An English In Kentucky


















Wednesday May 15th 2019Tim Candler9


    Toward the end of the Middle Ages the Guild System was increasingly attacked by the new understandings within Capital. The Guild System of production limited the number of apprentices a Master could employ, but a Master could employ limitless day labor for certain limited, unskilled tasks at a regulated daily rate. Other rules required prices to remain constant, so following something like a terrible storm, Roof Tile makers couldn't raise their prices to take advantage of the increase in demand and what with one thing and another no one got rich as a maker of things. Merchants, Traders and Money Lenders got rich. Some Masters resented the limitations placed upon them by the Guild System and along with the increased pace of technological advances there was a movement toward using new technologies to make things. The trouble was a Master rarely had the resources to invest in the new technologies because extra money all belonged to Merchants, Traders and Lenders all of whom had a long practice of appraising the potential of investing money in anticipation of making more money. The whole Guild System became a fuddy-duddy thing of the past, nor did this happen quickly, it happened slowly over time.



    One of the traditions in the Guild System was the rules and regulations within Guilds that regulated the rights and responsibilities of Masters and their Apprentices. In the early Days of Capital those rights and responsibilities didn't exist in the newer manufacturing enterprises, labor was primarily a resource limited not by custom and practice but by supply. In the early days Labor Unions were unrecognized by law, they were called Combinations, they were much frowned upon by Owners who saw them as a monopolistic interference which could leave Owners at a disadvantage in the free movement of free markets, and Owners had some terrible things to say about labor organizers especially when Owners were discussing the state of affairs with the Political Class. One of the things that used to often happen with Combinations was they'd endure the hard slog, manage a degree of good faith organization, get a sense of their dignity and objectives, begin to get their act together, achieve an idea of their possibilities in the matter of improving conditions of employment and whoop the treasurer would disappear in the night taking the Combination's working funds with him. I guess these days, Doctors, Dentists and so on, are in the traditions of Guilds. The NRA and so on are in the tradition of Combinations. What the Guild System called Day Laborers, these days can, or could, vote in elections in an attempt to preserve or improve or change their conditions.


Previous       Next