Chapter 2 Capitalism, Slavery, and the Economy
Emile Durkheim → Identified institutions as social facts distinguished by the external constraint
they put on individuals.
Social facts are ways of acting, thinking, and feeling which possess the remarkable property of
existing outside of the consciousness of the individual.
John Ramsay McCulloch → “In exerting his productive powers, every man’s object is either
directly to consume the produce of his labour himself, or to exchange it for such commodities as
he wishes to obtain from others.
The Analytics of Capitalist Production
Production for use → Workers produce good C which they consume.
Production for use with barter exchange → Workers produce good C which they exchange for
good C’ which they consume. CC’
Production for use with money exchange → Workers produce good C which they sell for
money M which they use to buy good C’ which they consume. CMC’
Production for profit using wage labor → Capitalists uses money, M, to hire labor, C, which he
uses to make a commodity, C’, which he sells for more money, M’.
Profit is MM’
Capitalists then reinvests profit into hiring more labor to produce more commodities leading to a
dynamic expansion of capitalism.
Capitalism was incompatible with both feudalism and slavery.
Labor Theory of Value → Asserts that the value of products, the price at which they are
exchanged, is set by the amount of labor needed to produce them. It also asserted that income
and wealth should reflect the amount of labor that tone puts into producing useful things, and that
social worth should reflect labor rather than status at birth or inheritance.
Egalitarians → hold that all people, regardless of birth, are entitled to the same rights including
an equal share in society’s product and wealth.
George Fitzhugh → first American to use the word, “sociology”.
Had a real insight into capitalism and the problem of providing care labor in a
capitalist market economy.
Challenged the idea that society’s needs can be addressed through the market.
Challenged the misogynist assumption that only work don't through the market,
only commodity production, creates value and, with it, the assumption that
capitalist economies distribute rewards according to the value of the labor
Exposed a fundamental contradiction within capitalism, a contradiction that sits
at the heart of a system that justifies an unequal distribution of wealth and power
on the basis of the labor theory value.
Equation 2.1: M → C’ → M’
M: initial money C: labor hired
C’: commodity produced
M’: sales revenue
M → C: Hiring Labor Power:
Capitalists need institutions to raise children and to train them to be
When accumulation proceeds, they need institutions to recruit additional
workers either from outside of the country or else by expanding the
domestic labor force.
Capitalists need institutions to restrain wage competition so that rising
wages to not squeeze profits.
C → C’: The Labor Process: