Fordism is the result of structural change within Capitalism. Fordism evolved from the Capitalist system through an increase in the efficiency of production. +ass production mass consumption, mass media and waste are all characteristics of the Fordist system.
Fordism thrives on mass production and mass consumption. Ford used the assembly line to produce a larger quantity of products (in his case automobiles) at a quicker rate. The assembly line consisted of a line of workers who would each do a specific part of the labor to add to the end result. Before the assembly line, skilled workers and experienced workers were needed for production of the whole product. The assembly line functions in a way that a worker only needs to know one of the many individual tasks in production. This allowed for unskilled and inexperienced workers to obtain industrial jobs working on the assembly line. As production and consumption increased, workers were paid better wages. As workers made more money they had more money to spend and so they became consumers as well, putting their money back into the Fordist system and creating the beginning of the Fordist cycle .
The only way that mass production can be successfully supported is by mass consumption. Paying workers create the market for mass production higher wages so that they can purchase more products and play their part of mass consumers in the Fordist system. This system is effective, however it is not all it appears to be.
Fordism creates a globalization of production and it s culture. This spread of Fordism has a negative effect on culture, the environment and production it s self. Fordism has spread to other countries outside the United States, Germany and Japan are just two examples of countries that have entered what I like to call The Fordist Black Whole . The only way to ensure the success of the Fordist system is to continue to mass-produce and mass consume. Without mass consumption and mass consumption, Fordism cannot survive as an economic system. So to survive, Fordism must expand to provide itself with a greater market. Fordism expands overseas to Europe, Asia and even South America. Manufacturers open industries for production overseas with the goal of producing more and widening their consumption market. So as these western companies deploy themselves overseas, they have a strong influence on their the foreign surroundings. Thus Globalization occurs. Countries begin to recognize Fordism as a way of producing wealth and strengthening the economy. So they too, adopt Fordism as an economic system.
Products cannot be produced without using resources. As Fordism spreads, more products are being produced and more resources are being consumed. The earth does not have an unlimited supply of resources. So what happens when a corporation exhausts a countries resources? Simple the corporation finds another country with resources to exploit. Fordist manufacturers will station themselves overseas for another reason. In the Fordist era corporations take advantage of cheaper labor in developing or under developed countries like Taiwan, Indonesia South America and even China. Sweatshops and child labor have become common practices in this type of market and pay unjust and low labor fees to the workers. However, this takes jobs away from workers in the domestic country where the manufacturers rely on the success of the market. If these domestic workers do not have jobs, they will not consume. So a situation is created where corporations are mass-producing, using cheap foreign labor to do so, but people are unable to afford to consume their product. This is the current situation today in the Post-Fordist era.
However, the Fordist system does have a tool it uses to attempt to overcome the tragedies of under consumption this tool is called mass media. Mass media uses advertising to convince people that they want and even need a product. This is done through manipulation and selling a product by appealing to personal fantasy. Thus people consume because mass media has fooled them into believing that they need to consume. In the post Fordist era people consume regardless of their financial capabilities. They establish credit, get loans and owe debts to banks just so they can buy something they have fooled into believing they need.
The Fordist system operates in a downward spiral. This spiral has led our society into Post-Fordism. The effects of Fordism and Post-Fordism have had detrimental effects on Culture, environment and our society.