Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Social Justice of Mass Production

I have seen SJW criticism of mass production as dehumanizing because it reduces operatives to cogs.  While researching my book on gun manufacturing, I found a discussion of Colt's Hartford factory implemented Adam Smith's explanation of division of labor and its economic benefits.  But also this:
A panegyric to Colt published in 1866, explaining the advantages of division of labor, pointed out along with the many efficiencies articulated in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) adds yet another: a job for everyone, regardless of skill level. “One man is too ignorant to manage a machine for stocking, but he can oil that machine, or at least sweep away its chips, a service for which two men are paid each a dollar a day.”[1]

[1] Henry Barnard, Armsmear: The Home, the Arm, and the Armory of Samuel Colt. A Memorial, (New York, n.p., 1866), 218.
Even people who might otherwise be unemployable could have some job; always better than dependence or poverty.

1 comment:

  1. I've read that Henry Ford also hired handicapped people (amputees, etc.) for jobs that didn't require a fully able-bodied person. What a heartless capitalist he was!