Chapter 5 - Specialization - The Machine
production progresses, the producer specializes. This specialization is
itself a factor for a greater total production, requiring however less
effort from each specialist.
a long time now, some men have been cultivating the earth, some have
been manufacturing materials, others worked at transportation, and
others engaged in various kinds of services. But specialization
increases, even on farms, and above all, in industry. Some workers make
no more than a part, always the same part, of the finished product.
far as output is concerned, this division of labour is certainly
worthwhile, but it requires, for the satisfaction of the consumers'
needs, much more recourse to trade. Parallel to the development of the
division of labour, of specialization, we must therefore have a flexible
development in the trade mechanism.
division of labour has furthered the invention of machines. In fact, the
more the division, the more it is uniformly repeated, the more automatic
becomes the movement of the worker who executes his very small part in
the whole production process. That is tantamount to replacing human
labour by machines.
introduction of the machine contributes to increasing production, while
reducing man's work. The division of labour and the introduction
of the machine are in perfect harmony with the determining principle of
economic life in the field of production: the maximum effect with the
minimum effort. But this division of labour and the introduction of the
machine pose problems, which one has not yet been able to resolve.
the division of labour has resulted in abridging, almost doing away
with, the time necessary at apprenticeship, it has also, negatively,
transformed labour into real toil. How boring and mind-destroying it
must be to repeat the same movement, the same gesture, hour after hour,
day after day, without having the satisfaction of thinking, devising,
applying one's mind! This is now the case in many occupations. Man's
creative faculties enter less and less into the worker's daily labour;
he becomes hardly more than a robot, a precursor to the steel machine.
remedy would be to reduce working hours to the bare essentials, to
provide leisure to this worker so he will be able to exercise his
faculties to his liking, and become a thinking man again. Another remedy
is to hasten the installation of the machine which will do, in the
worker's place, the repetitive movement which is already, strictly
speaking, no longer a human task.
with the present economic regulations, which require personal
participation in production to get claims to production, one can imagine
what happens when the worker is freed from work. Leisure is called
unemployment, and the man thus released is a down-and-out.
people say that machines do not replace manpower in a lasting way,
because new occupations, created by new needs, offer a new outlet to the
unemployed, at least until the time when the machine drives them out
again one day. Nevertheless, these disruptions, these continual
expropriations of the worker's labour, disorganize his life more and
more, banish all security, prevent him from building for the future, and
force the multiplication of State interventions.
must one agree with those who oppose the introduction of almost all new
machines? Not at all. But the system of goods distribution must be
adapted. Since machines increase the quantity of goods instead of
decreasing them, mechanical production ought to increase production in
the homes, even if man's personal labour in production decreases. This
ought to be done without collisions and upheavals. It is possible,
provided one dissociates – to
degree – claims on production from a personal contribution
you will see further, is what Social Credit can do, by introducing into
distribution the system of dividends to EACH and EVERYONE, to the extent
that the wage-earners cannot buy all of the available goods, because of
their lack of purchasing power.
production being more and more specialized and mechanized, each
producer, man or machine, supplies, in line with the job, a more and
more considerable quantity of goods that they, men or machines, do not
themselves consume. Now, all that a producer supplies, over and above
his personal needs, is for the use of the rest of the community. Thus,
all of a farmer's production, over and above his family's needs, is
necessarily for the use of the rest of the community. All of a
blacksmith's production, save what is for his family's use, is destined
only for the use of others in the community.
that the farmer or the blacksmith must give to his neighbours or to the
State what his family does not use. What his family does not consume is
produced only for the consumption of the rest of the community, and in
some way must go to the rest of the community.
for the machines, they consume nothing of what they produce. So their
immense production enlarges these surpluses that, in some way, must
reach the consumers for production to carry out its end.
can set any appropriate rules so that no worker will be injured. It will
be necessary however that, in some way, the consumers are able to draw
upon this plentiful production, which exceeds the particular needs of
the producers who have brought it into being. And the more plentiful
this non-absorbed production is by its makers, the larger its flow must
be, and the more generous must be the claim which gives right to it.