Marx and the Division of Labour by Ali Rattansi (auth.)

By Ali Rattansi (auth.)

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By Ali Rattansi (auth.)

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106 Fourier's opposition to excessive specialisation seems also to have been a product of his close acquaintance with the condition of textile workers in Lyons, and one of his (seven) conditions for the promotion of 'industrial attraction' was that: Work sessions must be varied about eight times a day because a man cannot remain enthusiastic about his job for more than an hour and a half or two when he is performing an agricultural or manufacturing task. 107 34 Marx and the Division of Labour Fourier maintained that there was nothing intrinsically degrading about, say, collecting garbage or labouring on a farm.

89 Indeed, Hegel seems to have read Ferguson while still a schoolboy in Stuttgart. In his very early writings he envisaged a solution to the crisis of fragmentation in the creation of a folk-religion built around symbols and ritual deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of the people, integrating the individual once more with society. But this vision was soon tempered by the recognition that any intellectual solution was unlikely to be fulfilled without concomitant changes in social and political conditions.

87 Their writings are permeated by an idealisation of the Greek polis which in their romantic vision becomes a 28 Marx and the Division of Labour culturally homogeneous social entity free from divisions, allowing each individual to develop his potential and to live as a 'whole' man. This integrity of culture and personal life had been destroyed, they argued, by the predominant thrust of specialisation in the modern age; Schiller, for instance, complained that a 'rigid separation of ranks and professions' had destroyed the 'inner harmony of human nature' and had set up a 'disastrous conflict' which 'set the totality of its powers at variance'.

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