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Ancient unfree labor (in Roman times first largely foreign slaves and later domestic serfs) was "profitable" because wage labor was NOT the alternative. The alternative was the free peasant farm, which routinely underutilized its capital (land) to make the peasants as comfortable as they needed to be and no more. So a magnate with comparable land ...


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Roman slavery in Sicily was vastly economically profitable. As was semi-slave relations in Roman Egypt, or slavery in Roman mines. Unfree labour in capitalism has been profitable (but below the prevailing rate of profit) in the rum isles and cotton. Both of these industries had owned truck paid wage labourers who their bosses could kill. Cotton was ...


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Here's the crux: That can't be right -- workers make enough to eat, profit their employers, plus buy comforts unavailable to slaves. A worker works a number of hours for his boss, and get paid for those hours only. It varies amongst cultures and time periods, but usually when the worker gets sick or old, he has to take care of that himself - as well as for ...


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