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考研推荐背诵文章:capital and labour

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 考研推荐背诵文章:劳资双方

 

In the last half of the nineteenth century “capital” and “labour” were enlarging and perfecting their rival organizations on modern lines. Many an old firm was replaced by a limited liability company with a bureaucracy of salaried managers. The change met the technical requirements of the new age by engaging a large professional element and prevented the decline in efficiency that so commonly spoiled the fortunes of family firms in the second and third generation after the energetic founders. It was moreover a step away from individual initiative, towards collectivism and municipal and state-owned business. The railway companies, though still private business managed for the benefit of shareholders, were very unlike old family business. At the same time the great municipalities went into business to supply lighting, trams and other services to the taxpayers.

 

The growth of the limited liability company and municipal business had important consequences. Such large, impersonal manipulation of capital and industry greatly increased the numbers and importance of shareholders as a class, an element in national life representing irresponsible wealth detached from the land and the duties of the landowners; and almost equally detached from the responsible management of business. All through the nineteenth century, America, Africa, India, Australia and parts of Europe were being developed by British capital, and British shareholders were thus enriched by the world’s movement towards industrialization. Towns like Bournemouth and Eastbourne sprang up to house large “comfortable” classes who had retired on their incomes, and who had no relation to the rest of the community except that of drawing dividends and occasionally attending a shareholders’ meeting to dictate their orders to the management. On the other hand “shareholding” meant leisure and freedom which was used by many of the later Victorians for the highest purpose of a great civilization.

 

The “shareholders” as such had no knowledge of the lives, thoughts or needs of the workmen employed by the company in which he held shares, and his influence on the relations of capital and labour was not good. The paid manager acting for the company was in more direct relation with the men and their demands, but even he had seldom that familiar personal knowledge of the workmen which the employer had often had under the more patriarchal system of the old family business now passing away. Indeed the mere size of operations and the numbers of workmen involved rendered such personal relations impossible. Fortunately, however, the increasing power and organization of the trade unions, at least in all skilled trades, enabled the workmen to meet on equal terms the managers of the companies who employed them. The cruel discipline of the strike and lockout taught the two parties to respect each other’s strength and understand the value of fair negotiation.

 

19世纪后半叶,在现代化进程中,“劳资”双方正在扩大并完善各自对立的组织。许多旧企业被拥有各级拿薪水的经理的有限(责任)公司所取代。这一变化通过一大批专业人员的使用,适应了新时代技术的要求,防止了效率的下降。而效率的下降使许多家族企业破产,因为第二、三代继承人已不像企业的创立者那样精力充沛。而且,这也是企业由个人创始活动走向集体化、市营和国有的进程。尽管铁路公司仍是股东获利的私人企业,但已与旧的家族企业非常不同了。与此同时,大城市的市政府开始从事经营,为纳税人提供照明、电车和其他一些服务。

 

有限公司及市营买卖的发展产生了重大影响。对资本与企业的如此大规模的非个人操纵,大大地增加了一个阶级的持股人的数量及其地位的重要性。国民生活中这一现象的出现,代表了与土地及土地所有者责任相分离的、不由个人负责的财富的出现,而且这也意味着(不由个人负责的财富)几乎在同等程度上与由个人负责的商业管理的分离。在整个19世纪,美洲、非洲、印度、澳大利亚及欧洲的部分国家的发展靠的是英国的资本,因此,在世界走向工业化的过程中英国的股东们大发其财。像波茅斯、伊斯特本这样的城市的兴起,其中居住着大批“饱食终日”者,他们已退休,有收入来源,与别人的关系仅限于抽取红利,他们偶尔也参加一次股东会,对企业的管理指手画脚。另一方面,“做股东”意味着悠闲与自在,而悠闲与自在的生活被许多维多利亚后期的人视作伟大文明社会的最崇高目的。

 

这样的“股东”根本就不了解自己持股的公司里的工人的生活、思想和需要,因此,他们对劳资双方的关系有不良影响。拿薪水的经理代表公司实施管理,与工人的关系更直接,更了解工人的需要。但是,与现在正在消失的旧家族企业家长制的老板相比,即使是他也很少有过去那种对工人的个人熟悉程度。的确,仅经营的规模和雇用工人的数量这两方面的因素,就使得这种个人关系的建立成为不可能的事。然而,值得庆幸的是,至少在所有技术行业,工会的力量和组织日益壮大,使得工人们可以同雇用他们的公司经理们平起平坐。罢工与封厂的严酷惩罚使双方学会了互相尊重,明白了公平协商的价值。

 

 

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