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Lecture 4

LABR 1F99 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Wage Labour, Wok, Atlantic Slave Trade


Department
Labour Studies
Course Code
LABR 1F99
Professor
Simon Black
Lecture
4

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Week 4: Understanding Capitalism
Understanding Capitalism
What is the economy?
What is relaonship between the economy and work?
What is capitalism?
What are the origins of capitalism?
How did capitalism develop in Canada?
Next week: paid work under capitalism
What is the economy?
Forget the quarterly GDP stats, the &nancial pgs and the daily updates we hear
everyday about stock markets and foreign exchange
The economy is simply work
It is the sum total of the work we must perform to produce the goods and services
we need to survive and live
Without work nothing happens in the economy
Work can be understood as “producve human e*ort”
We are essenal to the economy
The purpose of the economy
We work because we are living beings and we must work to produce things we need
to stay alive
The requirements of subsistence
But we want more: a full, quality, enjoyable life
We want to meet human needs (its purpose)
An economy that doesn’t meet human needs, is not doing its job very well
There’s nothing more fundamental about an economy’s performance, than whether
human needs are being met
Capitalism: One kind of economy
All economies require wok to be done to produce the goods and services that we
need
But they organize that work (and the distribuon and use of output) di*erently
Our economy today does that is a parcular peculiar way…. its called capitalism
Human civilizaon 200,000 years ago capitalism around 300 years
Capitalism Dened by…
Private property
Legal rightsgovnt/the state
Pro&t
Compeon
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