Tag Archives: surplus value

Surplus Value (draft)

Another draft chapter for my book. All comments welcome. The most interesting part, I think, is the last section. Surplus Value Marx begins Capital with an analysis of the commodity form. He immediately tells us why: because the commodity is … Continue reading

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Kapital vol 3; Chapter 14. Counteracting Influences

Capital Vol. III Part III: The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall Chapter 14. Counteracting Influences (This post is part of an ongoing project: a close reading of volume 3 of Kapital, one post per … Continue reading

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The Tendency of the Mass of Crisis Theory to Rise

This is my first draft of my paper for “The Economic Crisis and the Left Response” which is taking place in New York this coming weekend (11-6-10). “First draft?” you ask, “Isn’t that happening in just 4 days?” Yes, I … 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 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- opening thoughts

Herein lies theoretical ideas that have been hotly debated for well over a century now. Up until now we have assumed that price equals value and that profit is directly related to the amount of surplus value produced. But now, 140 pages into the 3rd volume of Kapital Marx explains that in conditions of capitalist competition prices don’t equal values and that profit is not determined by the surplus value produced by a firm. This has raised all manner of criticism and even ridicule from some corners. Bohm Bawerk made much of this in his criticism of Marx. Continue reading

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