New Criticals

A second consequence of machinery is the prolongation of the working day. By making work physically easier, the worker can work longer, and the capitalist can demand more time or more production in the same time from the worker. In Marxist terminology, the capitalist can decrease necessary labor and increase surplus labor. The machine, in becoming “an industrial form of perpetual motion, [can] go on producing for ever;” man, lamentably, cannot, but he can be made to work easier, longer.

A third related consequence is the intensification of labor. The intensive, inward expansion of work condenses labor, allowing a worker to expend more labor (-power) within a certain time period. It can occur through, for example, the increasing of machine speed or the number of machines to be supervised or operated. Even if the work-day, as a result, remains the same length or even shortened due to legal or ethical requirements that arise from outside capitalism, the working day is remade as both longer in effect and more intense than before, as the one hour of work on the machine lathe is twice as productive as one hour of work on a hand lathe. [9]