As the late Joan Robinson, a Cambridge economist, once wrote, “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all”. Her quip, written in 1962, was inspired by underemployment in South-East Asia. Since then, capital has busily “exploited” workers in that region and its giant northern neighbour, much to their benefit. Now it is time for capital to invest in them.
It must be the running gag of every abusive relationship that the misery of being abused is nothing compared to the misery of not having an abuser. You know: hilarious!
Yes, the humor really shines when people have nowhere to turn. Women receive the same advice about husbands anytime they have no options available to them outside of marriage: Make the best of it, dear; that's just the way things are!
But notice how such cleverness becomes stupidity just as soon as other options arise -- precisely that moment when an abuse can no longer be summed up as "just the way things are."