THE WORKER AND THE MECHANISATION
Through the process of mechanisation, labour fragmentation and capitalist control, the factory system tends to transform the independent artisans and skilled craftspeople into appendages of the machines that they are payed to operate – the factory workers are minders of alien fixed capital. Marx calls this the real subordination of labour to capital. The detailed co-operation of labour within the factory contrasts sharply with the finer division by workers’ tasks that accompanies specialisation. The real detailed co-operation of labour within the factory contrasts sharply with the finer division by workers’ tasks that accompanies specialisation. The real subordination of labour marks the beginning of capitalist production proper, based on the extraction of relative surplus value. These are the economic battering rams with which capitalism can defeat other forms of production on the basis of its superior efficiency. Simultaneously, outside the factory, towns become rapidly growing industrial centres, disrupting every relation between town and country, while life itself is revolutionised by the diffusion of capitalist methods of production throughout the economy and across the entire world.
© Ben Fine & Alfredo Saad-Filho – Marx’s ‘Capital’ – PlutoPress