Marx has explained that the commodity is a 'two-fold thing': both a useful thing and an exchange value in the market. He goes on to look at this in more detail with examples: Let us take two commodities such as a coat and 10 yards of linen, and let the former be double the value … Continue reading The Essential Marx 6: Coats, Linen, and Divisions of Labour.
The Essential Marx 5: Capital Grows Its Own, But Doesn’t Pass It Around.
Marx has been establishing the basis of the rate of value on the various commodities in a given society. He has explained that a commodity's value is based on the quantity of labour (measured in time) that it takes in any given society to produce it. This 'socially necessary labour time' determines the value of … Continue reading The Essential Marx 5: Capital Grows Its Own, But Doesn’t Pass It Around.
The Essential Marx 4: The Social Nature of Value.
Marx has explained that the basis of the value of commodities is the amount of labour they contain. He goes on to look at how this value is a social product... The total labour power of society, which is embodied in the sum total of the values of all commodities produced by that society, counts … Continue reading The Essential Marx 4: The Social Nature of Value.
The Essential Marx 3: Labour Determines Exchange Value.
Marx introduced the commodity as having a strangely conflicted dual existence as both a use value and an exchange value. He has posed the question of just what is it that is the basis of value - why do we exchange one thing for a specific amount of another thing entirely - what dictates the … Continue reading The Essential Marx 3: Labour Determines Exchange Value.
The Essential Marx 2: Exchange Value (But Where’s The Value At…?)
Marx has commenced his critique of capitalist society by focusing on the commodity. He's started by looking at it as a 'use value', a useful thing that people need or want, and now he will look at a commodity's 'exchange value'... Use values become a reality only by use or consumption: they also constitute the … Continue reading The Essential Marx 2: Exchange Value (But Where’s The Value At…?)
The Essential Marx 1: Commodities & Use Value.
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy The Process of Capitalist Production I. Commodities and Money This is a reading of the abridged Capital vol. 1. Marx commences his critique by looking at commodities, and in particular by looking at them from 2 perspectives: commodities as 'use values' and commodities as 'exchange values'. First, use value... … Continue reading The Essential Marx 1: Commodities & Use Value.
48. The Gist of Marx’s Capital.
The original idea of this blog was to go through a reading of this book above, The Essential Marx, which is an abridgement of vol. 1 of Capital. It claims on the cover that it was edited by Leon Trotsky (who writes a good intro to it), but actually it was abridged by one Mr. … Continue reading 48. The Gist of Marx’s Capital.
47. Last Word To The Bard.
Capital chapter I concludes with critique of some of the assumptions of economists re value, and another little bit of The Bard... "The mode of production in which the product takes the form of a commodity, or is produced directly for exchange, is the most general and most embryonic form of bourgeois production." The production … Continue reading 47. Last Word To The Bard.
46. We Can’t Blame Nature for Capital…
As chapter I of Capital comes towards its close Marx makes some more suggestions as to how a socialist society might look, and considers the fetishisation of value and commodities from historical and other perspectives... "The life-process of society, which is based on the process of material production, does not strip off its mystical veil … Continue reading 46. We Can’t Blame Nature for Capital…
45. The Cults and Covens of Capital.
Further looking at the fetishisation of commodities, Marx turns his focus to the social role of religion in justifying modes of production. We live in a world that is largely still more-or-less influenced by Greek idealism, and later Christian idealist fantasies; where ideas/ideals are seen as being superior to grubby realities; where people are seen … Continue reading 45. The Cults and Covens of Capital.