geändert / updated: 17/04/08


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Social state and fordistic production

In a social state like the German one politicians have to secure the inner peace by adequate means, i.e. social policies of the state shall enable individuals to live together in peace.
In contrast to early twentieth century times, nowadays one has neither to fear large scale pauperism nor brutal struggle for resources.

One can even argue that the conversion of the liberal into a social state - laid down in the German constitutional Basic Law in Article 20 - made prosperity possible in a decisive way: losses for the national economy could be minimised by establishing an agreed process of conflict solution.

At the beginning of the 21st century other conflicts emerge that are not to the least grounded in a society's self-definition. Until the 1970s the following chain of effects could be applied:
• technical progress in terms of fordistic production (named after the car's manufacturer Henry Ford, 1863-1947) makes possible an increase of output as well as a share of the workers in profits made so - accordingly, "Fordism" means more than merely division of labour or "scientific management" in F W Taylor's meaning;
• such fostered workers demand more consumer goods that in turn leads to output increase in other fields;
• the state can finance measures considered necessary to provide infrastructure and social security by collecting taxes.

For the west-German republic, this development may be characterised by dubbing the 1950s as the fridge's decade, the 1960s as the washing-machine's and the 1970s as the car's decade. (read on here)

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