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marx summary - SPARKNOTES Use-value A use-value is...

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-1 SPARKNOTES: Use-value - A use-value is something that is valuable because it is useful. It can also be a measurement of the usefulness of a commodity. Labor-power - According to Marx, labor-power is "the aggregate of those mental and physical capabilities existing in the physical form, the living personality, of a human being, capabilities which he sets in motion whenever he produces a use-value of any kind." Means of production - The forces of production. This is comprised of the instruments of production (tools, machines, etc.), methods of working (skills, forms of cooperation, division of labor, etc.), and applied knowledge (science, etc.). Mode of production - The economic structure of society that defines people's mode of living. It consists of the means of production as well as the relations of production. Relations of production - Relations between people necessary for a certain form of material production. This is comprised of the distribution of the means of production, forms of possession (collective and individual private property), and distribution of the product. Marx argues that commodities have both a use-value and an exchange-value, and that their exchange-value is rooted in how much labor-power went into them. While traditionally people bought commodities in order to use them, capitalists use commodities differently. Their final goal is increased profit. Therefore, they put out money and buy commodities, in order to sell those commodities for a profit. The cycle then repeats itself. The reason why the capitalists are able to make a profit is that they only need to pay workers their value (how much it takes to keep them functional), but the workers produce more than that amount in a day. Thus, the workers are exploited. The capitalists are able to do this because they have more power, and control the means of production. Furthermore, the workers' character is negatively affected by the system. They don't own the products of their labor, and the repetitive work they have to do makes them little more than machines. MARX (Harrison) Independent craftsmen producing goods for sale helped break up feudalism, but simple commodity production was from buying and selling Capitalism isn’t commodity production because capitalism requires unequal or coercive relationships between people Historical materialism- historical because a society can only be understood in the context of history, materialistic because the theory takes pre-conditions for survival and thus the interaction between human beings and nature which satisfies them Production= human effort to transform nature into useful objects Social relations= interconnections between people Materialist methodology= historical development starting with the interaction between humans and nature for human survival Level of development in productive forces = the extent to which a society develops its capacity to change nature
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Theory of historical materialism= the way production is organized determines the social character of all other
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