Modern Capitalism – The Marxist View: Part 2

 

Treachery!! Предательство!!

The feared “Soviet” secret service, the KGB, was always controlled by the the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency of the USA). As such, the CIA — KGB played an insidious and decisive role in the destruction of the Soviet Union.

The KGB’s successor in conspiracy, the “Russian” secret service FSB (ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России) is likewise controlled by the CIA.

Among the manifold CIA – FSB tasks in stifling Arnold Lockshin is to block almost all commentaries sent in response to my material on the internet.

Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the USA living in Russia

ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — по приказу своего секретного постоянного хозяина — американского ЦРУ блокирует почти все отправленные мне комментарии.

И это далеко не всё.

Арнольд Локшин, Политэмигранта из США

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The law of value. As a first approximation, commodity exchange proceeds in accordance with the amount of socially-necessary labor-power expended in each commodity’s production. Not every item is bought and sold precisely at its value at all times, but due to competition and the counteracting forces of supply and demand, the prices of commodities gravitate towards this value. If the price of a commodity is higher than its value, this tends to evoke an increase in its production and consequently a greater supply; other companies start producing that commodity, thereby increasing its supply. Conversely, when supply exceeds demand, prices tend to fall.

When supply exceeds demand, profits also tend to become lower. In any case, companies have an inducement to lower their costs of production and thereby gain or retain an advantage over their rivals.

This type of competition can be avoided by “fixing” prices artificially. By establishing monopolies, through government intervention, etc. However, such circumstances do not invalidate the law of value.

The organic composition of capital. Marx analyzed two forms of capital expenditure: 1) “constant capital,” consisting of machinery, buildings, fuel and raw materials; and 2) “variable capital,” the amount spend on labor, that is on the purchase of labor-power.

Constant capital produces no new value, but merely transfers its value (the product of “dead labor”) into new products. The value of raw materials and fuel are transferred into the new product as they come off the production line. The value of fixed assets such as machinery and buildings likewise is transferred to the new products, albeit it at a slower, usually a much slower, rate. A lathe, for instance, may impart its value to new products over a period of, say, five years – through wear and tear. Each item produced incorporates a small portion of the machinery’s value.

Surplus value. Capitalists invest in order to make money. Capitalists invest in the commodities needed for production (buildings, equipment and machinery, raw materials and labor) in order to make more money than they invest. If everything would be bought and sold at its value, where would profit come from?

Variable capital, the expenditure on that unique commodity which produces NEW value – human labor-power – is the source of capitalist profit. Workers add new value, but they only get paid for PART of the value they impart to other commodities. The capitalists, including the owner, the banker (if he lends money to the capitalist with interest), and the landlord (if the capitalist does not own the property) get the other part of the value – that “extra” or “surplus” value, which the working class creates through its labor, but for which it does not get paid.

For their part, the workers, in order to survive and breed new workers (children), have nothing to sell but their ability to work, their labor-power. Workers who find employment work part of the time to earn their livelihood (say, 4 hours a day) and to reproduce themselves (have children).

The non-paid portion of the working day is that which the capitalist expropriates .is the source of capitalist profits. The essence of capitalist exploitation is the expropriation of surplus value (s) from living human labor-power. The ratio of

surplus value (s) to

variable capital (v)

expresses the degree of exploitation of labor by capital, which Marx called the rate of surplus-value.

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