Date: Fri Jan 10 2003 - 16:17:31 EST
Quoting OPE-L Administrator <firstname.lastname@example.org>: > > > The revolutionary quality of the mule was just that it replaced > > the command and control function of the spinner with an automated > > sequence of actions. All of this was done with gears and cams. > > > Again look at Fords mechanically automated factories of the > > 30s > > I think that there is a qualitative difference between a human-operated > or even human-tended machinery and robotics. > > The notion of a machine that replicates a relatively limited set of > human functions (as in the case of any piece of machinery, even as > complicated or sophisticated as modern spinning mules) is a different > from systems of machinery w/ self-activating processors, feedback > systems and a > decision-making ability that can act on that feedback to adjust > processes. Feedback systems long predate electronics however, consider the case of Watt's governor. > When networking or communications capability is > incorporated in the machinery and a digital infrastructure is > installed, then a whole system of labor-less production becomes > possible. Reduced labour but not labour less. But my contention is that this is just a continuation of the process of relative surplus value production seen by Marx. > > The Ford River Rouge plant at it's peak in the 1930s employed some > 100,000 workers; today UAW Local 600, which represents the Rouge plus > additional areas, has 14,000 some members. Are there more industrial workers in the world today than there were in 1930? Clearly there are more. In the US there may be less due to its imperial position, but world wide a see no evidence of 'labourless' production.
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