Tag Archives: capital

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 6: Socially Necessary Labor time- another draft

Alone on his tropical island Robinson Crusoe can take as long as he wants to build a cabin for himself. It’s up to him. We don’t have that luxury when we produce for market exchange. When Wonder Bread makes bread they are competing in the market against Pepperidge Farm, Arnold and White Rose. If their workers are less productive, if they take longer to make bread, that doesn’t mean they can sell their bread for more money. The social value of bread is not set by individuals but by the average amount of time it takes to produce bread. This is called the “Socially Necessary Labor Time”. (SNLT) Continue reading

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Law of Value 6 (or 5): Contradictions – a draft

Marx is always talking about contradictions in the law of value. But these aren’t logical contradictions like “round square” or “military intelligence”. They are contradictions inscribed into the very heart of the social relations of a capitalist society. Some prefer to use the word “antagonisms”. Continue reading

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Das Kapital vol. 3: Part 2, Chapter 12: Supplementary Remarks

A commodity’s price of production can change if the average rate of profit changes or if its individual value changes. Marx considers each separately. Continue reading

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The Law of Value 2: The Fetishism of Commodities

part 2 in the Law of Value series. There are a lot of people that are really powerful in the world: Presidents, CEO’s, bankers, leaders of movements… But there is an object, a thing, that is more powerful than any … Continue reading

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Das Kapital vol.3 Chapter 9: Formation of a General Rate of Profit (Average Rate of Profit) and Transformation of the Values of Commodities into Prices of Production

In all of the consternation, debate and quarreling over Marx’s value theory this chapter, chapter 9 of volume 3, lies in the center of much of that (though perhaps chapter 10 even more so). Continue reading

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Questions regarding the Labor Theory of Value?

I’m remaking my Labor Theory of Value video. My current plan is to break up the topic into various sub-topics like the fetishism of commodities, use-value and exchange value, supply and demand, abstract labor, socially necessary labor time, skilled labor, … Continue reading

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Marx and Temporalism- a Tutorial

This is a workshop on the Temporal Single System Interpretation (TSSI) of Marx’s value theory. It was recorded in November of 2009 at the Rethinking Marxism conference in Amherst Mass. The presenters are Andrew Kliman and Alan Freeman, two of the leading figures in the TSSI. The TSSI aims to show that by viewing Marx’s value theory through a temporal lens the claims by Marx’s opponents that his value theory is inconsistent are refuted. Continue reading

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Rethinking Marxism: Temporal Value Theory in a Moment of Crisis; Roundtable on the Economic Crisis

This is video from a roundtable on the economic crisis held during this year’s Rethinking Marxism conference in Amherst Mass. Each panelist’s presentation stands on its own so they need not be viewed in any specific order. A brief bio proceeds each video as well as my own short summary of their argument. This is merely to help viewers decide what to watch and to give some brief context for the uninitated. Continue reading

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Crisis, Value and Marx’s “Order of Operations”

Abstract:
An economic crisis manifests itself in many different forms simultaneously: stock market crashes, housing market crashes, over capacity, unemployment, etc. For every aspect of the crisis there is some theorist who mistakes this surface appearance for the inner mechanism of crisis. But a proper analysis of crisis needs to have some reason for selecting some phenomena as causes and others as effects. There must be a proper ordering of the relations between different economic factors in order for our analysis to avoid being arbitrary and piecemeal. Marx gives us a very clear, though complex, ordering of these relations. Interestingly enough the misunderstanding of Marx’s method, of the proper relation between different aspects of his value theory, is also one of the main reasons that many have dismissed the labor theory of value and Marx’s theory of crisis in the first place. This paper will seek to explain and defend Marx’s “order of operations” in hopes that this can shed valuable light onto what exactly differentiates Marx’s theory of capitalism from others. Continue reading

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