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SIS-700 CRS Proseminar
SIS-701 IR Proseminar
SIS-705 Social Theory Proseminar
SIS-714 The Conduct of Inqury in International Relations
Scholars and Thinkers
Ferdinand de Saussure
Qualitative Data Analysis
Recent Changes (still working on this one)
A Theory of Power for Women”
A Theory of Structure Duality, Agency, and Transformation
Action Systems and Social Systems
An Economic Theory of Democracy
An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism
Anomie and the Modern Division of Labor
Arbitrary Social Values and the Linguistic sign
Arbitrary Social Values and the Linguistic sign (2)
Art, War, and Fascism
Assembling the Social
Back to the Future Endogenous Institutions and Comparative Politics
Call for a Debate about the Paradigm
Can the Subaltern Speak
Capital and the Values of Commodities
Civil Society and the Political Public Sphere
Civilization and the Individual
Civilizing the Enemy German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West
Class, Status, Party
Climate, Coastal Proximity, and Development
Capital and the Values of Commodities
SIS 705 – Social Theory January 20th, 2011
Karl Marx, Capital and the Value of Commodities
In Lemert, pgs. 51-60
Marx’s critique of the political economy, focusing on commodities, labor and value. Discusses useful labor as a necessary condition for the existence of the human race – “it is a eternal nature-imposed necessity, without which there can be no material exchanges between man and Nature, and therefore no life” (56).
A commodity is something useful – satisfies human wants of some sort or another
As values, all commodities are only definite masses of congealed labor-time and nothing can have value, without being an object of utility.
Two-fold nature contained in commodities – both as objects of utilities and depositories of values
Value can only manifest itself only in the social relation of commodity to commodity
Use value is the utility of a thing, and use-value has no existence apart from the commodity
A use-value has value only because human labor in the abstract has been embodied in it – so how do you measure this value? By the quantity of the labor contained in the article.
Abstract vs. concrete human labor – “we put out of sight both the useful character of the various kinds of labor embodied in them, and the concrete forms of that labor; there is nothing left but what is common to them all; all are reduced to one and the same sort of labor, human labor in the abstract” (53)
The use-value of each commodity contains useful labor, which is a productive activity of a definite kind and exercised with a definite aim
Does this mean that an unskilled laborer, who takes a lot of time to create something, creates something of high use-value? Not so, because have to think of labor as more of a uniform labor-power – homogenous – so no more time is needed than is socially necessary. Therefore what determines the value is the amount of labor
for its production.
Exchange value is the only form in which the value of commodities can manifest itself or be expressed – it is the proportion in which values in use of one sort are exchanged for those of another sort (i.e. how many bushels of corn can I get for 10 yards of linen?)
Exchange value of commodities must be capable of being expressed in terms of something common to them all
To become a commodity a product must be transferred to another, whom it will serve as a use-value by means of an exchange
What is the two-fold nature of capital? He talks mostly about the two-fold nature of labor and commodities so how does this relate to capital (which he doesn’t mention explicitly in these essays)?
How to best understand the concrete vs. abstract forms of labor?
How does one figure out the amount of social necessary labor needed to produce a commodity? And what does congealed labor-time actually mean?
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