Sociology: Surplus Value and Labor Power Essay

Submitted By amanda619522
Words: 3076
Pages: 13

8/6/13 * Marx: Capital, Chapter 1 section 1& 2 Value and Labor * Chapter 1: The Commodity * Use value and value * Most famous critique of the industrial revolution, plus a theoretical guide for a number of revolutions and political movements * Page 125 first paragraph “the wealth..” * But why is this so? * How did this come to be * To start with: what are the specific and intrinsic characteristics of these commodities? * To understand this we must look at how these commodities are utilized
Pg 125 2nd par. “ First comes use value”
No one is doing it for them
Pg 126 1st par. “ use value based”
The use value of a commodity or product then describes how a thing is utilized for satisfying human needs or wants. It is also generally accepted by others in society as useful for their lives
Exchange values
Pg 126 “Second comes exchange value: in the form of society about to be considered here they (commodities) are also the bearers (trigger) of exchange value”
Pg 126 2nd exchange value appears
Exchange values are different from one another
They have a common element that cannot be geometrical physical chemical
Exchange value commodities are an abstraction from their use values
There is a tremendous variety of different exchange values but what do they have in common
You cant compare apples an oranges, but at this level you actually can do so based upon their exchange value
In exchange value, commodities are all together reduced to the same kind of human labor in the abstract
That is, their value is based on quantity of average unskilled (abstract) labor needed to produce them
Ex: once of gold or bottle of fine whiskey: lots of labor to find or produce them, therefore expensive
Glass of water: not too much labor required to produce it therefore cheap
Air, no labor required to produce it, therefore free
He will use the term value usually unless it is use value; exchange value is the necessary mode of expression, or form of appearance of value. Later we get surplus value (toward profit) for example
Only thing that gives a use value its exchange value is because abstract human labor is objectified or materialized in it.
Value based on quantity of labor embodied in commodity
But what about labor time of unskilled and lazy workers?
Measure the socially necessary labor time “that required to produce any use value under the conditions of production normal for a given society and with the average degree of skill and intensity prevalent in the society
A moving target always decreasing due to greater efficiency
Value is determined by amount of labor socially necessary…for its production
This concept of socially necessary labor time is part of marxs famous labor theory of value
Higher productivity lowers value: they value of the commodity, therefore, varies directly as the quantity and aversely as the productivity of the labor which finds its realization within the commodity
P 131 return to use values. Use-values can exist without value
Air virgin soil
131 end of 1st par. However value cannot exist without use value of some sort “if the thing is useless we can have pure use value without any value but the reverse value without use vale, cannot exist except as junk
The dual character of the labor embodied in commodities
Labor too has a duel character
In so far as labor finds its expression in value, it no longer possesses the same characteristics as when it is the creator of use values
I was the first to point out and examine critically this twofold nature of the labor contained in ‘
P 133 use value production as eternal and natural
Eternal natural necessity
Nature plus human labor as the two sources of wealth
Concrete useful labor
Abstract labor
134 leaving aside the useful character of labor we get an expenditure of human labor power
135 concerned with expenditure of human labor in general…of simple labor power