Essay on New Ideas and Technology with the Rise of Capitalism

Essay on New Ideas and Technology with the Rise of Capitalism

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Humans are set apart from animals by their ability to conceptualize the task at hand before execution. Worker’s activities go beyond simple instinctual actions and delve into the deeper process of conception. The growth of industrial capitalism characterized by increases in industrialization and the rise of manufacturing and the industrial revolution took away this connection. Workers under industrial capitalism lose the distinctive quality of conceptualizing a product before executing it. Instead, there is a separation between the idea and the eventual outcome. As Braverman sums it up, workers are now simply hands controlled by a distant brain (Braverman, 87). Workers lost the control they once had over their work. Before capitalism, a worker’s product was his from the beginning to the end in his own home. This meant a worker had to possess variety of skills and craftsmanship to complete the entirety of their work instead of only working on a small part of it.
The rise of industrialization also came with new ideas and technology used to increase productivity such as the division of labor shown through the Babbage Principle and scientific management. The Babbage principle is an idea unique to capitalism, which seeks to increase efficiency by breaking production into the smallest steps and thus dividing labor (Braverman, 57). The days of start to finish execution was replaced by worker’s repeating one small task ad nauseam. Braverman saw this division of labor leading to workers losing their “craft knowledge and autonomous control” (Braverman, 94). Worker’s lost their skills as their work became increasing constricted to singular, monotonous tasks. Workers became mechanized and parts of a larger machine. The rise of scientific mana...


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...le Autonomy may feel like he has more control over the order of the tasks he does, how he does way work and an overall feeling of being less restrained. On the other hand, a worker under Direct Control has his actions dictated by someone else and has little choices. At the same time, a worker who has more autonomy may not be as productive depending on how and when he chooses to do his tasks. A worker who has a manager utilizing Direct Control may be productive but also has a higher chance of workers resisting authority. In either case, the manager is doing what he can to keep as much control over workers as possible. Though on the surface the manager may seem to have control it is important to remember the innate restrictions of the capitalist system. Both manager and worker are ultimately controlled by the inescapable industrial capitalist system they work in.



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