Unfree Labour And Canadian Capitalism Summary

1043 Words5 Pages
Canadian labour policy has undergone considerable change in order to meet the demands of capitalism. Central to this evolution, has been the use of unfree labour as a means to provide and maintain a cheap, exploitable workforce. In Satzewich’s article “Unfree Labour and Canadian Capitalism: The Incorporation of Polish War Veterans”, he submits that Canadian immigration policy has, and continues to propagate unfree wage labour as a means to sustain capitalist development. To begin to evaluate this claim, I will first explain Satzewich’s definition of unfree labour. Secondly, I will note the similarities between unfree labour and Alfred and Corntassel’s concept, the state as shape shifters in their article “Being Indigenous: Resurgences against…show more content…
In their piece, they present the state as shape shifters, which will adapt and act in any way necessary to achieve its goals. To illustrate their point, the authors show how efforts to assimilate Canada’s indigenous population have gone from overt militaristic violence to more subdued and subliminal techniques to expunge culture such as Children’s Aid Societies. When this concept is applied to the evolution of unfree labour, we see the use of state enforced servitude and convict labour, the use of 15,584 Japanese and German prisoners of war to sustain wartime agricultural production during World War II, which were then replaced with Polish war veterans through state enforced contract labour. In effect, when existing means of securing unfree labour became unavailable, the state shifted to using state enforced contract labour to maintain the existence of unfree…show more content…
In defense of these exclusions, some argue that workers limited contribution to Canadian society should deny them the rights of a citizen. Baines and Sharma empirically refute such allegations showing that migrant workers paid $15 million dollars to the Canadian government in 1993 for ‘processing fees’ and $11 million dollars between 1973 and 1981 for social programs, but as non-citizens were unable to access any of these

    More about Unfree Labour And Canadian Capitalism Summary

      Open Document