Maoriland Worker, Rōrahi 10, Putanga 459, 24 Hakihea 1919, Page 6
An Exposition of Marxian Economics
H._WHAT EXPLOITATION IS NOT
By G. Wirtter
Let us apply the term exploitation in the vulgar sense, a;ud see where it leads. A boot merchant sells n pair of boots, say, at •'),'- over and above the "fair price"—whatever that may mean. He thus "exploits the consumer," reaping where ''c has not sown, to the extent of Til-. But the live shillings were not really taken out of the consumer; they wci-e taken out of hi* pocket.
Vulgar economy ctasM* together things that are in their very nature dissimilar; it speaks of "exploiting a mine, and "exploiting the consumer' , in the saiiif breat'i. To the vulgar economist, all ex.ploitat.on is simply mining in som e form or another; "exploitation di' the consumer" might well be classed as "xjocket mining."
Tlie purchase of the boots was perluips a share-broker, who, instead of exploiting mines, exploited pockets by hclli:r,g worthless iiiiiiing shares. Ho received tho 5/- from a landlord, who had received just that sum from his tenant; the tenant was a pawn-broker, who, receiving stolen goods from a
burglar, liad "exploited saino extent; tli 0 burglar was in ft position to bo exploited, having tho previous «cck broken iuAo tlit, boot mciThuuts' house, tuul "exploited" liim by rclicviiiß him oi' certain property.
Mm tv tho
There wo hav 0 a vicious circle, of exploitation m>oll exploitation; the boot merciaut: has receive"! a valuo of o/-. from tho stuck-brokcr, and no doubt will recover still more from other persons; w e have . olio wed the original
vaiuc luaud from exploiter io exploiter, and in connection with tliis original value, 5/-, v c have already discovered a sum total oi" itt/- in exploitation, without getting a fetop nearer the primary victim.
Lst us gel back to solid ground for discussion, discarding uIJ such inonsense as "exploitii< ■:; tJc consumer," "exploiting the cxjiljitcr," and "exx>loiting tho exploiter oi the- ■exploiter." Let us clearly state the position; only workers can be exploited; they can be exploited only ivliik: uitry work; and their exploitation, consists in being- compelled to work a -uirt of their tim© without receiving any equivalent for their labor. The- newspaper and other apologists j'->r the system Mould !>e forced to admit ihirr if tho logic of the implication* involved were driven homo to them.' As long, however, as tho word "exploitation" is popular among tiio workers without any clear understanding ai 1 the exploiting process being in the-iv mind*, so long will the misuse of the term b« general in the newspapers. Th € word lias coino into general use, and has com© to stay. Unce the. work-in's understand its true hig-.uiiicaiico, the misleaders «f Labor will avoid- its use- altogether.
x"<jthii)g can be put forward as support for the bourgeois use of tho term. The slave-holder of the ancient civilisations or of modern time? l , and the feudal barons of the middle ages, were exploiters in any rational sense of the word; yeL they placed their liaaids in th« pockets «•' none. •'Profiteering,''-' adulteration, rack-renting, and every other kind of pocket-picking, might bo vlouo away with., and exploitation ieinain ;is i;ie as ever.
liowever, (hat exploit■jtiun includes every case of appropriation of unpaid labor, and includes no >:ase where unpaid labor is not, appropriated; having fully defined the term, Jet u.s proceed to investigate our subje-ot; at iirsi i'roiu au historical pOi'L/t of vi-uw.