XXXVII

[XXXVII.1.]
the properties of matter perform all the rest."

"In the employment of labour and machinery, it is often found that the effects can be increased by skilful distribution, by separating all those operations which have any tendency to impede one another, and by bringing together all those operations which can be made in any way to aid one another. As men in general cannot perform many different operations with the same quickness and dexterity with which they can by practice learn to perform a few, it is always an advantage to limit as much as possible the number of operations imposed upon each. For dividing labour, and distributing the powers of men and machinery, to the greatest advantage5 it is in most cases necessary to operate upon a large scale; in other words, to produce the commodities in greater masses It is this advantage which gives existence to the great manufactories; a few of which, placed in the most convenient situations, frequently supply not one country, but many countries, with as much as they desire of the commodity produced."


Thus Mill

The whole of modern political economy agrees, however, that division of labour and wealth of production, division of labour and accumulation of capital, mutually determine each other; just as it agrees that only private property which is at liberty to follow its own course can produce the most useful and comprehensive division of labour.

Adam Smith's
argument can be summarised as follows: Division of labour bestows on labour infinite productive capacity. It stems from the propensity to exchange and barter, a specifically human propensity which is probably not accidental, but is conditioned by the use of reason and speech. The motive of those who engage in exchange is not humanity but egoism. The diversity of human talents is more the effect than the cause of the division of labour, i.e., of exchange. Besides, it is only the latter which makes such diversity useful. The particular attributes of the different breeds within a species of animal are by nature much more marked than the degrees of difference in human aptitude and activity. But because animals are unable to engage in exchange no individual animal benefits from the difference in the attributes of animals of the same species but of different breeds. Animals are unable to combine the different attributes of their

[XXXVIII.1.]

[XXXVII.2.]
species, and are unable to contribute anything to the common advantage and comfort of the species. Otherwise with men, amongst whom the most dissimilar talents and forms of activity are of use to one another, because they can bring their different products together into a common stock, from which each can purchase. As the division of labour springs from the propensity to exchange, so it grows and is limited by the extent of exchange - by the extent of the market. In advanced conditions, every man is a merchant and society is a commercial society.

Say
regards exchange as accidental and not fundamental. Society could exist without it. It becomes indispensable in the advanced state of society. Yet production cannot take place without it. Division of labour is a convenient, useful means--a skilful deployment of human powers for social wealth; but it reduces the ability of each person taken individually. The last remark is a step forward on the part of Say.

Skarbek distinguishes the individual powers inherent in man--intelligence and the physical capacity for work--from the powers derived from society--exchange and division of labour, which mutually condition one another. But the necessary premise of exchange is private property. Skarbek here expresses in an objective form what Smith, Say, Ricardo, etc., say when they designate egoism and self-interest as the basis of exchange, and buying and selling as the essential and adequate form of exchange.

Mill
presents trade as the consequence of the distribution of labour. With him human activity is reduced to mechanical motion. Division of labour and use of machinery promote wealth of production. Each person must be entrusted with as small a sphere of operations as possible. Division of labour and use of machinery, in their turn, imply large-scale production of wealth, and hence of products. This is the reason for large manufactories.

[XXXVIII.2.]



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