Notes On: “The Origins of Totalitarianism” – Five

“It was soon apparent that the mob from the four corners of the earth would not even have to do the digging; at any rate, the permanent attraction of South Africa, the permanent resource that tempted the adventurers to permanent settlement, was not the gold but this human raw material which promised a permanent emancipation from work.”

Excerpt From
The Origins of Totalitarianism
Hannah Arendt
This material may be protected by copyright.

That is, when labor is cheap enough, it is as good as slavery. Thus is the allure of moving labor outside the US. Major corporations would rather pay slave wages to non-American, then to pay living wages to those same people that go on to purchase that which the company makes. At the same time, these corporations, and their political supporters, argue that it is somehow the fault of the American people for demanding too high of a wage, too high of benefits, too much safety or security. Cheap labor is the curse of not just the American worker, but those workers internationally who become slaves to the American corporate system.

This is, of course, not simply the moral failing of American corporations. It is very much so a moral failing of those within the United States, and those others who live in other nations, that flock to cheap products. Conspicuous consumption has developed in the psyche of the American people the addiction of a ‘must have item’. Corporations, who have helped develop this condition, feed the addiction through cheap labor. All the while, corporate profits sky rocket, wages for American go down, manufacturing of goods in the nation is comes to an end, and human security is faltering. All this in the name of money; money that will never been seen by those that produce the goods made by what amounts to slave labor.

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