Question #1, two-three page answer, plus add sources to your bibliography.

Please address questions “a” through “d” Please note which question you are

answering by placing the letter (such as “a”; “b” “c”) at the start of the section.

a. In The German Ideology, Marx introduces what he describes as the “materialist”

method or approach. What exactly makes Marx’s approach “materialist?” We

covered this in lecture. In which respects does a “materialist” understanding of

history differ from a “theological” or “religious” understanding of history?

b. What does Marx stress as his “first premises of the materialist method?”

c. How does Marx rely upon what I term as a “stages of history” approach to explain

how societies develop and also transition over time?

d. Please also address: how does Marx integrate the role played by social classes in

his materialist method? What about private property, mode of production, and class


Question #2, two-three page answer, plus add sources to your bibliography.

In his famous tome, Capital, Volume One, Marx introduces for our consideration

what is widely known and heralded as the “labor theory of value.”

I think the best manner for gaining a grasp on Marx’s understanding of value

is to first consider the dual and contradictory character of the commodity and its

divisions through possessing a “utility,” that is, a value in use ( “use value”) and a

value in exchange, (“exchange value”).

This answer is also found in Part I, Chapter I, Section 2 “The Twofold

Character of the Labor Embodied in Commodities.” First consider and answer the


a. How does Marx define a commodity’s use value?

b. Then explain, how does Marx define a commodity’s exchange value?

c. For Marx, what role does labor play in a commodity’s exchange value,


d. How does labor enter into the value of a commodity through the process

of production?

Then, please consider and elaborate in a narrative fashion:

e. How does Marx develop his thinking by considering the various forms

exchange value? To answer this, please trace Marx’s discussion of a commodity’s

exchange value starting with the “relative form;” and then consider the “equivalent

form;” the “elementary form;” the “total” or “expanded form;” the “general form of

value” all of the way to the “money form of value.”

I would dearly prefer if you stick with Marx’s examples of 20 yards of linen is

equal to one coat.” And go all of the way to the money form of value presented as

two ounces of gold. Best, to reiterate his examples and cite: 10 lbs. of Tea; 40 lbs of

Coffee; ½ ton of iron…. Please do not drift from his examples.

Question #3, two to three page answer, plus add sources to your bibliography.

Marx’s analysis of capitalism can be judged as historical and historically specific.

In Volume I, Marx considers how capitalism came about, or what defines capitalism.

This is the topic of Part II or Volume I: entitled: The Transformation of Money into

Capital. Please consider Chapters IV, V, and especially VI: The Buying and Selling of


The question: In the view of Marx, how does the buying and selling of labour-power

transform money into capital? Asked differently: In Marx’s view, what is the role of

the buying and selling of labour-power in transforming money into capital?

In at least one paragraph, and based upon your answer above: Do you judge

Marx’s analysis of capital and capitalism as deeply rooted in historical processes?