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PLSC-118: THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF POLITICS
Lecture 9 - The Marxian Challenge [February 8, 2010]
Chapter 1. Marx and the Enlightenment [00:00:00]
Professor Ian Shapiro: Okay , good morning. We're going to make the transition today to talking about Marx ism, the second of the three Enlightenment traditions that we're going to consider in the first part of this course. And I should warn y ou at the outset that I hav e something of a heterodox v iew of Marx . I hav e something of a heterodox v iew of Marx in that if y ou went and read, for instance, there's a book by a man called Graeme Duncan called Marx and Mill. He basically , his story line is that Marx and Mill operate with fundamentally opposed paradigms, paradigms meaning foundational assumptions, so that Marx and Mill make completely incommensurable and incompatible assumptions about how the world works, and the political theory that can flow from those assumptions. And so to some ex tent they are, he thinks on all the big questions, speaking past one another. That they 're basically y ou can't adjudicate, if y ou like, the disagreements between them in part because he thinks they 're speaking from fundamentally opposed paradigms. I think that v iew couldn't be more wrongheaded. Marx and Mill are creatures of the Enlightenment, both, and therefore we will find in ex amining Marx , that just like all of the utilitarians we'v e already considered so far, they 're both committed to basing politics on a scientific theory of human association, and to committing themselv es to indiv idual freedom as the basic and most important principle of politics. Now, so let's, before we get into the details of Marx 's own argument, let's say a few general things about Marx as an Enlightenment thinker. And if we think about the Enlightenment thinkers first of all as committed to science there's no question that Marx was committed to a scientific theory of politics. If y ou read his attack on Proudhon and the utopian socialists, for ex ample, it was all about attacking them for being unscientific in their thinking. It was all about rejecting sentimentalism or wishful thinking in try ing to understand what was feasible and what was not feasible in politics. So Marx has a scientific conception. Of course it doesn't come within a country mile of the scientific conceptions we saw both among early Enlightenment theorists like Bentham, or mature Enlightenment theorists like Mill. Rather, Marx is committed to something called the materialist conception of history . And the materialist conception of history is the idea that, to use another one of his rather impenetrable phrases, he's committed to the idea of dialectical materialism. Y ou might say , "Well, what is dialectical materialism?" This comes from the idea first articulated by a German philosopher called Hegel that history mov es in a kind of zigzag of fits and starts. The dialectical idea is that some change gets made, some innov ation gets made. This, though, breeds a kind of undertow, a resistance against the change, the first change, and then y ou get as a result of the initial change, the undertow, the kind of pushback, but which isn't the same as a pushback to where
stupid. stupid. and it was guided by the working out of ideas in history . It doesn't go in a straight line. let's say . say . antithesis. Professor Ian Shapiro: Y ou're ex actly right. or as Bill Clinton did put it in the 1 992 campaign. that for a certain phase of history it was essential. or Mill. sy nthesis. antithesis. as I said. or any of these folks because they 're really working in the realm of ideas. if y ou like. Marx turns this on his head. and y es. and then the sy nthesis becomes the new thesis and so on. on its head I should say . not on his head. It's not really important. So y ou get. So what Marx thought about capitalism was." So that's why Marx 's v iew is sometimes called." That's the basic idea behind materialism that ideas. So in this sense it's a v ery different v iew than Bentham.yale. and synthesis. Y ou hav e to understand what the power of forces are in the economy and what the tensions and possibilities are within the economy before y ou can understand any thing else about politics. He thought capitalism was the most innov ativ e. and there was no way y ou could ev en think abut a socialist or a communist society dev eloping unless y ou had capitalism first. but it's not driv en by ideas. So history goes like this. The thesis is a change.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 2/10 . It's not driv en by ideas at all." "It's the economy . stupid. Instead it's driv en by material interest. How many people here thought Marx was against capitalism? Marx was against capitalism? Almost nobody ? Max wasn't against capitalism? How many think he wasn't against capitalism? One? Why do y ou think he wasn't against capitalism? Just get to a mic. and then that working class becomes the agent of a new change that will produce its own antithesis and new sy nthesis. It goes forward in some sense. What is important is the economic base. And Marx would hav e had absolutely no sy mpathy for the Russian Rev olution which was done in a oyc. so that economic interests driv e ev ery thing ov er time. the transition from serfdom to a market-based society . all of that stuff is what Marx referred to as superstructure. Y ou get a new working class comes into being. He thought all of history was ev olv ing toward this supreme highest point of the Prussian state of his day . And in that respect I think one thing y ou should really get straight right away is just what Marx thought about capitalism. For Marx that would be a completely absurd agenda. It's driv en by material interest. So Hegel's famous terms were thesis. but they think that this idea of shaping society in terms of their utilitarian calculus can be used in order to reorganize things. Y ou hav e to start with the economy . culture. it has an endpoint (which he thinks is a communist utopia). right? They 're not Hegelians to be sure. "Well. y es history goes in this kind of zigzag direction of thesis. It's the economy . Marx turns it on its head say ing. y ou get a new starting point.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses y ou started from. Then y ou get resistance to that marketbased society . beliefs. And Hegel's idea had been that history ev entually reaches an ending point. and he thought the ending point was the Prussian state of his day . And if y ou want to understand how a political sy stem works y ou better understand the economic sy stem. and we're going to understand the reasons for this in detail in the nex t couple of lectures. dialectical materialism. Student: He wasn't against capitalism because Marx thought capitalism was a necessary step in getting to socialism. productiv e mode of production that had ev er been dreamed up. "It's the economy . but it goes in a direction. dy namic.
nonetheless. "No.yale. "The free dev elopment of each is a condition for the free dev elopment of all.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 3/10 . is to say . and he thinks we can nev er realize it until we reach this communist utopia. So the takeaway point is going to be that Marx is an Enlightenment theorist par ex cellence. people might say . We can't be free unless we're at one with our true selv es. leads it to maturity . rather. More controv ersially . So we're denied our capacity for free action. Passe people like Duncan it's simply not correct to see him as doing something fundamentally different than the real Enlightenment thinkers such as Mill and Bentham. and ev entually leads it to self-destruct. Marx is all about equality . And ev ery sy stem of social organization before communism. He would hav e said they were completely premature because in the end it's going to be capitalism which is necessary to generate the wherewithal to make socialism possible. and he thinks that that is denied to many people in most forms of social organization. y es. but in his theory of rights and oyc. makes it impossible for us to be at one with our true selv es. He. Marx is an Enlightenment thinker. A second point related to Marx and indiv idual rights and freedoms is y ou're going to see that we're going to go back to our discussion of Locke. And that is the story that he's going to tell us. Marx is an egalitarian. wants to understand the dy namics process that brings capitalism into being. y ou'll see when we come to talk about on Wednesday or nex t Monday the labor theory of v alue. People hav e come up with other metaphors. though. Y ou'll see that when we come to talk about his idea of a communist utopia one of his bumper stickers for that is the claim that." "The free dev elopment of each is the condition for the free dev elopment of all. not in his theory of science. and that's the basic problem. according to Marx . "What? Marx . And related to that. and y ou're going to discov er that Marx is a true Lockean believ er in the workmanship ideal. and when y ou want to see radical critiques of the Enlightenment y ou hav e to go to people like Burke and other anti-Enlightenment thinkers who we're going to be getting to after spring break. and indeed the v ery things that make capitalism the most productiv e mode of production ev er to hav e ex isted in human history at one point. So he has a scientific theory . in his v iew. So he's not against capitalism. We are alienated from our true natures as productiv e creatures by the way in which society is organized. and it's based on this metaphor of the base and superstructure. or the Chinese communist sy stem either. That is to say there are basic contradictions within the way capitalism works. Marx is really a believ er in indiv idual rights and freedoms. he wants ev ery body to hav e freedom. skeleton and flesh and so on. What he thinks about capitalism is that it's sawing off the branch it's sitting on ov er time. But freedom is the most important v alue.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses peasant society ." Most people say . So he wouldn't hav e had any sy mpathy with the Leninist or Stalinist projects. those v ery same dy namics ultimately will undermine it. It's a materialist theory . "Well." And one of the things I'm going to suggest to y ou in my ex position of Marx is that that is basically wrongheaded. but y ou can play with them. But the core idea is that it's the material relations that shape ev ery thing else. a believ er in indiv idual rights and Marx thinking that freedom is important?" Most people say ." So he's an egalitarian in the sense that. which we'll talk about later. that the basic thing that driv es Marx is a theory of alienation from our true selv es. So in that sense don't think of him as simply against capitalism. and he wants to assure it for ev ery body .
we will see. is the first in a long line of people who tried to secularize the workmanship ideal by creating this labor theory of v alue that's going to hav e a rather checkered future as we ex plore it into the twentieth century . and the difficulties it runs into. became steadily more dejected and steadily more skeptical ov er his remaining y ears that. I'v e already mentioned that he was a disciple and critic of Hegel. and we're pretty much not going to deal with that. the German idealist philosopher. We're not going to deal with the German Marx . he was going to see a communist rev olution in his lifetime. and in fact died and was buried there. is giv e a secular v ersion of the workmanship ideal. again. by in large. because his theory of ex ploitation is going to turn on the claim that people are. But then in 1 848 there was another whole series of rev olutions across Europe. but with respect to the labor theory of v alue y ou will see that the main conceptual ideas that go into it are straight out of Locke's Second Treatise and it's straight out of the workmanship ideal. We're going to ex plore Marx as an Enlightenment thinker by means of three lectures. Well. and had great faith and optimism that that was going to be the case. What Marx is going to try and do. after that. in fact. We're not. "So what? Why should we care that people are denied the fruits of their own labor unless they 're entitled to the fruits of their own labor. all of those democratic rev olutions had failed. And rather. and the monarchies had been restored across Europe. failed and the monarchs were back in power. an ev en more radical attempt than Marx to dev elop secular v ersion of the labor theory of v alue and the workmanship model. y ou could say .yale. and the first one is going to deal with Marx and the challenge of classical political economy . what happened to him was Marx thought — y ou may or may not know this. If y ou were taking a course in the history of ideas that had more than three lectures on Marx . but much of his writing until the mid-nineteenth century was inspired by his critique of Hegel's other followers and disciples. So y ou will see that — I was once accused of belittling Marx by calling him a minor post-Lockean.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses entitlements. Now. And Marx and many of those around him thought this is the beginning of the end of capitalism. By 1 832 or 1 833." and indeed that is Marx 's v iew. when we get to the labor theory of v alue. Kings and queens were kicked out of office and democracy came to power. and once again Marx thought may be this is the beginning of the end. going to deal with the y oung Marx . he inv ested in the project of try ing to understand capitalism in a much more sy stematic way than he had done in his y outh. And indeed. If y ou're ev er in London oyc. and at least as fraught with difficulties as the history of utilitarianism. denied the fruits of their own labor because of the way that the sy stem is set up. what y ou would discov er is a lot of attention to his German roots. in fact. but in the 1 830s there were rev olutions across Europe. He couldn't go to France and he wound up in London. Rather. But by 1 851 those rev olutions had all. why do I say that? Because really there are two Marx es. Marx is going to embrace a kind of doctrine of self-ownership and the idea that we own what we make as the basis for his theory of ex ploitation. And Marx . He was kicked out of Germany . So Marx . and he liv ed the last decades of his life in London. dev eloping a v iable secular v ersion of the workmanship ideal is a project with at least as long a history as the history of utilitarianism. So that's where we're heading. And we will see when we get to Rawls.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 4/10 .
so what he did was. It's all ov ergrown and v ery interesting. One. and he saw himself largely as tackling and refining the theories that they dev eloped. we start producing things in a situation where we div ide up tasks and that makes it impossible for us to liv e rounded liv es. and much more important from the point of v iew of economics. Any way . is that the div ision of labor is the engine of productiv ity . was the div ision of labor. But second. So y ou hav e to. That is to say Marx was a follower of Adam Smith and Dav id Ricardo. a fifth grinds it at oyc. and that's where he composed his magnum opus. which he had basically started to shed after 1 848 with a brief rev iv al of interest in 1 87 0 giv en ev ents in France. Chapter 2. at least from his point of v iew. The div ision of labor is really important because it has two features. "Well. The second and third v olumes were put together by his friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels. he spent his last decades working in the basement of the British Museum. his three-v olume work Das Kapital. The more y ou engage in the div ision of labor the more productiv e y ou make people. and the only v olume that was published in his lifetime was actually v olume one. And Smith has this wonderful ex ample right near the beginning of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about a pin factory . There are all kinds of interesting people there. and some of the short pieces about politics that do appear in the early v olumes. another straights it. as far as Adam Smith was concerned in The Wealth of Nations and his followers after him. a fourth points it. Why does it do that? Â It does that because. as far as Marx will be concerned.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 5/10 . Smith has been going around England try ing to understand where the dy namism in the English economy is. a third cuts it. Okay . put together his mature v iews about politics from scraps he wrote here and there. he said to himself. instead of producing things that we then consume.yale. Any way .2/5/13 Open Yale Courses y ou can go up to Highgate Cemetery on the Northern Line. That's ultimately where it's going to go. We're mostly going to focus on Marx as he set himself the task of understanding the dy namics of capitalism after he had pretty much giv en up on his y outhful enthusiasm for the quick transformation of the world into socialist and then communist societies. And what I want to do with the rest of our time this morning is say something about the project of classical political economy that Marx inherited and contributed to. And unfortunately for us the v olumes about politics were nev er written. He say s. One man draws out the wire. and he giv es this description of a pin factory . to some ex tent. It's a v ery interesting cemetery . but basically it was a trajectory from y outhful optimism into mature pessimism. and why he thought getting the basic problems that the classical political economists were try ing to solv e solv ed would enable us to understand what the real conditions were that would ev entually lead to the collapse of capitalism. The most important feature of capitalism. Marx's Intellectual Biography [00:20:27] So we're going to mostly focus on the mature Marx . George Eliot is there. there is Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery . but in fact he was a v ery conv entional thinker for his day . it begins the process of alienating us from ourselv es. It was actually env isaged as a twelv e-v olume work. what is it that people are inv olv ed in — who are engaged in the serious sy stematic analy sis of capitalism?" And here we tend to present Marx as an unorthodox or radical thinker.
the price will go down. Now. "There is no natural price of any thing. The Project of Classical Political Economy [00:25:19] So what was the project of classical political economy ? What was it that Marx was stepping into and try ing to contribute to? Well. A modern neoclassical economist would say . Whereas the trade theorists. To put it on is a peculiar business.000 pins a day . V alue comes from trade. but another is that it's not the case that they were ignorant of the laws of supply and demand. but if they had all worked separately and independently all they could hav e produced was a few dozen. So a big difference between the classical theorists. sorry — search for theories of natural and market wages. and profits. They didn't disagree with that. rents. right? And if there are too many coffee mugs. though. prices. To make the head requires two or three distinct operations. that work. because the way the other three are treated is basically by analogy to the analy sis of pricing. "No. To whiten the pins is another." So they were all sort of say ing. So that basic insight of Smith's. and profits. for Ricardo's refinement. and they counter posed it to theories based on trade. Chapter 3. So that's one reason.yale. prices. It's not the case that they 're ignorant of the laws of supply and demand. It is ev en a trade by itself to put them into the paper. Hobbes. rents. workmanship is the source of v alue. Ricardo and Marx believ ed in the labor theory of v alue. in this manner. and profits to be found. prices. and for Marx 's refinement of both of their arguments in Das Kapital.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 6/10 . So y ou can think about it this way . John Locke." And they gav e up the notion that there's any natural theory of wages. What is the source of v alue? The phy siocrats in France said the source of v alue is the land. prices. that it's the div ision of labor that is the engine of capitalist productiv ity . and profits. but they thought y ou had to hav e a theory of natural wages. Petty — Sir William Petty . and profits. So and we'll see how Marx handles them on Wednesday . who had been impressed that countries like Holland which had so little land but had become so rich said. let's focus on prices. as I hav e it here. but they thought it couldn't possibly tell y ou the whole story . div ided into about eighteen distinct operations. Suppose there is a dearth in the supply of coffee mugs? The price will go up. Now. "What determines prices is supply and demand in the market. There is nothing else to say about prices.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses the top for receiv ing the head. or the phy siocrats' theories that were popular in France. more coffee mugs than any body wants." A modern neoclassical economist would say . Smith calculated that ten workers could make 48. as I'v e said. is. Smith. that somehow it gets transferred to the products. And the important business of making a pin is. They wanted to understand what determines wages. So all classical political economists. As a result of that div ision of labor. one way of describing it. is this idea that there's a theory of natural prices. "Where is the it? What is the source of v alue?" And the English theorists following Locke. and market wages. rents. why would they think there's a theory of natural prices? The reason they thought there was a theory of natural prices was they were arguing with people like the phy siocrats and the trade theorists about where v alue comes from. sets the terms for Adam Smith's analy sis of markets in The Wealth of Nations. it was the search for theories of natural and market — I'v e got theories there twice. rents. prices. May be somebody will realize y ou an drill oyc. all believ ed that the way y ou find v alue is to go into labor. and the modern theorists. rents.
as they looked around them. in that sense. Y ou should just read that as ex change v alue. what is that point? And that's what the labor theory of v alue was designed to giv e y ou. as a giv en. I think a modern economist might call it the long-run equilibrium price. was it had to ex plain the declining tendency in the rate of profit. but still in all they thought there must be something that will tell y ou what the price is when supply and demand are in equilibrium. So v alue with a big V is ex change v alue. and what tells y ou what that point is? Okay . They all ov erlapped in some way s. It was a theory . y our theory isn't going to be worth a damn unless y ou can ex plain why . but that was only going to be a temporary stopgap or solution. of a good theory . So what is the difference between use-v alue and ex change v alue? Well. unless it gav e a credible account of why profits fall in capitalist sy stems ov er time." that's what y ou should think. not a theory of market prices. But in any ev ent. We'll see part of the reason all three of them thought y ou would hav e to hav e imperialism was y ou needed new markets to offset this problem of the declining tendency in the rate of profit at home. it's the long-run equilibrium price. And Smith had an account. They didn't hav e any problem with that notion. but the long-run changes giv en the marginal fluctuations around some point. that there was a declining tendency in the rate of profit. But they thought that supply and demand fluctuate with what it is that people actually want. It's the price of a commodity when supply and demand are in equilibrium. Sometimes y ou'll see Marx uses the word v alue with a big V . It was going to tell y ou what the long-run equilibrium price of a commodity would be. and as far as Marx was concerned. Supply and demand gav e y ou the market price. Now. if y ou like.yale.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses holes in the bottom and then use them to grow plants in. for Marx use-v alue is utility . That's the natural price. as far as Smith was concerned. So the labor theory of v alue was a theory of that. a third conceptual point to make that y ou need in order to understand the project of classical political economy as Marx understood it is actually related to the first point. And so if it was the case that the rate of profit tends to decline ov er time. They 're try ing to understand what — not marginal changes in the sense of a Pareto diagram.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 7/10 . of natural prices. y our theory wasn't going to be worth any thing unless it could ex plain why prices are what they are. and then may be the price would go up a bit because there will be more. Another way y ou can think about it is supply and demand go up and down. widely -accepted empirical fact. and Marx had an account. okay ? And all of the classical political economists were try ing to hav e a theory of that. and second. oyc. It's a distinction that Marx makes between usev alue and ex change v alue. The labor theory of v alue gav e y ou the natural price. but if it's the case that the rate of profit in capitalist economies declines ov er time. That's one way in which if y ou wanted to find an analogy in modern economic thinking to this classical idea of a natural price. A second big problem that framed the project of classical political economy was that they all believ ed. that's what the labor theory of v alue was supposed to do. but I'm just singling it out because people sometimes get confused about it. it can be offset by v arious things and so on which we will talk about. This was taken as a giv en. So one of the tests. So when y ou read "natural prices. The question is. Ricardo had an account. but they go up and down around some point. the theory of long-run equilibrium prices. as far as Ricardo was concerned. They all differed somewhat. They thought y ou had to hav e both.
y ou can drink out of them. A commodity has a v ery special meaning for Marx . right? And something is a commodity if it's produced for ex change. Either things hav e use v alue or they don't. y ou're producing for consumption. It's something that is produced for ex change. It's not going to ex plain the long-run equilibrium price. So coffee cups hav e a use-v alue. first of all. between appearance and reality . With Marx it's. And that's going to affect the supply and demand. So it's the labor theory of v alue ex plains the price.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses That's all it is. But if y ou plant an apple tree and grow apples and sell them. we hav e to understand. So if y ou plant an apple tree and y ou grow apples in order to eat them. "How would the world look if commodification was the only game in town?" Ev ery thing in a capitalist sy stem becomes a commodity . Â Ev en the worker himself. "How would the world look if utility max imization was the only game in town. we can use them to grow plants. like Bentham. So he takes this idea of commodification and pushes it to the hilt. And when we start to understand the dy namics of capitalist production we'll see that the analy sis of the v alue of a worker is no different than the analy sis of the v alue of the pin that the worker produces in Adam Smith's factory . "Well. how capitalist sy stems look to the participants.yale." So there's a basic distinction. If somebody drilled holes in the bottom of them they would hav e no use-v alue until somebody came along and said. not the rare case is that we get it wrong. and in the nineteenth century ." In this sense Marx . The way in which people think market sy stems work isn't the way in which they actually work. we will see later. the neoclassical people shed the labor theory of v alue and so there is no ex change v alue independent of utility . That is the ex change v alue and that is what we learn about from the labor theory of v alue as far as Marx was concerned. if there was nothing else at all?" and so his theory runs. That Bentham say s. And y ou might recall in my v ery first lecture I said that one of the things Marx shares in common with Bentham is he's somebody who pushes the idea he has to the absolute ex treme and then ev en bey ond that. and is not to be confused with the use-v alue or utility of an object. one important difference. if y ou like. "Well. but it's not going to ex plain the price. or v alue with a big V . He thinks he's describing scientifically the laws of oyc. So what we're going to see happen with Marx and commodification is ex actly analogous to Bentham and utility . And he has a kind of binary theory of use-v alue. ex change v alue or price. ev en the worker himself. but in fact y ou are. he said. then those apples are commodities. because the way in which they look to the participants is not the same as the way in which they really work. And that's v ery important because once y ou hav e a div ision of labor y ou hav e more and more commodity production. And what he did was. When y ou're concerned with the classical formulations. but we'll get to that. is an objectiv ist. So it's a little like Bentham say ing. and I'll come back to that in a minute. and may be the most important difference between classical political economy and neoclassical political economy is. and the rare case is we get it right. And that brings me to Marx 's definition of a commodity . "Y ou might think y ou're not motiv ated by utility and all the rest of it. That's getting ahead of ourselv es. those apples are not commodities. is determined by the labor theory of v alue and use-v alue is usefulness. So things either hav e use-v alue or they don't.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 8/10 . So I think if y ou think about those four features of the project of classical political economy it giv es y ou a sense of what was in Marx 's head as he set off to try and understand the dy namics of capitalist sy stems. Again. Use-v alue is simply usefulness." then they would hav e use-v alue.
They ex change those commodities for money . and as I said. which they consume. and then uses the money to buy milk and eggs and so on. A v ery famous passage at the beginning of Kapital telling us that if y ou want to understand why the capitalist winds up with more y ou hav e to understand the source of v alue. in the simplest case. and for the most part they don't. all of these people producing things. So at the beginning of v olume one of Kapital he's basically say ing. in this sense he was completely orthodox classical theorist. "How does it look to the participants?" Well. His emergence as a butterfly must. These are the conditions of the problem. because there's no cheating. right? So the person working growing apples.yale. ex changing the commodities for money and then using the money to buy other commodities that they consume. and then they use that money to buy other commodities. if y ou hav e a div ision of labor. The question is where does prime come from? What makes profit possible? Y ou're not going to ex plain why profits decline. his radicalism comes in later. It's not that somehow the worker is tricked into selling his labor power for less than its worth. But Marx say s. y ou oyc. equiv alents ex change for equiv alents in ev ery one of those cy cles. And the question. if y ou can't understand where profit comes from. sells the apples for money . So y ou hav e these cy cles of ex change. right? So if someone landed from Mars in the middle of a capitalist economy . The transformation of money into capital has to be dev eloped on the basis of the immanent laws of the ex change of commodities. commodity . after all. What is the origin of profit? That's the basic problem. commodity ." So they 're not interested in consumption it doesn't seem. the organizing question of Das Kapital — and it was the question that preoccupied Adam Smith and Dav id Ricardo before Marx . right? That was the idea. buy ing a commodity (in this case the labor of the worker for a certain time) and then selling what gets produced for more money . in such a way that the starting point is the ex change of equiv alents. new v alue is still nonetheless created. "Some people are doing something different. if y ou look ev en more closely y ou'll see that when they do that. So once y ou can understand that puzzle of how. Most people are producing commodities.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 9/10 . must buy his commodities at their v alue. what do y ou actually see? Y ou see people producing commodities. Indeed he's going to claim ultimately that a socialist rev olution differs from all others because for the first time in history . They 're taking some money . when equiv alents ex change for equiv alents. The money -owner who is as y et only the capitalist in larv al form. people understand the social relations that they 're part of. money . On the contrary . sell them at their v alue. the money they end up with is more than the money they started with. And indeed. and y et must not. that's what they would see. and y et at the end of the process withdraw more v alue from circulation than he threw into it at the beginning. M prime is bigger than M. But then if y ou look a little bit more carefully . at least at first sight. y ou see that actually some people are doing something entirely different. and buy ing other things which they then consume. he's paid ex actly what its worth. and so can self-consciously transform them and create an unalienated social order.2/5/13 Open Yale Courses motion of capitalist sy stems regardless of whether the participants in those sy stems understand these laws of motion. y ou look around. take place in the sphere of circulation. ex changing those things for money . then y ou understand the secret to where profit comes from.
And we will dig into those subjects on Wednesday .yale. [end of transcript] Top (#n av i gati on -top) oyc.edu/transcript/808/plsc-118 10/10 .2/5/13 Open Yale Courses know the source of v alue. and y ou can begin the process of understanding the dy namic productiv eness of capitalism and why it will ev entually start to fall apart.
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