“The tyranny of home delivery is creating a new class division. There are those who deliver the boxes and those who get the boxes. There are now millions employed delivering more stuff to more people more quickly than ever before. Wages and work conditions are rock bottom . Insecurity, stress exploitation and alienation are sky high.
“Jeff Bezos, Amazon boss, is now the richest man on the planet, a fortune built on the labour of the boxetariat. Eliminating the last mile of the supply chain has become the new road to riches for the few and the road to exhaustion for the many.
“Whether all this it will, in time, become the new foundation for worker activism and effective organising for better working conditions is both a challenge and an opportunity.” (Letter to The Guardian from Stewart Sweeney, Adelaide, South Australia).
My response: Yes, you can argue that it’s exploitation. Yes, Amazon pays little tax anywhere, leaving that chore to us. And yes, Bezos is reported, on top of all that, (correctly or not) to give nothing to charity (at all??). If true, not an admirable man, unless you are an out-of-sight right-winger. Epicurus spent a lot of time warning us about the vain pursuit of wealth and power that never results in happiness.
On the other hand, at least until Amazon blatantly exploits its monopoly position, it is convenient, competitive in price, and easy to use. No driving to a mall, wasting half a day, and losing one’s parking spot. I use Amazon, selfishly, well aware that I am helping create a possibly hideous monopoly and well aware of the moral dilemma. Yet another issue to beat oneself up about! But, on the other hand, I spend the time saved in pleasurable activities. Epicurus would approve of that