Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

tion, but is itself the ultimate product. So, also, in the case of a mine of precious stones. These are to some small extent employed in the productive arts, as diamonds {. the glass-cutter, emer and corundum for polishing, but their rincipal destination, that of ornament, is a direct use; though they commonly require, before being so used, some process of manufacture, which may perhaps warrant our regarding them as materials. Metallic ores of all sorts are materials merely. Under the head, production of materials, we must include the industry of the wood-cutter, when employed in cutting and preparing timber for building, or ...] for the purposes of the carpenter's or any other art. In the forests of America, Norway, Germany, the Pyrenees and Alps, this sort of labour is largely employed on trees of spontaneous growth. In other cases, we must add to the labour of the woodcutter that of the planter and cultiVator. Under the same head are also comprised the labours of the agriculturists

in growing flax, hemp, cotton, feeding

silkworms, raising food for cattle, producing bark, dye-stuffs, some oleaginous plants, and many other things only useful because required in other de

artments of industry. So, too, the abour of the hunter, as far as his object is furs or feathers; of the shepherd and the cattle-breeder, in respect of wool, hides, horn, bristles, horse-hair, and the like. The things used as materials in some process or other of manufacture are of a most miscellaneous character, drawn from almost every quarter of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. And besides this, the finished products of many branches of industry are the materials of others. The thread produced by the spinner is applied to hardly any use except as material for the weaver. Even the product of the loom is chiefly used as material for the fabricators of articles of dress or furniture, or of further instruments of productive industry, as in the case of the sailmaker. The currier and tanner find their whole occupation in converting raw

material into what may be termed prepared material. In strictness of speech, almost all food, as it comes from the hands of the agriculturist, is nothing more than material for the occupation of the baker or the cook.

§ 4. The second kind of indirect labour is that employed in making tools or implements for the assistance of labour. " I use these terms in their most comprehensive sense, embracing all permanent instruments or helps to production, from a flint and steel for striking a light, to a steam ship, or the most complex apparatus of manufacturing machinery. There may be some hesitation where to draw the line between implements and materials; and some things used in production (such as fuel) would scarcely in common language be called by either name, popular phraseology being shaped out by a different class of necessities from those of scientific exposition. To avoid a multiplication of classes and denominations answering to distinctions of no scientific importance, political economists generally include all things which are used as immediate means of production (the means which are not immediate will be considered presently) either in the class of implements or in that of materials. Perhaps the line is most usually and most conveniently drawn, by considering as a material every instrument of production which can only be used once, being destroyed (at least as an instrument for the purpose in hand) by a single employment. Thus fuel, once burnt, cannot be again used as fuel; what can be so used is only any portion which has remained unburnt the first time. And not only it cannot be used without being consumed, but it is only useful by being consumed; for if no art of the fuel were destroyed, no }. would be generated. A fleece, again, is destroyed as a fleece by being spun into thread; and the thread cannot be used as thread when woven into cloth. But an axe is not destroyed as an axe by cutting down a tree: it may be used afterwards to cut down a hundred or a thousand more; and though deteriorated in some small degree '..." use, it does not do its work by being deteriorated, as the coal and the fleece do theirs by being destroyed; on the contrary, it is the better instrument the better it resists deterioration. There are some things, rightly classed as materials, which may be used as such a second and a third time, but not while the Fo to which they at first contriuted remains in existence. The iron which formed a tank or a set of pipes may be melted to form a plough or a steam-engine; the stones with which a house was built may be used after it is pulled down, to build another. But this cannot be done while the original product subsists; their function as materials is suspended, until the exhaustion of the first use. Not so with the things classed as implements; they may be used repeatedly for fresh work, until the time, sometimes very distant, at which they are worn out, while the work already done by them may subsist unimpaired, and when it perishes, does so by its own laws, or by casualties of its own.” The only practical difference of much importance arising from the distinction between materials and implements, is one which has attracted our attention in another case. Since materials are ..". as such by being once used, the whole of the labour required for their production, as well as the abstinence of the person who supplied the means of carrying it on, must be remunerated from the fruits of that * The able and friendly reviewer of this treatise in the Edinburgh Review (October 1848) conceives the distinction between materials and implements rather differently: proposing to consider as materials “all the things which, after having undergone the change implied in production, are themselves matter of exchange,” and as implements (or instruments) “the things which are employed in producing that change, but do not themselves become part of the exchangeable result.” According to these definitions, the fuel consumed in a manufactory would be considered, not as a material, but as an instrument. This use of the terms accords better than that proposed in the text, with the primitive physical meaning of the word “material;” but the distinction on which it is grounded is one almost irrelevant to political economy.

single use. Implements, on the contrary, being susceptible of repeated employment, the whole of the products which they are instrumental in bringing into existence are a fund which can be drawn upon to remunerate the labour of their construction, and the abstinence of those by whose accumulations that labour was supported. It is enough if each product contributes a fraction, commonly an insignificant one, towards the remuneration of that labour and abstinence, or towards indemnifying the immediate producer for advancing that remuneration to the person who produced the tools.

§ 5. Thirdly: Besides materials for industry to employ itself on, and implements to aid it, provision must be made to prevent its operations from being disturbed and its products injured, either by the destroying agencies of nature, or by the violence or rapacity of men. This gives rise to another mode in which labour not employed directly about the product itself, is instrumental to its production; namely, when employed for the protection of industry. Such is the object of all buildings for industrial purposes; all manufactories, warehouses, docks, granaries, barns, farm-buildings devoted to cattle, or to the operations of agricultural labour. I exclude those in which the labourers live, or which are destined for their personal accom. modation: these, like their food, supply actual wants, and must be counted in the remuneration of their labour. There are many modes in which labour is still more directly applied to the rotection of productive operations.

he herdsman has little other occupa. tion than to protect the cattle from harm : the positive agencies concerned in the realisation of the roduct, go on nearly of themselves. P. already mentioned the labour of the hedger and ditcher, of the builder of walls or dykes. To these must be added that of the soldier, the policeman, and the judge. These functionaries are not indeed employed exclusively in the protection of industry, nor does their payment constitute, to the individual producer, a part of the expenses of production. But they are paid from the taxes, which are derived from the produce of industry; and in any tolerably governed country they render to its operations a service far more than equivalent to the cost. To society at large they are therefore part of the expenses of production: and if the returns to production were not suf. ficient to maintain these labourers in addition to all the others required, production, at least in that form and manner, could not take place. Besides, if the protection which the government affords to the operations of industry were not afforded, the producers would be under a necessity of cither withdrawing a large share of 'heir time and labour from production, to employ it in defence, or of engagin armed men to defend them; all whic labour, in that case, must be directly remunerated from the produce; and things which could not pay for this additional labour, would not be produced. Under the present arrangements, the product pays its quotatowards the same protection, and notwithstanding the waste and prodigality incident, to government expenditure, obtains it of better quality at a much smaller cost.

§ 6. Fourthly: There is a very great amount of labour employed, not in bringing the product into existence, but in rendering it, when in existence, accessible to those for whose use it is intended. Many important classes of labourers find their sole employment in some function of this kind. There is first the whole class of carriers, by land or water: muleteers, waggoners, bargemen, sailors, wharfmen, coalneavers, porters, railway establishments, and the like. Next, there are the constructors of all the implements of transport; ships, barges, carts, locomotives, &c., to which must be added roads, canals, and railways. IRoads are sometimes made by the government, and opened gratuitously to the public; but the labour of making them is not the less paid for from the produce. Each producer, in paying his

uota of the taxes levied generally for the construction of roads, pays for the use of those which conduce to his convenience; and if made with any toler. able judgment, they increase the returns to his industry by far more than an equivalent amount. Another numerous class of labourers employed in rendering the things produced accessible to their intended consumers, is the class of dealers and traders, or, as they may be termed, distributors. There would be a great waste of time and trouble, and an in. convenience often amounting to impracticability, if consumers could only obtain the articles they want by treating directly with the producers. Both producers and consumers are too much scattered, and the latter often at too great a distance from the former. To diminish this loss of time and labour, the contrivance of fairs and markets was early had recourse to, where consumers and producers might periodically meet, without any intermediate agency; and this plan answers toler. ably well for many articles, especially agricultural produce, agriculturists having at some seasons a certain quantity of spare time on their hands. But even in this case, attendance is often very troublesome and inconvenient to buyers who have other occupations, and do not live in the immediate vicinity; while, for all articles the production of which requires continuous attention from the producers, these periodical markets must be held at such considerable intervals, and the wants of the consumers must either be provided for so long beforehand, ot must remain so long unsupplied, that even before the resources of society admitted of the establishment of shops, the supply of these wants fell universally into the hands of itinerant ão ; the pedlar, who might appear once a month, being preferred to the fair, which only returned once or twice a year. In country districts, remote from towns or large villages, the industry of the pedlar is not yet wholly superseded. But a dealer who has a fixed abode and fixed customers is so much more to be depended on, that consumers prefer resorting to him if he is conveniently accessible; and dealers therefore find their advantage in establishing themselves in every locality where there are sufficient consumers near at hand to afford them a remuneration. In many cases the producers and dealers are the same persons, at least as to the ownership of the funds and the control of the operations. The tailor, the shoemaker, the baker, and many other tradesmen, are the producers of the articles they deal in, so far as regards the last stage in the production. This union, however, of the functions of manufacturer and retailer, is only expedient when the article can advantageously be made at or near the place convenient for retailing it, and is, besides, manufactured and sold in small parcels. When things have to be brought from a distance, the same person cannot effectually superintend both the making and the retailing of them: when they are best and most cheaply made on a large scale, a single manufactory requires so many local channels to carry off its supply, that the retailing is most conveniently delegated to other agency: and even shoes and coats, when they are to be furnished in large quantities at once, as for the supply of a regiment or of a workhouse, are usually obtained not directly from the producers, but from intermediate dealers, who make it their business to ascertain from what producers they can be obtained best and cheapest. Even when things are destined to be at last sold by retail, convenience soon creates a class of wholesale dealers. When products and transactions have multiplied beyond a certain point; when one manufactory supplies many shops, and one shop has often to obtain goods from many different manufactories, the loss of time and trouble both to the manufacturers and to the retailers by treating directly with one another, makes it more convenient to them to treat with a smaller number of great dealers or merchants, who only buy to sell again, collecting goods from the various producers, and distributing them to the retailers, to be by them

further distributed among the con. sumers. Of these various elements is composed the Distributing Class, whose agency is supplementary to that of the Producing Class: and the produce so distributed, or its price, is the source from which the distributors are remunerated for their exertions, and for the abstinence which enabled them to advance the funds needful for the business of distribution.

§ 7. We have now completed the enumeration of the modes in which labour employed on external nature is subservient to production. But there is yet another mode of employing labour which conduces equally, though still more remotely, to that end: this is, labour of which the subject is human beings. Every human being has been brought up from infancy at the expense of much labour to some person or persons, and if this labour or part of it, had not been bestowed, the child would never have attained the age and strength which enable him to become a labourer in his turn. To the community at large, the labour and expense of rearing its infant population form a part of the outlay which is a condition of production, and which is to be replaced with increase from the future produce of their labour. By the individuals, this labour and expense are usually incurred from other motives than to obtain such ultimate return, and, for most purposes of political economy, need not be taken into account as expenses of production. But the technical or industrial education of the community; the labour employed in learning and in teaching the arts of production, in acquiring and communicating skill in those arts; this labour is really, and in general solely, undergone for the sake of the greater or more valuable produce thereby attained, and in order that a remuneration, equivalent or more than equivalent, may be reaped by the learner, besides an adequate remuneration for the labour of the teacher, when a teacher has been employed.

As the labour which confers productive powers, whether of hand or of head, may be looked upon as part of the la as part of what the produce costs to society, so too may the labour employed m keeping up productive powers; in preventing them from being destroyed or weakened by accident or disease. The labour of a physician or surgeon,

bour by which society accomplishes its probably, be taught to do it. The

productive operations, or in other words, dullest human being, instructed before

hand, is capable of turning a mill; but a horse cannot turn it without somebody to drive and watch him. On the other hand, there is some bodily ingredient in the labour most purely mental, when it generates any external result.

when made use of by persons engaged Newton could not have produced the in industry, must be regarded in the Principia without the bodily exertion economy of society as a sacrifice in- either of penmanship or of dictation; turred, to preserve from perishing by and he must have drawn many diadeath or infirmity that portion of the grams, and written out many calculaproductive resources of society which is tions and demonstrations, while he was fixed in the lives and bodily or mental preparing it in his mind. Inventors,

powers of its productive members. To the individuals, indeed, this forms but a part, sometimes an imperceptible part, of the motives that induce them to submit to medical treatment: it is not principally from economical motives that persons have a limb amputated, or endeavour to be cured of a fever, though when they do so, there is gene. rally sufficient inducement for it even on that score alone. This is, therefore, one of the cases of labour and outlay which, though conducive to production, yet not being incurred for that end, or for the sake of the returns arising from it, are out of the sphere of most of the general propositions which political economy has occasion to assert respecting productive labour: though, when society and not the individuals are considered, this labour and outlay must be regarded as part of the advance by which society effects its productive opérations, and for which it is indemnified by the produce.

[blocks in formation]

esides the labour of their brains, generally go through much labour with their hands, in the models which they construct and the experiments they have to make before their idea can realize itself successfully in act. . Whether mental, however, or bodily, their labour is a part of that by which the production is brought about. The labour of

Watt in contriving the steam-engine

was as essential a part of production as that of the mechanics who build or the engineers who work the instrument; and was undergone, no less than theirs, in the prospect of a remuneration from the produce. The labour of invention is often estimated and paid on the very same plan as that of execution. Many manufacturers of ornamental goods have inventors in their employment, who receive wages or salaries for designing patterns, exactly as others do for copying them. . All this is strictly i. of the labour of production; as the abour of the author of a book is equally a part of its production with that of the printer and binder. In a national, or universal point of view, the labour of the savant, or speculative thinker, is as much a part of production in the very narrowest sense, as that of the inventor of a practical art; many such inventions having been the direct consequences of theoretic discoveries, and every extension of knowledge of the powers of nature being fruitful of applications to the purposes of outward life. The electromagnetic telegraph was the wonderful and most unexpected consequence of the experiments of OErsted and the

« НазадПродовжити »