Consider three examples: I am a farmer. I have a piece of land that can grow just enough potatoes to feed me. I work this land, I gather potatoes, ad nauseam. I am a farmer, but this time I have...
Consider three examples:
I am a farmer. I have a piece of land that can grow just enough potatoes to feed me. I work this land, I gather potatoes, ad nauseam.
I am a farmer, but this time I have ten times the amount of land. I hire four workers and also work myself. Together we grow enough potatoes to feed all of us, and we also have a surplus. I sell this surplus potato for ¤5000. I am a greedy man, so I take ¤3000 for myself and give ¤500 to each of my workers.
The situation is the same as in 2, but this time I am a just man. I share the money equally, so everyone including myself gets ¤1000.
It seems to me that in the first case the land can be considered personal property, since there is no exploitation and no surplus is generated. In the second example the land is clearly a piece of private property, because I use it to exploit other people, taking most of the profit for myself.
But what about the third example? On one hand, the profit is distributed equally, so there is technically no exploitation, right? On the other hand, I am alienated from the workers, because I still have the power to fire one of them (or all of them if I know I can replace them) or to distribute goods unfairly (even if I don't do that). What is the Marxist point of view here?