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The Evolution of Modern Capitalism A Study of Machine Production   By: (1858-1940)

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Bolded text has been bracketted with ='s, =like so=. Greek text has been transliterated and bracketted with 's, like so. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

THE CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE SERIES. EDITED BY HAVELOCK ELLIS.

EVOLUTION OF MODERN CAPITALISM.

THE EVOLUTION

OF

MODERN CAPITALISM

A STUDY OF MACHINE PRODUCTION.

BY JOHN A. HOBSON, M.A., AUTHOR OF "PROBLEMS OF POVERTY."

THE WALTER SCOTT PUBLISHING CO., LTD., PATERNOSTER SQUARE, LONDON, E.C. CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, 153 157 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK. 1902.

PREFACE.

In seeking to express and illustrate some of the laws of the structural changes in modern industry, I have chosen a focus of study between the wider philosophic survey of treatises on Social Evolution and the special studies of modern machine industry contained in such works as Babbage's Economy of Manufactures and Ure's Philosophy of Manufactures , or more recently in Professor Schulze Gaevernitz's careful study of the cotton industry. By using the term "evolution" I have designed to mark the study as one of a subject matter in process of organic change, and I have sought to trace in it some of those large movements which are characteristic of all natural growth.

The sub title, A Study of Machine Production , indicates a further narrowing of the investigation. Selecting the operation of modern machinery and motors for special attention, I have sought to enforce a clearer recognition of organic unity, by dwelling upon the more material aspects of industrial change which mark off the last century and a half from all former industrial epochs. The position of central importance thus assigned to machinery as a factor in industrial evolution may be to some extent must be deceptive, but in bringing scientific analysis to bear upon phenomena so complex and so imperfectly explored, it is essential to select some single clearly appreciable standpoint, even at the risk of failing to present the full complexity of forces in their just but bewildering interaction.

In tracing through the Business, the Trade, and the Industrial Organism the chief structural and functional changes which accompany machine development, I have not attempted to follow out the numerous branches of social investigation which diverge from the main line of inquiry. Two studies, however, of "the competitive system" in its modern working are presented; one examining the process of restriction, by which competition of capitals gives way to different forms of combination; the other tracing in periodic Trade Depressions the natural outcome of unrestricted competition in private capitalist production.

In some final chapters I have sought to indicate the chief bearings of the changes of industrial structure upon a few of the deeper issues of social life, in particular upon the problem of the Industrial Town, and the position of woman as an industrial competitor.

A portion of Chapters VIII., IX., and X. have already appeared in the Contemporary Review and in the Political Science Quarterly Review , and I am indebted to the courtesy of the editors for permission to use them.

I have also to acknowledge most gratefully the valuable assistance rendered by Dr... Continue reading book >>




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