Karl Marx History of Economic Thought

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HS11-7,756,1.00 History of Economic Thought Christof Zanecchia 10-992-204 Professor Allgoewer Karl Marx: “A context for inevitable social revolution” Of particular interest in Rima’s summary and critique of Marx’s background and social/economic contributions is the quote: “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness.” Karl Marx, in reference to modes of production, which refers to the social relationship present in ownership and the use of the means of production, explains how the effects of the control of modes of production on society are intrinsic in a…show more content…
Marx rejects the classical view of exchange, explaining that under conditions of simple reproduction of goods, money serves only as a medium to circulate commodities. In the classical view, this process of production and exchange involves the exchange of individuals’ commodity surpluses for money, which are used to buy other commodities. This process whose purpose is to satisfy only wants can be represented by C-M-C. The capitalist process for Marx is different in that the capitalist uses money to buy labor power as a commodity whose use value, in turn, is at his disposal for the entire working day. The capitalist then uses the selling price of workers’ products (in which their labor power is set) to return an amount of revenue to the capitalist that exceeds the wage cost of the labor he purchased. This can be represented as M-C-M or “buying in order to sell.” This creates an immediate economic advantage from the standpoint of the capitalist in the M-C-M process because he has the money to purchase the capital labor necessary to create more money through “surplus labor power.” For Marx, this represents a change in the classical perspective from “buying in order to sell” to an attitude of “buying to sell dearer.” This alters the exchange process into an input of M “en style lapidaire” to create an output of more M or “value that is greater than itself” – a process that benefits the capitalist agents
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