Capital, the Communist Manifesto and Other Writings

By Karl Marx; Max Eastman | Go to book overview

was very disagreeable, seeing that such wages of superintendence--like all other wages--were constantly sinking as a result of competition and the cheapening of education. With the development of cooperative societies among the workers, and of joint stock companies among the bourgeoisie, the last pretext for confounding undertaker's profit with wages of administration vanished.

In the case of joint stock companies a new swindle has developed in connection with the wages of administration; alongside of, and above, the real manager, a number of administrators and directors are appointed, for whom, as a matter of fact, administration and superintendence are but pretexts for enriching themselves at the expense of the shareholders. "The increment accruing to bankers and merchants by reason of the fact that they act as directors of 8 or 9 different companies, can be seen in the following case: the private balance-sheet of Timothy Abraham Curtis, handed in to the Courts after his insolvency, showed an annual income of £800 to £900 under the heading 'directorship.' As Curtis had been a Director of the Bank of England and of the East India Company, every joint stock company was delighted to be able to obtain his services as director." 1--The remuneration of the directors of such companies amounts to at least a guinea [$5.00] for each weekly board meeting. The proceedings in the Court of Bankruptcy showed that these wages of superintendence are generally in inverse ratio to the real superintendence effectually exercised by such directors.


CHAPTER XXIII
CREDIT AND BANKS

(Extracted from vol. III, part 1, ch. 19, 25, 27; vol. III, part 2, ch. 29. German ed.)

THE capitalist has constantly to pay money to a large number of persons, and has also constantly to receive money in payment from a large number. The technical operations of

____________________
1
The City, or the Physiology of Business in London. 1845. p. 82.

-280-

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