Capital : A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx

Capital : A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx

By Karl Marx

The "forgotten" moment quantity of Capital, Marx's world-shaking research of economics, politics, and background, includes the very important dialogue of commodity, the cornerstone to Marx's theories.

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For Marx, value and value production are eminently social qualities, referring to relations between men, and not 'physical' attributes adhering to things once and for all. Thus, when Marx writes that the value of a commodity is the embodiment of human labour expended in its production, and when he goes on to say that its value is equal to the socially necessary labour contained within it, he is not making two different statements, but simply repeating the same thesis. For the value of a given commodity is determined only by that portion of labour spent in its production which corresponds to the social average (both the average productivity of labour and the average socially recognized need), that is to say, which is recognized by society as socially necessary labour.

Gas and electricity), the selling of meals in restaurants, the building and sale of houses and offices as well as provision of the material for constructing them, and of course agriculture. Many sectors which are often included under the heading 'service industries' are, therefore, parts of material production and employ productive labour. By contrast, the letting of apartment or hotel rooms, the service of transporting persons in buses, underground systems or trains, the performance of medical, educational or recreational wage-labour which is not objectivized outside the worker (the sale of specific forms of labour rather than of commodities), the work of commercial or banking clerks and of the employees of insurance companies or market research firms - these do not add to the sum total of social value and surplus-value produced, and cannot therefore be categorized as forms of productive labour.

By contrast, the production of dum-dum bullets, hard drugs or pornographic magazines is useless and harmful to the overall interests of human soeiety. irplus-value embodied in them is realized, and capital is reproduced and expanded. The labour expended on them is thus productive labour. , September 1970; Rudi Schmiede, Zentrale Probleme der Marxschen Akkumulations- und Krisentheorie, Diploma thesis, Frankfurt, 1972; I. Hashimoto, 'The Productive Nature of Service Labour', in The Kyoto University Economic Review, October 1966; K.

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