Marx - Essay Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Labor and Labor Process The capitalist mode of production is the most prevalent one in the majority of economies today. Before its inception, people were engaged in the feudalism whose products were predominantly agricultural…
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Download file to see previous pages The items produced in farms were used for consumption rather than for exchange in the market hence labor consisted of use value. However, the English civil war saw to the breakdown of feudal societies and introduction of new system of production namely capitalism (Tucker, 3-6). Communal land was subdivided into segments and each piece was owned by an individual (a system of private land ownership). Industries were also introduced which saw the emergence of paid or wage labor and new classes of capitalists and workers. This system of production was much criticized by Marx in his writings, especially A critique of the political economy. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the importance of labor and labor process to capitalist mode of production and determine why and in what ways the capitalist mode of production is antagonistic despite the great importance attached to labor. It will also determine how such antagonisms are expressed and how socialism can overcome this antagonism as predicted by Marx in his communist manifesto. To understand and explore these issues, we will discuss the works of Marx such as A critique of political economy, the economic and philosophical manuscripts of 1844, especially the issue of estranged labor, private property and communism, surplus value, and the communist manifesto. ...
They could no longer work in farms as land ownership thrived. As a result, they were forced to look for wage labor in factories hence exchange their labor for wages, thus, converting labor from use value to labor power. In the capitalist system, labor is very important in production of manufactured goods as it is the source of revenue or profit for capitalists. The products produced through this system were no longer used for consumption but for exchange with money. The capitalist system brought about two classes in society: the owners of means of production who are the capitalists and the dominant class; the proletariat or workers who provided labor to owners of means of production and were the subordinate class (Tucker, 3-6). The commodities lost their use value and could only be produced for exchange, thus, separating production from consumption. According to Marx, the system of exchange determines relations of production. Before, commodities were consumed hence had use value but in the capitalist system commodities were no longer used but exchanged. As such, the exchange was used as the measure of value and not the commodities (Tucker, 3-6). Whoever did not engage in wage labor thus create value was considered as valueless. For example, activities such as care giving and housekeeping are considered values and are not accounted for in the national income since they do not create value. For individuals to be valuable members of society, they had to be engaged in production of goods for exchange and not for direct consumption. In the capitalist system therefore, labor was considered as very important; it had an exchange value in that it was exchanged for wages and was determined by forces of supply and demand (Tucker, 56-67). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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