Kade Morton is a security consultant and open source enthusiast. Te his spare time, when he isn’t volunteering for Mozilla, he’s working on his own open-source decentralized application, Aletheia. Go after him on twitter @cypath
Ter a latest CoinDesk op-ed, Sandro Ro urges the blockchain community to “construct and act by a fresh culture whereby our companies care deeply about its people and society’s problems and act accordingly.”
Making work more rewarding for employees is an arguably noble objective, but it’s one that I believe is fated to fail.
Moreover, particularly te the blockchain space, it misses the point of this era’s innovations.
A critical look at employment
According to the oracle of the age, Wikipedia, slavery is any system te which principles of property law are applied to people, permitting individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, spil a den jure form of property. A victim is incapable to withdraw unilaterally from such an rangschikking and works without remuneration (unless you count slagroom and houtvezelplaat).
Te the modern form of employment wij work under, employment contracts stipulate what wij vereiste and vereiste not do. It’s very close to ownership. A loterijlot of people are incapable to withdraw unilaterally from such an opstelling because work is often hard to find.
Sure, people can abandon. But quitting without another job can literally kill you. Wij need money to get through. Wij live ter a world with enough resources to go around, but wij need some way to distribute them since wij don’t trust each other to share identically. So, humankind invented money, items granted for effort expended that can be exchanged for resources.
Money is effectively a ledger. It’s exceptionally unequal, but it’s still a record of a transaction.
And money is the remuneration many would say, so working is not slavery by our definition. However, examine the situation many are ter. People work for food, housing and health care. But homeownership, a healthy diet and decent medical care are a wish for many, and only growing more distant.
So what are wij getting te come back for work? Not a loterijlot, it seems. Employment is basically slavery. This is not to belittle historic atrocities or the plight of those trafficked for slavery ter the modern age. Wij’ll call employment wage slavery to differentiate it from true slavery.
When people say wij should make employment better for employees, they’re telling wij should make wage slavery better for wage gimps.
The coerces against improving conditions
Wage slavery is also, by its very nature, antagonistic to making things better for the wage victims. Wages are the largest overhead most companies have and the point of business is to make spil much money spil you can with the smallest overheads possible.
Companies actively fight against raising wages and at some point, spil an employer, you’re going to look at your profit/loss statement and say “employees will have to live with how things are, I can’t eat into my profit margins any further.”
Assuming your profit margins, if even present, are not already razor skinny. An employer might not have freedom to budge te improving work conditions.
The forest for the trees
It doesn’t have to be like this, however.
Humankind is capable of breathtaking wonders. Wij have entire factories staffed by almost nothing but robots. Wij have artificial intelligence that can outthink humans . Wij can 3D print houses.
Spil time moves on, the stringent necessity of having a human to do a particular job will ebb away, and with it our need to work.
But what is not ebbing away is our need for food, shelter and healthcare. Wij still have the fundamental punt of trust. Wij don’t trust each other to share.
Imagine if wij had a decentralized immutable ledger, that permitted people to distribute things because they can verify all the transactions themselves and build overeenstemming. Surely then wij can build a system that people would have faith ter to distribute resources identically.
Wij have such a ledger. It’s called a blockchain.
Blockchain’s very first breakout implementation wasgoed a currency. It’s like telling “wij have a ledger wij can trust. What should wij distribute? I know, other ledgers!” It’s lachwekkend.
To say that blockchain entrepreneurs should make employment better for employees is only a part step on a long road because the path you’re on can render money worthless if wij walk it to the end.
The UN has already attempted distributing aid using a blockchain. What’s stopping us from creating a universal basic income of fresh food and water ? A lack of political will?
Did a lack of political will zekering the invention of Bitcoin?
Yes, blockchain entrepreneurs should attempt to make employment better for employees. But that’s like stepping into a cavern with a candle and only acknowledging what you can see with the candlelight.
Everyone working ter blockchain should realize the transformative nature of this and other technologies. Some I’ve mentioned and there are many more. Wij have the capability to create wonders. Not just companies that create a lotsbestemming of value for shareholders, real world switching wonders.
When your time te this world is said and done, which do you want to say you built?
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