Compulsory Labor

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Compulsory Labor


a social form of labor characteristic of antagonistic social formations. The worker is forced to give up his surplus labor to the ruling classes without receiving compensation. Compulsory labor originates at a particular developmental stage of the means of production, when the conditions emerge for the exploitation of man by man—that is, when the increasing social division of labor and the consequent increase in the productivity of labor make possible the creation of a surplus product.

The first form of compulsory labor was slavery, which was based on the transformation of the means of production and the direct producer into private property. Feudal serfdom, historically the next form of compulsory labor, was based on binding the producer to the landed property of the lord. The peasant was forced to hand over his surplus labor to the landlord. Both slavery and serfdom were characterized by the direct coercion of dependent workers (seeEXTRAECONOMIC CONSTRAINT). The feudal form of compulsory labor was more progressive than slavery, but at a certain point it retarded the development of the productive forces.

As a result of the bourgeois revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries, which led to the rise of capitalism, the feudal form gave way to the capitalist form of compulsory labor. It differs from slavery and feudal serfdom in that the wage laborer is formally a free individual. At the same time, however, he is deprived of ownership of the means of production, and he is therefore compelled to sell the capitalist his labor power, his only source of income. In fact, labor is subordinate to capital, and the worker is economically dependent on the capitalist. This coercion is, however, mediated by buying and selling relations. Capitalism maintains and reproduces all the precapitalist forms of compulsory labor, particularly in the colonies and dependent nations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
On other estates the serfs' compulsory labor was commuted for a quitrent.
But he retained his hardline reputation throughout the 1990s, decrying peasant protests against taxation as attempts to "sabotage" the state, and pushing for a compulsory labor scheme to rebuild the country's tattered infrastructure.
Core labor standards such as freedom of association, collective bargaining rights, and prohibition of compulsory labor are not costly to economic development; in fact, they are essential to it.
The government did not investigate or file charges related to illegal recruitment in 2017, compared to 50 companies charged in 2016; forced labor regulations were seldom enforced, and resources and inspections dedicated to preventing forced and compulsory labor were minimal and inadequate to deter violations.
would urge the NAFTA countries to adopt internationally accepted standards which includes the right to organize and abolish compulsory labor, as well as setting "acceptable" pay and work conditions.
Sometimes self-interest was at stake, such as when a peasant woman adopted a child in order to avoid compulsory labor service.
Al-Sabeeh also spoke of numerous International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions endorsed by Kuwait over the years, chief among them a convention concerning forced or compulsory labor. Similarly, the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor pointed out that Kuwait is among the signatories of the Child Labor Convention, which aims to exterminate a practice that deprives juveniles of their childhood.
Saudi Arabia accounted for two of the offences, which were "Human trafficking into the UK for the purposes of exploitation, specifically domestic servitude" and "human trafficking; slavery or servitude/ forced or compulsory labor".
She said she also sponsored Senate concurrence in the ratification of Maritime Labour Convention 2006, the seafarers' bill of rights, which covers such basic rights as freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; effective abolition of child labor; and elimination of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation.
He received an unusually harsh sentence of 15 years of "compulsory labor" in a North Korean prison.
citizen to 15 years of compulsory labor for "committing hostile acts" against the country, its official media reported Thursday.

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