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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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Needlework, in the main,... is infinitely better adapted to women than to men. But the mischiefs of the trade, in the metropolis especially, are that it is monopolised by some twenty-six capitalists, who, under the advantages that spring from capital, can bring in capital to force economy out of labour. This power tells throughout the whole class. If a dressmaker can get a little circle of customers, such is the competition that, in her home, she must work to the death to hold together, and this same over-work she must of necessity inflict on any who may assist her. If she fail, or do not try independently, she must join an establishment, where her labour is oot less, but where her money is safe. Placed thus, she becomes a mere slave. tossed about with the variations of society. Now at home, in one room, starving, or near to it, then engaged 15, 16, aye, even 18 hours out of the 24, in an air that is scarcely tolerable, and on food which, even if it be good, cannot be digested in the absence of pure air. On these victims, consumption, which is purely a disease of bad air, feeds." Dr. Richardson: "Work and Over-work," in "Social Science Review," 18th July, 1863.

[58] Morning Star, 23rd June, 1863. — The Times made useofthe circumstance to defend the American slave-owners against Bright, &c. "Very many of us think," says a leader of July 2nd, 1863, "that, while we work our own young women to death, using the scourge of starvation, instead of the crack of the whip, as the instrument of compulsion, we have scarcely a right to hound on fire and slaughter against families who were born slave-owners, and who, at least, feed their slaves well, and work them lightly." In the same manner, the Standard, a Tory organ, fell foul of the Rev. Newman Hall: "He excommunicated the slave-owners, but prays with the fine folk who, without remorse, make the omnibus drivers and conductors of London, &c., work 16 hours a-day for the wages of a dog." Finally, spake the oracle, Thomas Carlyle, of whom I wrote, in 1850, "Zum Teufel ist der Genius, der Kultus ist geblieben." In a short parable, he reduces the one great event of contemporary history, the American Civil War, to this level, that the Peter of the North wants to break the head of the Paul of the South with all his might, because the Peter of the North hires his labour by the day, and the Paul of the South hires his by the life. ("Macmillan's Magazine." llias Americana in nuce. August, 1863.) Thus, the bubble of Tory sympathy for the urban workers — by no means for the rural — has burst at last. The sum of all is — slavery!

[59] Dr. Richardson, l. c.

[60] Children's Employment Commission. Third Report. London, 1864, pp. iv., v., vi.

[61] "Both in Staffordshire and in South Wales young girls and women are employed on the pit banks and on the coke heaps, not only by day but also by night. This practice has been often noticed in Reports presented to Parliament, as being attended with great and notorious evils. These females employed with the men, hardly distinguished from them in their dress, and begrimed with dirt and smoke, are exposed to the deterioration of character, arising from the loss of self-respect, which can hardly fail to follow from their unfeminine occupation."

(l. c., 194, p. xxvi. Cf. Fourth Report (1865), 61, p. xiii.) It is the same in glass-works.

[62] A steel manufacturer who employs children in night-labour remarked: "It seems but natural that boys who work at night cannot sleep and get proper rest by day, but will be running about.' (l. c., Fourth Report, 63, p. xiii.) On the importance of sunlight for the maintenance and growth of the body, a physician writes: "Light also acts upon the tissues of the body directly in hardening them and supporting their elasticity. Tne muscles of animals, when they are deprived of a proper amount of light, become sofl and inelastic, the nenous power loses its tone from defective stimulation, and the daboration of all growth seems to be perverted.... In the case of children, constant access to plenty of light during the day, and to the direct rays of the sun for a part of it, is most essential to health.

Light assists in the elaboration of good plastic blood, and hardens the fibre after it has been laid down. It also acts as a stimulus upon the organs of sips, and by this means brings about more activity in the various cerebral functions." Dr. W. Strange, Senior Physician of the Worcester General Hospital, from whose work on "Health" (1864) this passage is taken, writes in a letter to Mr. White, one of the commissioners: "I have had opportunities formerly, when in Lancashire, of observing the effects of nightwork upon children, and I have no hesitation in saying, contrary to what some employers were fond of asserting, those children who were subjected to it soon suffered in their health." (l. c., 284., p. 55.) That such a question should furnish the material of serious controversy, shows plainly how capitalist production acts on the brain-functions of capitalists and their retainers.

[63] l. c., 57, p. xii.

[64] l. c.. Fourth Report (1865). 58. p. xii.

[65] l. c.

[66] l. c., p. xiii. The degree of culture of these "labour-powers" must naturally be such as appears in the following dialogues with one of the commissioners: Jeremiah Haynes, age 12 — "Four times four is 8; 4 fours are 16. A king is him that has all the money and gold. We have aj king (told it is a Queen), they call her the Princess Alexandra.





Told that she married the Queen's son. The Queen's son is the Princess Alexandra. A Princess is a man " William Turner, age 12 — "Don't live in England. Think it is a country, but didn't know before." John Morris, age 14 — "Have heard say that God made the world, and that all the people was drowndedbut one, heard say that one was a little bird." William Smith age 15 — ``God made man, man made woman." Edward Taylor, age 15 — "Do not know of London." Henry Matthewman, age 17 — "Had been to chapel, but missed a good many times lately. One name that they preached about was Jesus Christ, but I cannot say any others, and I cannot te~l anything about him.

He was not killed, but died like other people. He was not the same as other people in some ways, because he was religious in some ways and others isn't." (l. c., p. xv.) "The devil is a good person. I don't know where he lives." ' Christ was a wicked man." "This girl spelt God as dog, and did not know the name of the queen." ("Ch.

Employment Comm. V. Report, 1866 " p. 55, n. 278.) The same system obtains in the glass and paper works as in the metallurgical, already cited. In the paper factories, where the paper is made by machinery, nips-work is the rule for all processes, except rag-sorting. In some cases night-work, by relays, is carried on incessantly throup the whole week, usually from Sunday nipt until midnipt of the following Saturday. Those who are on day-work work 5 days of 12, and I day of 18 hours; those on nips-work 5 nipts of 12, and I of 6 hours in each week. In other cases each set works 24 hours consecutively on alternate days, one set working 6 hours on Monday, and 18 on Saturday to make up the 24 hours. In other cases an intermediate system prevails, by which all employed on the paper-making machinery work 15 or 16 hours every day in the week. This system, says Commissioner Lord, "seems to combine all the evils of both the 12 hours' and the 24 hours' relays." Children under 13, young persons under 18, and women, work under this nipt system. Sometimes under the 12 hours' system they are obliged, on account of the non-appearance of those that oupt to relieve them, to work a double turn of 24 hours. The evidence proves that boys and girls very often work overtime, which, not unfrequently, extends to 24 or even 36 hours of uninterrupted toil. In the continuous and unvarying process of glazing are found girls of 12 who work the whole month 14 hours a day, "without any regular relief or cessation beyond 2 or, at most, 3 breaks of half an hour each for meals." In some mills. where regular nips-work has been entirely given up, over-work goes on to a terrible extent, "and that often in the dirtiest, and in the hottest, and in the most monotonous of the various processes." ("Ch. EmpIoyment Comm.

Report IV., 1865," p. xxxviii, and xxxix.) [67] Fourth Report, &c.. 1865, 79, p. xvi.

[68] l. c., 80. p. xvi.

[69] l. c., 82. p. xvii.

[70] In our reflecting and reasoning age a man is not worth much who cannot give a good reason for everything, no matter how bad or how crazy. Everything in the world that has been done wrong has been done wrong for the very best of reasons. (Hegel, l. c., p. 249 ) [71] l. c., 85, p. xvii. To similar tender scruples of the glass manufacturers that regular meal-times for the children are impossible because as a consequence a certain quantity of heat, radiated by the furnaces, would be "a pure loss" or "wasted," Commissioner White makes answer. His answer.is unlike that of Ure, Senior, &c., and their puny German plagiarists.a la Roscher who are touched by the "abstinence," "self-denial," "saving," of the capitalists in the expenditure of their gold, and by their Timur-Tamerlanish prodigality of human life! "A certain amount of heat beyond what is usual at present might also be going to waste, if meal-times were secured in these cases, but it seems likely not equal in money-value to the waste of animal power now going on in glass-houses throughout the kingdom from growing boys not having enough quiet time to eat their meals at ease, with a little rest afterwards for digestion." (l. c., p. xiv.) And this in the year of progress 1865! Without considering the expenditure of strength in lifting and carrying, such a child, in the sheds where bottle and flint glass are made, walks during the performance of his work 15-20 miles in every 6 hours! And the work often lasts 14 or 15 hours! In many of these glass works, as in the Moscow spinning mills, the system of 6 hours' relays is in force. "During the working part of the week six hours is the utmost unbroken period ever attained at any one time for rest, and out of this has to come the time spent in coming and going to and from work, washing, dressing, and meals, leaving a very short period indeed for rest, and none for fresh air and play, unless at the expense of the sleep necessary for young boys, especially at such hot and fatiguing work.... Even the short sleep is obviously liable to be broken by a boy having to wake himself if it is night, or by the noise, if it is day." Mr. White gives cases where a boy worked 36 consecutive hours; others where,boys of 12 drudged on until 2 in the morning, and then slept in the works till 5 a.m. (3 hours!) only to resume their work. "The amount of work," say Tremenheere and Tufnell, who drafted the general report, "done by boys, youths, girls, and women, in the course of their daily or nightly spell of labour, is certainly extraordinary." (l. c., xliii. and xliv.) Meanwhile, Iate by night, self-denying Mr. Glass-Capital, primed with port-wine, reels out of his club homeward droning out idiotically. "Britons never, never shall be slaves!" [72] In England even now occasionally in rural districts a labourer is condemned to imprisonment for desecrating the Sabbath, by working in his front garden. The same labourer is punished for breach of contract if he remains away from his metal, paper, or glass works on the Sunday, even if it be from a religious whim. The orthodox Parliament will hear nothing of Sabbath-breaking if it occurs in the process of expanding capital. A memorial (August 1863), in which the London day-labourers in fish and poultry shops asked for the abolition of Sunday labour, states that their work lasts for the first 6 days of the week on an average 15 hours a-day, and on Sunday 8-10 hours. From this same memorial we learn also that the delicate gourmands among the aristocratic hypocrita of Exeter Hall, especially encourage this "Sunday labour." These "holy ones," so zealous in cute curanda, show their Christianity by the humility with which they bear the overwork, the privations, and the hunger of others.

Obsequium ventris istis (the labourers) perniciosius est.

[73] "We have given in our previous reports the statements of several experienced manufacturers to the effect that over-hours... certainly tend prematurely to exhaust the workine oower of the men." (l. c., 64. p. xiii.) [74] Cairnes, "The Slave Power," pp. 110. 111.

[75] John Ward: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent," London, 1843, p. 42.

[76] Ferrand's Speech in the House of Commons, 27th April, 1863.

[77] Those were the very words used by the cotton manufacturers." l. c.

[78] l. c. Mr. Villiers, despite the best of intentions on his part, was "legally" obliged to refuse the requests of the manufacturers. These gentlemen, however, attairied their end through the obliging nature of the local poor law boards. Mr. A. Redgrave, Inspector of Factories, asserts that this time the system under which orphans and pauper children were treated "legally" as apprentices "was not accompanied with the old abuses" (on these "abuses" see Engels, l. c.), although in one case there certainly was "abuse of this system in respect to a number of girls and young women brought from the agricultural districts of Scotland into Lancashire and Cheshire." Under this system the manufacturer entered into a contract with the workhouse authorities for a certain period. He fed, clothed and lodged the children, and gave them a small allowance of money. A remark of Mr. Redgrave to be quoted directly seems strange, especially if we consider that even among the years of prosperity of the English cotton trade, the year 1860 stands unparalleled, and that, besides, wages were exceptionally high. For this extraordinary demand for work had to contend with the depopulation of Ireland, with unexampled emigration from the English and Scotch agricultural districts to Australia and America, with an actual diminution of the population in some of the English agricultural districts, in cons'equence partly of an actual breakdown of the vital force of the labourers, partly of the already effected dispersion of the disposable population through the dealers in human flesh. Despite all this Mr.



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