Blog #2: Obsession of consumer items (Marx)

There is no way to say that you work only for survival. There are reasons that we work part – time and full – time jobs. It is for the survival of yourself and your family but for paying some bills, getting weekly groceries, clothes, and other things that you might need for living and for leisure time. Marx discusses the idea of “labor theory of value”. ‘Labor theory of value’ means that the amount of hours you work to get the object (Edles & Appelrouth, 66).  This idea indicate that people (workers) must sell their own labor power to get money to survive for the next day. In a Capitalist societ, that is what we are doing right now, we are selling our time to work 40 or more hours a week for the sake of our family or our own survival weekly.

I believe that Marx was trying to say that because we make the objects through our labor, we create this idea of wanting it and to work harder and longer to get more of the wants. In addition, he mentioned that as workers we alienate ourselves from our jobs we do not have an emotional attachment to our work. An example of alienation was brought up in the classroom when the shoemaker use his own time of the day and hours to produce 2 pairs of shoes which he felt more attach to the shoes because he decided when he wanted to stop making the shoes. However, if the shoes were made in an factory with line of people producing a piece of the shoes, these factory workers are not attach or have a connection with the products because they are worry about doing their part the best way they can without having any flaws and try to finish the amount of shoes they have to produce that day.

There is a Youtube video that I’ve searched that explain the reasons why us the consumer and the workers that decided to sell our time for things that might sound ridiculous for some people. In this video one of the items that we make such an important thing in our lives is money. Money is made made, however it has no value as gold. But, we make money an important object that we need to for because it something we cannot live without or else it is the end for our existence. Marx mentioned that “we treat the goods we buy as if they have “magical” powers” (Edles & Appelrouth,68). It is very interesting that he might think that way, just wondering that having to buy an IPhone 5S or a tablet makes everything feel new and special. I think the reason that the items we purchase are magical might because the amount of hard labor and long hours we are able to buy the item of our dream or items that we might need for future school classes. In any case, it is a concept that I would agree with because if I work many hours a week and I literally save as much as I can from my wages, then I purchase the item that I need, lets say a Mac Pro laptop, I would be feeling accomplished because I am getting a product that many other people who have money have in their own hands.

Finally I believe what  Marx is trying to say is that everyday commodity, like oil, clothes, shelter, is something that we need to get regularly which is why we need to work often to get the wage or money to get the items we need.  In the end we need to exchange ourselves to get what we produce because of survival.

(The Youtube channel person has a blog with more Marx information that might be helpful — http://kapitalism101.wordpress.com/)

References:

Edles Laura D. and Apperouth Scott. Sociological Theory in the Classical Era Text readings. Pine Forge Press, 2010.

Law of Value 2: The Fetishism of Commodities [Video]. Accessed on 2.19.2014: Web. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4MbUx-il6c&feature=share&list=PL210260F8F0177A93&index=1]

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