Karl Marx Capital Volume I Ch 1.2 Notes
Karl Marx Capital Volume I Ch 1.2 Notes MGT 248
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This 3 page Study Guide was uploaded by Shannon Panagopoulos on Sunday October 11, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to MGT 248 at DePaul University taught by Daniel Pepe in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 52 views. For similar materials see business ethics in Ethics at DePaul University.
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Date Created: 10/11/15
12 The Dual Character of the Labor Embodied in Commodities Pgs 131137 lnitialy the commodity appeared to us as an object with a dual character possessing both usevalue and exchange value 131 Later we nd that labor also has a dual character insofar as it nds its expression in value it no longer possesses the same characteristics as when it is the creator of usevalues 132 Marx was the rst to point out and examine critically this twofold nature of the labor contained in commodities 132 EX 2 commodities 10 yards of linen W and a coat 2W pg 132 The coat is a usevalue that satis es a particular need a speci c kind of productive activity is required to bring it into existence This activity is determined by its aim mode of operation object means and result quotUseful laborquot abbreviated expression for labor whose utility is represented by the usevalue of its product or by the fact that its product is a usevalue In this connection we only consider its useful effect 132 As the coat and linen are qualitatively different usevalues so are the forms of labor through which their existence is mediated tailoring and weaving 132 If the usevalues were not qualitatively different hence not the products of qualitatively different forms of useful labor they would be absolutely incapable of confronting each other as commodities coats can t be exchanged for coats one usevalue cannot be exchanged for another of the same kind 132 The totality of heterogeneous usevalues or physical commodities re ects a totality of similarly heterogeneous forms of useful labor whichin order genus species and variety in short is a social division of labor 132 this division of labor is a condition necessary for commodity production the converse is not true 132 commodity production is not a necessary condition for the social division of labor labor is systematically divided in every factory but the workers do not bring about this division by exchanging their individual products only the products of mutually independent acts of labor performed in isolation can confront each other as commodities quotthe use value of every commodity contains useful labor carried on with a de nite aim Use values cannot confront each other as commodities unless the useful labor contained in them is qualitatively different in each case In a society whose products generally assume the form of commodities ie in a society of commodity producers this qualitative difference between the useful forms of lanor which are carried out independently and privately by individual producers develops into a complex system a social division of laborquot 132133 summary Back to example it is moreover a matter of indifference whether the coat is worn by the tailor or by his customer 133 in both cases it acts as usevalue so too the relation between the coat and the labor that produced it is not in itself altered when tailoring becomes a special trade an independent branch of the social division of labor 133 Labor then as the creator of sevalues as useful labor is a condition of human existence which is independent of all forms of society it is an eternal natural necessity which mediates the metabolism between man and nature and therefore human life itself 133 Usevaues are combinations of two elements the material provided by nature and labor if we subtract the total amount of useful labor of different kinds which is contained in the coat linen etc a material substratum is always left 133 This substratum is furnished by nature without human intervention when man engages in production he can only change the form of the materials of nature 133 Labor is therefore not the only source of material wealth ie of the usevalues it produces 134 Since Coat 2W Linen W we assumed the coat is worth 2X the worth of the Hnen134 Taioring and weaving are 2 qualitatively different forms of labor These 2 modes of labor are only modi cations of the labor of the same individual change in the form of labor will take place but not without friction 134 If we leave aside the determinate quality of productive activity and therefore the useful character of the labor what remains is its quality of being an expenditure of human laborpower 134 The value of a commodity represents human labor pure and simple and the expenditure of human labor in general 135 Simpe average labor expenditure of simple laborpower 135 varies in character in different countries and at differnet cultural epochs but in a particular society it is give More complex labor counts only as intensi ed or rather multiplied simple labor so that a smaller quantity of complex labor is considered equal to a larger quantity of simple labor 135 The various proportions in which different kinds of labor are reduced to simple labor as their unit of measurement are established by a social process that goes beyond the backs of the producers these proportions therefore appear to the producers to have been handed down by tradition 135 in the interest of simpli cation we shall henceforth view every form of labor power directly as simplelabor power by this we shall simply be saving ourselves the trouble of making the reduction 135 In itself an increase in the quantity of usevalues constitutes as increase in material wealth 136 nevertheess an increase in the amount of material wealth may correspond to a simultaneous fall in the magnitude of its value 135136 this contradictory movement arises out of the twofold character of labor Usefu labor becomes a more or less abundant source of products in direct proportion as its productivity rises or falls 137 The same labor therefore performed for the same length of time always yields the same amount of value independently any variations in productivity 137 but it provides different quantities of usevalues during equal periods of time more if productivity rises less if it falls 137 on one hand all labor is an expenditure of human laborpower in the physiological sense and it is in this quality of being equal or abstract human labor that it forms the value of commodities 137 on the other hand all labor is an expenditure of human laborpower in a particular form and with a de nite aim and it is in this quality of being concrete useful labor that it produces usevalues 137
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