Full text: Accumulation and Technology

6 
this was itself largely the result of technical progress 
in agriculture ( which preceded the industrial revolution 
in England in the 18th century and was based on earlier 
innovations in Holland )and in industry itself where it 
produced a virtual increase in manpower. 
This technical advance can be regarded as having taken place 
as a result of the action of "capital" in a wider sense 
(no doubt that is how we have to interpret it in the case 
of agriculture(: Emergence of a scientific and experimental 
spirit, a new work ethos, a new type of landowners, broader 
markets etc. But in the case of industry Marx had in mind 
a much more direct interpretation which links technical 
r 
progress directly to the labour market through the effect 
of its greater or lesser tightness on the wages: Higher 
wages, brought about by a tightening of the labour market 
are supposed by Marx to indu^ce or enforce the introduction of 
labour saving methods ( machines ) . 
The logic of the argument is not compelling in so far as 
it is based on the idea of substitution of labour by machines; 
this aRGUment neglects that the higher wages will affect the 
price of the machines as well. One might, however, interpret 
itas follows: The increase in money wages, provided it is 
not shifted on to prices, will involve a fall in profit rates 
and this might stimulate or impell the enterpreneur to 
search for more efficient methods of production 
(not necessarily more capital using ones ). 
That the increase in money eages would involve also an increase 
in real wages might be justified by the assumption that the 
product is sold largely in markets where it has to compete
	        

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