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The Contradictions of Capitalism

            Before we begin to examine the contradictions present within capitalist surplus appropriation, it is essential to revisit the notion of overdetermination. Overdetermination, in many ways, provides the basis for the Marxian approach to class analysis. Put simply, overdetermination states that each process is forever and inexorably connected to all other processes present within society. Furthermore, each individual process, under overdetermination, is shaped by the processes connected to it, and concurrently shapes processes connected to it. That is, each process is both a cause of every other processes and is affected by every other processes. By defining each social process as both cause and effect, one can then see that society is a web of intertwined processes. The removal of one process destroys the web. Due to interconnectedness of processes, conflicts and tensions often arise which pull processes in opposite directions. Marx argues that conflict on a large scale leads to significant social change. .
             Take for example, an economics 305 student at the University of Massachusetts. The decision to enroll in the course represents a societal process, a strand in the web to which other strands such as interests, future plans, political beliefs etcetera are linked. The decision to take the class is influenced by the other processes connected to it. For example, a personal interest in communism might draw the student towards Marxism. While taking 305 the student may learn new ideas which change the processes that caused him to take the course initially. He may learn in the course that communism doesn't necessarily disseminate surplus equally. This idea may change his preconceived notions of communism as an equal society, and cause him to adopt a different interest. It could also contradict with the personal interests of the student's parents. Perhaps the student's parents were raised in an anti-communist society, and were taught to denounce Marx and communism.

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