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Economy through Inventions. Chapter 6: The Effect of Changes in Price 1. General Illustration: The Cotton Crisis Market Prices and Market Values. Surplus Profit. Chapter Supplementary Remarks 1. The Causes of a Change in the Price of Production 2. Chapter Counteracting Factors 1. More Intense Exploitation of Labour 2. Reduction of Wages below their Value 3. Cheapening of the Elements of Constant Capital 4.

The Relative Surplus Population 5.

Class 01 Reading Marx's Capital Vol 2 with David Harvey

Foreign Trade 6. The Increase in Share Capital. The Conflict between the Extension of Production and Valorization 3. Surplus Capital alongside Surplus Population 4. Supplementary Remarks. Chapter Division of Profit. Rate of Interest. Transformation of Money into Loan Capital 2. Marx did not in Capital, Vol. II, use any drawings, but dealt with figures "to facilitate the understanding" CII of his analysis of the exchange-relations between the two departments of social production.

We try to illustrate the interconnections, using Marx's figures from CII f and ff in the following schema for simple reproduction.

How to Read Marx's Capital

The reproduction schema has fifteen numbered items of which four are only of concern when considering extended reproduction. In the schema of Simple Reproduction we already find the following characteristics of the capitalist form of material reproduction: the capitalist class must "throw into circulation the money required for the realisation of its surplus-value correspondingly also for the circulation of its capital, constant and variable.

For there are here only two classes: the working class disposing only of its labour-power, and the capitalist class, which has a monopoly of the social means of production and money. But the individual capital makes this advance only by acting as a buyer, expending money in the purchase of articles of consumption or advancing money in the purchase of elements of its productive capital, whether of labour-power or means of production. It never parts with money unless it gets an equivalent for it. It advances money to the circulation only in the same way as it advances commodities to it.

It acts in both instances as the initial point of the circulation SG These fellows appear as buyers vis-a-vis the industrial capitalist and to that extent as converters of his commodities into money: they too throw "money" pro parte into the circulation and the industrial capitalist gets it from them. But it is always forgotten from what source they derived it originally, and continue deriving it ever anew. The last bit was a deviation, quoted in order to make clear the systematic level of Marx's reproduction-schema, which show:. The metabolism of products of human labour functions as bearer of the valorisation of value.

The productive wage labourers produce everything that circulates as capital. But the circulation of capital is decisive for their reproduction. Let us now consider the case of extended reproduction SG The exchange between the departments amounts here to SG :. Marx remarks casually: "we had assumed in the analysis of simple reproduction that the entire surplus-value of department I and department II is spent as revenue. As a matter of fact however one portion of the surplus-value is spent as revenue, and the other is converted into capital.

Actual accumulation can take place only on this assumption. And in the presentation of simple reproduction, in the section "The Formulation of the Question" we read: "However, as far as accumulation does take place, simple reproduction is always a part of it As this feature can be analysed independently from the accumulation of surplus-value it is systematically prior and "can therefore be studied by itself" CII which on the other hand is the first part of the analysis of extended reproduction, or in Marx's words: analysis of one factor of accumulation.

We can now concentrate cf. CII ff on the analysis of the second factor: accumulation of surplus-value as additional capital. But in doing so, we use the results of the analysis of the first factor as a starting point. Marx once again stresses the difference between dealing with an individual capital cf. CII 99 and considering the aggregate capital of the capitalist class: "It has been shown in Capital, Vol. I how accumulation works in the case of the individual capitalist.

By the conversion of the commodity-capital into money the surplus-product, in which the surplus-value is represented, is also turned into money. The capitalist reconverts the so metamorphosed surplus-value into additional natural elements of his productive capital.

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In the next cycle of production the increased capital furnishes an increased product. But what happens in the case of the individual capital must also show in the annual reproduction as a whole, just as we have seen it happen on analysing simple reproduction.

The first assumption of presentation regards the rate of accumulation in department I:. The second asssumption of presentation regards the organic composition of the accumulated capital in both departments:. We strongly recommend a reading of Capital, Vol. II, pp. A few remarks on the specific manner of the circulation of fixed capital are necessary.


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We only separated the circuit of fixed capital for department II. In principle the fixed capital of department I turns over likewise. Its abbreviation in the unarticulated innerdepartmental circulation act II has been chosen for the sake of simplicity. A further - and counterfactual - simplication is the assumption of simple reproduction of the fixed part of capital, whereas the other parts are reproduced on an extended scale.

The characteristic and distinct feature of the circulation of fixed capital is the existence of latent money-capital during several turnover periods of the rest of capital. Value is here fixed in "dead labour", partly in machinery, partly in money, without circulating. The reproduction schemata give the necessary circulations of commodities and money between various sections of capital and the working-class if social capital is to be reproduced. Capitalist reproduction is social reproduction in an indirect form SG i.

CI 79 to each other.

Essentials

This is expressed by Marx with reference to his reproduction schemata:. Capital continually reproduces itself by simultaneously forcing the worker not only to work under conditions of exploitation but to reproduce these conditions of servitude to capital:. Starting from the "General Formula For Capital" which served as a presentational frame for the analysis of the immediate process of capitalist production in Vol. I, chapter 1, Vol. II chapters and for the entire volume's division into three parts - according to the three stages of the circuit and three forms of the circuit.

The three stages are dealt with in chapter 1, the three forms of circuit in chapters 1, 2 and 3. And the presentational frame for Parts 1, 2, 3 are the circuit of money-capital Part 1 , the circuit of productive capital Part 2 and the circuit of commodity-capital Part 3.

We think that a systematic reading of part 1 should concentrate on chapters Chapter 4 is an anticipation of a transition to a different, more developed level of presentation in chapter 15, dealing with the "division of capital" CII in terms of "additional circulating capital" CII , On CII the assumption of presentation constitutive for the analysis in chapter is relaxed. The argument for the division of capital based on the desire and necessity of giving surplus-value production a continuous existence is complemented by pointing to the fact that productive capital has a continual existence anyway - in the form of fixed capital.

But this clearly is jumping into Part 2, precisely, chapter 15 cf. CII ff. Chapter 5 "The Time of Circulation" for its greatest part can be amalgamated with chapter 14 which carries the same heading. We take it as an objection against the place of chapter 5, that the circuit of money-capital does not contain the "time of circulation" as a coherent period whereas the circuit of productive capital does and there is no reason for dealing with the same matter twice.

The distinction between "time of production", "time of functioning" and "labour-time" cf. They no longer have access to the knowledge of how much labor went into a product because they no longer control its distribution. The only obvious determinant of value remaining to the mass of people is the value that was assigned in the past. Thus, the value of a commodity seems to arise from a mystical property inherent to it, rather than from labor-time, the actual determinant of value.

In this chapter, Marx explains the social and private characteristics of the process of exchange. According to Marx, owners of commodities must recognise one another as owners of commodities which embody value. He explains exchange not merely as a swapping of items, but as a contract between the two. It is this exchange which also allows the commodity in question to realise its exchange value and he explains that the realisation of exchange value always precedes that of use value because one must obtain the item in question before its actual utility is realised.

Furthermore, Marx explains that the use value in question can only be realised by he who purchases the commodity whereas he who is selling a commodity must find no utility in the item, save the utility of its exchange value. Marx concludes the chapter with an abstraction about the necessitated advent of money wherever exchange takes place, starting between nations and gradually becoming more and more domestic. This money form which arises out of the necessity of liquidating exchange becomes the universal equivalent form which is set aside from all commodities as a mere measure of value, creating a money-commodities dualism.

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In this chapter, Marx examines the functions of money commodities. According to Marx, the main function of money is to provide commodities with the medium for the expression of their values , i.


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  • The function of money as a measure of value serves only in an imaginary or ideal capacity. That is, the money that performs the functions of a measure of value is only imaginary because it is society that has given the money its value. For example, the value of one ton of iron is expressed by an imaginary quantity of the money commodity which contains the same amount of labor as the iron.

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    Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. II. The Process of Circulation of Capital

    As a measure of value and a standard of price, money performs two functions. First, it is the measure of value as the social incarnation of human labour. Second, it serves as a standard of price as a quantity of metal with a fixed weight. As in any case, where quantities of the same denomination are to be measured the stability of the measurement is of the utmost importance. Hence, the less the unit of measurement is subject to variations , the better it fulfills its role.