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SOCA01H3 Lecture Notes - Antisocial Personality Disorder, Internal Combustion Engine, Labour Power

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Ivanka Knezevic

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Work and the economy
Based on private ownership of the means of production (land, raw materials, factories,
Capitalists and workers are involved in relationships of unequal, legally free but
economically coercive exchange (capitalists control the means of production, workers
have no choice but to sell their labor).
Workers are paid as little as possible and capitalists try to extract the most amount of
work possible in a working-day.
Do capitalists buy and workers sell contractually specified labor or labor power (a
worker’s total capacity for labor)
Dominant ideology denies that employees care about their work (only owner’s care).
Goal of production: maximizing profits (surplus value), not producing use value.
Domination of market and money as means of distribution
Dominant form of production in capitalism
Use of new forms of energy: water, steam, internal combustion, nuclear (manufactory
production uses only human and animal energy).
Machine technology
Large-scale (mass) production.
Increasingly detailed division of labor, therefore increasing use of unqualified, cheap
labor: women and children.
Increasing productivity of labor: the amount of goods a worker produces in a unit of time.
Early capitalism
Sugiman: family capitalism
Naiman: free enterprise/ laissez-faire capitalism (state intervention limits the activity of
enterprises only minimally)
A large number of small to medium firms compete in a market
No buyer or seller can significantly influence prices by withdrawing from the market.
“Honesty is the best policy” only true in early capitalism and only true in small markets,
since there will be constant communication, good reputation for many generations. You
can’t fool/ lie to anyone since the people know everything about you anyways.
Attempts to maximize profit cause anarchy of production, which causes periodic crisis of
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