A Companion To Marx's Capital by David Harvey

By David Harvey

The novel geographer publications us during the vintage textual content of political economy.

“My goal is to get you to learn a e-book by way of Karl Marx known as Capital, quantity 1, and to learn it on Marx’s personal terms…”

The greatest monetary situation because the nice melancholy has generated a surge of curiosity in Marx’s paintings within the attempt to appreciate the origins of our present main issue. for almost 40 years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, turning into one of many world’s so much optimal Marx students.

Based on his contemporary lectures, this present quantity goals to carry this intensity of studying to a broader viewers, guiding first-time readers via a desirable and deeply profitable textual content. A better half to Marx’s Capital bargains clean, unique and infrequently serious interpretations of a publication that modified the process historical past and, as Harvey intimates, may possibly accomplish that back.

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These magnitudes vary continually, independently of the will, foreknowledge and actions of the exchangers. Their own movement within society has for them the form of a movement made by things, and these things, far from being under their control, in fact control them. (167-8) Thus Marx begins his attack on the liberal concept of freedom. The freedom of the market is not freedom at all. It is a fetishistic illusion. Under capitalism, individuals surrender to the discipline of abstract forces (such as the hidden hand of the market made much of by Adam Smith) that effectively govern their relations and choices.

No, in fact, what you see is the lettuce, what you see is your money, you see how much, and you make tangible decisions based on that information. This is the significance of the phrase "appear as what they are": it really is this way in the supermarket, and we can observe it so, even as it masks social relations. This fetishism is an unavoidable condition of a capitalistic mode of production, and it has many implications. For example, people do not "bring the products of their labour into relation with each other as values because they see these objects merely as the material integuments of homogeneous human labour.

Marx is not terribly interested in the supply and demand relation. He wants to know how to interpret commodity­ exchange ratios between, say, shirts and shoes, when supply and demand are in equilibrium. We then need a different kind of analysis which points to value as congealed elements of this social substance called socially necessary labor-time. We have, without noticing it, tacitly abstracted from supply and demand conditions in the market in order to talk about commodity-values (with supply and demand in equilibrium) as socially necessary labor-time.

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