I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

522. Luddites

522.   Luddites
Someone described himself in his profile as a Luddite, so I got curious:
"The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, that replaced them with less-skilled, low-wage labour, and which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life."

This reminds me very much of a German proverb:
Man schlägt den Sack und meint den Esel.
Translation: Hitting the bag, aiming at the donkey.
Meaning: To punish someone for someone else's mistake.

Every invention reducing the work, time or effort needed to produce the same amount and quality is progress and is principally beneficial. 

There is but one huge problem:  Who benefits from such progress?  

When for example someone using a mechanized loom can produce as much fabric in one hour as he can produce using a traditional loom in a day, then this progress does not predetermine the distribution of the benefits between the workers and the owners of the mechanized looms.    Without even considering the utopia of the benefits going only to the workers, there are two possible principles, depending on the availability of the power to implement it. 

1.  The principle of a fair share.   By this principle, the workers' hours for the same pay are reduced.    The worker would work one hour to produce as much as he did before during an entire day, and he would put in a few more hours to repay the owner's investment in the mechanized looms including some interest for the owner.    It is a fair deal, because the worker works less and the owner has a bit more profit.

2.  The capitalistic principle.   The ruthless owner of the mechanized looms uses his economic power and usurps all the benefits.   The workers work as many hours as before, and some are even made redundant.   Only the capitalistic owner reaps all the benefits of progress.   Instead of improving the workers' life, their plight remains the same or gets even worse.    It is an outrage, but it is the predominant principle, wherever there is the power.   

Luddites fight a real grievance but they fight the wrong enemy.   Progressive inventions improving productivity are not an enemy, the real enemy are those, who abuse their power to usurp all the benefits.     
I have no solution, how the exploited could force capitalists to share the benefits of progress.   But destroying progressive inventions as the Luddites did seems not to be one either.