Labor has priority over capital – even but considering that in the process production, it is labor which is its basic efficient cause, with capital simply remaining as the means precisely entrusted to labor to work on and enrich it. The truth is that even a good number of capital holdings in the hands of different individuals or corporations, invested on different economic ventures, the ground reality remains that said capital investments are in fact primarily sustained and ultimately enhanced by labor – considering that no capital builds itself. Without labor, capital remains the same in amount and value. And when altogether untouched by labor, capital becomes even gradually less in value by reason of devaluation. A stagnant capital – untouched and undeveloped by labor – eventually brings about a loss in value, a decrease in its purchasing power.
Capital being basically but an instrumental reality, the same may not serve the common good when not enriched by labor – even but considering that capital is usually built from the resources of nature through the intervention of labor itself. It wherefore altogether untrue that capital is enriched by capital whereas it is precisely labor that makes it grow in amount and value. Capital wherefore is in truth the heritage of those who put it up plus those who work on it precisely to continuously not only preserve but also build it up. This being the truth, the objective reality is that neither the “Lord of capital” nor the “Master of labor” may legitimately claim absolute command over capital and labor respectively – under penalty of bilateral loss.
It is not only contrary to sound reason but also a denial of objective reality to own and use the means of production precisely as an instrument of undermining the nature of labor and demeaning the dignity of labourers. it is worth seriously thinking and deciding if the means of production are not after all meant to serve labor more than capital. This is based on the universal destiny of temporal goods in favour of both capitalists and labourers, in favour of both individuals and communities.
As to matter of profit, while this factor must be recognized, it is definitely not the chief nor exclusive motive of any economic enterprise – realistically thinking and truthfully speaking. The genuine purpose of a business form is not simply to make profit but also to serve the needs of labor plus the interest of the community of persons concerned. Such is contrary to egoistic capital self-service that diminishes if not altogether cancels the social relevance of business enterprise.
The matter of just wages according to the realistic possibilities of an economic enterprise, the question of safe and healthy working conditions, the issue of proper collective bargaining, the good too of the managers together with their administrative assistants – these are some of the serious issues that should be properly addressed and rightfully answered in the world of business. More. The matter of “Family Wage”, the practice of “Profit Sharing”, the question of periodic “Stock Distribution” – these are some of the noble and praiseworthy concessions of capital to labor that can be considered and acted upon.
There is the image of a humble worm – with a signal lesson to capital and labor: When whole, the worm lives. When divided, the worm dies.