The United States is still one of the most advanced countries in the world and one of the reasons that the factories of this country run so well and produce so efficiently is the example set about a hundred years ago by Henry Ford in his Ford Auto Company. Fordism is the idea of a modern social and productions system in which everything is based on standardized mass production. Like with any system, there are going to be positive and negative things resulting from its implementation. The constant effort to spit out standardized products that are low in price is viewed as the ultimate goal of Fordism.
The reason that many look at the ideal Fordism as desirable is because it would in theory perfect production. Each person would be mastering their position along the assembly line and expertly performing their given task day after day. As the efficiency grew, the number of products that were produced would also grow and the quality as well would be at its peak. The working conditions for all of the employees would be improved over time as the factories and industries they worked in became more profitable because of their expertise. There would be a use of task specific tools that would allow for effective assembly line production. Each person produces the greatest product possible as it moves through their work station on the conveyer belt of the assembly line. Nothing is handmade or original. All goods are produced in a uniform style that will provide a standard quality which poor or good.
Why It Doesn’t Work
Unfortunately when people are applied to any equation like Fordism, there is going to be some sort of malfunction that results. People can become uniform for a time but it can’t be a permanent situation. A person who is required to master only one job and perform that skill all day long is going to become mentally taxed and look for ways to vary their performance. In the end the assembly line without the varying of jobs leads to poor attention to detail and shoddy work. In the end analysis people enjoy being individuals and displaying that originality in their creations. If you remove the opportunity for self expression then it will display itself in one form or another. The constant use of one simple tool is going to lead to joint issues like carpel tunnel syndrome. When a person suffers from an injury like this then productivity will never recover.
The idea of Fordism sounds good in idea but placed in reality it will lead to a society in which people will be unproductive and unhappy in their lives.