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SOCL 4471 Exam 1 Notes

SOCL 4471 Exam 1 Notes - Karl Marx I Marx He was a critic...

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Karl Marx I. Marx: - He was a critic of the economic system (industrial capitalism). - He viewed societies as founded on differing material bases (economic bases). - He vied societies as historically moving from 1 economic stage of development to another; but in each stage there developed conflicts between those who assert their right to control property (classes). - 6 Socioeconomic Stages : Hunting/Gathering Societies: simple division of labor (gender); resources held in common/tribal ownership (private property doesn’t exist); essentially, classless (little conflict). Ancient Societies (Greek/Roman): production based on property in slaves; major social classes were patricians (slave owners), slaves themselves (major producers) and plebians (not slaves and not slave owners); 3 sided conflict. Feudal Society (European Middle Ages): production based on land and laborers legally bound to it; major classes were landowning aristocracy, serfs, urban artisans/merchants; multiplicity of conflict. Capitalist Society (Industrial Revolution): only one Marx and Engels knew; property is industrial capital; major classes are those who own the means of production (bourgeois) and those who do not, who are forced to sell their labor to stay alive (proletariat). Communist Society: Socialist Society: poses a problem as a pure type; for Marxists it is but a transitional stage to the “high form” (communism). - Essentially Marx is contending that conflict is economic and between economic classes. II. Instrumental Marxist - interested in the ruling class and the bourgeois. - The poor is the dangerous class, bourgeois is the most threatened by them because they are the most likely to participate in threatening behavior. - The bourgeois created the conditions of the poor; the actions of the bourgeois are equally predatory as the poor. - Marx’s Labor Theory of Value : Commodity - an object outside of us, a thing that by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. Each commodity has unique characteristics. Each commodity is the product of labor that produces the commodity for a particular use. Originally products had use-value (satisfied needs and wants that we had). Each commodity is qualitatively different from others (in terms of what needs to commodity satisfies in us). Each is qualitatively and quantitatively different from every other commodity.
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But under capitalism products are exchanged on the open market and communicate exchange-value. i. Commodities are exchanged, not on the basis of their inherent utility, but on the basis of their (price) value. ii. Labor power and time required to produce the commodity give value to exchange-value products. iii. Because of this, it is possible for a qualitatively unequal product to become quantitatively equal if they both have the same amount of labor power and time.
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