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Karl Marx's Study of Philosophy and Economics

"The price of his work will therefore be determined by the price of the necessary means of subsistence". For Marx, these were the general laws that govern wages. The larger part of the picture, capital, consists of "raw materials, instruments of labour, and means of subsistence of all kinds, which are employed in producing new raw materials, new instruments, and new means of subsistence."5

In other words, "labourpower" acts to create accumulated labor, and accumulated labor serves to produce capital. However, humans operate not only in the materialistic sense of labor, but in social relations with one another. Marx called this the "social relations of production" and believed that capital was also a part of that social relationship. Capital is a "bourgeois relation of production" since the workers sell the only commodity they own, their labor, for subsistence wages in order to enrich the capitalist. "Capital, consequently, is not only a sum of material products, it is a sum of commodities, of exchange values, of social magnitudes."6

The worker, then, must sell his labor for the means of subsistence. However, since the wage is so low, the worker must consequently consume whatever he makes in the immediate form of food, clothing, or rent  leaving nothing for himself. Since the capitalist market strives to increase profit and capital, it follows that increase of capital, therefore, is increase of the proletariat. Furthermore, since only a decrease in wages will result in an increase in profit, the general law that determines the relationship between wages and capital will also result in the continued enslavement of the worker. Thus, ". . . wealth present in the form of money can be exchanged for the objective conditions of labour only because and if these are separated from labour itself." In the same vein, as productive capital increases, the more it subsumes the division of labor for the worker, thus forcing him to sell...

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Karl Marx's Study of Philosophy and Economics. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:42, August 19, 2017, from
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