Saturday, August 27, 2011
Exploration of Working Class movement & Capital Formation
Wage labour existed under all antagonistic social systems but only in the last of them does its exploitation make the basis of society. "Without wage labour ," Marx said , "there is no production of surplus value...without production of surplus value there is no capitalist production, and hence no capital and no capitalist."
In Wesern Europe the rudiments of capitalist relations appeared in the 14th and 15th centuries. Although wage labour had also been used in other periods of feudalism.
Italy furnished the first examples of the origination of embryonic capitalist relations in the cities of Florence, Siena, Lucca, Bologna etc.
It was in the 14th century that the Spring fullers of the then new industrial center of Lavenham founded a fullery manned by hired workers.The names of some other employers who exploited wage workers have come down to us from that time,
In the late 15th century 17-20 workers were hired in each of Lyons workshops (France), including some print-shops.
The 16th century ushered in the Capitalist era. It was precisely from this time that the long process of stabilisation and then victory of the capitalist system and the establishment of manufactory capitalismwas in evidence in Europe.
In the 14th-15th century England the working day according to statutes was to last fro 5 am to 7-8 pm. in summer and from 5 am until dark in winter with breakfast, lunch and dinner totalling 3 hours,The statutes of 1562 limited the break time to 2.5 hours in summer and 2 hours in winter,
Labour struggle against exploitation;
'The contest between the capitalist and the wage labourer,' Marx said , 'dates back to the very origin of capital,' the first element of the new antagonism became manifest in the actions of the proletarians against their masters as early as 14th and 15th centuries. In Florence a wool comber attempted to organise a union of wage labourers.
Throughout the history of the early capitalism purely proletarian economic battles merged into a common struggle of the popular masses against feudalism and reaction. In every great bourgeois movement , Engales pointed out , ' there were independent outbursts of that class which was the forerunner, more or less developed, of the modern proletariat.'
In England's North American colonies massive popular revolts, with workers taking part against the oligarchic administration and colonialism took place in Boston in 1688-1689 and in New York in 1688.
The formation of the working class was a process on a world historical scale connected with the emergence and growth of large scale capitalist production, In the early stages of the Industrial Revolution within the framework of the of the period under review (until 1871) this process had developed, however, on a territorially limited scale; the main area of the evolution of the industrial proletariat in the late 18th and the early decades of the 19th century was only Western Europe and partly North America. The first Industrial country in that period was England where the most numerous working class had formed already towards the 1830s, The process of the formation of the proletariat as a class embraced the countries of Eastern Europe and spread to Australia, a number of Asian Countries, to Latin America, and later became world wide.