Most people consider economics a dry subject that generates more boredom than interest; yet if we can explain the method in which legalised robbery takes place under capitalism surely those who are being victimized should find the information most pertinent.
In addition, if it can be demonstrated that all the existing values that have been created in capitalist society are due to the efforts of the working class alone, then the process of legal economic thievery adds a further ironic indignity to the exploitation of the majority by a minority.
Capitalism distinguishes itself from all prior systems because, as Karl Marx explains at the commencement of Capital, Volume 1, it takes the form of a vast accumulation of commodities. These commodities result from social production, effected by the working class, based upon large scale manufacture and distribution, wage-labour and capital.
The commodity, under capitalism, is the economic unit around which the whole of society revolves. It is a product or service possessing a use value and an exchange value: an item marketed for sale or profit. This commodity process pervades all social life under capitalist society.
So once we have resolved the meaning of value and how it is determined the other side of the coin is ready for examination.
How exactly are the workers exploited, and how are profits derived? Here we come across yet another area purposely surrounded with misconceptions and misrepresentations, aided by so-called professional economists who would jeopardize their livelihood if they presented the truth.
Capital is wealth used to create more wealth with a view to profit. Karl Marx divided the capital used in the production process into two parts. One part comprised of buildings, machinery, and raw materials, and is referred to as constant capital because its value undergoes no change in the production process, but is transferred proportionately to the commodity being produced. The other part is called variable capital because it comprises of labour power, which is the commodity owned by the workers and sold by them to the capitalist for wages. In the productive process this labour power has the unique ability to produce a far greater value than that contained within itself.
This quality, possessed by labour power alone, of being able to create values in excess of what it needs for its own maintenance and reproduction, results in the production of surplus controversialists which constitutes all values produced by the working class over and above the values of their own labour power. It is beyond refutation, and must be accepted as glaringly obvious, that the working class must produce values beyond what they receive as wages for otherwise their employment by the capitalist class would be without economic purpose. In this regard we may safely assume that the charity of the ruling class does have its limitations.
The socialist dose not accept the poppycock that it is the “brains” of the capitalist class that are instrumental and vital in helping in the productive process. Neither do we cherish the nonsense that the capitalist provides?” The answer to this is of course, “yes, but whose efforts produced the capital in the first place?”
The merchant calls it profit
and he winks the other eye;
The banker calls it interest
And heaves a cheerful sigh.
The landlord calls it rent,
As he tucks it in his bag.
But the honest old burglar,
He calls it swag.