Marx: Surplus Value Ad Class Conflict

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Marx: Surplus Value and Class Conflict Karl Marx focused a great deal of his study on capital and capitalism. He argues that surplus value has been created in capitalism. He also argues that this has created a conflict between different classes. In order to understand Karl Marx and his ideas stated above, we must first define surplus value. Then, we will explain the conflict that has been created historically in relation to surplus value. Finally, it is necessary to explain how surplus value is relevant to the nature of the state. Surplus value is not something that has occurred throughout our entire history. Before, people would trade a certain commodity for another commodity in a barter system. Slowly people began to create “money” and trade a certain amount of money for a commodity. However, nowadays, we have a system of capitalism. In this system someone buys a commodity in order to make a profit off of selling the same commodity. This system can be explained through the meaning of surplus value. Surplus value, in its most basic definition, is the amount of money earned by the capitalist after paying for overhead. In order to better understand this concept, we must explain what constitutes overhead. Overhead is the total amount of money that a company needs to pay in order to cover the raw materials used for the production of the commodity and the wages that are paid to cover the workers who have made the commodity. However, when the wage laborer makes more of a certain commodity than needed to cover overhead, surplus value is created. According to Marx, “the specific use-value, which this commodity possesses of being a source not only of value, but of more value than it has itself”.[1] In other words, the cost of labor does not equal the amount of labor that is expended during a given day. Thus, it is fair to say that surplus value comes from surplus

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