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The Historical Distinctiveness of Central Europe

A Study in the Philosophy of History

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Krzysztof Brzechczyn

The aim of this book is to explain economic dualism in the history of modern Europe. The emergence of the manorial-serf economy in the Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary in the 16th and the 17th centuries was the result of a cumulative impact of various circumstantial factors. The weakness of cities in Central Europe disturbed the social balance – so characteristic for Western-European societies – between burghers and the nobility. The political dominance of the nobility hampered the development of cities and limited the influence of burghers, paving the way to the rise of serfdom and manorial farms. These processes were accompanied by increased demand for agricultural products in Western Europe

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8 Models of the Source of a Cascade

8 Models of the Source of a Cascade

1 Model II: An Economic Society with a Surplus of Manpower

1.1 Assumptions of the Model

I shall now investigate the impact of surplus of manpower in the development of an economic society. In model II of an economic society, the idealizing assumption concerning balance of the labor market is substituted with another assumption – that a society under study has a workforce surplus. The level of surplus of manpower is expressed with the difference between the population of a given society, or, more precisely, the number of persons in the productive age, and the optimal level of employment. Additionally, an assumption is made that the level of workforce surplus remains constant during the developmental process of a society. The remaining idealizing assumptions remain unchanged, in comparison to the modified basic model of an economic society. This model assumes the existence of only two social classes: owners and direct producers. Moreover, it assumes that these social groups are not organized into institutions and that the social processes under study are not influenced by socio-economic doctrines. The simplifying assumptions of this model additionally reduce the social influence of other social classes: not only rulers and citizens but also priests and believers. The society under investigation is isolated from the outside. For this reason, its internal social processes cannot be explained with the impact of neighboring societies. The subsequent set of idealizing assumptions already has an economic character. The adopted assumptions state the following: productive forces in the society under study remain at a constant level (technological advancement does not exist), the number of the branches of production is stable and the accumulation level equals zero (simple reproduction takes place).

1.2 Social Resistance of the Unemployed

A society characterized by a labor surplus has two social categories of a working class: the employed and the unemployed direct producers. I will begin with defining static regularities of a class struggle of the unemployed layer of direct producers. Afterwards, I will determine the dependencies between the level of alienation of labor and the social ties bonding direct producers and owners, in order to determine a combined influence exerted of both layers of the class of direct producers on the statics of economic momentum.

←239 | 240→

Initially, in a very brief and intuitive way, I will attempt to conceptualize the status of the unemployed segment of the class of direct producers. In every economic structure there are two distinguishable types of the relations of production – typical and untypical for a given formation. In a class society, under my investigation, typical relations of production include ones, which: assume a class division in a social process of production, the majority of production is manufactured within them, they constitute the source of income for the greater part of the society. Untypical relations of production include those which do not satisfy some of the following postulates: they do not generate a class division, do not constitute a visible minority in an economic structure of a given society and they ensure a substantially lower income capable of satisfying only the most elemental needs. For instance, untypical relations of production are the residual elements from previous “non-antagonistic” social formations. The distinguished forms of economy usually include such activities, as hoarding, hunting, fishing, etc. For this reason, to be without a job means to be unemployed within typical economic relations of a given society. Under the adopted description of untypical relations of production, by undertaking any activities within them producers bring about poverty and dissatisfaction of the greater number of needs. Being unemployed within typical relations of production equals declassation.

Absence of fixed income and presence of problems with finding permanent employment prevent direct producers from satisfying the majority of their basic economic needs. On the other hand, poverty brings about a situation, in which the unemployed are forced to compete between themselves to acquire the most elemental economic goods. Economic poverty crushes autonomous interpersonal ties between the unemployed and paralyzes their ability to organize collective incidences. For this reason, the unemployed, subjected to the process of declassation, are not a revolutionary category. Therefore, in static relations between the level of alienation of labor and the level of class struggle there is no area of the revolutionary disturbances of the first kind.

However, when the state of dissatisfaction of economic needs begins to endanger biological existence, the social category of the unemployed turns into a rebellious element. Following from this, the threat of biological starvation revolutionizes them. The peculiarity of this social category rests on having a single revolutionary area – the area of a revolution of the second kind. The above-discussed relations can be demonstrated graphically in the following way:

←240 | 241→

1.3 Social Resistance of the Employed

The static image of dependencies between the level of alienation of labor and the level of social conflict between owners and direct producers includes the following areas: class peace, revolution of the first kind, economic declassation and revolution of the second kind. In the area of class peace, the greater part of needs of direct producers is satisfied; hence the percentage of rebelling individuals is small. The advancement of alienation of labor brings about an increase of social resistance of direct producers. Their resistance becomes widespread with the growth of the alienation of labor. In the area of the revolution of the first kind, class struggle gains a common character. However, a further growth of the alienation of labor atomizes the working class, by taking away its ability to organize mass incidents, due to the fact that in the area of declassation direct producers have to compete between themselves to acquire means to ensure the most essential material goods.

However, a revolution of the second kind outbreaks when the alienation of labor increases to an extreme level, so that it endangers biological survival of direct producers. Then, the mechanism of revolutionary struggle turns into a defense mechanism, which protects the society against the threat of hunger. The above-discussed image of social dependencies can be demonstrated graphically in the following way:

←241 | 242→

1.4 The Image of Social Resistance of Direct Producers

Let us now determine a comprehensive image of the statics of economic momentum, which includes the combined influence of both layers of the class of direct producers. The presence of the unemployed brings about a modification to the mechanism of class struggle. Under the conditions of excess workforce, owners can easily replace a rebelling employee with an unemployed person. The presence of the “reserve army of employees” eager to take up work with a lower income allows a typical owner to decrease variable capital of the employed direct producers, without risking social resistance. This brings about a situation in which a class of direct producers becomes revolutionized only when the gap between their needs and incomes becomes larger than in standard society. Therefore, the impact of the “reserve army of employees” obstructs the mechanism of class struggle, by shifting the first area of revolutionary disturbances.

Additionally, the social category of the unemployed transforms the very course of a class struggle. The threat of losing a job or of deteriorating work conditions, etc. paralyzes singular acts of resistance. Only widespread resistance is relatively safe. Thus, the shift from the area of class peace to the area of the revolution of the first kind is sudden and deprived of an intermediate stage of a gradual raise of class struggle. The above phenomenon of “prerevolutionary silence” does not permanently crush the ability to resist, but it corrects the course of resistance. As distinct from a complete reduction of social conflict, the above amendment results from a rationalistic assumption that, various proportions between the ←242 | 243→employed and the unemployed notwithstanding, the social category of the employed always dominates the unemployed. For this reason, the influence of the “reserve army of employees” on the statics of economic momentum will always be secondary and will constitute a mere modification of the basic mechanisms.

To recapitulate the above analysis: surplus workforce shifts the first revolutionary image by modifying the curve of class struggle with the effect of “prerevolutionary silence.”

Nonetheless, the growth of the alienation of labor finally brings about a revolutionary disturbances of the first kind. Yet, in case of a society with a surplus of manpower, the increase of alienation must be higher, in comparison to a society with a balanced labor market. The employed segment of the class of direct producers participates in a revolution of the first kind, whereas the declassed layer of the unemployed remains passive. However, the passive attitude of this social layer of the unemployed influences the course of social events happening in the revolutionary area. Owners may put the “reserve army of employees” into service to suppress the direct producers’ protests. They simply have to replace rebelling direct producers with unemployed ones. Under the conditions of over-competition at a labor market it is easy to find a replacement for a rebelling employee, therefore declassation of direct producers takes place at a lower level of alienation of labor, in comparison to standard society. A surplus of manpower, by facilitating the process of declassation of direct producers, produces an effect of “post-revolutionary silence.”

In the area of declassation, the majority of economic needs of direct producers is not satisfied, but the global level of variable capital still ensures satisfaction of needs, which determine the threshold of biological existence. In the discussed area of social relations the level of social conflict is low, because poverty obstructs the ability for mass incidents, by disrupting autonomous interpersonal ties. Increased exploitation of the employed segment of the class of direct producers simultaneously influences the situation of the unemployed layer. The raise of exploitation brings a growing number of direct producers to supplement income with work performed within untypical relations of production. In the area of class peace, the income acquired within untypical relations of production is too low, to be of interest to the employed wealthier segment of the class of direct producers. However, in the area of declassation activities, such as “picking up berries,” gain significance within the general structure of income. Nonetheless, according to the adopted characteristics of untypical relations of production, activities performed within this economic sector cannot serve as the source of income for the entire class of direct producers. The higher the alienation of labor, the quicker the increase of the number of the employed, who begin to supplement their income ←243 | 244→with jobs performed within this economic sector. However, as a result the situation of the unemployed deteriorates, since the non-class economic sector has been their only source of income. Thus, in the area of declassation the income of the entire class of direct producers, and not of only one of its subcategories, decreases. Revolutionary protests of the second kind take place when the level of alienation of labor reaches a threshold of biological threat. This time, the entire class of direct producers participates in the events. The effect of “prerevolutionary silence” modifies the course of the revolution. It is a rapid shift from the area of declassation to the area of a revolution of the second kind.

Let us now recapitulate amendments introduced to the statics of economic momentum by the presence of surplus workforce:

(1) The above factor shifts the area of a revolution of the first kind.

(2) Surplus manpower modifies the course of class struggle by the effect of “prerevolutionary silence.” This phenomenon consists in a reduction of the preliminary class struggle and a rapid shift from the area of class peace to the area of a revolution of the first kind.

(3) Presence of the “reserve army of employees” brings about the effect of “post-revolutionary silence” consisting in a rapid shift from the area of a revolution of the first kind to the area of declassation. This effect results from the presence of the “reserve army of employees” facilitating a declassation of direct producers.

(4) A revolution of the second kind takes on a widespread form, because it engages both layers of the working class. The course of the revolutionary incidents is modified by the effect of “prerevolutionary silence.”

The image of social dependencies outlines above can be demonstrated graphically in the following way:

←244 | 245→

1.5 Development of an Economic Society with a Surplus of Manpower

Surplus workforce brings about an evolution of an economic society. For this reason, let us now investigate the social development of this type of society. Let us assume that in the starting point of the social processes under study, class peace prevails. However, under the influence of the mechanisms of economic competition, a typical owner maximizes his/her profit by reducing individual variable capital granted to direct producers. Owners apply various strategies to appropriate surplus product. The first distinguishable group includes owners who grant their producers a significant, above-average individual variable capital. The second group includes those who appropriate the above-average surplus product. Finally, there is a group of owners, who apply moderate systems of appropriation – more rigorous then the owners from the first group and less restrictive than the owners from the second group. In the society under investigation, for obvious reasons, owners who apply the least rigorous forms of appropriation of surplus product lose the most. Moreover, owners who introduce moderate systems of division of the newly manufactured product in their productive units also lose. As I have already stated, surplus manpower present on the market obstructs the mechanism of social resistance, hence owners who introduce the most rigorous forms of appropriation of surplus product, acquire the highest profit. This state of affairs, let us add, differs from a situation of standard society, where the “moderates” achieve highest profit.

After a certain time, under the mechanisms of learning, the remaining owners introduce stricter forms of appropriation of surplus product. If some of them postpone this change for some reason, they will be eliminated from the class of owners. In this way, the global value of variable capital granted to the class of direct producers decreases. However, an increase of the alienation of labor does not bring about an intensification of class struggle. The latter is influenced by the state of eagerness of the unemployed direct producers to take up work providing a lower income. The presence of the unemployed social layer obstructs the mechanisms of social resistance of the employed segment of the working class.

An increase of the alienation of labor will finally bring about an outbreak of a revolution of the first kind. In the case of the investigated society, an economic revolution erupts after a long time, suddenly, without an intermediate stadium of gradually increasing class struggle. This course is influenced by the effect of “prerevolutionary silence,” which reduces the intensity of social conflict in an intermediate stadium of a class struggle, between the area of class peace and the area of a revolution of the first kind.

←245 | 246→

In model I of an economic society, a revolution of direct producers may conclude with a class compromise, or it may alternatively transform into a social confrontation. The adopted level of idealization impedes an accurate estimation of the probability of the above social variants. In model II of an economic society, differently, the presence of the unemployed increases the probability of a social confrontation. Owners pursue a confrontation, since they can use the unemployed to suppress the riots of direct producers. Let us remember that only a part of the class of direct producers participates in this revolution. The unemployed, or declassed direct producers (in line with the adopted assumptions), remain passive. Under these conditions, owners replace the rebelling direct producers with randomly chosen unemployed ones. In this way, the class of owners brings social peace without the necessity to introduce social concessions.

A revolution victorious for the class of owners is followed by further reductions of the variable capital. The state of poverty disrupts a collective solidarity, since direct producers are forced to compete between themselves to acquire the most essential economic goods. The disappearance of class struggle allows owners to introduce gradually growing reductions of the variable capital granted to direct producers. A successive decrease of the global value of the variable capital leads to a situation, in which direct producers begin to supplement their income with jobs undertaken under the non-antagonistic relations of production, which have, so far, constituted the sole source of income for the unemployed. Previously, the employed segment of the class of direct producers perceived jobs belonging to the secondary economic sector as uneconomical, because they acquired higher income from jobs performed within the key economic sector. However, in this phase of social development, jobs, such as “picking up berries,” become a more significant source of income. “More significant” because, according to the adopted assumptions, the non-antagonistic relations of production occupy a minor position within the general economic structure and cannot constitute the source of income for the entire class of direct producers. If a growing number of direct producers take up an array of activities belonging to the secondary economic sector, the already bad situation of the unemployed deteriorates even more. An increase of the alienation of labor in the key economic sector causes a decrease of income of the entire class of direct producers. The more the exploitation advances, the larger the number of direct producers searching for sources of income in the secondary economic sector. The unemployed, in contrast to the employed in the key economic sector, are forced to undertake jobs under the relations for production untypical for a given economy; therefore this social layer is the first to be endangered with starvation. The uneven growth of the alienation of labor – swift in case of the unemployed ←246 | 247→and slower in case of the employed – brings the social layer of the unemployed to become a revolutionary category more promptly. This time, the presence of the social layer of the unemployed accelerates an outbreak of a revolution of the second kind engaging both subcategories of the class of direct producers. Hence, surplus workforce accelerates an outbreak of a revolution of the second kind.

The above-mentioned revolution retransforms into a social confrontation. The class of owners achieves a victory over the rebellious direct producers, but it is a Pyrrhic victory. Even if owners physically eliminate the rebelling direct producers, they will fail to bring the remaining direct producers to work more effectively, due to the threat of a social collapse.

The situation may be improved by employing the unemployed. However, in a long-term perspective, it will bring about a negligible result, because the effectiveness of labor of the direct producers who belong to the category, which has remained in a situation of extreme poverty for a long time, is as low, as the effectiveness of the employed layer of the class of direct producers. In this phase of social development, the decision to bring the unemployed to play will only postpone an introduction of a permanent solution. Also a decrease of the level of appropriation of surplus product does not provide a permanent solution. The process of granting too large income to direct producers causes the social system to enter the first area of a social disturbance. The process of granting too small income brings the alienation of labor to re-enter the second area of revolutionary disturbance, due to the impact of an economic competition. In a long-term perspective, a permanent solution is brought by a revision of ownership tying direct producers and owners. A consequence of a revision of ownership relations is an increase of production autonomy of direct producers, which, in turn, increases their effectiveness of labor. Employees receive higher income and owners acquire higher profits on account of the increased production. An increase of income of direct producers simultaneously brings this social group to withdraw from taking up jobs belonging to the secondary economic sector. This, in turn, improves the situation of the unemployed, who remain in the state of declassation. Nonetheless, this situation does not bring about a shift to a new socio-economic formation, which appears when the greater part of production is manufactured under new ownership. The above image of the evolution of an economic society with surplus manpower is demonstrated graphically in the Figure 20 (page 248).

Let us now recapitulate amendments introduced to an evolution of an economic society by the factor of surplus workforce:

(1) In the phase of the growing alienation of labor the factor of surplus manpower obstructs the mechanism of class struggle. For this reason, this phase of social development is prolonged.

←247 | 248→

(2) The effect of “prerevolutionary silence” brings about a sudden outbreak of an economic revolution; a shift from the area of class peace to the first area of revolutionary disturbance occurs without the intermediate stadium of a gradual increase of class struggle.

(3) The factor of surplus workforce causes a revolution of the first kind to transform into a confrontation; during the confrontation, the effect of “post-revolutionary silence” facilitates a declassation of the direct producers by the class of owners.

(4) In the phase of declassation the presence of the “reserve army of employees” accelerates an outbreak of a revolution of the second kind.

(5) Revolution of the second kind also transforms into a confrontation; however it enforces a revision of ownership regardless the outcome.

(6) In the phase of the evolution of ownership also the economic situation of the social layer of the unemployed is improved – they cease to be a revolutionary category causing revolutionary disturbances of the second kind, by returning to the state of declassation of the first kind.

2 Model III: An Economic Society with a Shortage of Manpower

2.1 Assumptions of the Model

In the present chapter, I would like to investigate the influence of the shortage of manpower on the evolution of a purely economic society by developing a ←248 | 249→subsequent theoretical model. In this way, I shall determine the key regularities of an economic development. The basic model of an economic society in terms of non-Marxian historical materialism is based on a tacitly adopted assumption that owners employ a sufficient number of workers and that every direct producer is employed. I will now substitute this assumption with a different one, according to which there is insufficient workforce with respect to the economy’s productive potential. The level of deficiency of manpower is determined by the difference between the optimal level of employment (number of workplaces) and a number of population in productive age. Moreover, I assume that the level of a shortage of manpower is constant; it does not decrease or increase in the course of the development of an economic society. Other idealizing assumptions of the basic model of an economic society remain unchanged.

2.2 The Shortage of Manpower versus the Social Resistance

Let us now turn to an investigation of the influence of the deficiency of workforce on the statics of economic momentum in order to follow up with a determination of the impact of this factor on the development of an economic society. Let us recall that in the basic model of an economic society, the social relation between direct producers and owners depend on the level of alienation of labor. And the latter is defined by the difference between the level of needs expressed by direct producers at a given time in a given society, and the revenue that can be assigned to satisfy them. If the income acquired by direct producers is sufficient to satisfy the greater part of their needs, then the alienation of labor is low, and social peace prevails in the relations between direct producers and owners. Social peace prevails also when the alienation of labor is high. Under these conditions, poverty disrupts interpersonal solidarity and obstructs the ability of direct producers to undertake mass resistance. An economic revolution takes place when the level of alienation of labor is average – when it becomes problematic, but it does not yet compromise the chances for mass incidents. Social disturbances occur also when the alienation of labor takes extreme values endangering biological existence of direct producers.

To ensure a continuance of production and, in consequence, regular acquisition of profit from an economic activity, one should employ an optimal number of workers. The shortage of manpower causes a part of productive potential, at disposal of a typical owner, to be not in use. Thus, the factor of deficit workforce, increases the demand of owners on direct producers. A typical owner, in order to ←249 | 250→ensure stability and an optimal level of employment in his/her production unit, grants a higher income to direct producers, in comparison to standard society. A competition between owners aiming to employ the highest possible number of workers has a global effect of an increase of employee income. Under the conditions of deficiency of workforce, the threat of migration of direct producers – abandoning their current workplace and searching for a new one bringing a higher income – is one of the basic forms of class struggle, which forces owners to grant economic concessions.

The two above-mentioned phenomena occurring in the model of an economic society under study, namely, first, a competition between owners aiming to employ the highest possible number of direct producers, which brings about higher income, in comparison to standard conditions and, second, a relative easiness to change workplace, modify static dependencies of class struggle. The effectiveness of social resistance manifested by migration brings about a situation in which class struggle begins to grow already in the lower state of alienation of labor – as distinct from a standard economic society characterized by a balanced labor market. Moreover, under the conditions of shortage of workforce, direct producers easily enforce an introduction of economic concessions. Therefore, an increased effectiveness of employee resistance leads to a situation where even insignificant decrease in income brings about individual escapes and migrations of direct producers to owners offering higher income. The higher the alienation of labor, the more widespread the employee migrations. A further growth of the alienation of labor causes the scope of migration of workforce to grow to such a substantial size, that there appears a threat of a meltdown of a production order. Owners’ attempts to prevent escapes of direct producers transform mass migrations into open social disturbances. All of the above takes place – let us repeat – already in the lower stages of alienation of labor in comparison to standard society. Hence, deficit of manpower causes a shift of the area of revolutionary disturbances toward the left. The scope of this shift depends on the scope of shortage of workforce.

Additionally, the shortage of manpower influences the course of class struggle. Escapes and migrations may have an individual character, hence in the area between class peace and revolutionary disturbances, the percentage of the revolting persons grows substantially. On account of the above, the shift from one area to another occurs in a smoother and more gradual way, in comparison to a standard economic society. The factor under analysis impedes a declassation of direct producers by increasing the number of participants of revolutionary disturbances. For this reason, the first area of revolutionary disturbances is prolonged. It occurs as soon as in the lower stages of alienation of labor, in ←250 | 251→comparison to standard society, and it disappears under the conditions of a higher level of alienation of labor.

A competition between owners for manpower additionally hinders the decrease of the alienation of labor in the area of declassation. In this area the level of exploitation is milder, in comparison to a standard economic society; thus, the demobilizing impact of poverty on a working class also decreases. For this reason, the level of social conflict, however significantly reduced, does not disappear entirely. This results from a competition between owners for workforce, which reduces the drop of income of direct producers in the area of declassation.

Moreover, the shortage of manpower affects the area of the second revolution. An increase of the alienation of labor poses a threat to the biological existence of direct producers and brings about a repeated increase of social resistance manifested with mass employee migrations. When owners attempt to prevent migration, which poses a threat to the production order, it transforms into revolutionary disturbances. Under the conditions of deficiency of workforce, an increase of effectiveness of social resistance causes the areas of revolutions of the first and the second kind to occur with a lower level of the alienation of labor, in comparison to a standard economic society. Furthermore, a shift from the area of declassation to the area of a revolution of the second kind has a more gradual character (in comparison to the statics of a standard economic society). As a result of the impact of the deficit workforce, the area of the revolution of the second kind also shifts toward the left. The dependencies discussed above can be demonstrated graphically in the following way:

←251 | 252→

To conclude this part of my analysis, I would like to recapitulate the modifications introduced to the statics of economic momentum by the deficiency of manpower:

(1) Area of a revolution of the first kind – in comparison to standard society – shifts toward the left; this kind of revolution occurs already when the level of alienation of labor is lower, in comparison to standard society.

(2) A shift from the area of class peace to the first revolutionary area is smoother, since the percentage of the revolting individuals grows significantly in the intermediate area of a class conflict – between the areas of class peace and a revolution of the first kind.

(3) A revolution of the first kind occurs already with lower level of alienation of labor, in comparison to a society with a balanced labor market; and the revolutionary disturbances disappear with higher level of alienation of labor. This revolution is also more widespread.

(4) Within the area of declassation, the level of conflict is reduced, but it does not disappear entirely; a shift from the area of declassation to the area of a revolution of the second kind is also gradual.

(5) The shortage of manpower causes a revolution of the second kind to outbreak with a lower alienation of labor.

2.3 Development of an Economic Society with a Shortage of Manpower

Let us now investigate an impact of the shortage of manpower on a development of an economic society. It is assumed that, at the starting point, every owner has an equally small number of employees – hence, they have an unused part of economic potential at their disposal. Various owners may apply various systems of appropriation of surplus product and various strategies of division of the newly manufactured product. There are three distinguishable groups of owners. The first group includes owners who appropriate the above-average surplus product. Direct producers react with widespread escapes and leaving work, which takes on such an enormous size that it forces owners to mitigate the rules of division of newly manufactured product. If an owner refuses to do so, for some reason, he/she will transform into an individual owner using only his/her own workforce. The second group of owners grants their employees substantial variable capital – higher than above-average. As a result, those owners may employ additional workforce and ensure an optimal level of employment, by exploiting a higher number of direct producers to a lesser degree. The third group of owners applies ←252 | 253→average forms of appropriation of the individual surplus product. They do not lose direct producers, but they also do not acquire new ones. In an economic society with deficit workforce, owners ensuring an optimal level of employment, namely, those employing the gentlest systems of appropriation of surplus product, reach the highest level of profit. This state of affairs, let us emphasize, varies from the situation of standard society, where “moderates” using moderate forms of appropriation of surplus product acquire highest profits, and is contrary to a situation of society with surplus workforce, where the most “severe” owners who employ the above-average forms of appropriation acquire highest profits. Under the mechanism of learning, owners from the first and the third group will be forced to accordingly mitigate the way of division of newly manufactured product, or they will lose their direct producers and transform into individual owners.

A competition between owners for workforce has a global effect, namely a decrease of the alienation of labor. The impact of an economic competition brings about a development of three layers of owners. The first layer includes owners who grant highest income to direct producers and achieve an optimal number of employees. The second layer includes owners who grant average income to direct producers. This category of owners employs an insufficient number of employees. Finally, there is the third category of owners, which includes those who grant the lowest income to direct producers. As a result, they lose direct producers who migrate to the first or the second layer of the class of owners. Theses owners transform into individual owners who use only their own workforce.

When the greater part of an economic production is manufactured in production units belonging to owners who have an optimal number of direct producers, then rules of increasing profit to maximum retransform. These owners employ an optimal number of direct producers, hence an increase of profit to maximum cannot any longer be based on a further increase of the number of employees, but on an introduction of increasingly more rigorous systems of division of newly manufactured product. Increased exploitation does not result with immediate migration of direct producers. A number of factors decide if an employee stays in his/her current workplace: long-lastingness of class peace, risk accompanying a transfer, etc. Nonetheless, with the growing alienation of labor, the number of cases of escape of direct producers grows. Hence, a boost of the alienation of labor in a global scale brings about a subsequent intensification of migration of direct producers to owners offering higher income. Under the conditions of a purely economic society – without the class of disposers of centralized means of coercion – owners are unable to effectively break off the migration stream of direct producers. Their only strategy is to once more mitigate ←253 | 254→the system of appropriation of surplus product. In this stadium of social development, the mechanism of increasing profit to maximum is again a competition between owners for acquiring the highest number of direct producers. On a social plane, this competition brings about a decrease of the alienation of labor to the threshold of a class struggle. The above process persists until once more a group is created within the class of owners, which has an optimal number of workforces. Then, again, the rules of increasing profit to maximum retransform, consisting in a reduction of the income of direct producers, which will, in turn, cause another intensification of migration after a certain time. Therefore, periodically repeated migrations of direct producers, forcing owners to grant economic concessions, are a “soft” form of class struggle.

To put in more general terms, in this phase of social development, the alienation of labor oscillates around the threshold of class peace. The growth of the alienation of labor above the threshold of class peace brings about an increased migration; and migrations, in turn, enforce the alienation of labor to drop below the threshold of class peace. The oscillation of the alienation of labor around the threshold of class peace does not, however, guarantee a stability of a labor market. Economic competition enforces periodic stadia of mitigation and the escalation of exploitation. The only solution guaranteeing stabilization of a labor market is a revision of ownership. Hence, after a repeated cycle of decreasing and increasing the alienation of labor in a society, there appear owners who reduce exploitation and, most importantly, transform the rules of ownership. These owners give up part of their prerogatives in the field of decision-making concerning the production process. This brings an increase of autonomy of direct producers in the production process, which, in turn, leads to higher efficiency. An increase of productivity ensures higher profit for owners and higher income for employees. In the phase of an evolution of ownership, the shortage of manpower accelerates a formation of new rules of ownership, because their introduction ensures higher productivity of direct producers and, most significantly, an optimal level of employment. The phase of an evolution of ownership is shortened, in comparison with a phase of transformation of ownership in a standard economic society. Noteworthy, this stadium of social development is not brought about under the pressure of “hard” forms of class struggle, namely a revolution, but under the impact of its “soft” forms – migration of direct producers.

Let us now recapitulate amendments introduced to the development of an economic society by the presence of shortage of manpower:

(1) The factor under analysis causes a situation when already in the initial phase of the development of an economic society appears a decrease of the ←254 | 255→alienation of labor. The threat of employees’ escapes serves as the mechanism enforcing concessions. Under the conditions of shortage of manpower, an increase of profit to maximum does not enlarge surplus product, but it optimizes employment.

(2) In case of above-average mitigation of exploitation, the phase of the growing alienation of labor is significantly modified. In this stadium of development, the alienation of labor oscillates around the threshold of class peace. The source of revision of ownership is not a revolutionary resistance of direct producers, but an assurance of stabilization of workforce. In this phase of development a non-revolutionary transformation of ownership takes place.

(3) The phase of evolution of ownership relations, in comparison to an evolution of ownership relations in a standard economic society, has a shortened course. Owners who revise ownership simultaneously bring about an increase of productiveness of direct producers and, in consequence, an increase of own profit and of the level of employment in their own production units. As a result, their advantage over owners maintaining traditional ownership relations grows.

The development of an economic society can be demonstrated graphically in the following way:

2.4 A Scope of the Historical Application of Models

Let us now discuss the issue of historical application of the developed models of the source of a cascade of European distinctiveness. Most importantly, I would like to state that the factors of surplus and shortage of manpower should be ←255 | 256→introduced to model IV of non-Marxian historical materialism, which is an approximation of the development of feudal society. This has not been done, since the model of feudalism in n-Mhm explains the development of Central-European societies only to a limited degree. Moreover, the range of amendments would have been inversely proportional to the level of complication of the structure of the argument.

The principal thesis of model II is that a surplus of workforce brings about a deterioration of an economic situation of direct producers and an escalation of social conflict. This model refers only to a part of the history of Western European societies – covering a period between the second half of the 13th century until the first half of the 14th century. In this period, Western Europe was facing overpopulation (or, in our terminology, the problem of a surplus of workforce) with respect to available arable land (the phenomenon of exhaustion of cultivated land was also present). Social consequences of a surplus of workforce were weakened by the factor of colonization of new land, which also spread over Central-European countries between the 13th and the 14th centuries. However, the 2nd model, adopting an assumption concerning isolation of a society under investigation, omits the influence of other societies, including migrations between societies, which modify the dependencies formulated in the model to a significant degree. Peasant migrations spreading over the less-populated Central-European countries were unable to defuse the problem of surplus workforce entirely. Signs of deteriorating living conditions of peasant masses included repeated famines and a decreasing resistance of the society to epidemics and diseases. The plague, which outburst in the middle of the 14th century, decreased the population and simultaneously eliminated the problem of relative overpopulation. Western Europe was facing a relative shortage of workforce in the 2nd half of the 14th century and in the beginning of the 15th century.

On the other hand, the principal thesis of model III states that the shortage of manpower brings about an improvement to the situation of direct producers and contributes to the mitigation of a social conflict. However, a historical evolution of the Central-European societies proves the developed model to have a limited potency for explication. In fact, it is capable of explaining the history of Central-European societies between the 12th and the 15th centuries. Then, the Central-European countries experienced a reorganization of feudal relations under the name German Law, which substantially improved the situation of the peasantry. According to historians, one of the reasons for the reorganization was the shortage of workforce, which constituted a significant barrier that prevented an increase of income. However, the further evolution of the Central-European societies contradicts the developmental trends assumed by the above model. ←256 | 257→The emergence and development of an institutional framework of manorial-serf economy were social conditions of an increase of the alienation of labor, not its decrease. This course of development of Central Europe was determined by a number of co-occurring factors, which formed a cascade of European distinctiveness, which dominated the impact of the principal social mechanisms enforcing a decrease of the alienation of labor. The following chapter is devoted to subjecting the influence of these factors to an empirical analysis.

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