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By Karl Marx

The "forgotten" moment quantity of Capital, Marx's world-shaking research of economics, politics, and historical past, comprises the important dialogue of commodity, the cornerstone to Marx's theories.

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Extra resources for Capital : A Critique of Political Economy

Example text

It has been objected that unemployment compensation can by no means be considered as the equivalent of the 'price' or 'value' of a commodity called 'labourpower ',for by definition the unemployed do not sell their labour-power. However, this argument is based on a somewhat mechanistic reduction of the category 'socialized wages'. Nobody could assert that, if a worker places 10 per cent of his current wages in a chocolate box or a bank account in order to provide for the portion of his 'active adult life' during which he expects to be unemployed, that amount of money thereby ceases to be part of his wages.

See below, pp. 225-6. 55. This text is included as an appendix in Capital Volume I, op. cit. See our introduction to this appendix, as well as Chapter 14 of Capita/Volume 1 itself. 46 Introduction as labour expended in the realm of production of commodities, is all wage-labour indispensable for that production process; that is to say, not only manual labour, but also that of engineers, people working in laboratories, overseers, and even managers and stock clerks, in so far as the physical production of a commodity would be impossible without that labour.

Hence, on the assumptions we made above, society will not assign values to products. It will not express the simple fact that the hundred square yards of cloth have required for their production, say, a thousand hours of labour in the oblique and meaningless way, stating that they have the value of a thousand hours of labour. It is true that even then it will still be necessary for society to know how much labour each article of consumption requires for it. production. It will have to arrange its plan of production in accordance with its means of production, which include, in particular, its labour-power.

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