- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Reading Capital would help

Posted by: Stoller on December 14, 1999 at 17:59:18:

In Reply to: Must theory be so difficult to understand? posted by MDG on December 14, 1999 at 16:23:21:

: I'm a fairly intelligent, well-educated individual, but a lot of the terminology you employ seems like so much gobbledygook to me. "Organic composition of capital?" What does that mean?

The organic composition of capital (according to Marx) is the ratio of plant, tools, & raw materials to labor added.

Since the industrial revolution, workers rarely produce anything without using many forms of preexisting materials.

To say that a worker 'should get what he / she produces' is to overlook that workers RELY on plant, tools, and raw materials to produce anything.

Since OTHER WORKERS produce these concomitants and since OTHER PEOPLE (usually capitalists) determine the level of technology, automation, etc. that these concomitants have, the worker who 'receives according to his / her work' actually receives according to the level of investment that has been put into the workers' tools (etc.).

: Must I learn a new language (economics?). I'm willing to slog through this stuff, but my life is pretty busy already.

If you want to understand (and discuss) capital, it is imperative to have at least a little familiarity with Marx.

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