According to Marx, the treatment of labor as a commodity led to people valuing things more in terms of their price rather than their usefulness, and hence to an expansion of the system of commodities. Marx also observed that some people bought commodities in order to use them, while others bought them in order to sell them on at a profit.
According to Karl Marx, commodity fetishism is the collective belief that the human labor necessary for the production of an object is concealed once the object is assigned a monetary value for exchange. As a result, "phantom-like" qualities are often attributed to such objects, perpetuating the misconception that products possess intrinsic value as opposed to Marx’s view that the amount of human labor expended defines product value (Marx, Capital, 128). In a contemporary context, the industrialization of the automobile industry is a prime example of a commodity fetish, depicting the disconnect between worker and consumer, the expendability of the human laborer, and the apparent mystical characteristics ascribed to commodities.
Marx's theory on Capitalist exploitation is an incredibly deep theory, but to explain it in a nutshell, it is that the working-class people are improperly compensated for their work. The rich, the higher-ups, they continue to expand their wealth by exploiting the working class, the Capitalist system not only allows but effectively demands that Capitalists increase their wealth, long-term or short-term, whether at the cost of the working-class or not. There are three “values” to take into consideration, the use-value, the exchange-value and the
Karl Marx on the other hand, has a wildly different opinion on property. In his most famous piece, The Communist Manisfesto, Marx’s opinion is set up in one line; "… the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property” (Marx in Cahn 885). Marx firmly believed that ownership of private property was a way in which the social classes became more divided, and in turn, a way to oppress the poor. His opinion largely stems from the time period in which he lived (1818-1883), where factory owners infamously underpaid employees for dangerous work in treacherous conditions. However, Marx idea of private property was a bit different from Locke and did not mean things like land ownership or personal items, but the relation of individuals used for the means of production in a privately owned enterprise. Marx points out however, that in this state, unlike the ideas and time of Locke (1632-1704), the laborers do not benefit or acquire any property from their labor. In fact, the capital they are producing is the “kind of property that exploits wage labor” (Marx in Cahn 886) and serves to oppress them and further the division of classes. Therefore, Marx aimed to take this “private property” and give it to the Proletariats in order to change its status from the elite ownership of the Bourgeoisie, to the
In order to discuss the different ways in which economists considered societies could resolve the economic calculation problem and the implications of the economic calculation debate it is important to consider different view points of influential economists from all over the world. Revolutionary socialist Karl Marx believed that the economic
Value is an inherent part of all human beings and should not be decided nor measured by the vast accumulation of monetary wealth. That being said, I do believe we can have a better understanding of human behavior based on Marx’s theory, especially so in modern America, where the value of an individual is mainly based on the amount of money they possess.
The Communist Manifesto starts with the famous quote, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” (Marx and Engels, p. 14). This quote indicates the class struggle evolved from capitalism where mankind focused their efforts on improving society by desiring more physical means to provide monetary value. Since Marx was philosophical materialist, he held the belief that everything is matter, solid and physical. According to this belief, the human mind is simply neurons firing and everything the body and mind is capable of can be explained biologically. Following this principle, the only things of importance are materialistic objects, therefore objects are of the most value. Ergo, Marx’s prominent claim
Marx viewed the ‘commodity’ as the most elementary form of modern wealth. The essence of the commodity is the
The concept of commodity fetishism applies both to the perceptions of normal people and people in everyday life and to the formal study of economics. Economists, both then and now study the economy in terms of the movements of money, goods, and prices, which is essentially, the point of view of the corporation. from this point of view, the social dimension of economic life is considered unscientific and unworthy of discussion. Karl Marx argues that this commodity fetishism allows capitalists to carry on with day-to-day affairs of a capitalist mode of production without having to confront the real implications of the system of exploitation on which they depend.
One thing that Marx and Smith seems to have agreed upon is something economists call the Labor Theory of Value. While they would ultimately come to different conclusions on the use of the value, the basic assumption is this theory is that value is ultimate derived in an object from the labor necessary to produce it. ("Labor Theory", 2008) In chapter 5 of book I of The Wealth of Nations,
The laborer must not sell his services for an extended period of time because then they will undergo the change from commodity owners to commodities themselves (Marx, page 271). When the laborer is forced into this partnership it can be regarded as a form of slavery, which will be discussed later. Secondly, the laborer must be “free” of all other commodities (Marx, page 272). Free can be a misleading term here; it means that they do not have any other commodities that they can sell on the market. Although nature does not produce financial inequality, over time some men have accumulated more wealth than others and that is why they can afford the luxury of hiring workers (Marx, page 273). However, the majority of people do not have these blessings and thus are compelled to sell their own labor as a commodity to these owners of money. If all men had equal
• John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) contains anticapitalistic sentiments which force the reader to question whether capitalism is responsible for the death of the American Dream, even questioning if that dream in fact exists. To explore this further, this essay will examine a number of John Steinbeck’s works in
Marx’s analysis of capitalism begins with an investigation of the commodity because the wealth of capitalist nations is essentially “an immense collection of commodities” (Chapter 1). Marx differentiates between the use-value and the exchange-value of any given commodity. The use-value of a commodity refers to its qualitative ability to satisfy a human need, while its exchange-value is the “quantitative relation… in which use-values of one kind exchange for use-values of another kind” (Chapter 1). Therefore, exchange-value is not an intrinsic quality of a commodity; it is only discovered in comparing a fixed quantity of commodity A to a fixed quantity B. Since differing quantities of these two commodities appear to have the same value,
Marx uses the concept of labor as the social activity to explain how humans are shaped by the interaction of society and themselves. He points out the concept of objectification of labor to describe humans themselves as the subsistence of objectification. “The product of labor is labor embodied and made objective in a
Under capitalism, if you purchase a business and pay people to work there, you are entitled to all of the profits earned. Marx views this as an immoral and an unsustainable socio-political model. The argument for the abolition of private property is as follows. Society reflects the history of class