KNOWLEDGE AND UNION ARE POWER:
POWER, DIRECTED BY KNOWLEDGE, IS HAPPINESS:
HAPPINESS IS THE END OF CREATION.
THE VALUE OF LABOR.
The WORKING CLASSES have no idea of the real value of their own LABOUR. When a man has done a week's work, and received his wages for it, he thinks he has received the whole value of his work; but this is by no means the case. He has not received above one-fourth part of the real value. He has made a bargain with his master, that he will give a week's work for a certain sum of money. Whether this be much or little, it is called, vulgarly, the value of work. But this is merely a common phrase. It is a very indefinite one, and from long habit, has become confounded in the minds of the WORKING CLASSES, with the WHOLE value of the work done. If wages were the whole value of the work, how could the master take this work to market, sell it for more money than he gave for it, and grow rich upon the profit, while the workman grows poor upon the wages? This would be impossible. Therefore, it is evident that the workman does not get the whole value of his work; and it is also evident that if he did, he would grow rich, just as the master does.
In the days in which we live, many persons have amused themselves with making calculations, about the share which the WORKMAN gets of the produce of his labour. These calculations are very laborious and troublesome to make, and are liable to a great deal of uncertainty and inaccuracy. But they all prove one thing very clearly, viz. that the WAGES which a workman receives, are only a very moderate portion of the value of the work done by him.
We believe that this idea is quite new to the working classes. They think that their wages are the whole value of the work which is done by them. This is their great mistake: and it arises from their IGNORANCE, of which it is the natural consequence. They know nothing, and learn nothing, but how to work hard, and how to spend their wages, in what they call self-enjoyment. What becomes of the work they have done, the corn they have grown, the manufactures they have made, the houses they have built, they never think about. When they walk about the streets, they never reflect that they built all the houses, all the carriages, and waggons, that they see; and made all the clothes and fine dresses that people wear. They imagine, somehow, that the masters who employed them, and paid their wages, made all these things, and that the wages paid to them, were a sort of act of kindness, and liberal generosity: that wages are paid to workmen just as parish allowance is paid to paupers, not because they have a right to them, but because the masters are kind enough to do it, upon some good or religious principle.
(To be continued)