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McDonald’s made me a Marxist Objectified workers are easy to abuse

It's not as easy as it looks. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

It's not as easy as it looks. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)


July 27, 2023   4 mins

There is a saying at McDonald’s: “‘tits on tills’ — boys in the kitchen, girls on the counter.” The idea, as a 22-year-old former worker described in a recent BBC report, is “to put attractive people at the front”. Human beings, in other words, are objectified.

The Bible declares that those who do not work shall not eat, and our secular society clings onto that idea: the harder you work, the greater your reward ought to be. There is a glut of articles, for instance, expressing outrage at how many junior doctors are paid less than fast-food workers. If you’re being compared to a McDonald’s employee, you know it’s bad.

I worked in McDonald’s for a few years, and it’s true: the wages set the lowest bar. If junior doctors are earning so little, that is a scandal. But drawing attention to the paltry pay of working-class people just so you can make a point about the treatment of overwhelmingly middle-class public servants isn’t exactly progressive.

Fast-food work is derided because it’s an “unskilled” job that supposedly any fool can do. It was my first job, and the same was true for many of the people I worked with. Three quarters of McDonald’s employees are under the age of 25. The workforce at my store was young and diverse, many coming from immigrant backgrounds, very few of us university educated. The sort of people ignored by society.

Around 100 current and recent McDonald’s staff have recently testified, in a BBC report, to enduring a toxic culture of sexual harassment, bullying and racism. Female workers as young as 16 described experiences of groping and intimidation, from both customers and staff members. Managers were accused of turning a “blind eye”.

Though I can’t testify to personally witnessing any sexual harassment while I worked at McDonald’s, I did hear about it. When I first started, a male crew member who was notorious for hitting on female colleagues was suspended for making inappropriate sexual comments. He left soon afterwards. There was also a 16-year-old worker was hit on by a middle-aged, lecherous dad, while he was overseeing his own 11-year-old daughter’s birthday party.

To some extent, such objectification is true of any workplace. In History and Class Consciousness, the Marxist György Lukács developed the concept of “reification”, which describes how, in a capitalist society, human relations are treated as relations between things. Human themselves are treated as objects, while abstract ideas like “capital” or “the market” become active subjects that determine human activity. In other words, humans are controlled by capital, rather than vice-versa.

Being a fast-food worker is perhaps the most extreme example of this condition. It is a job that allows no room for autonomy. For a good portion of my day, I was a piece of equipment that the bosses had paid for, and they wanted to get their money’s worth. Orders were issued from on high, the managers enforced them, and I was supposed to obey them without question, on pain of sanctions such as getting fired or denied decent hours. We were all overworked, because the store was understaffed — unless it was a Friday or Saturday night. Management needed to keep labour costs as low as they could get away with, to maintain profitability. There were busy shifts when I would be dumped on fries, to cook them and box them by myself, hour after hour. On summer days, it was excruciating.

Because the job is so monotonous and automatic, I felt like I was more robot than person. Working in McDonald’s made me feel what Marx meant by his theory of “alienation”, as opposed to just understanding it as an abstract intellectual concept. Alienation, for Marx, was how workers became estranged from the product of their labour, never reaping the benefits of production. It’s something that is impossible to complain about, when you feel like you’re just another cog in a machine, disposable and easily replaceable. When your work is seen as near-worthless, it’s hard to protest that you are being underpaid for what you help produce shift after shift.

Customers often reinforce this feeling. There is a general belief that people working in the food industry are servants and, therefore, lesser beings. Places such as McDonald’s cater to the masses; in their own work stations, its customers will often experience the same anxiety, alienation and precariousness. But McDonald’s is one of the few spaces where someone, downtrodden by their own boss, can feel like they have power — where they, as the customer, are king.

Those who exploit this transaction know that the power relations are lopsided in their favour. If they become aggressive and hurl abuse at a fast-food worker, for mostly minor infractions, the worker can’t defend themselves. They must maintain their composure, respond politely and just take the abuse on the chin. Otherwise, they may be damaging the company’s reputation for providing quality customer service, and even risking their job. I know of someone who was “written up” for getting angry at a customer who was swearing at him while complaining about cold fries. Usually if you have three write-ups, your contract will be terminated.

Meanwhile, the ubiquitous presence of CCTV cameras reminded us that we were always being watched. Indeed, McDonald’s must have recorded so many incidents of sexual harassment and bullying against workers. Yet footage is seldom used to bring about justice. One of the workers who testified in the BBC story said that, even though her sexual harassment was caught on camera, she had to carry on working with the perpetrator.

The harassment and bullying that goes on within McDonald’s isn’t simply a problem of gross lechers, then; it is a symptom of structural tendency in these workplaces to objectify human beings. It is a symptom, too, of the precarity of the job market for young people. Many of those I worked with had second jobs, often similarly low-waged, just to bolster their paltry income.

Perhaps part of why fast-food work is devalued is because the food served is seen as a vulgar indulgence, unlike junior doctors. But in this respect, how is it different from other source of pleasure? People want to eat fast food, and someone has to serve them. Those servers work long, hard hours. Beyond deserving basic respect, they should be able to earn a living, afford decent housing and a social life, raise a family.

But McDonald’s won’t give them these things, unless pressed. “Capital,” as Marx rightly stated, “is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society.” Fast-food restaurants have got away with treating their workers badly simply because they can; but they have been enabled by a tacit view, among the public, that these workers are somehow unworthy. It’s tempting to see the unionisation drives and strikes that have occurred in the past few years as the beginning of a fairer era. But it’s also hard to imagine a future in which fast-food workers aren’t the benchmark for bad wages, offered in exchange for their humanity.


Ralph Leonard is a British-Nigerian writer on international politics, religion, culture and humanism.

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Joe Cowan
Joe Cowan
11 months ago

You should read about factory life in a Marxist country. If you think capitalism treats workers like machines, wait to you see what Marxism does.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Totally agree. The advantage in the west used to be accessible employee protection laws and the freedom of labour to organise itself. The former are still there for egregious abuse. Unfortunately the latter were grotesquely abused in their turn and curtailed. That pendulum appears to swinging back.

I do also wonder at expectations. You have an entry level job that isn’t very fulfilling. Welcome to the real world.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Quite. If McDonald’s made him a Marxist then Cambodia, China, Russia and Ethiopia should have made him capitalist again. And why does the fool imagine that a top down, totalitarian state will improve conditions by one iota?
If this repetitive, stale nonsense is all the left can offer in defence of its clapped out beliefs, then perhaps we will see obnoxious, murderous and above all stupid Marxism implode and vanish at last.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

If McDonald’s made him a Marxist then Cambodia, China, Russia and Ethiopia should have made him capitalist again.
What makes you think he would have got that far? They could also have likely made him dead – floating in some killing field or from a re-education beating or struggle session or Gulag etc.

C Yonge
C Yonge
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Yeah, it’s amazing that Marxists think they can create something that will magically make them happy. Like the proletariat won’t become authoritarians themselves once they take over the means of production. I wish they would give me some details on how this happens. Also, to think they are the real ones producing the output. If you think you can produce fast food for people try setting up your own fast food restaurant.

C Yonge
C Yonge
11 months ago
Reply to  C Yonge

The truth is that in America Democrats(marxists) complain about big business and then institute policies that make it hard for small businesses to survive

C Yonge
C Yonge
11 months ago
Reply to  C Yonge

The truth is that in America Democrats(marxists) complain about big business and then institute policies that make it hard for small businesses to survive

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

If McDonald’s made him a Marxist then Cambodia, China, Russia and Ethiopia should have made him capitalist again.
What makes you think he would have got that far? They could also have likely made him dead – floating in some killing field or from a re-education beating or struggle session or Gulag etc.

C Yonge
C Yonge
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Yeah, it’s amazing that Marxists think they can create something that will magically make them happy. Like the proletariat won’t become authoritarians themselves once they take over the means of production. I wish they would give me some details on how this happens. Also, to think they are the real ones producing the output. If you think you can produce fast food for people try setting up your own fast food restaurant.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Doesn’t make it right. It’s like justifying any mistreatment of the Jews by saying they would be worse off in nazi germany.

P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Mistreatment such as sexual harassment is not ok in a capitalist society. There are laws against such things so it’s a strawman argument to pretend that being touched up is a symptom of the free economy. As for being told what to do and working long hours in return for money in a job you consented to do, to compare that with the holocaust is not worthy of serious discussion.

P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Mistreatment such as sexual harassment is not ok in a capitalist society. There are laws against such things so it’s a strawman argument to pretend that being touched up is a symptom of the free economy. As for being told what to do and working long hours in return for money in a job you consented to do, to compare that with the holocaust is not worthy of serious discussion.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Interesting point, yes, …. mind you, that’s because (as some Marxists claim) real Marxism has never been tried yet !! LOL.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

Just like Neoliberalism. If we just deregulate that little bit more, and give those at the top a little bit extra then next time I’m sure the money will trickle down as promised

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

No true Scotsmunism.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

Just like Neoliberalism. If we just deregulate that little bit more, and give those at the top a little bit extra then next time I’m sure the money will trickle down as promised

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

No true Scotsmunism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

In fairness, he probably didn’t write his own headline.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

If the headline didn’t mention Marxism then I’d wager there’d be much less opposition to the article

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

If the headline didn’t mention Marxism then I’d wager there’d be much less opposition to the article

Heather Erickson
Heather Erickson
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Omg. Agreed. This kid is such a whiner. He didn’t describe how low paying jobs work, he described all work. We all feel like cogs in a machine and we all feel like robots. That’s work. If work was easy, you wouldn’t get paid to do it. Life is hard. Someone has to grow food, produce food, cook food. Get over yourself already. It’s only getting easier because of machinery, robots, automation, but those things don’t happen over night. Before we have all that, it takes human muscle power.

Last edited 11 months ago by Heather Erickson
Alex Fleming
Alex Fleming
11 months ago

Industrialisation in Britain didn’t make ‘life easier’ it extended the working day and de-skilled people also. Those industries are just pushed further away from your eyes in today’s world.
As Marx said “machinery alone, shortens the hours of labour, but, when in the service of capital, lengthens them; since in itself lightens labour, but when employed by capital, heightens intensity of labour; since in itself it is a victory of man over the forces of Nature, but in the hands of capital, makes man the slave of those forces;” so on and so forth. Face facts it’s objectively true.

Alex Fleming
Alex Fleming
11 months ago

Industrialisation in Britain didn’t make ‘life easier’ it extended the working day and de-skilled people also. Those industries are just pushed further away from your eyes in today’s world.
As Marx said “machinery alone, shortens the hours of labour, but, when in the service of capital, lengthens them; since in itself lightens labour, but when employed by capital, heightens intensity of labour; since in itself it is a victory of man over the forces of Nature, but in the hands of capital, makes man the slave of those forces;” so on and so forth. Face facts it’s objectively true.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Totally agree. The advantage in the west used to be accessible employee protection laws and the freedom of labour to organise itself. The former are still there for egregious abuse. Unfortunately the latter were grotesquely abused in their turn and curtailed. That pendulum appears to swinging back.

I do also wonder at expectations. You have an entry level job that isn’t very fulfilling. Welcome to the real world.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Quite. If McDonald’s made him a Marxist then Cambodia, China, Russia and Ethiopia should have made him capitalist again. And why does the fool imagine that a top down, totalitarian state will improve conditions by one iota?
If this repetitive, stale nonsense is all the left can offer in defence of its clapped out beliefs, then perhaps we will see obnoxious, murderous and above all stupid Marxism implode and vanish at last.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Doesn’t make it right. It’s like justifying any mistreatment of the Jews by saying they would be worse off in nazi germany.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Interesting point, yes, …. mind you, that’s because (as some Marxists claim) real Marxism has never been tried yet !! LOL.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

In fairness, he probably didn’t write his own headline.

Heather Erickson
Heather Erickson
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe Cowan

Omg. Agreed. This kid is such a whiner. He didn’t describe how low paying jobs work, he described all work. We all feel like cogs in a machine and we all feel like robots. That’s work. If work was easy, you wouldn’t get paid to do it. Life is hard. Someone has to grow food, produce food, cook food. Get over yourself already. It’s only getting easier because of machinery, robots, automation, but those things don’t happen over night. Before we have all that, it takes human muscle power.

Last edited 11 months ago by Heather Erickson
Joe Cowan
Joe Cowan
11 months ago

You should read about factory life in a Marxist country. If you think capitalism treats workers like machines, wait to you see what Marxism does.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago

Anybody working 40 hours a week should be able to afford to put food on the table and buy a basic home in a civilised country. If the job is important enough that you need to pay people for their labour to achieve it, then that pay should be enough for them to live on without government assistance.
If your company can’t afford to pay high enough wages that your staff can afford basic living costs then you don’t have a viable business in my eyes, and it would be better for society for you to fold and have your market share taken by a more productive rival

philip kern
philip kern
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Doesn’t the value and cost of the product being made/sold factor in? Where I live, you can’t touch a house for less than a couple million dollars. I can’t buy one, despite having earned a number of degrees including a PhD from a British University, working 25 years in the same great job, and marrying an exceptionally frugal woman. Should my youngest son, less than 20 and beginning a new career with basically no skills, be able to afford to buy a basic home? Should he and I be in the same position wrt food and that house?
My impression: governments created specific housing realities while at the same time creating a low interest environment in which wages for two decades didn’t go up much. The profits during that time went to the house buyer/seller. Now with interest rates going up, the profit will instead go to the bank. The kid flipping burgers is never going to produce enough to buy that house. But back when I did it, none of us thought it was anything other than an assist toward a real job. That’s why so many were trained for a week or two but didn’t bother showing up for work again if a bit of entertainment turned up on a Friday night. Costs like that never seem to factor into the conversation.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  philip kern

I disagree, no matter the job of you want somebody to work for you then they should be paid enough to live. If the product you turn out can’t sell enough to cover the cost of those wages then in my mind it’s not a business that we as a society need, you’ll either have to find a way to sell it for more money or improve productivity so the employee can churn more out per hour. The extortionate house costs are another issue that needs fixing. However if employers were having to pay their workers enough to cover those rents/mortgages rather than having the taxpayer effectively subsidising salaries then you can be sure they’d be lobbying the government to fix the problem sharpish.
Finally as for your son, yes I do believe that he should be paid enough to give him a chance of saving a deposit. However you presumably have 20 years experience on him, and if you’re as qualified as you claim then you’d expect to be on more money than simply earning enough for a basic standard of living. I’m suggesting no full time worker should be struggling, not that everybody should be earning the same amount

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Or it could simply automate and not bother with humans at all, which is likely what McDonalds and others will do.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago

Why is that a problem? Should we be keeping unproductive jobs simply to keep people employed? That was one of the downfalls of the Soviet Union after all, keeping workers in non jobs just to keep the unemployment down eventually leading to bankruptcy

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Who says it’s a problem?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Who says it’s a problem?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago

Why is that a problem? Should we be keeping unproductive jobs simply to keep people employed? That was one of the downfalls of the Soviet Union after all, keeping workers in non jobs just to keep the unemployment down eventually leading to bankruptcy

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

This might come to pass if we could substantially reduce the numbers on the public pay roll

Last edited 11 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago

In fairness the ratio of people employed between the private:public sector has remained fairly consistent for 40 years, so I don’t think it’s as bloated as we are sometimes led to believe. There’s definitely a few CEOs of minor groups on six figure salaries that could do with a cull, but for many jobs the pay is less than they’d earn in the private sector for a similar role.
While the public sector needs tidying up, I don’t there’d be the mass savings there are that there are millions of jobs that could be culled without a detrimental impact on society

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago

In fairness the ratio of people employed between the private:public sector has remained fairly consistent for 40 years, so I don’t think it’s as bloated as we are sometimes led to believe. There’s definitely a few CEOs of minor groups on six figure salaries that could do with a cull, but for many jobs the pay is less than they’d earn in the private sector for a similar role.
While the public sector needs tidying up, I don’t there’d be the mass savings there are that there are millions of jobs that could be culled without a detrimental impact on society

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Or it could simply automate and not bother with humans at all, which is likely what McDonalds and others will do.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

This might come to pass if we could substantially reduce the numbers on the public pay roll

Last edited 11 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago
Reply to  philip kern

Strip away the partisan rhetoric and you can clearly see that, for the past thirty years at least, the central focus of both parties’ economic policies has been on buying middle class votes by artificially inflating house prices.
That, like pretty much everything else that is wrong, is a consequence of the steady postwar centralisation of British politics which ended in the transfer to Brussels of so much power that should rest with local communities here.
Brexit was a start towards putting that right. We now need to finish the job and return the decision making about how land is used to the communities that occupy it..

Terry M
Terry M
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Correct. If you don’t like the government controlling housing and interest rates WHY did you vote for these idiots? You may think that voting for something that sounds nice is a good idea, but rather look at the results in the real world. Most collectivist ideas objectify and demean the individual – that’s what collectivism is – and create terrible outcomes. Keep power at the lowest level where it can be effective to make your vote meaningful and the politicians accountable.

Terry M
Terry M
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Correct. If you don’t like the government controlling housing and interest rates WHY did you vote for these idiots? You may think that voting for something that sounds nice is a good idea, but rather look at the results in the real world. Most collectivist ideas objectify and demean the individual – that’s what collectivism is – and create terrible outcomes. Keep power at the lowest level where it can be effective to make your vote meaningful and the politicians accountable.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  philip kern

I disagree, no matter the job of you want somebody to work for you then they should be paid enough to live. If the product you turn out can’t sell enough to cover the cost of those wages then in my mind it’s not a business that we as a society need, you’ll either have to find a way to sell it for more money or improve productivity so the employee can churn more out per hour. The extortionate house costs are another issue that needs fixing. However if employers were having to pay their workers enough to cover those rents/mortgages rather than having the taxpayer effectively subsidising salaries then you can be sure they’d be lobbying the government to fix the problem sharpish.
Finally as for your son, yes I do believe that he should be paid enough to give him a chance of saving a deposit. However you presumably have 20 years experience on him, and if you’re as qualified as you claim then you’d expect to be on more money than simply earning enough for a basic standard of living. I’m suggesting no full time worker should be struggling, not that everybody should be earning the same amount

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago
Reply to  philip kern

Strip away the partisan rhetoric and you can clearly see that, for the past thirty years at least, the central focus of both parties’ economic policies has been on buying middle class votes by artificially inflating house prices.
That, like pretty much everything else that is wrong, is a consequence of the steady postwar centralisation of British politics which ended in the transfer to Brussels of so much power that should rest with local communities here.
Brexit was a start towards putting that right. We now need to finish the job and return the decision making about how land is used to the communities that occupy it..

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Perfectly put. I’ve nothing to add other than my support for your comment in this hostile environment. Despite my late-flowering conservatism I will never fall in behind these people.

P N
P N
11 months ago

These people? Who are these people? Those who understand basic economics unlike our resident socialist Billy Bob?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

I can only assume by your comment that you’re happy with the current system then, whereby companies pay low wages because of the market, and the government then has to top up the salaries of full time workers with benefits (essentially corporate welfare) simply so they can have a roof over their head?
Which one of us is the socialist?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

I can only assume by your comment that you’re happy with the current system then, whereby companies pay low wages because of the market, and the government then has to top up the salaries of full time workers with benefits (essentially corporate welfare) simply so they can have a roof over their head?
Which one of us is the socialist?

P N
P N
11 months ago

These people? Who are these people? Those who understand basic economics unlike our resident socialist Billy Bob?

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes – it comes down to deciding the kind of country we want to live in and setting about building it. We used to do that. Thanks to neoliberalism the answer over the last decades has always been: “market says no”.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

No, the market would solve all this if only they didn’t keep frigging the supply side with cheap infinite labour and clog up the market with rubbish companies through zero interest rates.
At least the latter is coming to an end, thankfully.

P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Where do you get your certainty from that it is a market failure not a policy failure? Can you be specific?

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

No, the market would solve all this if only they didn’t keep frigging the supply side with cheap infinite labour and clog up the market with rubbish companies through zero interest rates.
At least the latter is coming to an end, thankfully.

P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Where do you get your certainty from that it is a market failure not a policy failure? Can you be specific?

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Quite agree; if only so-called left leaning people didn’t campaign so hard to open the floodgates of cheap labour. They’ve not really thought it through have they?
Keep supply tight and let the market take care of it. It’ll weed out the rubbish, increase wages, and force productivity.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

I’m not sure Labour is a particularly left wing party anymore, economically anyway. They stupidly follow all the woke tropes about diversity and the like, whilst simultaneously being as pro business and anti worker as the Tories.
Both parties seem to have forgotten that Boris Johnson won a stinking majority by promising the exact opposite (admittedly he didn’t deliver any of it) of being more left wing economically and right wing socially, yet nobody seems to want to copy this blueprint of electoral success

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

I’m not sure Labour is a particularly left wing party anymore, economically anyway. They stupidly follow all the woke tropes about diversity and the like, whilst simultaneously being as pro business and anti worker as the Tories.
Both parties seem to have forgotten that Boris Johnson won a stinking majority by promising the exact opposite (admittedly he didn’t deliver any of it) of being more left wing economically and right wing socially, yet nobody seems to want to copy this blueprint of electoral success

P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Buy a home? Should school leavers with zero qualifications be able to buy a home simply for working 40 hours a week? Buying a home isn’t a right.
Your comment assumes that jobs and wealth exist in a vacuum and people don’t actually have to earn their keep, that they are entitled to the trappings of life merely for turning up, rather than being productive. It’s upside down thinking.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

Yes they should, not straight away obviously but being able to afford a basic family home should be an achievable goal with a bit of saving. Funny how we often hear the older generations brag about how they left school with nothing but we’re able to get a home quite easily simply by working full time irrespective of the job, yet now the same goal is deemed as being entitled

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No one thinks a job at Mickey D’s is enough on which to support a family, let alone buy a comfortable home. The idea is risible.
They’re jobs for teens and other part time workers. They’re not comparable to jobs you’d get after years of study and training, like medicine, law, or engineering.
Those jobs can, after some investment in one’s occupation, comfortably support a family, or the purchase of a home.
I’ve no doubt the fast food sector is can be an unpleasant in which to work. But they’re not supposed to be a permanent career.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No one thinks a job at Mickey D’s is enough on which to support a family, let alone buy a comfortable home. The idea is risible.
They’re jobs for teens and other part time workers. They’re not comparable to jobs you’d get after years of study and training, like medicine, law, or engineering.
Those jobs can, after some investment in one’s occupation, comfortably support a family, or the purchase of a home.
I’ve no doubt the fast food sector is can be an unpleasant in which to work. But they’re not supposed to be a permanent career.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

Yes they should, not straight away obviously but being able to afford a basic family home should be an achievable goal with a bit of saving. Funny how we often hear the older generations brag about how they left school with nothing but we’re able to get a home quite easily simply by working full time irrespective of the job, yet now the same goal is deemed as being entitled

philip kern
philip kern
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Doesn’t the value and cost of the product being made/sold factor in? Where I live, you can’t touch a house for less than a couple million dollars. I can’t buy one, despite having earned a number of degrees including a PhD from a British University, working 25 years in the same great job, and marrying an exceptionally frugal woman. Should my youngest son, less than 20 and beginning a new career with basically no skills, be able to afford to buy a basic home? Should he and I be in the same position wrt food and that house?
My impression: governments created specific housing realities while at the same time creating a low interest environment in which wages for two decades didn’t go up much. The profits during that time went to the house buyer/seller. Now with interest rates going up, the profit will instead go to the bank. The kid flipping burgers is never going to produce enough to buy that house. But back when I did it, none of us thought it was anything other than an assist toward a real job. That’s why so many were trained for a week or two but didn’t bother showing up for work again if a bit of entertainment turned up on a Friday night. Costs like that never seem to factor into the conversation.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Perfectly put. I’ve nothing to add other than my support for your comment in this hostile environment. Despite my late-flowering conservatism I will never fall in behind these people.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes – it comes down to deciding the kind of country we want to live in and setting about building it. We used to do that. Thanks to neoliberalism the answer over the last decades has always been: “market says no”.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Quite agree; if only so-called left leaning people didn’t campaign so hard to open the floodgates of cheap labour. They’ve not really thought it through have they?
Keep supply tight and let the market take care of it. It’ll weed out the rubbish, increase wages, and force productivity.

P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Buy a home? Should school leavers with zero qualifications be able to buy a home simply for working 40 hours a week? Buying a home isn’t a right.
Your comment assumes that jobs and wealth exist in a vacuum and people don’t actually have to earn their keep, that they are entitled to the trappings of life merely for turning up, rather than being productive. It’s upside down thinking.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago

Anybody working 40 hours a week should be able to afford to put food on the table and buy a basic home in a civilised country. If the job is important enough that you need to pay people for their labour to achieve it, then that pay should be enough for them to live on without government assistance.
If your company can’t afford to pay high enough wages that your staff can afford basic living costs then you don’t have a viable business in my eyes, and it would be better for society for you to fold and have your market share taken by a more productive rival

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

No offence, but this article reads like a polemic from a teenager who feels aggrieved by a crappy employer.

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Couldn’t agree more, another whining Marxist who thinks they’re not being recognised as special enough by Everyone. Jobs like those available at McDonalds are a good way for young people to earn some money (£9 an hour for 16yr olds I believe) while developing their education/skills in more long term pursuits. If you’re stuck in jobs like that because you screwed up your education that’s your own and you parents fault. I read recently that Junior doctors are on 50k ish a year so if that’s true then that’s nonsense.

Finally, the suggestion that Marx and Marxism in both its old and new iterations values the individual is laughable. The author is spectacularly naive. This is virtue signalling of the highest order. Assuming they read it back before sending it in and didn’t cringe is demonstrative.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stu B
David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

But if he hadn’t built on real experience, and had produced an abstract piece, you would probably be telling him to visit the real world.

Last edited 11 months ago by David Morley
Robbie K
Robbie K
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I thought so too. The irony is that a spell with McDonalds is usually seen as a big plus by other prospective employers who consider their training and development to be highly valuable to a person.
And btw, no one ever went into a McDonalds to see the server’s tits.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Ya. I thought the thing about the cashiers was weird.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Ya. I thought the thing about the cashiers was weird.

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Couldn’t agree more, another whining Marxist who thinks they’re not being recognised as special enough by Everyone. Jobs like those available at McDonalds are a good way for young people to earn some money (£9 an hour for 16yr olds I believe) while developing their education/skills in more long term pursuits. If you’re stuck in jobs like that because you screwed up your education that’s your own and you parents fault. I read recently that Junior doctors are on 50k ish a year so if that’s true then that’s nonsense.

Finally, the suggestion that Marx and Marxism in both its old and new iterations values the individual is laughable. The author is spectacularly naive. This is virtue signalling of the highest order. Assuming they read it back before sending it in and didn’t cringe is demonstrative.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stu B
David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

But if he hadn’t built on real experience, and had produced an abstract piece, you would probably be telling him to visit the real world.

Last edited 11 months ago by David Morley
Robbie K
Robbie K
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I thought so too. The irony is that a spell with McDonalds is usually seen as a big plus by other prospective employers who consider their training and development to be highly valuable to a person.
And btw, no one ever went into a McDonalds to see the server’s tits.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

No offence, but this article reads like a polemic from a teenager who feels aggrieved by a crappy employer.

Tony Reardon
Tony Reardon
11 months ago

McDonald’s offer hamburgers for a price and people either choose to buy them or not. McDonald’s offer jobs at a wage and people choose to take them or not. It’s called freedom. Don’t buy if you don’t like the product; don’t work there if you don’t like the conditions.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Reardon

Yet when the workers started getting more sway through forming powerful unions, the government intervened and massively curtailed their power. It’s a bit rich if companies to use the free market as an excuse for paying pitiful wages, when they also lobby the government to assist them through union busting laws or large scale immigration of cheap labour when supply and demand swings in the workers favour

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree with everything you say here. This type of corporatism is a disgrace.

I’ll add one thing though; something is terribly wrong with the economy if McDonald’s becomes anything more than a short-term, entry level job for students and people just entering that job market.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Unfortunately with the hollowing out of a lot of skilled or manufacturing work, the likes of McDonalds or an Amazon sweatshop are some of the only major employers in our more disadvantaged towns

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yep. But just wait for the AI revolution to really kick in, we’re going to be pining for the 2010s.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

What fool downvoted this?

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

What fool downvoted this?

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yep. But just wait for the AI revolution to really kick in, we’re going to be pining for the 2010s.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Unfortunately with the hollowing out of a lot of skilled or manufacturing work, the likes of McDonalds or an Amazon sweatshop are some of the only major employers in our more disadvantaged towns

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Nailed it again.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Great comment. You can’t set the rules to suit the privileged players and then call the game “freedom”.

Terry M
Terry M
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

If anyone can make the decision for themselves, how does that ‘set the rules to suit the privileged players’?
A worker’s wages are set by the value they can bring to the company. A McD’s worker simply moves food from one counter to another, so not much value. And they are testing machines to do all of that. Many of these entry level jobs will be lost – then where will you go? The answer is to make yourself more valuable through education and experience where you learn/polish useful skills.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

If they provide such little value why are they needing to be employed by the company in the first place. Wages should be high enough for people to live on, it’s a basic pillar of capitalism. If you can only make a profit on your product by paying those that create it too little to live on (and expecting the taxpayer to pick up the tab) then you don’t have a viable business model in my eyes

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

If they provide such little value why are they needing to be employed by the company in the first place. Wages should be high enough for people to live on, it’s a basic pillar of capitalism. If you can only make a profit on your product by paying those that create it too little to live on (and expecting the taxpayer to pick up the tab) then you don’t have a viable business model in my eyes

Terry M
Terry M
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

If anyone can make the decision for themselves, how does that ‘set the rules to suit the privileged players’?
A worker’s wages are set by the value they can bring to the company. A McD’s worker simply moves food from one counter to another, so not much value. And they are testing machines to do all of that. Many of these entry level jobs will be lost – then where will you go? The answer is to make yourself more valuable through education and experience where you learn/polish useful skills.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Er, their power was created by Governments. In a free World when someone you offer money to in return for their work declines to offer the work you’d make the offer to someone else.
It was Governments that created a right to strike without fear of dismissal.

Last edited 11 months ago by Phil Mac
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree with everything you say here. This type of corporatism is a disgrace.

I’ll add one thing though; something is terribly wrong with the economy if McDonald’s becomes anything more than a short-term, entry level job for students and people just entering that job market.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Nailed it again.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Great comment. You can’t set the rules to suit the privileged players and then call the game “freedom”.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Er, their power was created by Governments. In a free World when someone you offer money to in return for their work declines to offer the work you’d make the offer to someone else.
It was Governments that created a right to strike without fear of dismissal.

Last edited 11 months ago by Phil Mac
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Reardon

Yet when the workers started getting more sway through forming powerful unions, the government intervened and massively curtailed their power. It’s a bit rich if companies to use the free market as an excuse for paying pitiful wages, when they also lobby the government to assist them through union busting laws or large scale immigration of cheap labour when supply and demand swings in the workers favour

Tony Reardon
Tony Reardon
11 months ago

McDonald’s offer hamburgers for a price and people either choose to buy them or not. McDonald’s offer jobs at a wage and people choose to take them or not. It’s called freedom. Don’t buy if you don’t like the product; don’t work there if you don’t like the conditions.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

The usual drivel sort of article in which an author tries to force fit their beliefs and agenda onto a plausible scapegoat (McDonalds in this case) without ever objectively investigating. Generalisations and assumptions abound. Facts are few.
Is McDonalds really any worse than anywhere else ?
Does McDonalds really pay lower wages than other retail and hospitality jobs ?
In one example the author quotes of harrassment of younger female staff, the man is promptly suspended and leaves shortly afterwards. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen ? Best practice even. Compare and contrast with the BBC and ITV.
I’d be more than happy for my son to gain some work experience at McDonalds (as our neighbour’s son did). A good place to learn about hard work, persistence, discipline, teamwork and customer service.
The idea that we all despise the “servants” working at McDonalds is entirely in the mind and prejudices of the author.
Finally, if the job is as “robotic” as the author claims, it will be replaced by robots and automation.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

The usual drivel sort of article in which an author tries to force fit their beliefs and agenda onto a plausible scapegoat (McDonalds in this case) without ever objectively investigating. Generalisations and assumptions abound. Facts are few.
Is McDonalds really any worse than anywhere else ?
Does McDonalds really pay lower wages than other retail and hospitality jobs ?
In one example the author quotes of harrassment of younger female staff, the man is promptly suspended and leaves shortly afterwards. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen ? Best practice even. Compare and contrast with the BBC and ITV.
I’d be more than happy for my son to gain some work experience at McDonalds (as our neighbour’s son did). A good place to learn about hard work, persistence, discipline, teamwork and customer service.
The idea that we all despise the “servants” working at McDonalds is entirely in the mind and prejudices of the author.
Finally, if the job is as “robotic” as the author claims, it will be replaced by robots and automation.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
11 months ago

McDonald’s made me a hamburger.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
11 months ago

McDonald’s made me a hamburger.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago

Good piece. Obviously the mention of Marx has got some backs up. Marxist utopias clearly don’t work – but the tradition of social critique stemming from Marx still has value. It would be ridiculous to simply ignore it.

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Social critique is good, but when it’s done through a Marxist lens the solutions are wrong. The article being a fine example.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu B

I’m not sure the author suggested any marxist solutions. And critique itself does not imply there is only one possible solution – let alone only a marxist one.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu B

I’m not sure the author suggested any marxist solutions. And critique itself does not imply there is only one possible solution – let alone only a marxist one.

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Social critique is good, but when it’s done through a Marxist lens the solutions are wrong. The article being a fine example.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago

Good piece. Obviously the mention of Marx has got some backs up. Marxist utopias clearly don’t work – but the tradition of social critique stemming from Marx still has value. It would be ridiculous to simply ignore it.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago

Ah diddums, people treated you as a servant because you were serving them and that made you feel bad.
As for the sexual harassment; that’s humans for you (unless Marxism abolishes that too) and I picked up that you didn’t see any yourself and one of your two stories involved the Company suspending the guy. Evil Capitalists depriving worker of income!
Probably the most infantile article I’ve ever read on Unherd.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

It’s worse than that. He reports 100 reported complaints (reported, not necessarily proven) of sexual harrassment at McDonalds UK. That’s a huge organisation. While one is too many, let’s get some perspective here. The House of Commons itself is far, far worse normalised to the number of staff (well north of 10 instances over 650 MPs). Incidence is also far higher in our esteemed media organisations.
Rather than look for the very worst instances of a problem and target those, you get the distinct feeling that he had pre-selected McDonalds regardless of the facts.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

It’s worse than that. He reports 100 reported complaints (reported, not necessarily proven) of sexual harrassment at McDonalds UK. That’s a huge organisation. While one is too many, let’s get some perspective here. The House of Commons itself is far, far worse normalised to the number of staff (well north of 10 instances over 650 MPs). Incidence is also far higher in our esteemed media organisations.
Rather than look for the very worst instances of a problem and target those, you get the distinct feeling that he had pre-selected McDonalds regardless of the facts.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
11 months ago

Ah diddums, people treated you as a servant because you were serving them and that made you feel bad.
As for the sexual harassment; that’s humans for you (unless Marxism abolishes that too) and I picked up that you didn’t see any yourself and one of your two stories involved the Company suspending the guy. Evil Capitalists depriving worker of income!
Probably the most infantile article I’ve ever read on Unherd.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

Dude, fast food jobs are entry-lever working experience for kids. If yours at McDonalds made you a “Marxist”, then you still have a lot of growing up to do.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

Dude, fast food jobs are entry-lever working experience for kids. If yours at McDonalds made you a “Marxist”, then you still have a lot of growing up to do.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

“McDonald’s made me a Marxist”It made me allergic to the perveyors of junk food. My response was the more proportionate

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

“McDonald’s made me a Marxist”It made me allergic to the perveyors of junk food. My response was the more proportionate

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
11 months ago

and now you’re a writer – ah! the stepping stones of capitalism!

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

Yes – everyone who ever worked in McDonalds is now a writer. Well apart from the Hollywood directors, CEOs, heads of state etc.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

Yes – everyone who ever worked in McDonalds is now a writer. Well apart from the Hollywood directors, CEOs, heads of state etc.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
11 months ago

and now you’re a writer – ah! the stepping stones of capitalism!

Richard Ross
Richard Ross
11 months ago

Thanks to UnHerd (no sarcasm here!) for running this hilarious article. It’s important to see all sides of an issue, even – or especially – when one of them is so glaringly flawed.
I assume our Communist friend was paid – in capital – for his writing -?

Richard Ross
Richard Ross
11 months ago

Thanks to UnHerd (no sarcasm here!) for running this hilarious article. It’s important to see all sides of an issue, even – or especially – when one of them is so glaringly flawed.
I assume our Communist friend was paid – in capital – for his writing -?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

“Though I can’t testify to personally witnessing any sexual harassment while I worked at McDonald’s, I did hear about it. When I first started, a male crew member who was notorious for hitting on female colleagues was suspended for making inappropriate sexual comments. He left soon afterwards.” Er … that is what is meant to happen.
And if it doesn’t, then you should look at joining a union. Or recording abusive comments on your mobile phone and contacting a lawyer specialising in claiming compensation from employers who don’t protect their staff from abuse.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

“Though I can’t testify to personally witnessing any sexual harassment while I worked at McDonald’s, I did hear about it. When I first started, a male crew member who was notorious for hitting on female colleagues was suspended for making inappropriate sexual comments. He left soon afterwards.” Er … that is what is meant to happen.
And if it doesn’t, then you should look at joining a union. Or recording abusive comments on your mobile phone and contacting a lawyer specialising in claiming compensation from employers who don’t protect their staff from abuse.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

The idea, …. is “to put attractive people at the front”. 
Well why wouldn’t you.
As to the BBC mocumentary, it is the template of such programmes to get individuals to make uncorroborated allegation and then present them as the unvarnished truth.
I await the BBC’s investigative report about similar goings on within the BBC which I imagine would need a 12 part series

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

The idea, …. is “to put attractive people at the front”. 
Well why wouldn’t you.
As to the BBC mocumentary, it is the template of such programmes to get individuals to make uncorroborated allegation and then present them as the unvarnished truth.
I await the BBC’s investigative report about similar goings on within the BBC which I imagine would need a 12 part series

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

You people like continuous mass immigration, which depresses your own wages.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

You people like continuous mass immigration, which depresses your own wages.

James P
James P
11 months ago

I worked at MacDonald’s back in the 70″s (I’m old). It was hard work and the pay was lousy, but it matched my skills which amounted to being able to show up on time. I was also the night janitor there. What I learned was how to hustle, work on a team and deal with the public. During my career, I always interviewed people who had MacDonald’s experience on their resumes because … they know how to hustle, work on a team and deal with the public. I met a guy once who had a major yacht maintenance repair business here in BC and he said the same. A job at MacD gives you more than just pay. There’s nothing wrong with that.

net mag
net mag
11 months ago
Reply to  James P

Bingo. MacDonald’s and the like are entry-level jobs where low skilled and new workforce entrants (teenagers, in your and my day) learn how to work. And come to that, not just how to work, but how to work efficiently.

net mag
net mag
11 months ago
Reply to  James P

Bingo. MacDonald’s and the like are entry-level jobs where low skilled and new workforce entrants (teenagers, in your and my day) learn how to work. And come to that, not just how to work, but how to work efficiently.

James P
James P
11 months ago

I worked at MacDonald’s back in the 70″s (I’m old). It was hard work and the pay was lousy, but it matched my skills which amounted to being able to show up on time. I was also the night janitor there. What I learned was how to hustle, work on a team and deal with the public. During my career, I always interviewed people who had MacDonald’s experience on their resumes because … they know how to hustle, work on a team and deal with the public. I met a guy once who had a major yacht maintenance repair business here in BC and he said the same. A job at MacD gives you more than just pay. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
11 months ago

Capital,” as Marx rightly stated, “is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society.” Wrong. “People”, not nebulous ‘Capital’ are either reckless or solicitous of their fellow’s welfare. People make decisions, to pay well or poorly. People make decisions, and good people make good decisions. Bad decisions spring from a lack of Godly principle in the human heart. Marx, whose seminal work is filled with error, did not perceive the difference between a person and his category. Labor is people. Capital is people. And people, being by nature selfish and lazy, will not work ‘according to his ability’ nor take ‘according to his need’. No, he will take more than he needs and give less than he is able. Unless the man puts God into his heart.

Last edited 11 months ago by Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
11 months ago

Capital,” as Marx rightly stated, “is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society.” Wrong. “People”, not nebulous ‘Capital’ are either reckless or solicitous of their fellow’s welfare. People make decisions, to pay well or poorly. People make decisions, and good people make good decisions. Bad decisions spring from a lack of Godly principle in the human heart. Marx, whose seminal work is filled with error, did not perceive the difference between a person and his category. Labor is people. Capital is people. And people, being by nature selfish and lazy, will not work ‘according to his ability’ nor take ‘according to his need’. No, he will take more than he needs and give less than he is able. Unless the man puts God into his heart.

Last edited 11 months ago by Samuel Ross
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago

The solution to the problems you describe is not Marxism but democracy. I don’t mean the authoritarian Oxbridge oligarchy we currently live under, but a society in which every adult has a direct input right down to the local level and in which enterprises like fast food outlets are run on the basis of mutualism rather than globalised finance.

glyn harries
glyn harries
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Which is technically Marxism.

glyn harries
glyn harries
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Which is technically Marxism.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago

The solution to the problems you describe is not Marxism but democracy. I don’t mean the authoritarian Oxbridge oligarchy we currently live under, but a society in which every adult has a direct input right down to the local level and in which enterprises like fast food outlets are run on the basis of mutualism rather than globalised finance.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
11 months ago

Well, the that’s why social-democracy has historically tried to balance or reform the relations between capital and labour – and yes, we need more employees in a trade-union.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
11 months ago

Well, the that’s why social-democracy has historically tried to balance or reform the relations between capital and labour – and yes, we need more employees in a trade-union.

P N
P N
11 months ago

Hilarious student-esque political naivity.
Mr Leonard objects to capitalism but compared to what? The headline suggests Marxism and the content of the article supports this. How does Mr Leonard think the unskilled workers are treated in Marxist societies? In China, if you are in charge of a SOE and it loses money, you go to prison if you’re lucky. But that’s not real Marxism, of course. Ok, let’s look at the USSR which spent years of blood and toil to embody Marxism within the state apparatus. Does Mr Leonard think life was better in the capitalist West for an unskilled worker or the communist USSR and its satellites? Which direction did they run when the Berlin Wall came down? During Perestroika, Mr Gorbachev complained that the Soviet economy had collapsed. Why? Because they were no longer shooting people for not working.
Capitalism is not an -ism, it is the oppositive of an -ism. It is merely the system that exists when humans are allowed to trade freely amongst themselves my mutual consent. Mr Leonard chose to work in McDonalds because it was better than the alternatives. I’m sorry he got treated badly but he didn’t have to stay. Where else does he think he might have been treated better? China? Cuba? Venezuela?
Mr Leonard writes, “The sort of people ignored by society,” without being specific. Can he be specific? How was he ignored exactly? Was he not educated at the state’s expense, kept safe in his house at the state’s expense whilst the taxpayer paid for the roads he drove on, the army to defend him and the bins to be collected? Mr Leonard appears to feel he is owed something by society which he has not earned. What is it exactly that you feel you are owed by society Mr Leonard?
This is an exhaustive list of everything society owes Mr Leonard:.

P N
P N
11 months ago

Hilarious student-esque political naivity.
Mr Leonard objects to capitalism but compared to what? The headline suggests Marxism and the content of the article supports this. How does Mr Leonard think the unskilled workers are treated in Marxist societies? In China, if you are in charge of a SOE and it loses money, you go to prison if you’re lucky. But that’s not real Marxism, of course. Ok, let’s look at the USSR which spent years of blood and toil to embody Marxism within the state apparatus. Does Mr Leonard think life was better in the capitalist West for an unskilled worker or the communist USSR and its satellites? Which direction did they run when the Berlin Wall came down? During Perestroika, Mr Gorbachev complained that the Soviet economy had collapsed. Why? Because they were no longer shooting people for not working.
Capitalism is not an -ism, it is the oppositive of an -ism. It is merely the system that exists when humans are allowed to trade freely amongst themselves my mutual consent. Mr Leonard chose to work in McDonalds because it was better than the alternatives. I’m sorry he got treated badly but he didn’t have to stay. Where else does he think he might have been treated better? China? Cuba? Venezuela?
Mr Leonard writes, “The sort of people ignored by society,” without being specific. Can he be specific? How was he ignored exactly? Was he not educated at the state’s expense, kept safe in his house at the state’s expense whilst the taxpayer paid for the roads he drove on, the army to defend him and the bins to be collected? Mr Leonard appears to feel he is owed something by society which he has not earned. What is it exactly that you feel you are owed by society Mr Leonard?
This is an exhaustive list of everything society owes Mr Leonard:.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 months ago

A long time ago I found myself working as an engineer in an East End factory. My first exposure to the vibrate culture of the 1960’s London’s East End.
We are all (even East Ender’s?) so hopelessly middle class today. All planning careers, looking towards the future……
I think it was the first time I had been in contact with people who lived for the moment. If you did not look the girls up and dodown,hey thought you were gay! They spent everything they earned – it was not much – on fun.
It was a lifestyle(!) which – I think – assumed your body would soon fall apart and kids, old age would come soon – so make the most of it now.
Actually, there is a lot of truth in this. Our wonderful youth is short – just the rest of life has been greatly extended.

Last edited 11 months ago by UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 months ago

A long time ago I found myself working as an engineer in an East End factory. My first exposure to the vibrate culture of the 1960’s London’s East End.
We are all (even East Ender’s?) so hopelessly middle class today. All planning careers, looking towards the future……
I think it was the first time I had been in contact with people who lived for the moment. If you did not look the girls up and dodown,hey thought you were gay! They spent everything they earned – it was not much – on fun.
It was a lifestyle(!) which – I think – assumed your body would soon fall apart and kids, old age would come soon – so make the most of it now.
Actually, there is a lot of truth in this. Our wonderful youth is short – just the rest of life has been greatly extended.

Last edited 11 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Seth Edenbaum
Seth Edenbaum
11 months ago

“The idea, as a 22-year-old former worker described in a recent BBC report, is “to put attractive people at the front”. Human beings, in other words, are objectified.
How old are you again? I can read a better discussion at Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordism

Last edited 11 months ago by Seth Edenbaum
Seth Edenbaum
Seth Edenbaum
11 months ago

“The idea, as a 22-year-old former worker described in a recent BBC report, is “to put attractive people at the front”. Human beings, in other words, are objectified.
How old are you again? I can read a better discussion at Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordism

Last edited 11 months ago by Seth Edenbaum
Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago

“… put attractive people at the front”.
On the few occasions I’ve ever been into a McDonald’s I’ve been served by mainly unattractive people at the front!

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago

“… put attractive people at the front”.
On the few occasions I’ve ever been into a McDonald’s I’ve been served by mainly unattractive people at the front!