Karl Marx and merchandise analysis
Karl Marx’s work, "Capital", part of the analysis of merchandise, crucial to understand its postulates and social relations of production. The society to which Marx is going to study is the capitalist, that is, a society that produces merchandise and sees everything as merchandise, especially work, which Marx emphasizes. The merchandise, in this context, is an external object that meets needs of any kind and is also useful in various aspects. All merchandise has a dual value, that is, it has a use value (according to its quality) and a exchange value (according to its amount).
People usually visualize them according to their form of use value, such as wheat;but they also need to be also objects of use, that is, it has a natural form and one of value. The use value has to do with the useful work that is oriented to an end, each use value is qualitatively different and only has value because there is an abstractly human work. The exchange value, on the other hand, has to do with the exchange of values of use of one class for another. The goods will express their value in the form of money, however, their manifestation will always be relative.
Since it will be in relation to the other merchandise. In this context, it is necessary that there is something common in change values so that they can be interchangeable. Marx explains that they can only be measurable for their usefulness, by their exchange value. That is, that each merchandise will have different levels in its value of use, in terms of its quality. It is here, where the concept of work becomes key, because it is responsible for providing equivalent services, that is, it helps define the value of goods. Marx explains that work is human activity that produces merchandise and meets needs.
The work is then, the use of the workforce (the capacity of the work worker, his skills), this workforce is what the worker sells and therefore receives a salary, thanks to this process they will be ableexchange goods in the market. Marx will also differentiate two types of works: concrete work and abstract work. Concrete work has to do with everything you need to produce a merchandise, that is, the workforce, machinery, tools, will also be responsible for producing values of use. On the other hand, abstract work has to do with similarities or what the goods have in common.
Human force wear in a physiological and mental sense, which, consequently, creates exchange values. Finally, Marx explains the fetishism of merchandise. The fetishism of the merchandise consists in the process by which, the exchange of goods once between subjects, becomes an exchange between objects. That is, the subject loses all the prominence. These subjects see goods as magical objects that start from nothing, in this way, they forget the exploitation process behind. They naturalize the exploitation and become consumers of this process where the one that dominates is the merchandise.