Commodity


Commodity
   According to Karl Marx, the commodity is the cornerstone of capitalism and commodity production is a key defining characteristic of capitalism. Marx begins his investigation of capitalism in Capital with an analysis of the commodity. A commodity is something that is produced for exchange rather than something produced for immediate use or consumption by the producer. According to Marx, every commodity combines two aspects: use value and exchange value. Use value refers to the power of a commodity to satisfy some human want, or put simply what the commodity is used for. Exchange value refers to what a commodity can be exchanged for, in other words its power to command other commodities in exchange for itself in a particular ratio. The value of a commodity is the amount of labor embodied in it (see LABOR THEORY OF VALUE), and the labor that creates a commodity can be viewed as either concrete labor, that is a particular kind of labor (such as weaving) that produces a particular use value (such as cloth), or as abstract labor. Abstract labor represents labor in an undifferentiated way, as just labor that creates exchange value, and only occurs in a system where commodities are exchanged and the labor embodied in them has to be commensurable. Marx identifies one particular commodity as crucial in capitalism because of its unique ability to create value, and this commodity is labor power. Labor power is the source of surplus value and ultimately of profit in capitalism (see EXPLOITATION; FETISHISM OF THE COMMODITY; SURPLUS VALUE).

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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  • commodity — com·mod·i·ty /kə mä də tē/ n pl ties: a class of economic goods; esp: an item of merchandise (as soybeans) whose price is the basis of futures trading Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. commodity …   Law dictionary

  • Commodity — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Artículo principal: Commodity en inglés Una commodity, en inglés el término original, es un bien o servicio para el que existe demanda, pero que es provisto sin gran aportación de valor por el mercado. Se trata de un …   Wikipedia Español

  • Commodity — Com*mod i*ty, n.; pl. {Commodities}. [F. commodit[ e], fr. L. commoditas. See {Commode}.] 1. Convenience; accommodation; profit; benefit; advantage; interest; commodiousness. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Drawn by the commodity of a footpath. B. Jonson.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • commodity — early 15c., benefit, profit, welfare; later a convenient or useful product, from M.Fr. commodité benefit, profit, from L. commoditatem (nom. commoditas) fitness, adaptation, convenience, advantage, from commodus suitable, convenient (see COMMODE… …   Etymology dictionary

  • commodity — /koˈmɔditi, ingl. kəˈmHdɪtɪ/ [vc. ingl., propr. «comodità, cosa utile»] s. f. inv. (econ.) materia prima, bene primario …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • commodity — [n] merchandise, possession article, asset, belonging, chattel, goods, line, material, object, produce, product, property, specialty, stock, thing, vendible, ware; concepts 338,710 …   New thesaurus

  • commodity — ► NOUN (pl. commodities) 1) a raw material or agricultural product that can be bought and sold. 2) something useful or valuable. ORIGIN Latin commoditas, from commodus convenient …   English terms dictionary

  • commodity — [kə mäd′ə tē] n. pl. commodities [ME & OFr commodite, benefit, profit < L commoditas, fitness, adaptation < commodus: see COMMODE] 1. any useful thing 2. anything bought and sold; any article of commerce 3. [pl.] basic items or staple… …   English World dictionary

  • Commodity — Wares redirects here. For the online distribution of copyrighted goods, see Warez …   Wikipedia

  • commodity — 01. Basic [commodities] such as rice and corn are heavily subsidized by the government. 02. The stocks were once a much desired [commodity], but have since lost over 70% of their original value. 03. In the desert, ice is an invaluable [commodity] …   Grammatical examples in English