On the Renting of Persons

The Case Against Today's Peculiar Institution
David Ellerman

[Editor's note: this article by David Ellerman, from the most recent issue of the open access journal Economic Thought, is considerably more academic than most of what we publish here at GEO.  Ellerman, however, brings up some important philosophical and political points that deserve to be well understood by all cooperators.  Ellerman argues that the traditional labor contract amounts to a "consent-to-alienation" of the type that democratic and abolitionist activists of earlier eras fought against under fuedalism and slavery.  As such, he concludes:

Far from the present employment system being based on democracy and private property, it is precisely the principles of democracy and justice in private property that call for the abolition of the renting of persons in the employment contract–in favor of workplace democracy.

Further information and research can be found on David Ellerman's personal website and at Abolish Human Rentals.]

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