Karl Marx (1818-1883):

A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside us, a thing that by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. The nature of such wants, whether, for instance, they spring from the stomach or from fancy, makes no difference. Neither are we here concerned to know how the object satisfies these wants, whether directly as means of subsistence, or indirectly as means of production.

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  1. This applies to commodities of the general class -the class of commodities that Marx spent most time on in ‘Capital’. However, it does not apply to that special, unique commodity in capitalist society: labour power. This commodity is the only one that can generate more value than it takes to create and sustain it. Furthermore, it is not ‘outside’ of us; it is part of our ‘selves’, our personhood.
    For more on this go to:
    Glenn Rikowski

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