Marx: Prices and the Rate of Profit

  • Julius Sensat


In volume 1 of Capital Marx assumes that equilibrium prices are proportional to values (in his sense of ‘value’, according to which the value of a commodity is the labor socially necessary to produce it). Not all of the claims about estrangement and ideology surveyed in the last chapter rest on this assumption. Among those that don’t is the claim that commodity production is a system of estrangement because in it, economic agents’ ‘own social movement has for them the form of a movement of things controlling them instead of being controlled by them’ [90, pp. 167–168 (my translation); 95, part 2, 6:105]. Even the related doctrine of commodity fetishism is easily stated as the claim that the power of exchangeability that commodities possess takes on the guise of a power they have as natural objects rather than one they possess in virtue of certain specific relations of production.


Equilibrium Price Labor Power Commodity Production Surplus Labor Organic Composition 
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Copyright information

© Julius Sensat 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julius Sensat
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin—MilwaukeeUSA

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