Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Notes from David Harvey's lecture on Marx's Capital
"There's no way in which you can examine this whole process without actually looking at this metabolic relation to nature... The physical bodies of commodities are combinations of two elements - the material provided by nature and labor. If we subtract the total amount of useful labor of different kinds which is contained in the coat - linen, etc, - a material substratum is always left. This substratum is furnished by nature without human intervention. When man engages in production, he can only proceed as nature does herself... you can only only change the form of materials. Furthermore, even in this work of modification he is constantly helped by natural forces... Labor is therefore not the only source of material wealth. As William Petty says, 'Labor is the father of material wealth, the earth is its mother.'"