Furthermore, for money to make more money, more and more things have to be exchangeable for money. Thus the tendency is for everything from everyday items to DNA sequences to carbon dioxide emissions — and, crucially, our ability to work - to become commodified.
And it is this last point - the commodification of our creative and productive capacities, our ability to work - which holds the secret to capital accumulation. Money does not turn into more money by magic, but by the work we do every day.
In a world where everything is for sale, we all need something to sell in order to buy the things we need. Those of us with nothing to sell except our ability to work have to sell this ability to those who own the factories, offices, etc. And of course, the things we produce at work aren't ours, they belong to our bosses.
Furthermore, because of long hours, productivity improvements etc, we produce much more than necessary to keep us going as workers. The wages we get roughly match the cost of the products necessary to keep us alive and able to work each day which is why, at the end of each month, our bank balance rarely looks that different to the month before.
The difference between the wages we are paid and the value we create is how capital is accumulated, or profit is made. This difference between the wages we are paid and the value we create is called "surplus value".
The extraction of surplus value by employers is the reason we view capitalism as a system based on exploitation - the exploitation of the working class. See this case study on the functioning of a capitalist restaurant for an example. This process is essentially the same for all wage labour, not just that in private companies.
Public sector workers also face constant attacks on their wages and conditions in order to reduce costs and maximise profits across the economy as a whole. The capitalist economy also relies on the unpaid work of mostly women workers. In order to accumulate capital, our boss must compete in the market with bosses of other companies.
They cannot afford to ignore market forces, or they will lose ground to their rivals, lose money, go bust, get taken over, and ultimately cease to be our boss.
Therefore even the bosses aren't really in control of capitalism, capital itself is. It's because of this that we can talk about capital as if it has agency or interests of its own, and so often talking about 'capital' is more precise than talking about bosses.
Both bosses and workers, therefore, are alienated by this process, but in different ways. While from the workers' perspective, our alienation is experienced through being controlled by our boss, the boss experiences it through impersonal market forces and competition with other bosses. They cannot act in our interests, since any concessions they grant us will help their competitors on a national or international level.
So, for example, if a manufacturer develops new technology for making cars which doubles productivity it can lay off half its workers, increase its profits and reduce the price of its cars in order to undercut its competition. If another company wants to be nice to its employees and not sack people, eventually it will be driven out of business or taken over by its more ruthless competitor - so it will also have to bring in the new machinery and make the layoffs to stay competitive.
Of course, if businesses were given a completely free hand to do as they please, monopolies would soon develop and stifle competition which would lead to the system grinding to a halt. The state intervenes, therefore to act on behalf of the long-term interests of capital as a whole. The primary function of the state in capitalist society is to maintain the capitalist system and aid the accumulation of capital. As such, the state uses repressive laws and violence against the working class when we try to further our interests against capital.
For example, bringing in anti-strike laws, or sending in police or soldiers to break up strikes and demonstrations. An example is the village system of India. A key point to natural economies is that the system of exchange does not form, which means it does not create social relations based on how much one can afford. When exchange emerges there is a separation between production and commerce but this does not occur in natural economies so production is for consumption and relations are based around individuals.
Natural economies have natural relationships instead of class relationships and social relations instead of exchange relations; this is what makes them stand apart from economies based on exchange. Marx believed that the development of capitalist economies destroys natural economies and it is certainly obvious that much of the world has taken on capitalism.
The world only consists of a limited number of natural economies still remaining, peasant communities of Central and South America and ancient agricultural economies of Peru and China. Fetishism only occurs in capitalist economies when the commodity, as soon as it enters the system of exchange, seems to be assigned a value beyond its simple use value. For example, my boyfriend has a fetish with DC brand shoes and goes into stores to look at them even though they are way out of his budget.
Therefore, Marx referred to commodity fetishism as the assignment of imaginary powers to commodities. The emergence of fetishism began back in tribal societies where religious objects were worshipped in the belief that they had the power of a deity and would pass that power onto themselves. So the concept came about when Marx noted the time in economic development when individuals were assigning internal powers to commodities that they formed relations with that resembled tribal fetishes.
Women buy expensive makeup believing it has the power to make them more attractive. Marx recognized that this fetish we have for commodities brings with it a change from social relations among people to social relations among objects. People are ranked in society based on how much they possess, the more you possess the wealthier you appear. People are dominated by the things they possess and are compelled by the feeling that is created when people envision the effect that possessing these commodities has on others who see them as owners of these commodities.
People become valuable only when they can purchase the fetish items of desire. The relation of production is a concept used to describe the connection between the ways a society employs production and the social roles assigned to individuals during the production process. Therefore, when people enter into the workplace they take on a social role and develop relationships. But depending on the type of production process, the roles of production differ.
For example, when at work at the movie theatre one maintains different relationships with each co-worker and manager and how one acts around each person or what kind of relationship it is reflects social standing. These roles, Marx believed, reflect the class relations that exist when the means of production fall into the hands of one class.
For example, if you are the production laborer you are not making as much money as the boss therefore you will be lower with regards to social class. There always seems to be two roles in the production process, the roles of owner and worker, the roles of patrician and slave or the roles of landowner and serf.
In the ancient epoch it was the patrician and the slave, in feudal epoch it was the serf laborer and the landholder, then in capitalist epoch it was the boss and the worker. The role of the boss involves presiding over the workplace and overseeing the workers. The role of the worker is to exert their physical labor into the production process. The workplace forces the two classes together and therefore, into a relationship with each other again subordinating the one group.
Primitive Accumulation is the point in time when one class accumulated all the power. Marx believed this point in time existed in two historical stages, during the development of capitalist society in the 17th century with the coercive acquisition of feudal lands, and with the transformation of agricultural land into private property.
It began precisely when evictions and foreclosures divorced the serf laborer from their land preventing them from consuming what they produced. The accumulation most certainly comes from the build up of power and wealth of the owners of the land. This is because people were now restricted from using the means of production to produce their own livelihoods. All the capital is put into the hands of one class by taking away any form of power; the only means of survival, from the other class and this occurrence is referred to primitive accumulation.
Since primitive accumulation causes division into two unequal social classes it also becomes a turning point for change in social relations and mode of production. For example, when bosses feel they are loosing money they may fire a worker, taking livelihood away from another person, in order to accumulate the money that they would have had to pay that worker for their labor and keeping it for themselves. It is an ongoing incident but divorcing workers from the land due to private ownership was the first stepping-stone.
Capitalism is the term used to describe a type of economy, which emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries during a period of social and industrial development. Capitalism was a time of primitive accumulation when most of the wealth was placed in the hands of a select group in the population.
Essential for the transformation to a capitalist economy was the transition from a feudal society, where agricultural production was dominant and everything produced is consumed, to an industrial society where the aim was to separate production for consumption and employ workers for purposes of creating wealth.
Therefore, the struggle was between the rural economy and a new economy of the city. There are three conditions, relating to this conflict between rural and urban societies, that Marx recognized as necessary for the rise of capitalism.
The first condition was the separation of agricultural workers from the means of production. This allowed the land to fall into private hands, and give rise to only one group of people to monopolize the mean of production. Without the control over what they can consume and with one class owning the means of production, individuals had no choice but to sell their labor on the market for a wage in order to survive and purchase material needs.
Bosses overlooked the production process and workers performed the actual labor. Due to the forced division from the means of production individuals came together to work under the same roof, which led to different classes to form within the workplace with the owners of the means of production at the top and workers under their control at the bottom.
To maintain this dominance bosses use tactics such as lower wages. The third and final condition was the development of a system of exchange, or market, where commodities enter into circulation for buying and selling for money rather than being directly consumed.
Economic production is now for the purpose of creating wealth whereas in earlier economies it was for sustaining life Lecture, February 3rd, After the implementation of an exchange system, society transitioned, from what Marx called a Use Value economy, to an Exchange Value economy. Earlier economies, especially feudal, consisted only of what is known as use-value because the market did not exist and everything was directly consumed. For example, a coat has use value in that it allows us to survive the cold winters and it can do this directly but money has no use value because it cannot be used to sustain life.
These economies only involve the production of necessary products and do not produce needless items not needed for life. Use-value economies are hand to mouth economies, nothing goes into a circulation of exchange, meaning in these societies there is an absence of a market system.
However, with the rise of the market a new form of value economy became dominant known as an Exchange value economy. The change to a market system caused individuals to define the value of a commodity on how it is expressed in comparison to another commodity; this is what Marx referred to as exchange value. This exchange value is determined by objects or peoples ability to enter into the medium of exchange where it or they are sold for money. What differed from use value to exchange value economies is that there is no longer direct consumption.
People could no longer get at the use value, the necessities of life, of commodities unless they purchased its exchange value Lecture, February 5th, One cannot cook potatoes to feed their family at dinner without paying the price the grocery store asks them to.
Another thing that became apparent is the separation of production and consumption, production in exchange value economies is for wealth rather than to satisfy material needs as in feudal society. In effect, production became more specialized and concentrated in larger units known as factories. This meant that the idea of government regulation of business was alien to the prevailing economic beliefs of capitalism.
Quite simply the government left business alone and a business either made it or it did not. That is exactly what happened and the monopolistic trusts began to rise, which decreased the competition needed for natural regulation. Anti-trust laws were eventually passed and allowed for the restoration of the competition in the market.
During the twentieth century wars, revolution, and depression have buffeted capitalism. The Great depression was caused by many reasons, mainly over speculation of the stock market. Roosevelt restructured the financial system with his New Deal so as to prevent a repeat of the excess speculation that had led to the financial collapse in Action was taken to encourage collective bargaining and build a strong labor movement in order to offset the concentration of economic power in large industrial corporations.
Also modern welfare was introduced through social security and unemployment insurance. These were measures that were designed to protect people from the dangers of a capitalist system. Newman The New Deal is an example of a capitalist system?
Also the New Deal is an example of how some government regulation can be beneficial to a capitalist system. Today in the year , capitalism is still the dominant economic system. The question for the future is will Global Capitalization take place and more importantly will it succeed? Global Capitalization is the rise of market capitalism around the world. It incorporates a free market system throughout the world with no economic boundaries.
However the question remains how can this be done efficiently and erase all of the current problems? One of these problems for example could be an American company building a factory in Africa and globalize. However the problem could be that the American company is doing business in Africa because there may be certain regulations such as environmental laws in the U. For Global Capitalism to move into the next stage will require a much more sophisticated look at the costs and benefits of open markets.
Engardio Only the future may decide where capitalism is heading, but if the past is any indication, capitalism will correct itself where needed and succeed.
Research Papers words | ( pages) | Preview A Comparison of Three Book Resources on Capitalism - The first source is a quote from Ayn Rand, and the extent to which capitalism should be embraced in the economy.
Capitalism: Essay on Capitalism (Market Economy)! Capitalism is ‘a system of economic enterprise based on market exchange’. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Sociology () defines it as ‘a system of wage-labour and commodity production for sale, exchange and profit, rather than for the immediate need of the producers’.
Free example essay on Capitalism: Capitalism is the name given to the economic system that incorporates free enterprise and a market system by Karl Marx, the founder of communism. By the textbook definition, capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals and business firms carry on the production and the exchange of goods and services through a complex network of prices . Capitalism is capitalism: essays, term papers, and professional custom essays and the world s best literature. Politically, essays and dissertations of capitalism must be infused by most relevant first ranked search., reports, reviews, essays in economics and politics.
Capitalism is defined as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary ). Capitalism Essay example. whole world faces problem of scarcity. Therefore, capitalism is needed to solve these production decision such as what and how to produce the goods and services and distribution decision such as for whom to produce the goods and services.