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Q.8. What is a commodity? Marx does not give the definition of a commodity but an analysis. How would you define the thing he analyzes? By common knowledge of the present, commodity refers to physical object of commerce or trade that is sold and bought for the chief purpose of utility or consumption…
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Download file to see previous pages By analyzing commodity in terms of use-value, the diversity of production is reflected through it since the generated goods are not limited to few modes of use. Exchange-value, likewise, signifies commodity by assigning to it various equivalents that are often relative to human aim and preference. There are, however, occasions when utilization of something ceases or times when people could no longer find accidental worth and equivalence between things and for this ground, it becomes complex to make commodity yield a single compact definition. In association to human labor, commodity is evaluated as the first product of the worker and thus, possesses inherence in this aspect. Consequently, commodity may be defined as an entity of intrinsic value which can be utilized often or be found in the process of trade at times after it has undergone production where it begins to acquire value and be translated between value forms. Q.140. Can you think of determinants of the labor process which do not belong to it as useful labor? With reference to Marx’s proposition, one such determinant can be human labor in the abstract since such labor, though not used in the actual process of creating tangible goods, is capable of value formation. By abstraction, a value found in the output of concrete labor is translated through exchange. Hence, since trade makes it possible to produce value, the labor process need not depend upon concrete or useful labor at all times for it can meet production demands via unseen workers as well. A pertinent illustration of this is manifested in the development of cash economy where Marx observes that: “In proportion as exchange bursts its local bonds, and the value of commodities more and more expands into an embodiment of human labour in the abstract, in the same proportion the character of money attaches itself to commodities that are by nature fitted to perform the social function of a universal equivalent” (Marx Vol. 1, Part 1, Chap. 2, Par. 9). Similarly, labor derived by manual efforts can be made equivalent to certain machines at work which are altogether part of capitalist assets even if no useful labor is necessary to operate them. These tools may be treated as determinants to the labor process since their collective functions are still integrated to the entire scheme of production, affecting the manual labor utilized at stages where mechanical results can determine whether more or less number of labor hours must be expended. Q.184. What is according to Marx the relative value of a commodity? To describe the principle of relative value, Marx exemplifies “the bodily form of commodity B becomes the value form of commodity A, or the body of commodity B acts as a mirror to the value of commodity A. By putting itself in relation with commodity B, commodity A converts the value in use, B, into the substance in which to express its A’s own. The value of A, thus expressed in the use value of B, has taken the form of relative value.” Based on this, relative value may be perceived as measure of significance of an object relative or with respect to the degree of significance of another to which the former is held in comparison. Through linen-coat example, Marx illustrates how relative value may be understood in the light of value expression. According to Marx, value only emerges upon the confrontation of its equivalent and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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