Students are workers

If labour hours are going to be the metric of which a worker is compensated, as many leftists want, then it is vital that those who study are both compensated and paid for their time during studying. With this I mean that they are both compensated for any school fees (you might not attend school in a socialist country, for example) and you are also provided a living wage just as any worker would.

To discount studying as not being labour in comparison to something that is either a job or produce some sort of direct value is to shoot oneself in the foot. Capitalist often claim that “nobody would strive for a long and laborious degree under socialism” and if studying is not recognised as labour, this is ammunition towards their hypothesis.

A doctorate degree (at least of today) is expected to last at least seven years. It is not fair to the students that they are not compensated for their labour.

I have heard many students that are undertaking long studies that are very sceptical towards socialism because of this very fact. And that is fair, not only are they not compensated for their time, but they are expected to slave away for hours; not according to their ability, but according to the result.

Going back to the Marxist basics “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”, this further underlines the current system is essentially just an extension of capitalist behaviour in which the rights of the worker are not considered.

If you had a 90 hour work week, which many of my peers from years of yore had in our doctorate, there is no wonder that such people are resistant to just give away their (at least) six years of labour for nothing but a pat on the back.

Similarly, other lines of work are not appreciated either; guardians of a household may stay at home to help with bringing up children and keeping the household running. This labour does not magically appear out of thin air. Artist do not appear out of thin air either; these are also our workers.

To expand the definition of labour is to decentralise the means of production and to trust the worker with power to do good for society. Society under socialism can never function we don't do this.