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«Part II: The Transformation of Money in Capital Ch. 4: The General Formula for Capital Ch. 5: Contradictions in the General Formula of Capital Ch. 6: ...»

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[6] During the great strike of the London builders, 1860-61, for the reduction of the working-day to 9 hours, their Committee published a manifesto that contained, to some extent, the plea of our worker. The manifesto alludes, not without irony, to the fact, that the greatest profit-monger amongst the building masters, a certain Sir M. Peto, was in the odour of sanctity (This same Peto, after 1867, came to an end a la Strousberg.) [7] "Those who labour... in reality feed both the pensioners... [called the rich] and themselves." (Edmund Burke, l.

c., p. 2.) [8] Niebuhr in his "Roman History" says very naively: "It is evident that works like the Etruscan, which in their ruins astound us, pre-suppose in little (!) states lords and vassals." Sismondi says far more to the purpose that "Brussels lace" pre-supposes wage-lords and wage-slaves.

[9] "One cannot see these unfortunates (in the gold mines between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Arabia) who cannot even have their bodies dean, or their nakedness clothed, without pitying their miserable lot. There is no indulgence, no forbearance for the sick, the feeble, the aged, for woman's weakness. All must, forced by blows, work on until death puts an end to their sufferings and their distress." ("Diod. Sic. Bibl. Hist.," lib. 2, c. 13.) [10] That which follows refers to the situation in the Roumanian provinces before the change effected since the Crimean war.

[11] This holds likewise for Germany, and especially for Prussia east of the Elbe. In the 15th century the German peasant was nearly everywhere a man, who, whilst subject to certain rents paid in produce and labour was otherwise at least practically free. The German colonists in Brandenburg, Pomerania, Silesia, and Eastern Prussia, were even legally acknowledged as free men. The victory of the nobility in the peasants' war put an end to that. Not only were the conquered South German peasants again enslaved. From the middle of the 16th century the peasants of Eastern Prussia, Brandenburg, Pomerania, and Silesia, and soon after the free peasants of Schleswig-Holstein were degraded to the condition of serfs. (Maurer, Fronhöfe iv. vol., — Meitzen, "Der Boden des preussischen Staats" — Hanssen, ``Leibeigenschaft in Schleswig-Holstein." — F. E.) [12] Further details are to be found in E. Regnault's "Histoire politique et sociale des Principautés Danubiennes," Paris, 1855.

[13] "In general and within certain limits, exceeding the medium size of their kind, is evidence of the prosperity of organic beings. As to man, his bodily height lessens if his due growth is interfered with, either by physical or local conditions. In all European countries in which the conscription holds, since its introduction, the medium height of adult men, and generally their fitness for military service, has diminished. Before the revolution (1789), the minimum for the infantry in France was 165 centimetres; in 1818 (law of March 10th), 157; by the law of March 21, 1832, 156 c.m.; on the average in France more than half are rejected on account of deficient height or bodily weakness. The military standard in Saxony was in 1780, 178 c. m. It is now 155. In Prussia it is 157. According to the statement of Dr. Meyer in the Bavarian Gazette, May 9th, 1862, the result of an average of 9 years is, that in Prussia out of 1,000 conscripts 716 were unfit for military service, 317 because of deficiency in height, and 399 because of bodily defects.... Berlin in 1858 could not provide its contingent of recruits, it was 156 men short." J.

von Liebig: "Die Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agrikultur und Physiologie. 1862," 7th Ed., vol. 1, pp. 117, 118.

[14] The history of the Factory Act of 1850 will be found in the course of this chapter.

[15] I only touch here and there on the period from the beginning of modern industry in England to 1845. For this period I refer the reader to "Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England," von Friedrich Engels, Leipzig, 1845.

How completely Engels understood the nature of the capitalist mode of production is shown by the Factory Reports, Reports on Mines, &c., that have appeared since 1845, and how wonderfully he painted the circumstances in detail is seen on the most superficial comparison of his work with the off~- cial reports of the Children's Employment Commission, published 18 to 20 years later (1863-1867). These deal especially with the branches of industry in which the Factory Acts had not, up to 1862, been introduced, in fact are not yet introduced. Here, then, little or no alteration had been enforced, by authority, in the conditions painted by Engels. I borrow my examples chiefly from the Free-trade period after 1848, that age of paradise, of which the commercial travellers for the great firm of Free-trade, blatant as ignorant, tell such fabulous tales. For the rest England figures here in the foreground because she is the classic representative of capitalist production, and she alone has a continuous set of official ctatistics of the thin~s we are considerinR.

[16] "Suggestions, &c. by Mr. L. Homer, Inspector of Factories," in Factories Regulation Acts. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 9th August, 1859, pp. 4, 5.

[17] Reports of the Inspector of Factories for the half year. October, 1856, p. 35.

[18] Reports, &c., 30th April, 1858, p. 9.

[19] Reports, &c., l. c., p. 10.

[20] Reports &c., l. c., p. 25.

[21] Reports &c., for the half year ending 30th April, 1861. See Appendix No. 2; Reports, &c., 31st October, 1862, pp. 7, 52, 53. The violations of the Acts became more numerous during the last half year 1863. Cf Reports, &c., ending 31st October, 1863, p. 7.

[22] Reports, &c., October 31st, 1860, p. 23. With what fanaticism, according to the evidence of manufacturers given in courts of law, their hands set themselves against every interruption in factory labour, the following curious circumstance shows. In the beginning of June, 1836, information reached the magistrates of Dewsbury (Yorkshire) that the owners of 8 large mills in the neighbourhood of Batley had violated the Factory Acts. Some of these gentlemen were accused of having kept at work 5 boys between 12 and 15 years of age, from 6 a.m. on Friday to 4 p.m. on the following Saturday, not allowing them any respite except for meals and one hour for sleep at midnight.

And these children had to do this ceaseless labour of 30 hours in the "shoddyhole," as the hole is called, in which the woollen rags are pulled in pieces, and where a dense atmosphere of dust, shreds, &c., forces even the adult workman to cover his mouth continually with handkerchiefs for the protection of his lungs! The accused gentlemen affirm in lieu of taking an oath — as quakers they were too scrupulously religious to take an oath — that they had, in their great compassion for the unhappy children, allowed them four hours for sleep, but the obstinate children

absolutely would not go to bed. The quaker gentlemen were mulcted in £20. Dryden anticipated these gentry:

Fox full fraught in seeming sanctity, That feared an oath, but like the devil would lie, That look'd like Lent, and had the holy leer, And durst not sin! before he said his prayer!" [23] Rep., 31st Oct., 1856, p. 34.

[24] l. c., p. 35.

[25] l. c., p. 48.

[26] l. c., p. 48.

[27] l. c., p. 48.

[28] l. c., p. 48.

[29] Report of the Insp. &c., 30th April 1860, p. 56.

[30] This is the official expression both in the factories and in the reports.

[31] "The cupidity of mill-owners whose cruelties in the pursuit of gain have hardly been exceeded by those perpetrated by the Spaniards on the conquest of America in the pursuit of gold." John Wade, "History of the Middle and Working Classes," 3rd Ed. London, 1835, p. 114. The theoretical part of this book, a kind of hand-book of Political Economy, is, considering the time of its publication, original in some parts, e.g., on commercial crises. The historical part is, to a great extent, a shameless plagiarism of Sir F. M. Eden's ``The State of the Poor," London, 1797.

[32] Daily Telegraph, 1 7th January, 1860.

[33] Cf. F. Engels "Lage, etc." pp. 249-51.

[34] Children's Employment Commission. First report., etc., 1863. Evidence. pp. 16, 19, 18.

[35] Public Health, 3rd report, etc., pp. 102, 104, 105.

[36] Child. Empl. Comm. I. Report, p. 24.

[37] Children's Employment Commission, p. 22, and xi.

[38] l. c., p. xlviii.

[39] l. c., p. liv.

[40] This is not to be taken in the same sense as our surplus-labour time. These gentlemen consider 10 1/2 hours of labour as the normal working-day, which includes of course the normal surplus-labour. After this begins "over-time" which is paid a little better. It will be seen later that the labour expended during the so-called normal day is paid below its value, so that the over-time is simply a capitalist trick in order to extort more surplus-labour, which it would still be, everi if the labour-power expended during the normal working-day were properly paid.

[41] l. c., Evidence, pp. 123, 124, 125, 140, and 54.

[42] Alum finely powdered, or mixed with salt, is a normal article of commerce bearing the significant name of "bakers' stuff."

[43] Soot is a well-known and very energetic form of carbon, and forms a manure that capitalistic chimney-sweeps sell to English farmers. Now in 1862 the British juryman had in a law-suit to decide whether soot, with which, unknown to the buyer, 90% of dust and sand are mixed, is genuine soot in the commercial sense or adulterated soot in the legal sense. The "amis du commerce" decided it to be genuine commercial soot, and nonsuited the plaintiff farmer, who had in addition to pay the costs of the suit.

[44] The French chemist, Chevallier, in his treatise on the "sophistications" of commodities, enumerates for many of the 600 or more articles which he passes in review, 10, 20, 30 different methods of adulteration. He adds that he does not know all the methods and does not mention all that he knows. He gives 6 kinds of adulteration of sugar, 9 of olive oil, 10 of butter, 12 of salt, 19 of milk, 20 of bread, 23 of brandy, 24 of meal, 28 of chocolate, 30 of wine, 32 of coffee, etc. Even God Almighty does not escape this fate. See Rouard de Card, "On the Falsifications of the hlaterials of the Sacrament." ("De la falsification des substances sacramentelles," Paris, 1856.) [45] "Report, &c., relative to the grievances complained of by the journeymen bakers, &c., London, 1862," and "Second Report, &c., London, 1863."

[46] l. c., First Report, &c., p. vi.

[47] l. c., p. Ixxi.

[48] George Read, "The History of Baking," London, 1848, p. 16.

[49] Report (First) &c. Evidence of the "full-priced" baker Cheeseman, p. 108.

[50] George Read, l. c. At the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries the factors (agents) that crowded into every possible trade were still denounced as "public nuisances." Thus the Grand Jury at the quarter session of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Somerset, addressed a presentment to the Lower House which, among other things, states, "that these factors of Blackwell Hall are a Public Nuisance and Prejudice to the Clothing Trade, and ought to be put down as a Nuisance." "The Case of our English Wool., &c.," London, 1685, pp. 6, 7.

[51] First Report, &c.

[52] Report of Committee on the Baking Trade in Ireland for 1861.

[53] l. c.

[54] Public meeting of agricultural labourers at Lasswade, near Edinburgh, January 5th, 1866. (See Workman's Advocate, January 13th, 1866.) The formation since the close of 1865 of a Trades' Union among the agricultural labourers at first in Scotland is a historic event. In one of the most oppressed agricultural districts of England, Buckinghamshire, the labourers, in March, 1867, made a ueat strike for the raising of their weekly wage from 9-10 shillings to 12 shillings. (It will be seen from the preceding passage that the movement of the English agricultural proletariat, entirely crushed since the suppression of its violent manifestations after 1830, and especially since the introduction of the new Poor Laws, begins again in the sixties, until it becomes finally epoch-making in 1872. I return to this in the 2nd volume, as well as to the Blue books that have appeared since 1867 on the position of the English land labourers. Addendum to the 3rd ea.) [55] Reynolds' Newspaper, January, 1866. — Every week this same paper has, under the sensational headings, "Fearful and fatal accidents," "Appalling tragedies," &c., a whole list of fresh railway catastrophes. On these an employe on the North Staffordshire line comments: "Everyone knows the consequences that may occur if the driver and fireman of a locomotive engine are not continually on the look-out. How can that be expected from a man who has been at such work for 29 or 30 hours, exposed to the weather, and without rest. The following is an example which is of very frequent occurrence: — One fireman commenced work on the Monday morning at a very early hour. When he had finished what is called a day's work, he had been on duty 14 hours 50 minutes. Before he had time to get his tea, he was again called on for duty.... The next time he finished he had been on duty 14 hours 25 minutes, making a total of 29 hours 15 minutes without intermission. The rest of the week's work was made up as follows: — Wednesday. 15 hours: Thursday, 15 hours 35 minutes; Friday, 14 2 hours; Saturday, 14 hours 10 minutes, making a total for the week of 88 hours 40 minutes. Now, sir, fancy his astonishment on being paid 6 1/4 days for the whole. Thinking it was a mistake, he applied to the time-keeper,... and inquited what they considered a day's work, and was told 13 hours for a goods man (i.e., 78 hours).... He then asked for what he had made over and above the 78 hours per week, but was refused. However, he was at last told they would give him another quarter, i.e., 10 d.," l. c., 4th February. 1866.

[56] Cf F. Engels, l. c., pp. 253, 254.

[57] Dr. Letheby, Consulting Physician of the Board of Health, declared: "The minimum of air for each adult ought to be in a sleeping room 300, and in a dwelling room 500 cubic feet." Dr. Richardson, Senior Physician to one of the London Hospitals: "With needlewomen of all kinds, including milliners, dressmakers, and ordinary sempstresses, there are three miseries — over-work, deficient air, and either deficient food or deficient digestion....

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