In Marx's own words, what is simple reproduction?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For Marx, simple reproduction is an economic condition that calls for the repetition of capitalist patterns of recognition.  It is a condition that Marx believes defines the essence of why capitalism will never yield much for the worker.  Marx sees simple reproduction as the continual repetition of free market economic principles that stress the "physical production and distribution of goods and services, the trade (the circulation via exchanges and transactions) of goods and services, and the consumption of goods and services."  In Marx's belief, this simple form of reproduction continues until profitability is evident and thus a more complex reproduction which aims at expansion can transpire.  Marx sees simple reproduction of goods and services as a way in which the market is able to substantiate the capitalist hierarchical structure through repetition.  Due to the fact capitalism continually stresses profit making and continuing this yields greater profit, Marx is able to construct the idea that simple reproduction is a way in which capitalism brings out obedience without questioning.  In this paradigm, Marx is able to develop the basic premise of the dehumanization that is intrinsic to capitalism.


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