The first stage is he world of manufactoring. Manufactoring industry break up an entire task into a series of mindless occupation. the occupation, may or may not be skilled. and are carried out be separate individuals. Humanity becomes then a part , a cog in a living machine, with nothing beyond that mechanic life. humanity is the cripples into place. That is, their education, and the life squeezes them into that cogs they are now going to be. They become useful in being a cripple, in being fit only for a single simple task.
what is more the logic of any captalisms system is that it genuinely squeezes he folk within it into place. they must be trained and paid for it. The system therefore is one of rigid heirarchy and protection. Each role is specially designed and protected. little deaths of little humanity pockmark the system therefore.
This is the the dystopia we all know so well, in the the Moon of First men in the Moon or the world of Ghormenghast: The world of the mechanic human. A World capitalism revists all the time: that is any time when there exists production processes where not any one could do it. The minute this happens little bubbles of pride and skill enter into a certain element of the system. Those 'skilled' workers become protective and proud of the limited disposition or skill. they start to protect their position, they start to despize others, then start to give themselves airs. Marx's point is that these airs and graces are distinctly defined and bound. They individual only have a pride in being a part of a system; that pride might be great, but the cost of crippling a mind so that it is only defined within a single series of tasks is greater yet. The richness of life is lost in the self importance of an occupation.
Be this as it may, this position of skilled worker within a system, trained p to a single task and protective of it (and only valued from it, though the job) clearly remains a deep element within capitalism.
Marx sees his great discovery as the alternative pole in capitalism. A machine utterly de skills. Anyone can do anything. This is the great maxim of the machine We are all theater directors now...The old worlds of skill are swept aside then in technological know how. The effect then on a humanity used to the protection and bonding on skill is then unmeasurable, Marx suggests.
In the immediate circumstance that effect is horrific. individual lives do not matter, and capitalism becomes then utterly blind to them. The world of capitalism plugs its workers into a machines, burns up their lives and then takes up another worker and does the same. If their is not need to train a work force, and no need to organize it beyond what a whip or starvation can and will do, then running the system is easy, and profits and lives are cheap.
And yet beyond this tyranny is that elusive of men, those who live in the communist sate. After all the old order of minds that were locked into certain jobs is now gone, but not utterly destroyed Humanity will still value itself in occupations, and yet that occupation is the factory could be doing anything or being anything. Pulling levers, pressing buttons, gives a flexible power. Moreover the rules that separate one from ones fellows are clearly broken down. One is no longer an occupier of a certain profession. , on is merely one pari of hands and eyes in a long and complex process: Ones action here and now echo across the that entire process, mingle with others, become one with others. To be a single human then is eroded in the machanic process. one eddies across others and through differing apparatus of the world.
One perhaps becomes communists.
What is clear is where Max is correct in his prediction, and where there is a hitch.
The first two of these two arguments are predictive. Humanity is oddly skilled and oddly values in a system of skilled workers in the workshop. Humanity is likewise utterly devalued in a mass production process. The trouble comes that the way government fight the latter is to impose the former (that is to create workers rights and treat all jobs as if they were skilled). No socalist government has then really been able to wrap their heads around what the final stage, what the path to communisms might look like. We simply do not know what kinds of minds are being born for there. They might well be everywhere, and yet us brutal socalists of the now might suppress them. Who knows?
The problem is then what does the socialisms consciousness within the machine, the sharing of that social labour look like to us? A problem that not so easy to solve (and one that Marxists have singluar cocked up for the last 150 years or so)