Analysis Of Marx 's ' The Mattress Crisis '

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Marx explains that commodity remains simple as long as it is tied to its use value. When a piece of fabric is sewn together as the cover for a mattress through human labor, the use value is clear and the mattress cover remains tied to its material use. However, as soon as the mattress emerges as a commodity in the case of Kluft Mattress where consumers in New York City demand from Bloomingdale’s a mattress that’s worth $30,000 or more, it transcends into a thing that “transcends sensuousness”. The connection to actual hands is severed when the mattress is tied to money as the universal equivalent for exchange. In capitalist societies, people then begin to treat commodities as if value is embedded in the product itself rather than the actual amount of labor that went into production. In this way the worker is alienated from his product. They become alienated because their own relation to production assumes a material shape independent of their control and their conscious individual action. (187) Under capitalism, the division of labor happens for the sake of efficiency in some ways stupefying the worker with routine tasks designed to make the worker produce products faster, like the seamstress in China sewing jeans that don’t even fit her. Human beings are desensitized to the products of their labor. The capitalists’ totem of affinity is more money rather than mutual contribution to society. In feudalist times, the craftsman traded according to the value of his labor.
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