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to achieve the most astonishing results in the universal application of that machinery alone which is already invented, successfully tried, and partially in use.
Another powerful means for the reduction of labour will be the suppression of luxury in its multifarious modes.
The concentration of trades, or workshops of one and the same kind of labour, will be another mighty lever acting in the same direction, and the same result may be expected from the abolition of wholesale and retail trade.
When these three remedies—viz., extended application of machinery, suppression of luxury, and concentration of trades -have been successfully applied, and have by their action reduced the number of the 1,200,000,000 working-days now spent in skilled labour, to the lowest possible amount, we may finally add together the reduced amount of domestic, factory, and skilled labour, and work spent in carrying and conveyance. The sum thus obtained will be shared by the whole of that portion of the 20,000,000 inhabitants which remains after the young children, the aged, and those engaged in agriculture have been deducted, and which in round numbers amounts to about 12,000,000 persons.
The reduction of labour resulting from a more extensive application of machinery will affect many trades, and amongst them some of those which employ the largest number of persons, and whose operations are capable of being carried on to a great extent by machinery. They are chiefly the following :
Breadmaking by machinery is no novelty, and if applied to the whole trade will reduce the number of bakers from 54,000 to 10,000.
In the Boot manufacture machinist boot-makers can produce per individual four pair of shoes in a day; and at this rate of production it would only require 60,000 shoe machinists to make 80,000,000 pair of shoes per year, or four pair for each individual of the whole of twenty million inhabitants. The reduction of labour arrived at would be 190,000—60,000 being subtracted from the present, number of shoemakers, which is 250,000.
* “The universal use of mechanical engines in all physical labour will bestow inestimable benefits to the whole community. The economical gains will be immense; but besides these, labour will be raised as machinery takes more and more upon itself the rough drudgery of toil, and makes the educated artizan that which his name implies—a minister of art, not a bondslave of the factory and mill.”—From the “Bechive.”
Brickmaking by machinery will reduce the number of brickmakers from 39,000 to 10,000.
The work of Washerwomen may, for the greater part, be done by machinery, and even the ironing of linen has been successfully done by mechanical contrivances. If the actual number of washerwomen is now put down by the census to be 287,000, the future number required will perhaps not be more than 100,000.
Tailoring and Dressmaking may also be reduced by a more extensive use of the sewing machine, which the poverty of the male and female workers in this trade, and the limited means of small master tailors often prevent from being introduced into their workshops, The reduction effected by the universal use of these machines will, probably, lower the number of 136,000 tailors and 287,000 dressmakers to 100,000 and 50,000 respectively. A proportionate low number of milliners, dressmakers, and tailors will also be obtained by the suppression of luxury in dresses.
The work of the Blacksmith admits of a considerable reduction, both by the application of small and large steam forges and the more extended substitution of cast-iron work for wrought-iron. The number to be deducted on this account from 108,000 blacksmiths now employed will probably leave 60,000 as needed in the future social state.
There will, however, scarcely be a trade in which machinery will not produce similar reductions; and the results obtained in the few illustrations given above may serve as indications of what can be done in this respect. The aggregate reductions of the few trades instanced, namely :-. Bakers
Show a total of
compared with the number of 1,041,000 at present employed in these trades, points to a saving of 611,000 persons, or of 183,300,000 working-days.
CHAPTER XXXIV.-ABOLITION OF LUXURY.
IE great mass of the toiling millions, will, however,
derive a much greater benefit from the suppression of luxury than from any other arrangement that might be introduced for the reduction of worktime—the increased application of machinery, even, included.
But as luxury is indulged in through a thousand different modes of practices, the enumeration of which would by itself fill a large volume, the author will here only have room to indicate some of the grossest abuses which luxury engenders, not only by the misemployment of the rare and costly gifts of nature, but also by clandestinely appropriating the honest labour of thousands of hard-toiling artizans, to minister to the extravagant and vicious habits of a few.
In the new social state everything that entails unnecessary labour, everything that can be dispensed with without curtailing the comforts and enjoyments of the people, will be considered as luxury.* When this principle shall have been established, the suppression of luxury will, most likely, lead to the total extinction of many trades and manufactures, and, in these instances, send over large multitudes of people to the really useful army of workers. In many trades a great diminution of the present number of people employed will take place from the same cause, and produce the same effect.
Amongst the many trades and manufactures that will either be totally destroyed or partially diminished will be the following
Artificial Flower-making.—This trade employs about 5,000 workers, and the greater part of the articles produced are largely employed either for the trimming of ladies' hats, bonnets, and head-dresses, or, very often compose a kind of headgear almost entirely consisting of strange artificial flowers, in imitation of plants, fruit, and insects, exhibiting cherries, plums, acorns, wheat, grass, thistles, butterflies, bees, ladybirds, and grasshoppers. The luxury of adorning ladies' hats and bonnets with artificial flowers is the more ridiculous, because everyone knows that these flowers, fruit, and insects are not natural ones, and are, therefore, intended to produce deception; a practice which most ladies would condemn if it were resorted to in the wearing of false diamonds and jewels; although they may, even involuntarily, do so, presuming they are wearing fine gold, real oriental pearls, and natural, genuine precious stones, when, in reality, all their finery, their gold jewellery, their pearl necklaces, their diamond earrings, were only base imitations that the dishonest trader foisted upon the unwary customer.
*“What occasions, then, so much want and misery? It is the employment of men and women in works that produce neither the necessaries nor conveniences of life, who, with those who do nothing, consume necessaries raised by the laburious.”— BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
Moreover, the overcrowding and overloading of ladies' headdresses with gorgeous flowers, swinging fruit, and fluttering insects, contribute nothing to the comfort of the wearer, which she would receive in the protection from heat and sunlight in the summer, and damp and cold in the winter. A light, broad-brimmed straw hat, for the summer, trimmed with a single ribbon, and a properly-lined bonnet for the winter, would give all the protection required, and the work of the 5,000 artificial flower-makers could be dispensed with.
Milliners and Dressmakers.--This occupation numbers 287,000 persons, of whom each one is capable of making at least two dresses per week, which, for the whole number, would show a yearly production of twenty-eight million dresses, or about three dresses for each individual of the whole female population, consisting of about eight million persons, not reckoning very young female children.
Considering that there are a great number of housewives, governesses, and other females engaged in making dresses for themselves and at their homes, and, also, that there are many women and girls who do not get more than one dress per year, and that, perhaps, a second-hand one, it must be surmised that a great many women are annually provided with a superabundance of dresses; and this supposition gains still more strength from a generally accredited statement, that there are many ladies who every day put on a new dress.
In the same direction points also the fact, noticed some time ago by the public press, that at the death of a certain wealthy English lady, three hundred silk dresses in pieces not yet made up were found in her room.* Indulgence in excessive luxury of this kind will explain to some extent the amount of work done by 287,000 dressmakers; but it must also be granted that their work would be a great deal less if they had not to waste an enormous amount of labour on superfluous trimming, flouncing, plaiting, braiding, and embroidering. So excessive is this additional work, that it may be safely stated that two dresses could be made in the time it requires now for one, were these superfluous adornments left out; which would at once reduce by one half the whole number of milliners and dressmakers.
The new social state will certainly insist upon simplicity in dress both for men and women; and the women will more easily acquiesce in it, because they will all be their own dressmakers, and living in associated homes, the worth and peculiar beauty of every woman will be exactly known to all the inmates, and no luxury in dress, artificial flowers, false hair, and imitation jewellery, will then be capable of adding the least charm to what is already known, appreciated, and admired.+
* The sale of the personal property of Madame Clementine Monscur, a Belgian lady of fortune, lately deceased, has, according to the Journal de Liège, revealed a state of things unknown within the memory of man.” (Certainly not of an Englishman, for he has heard it stated that Queen Elizabeth had left five thousand gowns to her residuary legatee). The effects of the Belgian lady consisted of mountains of dress pieces heaped upon each other, but all quite new, and many of them still ticketed ; also of hundreds of bonnets, made-up dresses, cloaks, shawls, and all sorts of specimens of the milliner's skill. Nearly 100,000 francs were realized by the sale of these hoards.
+ “ Almost all the parts of our bodies require some expense. The feet demand shoes ; the legs stockings; the rest of the body, clothing; and the belly, a good deal of victuals. Our eyes, though exceedingly useful, ask, when reasonable, only the cheap assistance of spectacles, which could not much impair our finances. But the eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture."-BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.