G.K. Chesterton wrote this article about Englishmen a century ago. But it just as easily applies to American workers today. Medieval serfs and peasants enjoyed conditions which–in many ways–are preferable to those endured by modern American employees.
It is really time that the comfortable classes made a short summary and confession of what they have really done with the very poor Englishman. The dawn of the mediaeval civilisation found him a serf; which is a different thing from a slave. He had security; although the man belonged to the land rather than the land to the man. He could not be evicted; his rent could not be raised. In practice, it came to something like this: that if the lord rode down his cabbages he had not much chance of redress; but he had the chance of growing more cabbages. He had direct access to the means of production.
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