Labor and Monopoly Capital – Braverman

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An extremely thorough and diligent study on the effects of monopoly capitalism on human labour.

I’m blown away by the depth and rigour that Braverman goes to in this exploration. He is truly a clear writer and sound thinker. This book is an essential part of the capitalist cannon.

The biggest thing that I took away from this book is a thorough understanding of how capitalist production affects the labour process.

Notes

  • A key distinction in capitalism from feudalism is that the capitalist doesn’t buy the product of the labourer, he buys his time, or his labour power.
  • This means that the capitalist now chooses how the labourers complete the work, and this is the rise of managed capitalism.
  • Scientific management was the deconstruction of the labour process into tasks which could be completed by lower skilled/paid workers and produce higher outputs.
  • Scientific management was the systemised movement of craft knowledge from the craftsman to the managers.
  • The benefits of SM were two fold, not only could more product be produced (increased productivity), but also by fine-graining the labour processes, the capitalist can pay the minimal required for each individual task, rather than the whole process.
  • The large problem that SM has created is lacking distribution of wealth, since by deskilling (cheapening) workers and by capitalising knowledge, the capitalist retains more wealth, and distributes less to employers.
  • After perfecting scientific management of labour processes, the problem then became–and has remained–human motivation. How to get people to want to do what you need them to do in order to be profitable.
  • Skill and labour are two forms of capital, with the former being worth more. Through relentless division of labour you can reduce the skill needed to create a product while stockholding the skill (knowledge). That then leaves labour to be the only thing the capitalist needs to acquire.
  • The industrial revolution was not really driven by science. More appropriately, scientific study grew out of the industrial revolution. Years later, the scientific revolution was where science really enabled the growth of capitalism.
  • Braverman bases a lot of his argument of the idea that we as humans have physically and socially evolved around labour, that it is hence a very “human” thing. Thus the deconstruction of labour by capitalism is something that makes us slightly less human. However, I’m not sure just because labour is what got us to this point, makes it “good” or “right” for going forward. I really don’t know the answer to this.
  • Braverman (and ultimately Marx) main concern with capitalism is that taken to it’s natural extreme you inevitably treat humans as machines used to increase capital. Which is an ironic role reversal; capitalism being at the service of humans.
  • Actually, the major concern of Braverman and Marx is control. Through the deconstruction of the labour process and dehumanisation of the labourer, you strip the craftman of his control in the economic system. And it is control that ultimately means money and wealth.
  • Babbage principle – each step in the labour process will be performed by the lowest possible rate of pay.
  • Previously it was the craftsmen, apprentices, ”labourers” who ran each industry. The rise of capitalist production in a sense took control away from them and gave them in return low paying jobs.
  • From another perspective, Braverman and Marx’s problem is that Capitalists deconstructed and mechanicalized the production process to make it more efficient, and in doing so, they took away the industries from the craftsmen.
  • Braverman does a good job at not being too purist and romantic in his views of the past and the negative effects of urbanisation, capitalism, monopoly, the desaturation of the atomic family unit, etc. But you still get a strong feeling of how aligned he is with Marxist view that there isn’t a good way through capitalism.
  • Scientific management in all forms of labour meant separating the control from the actual work; the thinking from the doing. This was applied to the factory as it was to the office. Managers do the thinking and plan out the steps to execution, which are then fulfilled by the labour power of the labourers.
  • Capitalism drives progress by relentlessly pursuing efficiency gains. This will never change. Any attemp to morph capitalism for the better that’s doesn’t leverage this fact will be going against the strongest inate force in capitalism and ultimately fail.
  • The above principle of efficiency gains means that capitalism has a consistent repeatable tendency to replace lowerlevels of “labour” with machines. This continues to concentrate wealth into fewer hands.
  • It is not technology that is to blame for the destruction of labour jobs but the underlying principles of capitalism, specifically the evermoving goal of maximising efficiency.
  • Besides upper-management, no form of labour or craftsman is free from the destructive force of capitalist efficiency maximisation.
  • Unproductive labour is that which is spent from capital gains, not for capital gains.
  • No productive labour such as management and commercial labour is not a creator of surplus value, but a efficiency maximiser. Hence the amount of nonproductive wage labour’s increase as surplus value increases but does not cause the increase.
  • Socialism failed to grasp the central idea of Marxism. Marx was against the dehumanisation of labour which led to the accumulation of capital in a capitalist system. Labour was his major concern.

Quotes

  • “More important, throughout those years I was an activist in the socialist movement, and I had assimilated the Marxist view which is hostile not to science and technology as such, but only to the manner in which these are used as weapons of domination in the creation, perpetuation, and deepening of a gulf between classes in society.”
  • “And finally, the new wave of radicalism of the 1960s was animated by its own peculiar and in some ways unprecedented concerns. Since the discontents of youth, intellectuals, feminists, ghetto populations, etc., were produced not by the “breakdown” of capitalism but by capitalism functioning at the top of its form, so to speak, working at its most rapid and energetic pace, the focus of rebellion was now somewhat different from that of the past. At least in part, dissatisfaction centered not so much on capitalism’s inability to provide work as on the work it provides, not on the collapse of its productive processes but on the appalling effects of these processes at their most “successful.” It is not that the pressures of poverty, unemployment, and want have been eliminated—far from it—but rather that these have been supplemented by a discontent which cannot be touched by providing more prosperity and jobs because these are the very things that produced this discontent in the first place.”
  • “But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality.”
  • “He not only effects a change of form in the material on which he works, but he also realises a purpose of his own that gives the law to his modus operandi, and to which he must subordinate his will.””
  • “The South African weaverbird builds a complicated nest of sticks, with a knotted strand of horsehair as foundation. A pair was isolated and bred for five generations under canaries, out of sight of their fellows and without their usual nest-building materials. In the sixth generation, still in captivity but with access to the right materials, they built a nest perfect even to the knot of horsehair.”
  • ““By thus acting on the external world and changing it, he at the same time changes his own nature,” wrote Marx.9”
  • “Labor that transcends mere instinctual activity is thus the force which created humankind and the force by which humankind created the world as we know it.”
  • “Thus in humans, as distinguished from animals, the unity between the motive force of labor and the labor itself is not inviolable. The unity of conception and execution may be dissolved. The conception must still precede and govern execution, but the idea as conceived by one may be executed by another. The driving force of labor remains human consciousness, but the unity between the two may be broken in the individual and reasserted in the group, the workshop, the community, the society as a whole.”
  • “Finally, the human capacity to perform work, which Marx called “labor power,” must not be confused with the power of any nonhuman agency, whether natural or man made. Human labor, whether directly exercised or stored in such products as tools, machinery, or domesticated animals, represents the sole resource of humanity in confronting nature. Thus for humans in society, labor power is a special category, separate and inexchangeable with any other, simply because it is human.”
  • “Capitalist production requires exchange relations, commodities, and money, but its differentia specifica is the purchase and sale of labor power. For this purpose, three basic conditions become generalized throughout society. First, workers are separated from the means with which production is carried on, and can gain access to them only by selling their labor power to others. Second, workers are freed of legal constraints, such as serfdom or slavery, that prevent them from disposing of their own labor power. Third, the purpose of the employment of the worker becomes the expansion of a unit of capital belonging to the employer, who is thus functioning as a capitalist. The labor process therefore begins with a contract or agreement governing the conditions of the sale of labor power by the worker and its purchase by the employer.”
  • “While the purchase and sale of labor power has existed from antiquity,* a substantial class of wage-workers did not begin to form in Europe until the fourteenth century, and did not become numerically significant until the rise of industrial capitalism (that is, the production of commodities on a capitalist basis, as against mercantile capitalism, which merely exchanged the surplus products of prior forms of production) in the eighteenth century.”
  • “thus becomes essential for the capitalist that control over the labor process pass from the hands of the worker into his own. This transition presents itself in history as the progressive alienation of the process of production from the worker; to the capitalist, it presents itself as the problem of management.”
  • “Under capitalist exchange relations, the time of the workers he hired was as much his own as were the materials he supplied and the products that issued from the shop.”
  • “problems of irregularity of production, loss of materials in transit and through embezzlement, slowness of manufacture, lack of uniformity and uncertainty of the quality of the product. But most of all, they were limited by their inability to change the processes of production.”
  • “While the attempt to purchase finished labor, instead of assuming direct control over labor power, relieved the capitalist of the uncertainties of the latter system by fixing a definite unit cost, at the same time it placed beyond the reach of the capitalist much of the potential of human labor that may be made available by fixed hours, systematic control, and the reorganization of the labor process.”
  • “Control without centralization of employment was, if not impossible, certainly very difficult, and so the precondition for management was the gathering of workers under a single roof.”
  • “Under the special and new relations of capitalism, which presupposed a “free labor contract,” they had to extract from their employees that daily conduct which would best serve their interests, to impose their will upon their workers while operating a labor process on a voluntary contractual basis. This enterprise shared from the first the characterization which Clausewitz assigned to war; it is movement in a resistant medium because it involves the control of refractory masses.”
  • “Like a rider who uses reins, bridle, spurs, carrot, whip, and training from birth to impose his will, the capitalist strives, through management, to control. And control is indeed the central concept of all management systems, as has been recognized implicitly or explicitly by all theoreticians of management.”
  • “The division of labor in capitalist industry is not at all identical with the phenomenon of the distribution of tasks, crafts, or specialties of production throughout society, for while all known societies have divided their work into productive specialties, no society before capitalism systematically subdivided the work of each productive specialty into limited operations.”
  • “Thus the social division of labor is apparently inherent in the species character of human labor as soon as it becomes social labor, that is, labor carried on in and through society.”
  • “The division of labor in society is characteristic of all known societies; the division of labor in the workshop is the special product of capitalist society.”
  • “While the social division of labor subdivides society, the detailed division of labor subdivides humans, and while the subdivision of society may enhance the individual and the species, the subdivision of the individual, when carried on without regard to human capabilities and needs, is a crime against the person and against humanity.”
  • “He can now count his gains in a double sense, not only in productivity but in management control,”
  • “That the master manufacturer, by dividing the work to be executed into different processes, each requiring different degrees of skill or of force, can purchase exactly that precise quantity of both which is necessary for each process; whereas, if the whole work were executed by one workman, that person must possess sufficient skill to perform the most difficult, and sufficient strength to execute the most laborious, of the operations into which the art is divided.”
  • “in a society based upon the purchase and sale of labor power, dividing the craft cheapens its individual parts.”
  • “general law of the capitalist division of labor.”
  • “all modern management turns: the control over work through the control over the decisions that are made in the course of work.”
  • “Thus, if the first principle is the gathering and development of knowledge of labor processes, and the second is the concentration of this knowledge as the exclusive province of management—together with its essential converse, the absence of such knowledge among the workers—then the third is the use of this monopoly over knowledge to control each step of the labor process and its mode of execution.”
  • “The working craftsman was tied to the technical and scientific knowledge of his time in the daily practice of his craft. Apprenticeship commonly included training in mathematics, including”
  • “Taylorism raised a storm of opposition among the trade unions during the early part of this century; what is most noteworthy about this early opposition is that it was concentrated not upon the trappings of the Taylor system, such as the stopwatch and motion study, but upon its essential effort to strip the workers of craft knowledge and autonomous control and confront them with a fully thought-out labor process in which they function as cogs and levers.”
  • ““The belief,” said Mayo, “that the behavior of an individual within the factory can be predicted before employment upon the basis of a laborious and minute examination by tests of his mechanical and other capacities is mainly, if not wholly mistaken.””
  • “The chief conclusion of the Mayo school was that the workers’ motivations could not be understood on a purely individual basis, and that the key to their behavior lay in the social groups of the factory. With this, the study of the habituation of workers to their work moved from the plane of psychology to that of sociology.”
  • “the wrenching of the workers out of their prior conditions and their adjustment to the forms of work engineered by capital is a fundamental process in which the principal roles are played not by manipulation or cajolery but by socioeconomic conditions and forces.”
  • “The turnover of his working force had run, he was to write, to 380 percent for the year 1913 alone. So great was labor’s distaste for the new machine system that toward the close of 1913 every time the company wanted to add 100 men to its factory personnel, it was necessary to hire963.”
  • “the working class is progressively subjected to the capitalist mode of production, and to the successive forms which it takes, only as the capitalist mode of production conquers and destroys all other forms of the organization of labor, and with them, all alternatives for the working population.”
  • “Conceding higher relative wages for a shrinking proportion of workers in order to guarantee uninterrupted production was to become, particularly after the Second World War, a widespread feature of corporate labor policy, especially after it was adopted by union leaderships.”
  • “This view is buttressed by the fact that in the early days of the development of steam power the prevailing scientific theory of heat was the caloric theory, from which, as Lindsay points out, “few really significant deductions about the properties of steam could be drawn.”4 Landes concludes that the development of steam technology probably contributed much more to the physical sciences than the other way around:”
  • “It is an economic law that large profits can be permanently assured only by efficient operation….”
  • “The unity of thought and action, conception and execution, hand and mind, which capitalism threatened from its beginnings, is now attacked by a systematic dissolution employing all the resources of science and the various engineering disciplines based upon it. The subjective factor of the labor process is removed to a place among its inanimate objective factors. To the materials and instruments of production are added a “labor force,” another “factor of production,” and the process is henceforth carried on by management as the sole subjective element.* This is the ideal toward which management tends, and in pursuit of which it uses and shapes every productive innovation furnished by science.”
  • “The very success of management in increasing productivity in some industries leads to the displacement of labor into other fields, where it accumulates in large quantities because the processes employed have not yet been subjected—and in some cases cannot be subjected to the same degree—to the mechanizing tendency of modern industry. The result therefore is not the elimination of labor, but its displacement to other occupations and industries, a”
  • “total human endeavor, but to abstract from all its concrete qualities in order to comprehend it as universal and endlessly repeated motions, the sum of which, when merged with the other things that capital buys—machines, materials, etc.”
  • “The capacity of humans to control the labor process through machinery is seized upon by management from the beginning of capitalism as the prime means whereby production may be controlled not by the direct producer but by the owners and representatives of capital.”
  • “Thus, in addition to its technical function of increasing the productivity of labor—which would be a mark of machinery under any social system—machinery also has in the capitalist system the function of divesting the mass of workers of their control over their own labor.”
  • “The evolution of machinery represents an expansion of human capacities, an increase of human control over environment through the ability to elicit from instruments of production an increasing range and exactitude of response. But it is in the nature of machinery, and a corollary of technical development, that the control over the machine need no longer be vested in its immediate operator. This possibility is seized upon by the capitalist mode of production and utilized to the fullest extent.”
  • “series of special conditions must be met which have nothing to do with the physical character of the machine. The machine must be the property not of the producer, nor of the associated producers, but of an alien power. The interests of the two must be antagonistic. The manner in which labor is deployed around the machinery—from the labor required to design, build, repair, and control it to the labor required to feed and operate it—must be dictated not by the human needs of the producers but by the special needs of those who own both the machine and the labor power, and whose interest it is to bring these two together in a special way. Along with these conditions, a social evolution must take place which parallels the physical evolution of machinery: a step-by-step creation of a “labor force” in place of self-directed human labor; that is to say, a working population conforming to the needs of this social organization of labor, in which knowledge of the machine becomes a specialized and segregated trait, while among the mass of the working population there grows only ignorance, incapacity, and thus a fitness for machine servitude. In this way the remarkable development of machinery becomes, for most of the working population, the source not of freedom but of enslavement, not of mastery but of helplessness, and not of the broadening of the horizon of labor but of the confinement of the worker within a blind round of servile duties in which the machine appears as the embodiment of science and the worker as little or nothing.”
  • “Such a separation of “intellectual work from the work of execution” is indeed a “technical condition” best adapted to a hierarchical organization, best adapted to control of both the hand and the brain worker, best adapted to profitability, best adapted to everything but the needs of the people. These needs, however, are, in the word of the economists, “externalities,” a notion that is absolutely incomprehensible from the human point of view, but from the capitalist point of view is perfectly clear and precise, since it simply means external to the balance sheet.”
  • “But the increasing productivity of labor is neither sought nor utilized by capitalism from the point of view of the satisfaction of human needs. Rather, powered by the needs of the capital accumulation process, it becomes a frenzied drive which approaches the level of a generalized social insanity. Never is any level of productivity regarded as sufficient.”
  • “The drive for increased productivity inheres in each capitalist firm by virtue of its purpose as an organization for the expansion of capital; it is moreover enforced upon laggards by the threats of national and international competition.”
  • “Each capitalist nation will further degrade its own working population and social life in an attempt to save a social system which, like the very planets in their orbits, will fall to its destruction if it slows in its velocity. Here we have the reductio ad absurdum of capitalist efficiency, and the expression in concrete terms of the insoluble contradiction that exists between the development of the means of production and the social relations of production that characterize capitalism.”
  • “Considered only in their physical aspect, machines are nothing but developed instruments of production whereby humankind increases the effectiveness of its labor.”
  • “The “progress” of capitalism seems only to deepen the gulf between worker and machine and to subordinate the worker evermore decisively to the yoke of the machine.”
  • “Marx has pointed out that unlike generals, who win their wars by recruiting armies, captains of industry win their wars by discharging armies. A necessary consequence of management and technology is a reduction in the demand for labor.”
  • “Thus the very rapidity of mechanization, insofar as it makes available a supply of cheap labor by discharging workers from some industries or putting an end to the expansion of employment in others, acts as a check upon further mechanization.”
  • “control. The scale of capitalist enterprise, prior to the development of the modern corporation, was limited by both the availability of capital and the management capacities of the capitalist or group of partners. These are the limits set by personal fortunes and personal capabilities. It is only in the monopoly period that these limits are overcome, or at least immensely broadened and detached from the personal wealth and capacities of individuals.”
  • “Thus marketing became the second major subdivision of the corporation, subdivided in its turn among sales, advertising, promotion, correspondence, orders, commissions, sales analysis, and other such sections.”
  • “impermanence of construction, is a marketing demand exercised through the engineering division, as is the concept of the product cycle: the attempt to gear consumer needs to the needs of production instead of the other way around.”
  • “The particular management function is exercised not just by a manager, nor even by a staff of managers, but by an organization of workers under the control of managers, assistant managers, supervisors, etc. Thus the relations of purchase and sale of labor power, and hence of alienated labor, have become part of the management apparatus itself.”
  • “Management has become administration, which is a labor process conducted for the purpose of control within the corporation,”
  • “Thus the population no longer relies upon social organization in the form of family, friends, neighbors, community, elders, children, but with few exceptions must go to market and only to market, not only for food, clothing, and shelter, but also for recreation, amusement, security, for the care of the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped. In time not only the material and service needs but even the emotional patterns of life are channeled through the market.”
  • “natural environment leaves a void when it comes to the “free” hours. Thus the filling of the time away from the job also becomes dependent upon the market, which develops to an enormous degree those passive amusements, entertainments, and spectacles that suit the restricted circumstances of the city and are offered as substitutes for life itself.”
  • “entertainment and “sport” into a production process for the enlargement of capital.* By their very profusion, they cannot help but tend to a standard of mediocrity and vulgarity which debases popular taste, a result which is further guaranteed by the fact that the mass market has a powerful lowest-common-denominator effect because of the search for maximum profit.”
  • “The governments of capitalist countries have played this role from the beginnings of capitalism. In the most elementary sense, the state is guarantor of the conditions, the social relations, of capitalism, and the protector of the ever more unequal distribution of property which this system brings about.”
  • “Monopoly capitalism tends to generate a greater economic surplus than it can absorb.”
  • “In this situation, the traditional concept of a peacetime military establishment supplemented by war mobilization in time of need eventually gave way, because of the unremitting crisis nature of military needs, to a permanent war mobilization as the ordinary posture. This meshed with the need for a government guarantee of “effective demand,” and provided a form of absorption of the economic surplus acceptable to the capitalist”
  • “Here the productive processes of society disappear into a stream of paper—a stream of paper, moreover, which is processed in a continuous flow like that of the cannery, the meatpacking line, the car assembly conveyor, by workers organized in much the same way.”
  • “the purpose of the office is control over the enterprise, and the purpose of office management is control over the office.”
  • “finds irresistible, regardless of their consequences for humanity. The first is that the labor of educated or better-paid persons should never be “wasted” on matters that can be accomplished for them by others of lesser training. The second is that those of little or no special training are superior for the performance of routine work, in the first place because they “can always be purchased at an easy rate,” and in the second place because, undistracted by too much in their brains, they will perform routine work more correctly and faithfully.”
  • “Babbage principle”
  • “This would contradict the basic tenet of management that each task must be performed at the lowest possible rate of pay.”
  • “The use of automatic and semi-automatic machine systems in the office has the effect of completely reversing the traditional profile of office costs. A situation in which the cost of operating a large office consisted almost entirely of the salaries paid to clerical employees has changed to one in which a large share of the total is now invested in the purchase (or paid out monthly for the leasing) of expensive equipment. Past or “dead” labor in the form of machinery owned by capital, now employs living labor, in the office just as in the factory. But for the capitalist, the profitability of this employment is very much a function of time, of the rapidity with which dead labor absorbs living. The use of a great deal of expensive equipment thus leads to shift work, which is particularly characteristic of computer operations.”
  • “to hire people to do services as a profitable activity, a part of his business, a form of the capitalist mode of production. And this began on a large scale only with the era of monopoly capitalism which created the universal marketplace and transformed into a commodity every form of the activity of humankind including what had heretofore been the many things that people did for themselves or for each other.”
  • “In the history of capitalism, while one or another form of productive labor may play a greater role in particular eras, the tendency is toward the eradication of distinctions among its various forms. Particularly in the era of monopoly capitalism, it makes little sense to ground any theory of the economy upon any specially favored variety of labor process. As these varied forms come under the auspices of capital and become part of the domain of profitable investment, they enter for the capitalist into the realm of general or abstract labor, labor which enlarges capital. In the modern corporation, all forms of labor are employed without distinction, and in the modern “conglomerate” corporation some divisions carry on manufacturing, others carry on trade, others banking, others mining, and still others “service” processes. All live peacefully together, and in the final result as recorded in balance sheets the forms of labor disappear entirely in the forms of value.”
  • “capital is labor: it is labor that has been performed in the past, the objectified product of preceding phases of the cycle of production which becomes capital only through appropriation by the capitalist and its use in the accumulation of more capital.”
  • “Thus the scientific-technological revolution possesses, in the long run, this trait: that with its spread, the proportion of the population connected with scientifically and technologically advanced industry, even if only in the form of helots, eventually shrinks.”
  • “levels of pay in the low-wage industries and occupations are below the subsistence level; that is to say, unlike the scales of the highest paid occupational groups, they do not approach the income required to support a family at the levels of spending necessary in modern society. But, because these industries and occupations are also the most rapidly growing ones, an ever larger mass of workers has become dependent upon them as the sole source of support for their families.”
  • “Nor is the servant a productive worker, even though employed by the capitalist, because the labor of the servant is exchanged not against capital but against revenue. The capitalist who hires servants is not making profits, but spending them.”
  • “The tailor who makes a suit on order for a customer creates a useful object in the form of a commodity; he exchanges it for money and out of this pays his own expenses and means of subsistence; the customer who hires this done purchases a useful object and expects nothing for the money other than the suit. But the capitalist who hires a roomful of tailors to make suits brings into being a social relation. In this relation, the tailors now create far more than suits; they create themselves as productive workers and their employer as capitalist. Capital is thus not just money exchanged for labor; it is money exchanged for labor with the purpose of appropriating that value which it creates over and above what is paid, the surplus value. In each case where money is exchanged for labor with this purpose it creates a social relation, and as this relation is generalized throughout the productive processes it creates social classes. Therefore, the transformation of unproductive labor into labor which is, for the capitalist’s purpose of extracting surplus value, productive, is the very process of the creation of capitalist society.”
  • “The unproductive labor hired by the capitalist to help in the realization or appropriation of surplus value is in Marx’s mind like productive labor in all respects save one: it does not produce value and surplus value, and hence grows not as a cause but rather as a result of the expansion of surplus value.”
  • “The more science is incorporated into the labor process, the less the worker understands of the process;”
  • “operatives were now called “semiskilled.” But it must be noted that the distinction between the skills of the two latter categories was based not upon a study of the occupational tasks involved, as is generally assumed by the users of the categories, but upon a simple mechanical criterion, in the fullest sense of the word. The creation of “semi-skill” by Edwards thus brought into existence, retroactively to the turn of the century and with a mere stroke of the pen, a massive “upgrading” of the skills of the working population. By making a connection with machinery—such as machine tending or watching, machine feeding, machine operating—a criterion of skill, it guaranteed that with the increasing mechanization of industry the category of the “unskilled” would register a precipitous decline, while that of the “semiskilled” would show an equally striking rise.”
  • “It is only in the world of census statistics, and not in terms of direct assessment, that an assembly line worker is presumed to have greater skill than a fisherman or oysterman, the forklift operator greater skill than the gardener or groundskeeper, the machine feeder greater skill than the longshoreman, the parking lot attendant greater skill than the lumberman or raftsman.”
  • “But such an education can take effect only if it is combined with the practice of labor during the school years, and only if education continues throughout the life of the worker after the end of formal schooling. Such education can engage the interest and attention of workers only when they become masters of industry in the true sense, which is to say when the antagonisms in the labor process between controllers and workers, conception and execution, mental and manual labor are overthrown, and when the labor process is united in the collective body which conducts it.*”
  • “we must deal not with the capitalist as a person but with the way the capitalist mode of production operates and the conduct it enforces upon the capitalists themselves.”
  • “unlike the generals who win their wars by recruiting armies, the captains of industry win their wars by discharging armies.”

sebastiankade

Sebastian Kade, Founder of Sumry and Author of Living Happiness, is a software designer and full-stack engineer. He writes thought-provoking articles every now and then on sebastiankade.com

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