Category Archives: Econ 101-value profit exploitaiton

The Critique of Political Economy; chapter 1 notes

Summary of Critique of Political Economy Chapter 1 by Karl Marx (Chapter 2 to follow in a future post.) Written before Das Capital, the Critique of Political Economy covers much of the theoretical ground of the opening chapters of Capital … Continue reading

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Value-Price- a draft script

This is a draft of the script for my next video “Value and Price”. Any feedback is helpful. The footnotes have yet to be numerically linked to the main text. Intro There is a lot of confusion over Marx’s theory … Continue reading

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Law of Value 9: Abstract Labor

[The video production in Part One of Abstract Labor was done my a fantastic film maker/editor who we shall call ‘M’ for now. She did a really great job giving the video a consistent, dark vibe and I’m so happy … Continue reading

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Value and Price Q&A

I have been looking forward to finally putting together a script for a video on Value and Price. As a preparation for that task I’ve written the following: an attempted summary of my understanding the topic. The text is peppered … Continue reading

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Value Can’t Be Created in Exchange

After Law of Value 9: Abstract Labor I will conclude the trio of videos dealing with Marx’s method (not that I’ve conclusively said all there is to say on the topic, but all that I have to say for this … Continue reading

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Law of Value 8: Subject/Object

Law of Value 8: Subject/Object part 1: part 2: part 3: part 4: One of the more common objections raised to Marx’s theory of value, at least here in the theoretical void of cyberspace, is the objection posed by subjective … Continue reading

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Law of Value 6: Socially Necessary Labor Time

We’ve probably all heard Marx’s famous description of the higher phase of communism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Marx didn’t actually come up with this phrase but he quotes it in one his rare commentaries on communism. Here an hour of one person’s work is equal to an hour of anyone else’s, creating a basis for real equality throughout society, regardless of the productive abilities (or privileges) of individuals. In the Critique of the Gotha Program Marx describes the lower phase of communism as a system in which, after an hour of labor, all workers receive a certificate entitling them to a certain amount of consumption goods in proportion to their working time, not their level of productivity. There is no SNLT, and no inequality, because everyone’s work has the same social power. Obviously this is not a robust plan for how a communist society should be run. But it gives us a glimpse into the sort of radical questions we should be asking ourselves when thinking about communism. Continue reading

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Law of Value 5: Contradiction

We are all painfully aware that modern society is full of social antagonisms. There’s poverty amidst great wealth, over-work alongside massive unemployment, banks taking away homes, gentrification, racial tensions, violence against women, labor struggles, environmental apartheid, police brutality, gang violence, hate groups, massive dislocations of populations, and lots of war. Marx was interested in explaining all of these antagonisms, but he doesn’t start his analysis with any of them. Continue reading

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Law of Value 4: Value

…And this is where any social theory must begin: with a study of the productive activity of people as they work to create the world they live in. Not only is this the best starting place for an analysis of society, it is also the best starting point for a radical social theory whose aim is to investigate the possibility of changing the world. If we realize that human society is not the result of some natural or divine eternal logic but merely the creation of our own labor then that means that we have the power to mold and shape that society as we see fit. In a capitalist society these creative powers take the form of an external world of value and capital that acts back upon society, shaping it against the will of its creators. Yet, in the end the world of capital is nothing but the product of our own creation. If we truly want to change the world it is not up to nature, God, fate or experts, but up to us. This is the radical challenge of the law of value. Continue reading

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Commodities- remix

Commodities (remix) part one: part two: Let’s talk about people. When we talk about people as individuals we are talking about biology, neuroscience, physiology, etc. We are talking about respiratory systems, circulatory systems, nervous systems, brain waves- in short we … Continue reading

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