a short study of state socialism

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. The Theory Of Value. We have indicated that the fundamental principle upon which Socialism is based—the exploitation of labour, and the consequent appropriation by the capitalist of the surplus value —has its foundation in the theory of value. Let us examine this theory very closely, because upon it rests the whole fabric of Socialism. Karl Marx, in his great book on capital, which we may take as the most authorative work on Socialism, gives ns an account of the origin, accumulation and powers of capital, and he defines it according to his own principles. He denies the accuracy of the ordinary theory of capital, viz., that it is the portion of wealth set aside for future productive needs and uses; he regards it as independent wealth employed for its own increase. How, he asks, has all the wealth come into the hands of those who do not produce it, and whence the constant increase of this capital ? It must be observed that Marx represents capital as money. The capitalist advances to the labourer the raw material and the means of operating upon it, for the sake of securing a return. The money so advanced in raw material and machinery is capital. The increase of this capital and its consequent accumulation, and the increase of the value, can only be due to production. Who then, works this production ? The labourer. This is the pivot on which the whole socialistic system turns. Yet in fairness to Marx it must be observed that he does not seek to deny that the owner of this capital has done much to assist production, and thus give employment to the labourer; but he clearly asserts that the reward to the capitalists is far too magnificent, and that the labourer, who is the real producer, is virtually robbedof the value of his work. He labours say ten hours, in four ...
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