« НазадПродовжити »
layers who erected the farm-buildings; the hedgers and ditchers who made the fences necessary for the protection of the crop; the miner and smelter who extracted or prepared the iron of which the plough and other implements were made. These, however, and the plough-maker, do not depend for their remuneration upon the bread made from the produce of a single harvest, but upon that made from the produce of all the harvests which are successively gathered until the plough, or the buildings and fences, are worn out. We must add yet another kind of labor ; that of transporting the produce from the place of its production to the place of its destined use; the laborer carrying the corn to market, and from market to the miller's, the flour from the miller's to the baker's, and the bread from the baker's to the place of its final consumption. This labor is sometimes very considerable: flour is transported to England from beyond the Atlantic, corn from the heart of Russia; and in addition to the laborers immediately employed, the wagoners and sailors, there are also costly instruments, such as ships, in the construction of which much labor has been expended : that labor, however, not depending for its whole remuneration upon the bread, but for a part only ; ships being usually, during the course of their existence, employed in the transport of many different kinds of commodities.
To estimate, therefore, the labor of which any given commodity is the result, is far from a simple operation. The items in the calculation are very numerous—as it may seem to some persons, infinitely so; for if, as a part of the labor employed in making bread, we count the labor of the blacksmith who made the plough, why not also (it may be asked) the labor of making the tools used by the blacksmith, and the tools used in making those tools, and so back to the origin of things ? But after mounting one or two steps in this ascending scale, we come into a region of fractions too minute for calculation. Suppose, for instance, that the same plough will last, before being worn out, a dozen years. Only one twelfth of the labor of making the plough must be placed to the account of each year's harvest. A twelfth part of the labor of making a plough is an appreciable quantity. But the same set of tools, perhaps, suffice to the plough-maker for forging a hundred ploughs, which serve during the twelve years of their existence to prepare the soil for a hundred different farms. A twelvehundredth part of the labor of making the tools is as much, therefore, as has been expended in procuring one year's harvest of a single farm; and when this fraction comes to be further apportioned among the various sacks of corn and loaves of bread, it is seen at once that such quantities are not worth taking into the account for any practical purpose connected with the commodity. It is true that if the toolmaker had not labored, the corn and bread never would have been produced; but they will not sell a tenth part of a farthing dearer in consideration of his labor.
§ 2. Another of the modes in which labor is indirectly or remotely instrumental to the production of a thing, requires particular notice: namely, when it is employed in producing subsistence, to maintain the laborers while they are engaged in the production. This previous employment of labor is an indispensable condition to every productive operation, on any other than the very smallest scale. Except the labor of the hunter and fisher, there is scarcely any kind of labor to which the returns are immediate. Productive operations require to be continued a certain time, before their fruits are obtained. Unless the laborer, before commencing his work, possesses a store of food, or can obtain access to the stores of some one else, in sufficient quantity to maintain him until the production is completed, he can undertake no labor but such as can be carried on at odd intervals, concurrently with the pursuit of his subsistence.
He cannot obtain food itself in any abundance; for every mode of so obtaining it, requires that there be already food in store. Agriculture only brings forth food after the lapse of months; and though the labors of the agriculturist are not necessarily continuous during the whole period, they must occupy a considerable part of it. Not only is agriculture impossible without food produced in advance, but there must be a very great quantity in advance to enable any considerable community to support itself wholly by agriculture. A country like England or France is only able to carry on the agriculture of the present year, because that of past years has provided, in those countries or somewhere else, sufficient food to support their agricultural population until the next harvest. They are only enabled to produce so many other things beside food, because the food which was in store at the close of the last harvest suffices to maintain not only the agricultural laborers, but a large industrious population beside.
The labor employed in producing this stock of subsistence, forms a great and important part of the past labor which has been necessary to enable present labor to be carried on. But there is a difference, requiring particular notice, between this and the other kinds of previous or preparatory labor. The miller, the reaper, the ploughman, the plough-maker, the wagoner and wagon-maker, even the sailor and ship-builder when employed, derive their remuneration from the ultimate product—the bread made from the corn on which they have severally operated, or supplied the instruments for operating. The labor that produced the food which fed all these laborers, is as necessary to the ultimate result, the bread of the present harvest, as any of those other portions of labor; but is not, like them, remunerated from it. That previous labor, has received its remuneration from the previous food. In order to raise any product, there are needed labor, tools, and materials, and
food to feed the laborers. But the tools and materials are of no use except for obtaining the product, or at least are to be applied to no other use, and the labor of their construction can be remunerated only from the product when obtained. The food, on the contrary, is intrinsically useful, and is applied to its direct use, that of feeding human beings. The labor expended in producing the food, and recompensed by it, needs not be remunerated over again from the produce of the subsequent labor which it has fed. If we suppose that the same body of laborers carried on a manufacture, and grew food to sustain themselves while doing it, they have had for their trouble the food and the manufactured article ; but if they also grew the material and made the tools, they have had nothing for their trouble but the manufactured article alone.
The claim to remuneration founded on the possession of food, available for the maintenance of laborers, is of another kind, remuneration for abstinence, not for labor. If a person has a store of food, he has it in his power to consume it himself in idleness, or in feeding others to attend on him, or to fight for him, or to sing or dance for him. If, instead of these things, he gives it to productive laborers to support them during their work, he can, and naturally will, claim a remuneration from the produce. He will not be content with simple repayment; if he receives merely that, he is only in the same situation as at first, and has derived no advantage from delaying to apply his savings to his own benefit or pleasure. He will look for some equivalent for this forbearance; he will expect his advance of food to come back to him with an increase, called in the language of business, a profit; and the hope of this profit will generally have been a part of the inducement which made him accumulate a stock, by economizing in his own consumption; or at any rate, which made him forego the application of it, when accumulated, to his personal ease or satisfaction.
The food also which maintained other workmen while producing the tools or materials, must have been provided in advance by some one, and he too must have his profit from the ultimate product; but there is this difference, that here the ultimate product has to supply not only the profit, but also the remuneration of the labor. The tool-maker (say for instance the plough-maker) does not indeed usually wait for his payment until the harvest is reaped; the farmer advances it to him, and steps into his place by becoming the owner of the plough. Nevertheless, it is from the harvest that the payment is to come ; since the farmer would not undertake this outlay unless he expected that the harvest would repay him, and with a profit too on this fresh advance; that is, unless the harvest would yield, besides the remuneration of the farm laborers (and a profit for advancing it) a sufficient residue to remunerate the ploughmaker's laborers, give the plough-maker a profit, and a profit to the farmer on both.
$ 3. From these considerations it appears, that in an enumeration and classification of the kinds of industry which are intended for the indirect or remote furtherance of other productive labor, we need not include the labor of producing subsistence or other necessaries of life to be consumed by productive laborers; for the main end and purpose of this labor is the subsistence itself; and though the possession of a store of it enables other work to be done, this is but an incidental consequence. The remaining modes in which labor is indirectly instrumental to production, may be arranged under five heads.
First : Labor employed in producing materials on which industry is to be afterwards employed. This is, in many cases, a labor of mere appropriation; extractive industry, as it has been called. The labor of the miner, for example, consists of operations for digging out of the earth substances