By David Harvey
The unconventional geographer courses us in the course of the vintage textual content of political economy.
“My goal is to get you to learn a ebook by means of Karl Marx referred to as Capital, quantity 1, and to learn it on Marx’s personal terms…”
The greatest monetary drawback because the nice melancholy has generated a surge of curiosity in Marx’s paintings within the attempt to appreciate the origins of our present challenge. for almost 40 years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, changing into one of many world’s such a lot premiere Marx students.
Based on his contemporary lectures, this present quantity goals to convey this intensity of studying to a broader viewers, guiding first-time readers via a desirable and deeply lucrative textual content. A spouse to Marx’s Capital deals clean, unique and occasionally serious interpretations of a publication that modified the process background and, as Harvey intimates, may well accomplish that back.
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Extra resources for A Companion To Marx's Capital
Of the use-values it produces. As William Petty says, labour is the father of material wealth, the earth is its mother. (133-4) With the help of this gendered metaphor (which dates back at least to Francis Bacon), Marx introduces a crucial distinction between wealth the total use-values at one's command-and value-the socially necessary labor time these use-values represent. Marx then returns to the question of values in order to contrast their homogeneity (all products of human labor) with the vast heterogeneity of use-values and of concrete forms of laboring.
The answer to the problem of how skilled or «complex" labor can be reduced to simple labor partially lies, it turns out, in the next section, where Marx follows the commodity into the marketplace and takes up the relation between value and exchange-value. So let us move on to section 3. Section 3: The Value Form, or Exchange-Value This section incorporates, in my view, a lot of boring material that can all too easily mask the significance of the argument being made. Marx sometimes puts on, as I pointed out earlier, an accountant's hat, and the result is a form of exposition that can be tedious in the extreme: when this equals that and that equals this and this costs three pence and this fifteen, then the result is that something else is equivalent to .
Capital, 151. The quotations from Aristotle, as cited by Marx, are from Nicomachean Ethics, Book V, chapter 5. COMMODITIES AND EXCHANGE 37 work. And, always remember, value is immaterial but objective. Now, this creates quite a lot of problems for commonsense logic that assumes value can actually be measured; even some Marxist economists spend a lot of time explaining how they can do so. My argument would be: you can't do it. If it is immaterial, you cannot measure it directly. To find value in a commodity by just looking at a commodity is like trying to find gravity in a stone.
A Companion To Marx's Capital by David Harvey