Read this article to learn about Advantages and Disadvantages of Use of Machinery!
Advantages of the use of Machinery:
Machinery is being extensively used because of certain advantages.
The following are the chief advantages of the use of machinery:
Use of Natural Forces:
Machinery has harnessed the forces of nature in the service of man. Man can fly in the air; he can send messages thousands of miles away; he generates electricity from waterfalls. All this he has done with the aid of machinery. For such jobs, the use of machinery is indispensable.
Heavy and Delicate Work:
Tasks which are too heavy or too delicate for human muscles to do can be done easily by a machine. A crane can lift loads which man never can. No man can produce silk as fine and delicate as a spider’s web, but a machine can. Without the aid of machinery such jobs would not have been done.
While man can make only a few dozen pins in a day by himself, with the help of machinery he can make thousands. A charkha cannot spin as much yarn in a year as a spinning machine can in one day. We value machinery for the speed with which it works, and in the modern world speed matters the most.
More Accurate Work:
No painter can paint exactly the same picture twice. But a machine can turn out thousands of identical articles. Production has thus been standardized. Only machines are capable of mass production.
Human Muscles Relieved. The work of the labourer has become much lighter.-He has simply to press a knob, and lo! the machine starts working! Thus machinery has proved an great blessing to the workers.
The-use of machinery has resulted in large-scale production and has reduced costs to levels never dreamt of before. Thus cheap goods have been placed in the hands of consumers. A man of ordinary means can now enjoy goods and services which were not available even to a rich man in the past. Consequently the standard of living has risen.
Mobility of Labour:
In most industries, the machines used are very similar. A worker, therefore, can easily move from one industry to another. This is helpful in relieving or preventing unemployment as well as finding better jobs.
The introduction of machinery has created many new occupations. It has thus widened the scope of employment. In the long run, machinery creates more employment than displacing labour immediately.
All dirty jobs can be done by machines. Human beings are thus relieved of all disagreeable and unpleasant jobs. What a great boon machinery is to the under-dog!
Disadvantages of the Use of Machinery:
Machinery has not proved to be an unmixed blessing. Whereas it has undoubtedly conferred untold benefits on mankind, it is also associated with certain evils.
Some of these evils are given below:
Machinery has made the laborer’s work monotonous and irksome. The worker has nothing to do except to go on performing a few mechanical operations day in and day out. It has increased nervous strain.
Loss of Skill:
The craftsman with the superior skill had disappeared. Such skill is no longer necessary. The only type of skill that is needed now is to run the machines. The man who made the Dacca muslin has now only to look after the running of a machine. What a great national loss!
Goods not Artistic:
A painting is a thousand times more beautiful than a photograph. The former has character and colour, the latter is just a print without individuality. From the point of view of art, it is a great loss.
Machinery has increased our dependence on others. We depend for our water and light on the satisfactory working of water-works and the power-house. A small flaw would result in the supply of these necessaries being cut off at any time. This may mean not only inconvenience but serious dislocation of normal life.
Man’s capacity to destroy and harm has grown a thousand-fold. Look at an atom bomb. A flourishing city like Hiroshima was destroyed in a moment. Wars have become more terrible now. We must condemn machinery for the destruction it can bring.
Big factories pollute their surroundings and make them filthy and insanitary. Tender children and women are put to work in them. Thus, machines and factories have killed the joys of family life. This has led to moral degradation and physical deterioration.
Machinery leads to too much specialisation. A worker has a narrow sphere of work, and he knows nothing else. This over- specialisation increases the risk of unemployment and cramps the worker physically.
Use of machinery is responsible for class-conflict—the capitalist on one side and the labourers on the other. The class-conflict has led to the disruption of social harmony. It is becoming sharper every day. It is responsible for so much unrest that prevails in the world today.
Finally, it is said that machinery creates unemployment simply because one machine can take the place of several men. But the matter is not so simple.