Substance and magnitude of value

Karl Marx is used both as a weapon and a shield in the ideological wars of the political economy, which are often more than wars of words. Like Adam Smith, Marx is appropriated by devotees and critics alike to justify entrenched positions. Smith is likely turning in his grave at the way the Wealth of Nations has been selectively quoted, out of context, to justify the greed, waste (human and resources) and destruction of today's so called "capitalist" political economy. Similarly, one can't help wondering how Marx would have viewed the slaughter justified by his writings.

But what did Marx write? And how close did he get to understanding the real drivers of wealth and power in the political economy. This has been a recent subject of discussion with Stuart, working on how to introduce Critical Thinking's co-creative learning practices within the academic framework of orthodox education.

Critical Thinking's analysis doesn't feature Marx, not through dismissal of his ideas but because the issues of usury, the commons and hierarchy are buried within his copious critique of political economy, Capital. Perhaps we will benefit from digging deeper to see if what Marx wrote chimes, in any respect, with Critical Thinking's analysis.

In Chapter 1, Section 1, of Capital, Marx starts with commodity value: The Two Factors of a Commodity: Use-Value and Value (The Substance of Value and the Magnitude of Value).

A Critique of Political Economy
Volume I
Book One: The Process of Production of Capital

In Critical Thinking, we've been encouraged by Eddie to practice Thinking and Making - it takes learning and discussion in different directions. This video on BitChute comes from 2007 and is an exploration of Marx's first proposition - commodity value.

First Capital (13 minute video)

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