The emergence of capitalism has contributed to the development of the community exchange system. Introducing money as a tool for measuring use-value of commodities has provided a revolution into the economic society. Money, therefore, has become a powerful instrument of assessing prices and value of goods and services. They represent both material side and ‘fetishism’ of goods and services. Therefore, commodity price often equals to material and spiritual needs of consumers.
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Apart from the presented network of commodity exchange, the complex capitalist system also introduces significant problems to the recognized system of use-value and its magnitude. Apparently, the problem of shifts and deviations is explained in ability of the capitalism system to estimate the commodity in accordance with labor engaged in creating the value of a product. All these problems are highlighted in studies by Marx about commodities, as well as in the deliberations of Longhofer.
According to Langhofer (2012), “…economic lives are comprised of thousands of wages, purchases, gifts, saving, and investment, but they are also social lives comprised of complex human relationships” (p. 108). The complex nature of human interaction also leaves imprint on value formation of the products of these relationships.
According to Marks, other than material side of value is more confined to mysterious processes because “the social character of men’s labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour” (Marx, 2012, p. 133). Thus, commodity cannot be estimated on the basis of its material values because of the presence of human factor. Moreover, because commodities are result of labor of individuals working independently, the outcome can be regarded as a result of social relations.
The analysis of Marx’s theories and assumptions provides a better understanding of how capitalism and commodity system can face financial and economic crisis. Specifically, the theorist attached much importance to the capability of capitalism to adapt to the changes and reinvent the values and principles of commodity exchange and labor distribution.
Specifically, Langhofer (2012) emphasizes, “… that the spontaneous collision of social and economic events is actually not spontaneous, but is driven by underlying contradictions in how we create, manufacture, and manipulate the material necessities of life” (p. 109). Therefore, the mysterious nature of commodity is explained by changes in material concerns of consumers.
It is important for capitalists to understand how a specific use-value can be obtained, as well as evaluate attitude of consumers towards specific products across time and space. Judging from the historically predetermined trends, future approaches to commodity exchange will rely on the human relations and social aspects of market (Langhofer, 2012).
In addition, financial and economic recessions also depend largely on which value will be introduced to the commodity with regard to the character of social interactions. The concept of exchange, therefore, will adjust to the changes in outlooks on market relations.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that the deliberations on commodities, exchange values, and economic crisis are closely interconnected. In case of financial recessions, the role of capitalist relations is confined to assessing deviations and shifts in exchange value.
Human factor should also be taken into the deepest consideration while assessing the consequences of financial and economic pitfalls for the country because they provide grounds for further analysis of free market opportunities. Approaches to treating the importance of labor and its relation to the exchange value of a single commodity provide better understanding of capitalist system.
Longhofer, W. (2012). Networks of Capital: Dimensions of Global Capitalism. In W. Longhofer (Ed.) Social-Theory Re-Wired: New Connections to Classical and Contemporary Perspectives. US: Taylor & Francis. pp. 107-109.
Marx, K. (2012). Capital. In W. Longhofer (Ed.) Social-Theory Re-Wired: New Connections to Classical and Contemporary Perspectives. US: Taylor & Francis. pp. 129-135.