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Why shouldn’t they? Does owning a sewing machine suddenly bestow upon you dictatorial powers?

I’m being a bit hyperbolic here, but it’s funny that the circumstances you cite (sewing, basic safety) actually drove unionization in the early 20th century.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_...

Turns out that if you don’t change the relations of power in your workplace, hold your bosses to account, they have a tendency to not be too concerned about your well-being.






> Does owning a sewing machine suddenly bestow upon you dictatorial powers?

Why do you insist in throwing the word "dictatorship" around?

Owning a sewing machine and paying someone to use it on your behalf should absolutely bestow you the power to choose what that person makes for you, while being paid by you, and while using your machine. How can this be controversial?


> Owning a sewing machine and paying someone to use it on your behalf should absolutely bestow you the power to choose what that person makes for you

Let's take a look at this. Your contributions to the end product are:

- Owning a sewing machine

- Paying someone to use it

Their contributions are:

- Making the thing (say, sewing a shirt)

I think there is an inherent tension between thinking about which of these is more valuable. Of course the sewing machine owners and payers are all going “Hey, the sewing machine belongs to us. You got compensated for your work, that should end your involvement with it. You can't tell us kind of clothes we should be making!”; whereas the people who sew the shirts are going “Without our collective work, you're going to be able to sew maybe one shirt a day, and you don't even know how to sew. So listen to us!”.

The increasing interest in unions (FAANG is hardly a good representative of jobs across the software industry, let alone the entire US) seems to indicate that the needle of society in general has moved more too far in advancing interests of the sewing machine, and the people who sew don't have enough of a say in how things are done.


There's inevitably going to be conflict between then owner of the sewing machine and someone who makes the thing - because when the thing gets sold, the money gets redistributed between owner of the machine and whoever made the thing.

When one gets more money, the other gets less. There is no way out of this, as long as owner of the machine and whoever makes the thing are different people.


I would say the premise that owning something gives you unilateral control over the actions of another person has historically and philosophically been quite controversial. Why did peasants revolt over feudal ownership of land? Why did indigenous people revolt against settler colonialism? Why did the American Civil War happen?

> I would say the premise that owning something gives you unilateral control over the actions of another person

You're conveniently ignoring the part in which I'm also paying the other person to do something, after the other person freely agreed to do said thing in exchange for being paid. Would you mind replying to what I'm actually saying?


You're conflating ownership of people with ownership of a tool & voluntary employment. That's a pretty bad-faith argument to make.

> I would say the premise that owning something gives you unilateral control over the actions of another person has historically and philosophically been quite controversial

I disagree. It is not historically controversial for the owner of property to decide what is done with it.


>with it.

With what, the slaves? /s


I don't know if you are trying to be disingenuous or are mocking people that would think this way.

But when someone comes into my house I have some control over what they are allowed to do within my house and I can ask them to leave with the support of the law if they don't obey my wishes.

When I enter a voluntary employment agreement and give an employee access to my equipment the same thing applies.




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