exists for the other person as the other exists for him, insofar as each
becomes a means for the other. The political economist reduces everything
(just as does politics in its Rights of Man) to man, i.e., to the
individual whom he strips of all determinateness so as to class him as
capitalist or worker.
The division of labour is the economic expression of the social
character of labour within the estrangement. Or, since labour is
only an expression of human activity within alienation, of the manifestation
of life as the alienation of life, the division of labour, too,
is therefore nothing else but the estranged, alienated positing
of human activity as a real activity of the species or as activity
of man as a species-being.
As for the essence of the division of labour - and of course
the division of labour had to be conceived as a major driving force in
the production of wealth as soon as labour was recognised as the
essence of private property--i.e., as for the estranged and
alienated form of human activity as an activity of the species--the
political economists are very vague and self-contradictory about it.
Adam Smith: "This
division of labour [...] is not originally the effect of any human
] It is the necessary, [...] slow and gradual consequence
of [...] the propensity to truck, bane; and exchange one thing for another.
[...] -"his propensity" to trade is probably a "necessary
consequence of the use of reason and of speech [...]. It is common to
all men, and to be found in no other race of animals." The animal,
when it is grown up, is entirely independent "Man has almost constant
occasion for the help of others, and it is in vain for him to expect it
from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can
appeal to their personal interest, and show them that it is for their
own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. [...] We address
ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and
never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.
"As it is by treaty, by barter, and by purchase that we obtain
from one another the greater part of those mutual good offices which we
stand in need of, so it is this same trucking disposition which
originally gives occasion to the division of labour.
In a tribe of
hunters or shepherds a particular person makes bows and arrows, for example,
with more readiness and dexterity than any other. He frequently exchanges
them for cattle or for venison with his companions; and he finds at last
that he can in this manner get more cattle and venison than if he himself
went to the field to catch them. From a regard to his own interest, therefore,
the making of bows, etc., grows to be his chief business [. . .]."
"The difference of natural talents in different men [
is not [...] so much the cause as the effect of the division
of labour.... Without the disposition to truck [...] and exchange, every
man must have procured to himself every necessary and convenience of life
[...] All must have had [...] the same work to do, and there could
have been no such difference of employment as could alone give
occasion to any great difference of talents."
"As it is this disposition which forms that difference of talents
[...] among men [...] so it is this same disposition which renders that
difference useful. Many tribes of animals [...] of the same species derive
from nature a much more remarkable distinction of genus, than what, antecedent
to custom and education, appears to take place among men. By nature a
philosopher is not in talent and in intelligence half so different from
a street porter, as a mastiff is from a greyhound, or a greyhound from
a spaniel, or this last from a shepherd's dog. Those different tribes
of animals, however, though all of the same species, are of scarce a use
to one another. The mastiff cannot add to the advantages of his strength