- Complete elimination of man’s physical strength as a factor in the productive process.
- The machine serves as a substitute for the skill and dexterity of the human worker.
- Modern machinery after eliminating physical strength and skill of man goes further towards the actual displacement of human labour.
- Tie end of industrialism is to make the worker a merely incidental and rarer attendant upon the machine.
Complete elimination of man’s physical strength:
The advent of machine in our productive process has changed altogether the basis of human society, physical strength of the individual was in former days an important attribute. Now it is of no value at all since the machine can perform the work of ten men in a second. We used to pay a large sum for employing manual labourers in the past. Now the machine can serve for as manly labourers at a ridiculously low price.
The machine serves as a substitute:
People still believe that the dexterity and skill with which a man can perform an act will never be achieved by machine. They are sadly disillusioned even in this matter. Modern machinery is turning out goods of a high quality and finish at a very rapid pace. The ready-made shirts, suit textiles, and other mixtures have reached an unprecedented perfection in design. Modern machinery can turn out cloth of different patterns at a very fast rate and far more cheaply than manual labour. Any body who hås been through a shoes factory or a paper mill or electrical work could never question the utility and the superiority of the machine.
Both these tendencies of the machine to eliminate the physical strength and dexterity of man from the productive process fade in importance when we examine the third feature of our industrialism. The machine today is aiming at the actual displacement of human labour. The work which formerly took 2000 men to attend can now be done by a single machine which requires just one man to look after. The displaced population has naturally to sit idle. Their wages are stolen and they either starve to death or fall back on unemployment insurance or the dole.
The end of industrialism:
This is the greatest drawback of our industrial system. By dismissing human labour it creates a gap between the productive and consumptive processes. Our productive power has increased tremendously owing to machinery of which the consumptive power has been reduced still more rapidly owing to the displacement of human labour. The producers in order to reap to profits keep the price high by deliberately keeping down production. Hundreds of tons of coffee and wheat were thrown in the sea to satisfy this profit search of the big producers while the world starves. Here the whole problem gets hinged to the problem of distribution. We are now enmeshed in the paradox of plenty and would you like to call it the “tragedy of too much.” What is wrong with the world is mal-distribution. The lack of system by which the rich may not become richer and the poor still poorer, is eating up the vitals of human society.
In a world where money is power and poverty a sin the machine if not taken in hand is bound to govern man. Machine is an excellent servant but a bad master, and if human society does not recover its control through planned effort over the machine that is running amock with it, the future of western culture is not very reassuring.
The machine has led the producer to think that the manual worker is superfluous in the productive process but he does not know that if manual worker is not allowed to produce how shall he be given the ineans to consume. And unless he is allowed to consume how shall the vast productivity of the modern economic system be successfully employed.