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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elk Lake, Oregon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the essay, Ben. I always appreciate the statistics as well. But There is one thing that is absent from the analysis, something that is a major part of the problem, in fact, the crux of the problem.

In capitalist society, the production of commodities for sale is the dominant activity. Certain people own the means by which these commodities are produced and the actual commodity itself.

These same people control the labor process and that includes the use of the human being whose labor power they have bought. It is through the process of production that wealth is created in such a society.

The capitalist pays the workers less in wages than the value we produce in the labor process. So the commodity contains within it labor power that is paid for and labor power that is not. This surplus value contained within the commodity is the source of the capitalist's profit and can only be realized by the sale. (You wonder why we live in a 24 hour marketplace)

Consequently, this porblem of overproduction/overcapacity is an inherent problem of the capitalist system, workers can never buy back the total of what we produce. As capitalism also develops technology and more efficient ways of increasing the productivity of labor, the composition of the capitals that are expended in the productive process changes.

Constant capital rises at the expense of variable (labor power). So the ability to produce more increases as the ability of workers to buy it back also increases.

The issue is the ownership of the productive forces and that production is not for use but for profit, or exchange value as Marx explains.