Gradually, not only genuine manufacture but also handicrafts came within the province of the factory system as big capitalists increasingly displaced the small master craftsmen by setting up huge workshops, which saved many expenses and permitted an elaborate division of labor.
This is how it has come about that in civilized countries at the present time nearly all kinds of labor are performed in factories – and, in nearly all branches of work, handicrafts and manufacture have been superseded.
Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.
The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor – hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition.
This is called the class of proletarians, or the proletariat.
Labor is a commodity, like any other, and its price is therefore determined by exactly the same laws that apply to other commodities.In a regime of big industry or of free competition – as we shall see, the two come to the same thing – the price of a commodity is, on the average, always equal to its cost of production.Hence, the price of labor is also equal to the cost of production of labor.Once the impulse to the introduction of machinery and the factory system had been given, this system spread quickly to all other branches of industry, especially cloth- and book-printing, pottery, and the metal industries.Labor was more and more divided among the individual workers so that the worker who previously had done a complete piece of work now did only a part of that piece.The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence.This existence is assured only to the class as a whole.The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily and hourly.The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master’s interest.However, since business is sometimes better and sometimes worse, it follows that the worker sometimes gets more and sometimes gets less for his commodities.But, again, just as the industrialist, on the average of good times and bad, gets no more and no less for his commodities than what they cost, similarly on the average the worker gets no more and no less than his minimum.