Tag Archives: use value

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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Law of Value 7: Production and Exchange

This is part 7 of a series on the law of value. Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Production- Exchange script We get into trouble anytime we try to understand something in isolation. The true meaning of things exist not … Continue reading

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draft- Law of Value 7: Production and Exchange

Here is the initial draft of my Law of Value 7 script. I would appreciate any constructive feedback before I begin production of the video later this week. This script was delayed considerably by several things. I was sidetracked by … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Value, Crisis and Marx’s Order of Operations- final draft

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. This paper will attempt to critique credit-centered and underconsumptionist theories of crisis from the perspective of Marx’s “order of operations”. It will close with some brief remarks about the Falling Rate of Profit. Continue reading

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