The Anatomy of Capitalist Societies: The Economy, Civil by John Urry

By John Urry

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2 However, Ido not hold that the explanation of such an ideological effect rests with the function that it performs either for that dominant social force, or for the overall society. Part of the reason for this is that it is not at all clear just what contribution is made by a particular ideological effect. Thus, if we consider what would have been the case, were that effect not to have occurred, then in general we would find that the society would still have been reproduced. If this is the case then it is problematic to argue that meeting such a functional requirement of ensuring social reproduction actually explains the practice in question.

In the 'trinity formula' it is held that there are three factors of production - capital, land and labour - and that each of them creates value. But Marx says that these are widely divergent forms of revenue. 18) Capital is, as we have seen, an element of production specific to the capitalist mode, while land and labour are both material elements of all modes of production. Furthermore, although the material characteristics of land are of importance, land cannot be transformed into value without the exercise of human labour.

So, within the market, the labourer is free in a double sense - free to dispose of his labour-power as his own commodity and free from the encumbrance of other commodities to sell. This sphere of circulation, within which the buying and selling of labour-power is merely one especially important example, is the exclusive realm of 'Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham'. There is freedom because buyers and sellers are freely able to buy and sell - no one forces them to enter a particular market at a specific time, to sell or to purchase a certain commodity.

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