By N. Pizzolato
Within the Fifties, Nineteen Sixties, and Seventies, Detroit and Turin have been either websites of important political and social upheaval. This comparative and transnational learn examines the political and theoretical advancements that emerged in those "motor towns" between activist employees and political militants in the course of those a long time.
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Extra resources for Challenging Global Capitalism: Labor Migration, Radical Struggle, and Urban Change in Detroit and Turin
Thus, the Five-dollar day established, in a rudimentary way, one core principle of Fordism: the link between wage rise and labor productivity. From then on, the more perceptive social commentators discerned that Fordism was not only a system of industrial production, but also a way of regulating the political economy. Social innovations accompanied technical innovations and control of the social body followed from the enhanced control of the workers’ physical bodies in the factory. For a brief period in the Progressive era, Ford established the notorious “sociological department” whose purpose was to determine whether the workers’ lifestyle was suited to their sustaining their onerous duties at the point of production.
Taylor, any operation could be divided into distinct tasks, each of which could be optimally performed by a single worker through repetition. The management of labor had to become “scientific” because the most efficient production could only be achieved through a detailed study of time and motion within the factory. 1 19 20 Challenging Global Capitalism From the outset, this paradigm of production proved problematic. It rested on workers’ discipline, reliability, and even their collaboration. It demanded that the mass production of goods be matched by mass consumption.
In essence, social and political relations were of crucial importance for the spread of Fordism. 19 In a similar vein, historian Stefano Musso has argued that in Italy, after the First World War, workers offered stiff resistance to FIAT’s attempts to introduce a Fordist-style rationalization of the production process. Despite Agnelli’s attempt to introduce forms of company welfare, FIAT could barely achieve the degree of workers’ consent necessary for the full implementation of the American methods.