Surplus Value, Theory Of

Surplus Value, Theory Of
   Surplus value is a central notion in Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalism and his theory of exploitation. Marx bases his theory of surplus value on the labor theory of value which assumes the value of goods to be determined by the relative quantity of labor embodied in them. Marx seizes on this insight, but goes beyond it to explain the source of profit. He begins his account of the theory of surplus value by examining what he takes to be the cornerstone of capitalism, namely the commodity. A commodity is something that is produced for exchange rather than for direct use by its producer. A commodity combines two aspects: use value and exchange value, the former referring to the use for which a commodity is produced (the want satisfied by the commodity) and the latter being what the commodity can be exchanged for. Marx poses the question, “If commodities exchange according to the value of the amount of labor embodied in them, where does the profit come from?” In other words, if everything sells for its value, how can there be any increment of value or profit?
   According to Marx, the answer lies with the unique character of one particular commodity, labor power. The worker in capitalism has one commodity he can sell, labor power, his capacity to work, and this commodity, as with all others, has an exchange value equivalent to the amount of labor required to produce it. The value spent on producing labor is whatever is required to keep the worker alive and sufficiently skilled to perform his job, in other words subsistence and training. The “natural wage” is subsistence, varied by historical and moral norms in any given society. Surplus value arises because there is a difference between this value of labor power, the subsistence wage modified according to social norms and conditions, and the value which the worker creates with his labor power in the process of production. A worker might spend half of his working time producing the value of his labor power, and the rest spent producing additional or surplus value. This division of working time into necessary labor time and surplus labor time highlights the source of surplus value and ultimately of profit in the capitalist system. The extraction or appropriation of surplus value from the worker by the capitalist is called exploitation.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Surplus value — is a concept created by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy, where its ultimate source is unpaid surplus labor performed by the worker for the capitalist, serving as a basis for capital accumulation.The German equivalent word Mehrwert… …   Wikipedia

  • surplus value — ➔ value1 * * * surplus value UK US noun [U] ► ECONOMICS the difference between the amount a worker is paid and the value the worker adds to the goods or services produced: »In Marxist theory, the capitalist, after paying wages, becomes the owner… …   Financial and business terms

  • surplus value — (in Marxian economics) the part of the value of a commodity that exceeds the cost of labor, regarded as the profit of the capitalist. [1885 90] * * * ▪ economics       Marxian economic concept that professed to explain the instability of the… …   Universalium

  • surplus value — noun : the difference in Marxist theory between the value of work done or of commodities produced by labor and the usually subsistence wages paid by the employer compare labor theory of value …   Useful english dictionary

  • surplus value — noun Date: 1887 the difference in Marxist theory between the value of work done or of commodities produced by labor and the usually subsistence wages paid by the employer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • surplus value — See capitalism ; exploitation ; labour theory of value …   Dictionary of sociology

  • surplus value — noun Economics (in Marxist theory) the excess of value produced by the labour of workers over the wages they are paid …   English new terms dictionary

  • Value added — refers to the additional value of a commodity over the cost of commodities used to produce it from the previous stage of production. An example is the price of gasoline at the pump over the price of the oil in it. In national accounts used in… …   Wikipedia

  • Theory of Deep Democracy — Theory of Deep DemocracyThe theory of deep democracy makes a distinction between merely formal and deeper forms of democracy. Formal democracy is an important part of deep democracy, but it is merely a beginning or a necessary condition. In order …   Wikipedia

  • Surplus — may refer to:* budget surplus, the opposite of a budget deficit * in economics, economic surplus (including producer surplus and consumer surplus), and capital surplus * an excess of production or supply over demand (see supply and demand) *… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”