marx_tech_and_ruling_ideas 2008

marx_tech_and_ruling_ideas 2008 - How capitalism develops...

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How capitalism develops technology, creating the economic “take-off,” later economists called it Like Tocqueville, Marx’s aims to explain how and why people work so hard in modernity, and produce so much more than earlier societies did BUT Tocqueville: People in democracies honor work, rather than scorn it as previous societies did. They want to be productive. They also want to compete so they can be first among equals. The result is a rising tide that can raise all boats. Marx: No, Alexis, you’ve been fed a line, and you swallowed it whole. Constant competition is forced upon people from above, from the bourgeoisie. The poor don’t reap the benefits! Your “rising tide” will raise all boats ONLY AFTER THE REVOLUTION . However, in the meantime, capitalism develops both the “ means of production ” so that socialism will eventually be possible QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Earlier eras’ justifications for extracting the surplus Previous ruling classes did not have to compete the same way that capitalist producers do: The earlier rulers did not PAY the producers (slaves, peasants, etc.). When they were extracting the surplus that the working people produced (Marx’s technical term is “exploitation”), they didn’t justify it by saying that they were just buying a commodity (labor). QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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How Marx says capitalism’s competition makes people more productive Each company has to sell stuff more cheaply than the others: “buy cheap, sell dear --> Constant competition. It’s Grow Or Die (g.o.d.). The capitalists’ puzzle is how to produce things at ever-cheaper rates so they can always undersell their competitors.
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How can the capitalists constantly undersell their competitors? The bosses can “exploit” the workers either by: Paying workers less per hour (naah, they’ll notice) OR Making them work longer hours (naah, they might die, like the baker girl in Capital) OR
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Da-DAAH: capitalism’s clever solution to the problem of how to extract more surplus from workers Developing technology that makes workers more productive per hour (develop the “means of production”) . This way, workers produce more without noticing that they are producing
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marx_tech_and_ruling_ideas 2008 - How capitalism develops...

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