Fordism is a term coined by Antonio Gramsci and used by critical analysts to designate a specifically 20th century corporate regime of mechanized production coupled with the mass consumption of standardized products. On the production side, this approach to mechanized production brought with it the deskilling of work (see Harry Braverman) along with the bureaucratic massification of work conditions and experiences. In turn, expanding production demanded expanded consumption, which required higher incomes. Hence, the symbolic significance of Ford's famous offer of $5 a day to workers who would put up with the alienated, regimented work conditions at Ford Motors. While Ford's narrative in this commercial paints an overly rosy picture of work in his plants, his statement does make clear Fordism's reliance on a "good salary" to permit the mass ownership of cars. Notice how Ford had already shifted the rhetoric of leisure time, compared to his capitalist predecessors a mere 20 years earlier, from laziness to pleasure. Satisfying employment, a good salary and ownership of a car bring, says the voice of Ford, "the blessings of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."
Fordismus ist eine nach dem amerikanischen Großindustriellen Henry Ford benannte industriepolitische Konzeption, die häufig mit Rationalisierung der Fertigungskosten durch Massenproduktion und Fließbandfertigung gleichgesetzt wird.