Fordism

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
Fordism is something that greatly benefited the industrial world. Henry Ford put forth already known ideas such as the assemble line in a successful way.

Henry Ford helped popularize the first meaning in the 1920s, and Fordism came to signify modernity in general. For example, writing in prison in the interwar period, the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci discussed the economic, political, and social obstacles to the transfer of Americanism and Fordism to continental Europe and highlighted its potential transformative power when controlled by workers rather than conservative forces. Gramsci’s comments inspired research on postwar Fordism and its crisis.


In its second meaning, Fordism has been analyzed along four dimensions. First, as an industrial paradigm, it involves mass production of standardized goods on a moving assembly line using dedicated machinery and semiskilled labour. Second, as a national accumulation (or growth) regime, it involves a virtuous cycle of mass production and mass consumption. Third, as a mode of regulation, Fordism comprises (1) an institutionalized compromise between organized labour and big business whereby workers accept management prerogatives in return for rising wages, (2) monopolistic competition between large firms based on cost-plus pricing and advertising, (3) centralized financial capital, deficit finance, and credit-based mass consumption, (4) state intervention to secure full employment and establish a welfare state, and (5) the embedding of national economies in a liberal international economic order. Fourth, as a form of social life, Fordism is characterized by mass media, mass transport, and mass politics.


I feel that the images of history of Cadillacs, Toyotas and Trucks rolling down American, British, Japanese, Russian, Arabian, and more Highways across the world to this day traces back to the ideas of Fordism
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,995
Dispargum
I think it was the novel "Brave New World" where they had cut the tops off church crosses and made them into T's and in church the people worshiped Fordism. When people felt the need to swear they said, "Oh, Ford!" instead of "Oh, Lord!"
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
I think it was the novel "Brave New World" where they had cut the tops off church crosses and made them into T's and in church the people worshiped Fordism. When people felt the need to swear they said, "Oh, Ford!" instead of "Oh, Lord!"
That is pretty far out. I have heard of that Novel but never read it. Was it some sort of fantasy? Dont take this wrong it sounds interesting. Ford Himself was a Christian whom wanted his employees to adhere to strict living, going to Church on Sundays even abstaining from Gambling and Alcohol. Ford became more pragmatic in 1941 finally signing on with the UAW in the midst of WW2.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,995
Dispargum
That is pretty far out. I have heard of that Novel but never read it. Was it some sort of fantasy?
"Brave New World" was written circa 1950 which puts in it the same generation and the same genre as "1984" and "Animal Farm" if you've read either of those. "BNW" and "1984" both imagined dystopian futuristic societies. In "BNW" the society had elevated productivity into a religion with Henry Ford as its central figure.
 
Jun 2017
734
maine
Fordism is something that greatly benefited the industrial world. Henry Ford put forth already known ideas such as the assemble line in a successful way.
While it is true that he had a profound impact, perhaps Mr. Ford might be considered as a victim of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The assembly line (which he perfected but, as you point out, didn't originate) probably had more to do with the degradation of labor than any other factor.

His entire philosophy of business is strongly dependent on consumerism which has led to a rise in commercial marketing that encourages the public to buy all sorts of things that it doesn't require (aside: I don't know about you but, during the run up to the holidays, my spam box was filled with all sorts of enticements to spend money).

The expansion of credit has led to a very precarious financial status for far too many people.

The result of his (and others') efforts has been to make a very few people very rich. Capitalism has gone from being an economic description to a pejorative. The quality of goods has plummeted. Or, as my father used to say: "You know what the road to Hell is paved with"!
 
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JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
And, of course, Ford was a rabid anti-Semite.
Ford Apologized for having one of his newspaper editors provide anti-semitic material. That’s something modern day leader ship of the USA could learn from of which doesn’t really apologize when its leaders talk nonsense.
 
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JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
While it is true that he had a profound impact, perhaps Mr. Ford might be considered as a victim of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The assembly line (which he perfected but, as you point out, didn't originate) probably had more to do with the degradation of labor than any other factor.

His entire philosophy of business is strongly dependent on consumerism which has led to a rise in commercial marketing that encourages the public to buy all sorts of things that it doesn't require (aside: I don't know about you but, during the run up to the holidays, my spam box was filled with all sorts of enticements to spend money).

The expansion of credit has led to a very precarious financial status for far too many people.

The result of his (and others') efforts has been to make a very few people very rich. Capitalism has gone from being an economic description to a pejorative. The quality of goods has plummeted. Or, as my father used to say: "You know what the road to Hell is paved with"!
Yes I agree here because you look at the world today and mass consumerism is found everywhere. Wrt Ford , he did Mass-produce the model T and that was the type of product that was extremely useful for Americans that normally would not have been able to afford a car. Henry Fords vision allowed millions of Americans to reach the middle class. His vision was even felt much after his life because my own father, my uncle and so many Americans have had family members over the years been able to live a middle-class life because of the vision of Henry Ford.


And I credit not only men such as Henry Ford for seeing masses of automobiles throughout the worlds highways. But we also must give credit to folks such as Harvey Firestone among others.

Henry Ford was also a man of faults. Early on he was a very very strict boss and very much adamantly against unions. So you bring up great points my friend, I would say though I feel that Henry Ford stands in a different league as a mega wealthy leader of history. Compared to say Jeff Bezos..Amazon Provides jobs that pay about $15 an hour to folks. But Ford motor company was providing middle class wages even in the 1970s paying $32 an hour(adusted for inflation) to new employees. And that type of wage goes back to not only the union but also to Henry Ford’s accomplishments. Because without Henry there would be no UAW in my view

Even union leaders of history such as Walter Reauther Realized the importance of employers. You can’t have a good union without having brilliant leader ship at the employer level. Reauther of The UAW was also wise enough to ensure to Henry Ford that Ford motor company should control the pensions of the employees as opposed to the union. This was done because for example the Teamsters union was affected by the mafia who stole much of the pension money.

Apologies for any typos as this was sent via iPhone
 
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JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
"Brave New World" was written circa 1950 which puts in it the same generation and the same genre as "1984" and "Animal Farm" if you've read either of those. "BNW" and "1984" both imagined dystopian futuristic societies. In "BNW" the society had elevated productivity into a religion with Henry Ford as its central figure.
Wow that sounds like a book to read. I have read 1984 and I have seen the movie based on 1984. Well I’ll have to look into this book Brave New World , I’m sure there’s some kind of movie based on brave new world out there.