- Two key concepts in this video are the means of production and labor. In your comment, explain how you understand the means of production and labor. Give an example of each.
Means of production are privately owned rather than owned by the laborers and their products are sold in a market for profit. An example of means of production could be small business owners that promote their product on Etsy, the website provides workers a virtual workspace to promote their product which supports the seller by keeping their business running by providing materials to make a product. Since Etsy charges a monthly subscription fee of $15.00 USD and sales tax. This reveals that means of production are a material part of productivity and a tool used in the production of commodities. Labor is essentially the time it takes to produce a commodity and it’s the only thing that can increase the value of a product. This means, that the extensive time a worker spends on a commodity the greater the value.
- Another important concept in understanding social class is value. Based on the ideas presented in Video 5.1, what is value? What gives “value” to value, what makes something valuable?
A product’s value is increased by what you have and the amount of labor that went into it. For instance, Marx believes value is the ‘socially necessary abstract labor’ embodied in a commodity. Value is essentially what something is worth which could range from historical, high to low in price, or sentimental significance it brings. All these examples could impact something’s value.
- How are labor and value related? What’s the relationship/connection between the two?
Labor and value are connected because labor can be measured to determine its value. The more extensive labor to produce a product the greater the value.
- How do you understand the difference between labor and labor power? Hint: this is a key difference, give it your best shot based on what the video says about it, and your own ideas. We’ll clarify and develop it in our discussions, and in my video comments.
Labor is essentially the time it takes to produce a commodity and it’s the only thing that can increase the value of a product. Next, Labor power is what a worker sells to an employer. When labor power is applied it is the only commodity that can increase the value of what you have and is found only in people; the ability to work.
- Surplus Value: what is it? Why is it important to know about, in our study of social classes? Think about an example of surplus-value?
Surplus Value is the excess value produced by the labor of workers over the wages they are paid. the value of the commodities produced by the worker in the course of a day is greater than the value of a worker’s own labor power. The surplus-value doesn’t go to the worker but to the capitalist. Capitalists use the worker’s surplus value for profit essentially. For instance, capitalists can sell the commodities produced for a greater amount than that paid to the worker in the form of wages. An example of surplus-value could be capital gains from property sales. It is important to be informed about surplus value in this study of social classes because it explains the instability and how exploitative the capitalist system can be.