The Search for the Mythical “Unskilled Laborer”

In all of the ways that Capitalism extracts surplus value from the production of the Worker, one of the most devious and manipulative is the imaginary “unskilled labor”. These are the jobs that, supposedly, anyone could fill – custodian, line cook or server/bartender, ditch digger, etc. Jobs that don’t really require any special expertise are dubbed as “unskilled labor”, and these jobs are ridiculously low-paying. There’s a catch, though – there is no such thing as “unskilled labor”.