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The labor employed in producing this stock of subsistence, forms a great and important part of the past labor which has been necessary to enable present labor to be carried on. But there is a difference, requiring particular notice, between this and the other kinds of previous or preparatory labor. The miller, the reaper, the ploughman, the plough-maker, the wagoner and wagon-maker, even the sailor and shipbuilder when employed, derive their remuneration from the ultimate product -the bread made from the corn on which they have severally operated, or supplied the instruments for operating. The labor that produced the food which fed all these laborers, is as necessary to the ultimate result, the bread of the present harvest, as any of those other portions of labor; but is not, like them, remunerated from it. That previous labor has received its remuneration from the previous food. In order to raise any product, there are needed labor, tools, and materials, and food to feed the laborers. But the tools and materials are of no use except for obtaining the product, or at least are to be applied to no other use, and the labor of their construction can be remunerated only from the product when obtained. The food, on the contrary, is intrinsically useful, and is applied to the direct use of feeding human beings. The labor expended in producing the food, and recompensed by it, needs not be remunerated over again from the produce of the subsequent labor which it has fed. If we suppose that the same body of laborers carried on a manufacture, and grew food to sustain themselves while doing it, they have had for their trouble the food and the manufactured article; but if they also grew the material and made the tools, they have had nothing for that trouble but the manufactured article alone.
The claim to remuneration founded on the possession of food, available for the maintenance of laborers, is of another kind; remuneration for abstinence, not for labor. If a person has a store of food, he has it in his power to consume it himself in idleness, or in feeding others to attend on him, or to fight for him, or to sing or dance for him. If, instead of these things, he gives it to productive laborers to support them during their work, he can, and naturally will, claim a remuneraion from the produce. He will not be content with simple repayment; if he receives merely that, he is only in the same situation as at first, and has derived no advantage from delay
ing to apply his savings to his own benefit or pleasure. He will look for some equivalent for this forbearance: he will expect his advance of food to come back to him with an increase, called in the language of business, a profit; and the hope of this profit will generally have been a part of the inducement which made him accumulate a stock, by economizing in his own consumption; or, at any rate, which made him forego the application of it, when accumulated, to his personal ease or satisfaction. The food also which maintained other workmen while producing the tools or materials, must have been provided in advance by some one, and he, too, must have his profit from the ultimate product; but there is this difference, that here the ultimate product has to supply not only the profit, but also the remuneration of the labor. The tool-maker (say, for instance, the plough-maker) does not indeed usually wait for his payment until the harvest is reaped; the farmer advances it to him, and steps into his place by becoming the owner of the plough. Nevertheless, it is from the harvest that the payment is to come, since the farmer would not undertake this outlay unless he expected that the harvest would repay him, and with a profit too on this fresh advance; that is, unless the harvest would yield, besides the remuneration of the farm laborers (and a profit for advancing it), a sufficient residue to remunerate the plough-maker's laborers, give the plough-maker a profit, and a profit to the farmer on both.
§ 3. From these considerations it appears, that in an enumeration and classification of the kinds of industry which are intended for the indirect or remote furtherance of other productive labor, we need not include the labor of producing subsistence or other necessaries of life to be consumed by productive laborers; for the main end and purpose of this labor is the subsistence itself; and though the possession of a store of it enables other work to be done, this is but an incidental consequence. The remaining modes in which labor is indirectly instrumental to production, may be arranged under five heads.
First: Labor employed in producing materials, on which industry is to be afterwards employed. This is, in many cases, a labor of mere appropriation;. extractive industry, as it has been aptly named by M. Dunoyer. The labor of the miner, for example, consists of operations for digging out of the earth VOL. I.—3
substances convertible by industry into various articles fitted. for human use. Extractive industry, however, is not confined to the extraction of materials. Coal, for instance, is employed, not only in the processes of industry, but in directly warming human beings. When so used, it is not a material of production, but is itself the ultimate product. So, also, in the case of a mine of precious stones. These are to some small extent employed in the productive arts, as diamonds by the glass-cutter, emery and corundum for polishing, but their principal destination, that of ornament, is a direct use; though they commonly require, before being so used, some process of manufacture, which may perhaps warrant our regarding them as materials. Metallic ores of all sorts are materials merely.
Under the head, production of materials, we must include the industry of the wood-cutter, when employed in cutting and preparing timber for building, or wood for the purpose of the carpenter's or any other art. In the forests of America, Norway, Germany, the Pyrenees, and Alps, this sort of labor is largely employed on trees of spontaneous growth. In other cases, we must add to the labor of the wood-cutter that of the planter and cultivator.
Under the same head are also comprised the labors of the agriculturists in growing flax, hemp, cotton, feeding silkworms, raising food for cattle, producing bark, dye-stuffs, some oleaginous plants, and many other things only useful because required in other departments of industry. So, too, the labor of the hunter, as far as his object is furs or feathers; of the shepherd and the cattle-breeder, in respect of wool, hides, horn, bristles, horse-hair, and the like. The things used as materials in some process or other of manufacture are of a most miscellaneous character, drawn from almost every quarter of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. And besides this, the finished products of many branches of industry are the materials of others. The thread produced by the spinner is applied to hardly any use except as material for the weaver. Even the product of the loom is chiefly used as material for the fabricators of articles of dress or furniture, or of further instruments of productive industry, as in the case of the sail-maker. The currier and tanner find their whole occupation in converting raw material into what may be termed prepared material. In strictness of speech, almost all food, as it comes from the hands
of the agriculturist, is nothing more than material for the occupation of the baker or the cook.
§ 4. The second kind of indirect labor is that employed in making tools or implements for the assistance of labor. I use these terms in their most comprehensive sense, embracing all permanent instruments or helps to production, from a flint and steel for striking a light, to a steamship, or the most complex apparatus of manufacturing machinery. There may be some hesitation where to draw the line between implements and materials; and some things used in production (such as fuel) would scarcely in common language be called by either name, popular phraseology being shaped out by a different class of necessities from those of scientific exposition. To avoid a multiplication of classes and denominations answering to distinctions of no scientific importance, political economists generally include all things which are used as immediate means of production (the means which are not immediate will be considered presently) either in the class of implements or in that of materials. Perhaps the line is most usually and most conveniently drawn, by considering as a material every instrument of production which can only be used once, being destroyed (at least as an instrument for the purpose in hand) by a single employment. Thus fuel, once burnt, cannot be again used as fuel; what can be so used is only any portion which has remained unburnt the first time. And not only it cannot be used without being consumed, but it is only useful by being consumed; for if no part of the fuel were destroyed, no heat would be generated. A fleece, again, is destroyed as a fleece by being spun into thread; and the thread cannot be used as thread when woven into cloth. But an axe is not destroyed as an axe by cutting down a tree: it may be used afterwards to cut down a hundred or a thousand more; and though deteriorated in some small degree by each use, it does not do its work by being deteriorated, as the coal and the fleece do theirs by being destroyed; on the contrary, it is the better instrument the better it resists deterioration. There are some things, rightly classed as materials, which may be used as such a second and a third time, but not while the product to which they at first contributed remains in existence. The iron which formed a tank or a set of pipes may be melted to form a plough or a steam engine; the stones with which a house was built may be used after
it is pulled down, to build another. But this cannot be done while the original product subsists; their function as materials is suspended, until the exhaustion of the first use. Not so with the things classed as implements; they may be used repeatedly for fresh work, until the time, sometimes very distant, at which they are worn out, while the work already done by them may subsist unimpaired, and when it perishes, does so by its own laws, or by casualties of its own.*
The only practical difference of much importance arising from the distinction between materials and implements, is one which has attracted our attention in another case. Since materials are destroyed as such by being once used, the whole of the labor required for their production, as well as the abstinence of the person who supplied the means of carrying it on, must be remunerated from the fruits of that single use. Implements, on the contrary, being susceptible of repeated employment, the whole of the products which they are instrumental in bringing into existence are a fund which can be drawn upon to remunerate the labor of their construction, and the abstinence of those by whose accumulations that labor was supported. It is enough if each product contributes a fraction, commonly an insignificant one, towards the remuneration of that labor and abstinence, or towards indemnifying the immediate producer for advancing that remuneration to the person who produced the tools.
§ 5. Thirdly: Besides materials for industry to employ itself on, and implements to aid it, provision must be made to prevent its operations from being disturbed and its products injured, either by the destroying agencies of nature, or by the violence or rapacity of men. This gives rise to another mode in which labor not employed directly about the product itself, is instrumental to its production; namely, when employed for the protection of industry. Such is the object of all buildings for industrial purposes; all manufactories, warehouses,
The able and friendly reviewer of this treatise in the Edinburgh" Review " (October, 1848) conceives the distinction between materials and implements rather differently: proposing to sider as materials "all the things which, after having undergone the change implied in production, are themselves matter of exchange," and as implements (or instruments) the things which are employed in producing that change, but do
not themselves become part of the exchangeable result." According to these definitions, the fuel consumed in a manufactory would be considered, not as a material, but as an instrument. This use of the terms accords better than that proposed in the text, with the primitive physical meaning of the word "material"; but the distinction on which it is grounded is one almost irrelevant to political economy.