MECHANIZATION IN THE TEXTILE LABOR PROCESS
Ever since individual capitalists began employing large numbers of workers simultaneously, there have been attempts to increase their productivity, or output of labor.1 Because capital purchases the labor power of workers rather than their product of labor, that labor power is under the direct control of the buyer. Because capitalists purchase means of production as well as labor power to produce and sell commodities, they seek to organize production in such a way that surplus value, their source of profits, is maximized.2 Changes in the labor process have been made by both the introduction of detail work into the division of labor (manufacture) and the continuous introduction of new technology (machinofacture).
Many writers, such as Braverman, Edwards, Marglin, and the Brighton Labor-Process Group, identify capitalist-initiated changes in the labor process as rooted in the need for capitalists to cut costs of production and maintain management control over labor.3 Capitalists need control over the labor process because of the specific nature of the capitalist mode of production: the commodification of labor so that entrepreneurs purchase the labor power, not labor of workers. Various conditions, a socially useful product, etc.) may interfere with the capitalist goal of maximizing profits. By dividing the labor force into details as well as introducing machinery that incorporates the skills of workers, management is in a position to replace more highly skilled workers with lesser skilled workers and thus save labor costs, although a small number of new, highly skilled jobs can be by-products of this process.4 These innovations of the labor process make workers more replaceable and subject to management control, thereby enhancing capital's bargaining position over labor.