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marx and marxism

2. First noted by John Locke in his Second Treatise on Government, labor is a source of value.Stated simply, the work a person does is worth money or a wage. This is a fundamental, arguably the fundamental principle, in the capitalist economic system.Most critics of the system argue capitalism exploits the worker because he is not paid and cannot be paid the full value of his labor, because this is the profit for the capitalist or employer.In describing a utopian capitalist world, Robert Heilbroner writes, "The laborer who contracts to work can ask only for a wage that is his due.What that wage will be depends . . . on the amount of labor time it takes to keep a man alive." (157) However, for profit to exist for the capitalist or employer, the worker must work for longer than just his subsistence for the same wage. This, what Marx calls, surplus value, is the profit.
However, what I have just described is the utopia of capitalism, at least for the worker and leads into what may be the "single worst consequence" of the failure of government regulation during early capitalism and today, a failure to regulate the workday and enforce a living wage.A living wage, most simply, is a wage that allows a person to support themselves and their family.The text How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis will serve as evidence of the consequences of lack regulation of the wages and the workday in early capitalism, as well as help to demonstrate how the same reality exists today for many.
"he has done what he could – with merciless severity where he could – to smother every symptom of wakening intelligence in his slaves.In this effort to perpetuate his despotism he has had the effectual assistance of his own system and the sharp competition that keep the men on starvation wages" (140)
Riis' description of an early capitalist, "the sweater of Jewtown" th


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