"The general tendency of capitalistic production is not to raise, but to sink the average standard of wages... Such being the tendency of things in this system, is this to say that the working class ought to renounce their resistance against the encroachments of capital and abandon their attempt at making the best of the occasional chances for their temporary improvement? If they did, they would be degraded to one level mass of broken down wretches past salvation... By cowardly giving way in their everyday conflict with capital, they would certainly disqualify themselves for the initiating of any larger movement.
At the same time... they ought not to forget that they are fighting with effects, not with the causes of those effects; that they are retarding the downward movement, but not changing its direction; that they are applying palliatives, not curing the malady. They ought, therefore, not to be exclusively absorbed in these unavoidable guerrilla fights incessantly springing up from the never-ceasing encroachments of capital or changes in the market. They ought to understand that, with all the miseries it imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economic reconstruction of society.
Instead of the conservative motto: "A fair day's wages for a fair day's work!" they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword: 'Abolition of the wages system!"
-Karl Marx, Value, Price and Profit
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