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Marx Commodities and Ideologies.doc

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Western University
Sociology 2240E
Brendan Murphy

Commodities and Ideologies: Marx 2 Lecture 4 Main Points: - Marx’s mode of production - Commodity production - Fetishism of commodities - Ideology Foundation and Superstructure - Every society has a foundation and a superstructure o Like a the shell of a home and everything that you’d drape over/inside of that o Economic foundation: definite relations indispensable and independent of will o Superstructure: peoples values, conscious thought, and most ideologies ex. politics, laws, etc.  Being told that inequality is bad  we feel it’s bad because of the contents of the superstructure Mode of Production - Mode: overarching concept that is the combination - Means: (sometimes called forces) the tools/implements used to produce life and goods - Relations: the social roles undertaken by different groups in a production process  how things act within the means  who controls what, who does what, and why Capitalism (Industrial) - Marx argues that the industrial revolution formalized a new way of extracting surplus value o Surplus is built has a safety bed  in case something goes wrong, or a vacation o Whoever controls the surplus value has a lot of power  can chose when to work - Means: concentrated in private ownership o You don’t know who exactly you’re working for - Relations: two classes emerge  the owners of the means of production (the bourgeoisie) and the working class (the proletariat) Capitalist mode of production 1. Produces commodities: 2. Fundamentally changes the relationship of labour 3. New ideological apparatus in the super structure 4. Found in the early and the late Marx Commodities - Capitalism is unique because it only produces commodities o Commodities are made to be sold o They’re also disassociated from the labour that produced them  Think about Foxconn being fucking assholes, we don’t really think about that o They still gain their value through their use and their labour time spent in their production o Though every object has a labour time, not everything has a use  If it has a use it can be either a product or a commodity  A product
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