In any given society, there is no freedom of contract between capitalist and worker, whose interests are essentially opposite. The power of a landlord, a manufacturer, a merchant resides in his wealth, explaining the inherent subjection of laborers, which lack almost any means, and their subjugation to capitalists. Capital as Power.
Those Marxists… But this one is from– Adam Smith. Really?!
“What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour.
It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate.” (Smith 1776, Book 1, Chapter 8 “Of the Wages of Labour“)
Smith, Adam. 1776. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.