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Karl Marx's Teachings And Capitalism - Online Paper

Karl Marx's Teachings And Capitalism



Karl Marx: the political economist, revolutionary, and the philosopher, was one of the most influential thinkers of the nineteenth century. Few men have caused such heated debate, manifest through the continued arguments of pro and anticommunists, as he has done. Notwithstanding this element of charisma through controversy, Marx’ teachings are essential for a comprehensive understanding of capitalism.
The keystone of Marx’ theory is formulated in his work, Capital: Volume One. The purpose of the book is to unmask the capitalist mode of production for all to see. That is, from an objective position, Marx critically analyses the capitalist system. It was neither written for the ...

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discourse must begin with definitions and axioms. Since Marx’ investigation of capitalism was intended to be objective and logical, he quite accordingly began with exposition of the key aspects of the capitalist system.
The first chapter of the book is dedicated to the commodity. Marx defines a commodity as “. . . an external object, a thing which through its qualities satisfies human needs of whatever kind.” Because we live in a capitalist society, when we walk through the shopping mall, all we see on the shelves are commodities. According to our current standards, as we live in a capitalist economy, “. . . wealth [of our society] appears as an ‘immense collection of commodities’”. They are commodities because they satisfy our needs – necessary or otherwise. Commodities have a twofold nature, namely: their use-value (or substance of value) and exchange-value (or magnitude of value).
The utility or usefulness of an object, which is conditioned by its physical ...

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labour-time was spent making commodity x, but only 10 hours was spent on commodity y, then commodity x has twice as much value embodied in it as commodity y. In this case, it is clear that we would not exchange one x for one y.
Now we may ask ourselves, “Can a commodity have a use-value while not having an exchange-value?” The answer is to the affirmative. If a thing is useful, yet contains no expended labour-time, it has a use-value without an exchange-value. Elements of nature such as air, water and the sun are examples of this. Their usefulness is clear to us, yet we do not place a price on them for the purpose of sale on the market. Another way for a thing to have a use- ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/4/2004 09:35:30 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 6614
Pages: 25

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