The Worker’s Escape into Freedom

  • Werner Sombart

Abstract

However enticing the temptations that capitalism uses to approach the worker may now be and however much these may affect the weaker souls, one may none the less doubt whether what capitalism was able to offer the worker would alone have been sufficient to turn almost all sections of the working class into the peaceable citizens that they are, unless the worker had been prevailed upon from another angle to reconcile himself to the existing economic system, or at least not to adopt a hostile attitude towards it. Even American capitalism puts tight fetters on the individual, even American capitalism cannot deny that it holds its workers in a condition of slavery, and even American capitalism has had periods of stagnation with all their destructive consequences for the worker (such as unemployment, pressure on wages, and so on). In time a confrontational mentality would most certainly have developed in America, at least among the best of the working class, if escape from the orbit of the capitalist economy, or at least from the restricted confines of wage labour, had not stood open to so many groups of workers: to the robust, to those upon whom the chains were beginning to press, to the rebellious, to those among the workers who were adventurous, and to those who were dissatisfied or refractory.

Keywords

Migration Depression Europe Assimilation Dition 

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Sombart

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