Mpiyakhe Dhlamini is a libertarian, writer, programmer, and contributing author to the Free Market Foundation.
The views expressed in the article are the author's and not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation.
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This article was first published on City Press on 30 August 2022
Don’t empower the capitalist: A blueprint for escaping wage slavery
According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, just over 40 million South Africans were of working age (15-64 years old) in the first quarter of 2022. Of these, 14,914,000 had a job. This means that almost 15 million adults in this country were wage slaves; people who have no choice but to give up what they produce to someone else just to survive. The rest of the working age population are lucky enough not to have to work for an income, probably because they live off the land or something similar.
Of course, the common right-wing argument is that these people entered into voluntary contracts, and that the employer is providing capital in order for these people to be productive in the first place. The problem is not everyone has capital, to listen to the right-wingers, we must all submit to the owners of capital and be grateful for our own enslavement. Yet knowing that you are a slave is not enough to escape slavery, you need a plan.
This article can hopefully help with that, what is needed is a practical way for the average person among these 15 million slaves to escape. Call it the modern underground railroad if you will. Firstly, you must accept that no one is coming to save you, the forces of the left keep failing at rescuing the proletariat in almost every case, Cuba is too far away and so too is North Korea.
Having accepted your slavery the next step is accepting that the meagre income you receive from the job can be taken away at any time from those greedy capitalists; what if the boss’s son wants a new yacht or a new super car? They’ll gladly throw you out on the street to starve, so assume that has already happened.
Even though these capitalists want you to take on debt in the form of car finance, a mortgage or even just a clothing account by offering these to you, refuse. Live like the slave you are, do not fall for their tricks to make you forget your enslavement by taking on debt to purchase things that give you the appearance of wealth even as you toil for survival and have debit orders leaving you penniless a mere two weeks after payday. Rather live like a poor person, get yourself the cheapest clothes you can afford, buy the cheapest food you can afford, the capitalists have taken enough of your money, don’t give them more.
Your goal should be to avoid giving the capitalists any more of your hard-earned money than they’ve already taken. You are certainly not paid the full value of what you make for the greedy capitalists so don’t be so stupid as to give them more than they’ve taken. Spend only the absolute minimum. If you are used to shopping for groceries at Woolies or even Pick ’n Pay, learn about Shoprite, Cambridge, Boxer, etc.
If you are accustomed to buying clothes that make you look good - even as the capitalist destroys your soul, from high end stores - learn about Mr Price, Pep, or buying from factory shops if such an option is available where you live. To beat the slavers and free yourself, you have to avoid feeding them more than they’ve already stolen from you. Remember, you are assuming that they’ve already taken your very means of survival, you are on a starvation diet, you only buy what you need and nothing more.
Of course, you’ll also have to stop binge-drinking every weekend, the capitalists want you to be addicted to alcohol, so you keep coming back to them to feed the addiction. Drinking in moderation and only occasionally is fine. But be careful, like all spending, you are giving money to your slavers, so try and avoid that.
And what should you do with the money you successfully keep from the greedy capitalists? Why, give it to the democratic government for safe-keeping of course. By buying Retail Savings Bonds, which can be bought at any post office branch or online at https://secure.rsaretailbonds.gov.za/ you not only help fund social infrastructure like schools and hospitals, you also avoid keeping your money in the capitalist banks. The interest rate you’ll get paid just happens to be among the best you’ll get anywhere in the country most times, but you are not motivated by greed like the capitalists, so you do not care about that at all.
Of course, you’ll choose the reinvestment option for the interest when you buy these bonds, anything to avoid spending money on the capitalists. Over time the money you have kept in the government's safe hands will grow with compound interest and your regular deposits. When the capitalists decide to starve you by firing you from your enslavement that you agreed to unwillingly via contract, then you’ll have the knowledge that you kept some of the money you made for them and didn’t give it all back. Of course, if you’ve been serious about doing this, you might even have enough to become a capitalist yourself by paying for the factors of production: land, labour and machinery/capital, and starting your own business. Do not do this, do not become a slave owner.
Compound interest can give you powers no person should have, so you probably want to be disciplined and just use a portion of the interest that you get paid (you can choose to have it paid monthly) for the bare minimum for your needs. The rest just keep it away from those greedy capitalists and live among the proletariat. They survive on little, you can too. Remember, spending just empowers the capitalist, any spending. Keep your money, as much of it as you can.