The Relationship Between Production And The Commodity Market

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Fordism can be defined as the model by which the capitalist class attempts complete management of the production of wage labour by placing particular emphasis on the relationship between production and the commodity market in which the wage-earners attain their means of consumption. (Aglietta, 1979, p117) This period of economic development occurred from the early 1900’s through the ‘Long-boom’ from 1944-1979 and stems from the practises put in place by the Ford motor company in the early 20th century. This was characterised by a labour process of semi-automatic assembly line production and was used in the production of mass consumer goods for consumption by the burgeoning middleclass wage-earners. Further, the introduction of increasingly sophisticated technology meant the workers were not required to be highly skilled and needed only to be trained to operate their section of the production line. This along with the subjecting of workers to the law of accumulation allowed for the increased development of a class who subsisted on wage to live. (Aglietta, 1979) (Clarke, 1990) The development and implementation of the production/assembly line through the Fordist era broke the technology and organisation of the labour process into compartmentalised sections in order to increase the production of mass consumer goods. A strong emphasis was placed on the idea of flexibility and adaptability in the modes of production through the ever developing increases in technology. This led to a de-skilling of a large proportion of the labour force which meant that not only could any individual worker fill a role, but, the workforce was easily expendable as there was little shortage of workers as the need for specialised workers was no longer a req... ... middle of paper ... ...competitive capital growth through abundant consumption. These two opposing models of economic and capital, both social and monetary, are not without flaws but the primary differences between them are the concepts of big government, pro-regulation and support of the workers’ rights versus small government, de-regulation of the labour and economic market, pro-privatization of all but the key utilities (Military, police, legislative framework, and the guarantee of the value of money) and the weakening of the workers’ rights both individually and in a union. Fundamentally, the focus on human labour capital for productive growth with Fordism, or, focus on capital at the cost of the workers’ rights to protect the profit margins and stay competitive in the global free market, and anti-government intervention in the process of inflation regulation with the Neoliberal state.

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