The real solution to worker's problem

Published on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It happened again. Due to the negligence of the factory owner, near 100 people died. And we are asking, how many times more! Didn't we say last time that it will happen again and again until government protects the workers? Yes, that is how we think, probably everyone, who are neither the ruthless owners nor their government patrons. We think that the solution is simple.

Then why things are not getting fixed? It is because we are looking at the wrong solution. We think that it is the government who can protect the workers. They should make regulations and enforce them, and everyone will start to live happily ever after. But, regulations are already there. Now, how do you make government officials really enforce them? There is no magic which will make it happen.

It is the government who is actually stopping us to arrive at a solution, and consequently it is making the problem worse. Look at every case of such factory incidents. It was both the  involvement and the negligence of government that helped the owners to continue killing the workers, despite the presence of immense amount of regulations. It does not matter which party is in power. There is no 'good' or 'honest' party on earth. That is a myth.

Now the burning question is, whether you should seek help from someone who actually perpetuates the problem. Is it going to work?

Let us try to see how this problem would have been solved in a free society, devoid of a government. There would be no guarantee that mishaps would never happen in a free society; that is how life is. But, in such a society, no one can stop the workers from forming their own police force. Yes, I am talking about the coexistence of multiple police forces.

It is like Kurosawa's film "Seven Samurai", where poor village people hire samurais to protect them from bandits. The difference is, we have millions of workers. So a small amount of premium from each should be able to make a powerful police force of the worker's own. The cost would be much less than what the workers currently pay for their rent.

The police force of the workers would try to ensure the safety of the workers through persuasion and other peaceful means. But when mishaps happen due to the negligence of the owner, this force will also try to bring them to justice. They would try to incarcerate the owner and collect a large amount of fine. This would soon make the owners realize that the workers are not helpless. The protector of the workers are not the owner's friend either, as always is the case in a government system. The problem will not sustain for long, or at least would not get worse, as it is happening now.

And yes, there can be multiple police forces working for the workers. This would create a competition and keep the premium even further down. The workers will have a choice to move to another security provider, if their current provider's service is unsatisfactory. And even the members of the middle class would also participate and donate to save their worker brethrens. Think about the sentiments the middle class in Bangladesh has at this moment against these repressions. Wouldn't many of them donate, if such a force is formed now?

Why is this solution not possible now? It is because the government assumes a monopoly on the business of security and stops anyone else who would try to build a police force for their own protection. If only one police force exists, it would inevitably and exclusively serve the purpose of the rich owners and their political collaborators.

Unfortunately, we are believers, who believe that the perpetuator of the problem, the government, itself can solve the problem, probably through a massive change of 'consciousness toward goodwill'. So, we will go to the monkey again for solutions, and the monkey will eat our cake a little bit more. That summarizes the history of our struggle.

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