In life everyone is just trying to get ahead and make it to the next day. This is never more apparent then is the workplace. Everyone has a job that they either love or hate, but they show up every day, do their work and go home only to return the next day and do it all over again. This monotonous life is lead by millions of people around the world. People who go about their life miserable because they have fallen into a horrible cycle of perpetual work. Marx describes how people use a tool or machine and the machine in return ends up making use of them. This is true in many industrial factories. “In the factory we have a lifeless mechanism which is independent of the workers, who are incorporated into it as its living appendages.” (Marx)
In Life in the Iron Mills
“The old man, like many of the puddlers and feeders of the mills, was Welsh,--had spent half of his life in the Cornish tin-mines. You may pick the Welsh emigrants, Cornish miners, out of the throng passing the windows, any day. They are a trifle more filthy; their muscles are not so brawny; they stoop more. When they are drunk, they neither yell, nor shout, nor stagger, but skulk along like beaten hounds. A pure, unmixed blood, I fancy: shows itself in the slight angular bodies and sharply-cut facial lines. It is nearly thirty years since the Wolfes lived here. Their lives were like those of their class: incessant labor, sleeping in kennel-like rooms, eating rank pork and molasses, drinking--God and the distillers only know what; with an occasional night in jail, to atone for some drunken excess. Is that all of their lives?”
She describes how work consumes most of their life and how the working class has no way of escaping the machine work.
Marx takes the side of
Life in the Iron-Mills
by Rebecca Harding Davis
Marx, Capital 548