oduction of commodities, "object[s] that satisf[y] some human want," constitutes a system of social relations and this system is intrinsic to the form of each society (303). Once commodities are exchanged, however, they are deprived of their use value and assume exchange-value (or, simply, value) alone. The only property commodities for exchange share is that of being the products of "human labour in the abstract" and their value is determined by the amount of labor that has gone into their production (305).
Thus far Marx's analysis deals with the macro-level view of human self-development that moves history forward along an inevitable path. Although this is not an entirely deterministic conception, and there are choices to be made all along the way, at this point Marx modifies his approach as he shifts to the micro-level view of the effects of this capitalist social system of production on the worker. The relative indifference of the capitalist toward the labor-power commodity, i.e., toward the worker, is a constant theme that grows through the discussion of the types of surplus-value that can be produced in this system. These types are absolute surplus-value (achieved by lengthening the work-day) and relative surplus-value (achieved by curtailing the labor-time needed for production) and, in either case, the capitalist views this merely as a matter of using the most efficient means to increase surplus value and, thereby, increase his accumulated capital. Thus, with the need to keep all costs low, the worker is kept at subsistence wages (and increasingly in danger of becoming altogether redundant), and conditions in the workplace are never better than are minimally necessary to produce the required number of the commodity being manufactured. As Marx sees it, there already exists a social division of labor, and since "manufacture carries this social separation of branches of la