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The Changing Organisation of Industry: Fordism

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McGill University
GEOG 216
Geraldine Akman

The Changing Organisation of Industry: Fordism Capitalism - Crisis tendencies – natural result of capitalism sys - Over-accumulation (spatial fix, shift to finance, etc.) - Solution to crisis over-accumulation = WWII b/c can mobilize soc to produce a lot of stuff then these things destroyed  guns, weapons, tanks  New outlet for investment in production of things that get destroyed  German cities slaughtered during WWII  outlet for capital accumulation Fordism - Great Depression, WWII, era of high-Fordism (1945-1973) - Mass production + mass consumption - Solve problem of over-accumulation by creating mass produc, large scale of identical commodity that’s very cheap + since it’s cheap  have large market + causes massive consump - Idea that workers get high wage to guy goods that factories are producing - Fordism characteristic still present today Regulation Theory - Grp of Fr trying understand emerge of post-Fordism - Tried to identify periods in history of capitalism - Mode of development - Regime of accumulation: produc side of economy  Collection of goods + tech assoc w/that period (technological paradigm) - Mode of regulation: how do we prevent crsis, regulate + keep sys fr/getting out of control fr/over- accumulating, how do we get ppl to work same thing in factory? - Period leading up to/WWII large number of labour union movements - Union related to radical movement - To solve prob: mode of regulation took place Fordist Regime of Accumulation - Economies of scale - High scale makes ea/produc cheaper - Making factories bigger + make product cheaper b/c fixed cost shared in production processes  Fixed cost = actual factory (paying rent, energy costs, machinery, labour force to train)  Have to use it @max capacity - Mass production of homogenous goods - Produce same thing, assembly line of serial production of same thing over + over again - Cheaper to make thing over + over again - Taylorism: Frederick Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (1911) - Extreme division of labour  Dividing labour process increases efficiency + it was pushed to extreme  Ea/person doing 1 very simple motion  sci analyzed to increase efficiency  Alienated b/c ppl didn’t feel like they accomplished anything b/c doing same thing over + over  made products fr/this assembly line cheaper - Ford Model T (1908-1928)  increased efficiency - Larger buffer stocks: if 1 thing runs out  it will affect the whole process - IDL: 1 world manufacture + 3 raw materials, ISI - Dependence of indusz that serve domestic market (GM in Brazil) - Foreign companies sending all profits back doing best not to do tech transfer + training - After WWII, US invested a lot of Eur, Japan  US = importer fr/these formerly indusz nats (if not, these nats go communist) Fordist Mode of Regulation - How do we prevent over-accumulation + labour agitation? - Nation-state - Individ nats regulated capitalism in their territory (post-WWII period) - Regulation of capital, markets, labour (by nat economy) - Prevent contagious capital to be created that’s going to be devalued + bubblefd - US: prevented retails + investment banking joining together  Lot of ppl think recent financial cris
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