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of what they produce to keep them in working order, while a few capitalists become fabulously rich. "The dissolution of

the primitive union of the worker with his means of production," says a follower of De Leon, "compels the productive

power of the workers to assume a commodity status and flow

1 to the capitalist class."


Under the capitalist system of

production the division between the ruling class and the

ruled class is thus based upon the ownership of the means

of production.

Furthermore, it is often to the interests of the

employer to substitute machinery for men,

The mechaniza

tion of industrial production has reached a stage in Amer

ica beyond anything realized in other countries.

As one

illustration of this, between 1899 and 1900, a period of

tremendous growth in the meat-packing industry, the number

of workers increased by 25.8 per cent, horse-power used

increased 129.3 per cent, materials 75 per cent, and capital invested 97 per cent. Every new invention, every new discovery of natural forces, helped to enrich the propertied class, while human labor was, as a consequence, being

more and more displaced.

Machines took the jobs of men.

The superfluous workers had to live, and therefore had to

sell their labor-power for whatever they could get. Wages

fell accordingly.

Not only did the invention of machinery keep dump

ing unemployed skilled workers upon the country, but "the

1. Mervya Smith in Industrial Union News, Oct. 11, 1919. 2. Carleton H. Parker, "The Labor Policy of the American

Trusts, " Atlantic, Vol. 125, p. 230. (February, 1920)

pressure of the workers for ever higher wages and more toler

able conditions was in itself an inducement (to the capitalist)

to displace the workers by machines.

Repeated strikes and

labor troubles gave the most powerful impetus to the develop

ment of machinery, at the same time that they aided the pro

cess of eliminating puny capital from production and pushed on the development of combinations and trusts...? Telegraphs

and railroads made all of the unemployed easily accessible to

the employer. Finally, it became more and more easy for the

unskilled to take the places of the skilled.

The introduction

of modern machinery and acute specialization obliterated old

craft demarcations.

mo such an extent has the machine elim

inated skill that the jons of those at work in one trade are

endangered by the unemployed of virtually all trades.

The net result is to place the workman on as absolute

a par

with a machine as possible, and to organize the human

element out of consideration.

"Trade lines have been swal

lowed up in a common servitude of <ll workers to the machines

which they tend," said the summons to the convention of In

dustrial Unionists which met in Chicago in July, 1905.


worker, wholly separated from the land and the tools, with his skill of craftsmanship rendered useless, is sunk in the uniform mass of wage slaves."

Capitalist power, on the contrary, is being organ

ized and concentrated to an ever increasing degree.


trend of modern industry is toward the concentration of the

management of all industries into fewer and fewer hands.

1. Editcrial in Industrial Union News, November 29, 1919.

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