I was thinking about one of the major differences in my philosophical outlook as an anarchocapitalist/severe individualist and the thoughts I've heard expressed by both Statists and other types of collectivists. Namely the idea of 'wage slavery'.
I must state that in truth I find the whole argument to be incomprehensible. To Whit: You voluntarily seek to work for some company or individual in exchange for agreed upon wages. This is seen by many as slavery. I don't see it that way. They aren't buying me, just some of my time. If my time is worth more to me than what they are offering, I'm under no obligation to accept the job. I can, if I feel the urge, make a counteroffer. In some cases they'll take it, in others they won't.
If I do choose to take the job, then I feel that it's pay is justified. That is a variable thing, because some areas I'm far better at than others, and some jobs require, therefore, higher compensation. But another factor is whether or not I ENJOY the job I'm applying for. I will accept lower wages for something I truly want to do. Despite the slings and arrows of well meaning friends and demeaning enemies, this has been food service for most of my adult life. I like restaraunts. I enjoy what I do. Or I did. Now, it's time for a change because I'm frankly burned out on the whole industry. That will probably change, as I've drifted before. I still harbor dreams of one day operating my own pizzaria, and given my experience at all levels of that subset of my profession, I'm certain that I can succeed, if I can raise sufficient capital. But again, I digress.
In NO WAY was I enslaved by food service. There were times when it went better for me than others, but it's a rare day when I dread going to work. Everyone MUST do something to earn their way through life. If not, they have two choices. One moral, but fatal, and one immoral, and just as fatal to their individuality.
The first way is to die. If you will not support yourself and have nobody to leech from, that's an inevitable outcome.
The second way, the way that a great many people seem to think moral, is in fact completely devoid of morality: Public Welfare programs. They have many names and many purported purposes, but when it comes down to it, welfare bum is not a pejorative but a blunt truth. A person who WILL NOT work for a living, because it "demeans" him in some way, but then relies on welfare is stealing from everyone who works.
I will grant that there are certain persons who CANNOT work, and that choice two is often, under the current State of affairs, the only option open to them. These people have, in my observation, a far more difficult time OBTAINING that assistance than those who have learned to "work the system" in order to avoid being productive humans.
Yet the people who are not defective and who do not work tend to look down on me. They call me a "wage slave" because I go out and make my own way in the world, with a paying job as a vehicle for my life. Here's to you idiots. I'm not a slave to my wages, I'm a slave to you, via the government. I have no wish at all to support your lazy ass, and given the choice, would not do so. I might, had I the resources, give generously to the unfortunates who cannot work due to some disability beyond their control or ability to repair, but to someone who's "picky" about their work to the exclusion of earning a living? Bite me.
Any man or woman with a modicum of ability can get and hold a minimum wage job. Some are more difficult than others, and if you don't view an SUV and the latest fashions as neccesities, you can live quite efficiently and with a minimum of drama on minimum wage. It's when you start trying to live beyond your means that you become enslaved. And even then, it's not your employer doing the dirty deed: It's YOU.
That being said, if you remain forever at minimum wage, you'll likely have a rather difficult and boring life. Not necessarily, but often. So the goal, as in all things, is to improve your wage earning ability or to become self employed and take direct control of your financial fortunes. The second option being the better, the first is still valid even if that is your eventual goal. You should always be on the lookout for new opportunities to earn more capital, or to better educate yourself so that you can later earn more capital. Specialization is for ants.
This means that when things get tight, you should indeed hold on to your job, but not because you are compelled to by some "master", rather because it might not be easily replaced. But even then, always be on the lookout for something better, more interesting, or higher paying.
This is what I try to do. Sometimes, given the responsibilities of family life, I do have to pass up an opportunity because it's too speculative when there are other mouths to feed. But it's not the behest of my employer that makes me stay with them, it's weighing the risks and benefits of jumping ship vs. what I must accomplish at a minimum. These things are self determined. No one else has either the right OR the ability to determine these things for me, nor do they have any need to explain my actions to me. Maybe to themselves, as if I'm an important actor in the grand scheme of things.
I can be rented. Fairly easily. There is no circumstance under which I can be bought. Those on welfare and other sycophants of the State have already sold their soul, and I think they sold it cheap.