Lecture - Marx's thinking on value Original idea of the value of an object or a commodity consists of the natural contribution as well as the labor

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Marx ’s thinking on value: Original idea of the value of an object or a commodity consists of: the natural contribution, as well as the labor expended to make the raw material into the object. Now that there is capitalism, is the way that value is determined any different than the way the classical political economists would have done so? Human beings need food and water in order to survive, and in order to procure these things, people need to labor, either by hunting and gathering, or agriculture. Basic transaction for life. How does this look in an industrial society? Fewer and fewer people are growing food. Then how does a person survive? They must exchange something in a market in order to get their food. The only thing that humans could exchange for food was their labor power. Labor is not a commodity necessarily, but labor POWER is. Commodification of labor. This was a natural commodity that people need to exchange. Can be bought or sold in a Market place. As a result, it becomes subject to market forces. Smith says that wage won’t ever decrease, but for labor, it is like any other object… nothing stopping it from going up or down. Accepts Ricardo’s modification of Smith as fundamentally correct—as wages go up, profits must go down. The origins of surplus value rest in labor market and come from there. It’s rooted very much in the idea of classical political economy. People sell their labor power in order to get food to survive. Those who purchase this labor power are
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This note was uploaded on 05/08/2008 for the course PEIS 100 taught by Professor Mckenzie during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Lecture - Marx's thinking on value Original idea of the value of an object or a commodity consists of the natural contribution as well as the labor

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