Diamonds Are a Capitalist's Best Friends

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Everyone knows that we as humans need only a few material things for survival (food, clothing, and shelter). Yet, the capitalist society in which we live today is centered around the production, marketing, and exchange of commodities (no matter how trivial and useless they may be). It follows then that capitalists, in their constant search for profit, must engineer reasons for us to buy their products. They must convince us that while yes, we can …

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…labor in the abstract. In other words: abstract labor is useful labor treated as if it has no distinguishing attributes. X hours of one kind of quality-less labor equals X hours of another kind of quality-less labor. Abstractness, therefore, allows exchange. “Equal quantities of abstract labour may exchange for one another. With the fact of exchange itself, abstract labour is certified as real. The product proves itself to be a commodity, an embodiment of value.