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Jump to: navigation, search Division of labour is the specialization of cooperative labour in specific, circumscribed tasks and like roles. Historically an increasingly complex division of labor is closely associated with the growth of total output and trade, the rise of capitalism, and of the complexity of industrialization processes. Division of labor was also a method used by the sumerians to categorize different jobs, and divide them to skilled members of a society.
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1 Trade and economic interdependence 2 Global division of labour 3 Theorists o 3.1 Plato o 3.2 Xenophon o 3.3 William Petty o 3.4 Bernard de Mandeville o 3.5 David Hume o 3.6 Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau o 3.7 Adam Smith o 3.8 Karl Marx o 3.9 Henry David Thoreau o 3.10 Émile Durkheim o 3.11 Ludwig von Mises o 3.12 Friedrich A. Hayek on the price system 4 Globalization 5 Modern debates 6 Sexual division of labour 7 Sexual Division of Labor (Evolutionary Perspective) 8 See also 9 Further reading 10 References 11 External links
 Trade and economic interdependence
The division of labour makes trade necessary and is the source of economic interdependence.
The majority of workers in industry and services were wage & salary earners .58 percent of the industrial workforce and 65 percent of the services workforce." (The Republic. Page 103. I think. "ILO Global Employment Trends report" indicates that services have surpassed agriculture for the first time in human history: "In 2006 the service sector¶s share of global employment overtook agriculture for the first time.)  Xenophon Xenophon. in agriculture. increasing from 39. worked in industry. and a weaver. Penguin Classics edition. So that the minimum state would consist of four or five men. writing in the fourth century BC. Deon Filmer estimated that 2. But a big portion were selfemployed or involved in family labour.7 per cent. few comprehensive studies of the global division of labour (an intellectual challenge for researchers). y y y around 15%. and some 480 million working on own account in industry and services. '"Well then. a builder. In one study. how will our state supply these needs? It will need a farmer. and also. Filmer suggests the total of employees worldwide in the 1990s was about 880 million.Division of labor is a process whereby the production process is broken down into a sequence of stages and workers are assigned to particular stages. makes a passing reference to division of labour in his 'Cyropaedia' (aka Education of Cyrus). as yet.7 per cent to 38..5 per cent to 40 per cent. compared with around a billion working on own account on the land (mainly peasants).. a shoemaker and one or two others to provide for our bodily needs. or 800 million worked in services. . The industry sector accounted for 21.  Global division of labour There exist. the origin of the state lies in the natural inequality of humanity.074 million. Agriculture decreased from 39.3 per cent of total employment. or 379 million people.  Theorists  Plato In Plato's Republic.474 million people participated in the global nondomestic labour force in the mid-1990s.. and over 40%. although the ILO and national statistical offices can provide plenty of data on request for those who wish to try. or 1. Of these. which is embodied in the division of labour. a third.
p 135. while there is another who performs none of these operations but assembles the parts. another just by sewing the uppers together. Society provides a remedy for these three inconveniences. In large cities. And it is impossible for a man of many trades to do all of them well. however. and often he even builds houses. our power is augmented: By the partition of employments. showing its existence and usefulness in Dutch shipyards. his force is too small to execute any considerable work. in the same way food at the palace is prepared in a far superior manner. People with a particular task to do must have discovered new methods that were only later observed and justified by writers on political economy. but the Callings and Employments themselves will in the same Number of Years receive much greater Improvements. than if all had been promiscuously followed by every one of the Five. His breakthrough was to divide up the work so that large parts of it could be done by people with no extensive training. they not only become useful to one another. a fourth makes Garments. whilst another provides Food. our ability en creases: And by mutual succor we are less expos¶d to . he never attains a perfection in any particular art. Penguin books 1992. He says: But if one will wholly apply himself to the making of Bows and Arrows. In small towns the same man makes couches. This elaborates many matters raised by the original poem about a 'Grumbling Hive'. cited in The Ancient Economy by M. Petty also applied the principle to his survey of Ireland. a third builds Huts. doors. and as his force and success are not at all times equal. and a fifth Utensils. the least failure in either of these particulars must be attended with inevitable ruin and misery.)  William Petty Sir William Petty was the first modern writer to take note of division of labour. his labour being employ¶d in supplying all his different necessities. Finley.  David Hume David Hume talks about "partition of employments" in "A Treatise of Human Nature" (1739): When every individual person lab ours a-part."Just as the various trades are most highly developed in large cities. ch. But the Dutch had it organized with several teams each doing the same tasks for successive ships. I. and still he is thankful if only he can find enough work to support himself. ii. another by cutting them out. and only for himself. and often less than one: for instance one man makes shoes for men.  Bernard de Mandeville Bernard de Mandeville discusses the matter in the second volume of The Fable of the Bees. finishing one before starting another. one alone is enough to support a man. 4-6. By the conjunction of forces. he who pursues a very specialized task will do it best. Classically the workers in a shipyard would build ships as units. plows and tables. another for women. Of necessity. there are places even where one man earns a living just by mending shoes. because many make demands on each trade." (Book VIII.
while for Plato the level of specialization determined by the division of labour was externally determined. Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau writes about the "division of this work": There is nobody who is not surprised of the small price of pins. The specialisation and concentration of the workers on their single subtasks often leads to greater skill and greater productivity on their particular subtasks than would be achieved by the same number of workers each carrying out the original broad task. Smith famously argued that the difference between a street porter and a philosopher was as much a consequence of the division of labour as its cause. Smith saw the importance of matching skills with equipment . The contradiction has led to some debate over Smith's opinion of the division of labour. and security.usually in the context of an organisation. We are going to go through these operations in a few words to stimulate the curiosity to know their detail. this enumeration will supply as many articles which will make the division of this work.] The first operation is to have brass go through the drawing plate to calibrate it. most of them very delicate. were required to build a ship.. for Smith it was the dynamic engine of economic progress. In modern economic discussion the term human capital would be used.. . Adam Smith has most likely misunderstood the text in French. [. See also a short discussion of Adam Smith's theory in the context of business processes. For example. [. Duhamel du Monceau is referring to the subdivisions of the text describing the various trades involved in the pin making activity.The Art of the Pin-Maker . and thought that Duhamel du Monceau was talking about the "division of labour". Unlike Plato. ability. Therefore. that society becomes advantageous. they become ignorant and insular as their working lives are confined to a single repetitive task.  Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau In his introduction to l¶´Art de l¶Épinglier´ . pin makers were organized with one making the head. usually in an organization. Smith's insight suggests that the huge increases in productivity obtainable from technology or technological progress are possible because human and physical capital are matched. each using different equipment.(1761). are mandatory to make a good pin.fortune and accidents. in a further chapter of the same book Smith criticizes the division of labour saying it leads to a 'mental mutilation' in workers.] By "division of this work". However. used in cooperation and with suitable equipment... Adam Smith foresaw the essence of industrialism by determining that division of labour represents a qualitative increase in productivity. ¶Tis by this additional force. but we shall be even more surprised. Similarly he emphasised a large number of skills. when we know how many different operations.  Adam Smith In the first sentence of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). His example was the making of pins. another the body.
It may be. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. the worker is "depressed spiritually and physically to the condition of a machine". Marx also suggests that the capitalist division of labour will evolve over time such that the maximum amount of labour is productive labour. (October 2010) Increasing the specialization may also lead to workers with poorer overall skills and a lack of enthusiasm for their work. Marx wrote that "with this division of labour". If these two divisions are conflated. workers become more and more specialized and work repetitious which eventually leads to complete alienation. which could be made using a variety of different criteria. That is. this cannot be explained by technical necessity. and so on. that it is technically necessary that both pleasant and unpleasant jobs must be done by a group of people. He claimed that the average man in a civilized society is less wealthy. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. He believed that the fullness of production is essential to human liberation and accepted the idea of a strict division of labour only as a temporary necessary evil. it is a socially made decision. The tasks could be rotated. in . If particular people get to do the unpleasant jobs and others the pleasant jobs. Karl Marx This section does not cite any references or sources. rather than (in good part) socially constructed and influenced by power relationships. (August 2009) Thoreau criticized the division of labour in Walden (published in 1854). but others are purely a result of a social control function related to a class and status hierarchy. Marx's most important theoretical contribution is his sharp distinction between the social division and the technical or economic division of labour. on the basis that it removes people from a sense of connectedness with society and with the world at large. where productive labour is defined as labour which creates surplus value. or a person could be assigned to a task permanently. it might appear as though the existing division of labour is technically inevitable and immutable. meaning that balanced human development occurs where people fully express their nature in the variety of creative work that they do. This viewpoint was extended and refined by Karl Marx. But from that fact alone. The talk page may contain suggestions. for example. He described the process as alienation. Please improve this section if you can. including nature. some forms of labour cooperation are due purely to technical necessity. the division of labour is transcended. Marx argues that in a communist society.  Henry David Thoreau This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. it does not follow that any particular person must do any particular (pleasant or unpleasant) job.
criticized the division of labour in "The American Scholar". he might still have developed some other. or some other altogether unimaginable type'. and alienation is more a romantic fiction. unequal world by dividing it along the lines of "human solidarity". This would mean that countries specialize in the work they can do at the lowest opportunity cost. in turn.  Friedrich A.Friedrich A.  Émile Durkheim Émile Durkheim wrote about a fractionated.. In 1893 he published "The Division of Labour in Society". work is not all there is. Had he not done so. which is often interpreted as a euphemism for the expansion of world trade based on comparative advantage.. . It is the other way round: man has been able to develop that division of labor on which our civilization is based because he happened to stumble upon a method which made it possible. Hayek  Globalization The issue reaches its broadest scope in the controversies about globalization.practice. After all.. a widely-informed.  Ludwig von Mises Marx's theories. Cartesian notion that our bodily existence is merely an object of our (abstract) consciousness. Thoreau's friend and mentor. which may be said to underlie. Ralph Waldo Emerson. its essential moral value is division of labour. his fundamental statement of the nature of human society and its social development. it is fully possible to achieve balanced human development within capitalism. The main argument here is the gains accruing from the division of labour far outweigh the costs. something like the "state" of the termite ants.. holistic citizenry is vital for the spiritual and physical health of the country. including the negative claims regarding the division of labour have been criticized by the Austrian economists such as Ludwig von Mises. there is also leisure time. type of civilization. the whole modern. than one in a "savage" society. altogether different. According to Franz Borkenau it was a great increase in division of labour occurring in the 1800s after the Industrial Revolution that introduced the abstract category of work.'The price system is just one of those formations which man has learned to use (though he is still very far from having learned to make the best use of it) after he had stumbled upon it without understanding it. Through it not only a 'division of labor' but also a coordinated utilization of resources based on an equally divided knowledge has become possible. Hayek on the price system From "The Use of Knowledge in Society". The answer he gave was that self-sufficiency was enough to cover one's basic needs. The people who like to deride any suggestion that this may be so usually distort the argument by insinuating that it asserts that by some miracle just that sort of system has spontaneously grown up which is best suited to modern civilization.
which favor some countries over others. It is often agreed that the most equitable principle in allocating people within hierarchies is that of true (or proven) competency or ability.. preparing soil for planting) they will also do Y (e.. the planting) while for men the logical reversal in this example would be that if men plant they will prepare the soil.. the question is often raised about what division of labour would be most ideal. It is widely accepted that the division of labour is to a great extent inevitable. are an inevitable accompaniment of the process of globalization. Job losses in some sectors.g.Critics however allege that international specialization cannot be explained sufficiently in terms of "the work nations do best". Often techniques that work in one place or time do not work as well in another. public . simply because no one can do all tasks at once. such things are not decided consciously. Different people try different things. This does not present a problem. rather this specialization is guided more by commercial criteria.  Sexual division of labour Main article: Women's work The clearest exposition of the principles of sexual division of labour across the full range of human societies can be summarized by a large number of logically complementary implicational constraints of the following form: if women of childbearing ages in a given community tend to do X (e. The 'Cross Cultural Analysis of the Sexual Division of Labor by White. In general.g. and that which is most effective cost-wise (produces the most and best output with the least input) will generally be adopted.. The OECD recently advised (28 June 2005) that: "Efficient policies to encourage employment and combat unemployment are essential if countries are to reap the full benefits of globalization and avoid a backlash against open trade. but of course the way these hierarchies are structured can be influenced by a variety of different factors. The challenge is to ensure that the adjustment process involved in matching available workers with new job openings works as smoothly as possible. Brudner and Burton (1977. as the only requirement of a capitalist system is that you turn a profit.. in capitalist economies. beautiful."  Modern debates In the modern world. those specialists most preoccupied in their work with theorizing about the division of labour are those involved in management and organization. This important Western concept of meritocracy could be read as an explanation or as a justification of why a division of labour is the way it is. along with new job opportunities in other sectors. In view of the global extremities of the division of labour.. Labour hierarchy is a very common feature of the modern workplace structure. efficient and just.
These two advantages of the division of labor are shown in the different wages which skilled mechanics obtain as compared with unskilled. The man has a mastery of his special operation. shows that tasks more frequently chosen by women in these order relations are those more convenient in relation to childrearing.. To the extent that women clear forests for agriculture. The more simple the movement assigned. using statistical entailment analysis. the greater will be the efficiency of performance. when confined to a single operation. in cooking) or by women (e. These entailments do not restrict how much work for any given task could be done by men (e. This is to the mental powers what the first is to the bodily. and obey instantaneously and harmoniously. It allows the workman a better knowledge of his business. In theory. He meets the little difficulties of his work with more skill and less waste. by Amasa Walker. including modern industrial economies. The juggler is not more remarkable for the nice use of his muscles. he discriminates between the qualities of that material. The powers of his body are in perfect discipline. in clearing forests) but are only least-effort or role-consistent tendencies. Description This section is from the "The Science Of Wealth" book. All common observation testifies how rapid and accurate our motions become. for example.g. 2d. He becomes shrewd in every motion. It gives increased dexterity. Chapter IV. able seamen with landsmen. than is an accomplished mechanic at his bench. . It gives intellectual dexterity.. He adapts his labor to the material. This type of finding has been replicated in a variety of studies. The Advantages Of Division of Labor 1st.g. these types of constraints could be removed by provisions of child care. they tend to do the entire agricultural sequence of tasks on those clearings.domain). He knows more about it than if he had two things to think of and care for. They have learned their parts. but ethnographic examples are lacking.
and resides and works on it. just as often as he has occasion to leave one for another. It facilitates the invention of tools and machines. a deficiency in one would neutralize all the others. Those who are gifted with education and ingenuity devote all their time and energy to duties appropriate to such powers. few of the great aids to industry have been discovered by disinterested science. find a place in which they can produce within the great partnership of society. must. since it is a law of mind to do as little work as possible for a certain result. Where the work was almost too delicate for human eyes. will be of the most various character. are not found equally in all. if there is a possibility of adapting foreign forces to the production of values. The poorest in qualifications. others. One simple operation. or toss the load in air. others. high intelligence and education. It saves time. 4th. even where we suppose a laborer to be engaged in two operations only. of course. he knows all the capabilities of his material. and require the most diverse powers. They came from the laboring brain of the mechanic. It secures the better adaptation of physical and mental abilities. a great deal of time will be spent in passing from one part of it to another. Therefore. fidelity and trust. The work which man finds to do. from the place of one operation to that of another. Each man finds the sphere of his highest usefulness as he is endowed by Nature. in passing from one work to another. a mechanical eye. in fact. anticipating what is to come. the attention will be distracted by what has just been left. The history of American manufactures expounds the phrase. in the way we have described. During the last part. to be the man who owns the land. the inventor will. " Necessity is the mother of invention. others. And. constantly employing the attention. he desires. The extensive applications of this principle will occur to every mind. or compel him to work at great disadvantage. No consideration is more vital than this. the attention will run on. other things being equal. by the logic of Nature. unless work were divided according to the several qualities required. 5th. than a casual visitor. Women are enabled to undertake business of the most delicate and important character. And. he invents. There are operations which demand great strength . lose all its secrets. though not necessarily. also. in time. The . and can try an experiment without changing his place. nay. others. to simplify it. rapid motion. even those purely physical. good judgment. The shadow is cast both ways upon the mind. to which their strength is sufficient. found apart. but each operation will leave something to harass the mind in the other. where the work was too great for human strength. there is still a loss inflicted." Even the slaves of the South have been directed to important mechanical discoveries. he knows the wants of the subject. They thus confer on others the advantage of their own gifts. nor ever getting weary. monster arms swing the hammer. by the compensations of Nature. So.3d. and exclude the workman from employment. During the first part. others. however high his wants may rise. they are generally. on the same condition. he is constantly engaged upon the operation . never losing their nimbleness. In the making of a chair after the primitive fashion we have supposed. the discoverer is more apt. while children of all ages take parts that would otherwise occupy men. If a treasure of gold or iron or oil is hid under the ground. and are themselves spared from drudgery and uncongenial labor. he thinks about it all the time. Such qualities. more probably be the workman than any one else . Therefore. a thousand iron fingers go around to do it. the efforts he has to make for satisfactions. It is not a loss alone of the time physically necessary in effecting the transition.
Description This section is from the "The Science Of Wealth" book. by such an adaptation of talents to special branches of industry. It increases the power of capital in production. in industrial society. is incalculable. The Advantages Of Division of Labor. And not merely do all find in a proper division of labor their full occupation and fair reward. In anthropology. and purchase materials in small quantities. this is only a boy. while the man who can make $20. if he realize only . for example. and the remainder would earn a scanty and miserable livelihood. A single hatter. He and the other make together two men.000 worth of hats. Continued In addition to this. men.000 worth of hats will. must secure 25 per cent. tends to concentrate manufactures in large establishments. we shall find the economical advantage greatly in favor of the latter. 6th.000 and one man with a capital of $7. and to keep himself well informed. The latter can buy at wholesale prices. Supposing all men equally capable of carrying on independent business. the large manufacturer can afford to work for a smaller rate of profit. and will sell as well as buy to great advantage. which is not the case. The boy who watches crows does as much at that business as the bravest and greatest of earth. ² if we compare seven men each with a capital of $1. in political economy. can afford to go often to market. build cities. in order to have a net income of $500 . a great part of the human race would be helpless paupers. and reduce profits.000. He takes the place of some one who goes away to do a larger work. The former must do business on a small scale. but the work of each is just as truly productive as that of any other. Without it. he is a man. who makes only $2.power saved or gained. Man working by himself is a poacher on the domain of Nature. and establish commerce. by Amasa Walker. found empires.
which.450. Therefore..000 per annum..000 skilled workmen. ² if it be subdivided into seven different operations. A cotton manufacturer. may. and time is money...500.7 Ä Saving of. Now.. more or less extended. ... it is desirable that manufacturing establishments should be sufficiently large to secure all the advantages of concentrated capital. or double the profit. be practically true . For example: ² Seven men serve seven years each to learn to make hats. we have ² 75...75.42 years in the mechanical education of every seven men employed in this manner. according to what is necessary to be learned. other things being equal. of one year's service. gets but $900. at one cent per yard. requires an apprenticeship of seven years... a service of..... 7th. has an income of $4.....000 years 75. others less.. it is evident. if he gets but half a cent per yard profit.... in each branch.... ² in all..... A trade......... be obtained with as great a degree of perfection by an average.. and effect the complete division of labor.. we find this to..000 at 1 year each.500....000 years in one generation of skilled workmen. trade. A tendency to a reduction of profits is a natural consequence of this. Some of the parts may require more than one year.000 at 7 years each. the man who makes but 300 yards per day... We see from these illustrations why the great establishments drive smaller ones out of the market.. or profession must be preceded by an apprenticeship. It shortens apprenticeship.. equal to..000 Ä Saving of... and the result is a great saving of time. which has at least 75... Apply this principle to the manufacturers of Massachusetts.49 years Seven men serve one year each to learn to make a seventh of a hat. Every art.12|½ per cent.000 yards per day. or 900.525.... in order to be perfectly understood in all its parts... and suppose the apprenticeship to be seven years.. who makes 3. have an income of $2.
8th.000 for each generation of skilled workmen in Massachusetts. by such contact. stimulated to industry. and the greater interruption of the employer or journeyman. act intelligently and harmoniously as to their rights. This is immediately of moral interest. and firing by controversy. to acquisition. A population thus concentrated is capable of prodigious impulses. but it has important economic bearings.It will be observed that these are years of apprenticeship. It gives opportunity for greater social development. sometimes for evil. not of labor. we have a saving of $90. workmen are brought nearer their employers.000. All the artisans of the empire are not equal to the mob of the capital. and. In considering what is the saving to the wealth of the country. and form a public opinion among themselves which has often been found a great power. but often for good. Not only is the workman brought near his fellows. moreover. The principle. but. Such an association. lectures. cannot be disputed. no matter how fully disfranchised it may be in the law. Description . not only does the close neighborhood of mind quicken and brighten all the faculties. If we suppose these years. to have an average value of $200. The principle itself is indisputable. we must take into account the greater amount of material destroyed in teaching each man to do all the parts. to taste. not only does such association of purposes and means afford more of the instruments of intellectual advancement. under which this saving of time is made. economically and civilly. churches. by such association. saved from apprenticeship. and increases the social power of labor. Per contra. journals. ² schools. brings the workman nearer the government and the public force. teaching by example. we must estimate the amount of values created by these workmen during the apprenticeship under the first system supposed. have a greater sympathy and cooperation. Government knows and respects the power of this class.
while the agricultural laborers find no change except for the worse. the average life of " laborers having no special trades " to be less by two years than that of " active mechanics in shops. where their remuneration is any thing less than robbery. because it does not. The mere fact of uniformity of motion brings no objection to such as these. others still require the workman to poison his blood with unwholesome gases. by Amasa Walker. In the great centres of capital and labor. the city itself. it is found that confinement to a single operation is often highly injurious. that. beyond all dispute. It may be. The civil war in America developed astonishingly the resources. and organic feebleness. The Disadvantages Of The Division of Labor 1st. They have been accustomed to active employment. but the harsh necessities of the service come . which are at the command of government. The growth of manly sports. or that larger mill. But there are those which require the constant fatiguing use of some member. in the constant exercise and the out-door employment. The intelligent precaution of operatives in every country. and the laborer changes his work and his place frequently. That it is inevitable does not so clearly appear. to suppress malaria. and reform the habitations of disease. are more common than where labor is diffused. just that change of habit and condition which they needed. and even our modern philosophy has found in them a reason for the employment of mercenaries. to the injury of the rest of the body." Mechanical operations were formerly considered as disqualifying for military service. It is not necessary. however. Common observation will affirm that this is strikingly true. and the cultivation of gymnastics for health's sake. the troops raised in agricultural districts are not so hardy in the privations and exposures of camp and field as those coming from the towns. ranging over sixteen years. that we find in the statistics of Massachusetts. while the very distinction of mental labor implies such a separation between the natural functions as seems not to consist with the best physical condition of those engaged. but the tendency exists. This does not. In the material occupations. ² whether we regard the mill. can guard against all excessive derangement of the bodily functions. It is perhaps significant to the question whether the application of the bodily powers to a single continuous action is really in practice injurious. are likely to work a great change for the better in the sanitary conditions of our people. as a general fact. and the maintenance of standing armies. imply a better state of health at home. We shall proceed to show that this is true of those classes who perform what we have designated as material labor.This section is from the "The Science Of Wealth" book. That this will occur in the course of all manufacturing industry is probable. The sanitary arts keep even pace with the advance of machinery. But the great civil war just referred to exhibited the novel fact. It tends to enervate the laborer. give full activity and development to all the functions of the body. Chapter VI. There are forms of labor which sufficiently exercise the several parts of the body. All that is different from their usual course of life is in the direction of more air and light and motion. paralysis. others require a cramping posture that oppresses and disorders the vital organs. that the latter class find. ² it is notorious that distortion.
and lend force and vitality to the organs. if intensely devoted for a whole life to a single effort. the compensation being that it affords a greater opportunity for discussion and reflection. This is. true. do tend to compact the frame and the sinew. if the workman chooses to avail himself of the kind of mental leisure which is afforded by the monotony of his occupation. Some must be despotic. Generalization and broad philosophy rouse the full powers of but few intellects. it will remain true that intense. are a knot. that the constant repetition of single acts so far dispenses with thought. The saving principle that the employment of one member is. in some of its applications and in certain degrees of extension. unspurred. Mind. that is to be feared in those arts to which labor has been carried to its fullest division. It is. the free inquiry. persistent labor directed to one point is better than the languid. in the operation. in some sense. mental and physical. The special use of one may develop it greatly. But such a predominance is not distortion. must not be republican. does not give that full employment and expansion to all the powers of the mind which its normal development requires. that mechanical occupations. It is perhaps the direction of influences more than the degree of them which determines these matters of health. if the level is sufficiently disturbed. make it more strong and active than the others. If we compare the mind to a reservoir. In this principle resides the variety of human character. or it may be. rambling play of all the faculties. and even with consciousness. This system. we may say that the individual powers and dispositions flow out of it as so many streams. cannot but be unfavorably affected. spirited. not the excessive use. the eager discussions. a machine. The human faculties. In the majority of cases. b. It may be questioned whether any but the most gifted can be educated in any other way so thoroughly and efficiently as by interested application to some single matter. that. To this liability are opposed three compensations: ² a. the mechanical occupations have not been discredited. Few minds are capable of even and temperate growth. to be energetic. This is obvious. of the intellectual faculties.to them fresh and strong. The great communicativeness observable in such circumstances. we will rest with the fact. Unless counteracting influences are resorted to. therefore. it will undoubtedly be contracted and enervated. and that perhaps of the most simple kind. in the severe trial of strength and endurance made by the war. but there is nothing to prevent them from flowing back. They interpenetrate so completely that it is impossible to move one without affecting the rest. . the argument against division of labor on this score would be better expressed by saying. to a certain extent. Whatever the explanation. the school. and the lyceum. that it makes man. The mind. 2d. to a considerable extent. The powers must be centralized. nerveless. but the disuse. contrary to general opinion and in spite of some plain drawbacks. the employment of all. Indeed.
Probably the most conservative nobleman of the realm would admit that the former class is far better qualified for the franchise than the latter. laboring class is almost immeasurably above the agricultural in intelligence. if reasonably used. and obedience to law. with more ill-developed members. to shorten life. to compensate for all the evil mental effects of his continuous toil. and prevent the natural increase of population. The laborer is not all workman. 3d. A more ill-developed society. Nowhere are the natural advantages of agriculture more apparant. All these results are found. from what has been already urged.Description This section is from the "The Science Of Wealth" book. It will follow. to lower the average of health. more or less. . in its greatest extension. ample. that division of labor. and concentrativeness of mind and character. industry. This result can only be partially and confusedly shown by statistics: still enough can be extracted to assure us that there is a great loss of vital energy. or at least there is found in it a liability. that it is only to the division of labor beyond a certain point. helpless barbarism. nowhere has manufacturing been more elaborated. In fact. could not be conceived than where this principle was not applied at all. ² that of England to-day. whether or not it is necessary to such a state of industry. It will be observed. he has other hours and other duties. The Disadvantages Of The Division of Labor. Part 2 c. and endows him with energy. there could be neither members nor society. in independence of character. on examination. has a tendency. While his special occupation provides for his subsistence. but here and there a savage would bask in the summer sun. without being assured that the manufacturing. on the consequences of dividing minutely the parts of labor. in all the great centres of manufacturing industry. a priori. by Amasa Walker. Yet no person can be cognizant of the condition of the English population. that the objections we have discussed have any application. in hopeless. However we may speculate. where the full possibilities of the mechanic arts are realized by the intense subdivision of labor. or hide himself in the storms of winter. we may perhaps get a stronger light and a better view by observing the mightiest experiment of industry ever known in the world. but still above the general facts of the country.
. accurately gathered and showing the results of many years. if the real lesson of them is to be obtained..The American average of life may be expressed nearly as follows: * ² Cultivators of the earth. Far from being a misfortune... We shall rest satisfied with knowing it is there..country... so that the average of the great manufacturing establishments and their dependent cities would be found still more striking.. and in our common observation. labor must also be. and Marriages. Part 3 4th. require " correction " in several particulars. 64 years. and the workers in brass and wool. with no interest in the land.. Laborers. The division of labor lessens the number of those who do business on their own account. of the cares and the pleasures and the culture of paternity. The . by gymnastic sports and out-door games. In the first place. 50 Ä Active mechanics out of shops . * Massachusetts Registration of Births. renewing the natural waste of the mill and shop. It is unquestionably true that much of the historical feebleness and mortality of such places has been avoided by more humane and intelligent precautions. The result of this. prevent the full natural increase of population. It is not necessarily a disadvantage in this respect.. 47½ Ä 413/4 Ä 45½ Ä These statistics. and so interfering with the statistics of the subject. We have said that capital has a tendency toward concentration.. and by a better adaptation of all the conditions of production to the necessities of life and well-being. Active mechanics in shops.. the agricultural occupations are continually making contribution to manufacturers of their best blood and bone. This tendency does not go so far as to deprive the dwellers in the cities. Deaths. This element can neither be eliminated nor determined. that Lowell appears on the tables as one of the healthiest cities of America. This is a natural consequence of what has been shown. it is well that those who are to live in the cities should be born in the. and. Indeed. as any fiat of Nature. Inactive mechanics in shops. vigorous. In the second place.. young blood of the country. But the great fact which accounts for this seeming healthfulness of a manufacturing city is the constant infusion of the fresh. The Disadvantages Of The Division of Labor. no special trades. So important is it at times... Yet the law that men shall be born upon the land is as clear in history.. that manufactures.. it is a beneficent provision of Nature which checks propagation in precisely those circumstances where the offspring is less likely to receive that nourishment and care and exercise which shall secure its best development. in agriculture... if it be aggregated. is to absorb the yeomanry into the class of those who labor by the day or month. two-thirds of the Class of mechanics as presented here are engaged in such occupations as do not allow any very extended subdivision of the parts. in their greatest centralization.. and get size and strength on the hills and in the open air.
. it is stronger. he receives back. of course. but that cannot well be. By the attraction of labor to great centres. It will not be doubted. This disproportion may be excessive. That point is the great catastrophe which no structure can withstand. yet remaining distinct. the independence of each is sacrificed to the good of all. but. To the formation of character. though the laborer has given up his share of profits. in the past. ² capital aggregate and labor subordinate. It must continue. and unable to mend their condition. So far as this will occur in spite of prudence and careful management. In such cases. By such superiority of union in production (for that is synonymous with division of labor). of riots and revolution. says Arbuthnot. far more objects of desire than he could have obtained in the old way. and is likely to bo where laws or institutions check enterprise. it is desirable that it should be so . But. This is a great fact. Even in regard to steadiness of employment. of laws in which government assumes the duty of providing work for its whole population. and compare this with the present state. so far as these depend on external conditions. have help of each other. It has issued. and each was left to satisfy his wants from the primitive resources of Nature. and discourage individual effort. however. we shall quickly confess. Men cannot cross the great ocean alone. the greater the structure. it is the condition on which we have the advantages of division of labor. Position and responsibility do foster and strengthen manliness and self-mastery. of a general suspension of mechanical labor from causes affecting only the mercantile credit of the employers. the fate of many laborers is made dependent on that of a few capitalists. when we regard the condition of labor as it exists in nearly all the countries of the world. receiving bare subsistence. of frantic appeals for support. in industry. and. To the fairness of remuneration. It is the sacrifice man has to make in society. even if we come forward from the barbarous state to that in which the work of man has divided itself into numerous trades. in government. This is a lamentable state of things. it will be more intelligently and harmoniously administered. and embark their fortunes on a common bottom.result in manufacturing is to subordinate hundreds of operatives to the control of a single will. that. laborers are practically a herd of cattle. By the division of labor. on the whole. had neither glass to his windows nor a shirt to his back. This has a threefold relation: a. each of these. Thus much could be urged of the wretchedest operatives on the earth. and that on temporary engagements. an abuse of a good principle. To the steadiness of employment. A very few now participate in the profits. Where the industry of thousands is controlled by the mind of one. driven about from place to place. scientifically and historically. as wages. Augustus. the workman shares in this power and immunity. Something of independence and self-respect is unquestionably lost. the more completely it crushes the laborer. They must go together. nor can it be denied that there are partial drawbacks. protects itself better. that the worst-treated operatives of the civilized world receive infinitely more than if the efforts of men were all individual and independent. No one can deny. More of them would perhaps be safe if each was on a ship of his own. in which trades have been repeatedly subdivided. b. Where capital is concentrated. the aggregation of capital and consequent division of labor assist the workman up to a certain point.² we shall yet find that the share of the poorest laborer in the mighty product of our industry of to-day is greater than ever before. and with a larger view of the business. however. c. that. The great bulk of workmen receive only wages. in the form of great industrial distresses. even in this plain tendency of civilization. Then. the industry of a country is lifted clean .
² a share in profits. But recent developments seem to be anticipating the objection. by depriving him of the opportunity to do business on his own account. without diminishing the independence and self-reliance of labor. All stock-companies. Industry in masses. can hold on to the accumulations of the past and to the credit of the future. or manager. each workman has learned only the fraction of a trade.over obstacles which individual enterprise could not pass. It is only when the stately fabric of associated industry is reared again. but the oak lies as it falls. when it receives a shock. The ruin is more complete than if the storm had prostrated a village of huts. Just so far as a sufficient spring of self-interest can be maintained in the effort. it has been supposed that the advantages of the principle could not practically be obtained without this defect. The trampled grass raises itself. and they come down. . by ship-owners to their hands. Such a loss is repaired slowly. somewhat at length. the springs have long since been broken down. furnish its most significant and hopeful applications. Until recently. mining. both of the employer.²is preserved amid storms that would shatter the feeble fabric of single hands. by master mechanics to their workmen. and there is no supply for immediate wants. and of the operative. as they are found convenient and profitable. that plenty is known in the land. and so stands firm. It is now a matter of common practice to admit the laborer to an interest in business. make. This is done by merchants to their salesmen. of whatever character. the shop has been abandoned for the mill. and insurance. For a while. But when the blow becomes so heavy as to shatter even the great workshops of modern industry. all is distress. admit of this principle. and sell. The reservoir of gathered power has burst. foreseeing that the corporation must rise again. There is no reason why these should not be extended much further by a gradual growth. that capital could not be concentrated. and looks up again. Independent has been discouraged by collective industry. Mutual industrial associations for trade. then truly the fall is great. no one dares to undertake any business. the relations which division of labor holds to the condition of the laborer. so far may mutuality of profits be applied to all departments with the most beneficial results. and the trades perfected. the wells been filled up. We have discussed. no one can buy.