Mystics of Muscle
“When you live in a rational society, where men are free [to think and] to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus: the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you.
When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible: for the work of the industrialist who built it, for the work of the investor who saved the money to risk on the untried and the new, for the work of the engineer who designed the machines of which you are pushing the levers, for the work of the inventor who created the product which you spend your time on making, for the work of the scientist who discovered the laws that went into the making of that product, for the work of the philosopher who taught men how to think and whom you spend your time denouncing.
The machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time. If you worked as a blacksmith in the mystics’ Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands in days and days of effort. How many tons of rail do you produce per day if you work for [a thinker]? Would you dare to claim that the size of your pay check was created solely by your physical labor and that those rails were the product of your muscles? The standard of living of that blacksmith is all that your muscles are worth; the rest is a gift from [those who choose not to sweat, but to think]. – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
No one – not even in this day and age – would openly, explicitly make such a claim; but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t the belief that most people implicitly hold. Gillette knows this, and so for the sake of it’s short-term interests (and ironically, directly at the expense of it’s long-term), it has chosen to pander to this sentiment. In other words: Gillette has chosen not to think about the consequences of further inculcating a Marxist belief amongst the general (voting) public. When that belief leads to even more oppression of business and trade – under the premise that the thinking that goes into it is superfluous and thus can easily be done instead by a relative few central-planners – the people of the Gillette Corporation will have no moral right to complain about the fact that all of the sweat in the world (ie: trying to remain in business despite these impediments) is not allowing them to be profitable.