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Karl Marx View on Economic System: Capitalism

According to an essay entitled Commodity Fetishism published online at, Marx believed that individuals in a capitalist society organize their lives through the medium of commodities. They trade their labor for money which they use to purchase commodities produced by other people. Producers and consumers have no specific agreements to provide certain commodities for one another, so the social connections between the people involved are obscured. Marx explained that social relationships are connducted using commodities and that the market appears to decide who should do what for whom. Social relationships are confused with the commodity which seems to be imbued with human powers and become a fetish of those powers (Human Societies).

Marx explanation and analysis of the concepts of value, use-value, exchange-value, labor, commodity and fetishism provide only marginally relevant insights in developing a critical understanding of capitalism. The problem lies in the fact that Marx' writings were an attempt to discredit capitalism. For example, Marx believed that the products manufactured with human labor do not possess any inherent value. Value is attributed to products by people, and that value is a human concept rather than a characteristic intrinsic to products by virtue of their utility or physical nature. Marx added that if a product appeared to have a value of its own, this value is the result of its exchange-value. Marx believed that products are not simply valuable, in terms of exchange value, based on the quantity of one product that must be exchanged to receive another. Instead, the exchange value relates to the labor hours required to make each product.

Many capitalists find Marx theories difficult to understand. This


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Karl Marx View on Economic System: Capitalism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:40, August 18, 2017, from
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