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By Thomas T. Sekine

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The reader will find in this book the precise definition of capitalism-II by the dialectic of capital. To put it in the simplest possible terms, capitalist society is a society bound by the law of value and the law of relative surplus population. The law of value is valid when the economic life entrusted to the market principle of capital tends towards a state of general equilibrium, which entails an optimal allocation of resources. The law of relative surplus population, on the other hand, reveals the fact that capitalist accumulation is cyclical, so that economic activities under capitalism must undergo business cycles.

All commodities relate themselves with one another only quantitatively in prices because they share the same property of being socially significant. The substantive content of this social significance (or social substance, as Marx calls it) cannot as yet be revealed. All that can be anticipated here is that it must be something objective, instead of a merely imaginary, or metaphysical, substance such as social utility. 2 The Use-Value of a Commodity If value is the positive side of the commodity, use-value is its negative side.

It is only by the miraculous "double coincidences of wants" that some commodities may be exchanged for one another and withdrawn from the sphere of circulation. This makes the present form of value expression grossly inadequate. For it does not bring out the real value of any commodity as yet. There remain too many contingent and arbitrary factors that obstruct the formation of a universal and integrated commodity exchange system. Only when such a system emerges, do value expressions occurring in it bring out the full import of the pricing of capitalistically produced commodities.

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