety of your

> eh? what's enlightened ?

The sorts of people with whom one engages in purely and entirely
noncommercial relationships. The sorts of people with whom you never
worry which of you owns a particular item that might be of use to either
of you. Most people in the world only consider their spouse or domestic
partner "enlightened" in this sense. I was using the word half-jokingly,
and I apologize if you found it confusing.

> yup, although i don't think of the population of Uraguay in terms
> of how i can make a profit from them.

Why not? It goes both ways. The only way you could make a profit from
them is if you did something of service toward them. I guess you're one
of those egoists who never wants to be of service to anyone but yourself
and your personal acquaintances. ;)

Oh, yeah, and please distinguish between the population of Uruguay and
the government of Uruguay. It's easy (and frequently done) to make a
profit by serving the government of Uruguay while badly disserving the
people of Uruguay. But that's not profit: that's theft, usually
committed in these cases by the government involved.