Tag Archives: commodity

Abstract Labor- Capital chapter one

Capital Chapter 1 Compared with the Critique of Political Economy, Capital’s opening exposition is much clearer and more powerful, due in large part to the category of ‘intrinsic value’ which Marx introduces. Commodities have an intrinsic value which is expressed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Critique of Political Economy: C. Theories of the Medium of Circulation and Money – notes

C. Theories of the Medium of Circulation and MoneyAt the end of Chapter 1: Commodities we had “A:Notes on the History of the Theory of Value”. At the end of Chapter 2 part 1: The Measure of Value we had … Continue reading

Posted in the critique of political economy- notes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Econ 101-value profit exploitaiton, the critique of political economy- notes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Econ 101-value profit exploitaiton, The Law of Value, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

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

Posted in Econ 101-value profit exploitaiton, The Law of Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Law of Value 4: Use-value, Exchange-value, Value: draft 2

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

Posted in The Law of Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Law of Value 3: Das MudPie

If you spend any time reading about Marx’s theory of value on the internet you probably will come across some version of this asinine excuse for a critique called “the mudpie argument.” The basic style of the mudpie argument is similar to many advanced by those who know nothing about Marx’s theory of value: one constructs a ridiculous strawman argument that has nothing to do with Marx and then proceeds to knock it down with “devastating” brilliance, moral outrage, and a few clever asides about Stalinism. The MudPie argument goes something like this:

Marx claimed that labor is what gives all commodities value. But what if I make a mudpie? This is a product of labor yet nobody will buy it. It has no value. So Hah! Take that Karl Marx! Continue reading

Posted in The Law of Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments