Marx: We are gathered here today to discuss our current economic, political, and social situation.
Smith: Politics? Social situation? I’m only here to talk about economics….
Marx: Well Smith when you improve the lives of citizens, and arrange politics so that it will benefit the people, economics will also improve.
Smith: Marx I’d have to disagree. You must first improve the economy in order to improve the lives of citizens.
Marx: But Smith the history of all societies has always been a struggle between classes: the struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor! It’s more complicated than simply economics.
Simon: Do you not see the interconnection between the oppressed and the oppressor, and how they are both to blame?
Marx: No! I blame the bourgeois for all the struggles of the proletariat!
Simon: But do you not see that it is the competition which is at fault? Competition makes everyone each other’s enemies.
Marx: Are you defending the bourgeois?
Simon: It’s not that I am defending them, but I am saying that all are hurt by the division of labor. You seem to believe that all bourgeois are successful. It is very easy for one to fall from their position as bourgeois into the proletariat class. Only the people who create the cheapest and highest of quality will succeed. Not only does this create suffering for that person, but it also wastes resources. All the machines in their factory will go to waste because of the high specification. Most importantly competition takes away humanity by creating a population who are hostile to each other.
Smith: How does it make everyone each others’ enemy? Working together, especially with division of labor creates higher efficiency because you aren’t switching from one task to another, and leads to further innovation.
Simon: They are enemies because in order to succeed in a capitalist economy one must destroy another person. It leads to people deriving satisfaction from others misery.
Marx: Smith you also have to think about the effects of overproduction when division of labor leads to too much efficiency.
Smith: I do not believe that there is such a thing as being excessively productive….That’s simply counterintuitive.
Marx: But when you produce too much it will lead to a surplus.
Smith: Yes a surplus that may be used to benefit the workers! They will be able to trade or increase technology with these surpluses.
Marx: Overproduction is an epidemic!
Simon: When you produce more than can be consumed you will end up with underconsumption which will lead to lower wages for the workers, and a lower quality of life.
Smith: How does this happen simply from dividing labor, and making everything more efficient?
Marx: You must see that when you take away specialization you make it so any citizen can accomplish all jobs. Now not only do you have a surplus of goods, but also a surplus of workers. Since jobs are so simplified, many people are capable of doing them, and there are no longer specialized jobs. This leads to a giant surplus of workers which allows employers to keep lowering wages. As Simon believes that competition leads to a lack of humanity, I believe that the division of labor takes away human qualities by making laborers nothing more than an extension of the machine.
Smith: But people have always worked, why now would they be so affected by their jobs?
Marx: All of the proletariat’s energy is focused on finding work, and working enough hours to be able to feed his family. This takes away his ability to maintain family values, to the point that he must send his children to work.
Simon: But do you see how the division of labor can be harmful to both classes?
Marx: The only way the bourgeois are harmed is in the revolution by the proletariat. I am organizing today who is with me?
Smith: I’m no activist. Publishing literature is enough for me.
Simon: Me too, Marx is too much of a rebel for my liking. I’m more for writing about my ideas, not taking action, but I wish you luck.