Class 13. Marx 2.docx
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The way in which Marx’s analysis of what would really happen after his
death is not what did happen
Marx Analysis of Capitalism:
Capitalism is a class society – (what we are living) one class owns the means
of production and the other class is excluded from the means of production
unless they are willing to work for the owners. One class takes the unpaid
labour of the other class, they own the tools and the land used etc.
The Factors of production: the thing you mix together to produce things.
Land, capital and labour. In his analysis, if you are a capitalist you own land
and capital, and the workers own the labour. However, labour is not good on
its own. The workers can’t use their labour unless they can get to the first to
factors of production. The way they do this is by selling their labour.
The owners of the means of production take unpaid labour from the others.
How are they doing this? Capitalism is doing the same thing that previous
class societies did. What is different is that you don’t see what is happening, it
is hidden; the relationship is hidden from you by the wage system itself
according to Marx. You think you are getting paid (you are getting SOME) but
you are not getting all of the money that your labour actually produces.
Crucial to his belief: There is a portion that the capital keeps and steals from
you, it doesn’t matter where you go, if you are in a capitalist/labour
relationship you will have your money stolen from you. The workers are not
getting paid to work; they are paying the capitalists to do work (use the
machines they’ve bought and work on the land they own etc.). The surplus
value that is left over never goes to the worker, but to the capitalist.
o Surplus labour: extra money past your earning that goes to the
capitalist and not you. Marx thinks the worker will never get above a
subsistence level and this progress of capitalism will eventually push
more and more people into the working class. People will be pushed
downward into this level
o Necessary labour: the things the worker needs to make to survive and
reproduce (clothed and well fed to show up for work). You will get the
value that is necessary to keep you alive and no more
Marx knows the main way capitalism works is through competition, free
market competition: long-range prices in any industry are determined on an
industry wide basis and they will necessarily have to go down because of
competition. Anybody can enter the market, and do whatever they want in
the market (copy your products, drive there workers harder, install the same
machinery) they will constantly be eating into your profits. Marx is not
saying all of this competition will happen all at the same time, profits may go
up for some people at times but because the market is free, eventually you
will be undercut and someone will copy you and you will be losing profit. If
products begin to fall because of copying etc., the profit must come from the
workers: worker must make more product and work harder, and secondly
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