Key learnings: Les Capital, Karl Marx

Le Capital, Karl Marx

Core idea

Individuals purely focused on maximizing return on capital through combination of commodities and human labor to generate newer forms of commodities cannot be trusted to fairly remunerate producers of human labor in a sustainable manner.

Deep dive

Commodities are comprised of natural resources and human productivity

Types of value that can be attributed to commodities

  • Use value: actualized when commodity is consumed
  • Exchange value: actualized when commodity is exchanged for another

There is a subset of commodity of which use value is so universal it assumes universal exchange value for every individual operating within the market overtime. A good example is gold which becomes associated with the concept of money.

Money forms with inherent use value like gold gets inevitably replaced token forms guaranteed by governments like the dollar overtime. The reason can be attributed to wear and tear of money forms like the gold coin where overtime a pound (of gold) in the form of a gold coin might not actually contain an actual pound of gold.

Accumulation of Capital can be attributed to prolonged periods of under consumption by an individual of the use value he has successfully produced and exchanged.

Historical context

This doctrine was written during the time of the industrial revolution in England when the society is still in the midst of figuring out the core tenants of employment, namely standard working hours and minimal wage levels.

Related readings

  • Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  • The wealth of nations, Adam Smith
  • Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler

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