Value form

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In his work " Das Kapital " , Karl Marx called the value form the expression of the values of goods in capitalism . Starting from the double form of the commodity as use value and exchange value , he examined the development of the money form in the first chapter. He developed a number of intermediate forms of value, see the list of value forms .

David Ricardo , a leading exponent of classical economics , was already considering using working time as a unit in economic calculation.

Rosa Luxemburg wrote about the theory developed by Karl Marx:

"The abstract human labor discovered by Marx is in fact nothing else in its developed form than - money ."

Marx examined the capitalist mode of production . The social division of labor is assumed as given conditions. A commodity has a double form: on the one hand it is use value , on the other hand it is exchange value . The social character of private labor appears in exchange value; Marx therefore speaks of a - purely social - "objectivity".

Marx identified the "simple, single or random form of value" with this formula:

"X goods A = y goods B or: x goods A is worth y goods B."

The simple form of value has two mutually dependent but mutually exclusive poles: a "relative form of value" (the value of commodity A is shown here as a relative value) and the "equivalent form" (commodity B serves here only as a mean, the value of Express goods A). The fact that both poles are mutually exclusive means that, in the same relationship, one and the same commodity cannot perform both functions at the same time.

Marx then developed his analysis by moving to the “total or developed value form” and finally to the “money form”. This dialectical derivation is not only of fundamental importance for Marx's theory of money . It also leads on to a discussion of the fetish character of the goods .

Marx asserted that it was a fundamental flaw in classical economics "that it never succeeded in finding out from the analysis of the commodity, and more particularly of the commodity value, the form of value that makes it an exchange value." This is due to the fact that she has neither succeeded in a theoretical derivation of money nor in an understanding of the historically and socially determined character of the forms of goods, money and capital .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Critique of Political Economy. First volume. (= MEW . 23). Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1969, p. 62.
  2. Joan Robinson : A reconsideration of the theory of value , in: Consequences of a theory - essays on> Das Kapital <by Karl Marx. edition suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1972
  3. Rosa Luxemburg : Freedom is always only the freedom of those who think differently. Voltmedia, Paderborn, ISBN 3-938478-73-X , p. 53.
  4. MEW 23:62
  5. MEW 23:77
  6. MEW 23:83
  7. MEW 23:85
  8. MEW 23:95, note 32