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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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[16] Before the epoch of Mechanical Industry, the wool manufacture was the predominating manufacture in England. Hence it was in this industry that, in the first half of the 18th century, the most experiments were made. Cotton, which required less careful preparation for its treatment by machinery, derived the benefit of the experience gained on wool, just as afterwards the manipulation of wool by machinery was developed on the lines of cotton-spinning and weaving by machinery. It was only during the 10 years immediately preceding 1866, that isolated details of the wool manufacture, such as woolcombing, were incorporated in the factory system. "The application of power to the process of combing wool... extensively in operation since the introduction of the combingmachine, especially Lister's... undoubtedly had the effect of throwing a very large number of men out of work. Wool was formerly combed by hand, most frequently in the cottage of the comber. It is now very generally combed in the factory, and hand-labour is superseded, except in some particular kinds of work, in which hand-combed wool is still preferred. Many of the hand-combers found employment in the factories, but the produce of the hand-combers bears so small a proportion to that of the machine, that the employment of a very large number of combers has passed away." ("Rep. of lnsp. of Fact. for 31st Oct., 1856," p. 16.) [17] "The principle of the factory system, then, is to substitute... the partition of a process into its essential constituents, for the division or graduation of labour among artisans." (Andrew Ure: "The Philosophy of Manufactures," Lond., 1835, p. 20.) [18] The power-loom was at first made chiefly of wood; in its improved modern form it is made of iron. To what an extent the old forms of the instruments of production influenced their new forms at first starting, is shown by, amongst other things, the most superficial comparison of the present power-loom with the old one, of the modern blowing apparatus of a blast-furnace with the first inefficient mechanical reproduction of the ordinary bellows, and perhaps more strikingly than in any other way, by the attempts before the invention of the present locomotive, to construct a locomotive that actually had two feet, which after the fashion of a horse, it raised alternately from the ground. It is only after considerable development of the science of mechanics, and accumulated practical experience, that the form of a machine becomes settled entirely in accordance with mechanical principles, and emancipated from the traditional form of the tool that gave rise to it.

[19] Eli Whitney's cotton gin had until very recent times undergone less essential changes than any other machine of the 18th century. It is only during the last decade (i.e., since 1856) that another American, Mr. Emery, of Albany, New York, has rendered Whitney's gin antiquated by an improvement as simple as it is effective.

[20] "The Industry of Nations," Lond., 1855, Part II., p. 239. This work also remarks: 'Simple and outwardly unimportant as this appendage to lathes may appear, it is not, we believe, averring too much to state, that its influence in improving and extending the use of machinery has been as great as that produced by Watt's improvements of the steam-engine itself. Its introduction went at once to perfect all machinery, to cheapen it, and to stimulate invention and improvement."

[21] One of these machines, used for forging paddle-wheel shafts in London, is called "Thor." It forges a shaft of 16 1/2 tons with as much ease as a blacksmith forges a horseshoe.

[22] Wood-working machines that are also capable of being employed on a small scale are mostly American inventions.

[23] Science, generally speaking, costs the capitalist nothing, a fact that by no means hinders him from exploiting it. The science of others is as much annexed by capital as the labour of others. Capitalistic appropriation and personal appropriation, whether of science or of material wealth, are, however, totally different things. Dr. Ure himself deplores the gross ignorance of mechanical science existing among his dear machinery-exploiting manufacturers, and Liebig can a tale unfold about the astounding ignorance of chemistry displayed by English chemical manufacturers.

[24] Ricardo lays such stress on this effect of machinery (of which, in other connexions, he takes no more notice than he does of the general distinction between the labour process and the process of creating surplus-value), that he occasionally loses sight of the value given up by machines to the product, and puts machines on the same footing as natural forces. Tbus "Adam Smith nowhere undervalues the services which the natural agents and machinery perform for us, but he very justly distinguishes the nature of the value which they add to commodities... as they perform their work gratuitously, the assistance which they afford us, adds nothing to value in exchange."

(Ric., l. c., pp. 336, 337.) This observation of Ricardo is of course correct in so far as it is directed against J. B. Say, who imagines that machines render the "service" of creating value which forms a part of "profits."

[25] A horse-power is equal to a force of 33,000 foot-pounds per minute, i.e., to a force that raises 33,000 pounds one foot in a minute, or one pound 33,000 feet. This is the horse power meant in the text. In ordinary language, and also here and there in quotations in this work, a distinction is drawn between the "nominal" and the "commercial" or "indicated" horse-power of the same engine. The old or nominal horse-power is calculated exclusively from the length of piston-stroke, and the diameter of the cylinder, and leaves pressure of steam and piston speed out of consideration. It expresses practically this: This engine would be one of 50 horse-power, if it were driven with the same low pressure of steam, and the same slow piston speed, as in the days of Boulton and Watt. But the two latter factors have increased enormously since those days. In order to measure the mechanical force exerted today by an engine, an indicator has been invented which shows the pressure of the steam in the cylinder. The piston speed is easily ascertained. Thus the "indicated" or "commercial" horse-power of an engine is expressed by a mathematical formula, involving diameter of cylinder, length of stroke, piston speed, and steam pressure, simultaneously, and showing what multiple of 33,000 pounds is really raised by the engine in a minute.





Hence, one "nominal" horse-power may exert three, four, or even five "indicated" or "real" horse-powers. This observation is made for the purpose of explaining various citations in the subsequent pages. — F. E.

[26] The reader who is imbued with capitalist notions will naturally miss here the "interest" that the machine, in proportion to its capital value, adds to the product. It is, however, easily seen that since a machine no more creates new value than any other part of constant capital, it cannot add any value under the name of "interest." It is also evident that here, where we are treating of the production of surplus-value, we cannot assume a priori the existence of any part of that value under the name of interest. The capitalist mode of calculating, which appears, primâ facie, absurd, and repugnant to the laws of the creation of value, will be explained in the third book of this work.

[27] This portion of value which is added by the machinery, decreases both absolutely and relatively, when the machinery does away with horses and other animals that are employed as mere moving forces, and not as machines for changing the form of matter. It may here be incidentally observed, that Descartes, in defining animals as mere machines,.saw with eyes of the manufacturing period, while to eyes of the middle ages, animals were assistants to man, as they were later to Von Haller in his "Restauration der Staatswissenschaften."

That Descartes, like Bacon, anticipated an alteration in the form of production, and the practical subjugation of Nature by Man, as a result of the altered methods of thought, is plain from his "Discours de la Méthode." He there says: "If est possible (by the methods he introduced in philosophy) de parvenir i des connaissances fort utiles i la vie, et qu'au lieu de cette philosophic speculative qu'on enseigne dans les écoles, on en peut trouver une pratique, par laquelle, connaissant la force et les actions du feu, de l'eau, de I'air, des astres, et de tons les autres corps qui nous environment, aussi distinctement que nous connaissons les divers métiers de nos artisans, nous les pourrions employer en même façon à tous les usages auxquels ils sont propres, et ainsi nous rendre comme maîtres et possesseurs de la nature" and thus "contrubuer au perfectionnement de la vie humaine." In the preface to Sir Dudley North's "Discourses upon Trade" (1691) it is stated, that Descartes' method had begun to free Political Economy from the old fables and superstitious notions of gold, trade, &c. On the whole, however, the early English economists sided with Bacon and Hobbes as their philosophers; while, at a later period, the philosopher [...] of Political Economy in England, France, and Italy, was Locke.

[28] According to the annual report (1863) of the Essen chamber of commerce, there was produced in 1862, at the cast-steel works of Krupp, with its 161 furnaces, thirty-two steam-engines (in the year 1800 this was about the number of all the steam-engines working in Manchester), and fourteen steam-hammers (representing in all 1,236 horse-power) forty-nine forges, 203 tool-machines, and about 2,400 workmen-thirteen million pounds of cast steel. Here there are not two workmen to each horse-power.

[29] Babbage estimates that in Java the spinning labour alone adds 117% to the value of the cotton. At the same period (1832) the total value added to the cotton by machinery and labour in the fine-spinning industry, amounted to about 33% of the value of the cotton. ("On the Economy of Machinery," pp. 165, 166.) [30] Machine printing also economises colour.

[31] See Paper read by Dr. Watson, Reporter on Products to the Government of India, before the Society of Arts, 17th April, 1860.

[32] "These mute agents (machines) are always the produce of much less labour than that which they displace, even when they are of the same money-value." (Ricardo, l. c., p. 40.) [33] Hence in a communistic society there would be a very different scope for the employof machinery than there can be in a bourgeois society.

[34] "Employers of labour would not unnecessarily retain two sets of children under thirteen.... In fact one class of manufacturers, the spinners of woollen yam, now rarely employ children under thirteen years of age, i.e., half-timers. They have introduced improved and new machinery of various kinds, which altogether supersedes the employment of children (i.e., under 13 years); f. i., I will mention one process as an illustration of this diminution in the number of children, wherein by the addition of an apparatus, called a piecing machine, to existing machines, the work of six or four half-timers, according to the peculiarity of each machine, can be performed by one young person (over 13 years)... the half-time system 'stimulated' the invention of the piecing machine." (Reports of Insp. of Fact. for 31st Oct., 1858.) [35] "Wretch" is the recognised term in English Political Economy for the agricultural labourer.

[36] "Machinery... can frequently not be employed until labour (he means wages) rises." (Ricardo, l. c., p. 479.) [37] See "Report of the Social Science Congress, at Edinburgh." Oct., 1863.

[38] Dr. Edward Smith, during the cotton crisis caused by the American Civil War, was sent by the English Government to Lancashire, Cheshire, and other places, to report on the sanitary condition of the cotton operatives. He reported, that from a hygienic point of view, and apart from the banishment of the operatives from the factory atmosphere, the crisis had several advantages. The women now had sufficient leisure to give their infants the breast, instead of poisoning them with "Godfrey's cordial." They had time to learn to cook.

Unfortunately the acquisition of this art occurred at a time when they had nothing to cook. But from this we see how capital, for the purposes of its self-expansion, has usurped the labour necessary in the home of the family. This crisis was also utilised to teach sewing to the daughters of the workmen in sewing schools. An American revolution and a universal crisis, in order that the working girls, who spin for the whole world, might learn to sew!

[39] "The numerical increase of labourers has been great, through the growing substitution of female for male, and above all, of childish for adult labour. Three girls of 13, at wages of from 6 shillings to 8 shillings a week, have replaced the one man of mature age, of wages varying from 18 shillings to 45 shillings." (Th. de Quincey: "The Logic of Political Econ.," London, 1844. Note to p. 147.) Since certain family functions, such as nursing and suckling children, cannot be entirely suppressed, the mothers confiscated by capital, must try substitutes of some sort. Domestic work, such as sewing and mending, must be replaced by the purchase of ready-made articles. Hence, the diminished expenditure of labour in the house is accompanied by an increased expenditure of money. The cost of keeping the family increases, and balances the greater income. In addition to this, economy and judgment in the consumption and preparation of the means of subsistence becomes impossible. Abundant material relating to these facts, which are concealed by official Political Economy, is to be found in the Reports of the Inspectors of Factories, of the Children's Employment Commission, and more especially in the Reports on Public Health.



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