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 Post subject: I started simplifying Das Capital.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:59 am 
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For personal reference / and helping others.

This was my attempt at the first chapter.

A Commodity is any thing that is 1] Outside man, and 2] has Satisfying power.

All commodities have two kinds of values 1] Use value [Subjective satisfying power to different individuals] and 2] Exchange value [How much of this commodity would trade for that].

For instance, a kid might like an ice cream more than a private jet. The use value of ice cream for that kid is more than a private jet. However, that will never make the price of jet equal to an ice cream [Unless some technology develops which makes cost of manufacturing jet equal to that of the ice cream].

Now take all commodities possible. In different quantities / numbers, they must be equally exchangeable. For instance, say a trillion ice creams might have the same price as that of a jet. You can, with the same amount of money, buy trillion ice creams or a jet.

But if 1 trillion ice creams can have the same exchange value / trade value for 1 jet, there has to be something same underlying 1 trillion ice creams and 1 jet. Which makes trillion ice creams "worth" equal to one jet.

What is that thing?

The hint has been given - Unless some technology develops which makes cost of manufacturing jet equal to that of the ice cream.

In other words, unless it becomes "as laborious" [Simplified but accurate] to produce 1 Jet as easy it is to produce 1 cup of ice cream.

Thus the source of trade value - the thing that determines how much of this would exchange for how much of that - is the labor that has gone into that commodity.

But this is not just "any kind of labor".

Because in a capitalist society, since masses are involved in manufacturing a commodity, someone's individual raise or fall in productivity will have next to zero effect in the overall production process. The mass section will have to match it's productivity in synchronization. A collectivization of labor power.

Hence it is the rough average of the productive power of one section of society involved in production that would determine the "amount of labor" that has gone into the commodity.

That is called as "Socially necessary labor time". Which determines the "trade value" of the quantity of one commodity in exchange of another.

"Some people might think that if the value of a commodity is determined by the quantity of labour spent on it, the more idle and unskilful the labourer, the more valuable would his commodity be, because more time would be required in its production. The labour, however, that forms the substance of value, is homogeneous human labour, expenditure of one uniform labour power. The total labour power of society, which is embodied in the sum total of the values of all commodities produced by that society, counts here as one homogeneous mass of human labour power, composed though it be of innumerable individual units. Each of these units is the same as any other, so far as it has the character of the average labour power of society, and takes effect as such; that is, so far as it requires for producing a commodity, no more time than is needed on an average, no more than is socially necessary. The labour time socially necessary is that required to produce an article under the normal conditions of production, and with the average degree of skill and intensity prevalent at the time.

We see then that that which determines the magnitude of the value of any article is the amount of labour socially necessary, or the labour time socially necessary for its production. Each individual commodity, in this connexion, is to be considered as an average sample of its class"

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https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... h01.htm#S1

Hence, when it comes to trade, we can ignore the "use value", or subjective satisfying power of a commodity among different individuals, and should be concerned only with the "trade value", the exchange value - how much of this will exchange for how much of that.


Please help me if I am going wrong somewhere. Thanks..


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 Post subject: Re: I started simplifying Das Capital.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:31 am 
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An apple is an object "outside man" and has a "satisfying power." An apple only becomes a commodity under certain social conditions, the conditions being that a) it has become private property; it is made an object for exchange.

I strongly recommend that you not try to simplify Marx, or Capital.
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 Post subject: Re: I started simplifying Das Capital.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:18 pm 
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As Arty said, a commodity must be intended for exchange in order to be a commodity at all. The fact that the commodity is "outside man" is what enables the commodity to be alienated, or exchanged.

The use-value of a commodity encompasses all of the physical and chemical etc. characteristics of the object, and so that necessarily leaves us with an explicitly social characteristic to explain exchange-value. This also serves to explain why the individual labour power is nothing, the social labour power is all, because we are dealing with an explicitly social characteristic when dealing with exchange-value.

Other than that it looks fine, but there's a lot left out from chapter 1 here. If you really want to get in to it, I'd recommend reading the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... /index.htm

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