An introduction to the analysis of feudalism

Yet never before have we felt so helpless in the face of the forces we ourselves have created. Never before have the fruits of our labour threatened our very existence: For the first time in history we can produce enough to satisfy the needs of everyone on the planet. Yet millions of lives are stunted by poverty and destroyed by disease.

An introduction to the analysis of feudalism

Today we are publishing the second and final part in which he concentrates mainly on the Marxist concept of exploitation. Exploitation Workers are exploited under capitalism. What does this mean? The law of value analyses the circulation of commodities as an exchange of equivalents.

Marx poses the problem this way Capital Vol. Moneybags, who is as yet only an embryo capitalist, must buy his commodities at their value and must sell them at their value; and nevertheless at the end of the process he must draw more value out of circulation than he puts into it at starting…This is the nut we have to crack!

And capitalists like the ballpoint magnate Reynolds probably did operate with the notion of a standard mark-up. However Reynolds and the other market leaders had to drastically revise their notion of what that mark-up might be as they were confronted with the prospect of a full-scale price war in the s, as the technology for producing ballpoints became standardised.

Capitalists continually try to rip each other and the working class off by pushing up their prices, and therefore their profits. But first they come up against limits imposed by the law of value, the regulator of their system. Secondly marking-up prices is quite simply a zero-sum game for the boss class as a whole.

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What one gains, the other loses. It just cannot explain the steady unremitting flow of new income into the pockets of the rich, as they sit at home and wait for the dividends to plop on to their doormats. The historic dispossession of the ancestors of the modern working class, such as peasants and artisans, from their means of making a living gives the capitalists the whip hand.

Marx goes on, "If, then, the owner of money is to transform his money into capital, he must find in the commodity market a free worker, free in a double sense. The worker must be able to dispose of his labour power as his own commodity; and, on the other hand he must have no other commodities for sale, must be 'free' from everything that is essential for the realisation of his labour power.

We have all been led to believe we are paid for the work we put in. After all, if we work overtime or weekends, we expect to get paid more. If we're put on short time or laid off, we expect to lose money.

Some of us are on piece work, where what's in our pay packet is directly linked to the effort we put in.

An introduction to the analysis of feudalism

That's certainly the way it looks. We'll be investigating the wages form later on. But Marx's discovery was that capitalists don't buy a determinate lump of work done. What they buy is a capacity, and they have to sweat the most out of it they can. Modern bourgeois economists use an efficiency wage theory to explain why some workers are paid more than the minimum market rate.

It's because the bosses want to hang on to scarce skills.

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In turn workers may accord the firm some loyalty and commitment if they think they have a secure future there. Efficiency wage theory accepts that what the boss is getting is a capacity.

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It also argues that productivity can depend on the wage level paid. This turns neo-classical theory which attempts to relate wages to productivity, so 'we get paid what we're worth' completely on its head.

Marx explains, "I use the term labour power or capacity for labour, to denote the aggregate of those bodily and mental capabilities existing in a human being, which he exercises whenever he produces a use-value of any kind"… "The value of labour power, like that of every other commodity, is determined by the labour time necessary for the production, and consequently for the reproduction as well, of this specific article as well.

In so far as it has value, labour power itself represents nothing more than a definite amount of average social labour which has been incorporated in it.Towards a Socialist World." the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men’s brains, not in man’s better insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange.

Karl Marx also used the term in the 19th century in his analysis of society's economic and political development, describing feudalism Classic introduction to Feudalism.

Feudalism - Wikipedia

"The Problem of Feudalism: An Historiographical Essay" at the Wayback Machine (archived February 26, ), by Robert Harbison. INTRODUCTION Feudalism was the dominant form of political organization in medieval Europe. It was a hierarchical system of social relationships where in a noble lord granted land known as a fief to a free man, Analysis of .

Social theories are analytical frameworks, or paradigms, that are used to study and interpret social phenomena.

Feudalism | Definition & History |

A tool used by social scientists, social theories relate to historical debates over the validity and reliability of different methodologies (e.g. positivism and antipositivism), the primacy of either structure or agency, as well as the relationship between contingency and necessity.

Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) - Kindle edition by James Fulcher. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.

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An introduction to the analysis of feudalism

Feudalism in England Introduction Prior to its introduction into Medieval England, Feudalism, a system of government, had been practiced by Normans since their entry into France in AD thereabout.

Feudalism Essay | Essay