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politicalEconomy

By J. Sykes

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To understand Marx’s critique of capitalism, it is essential to understand capital dialectically. We see again and again in Capital itself that Marx breaks things down into their contradictory aspects. We’ve already seen this with value, which considers both use-value and exchange-value. Now, as we look at capital itself, we will see Marx’s dialectical method of analysis at work again, as Marx shows how capital is divided into constant and variable capital.

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By J. Sykes

Karl Marx.

In our previous article we looked at what a commodity is and examined use-value and exchange-value. This discussion of value is a cornerstone of Marx’s critique of political economy. The value of any commodity is equal to the socially necessary labor time required to produce that commodity. This is the Law of Value, and it is essential to understand if we are to really grasp what is revolutionary about Marx’s critique of capitalism.

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By J. Sykes

Karl Marx.

Karl Marx begins his critique of political economy in the great work, Capital, with an analysis of commodities. He writes, “The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as ‘an immense accumulation of commodities,’ its unit being a single commodity. Our investigation must therefore begin with the analysis of a commodity.” So, what is a commodity, and why is it that Marx begins here?

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By J. Sykes

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Despite what bourgeois economists, the priests of property and profit, would have us believe, capitalism isn’t the eternal way of things. It had a beginning, and it will have an end. As we begin our discussion of political economy, let’s draw upon historical materialism to examine how capitalism arose.

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By Masao Suzuki

First of four articles

Occupy Boston march, Oct. 10.

Across the country, the movement sparked by Occupy Wall Street has caught fire. This movement, identified by the slogan, “We are the 99%” targets the 1% of rich and powerful who are running the country for their interests and profit, at the expense of the rest of us who face high unemployment, lower wages, soaring tuition costs, home foreclosures and lack of affordable health insurance. In addition, servants of Wall Street are pushing to dismantle Social Security and Medicare and to raise taxes on the poor while cutting taxes even more on the rich. They say that they have no money, but are sending bombers and troops to more and more countries, so that military spending is now the single largest expense of the federal government, costing more than $800 billion a year.

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