Social Scientist. v 5, no. 50 (Sept 1976) p. 55.


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MARXIAN POLITICAL ECONOMY 55

situation where the worker's labour power is useless unless it can be sold to the capitalist: ^By nature unfitted to make anything independently, the manufacturing labourer develops productive activity as a mere appendage of the capitalist's workshop.5'21

A most important consequence of capitalist manufacture is that it develops further the antagonism between mental and manual labour. The development of division of labour and the rationalization of the work process require, and in turn, promote the application of intellectual skills in production, while as a result of this very process, the work of the detail labourer is rendered dull, monotonous and purely reflexive. The capitalist relations of production create and heighteen the antagonism between intellectual labour^ the application of science and so on, on the one hand and the simple manual labourer on the other:

It is a result of the division of labour in manufacture that the labourer is brought face to face with the intellectual potencies of the material process of production, as the property of another, and as a ruling power. This separation begins in simple co-operation, where the capitalist represents to the single workman the oneness and will of the associated labour. It is developed in manufacture which cuts down the labourer into a detail labourer. It is completed in modern industry, which makes science a productive force distinct from labour and presses it into the service of capital.22

To sum up, the historic role of the manufacture is two-fold. On the one hand, by developing the division of labour, improving the instruments of labour through specialization, and by reorganizing and regrouping the operations of the detail labourers, manufacture develops productive forces. It creates new productive forces by altering the social organization and division of labour, that is, by developing new production relations. But while it plays this historically progressive role, as capitalist manufacture, it exhibits specific class characteristics: ^It increases the social productive power of labour, not only for the benefit of the capitalist, instead of for that of the labourer, but it does this by crippling the individul labourers. It creates new conditions for the lordship of capital over labour."28

Limitations of Manufacture

As mode of producing relative surplus value, manufacture no doubt plays an important role. However, it emerges from Marx's analysis of the British case that certain of its characteristic features place definite limits on its efficacy in this regard. First, while manufacture did create a separation of labourers into ^skilled' and "unskilled5, as well as a hierarchy of skills, it did not go very far in this direction. The class of unskilled labourers remained numerically small relative to that of the skilled one's. While the simple detail operations could certainly be performed by women and children, thus lowering wages, the possibilities here could not



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