A commodity would be anything intrinsically useful. Society has at its disposal a certain reserve of living labor power. Applied to nature, that power produces products necessary for the satisfaction of human needs. In consequence of division of labor among independent producers, the products assume the form of commodities.

Commodities were once exchanged for each other in a given ratio, at first directly, and eventually through the medium of gold or money. The basic property of commodities, which in a certain relationship make them equal to each other, is the human labor expended on them - abstract labor, labor in general the basis and measure of value. As greed takes over with the resulting inflation, the balance is tipped against those that cannot afford the necessities of life.

The circulation of commodities is the starting point of capital. The production of commodities, their circulation, and that more developed form of their circulation is called commerce. [103]

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