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Marxian Economics

Exchange Is No Robbery

 If use-value is not the basis by which exchange-value can be measured, what then is the “something" common to all commodities by which this can be effected?

 Take the two metals, iron and gold. Both are mined and brought to market where they exchange, weight for weight, in a ratio of some thousands to one. It is not their respective use-values that causes this exchange disparity, for while gold is a commodity essential to the capitalist mode of production, in that it is hoarded by the banks to back up the money-notes issued by them as currency, etc., a more than equal case exists for iron in that it is the material of industrialisation and its modem machinery and tools without which present-day society ceases to function.

For Use or Profit?

 Societies in the past have subsisted without their material wealth being an accumulation of things for sale. This was historically and radically changed by the rise of capitalist production, which, seizing upon the simple domestic industry of the time, transformed it into capitalist manufacture. The handicraft workers who had worked independently of each other now became employed as wage workers in a co-operative effort under one roof, where the tools, workshop and product were the property of a single employer. With the invention of power-driven machinery these manufactories gave place to large-scale production, so that to-day one cannot think of modern capitalism without its factory system, its heavy industry and the resultant flood of commodities seeking a market.

The Division of the Spoils

 The aim of commodity production is the realisation of surplus value and the first step towards this end is the purchase of the necessary means of production, either by the individual capitalist or by what is increasingly the case, a state body. Thus beginning with money, the Capitalists buy factories, plant and raw materials plus the energies’ of working men and women and the net return on this outlay is an increased sum of money, sufficient not only to repeat the process, but enough for further expansion of production.

Letters: The Plebs Leaguer and Marx

Confession from Winifred Horrabin

    We have received the following letter from the Honorary Secretary of the Plebs League referring to our criticism in the April “Socialist Standard” :—

The Editor,
     “The Socialist Standard.”
                              April 11th, 1926.

Dear Comrade,

 ‘‘The Socialist Standard,” ever up to date, criticises in its April issue a review of mine that appeared in the “Sunday Worker” in November of last year and in criticising what I wrote launches a bitter personal attack on me, calling me “a mentally indolent superior person,” finishing up by asking me why I "pose as a Marxian.”

 May I be allowed to answer?

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