Marx Wage Labor And Capital PdfBy Karem A. In and pdf 19.04.2021 at 01:25 7 min read
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The first question that Marx takes up in this text is the issue of the origins and determination of wages. He begins by evoking a simple scenario in which a worker is asked where his or her wages come from. Marx notes that when confronted with such a question a worker will simply reply by noting how much money they receive from their employer at each given day.
Wage-Labor and Capital
M ore than a century after his death, Karl Marx remains one of the most controversial figures in the Western world. His relentless criticism of capitalism and his corresponding promise of an inevitable, harmonious socialist future inspired a revolution of global proportions.
It seemed that—with the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the spread of communism throughout Eastern Europe—the Marxist dream had firmly taken root during the first half of the twentieth century. That dream collapsed before the century had ended. The people of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania, and the USSR rejected Marxist ideology and entered a remarkable transition toward private property rights and the market-exchange system, one that is still occurring.
Which aspects of Marxism created such a powerful revolutionary force? And what explains its eventual demise? The answers lie in some general characteristics of Marxism—its economics, social theory, and overall vision. If a pair of shoes usually takes twice as long to produce as a pair of pants, for example, then shoes are twice as valuable as pants.
In the long run, the competitive price of shoes will be twice the price of pants, regardless of the value of the physical inputs. Although the labor theory of value is demonstrably false, it prevailed among classical economists through the midnineteenth century.
Adam Smith , for instance, flirted with a labor theory of value in his classic defense of capitalism, The Wealth of Nations , and David Ricardo later systematized it in his Principles of Political Economy , a text studied by generations of free-market economists. So the labor theory of value was not unique to Marxism. Marx did attempt, however, to turn the theory against the champions of capitalism, pushing the theory in a direction that most classical economists hesitated to follow.
Marx argued that the theory could explain the value of all commodities, including the commodity that workers sell to capitalists for a wage. Marx, using principles of classical economics, explained that the value of labor power must depend on the number of labor hours it takes society, on average, to feed, clothe, and shelter a worker so that he or she has the capacity to work. In other words, the long-run wage workers receive will depend on the number of labor hours it takes to produce a person who is fit for work.
Suppose five hours of labor are needed to feed, clothe, and protect a worker each day so that the worker is fit for work the following morning. If one labor hour equaled one dollar, the correct wage would be five dollars per day. Marx then asked an apparently devastating question: if all goods and services in a capitalist society tend to be sold at prices and wages that reflect their true value measured by labor hours , how can it be that capitalists enjoy profits —even if only in the short run?
How do capitalists manage to squeeze out a residual between total revenue and total costs? Capitalists, Marx answered, must enjoy a privileged and powerful position as owners of the means of production and are therefore able to ruthlessly exploit workers. Marx was correct when he claimed that classical economists failed to adequately explain capitalist profits. But Marx failed as well. By the late nineteenth century, the economics profession rejected the labor theory of value.
Mainstream economists now believe that capitalists do not earn profits by exploiting workers see profits. Instead, they believe, entrepreneurial capitalists earn profits by forgoing current consumption, by taking risks, and by organizing production. Marx wove economics and philosophy together to construct a grand theory of human history and social change. His concept of alienation, for example, first articulated in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of , plays a key role in his criticism of capitalism.
Marx believed that people, by nature, are free, creative beings who have the potential to totally transform the world. But he observed that the modern, technologically developed world is apparently beyond our full control.
He maintained that the way the market economy is coordinated—through the spontaneous purchase and sale of private property dictated by the laws of supply and demand —blocks our ability to take control of our individual and collective destinies. Marx condemned capitalism as a system that alienates the masses. His reasoning was as follows: although workers produce things for the market, market forces, not workers, control things.
People are required to work for capitalists who have full control over the means of production and maintain power in the workplace. Work, he said, becomes degrading, monotonous, and suitable for machines rather than for free, creative people. In the end, people themselves become objects—robotlike mechanisms that have lost touch with human nature, that make decisions based on cold profit-and-loss considerations, with little concern for human worth and need.
Marx concluded that capitalism blocks our capacity to create our own humane society. It assumes that people can successfully abolish an advanced, market-based society and replace it with a democratic, comprehensively planned society. Marx claimed that we are alienated not only because many of us toil in tedious, perhaps even degrading, jobs, or because by competing in the marketplace we tend to place profitability above human need.
The issue is not about toil versus happiness. We are alienated, he maintained, because we have not yet designed a society that is fully planned and controlled, a society without competition , profits and losses, money, private property, and so on—a society that, Marx predicted, must inevitably appear as the world advances through history. But for Marxists to speak of alienation under capitalism, they must assume that a successfully planned world is possible.
A staunch antiutopian, Marx claimed that his criticism of capitalism was based on the latest developments in science. Marx claimed that he had discovered the laws of history, laws that expose the contradictions of capitalism and the necessity of the class struggle. Marx predicted that competition among capitalists would grow so fierce that, eventually, most capitalists would go bankrupt, leaving only a handful of monopolists controlling nearly all production.
This, to Marx, was one of the contradictions of capitalism: competition, instead of creating better products at lower prices for consumers, in the long run creates monopoly , which exploits workers and consumers alike.
What happens to the former capitalists? They fall into the ranks of the proletariat, creating a greater supply of labor, a fall in wages, and what Marx called a growing reserve army of the unemployed. Also, thought Marx, the anarchic, unplanned nature of a complex market economy is prone to economic crises as supplies and demands become mismatched, causing huge swings in business activity and, ultimately, severe economic depressions.
The more advanced the capitalist economy becomes, Marx argued, the greater these contradictions and conflicts. The more capitalism creates wealth, the more it sows the seeds of its own destruction.
Ultimately, the proletariat will realize that it has the collective power to overthrow the few remaining capitalists and, with them, the whole system. The entire capitalist system—with its private property, money, market exchange, profit-and-loss accounting, labor markets, and so on—must be abolished, thought Marx, and replaced with a fully planned, self-managed economic system that brings a complete and utter end to exploitation and alienation.
A socialist revolution, argued Marx, is inevitable. Marx was surely a profound thinker who won legions of supporters around the world. But his predictions have not withstood the test of time. Although capitalist markets have changed over the past years, competition has not devolved into monopoly. Real wages have risen and profit rates have not declined.
Nor has a reserve army of the unemployed developed. We do have bouts with the business cycle, but more and more economists believe that significant recessions and depressions may be more the unintended result of state intervention through monetary policy carried out by central banks and government policies on taxation and spending than an inherent feature of markets as such.
On the contrary, socialism was forced on poor, so-called Third World countries. And those revolutions unwittingly condemned the masses to systemic poverty and political dictatorship. In practice, socialism absolutely failed to create the nonalienated, self-managed, and fully planned society. It failed to emancipate the masses and instead crushed them with statism, domination, and the terrifying abuse of state power. Free-market economies lift the masses from poverty and create the necessary institutional conditions for overall political freedom.
Nor did his followers. If the first three-quarters of the twentieth century provided a testing ground for that vision, the end of the century demonstrates its truly utopian nature and ultimate unworkability. Today there is a vibrant post-Marxism, associated with the efforts of those active in the scholarly journal Rethinking Marxism, for instance.
In this new literature, friedrich hayek seems to be getting a more positive reception than Marx himself. Exactly what will come out of these developments is hard to predict, but it is unlikely to look like the Marxism of the past. Marxism By David Prychitko. About the Author David L. Prychitko is an economics professor at Northern Michigan University. Further Reading Boettke, Peter J. Boston: Kluwer, Karl Marx and the Close of His System.
Clifton, N. Kelley, Burczak, Theodore. Socialism After Hayek. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Elliot, John E. Santa Monica, Calif. Hayek, Friedrich A. Edited by W. Bartley III. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Kolakowski, Leszek. Main Currents of Marxism. New York: Oxford University Press, Prychitko, David L. Northampton, Mass. Westport, Conn. Categories: Labor Schools of Economic Thought.
Wage-labor and capital
Felluga, Dino. Date of last update, which you can find on the home page. Purdue U. Date you accessed the site. I have indicated those terms that are particularly tied to an individual theorist, as well as those terms that are used differently by two different Marxist or neo-Marxist critics. For an introduction to the work of a few Marxists currently influencing the discipline, see the Marxism Modules in this site.
Commodities are objects that satisfy human needs and wants. Commodities are the fundamental units of capitalism, a form of economy based on the intense accumulation of such objects. This usefulness is its use-value, a property intrinsic to the commodity. Commodities also possess an exchange-value, the relative value of a commodity in relation to other commodities in an exchange situation. Unlike use-value, exchange-value is not intrinsic to a commodity. Exchange-value allows one to determine what one commodity is worth in relation to another commodity, for example how many units of corn one might exchange for a given unit of linen. In a complex market, all sorts of different commodities, although satisfying different needs and wants, must be measurable in the same units, namely money.
Wage-Labor And Capital
M ore than a century after his death, Karl Marx remains one of the most controversial figures in the Western world. His relentless criticism of capitalism and his corresponding promise of an inevitable, harmonious socialist future inspired a revolution of global proportions. It seemed that—with the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the spread of communism throughout Eastern Europe—the Marxist dream had firmly taken root during the first half of the twentieth century. That dream collapsed before the century had ended.
Capital , Labor , Wage , Wage labor and capital , Marx. Link to this page:. It does not mean a closed party-run system without demo-cratic rights.
The ideas expressed in the essay have a thorough economic contemplation about them as Marx put aside his materialist conceptions of history for the time being. Main topics examined in the essay include labour power , labour, and how labour power becomes a commodity. The labour theory of value is introduced, which distinguishes between labour and labour power.
One of the most important theoretical challenges facing us is developing a viable alternative to capitalism. Achieving this requires rethinking basic premises of social theory and practice, given the difficulties of freeing humanity from such problems as alienation, class domination, and the capitalist law of value.
Karl Marx (1818–1883)
В феврале того года, когда Энсею исполнилось двенадцать, его приемным родителям позвонили из токийской фирмы, производящей компьютеры, и предложили их сыну-калеке принять участие в испытаниях новой клавиатуры, которую фирма сконструировала для детей с физическими недостатками. Родители согласились. Хотя Энсей Танкадо никогда прежде не видел компьютера, он как будто инстинктивно знал, как с ним обращаться. Компьютер открыл перед ним мир, о существовании которого он даже не подозревал, и вскоре заполнил всю его жизнь. Повзрослев, он начал давать компьютерные уроки, зарабатывать деньги и в конце концов получил стипендию для учебы в Университете Досися.
Чрезвычайная ситуация. В шифровалке. Спускаясь по лестнице, она пыталась представить себе, какие еще неприятности могли ее ожидать. Ей предстояло узнать это совсем. ГЛАВА 2 На высоте тридцать тысяч футов, над застывшим внизу океаном, Дэвид Беккер грустно смотрел в крохотный овальный иллюминатор самолета Лирджет-60. Ему сказали, что бортовой телефон вышел из строя, поэтому позвонить Сьюзан не удастся.
Оба они - Хейл и Сьюзан - даже подпрыгнули от неожиданности. Это был Чатрукьян. Он снова постучал. У него был такой вид, будто он только что увидел Армагеддон. Хейл сердито посмотрел на обезумевшего сотрудника лаборатории систем безопасности и обратился к Сьюзан: - Я сейчас вернусь. Выпей воды.
line with the analysis of the opportunitymeridian.org relationship as Marx had refined it by , when wage-worker, Labour power was not always a commodity. Labour.
Дэвид Беккер начал читать, Джабба печатал следом за. Когда все было закончено, они проверили орфографические ошибки и удалили пробелы. В центре панели на экране, ближе к верхнему краю, появились буквы: QUISCUSTODIETIPSOSCUSTODES - Мне это не нравится, - тихо проговорила Сьюзан. - Не вижу чистоты. Джабба занес палец над клавишей Ввод. - Давайте же, - скомандовал Фонтейн.
Такая форма их размещения должна была способствовать интеллектуальному общению криптографов, напоминая им, что они всего лишь члены многочисленной команды - своего рода рыцари Круглого стола взломщиков кодов. По иронии судьбы в Третьем узле секреты не очень-то любили. Нареченный Детским манежем, Третий узел ничем не напоминал стерильную атмосферу остальной части шифровалки. Его обстановка напоминала домашнюю - мягкий ковер, высокотехнологичная звуковая система, холодильник, полный напитков и всяческой еды, маленькая кухня и даже баскетбольное кольцо. В отношении шифровалки в АНБ сложилась своеобразная философия. Нет смысла вбухивать миллиарды долларов в дешифровальный компьютер и одновременно экономить на тех, кто работает на этой превосходной технике. Сьюзан скинула туфли на низких каблуках от Сальваторе Феррагамо и блаженно погрузила обтянутые чулками ноги в густой шерстяной ковер.
Он хотел крикнуть, но в легких не было воздуха, с губ срывалось лишь невнятное мычание. - Нет! - закашлявшись, исторгнул он из груди. Но звук так и не сорвался с его губ. Беккер понимал, что, как только дверь за Меган закроется, она исчезнет навсегда. Он снова попробовал ее позвать, но язык отказывался ему подчиняться.