The theory of surplus value

Source: Internet

By Naveed Qazi | Editor, Globe Up Front

"Without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary practice." - Lenin

Under the epistemology of right-wing economics, a labourer is a special kind of raw material, which perpetually gets exploited and never gets a real value in exchange. In the perceptions of Karl Marx, under the capitalist system of production, manufacturing commodities are a dominant exercise. Money is power - "the economic law of motion of the modern society," he says. 

Hence, to assail this phenomenon based on inherent greed and self-destruction, Marx develops a substantial critique of capitalism through the theory of Surplus Value.

Theory of surplus value plays a pivotal role in Marxian economics. It derives its critique from the theory of value, philosophized by Adam Smith and David Ricardo of traditional economics. Theory of value states that the value of a commodity is directly proportional to the working hours of labourers producing it. Marx argues that the reward which a labourer gets to produce a commodity is far less than the value of the commodity produced and sold in the market. He gives a moralistic rebuke in stating that the monopoly of appropriation, which a capitalist does to enhance profits and to get an advantage in market competition, actually lies within the proletariat – the working class and not with the capitalist. Under socialism, it belongs to the workers and not with the private ownership – the cornerstone of capitalism. Therefore, he states that the Surplus Value is the difference between the value of the commodity produced and the wage of the worker. 

Marx accesses the surplus value through the rate of exploitation, on the labour embodied, which is directly proportional to the worker. Thus, the realization of the surplus is realised when a labourer is paid less than his efforts, and that ultimately gets converted into profits.

Under capitalism, maximization of surplus value through monstrous productivity and capital accumulation is vital. Class conflicts and merciless vandalism which it institutionalizes are gravely downplayed. It alleviates spiritual poverty, devastates precious indigenous cultures and plunders the environment; Labor is used as an instrument of slavery, oppression which transforms life into misery and degradation. 

The decency of living is rebuked till poverty looms. 

It makes capitalism a  doctrine that encourages wars, promotes debt, loots away the natural wealth of nations, and takes consumerism to disastrous levels.

The exploitation of the worker came into limelight ever since the industrial revolution of Europe commenced. Firstly, working hours were increased until the labourers reached physical limits. Secondly, wages were decreased to maximize profits. Thirdly, mechanization of production started with more machines and fewer labourers, which resulted in firing off of labourers from the factories. The end result was immense poverty and alarming unemployment. 

Much hasn’t changed since. 

Today, there are posh corporates, instead of smelly, cruel, work laden factories, but motives of greed are the same. Reforms and developments give malevolency when they are done through imperial countries. We can see the political instability, the gravest acts of violence, it has caused in developing nations of Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

Risks, under the guise of financial liberalization, are taken to such enormous levels, which in turn give grave grass root outcomes on political economies, that too, without accountability. These are senseless acts of short-term planning which actually caused the greatest financial depression of the century. Today, capitalism is a part of our everyday life, yet we are so naïve and so lazy to protest against it. Why should we give it a benefit of doubt, when we have seen its grievous implications for centuries?

Even today, the revolt of the working class is promised. It is a class which is emancipating through consciousness since centuries, amidst the never-ending divide between the rich and poor. 

They are hard working, organized, disciplined and objective to ethics. Due to increasing misery of the proletariat, the ever-sharpening divide in the industrial world, the final crises of capitalism would result in its elimination, sooner or later.


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