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Political Economy

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  • 1. Political Economy
  • 2. What is Political Economy?
    • Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government.
  • 3.
    • In contradiction to the theory that land was the source of all wealth, some political economists proposed the labour theory of value , according to which labour is the true source of value. Many political economists also noted the accelerating development of technology, whose role in economic and social relations was important.
  • 4. What does this mean?
    • Political Economy is an approach to looking at the relationships between economics and culture / society / government at and the impact that changes in either one affect the other.
  • 5.
    • In terms of the theories of thinkers and theorists such as Marx, the economy is inextricably linked to every other cultural / social / political activity. In his base-superstructure theory, the economy forms the basis for every other aspect of human culture
  • 6. Base / Superstructure
    • In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.
      • Marx, 1859 from ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’
  • 7. Base / Superstructure
    • Base refers to the entirety of productive relationships, not just to a particular economic position (the working class, for instance)
    • The superstructure varies throughout history and is frequently unevenly developed across different areas of societal activity (in art and political culture, for instance)
    • There is an element of reciprocity between base and superstructure — an observation that Engels made explicit by claiming that the base determined the superstructure only “in the last instance.”
  • 8. How does this relate to Music?
    • Music, just as any other cultural product functions as a result of economics
    • It’s important to realise that Music does not, and never has, existed in a vacuum, separate to the concerns and confines of economics.
  • 9. What are the changes that have taken place in Music’s evolution?
    • Ritual / Sacrifice
    • Jongleurs
    • Minstrels
    • Representation
    • Repetition
    • Composition
  • 10.