“Wage-Labor and Capital” K.Marx

Topics: Karl Marx, Marxism, Socialism Pages: 4 (1159 words) Published: August 10, 2008
“Wage-Labor and Capital” is for all intents and purposes an in-depth economic and scientific observation on how capitalist economy works, why it was exploitative, and ultimately why it would eventually implode from within. Some of the main topics that the book examines are about labour power and labour, and how labour power becomes a commodity. Beyond that the book explores how capital and Capitalism do not service any purpose other than to gain more of it and the connection between capital and working class. Meaning of Marx’s Statement and His Argument

In his paper “Wage Labour and Capital,” Karl Marx (1849) writes:
[An] increase of capital is [an] increase of the proletariat, that is, of the working class…[C]apital and wage labour are two sides of one and the same relation. The one conditions the other, just as usurer and squanderer condition each other. (p. 210; italics in original) The workers, who own no means of production of their own, must seek jobs in order to live. They get hired by a capitalist and work for him, producing some sort of goods or services. These goods or services then become the property of the capitalist, who sells them and gets a certain amount of money in exchange. One part of the wealth produced is used to pay the workers' wages, while the other part (surplus value) is split between the capitalist's private takings (profit), and the money used to pay rent, buy supplies and renew the forces of production. Thus, the wealth has been consumed reproductively for the capitalist and unproductively for the worker, because the value of the wealth he exchanged for the means and substitutes, and, therefore, lost it forever. The only way to get money for the worker is to repeat the exchange of his labour power to wage with capitalist. Therefore, according to Marx, “capital presupposes wage-labor; wage-labor presupposes capital. They condition each other; each brings the other into existence.” (Marx, 1849). A worker produces not only...

References: Heilbroner, R. (1999), The worldly philosophers: The lives, times, and ideas of the great economic thinkers. Simon and Schuster.
Marx, K. (1849). Wage labor and capital. Retrieved May 10, 2008 from University of Redlands, Course BUAD 610-Context for Contemporary Business.
Marx, K. (1849). Wage labor and capital. Retrieved May 11, 2008 from http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/
Marx, K. and Engels, F. Collected Works. Progress, Moscow and Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1975.
Marx, K. and Engels, F. (1888). The Communist Manifesto. Retrieved May 10, 2008 from http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/index.htm
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