« ZurückWeiter »
rial can be distributed everywhere at low ficial petroleum and its derivatives. Natcharges. England has lost its great ad- ural petroleum has been known from very vantages in the possession of coal and early periods of history, though it has not iron — the first the source of power, the been used extensively till recent years. second the material for strength. The Its revival occurred in the following way. value of raw material in industry is now in the year 1846, I noticed, in the property the lowest factor of production, while the of a relative in Derbyshire, a spring of value of intellect in converting it into a petroleum, and suggested to my friend utility, in the cheapest and best way, is Mr. James Young that he should manu. the highest and dominating factor in man- facture it into an illuminant for the poorer ufactures.
classes. This he did successfully, but I now pass to the consideration of the after a time found that he could make it second cause of depression, as that has more cheaply by distilling it from bitumuch more influence on inanufactures minous schist. This industry was so sucthan the changes in distribution. This cessful that it led to the industrial applicause is, that modern inventions have pro- cation of the natural oil in America and duced commodities faster than the world the Caspian Sea. The industries concould absorb them at remunerative prices, nected with sperm and vegetable oils were and in doing so have displaced old forms seriously affected, and labor was largely of labor with too great rapidity for its ab- displaced. One cold day Mr. Young sorption by replacement. This may be brought me some of the artificial petrobest illustrated by a few special examples. leum, which was turbid from floating crys, As chemistry is the only science which I tals, to ask what they could be. I told profess, I begin with some examples of him that they must be the substance called chemical industries. One of the most paraffin, of which only small specimens staple and apparently permanent dye-existed in chemical museums. stuffs, used in dyeing and calico-printing, request he separated them, and made for was the root called madder. It was grown me, at a cost of about twenty shillings, as extensive crops in various countries of two candles with which I lighted iny desk the world - Turkey, Holland, Belgium, at a lecture in the Royal Institution, when France, and Italy - and gave employment I prophesied that these would be the fa. to a large number of cultivators. Com- thers of a great candle industry, which in merce was startled one day to learn that fact now is one of the largest chemical chemists had made the coloring principle manufactures of the world. But the par. of madder, called alizarin, out of coal-tar, affin candles gave a heavy blow to the old and in a short time a great change took industries of making candles from tallow, place in agriculture, commerce, and dye- palm oil, sperm, and wax, and displaced ing. Madder is still used for some pur. labor to a great extent. poses, as in the dyeing of Turkey red, Let me pass from these chemical indus. but its importation has decreased from tries to a staple manufacture like cotton, 284 million pounds' weight, in 1872, to and observe the effect of inventions on about two million in 1887. The value of production. A farmer growing cotton prothe latter in money was only £24,000, duces about 400 lbs. per acre, or as much while that of the import of alizarin made as will produce one bale. Before White from coal-tar already exceeds ten times ney invented his cotton-gin, the seed had that amount, although it is also manufac- to be separated from the fibre by manual tured in this country. It occasionally labor, but the work was so tedious that it happens that a new invention produces took one man about ninety days to prepare large industrial results without much dis- the produce of an acre. The first forin of placement of labor. We see an instance the gin reduced the time to six days. In of this in lucifer matches, an invention recent years this gin has been greatly altogether new since 1836, before which improved, so that one man can now pick time lights could only be got by the tin- 4,000 lbs. daily instead of the old amount der-box. The mere saving of time to the of 41 lbs.; in other words, one man with population of this country, by the modern a machine displaced the labor of 999 work. matches, amounts to twenty-six millions ers by hand. The cotton thus picked and sterling annually, while the only displace. cleaned is spun into threads by rotatory ment of labor was to the makers of tinder- spindles. They used to be worked by boxes.
manual labor, one man to each spindle, Among the recent chemical industries but now one man and two children will which have most affected the comforts of work machines carrying two to three thouthe poorer classes, is the invention of arti- sand spindles. In 1874, at the beginning
of the depression, each spindle made 4,000 | at least half a million men had been withrevolutions; now it is possible to get drawn from the labor of the field, the pa. 10,000 revolutions. The yarn is then tents were 502, and the result was that woven into cloth. With the old hand-loom agricultural production was not lessened a man could make from 42 to 48 yards at any time of the long campaign. Ma. daily. At present a skilled workman can chinery, on the other side of the Atlantic, tend six power-looms and weave 1,500 is more extensively applied to large farms yards. All these changes tend to over than here. The reduction of manual labor production, especially when the margin of has become so great, and the methods of profit is low. "I believe at recent prices distribution are so improved, that, accordthis is only about one penny for six yards ing to Atkinson, the labor of seven men of shirting, so a vast number of yards are will grow, mill, bake, and distribute as required to make a substantial profit to a loaves one thousand barrels of flour, which mill. The demand of a working man for suffices to feed one thousand men. Even cotton fabrics is, upon an average, 40 with less organized machinery we have yards yearly. This demand is determined seen in our times much displacement by his habit of wearing one shirt for a of agricultural labor in this country, and week, and it is difficult to induce him, in the result still prejudices the position of order to augment the demand, to wear one Ireland. Irish reapers cut the harvest daily; or, if he did, to persuade his wife crops in England, and took back English to wash seven shirts weekly. Cheapness money to pay rents in Ireland. With the of a commodity tends to increase demand, old sickle a man could reap one-quarter of but it does not all at once alter the habits an acre daily; but the machine reaper of classes. Supply must be adjusted to came in, and one man with two horses the ordinary comforts of the consumers. reaps from fifteen to twenty acres. The There is always a growing increment of Irishman was a good workman to thresh demand, for, even in the United Kingdom, out corn by the fail, and managed fifteen not far from a thousand souls provided to twenty bushels daily; but now one man, with bodies which must be fed and clothed, tending a machine, can thresh out hun. are daily added to the population. The dreds of bushels. increase of the whole world during the In the railways a vast amount of the fifteen years of depression has been about labor of men and horses has been dis16 per cent. in population, while the in- placed, but is replaced in other forms by crease in the production of cotton has been the necessity of feeding the railways with 86 per cent. It is not surprising that a material. If the locomotives on English surplus like this thrown upon the markets railways were annihilated, it would require of the world reduces prices.
the labor of seventy-five millions of men, Manufacturers too often forget that it is or of twelve millions of horses, to carry on not the reasonable price of a commodity, the traffic, 'in an inferior way and at a but the surplus of it above the demand, much larger cost; for the cost of carting which regulates the quotations of the mar- a ton's weight by a man with a cart and ket. About half of our exports of cotton horse, is one shilling per mile, while the go to countries using silver coinage. railway carries it for a penny or under. When new markets are opened in half I finish my illustrations by referring to civilized countries, the demand depends the iron industry. It is of such antiquity not only upon the existing standard of that the best and most economical means comforts, but also upon those which are of production might be supposed to exist. created by contact with higher civilization. In the year 1846 the British Association This is a hope and a policy which Ger- for the Advancement of Science requested many is now pursuing with great ardor. Professor Bunsen, of Heidelberg, and my
I must be content with only one or two self to report upon the chemistry of blast. other illustrations of the manner in which furnaces, and we showed that, at that inventions give an abnormal increase to time, no less than 811 per cent. of fuel was production, and displace old forms of la- absolutely lost in the form of gases which bor. It is not in prosperous but in hard escaped and were burned at the top of times that they chiefly arise. In 1870-72, the furnace. In addition to this waste of when trade was active, there were compar- fuel was the total loss of ammonia pro atively few inventions. Take the time duced by the coal - a substance most valbefore the American war in 1861; the pa. uable to agriculture as a manure. The tents for new agricultural machines, on economy of the ammonia has scarcely the average of several years, numbered begun to be realized at the present day, 350; while during the war, in 1863, when although our recommendations for the sav.
ing of fuel have long since been carried labor of quality. Reducing this to a simout with much economy to the price of pley expression, the present state of production. There has been a rapid manufactures depends mainly upon the growth of the manufacture of iron over intellectual condition of the producers. the world, and naturally the increase has The competition of the world has become been greatest among nations which were a competition of intellect. In the future furthest behind. From 1870 to 1884 the of the world the greatest industrial nation make of pig iron rose 131 per cent. in will be the best-educated nation; it may Great Britain, and 237 per cent. in the not be so to-day, but it certainly will be so rest of the world. In recent times, steel tomorrow. I have already shown how the has largely substituted iron for many pur- cheapness and facility of the distribution poses. Formerly pig iron was transformed of commodities have destroyed national into bar iron in puddling furnaces, and the markets and local advantages, making all latter was converted into steel by a proc. the world into a single market. Formerly ess known as cementation, which con- it sufficed that a merchant or a trader sisted in giving to the iron more carbon. should be a good citizen of his own coun. Now, by the Bessemer process, steel is try; now he must become a citizen and made direct from pig iron, already to the trader of the world. Our merchants and extent of three million tons annually, manufacturers have been slow to see this, while 41 millions of capital invested in and they are allowing other better edupuddling furnaces have been destroyed, cated countries to forge ahead. Every and the labor of 39,000 workmen have German clerk or trader knows two lanbeen displaced. To counterbalance these guages besides his own, and is taught, evils the price of steel, which was £12 is. scientifically and practically, the wants of id. per ton in 1874, was less than £4 in commerce. The German government has 1887.
established a bank of commerce which, The illustrations already given must with the efficient co-operation of the consuffice to show how largely modern in- suls living in Eastern and African counventions have increased production and tries, has had a great effect in extending displaced labor. Ultimately, educated their colonial markets. A country with a working men benefit by the changes, be protectionist policy is apt to have an overcause increased production absorbs skilled production of commodities beyond the labor and pays high wages for it. Igno-wants of the home market, so there is a rant workers — the hewers of wood and natural desire to use this surplus in forthe drawers of water – have a bad time, eign markets at the very narrowest margin for they find that the demand for unintelli- of profits. These have certainly been gent labor is constantly decreasing. In supplied with German goods for the last old lessons of political economy, produc- few years, though the prospect of contin. tion upon a given raw material was rep- ued success is doubtful, as they are always resented by a very simple equation, – handicapped by increased cost of producP=L+C. The product equals labor tion; still, so far as limited statistics are plus capital. The equation never was to be relied on, the policy seems at pres. right, because capital is really accumulated ent to be successful. Taking the period potential labor reserved as a subsistence of depression from 1872 to 1886, the infund for the laborers who are employed to crease of German commerce has been 67 convert the potential into actual energy. per cent., while the maritime tonnage has Capital or accumulated labor is exactly expanded by 120 per cent., and the bank like a storage battery in which electricity discounts, indicating activity in industries, is accumulated. This battery regulates have augmented by 240 per cent. How the work which the electricity has to per far sacrifices in the prices of commodiform and steadies the electric lights. ties have led to these results in making Labor is now of two kinds : labor in quan- new markets we do not yet know, but the tity and labor in quality – the first lessen- increase is out of all proportion to the ing in value every year as a factor of growth of the German population, which production, while the second is always has only been per cent.* Berlin, like rising in value. The product is therefore other towns of Germany, is taking active actually the result of three kinds of labor measures to promote technical education.
- capital, or accumulated labor, labor of A central technical institution, costing no quality, and labor of quantity. Even now the terms of the two last forms of labor • A report on this subject by Mr. Giffen, about to be could only be expressed by multiplying has as yet not materially suffered by German competi
issued, will it is understood show that English trade (not adding) the labor of quantity by the Ition.
LIVING AGE. VOL. LXII. 3175
less than £400,000, has been erected in were no higher colleges, except universiBerlin. Might we not hope that the new ties, in any town of the United Kingdom, Imperial Institute in London, though it is except Owens College in Manchester, and on a smaller scale, will undertake like Anderson's College in Glasgow. Now work for London? It may be profitable if there is not a large town in Great Britain we inquire how far the education in Ger- without such colleges. These are being many or in Switzerland tells upon one adapted to the education of the upper particular kind of industry, so I take the classes, and a great step is gained; but silk trade as an example. In the evidence continuation schools for the working given before the royal commission on the classes, and technical schools adapted to depression of trade it was stated that the their wants, are rising far too slowly. In silk industries of Coventry, Macclesfield, London the progress is more rapid, and and Spitalfields had decreased to about perhaps in a few years we will be able to one-fourth their old dimensions. Spital boast that we have gone beyond Paris in fields sank much lower, for its former polytechnics for the working classes, 24,000 looms are now dwindled to 1,200. though we shall still be far behind Berlin While Coventry was losing its trade in and other manufacturing towns of Gersilk ribbons, Basle, in Switzerland, was many and Switzerland in relation to the making a like industry prosperous by population. Still I have faith that the establishing excellent schools for dyeing movement is in progress, for stern neces. and design, and that town imports to this sity will rouse the manufacturers of Encountry what Coventry lost to it. The gland to train the intelligence of the protown of Crefeld in Germany is a still ducers. Working men are alive to the more striking illustration, because by its defects in their education, and their voices attention to education suited to its indus- will soon be heard in the Parliament of tries, it has within a few years doubled its this country. The wages of our artisans population and quadrupled its trade. are higher than those in Continental counThis small town, which has now grown to tries, and so are their productive powers. 83,000 inhabitants, has spent £215,000 on I am informed by Sir Lowthian Bell, the its lower schools, and £42,500 on a spe highest authority in the iron trade, that it cial weaving-school. Who has paid for still requires nearly twice the number of this large educational expenditure ? Quite workmen at a German blast furnace to possibly the consumers of silk in England, produce the same quantity of iron as we who get from Crefeld what Macclesfield employ in this country. and Spitalfields fail to produce with equal It would require a man much wiser than excellence. The melancholy result is myself to predict the future of our industhis — that the exports of English silks tries with certainty. One thing is sure, amount to only £2,670,000, while the im- that they cannot recover from depression ports to this country of foreign silks reach by putting on their back the old man of eleven millions. It is useless for our the sea in the shape of the fiscal proposal towns to battle by empiricism or by fiscal of the fair-trade party, England depends laws with foreign nations which have upon her export trade for her future prosequipped their artisans to fight with perity, and as exchanges are made in trained intelligence in the competition. commodities, not in bullion, the restriction Technical education is simply the ratio of imports by taxation contracts exports nale of empiricism. It is a melancholy to the same amount. Indeed, such a polspectacle to see a town like Norwich, once icy must lead to the tariff war which now famous for its shawls, actually contending prevails among most of the Continental with the charity commissioners because States. No fact in political economy is they wish to utilize its fine endowments by more clear than that taxation on foreign creating a system of technical education, commodities must ultimately be paid by while the civic authorities struggle for the consumers, not by the producers. All almshouses. Figs cannot grow on thorns, taxation is a deduction from the fruits of nor can ignorance among our workmen labor and from the fertility of the soil of expect to compete with trained intelli- the country imposing it. No political gence in our industrial competition with economist has ever been able to show how other nations.
prices to consumers can be lowered by England is far behind in the technical increasing the cost of production. In training of our artisans, but there is hope countries with a protection policy there is that we have awakened to our shortcom- as much depression, though one of greater ings. When I first began to call attention intensity than in the countries with free to our dangerous ignorance in 1852, there trade. In the former there are constant
attempts to cure the depression by adding have 2,200,000 men withdrawn from being restriction after restriction in the hope of productive citizens, in order to be protecremedying the evil. It is the same oper. tive militants, at a cost for each man of ation as when a person dissatisfied with £45. If we take all the civilized nations, the working of a machine adds a new adding the reserves to the permanent cog, then a spring, then a lever, forgetting forces, 141 millions of the strongest men that with every new addition he is increas- are or may be withdrawn from production. ing friction and lessening power. The This is one man for twenty-four of the great industrial machine of this country is population, or, if we exclude the reserves, good enough in itself, but it needs proper one out of eighty-one. That is the reason oiling to make the parts work smoothly; why I point to the United States as the and I have tried to show that the technical great industrial nation of the future, for education of working men is the lubricant her armed forces represent only one man which we so much require. I do not be- in 1,510 of the population. Luckily, her lieve that it will again work so as to pro- protection policy is an incubus upon her duce the large margin of profits which we industry, and gives us breathing.time to enjoyed in the past. Still there is encour- prepare for the coming struggle. agement that we may carry on a good and steady trade. The cheapening and extension of distribution have probably reached their limits, and little more is to be expected in this direction. New inventions will continue to be made, but not with the
From Temple Bar.
SCHOPENHAUER AND HIS MOTHER. same marvellous celerity that we have seen in the last fifteen years. If the They who, instead of studying the thought United States alter its protection policy, of a philosopher, concern themselves merely and become a free-trade nation, it will with his biography, are like men who, in exbe our great competitor in the world, amining a picture, do but look at its frame, though the time is not close at hand! the quality of its carving, and the value of its
But there is also another class Her large surplus revenue, amounting to of people . . . who, because a great genius
gilding. twenty-two millions, has invited schemes discloses to them the treasures of his mind, of public plunder, and her pension list of and by means of the utmost exertion of his old soldiers, and compensations to States powers has brought forth works for the exalfor aid in the war, amount to a charge tation and enlightenment not only of his conequal to a large standing army. But when temporaries, but of his posterity to the tenth these lapse by time, the United States, and twentieth generation, ... because, also, with a standing army of only twenty-five he has given to his fellow-men a present be thousand men, will become a nation which yond compare with anything else of the kind has only to prepare herself for the progress selves entitled to hale his moral personality
therefore these rogues consider themof industry by new inventions without the before their judgment-seat, in order to see if cares and costs for the preparation of war. they cannot discover a single spot or blemish At the present moment the United States about him for the mitigation of the torture has 250,000 inventions protected by the inflicted upon them by the contemplation of a patent law. This activity of invention great genius. . . . All officious censors of shows ability and intelligence among her this kind show by such crying ingratitude and people, who are always ready to turn to this spiteful passion for disparagement, that account the forces of nature for the benefit they are as degraded morally as intellectually, of man. This country in her working men
which is saying a good deal. is rich in producers, and if their intelli These words are from the last of Schogence were trained in connection with penhauer's published writings, the “ Partheir work, we need not fear the industrial erga and Paralipomeni.” Dr. Lindner, competition of any European nation. All though himself in some sort a biographer great foreign nations, except the United of his master, echoes the caution : "If an States, are terribly handicapped in the ordinary man write the biography of a industrial race by excessive armaments. genius, and the genius come off badly in England is also weighted, but not to an the book, must the latter bear the blame? equal extent. The strength of nations Works of genuine greatness are not consists in peace, but they make a sad to be interpreted by the life history of error by not knowing that the weakness of their authors. On the contrary, these nations is in actual war, or excessive pre- works luminantly interpret the lives of the paredness for it. France, Germany, Hol. writers. It were as reasonable to derive land, Italy, Belgium, and Great Britain | Mozart's •Don Juan' from the beef and