The Grundrisse


November 1857, continued

The Chapter on Capital [18]

‘From the beginnings of civilization, men have fixed the exchange value of the products of their labour not by comparison with the products offered in exchange, but by comparison with a product they preferred’ (Ganilh, 13,9.) [19]

Simple exchange. Relations between exchangers. Harmonies of equality, freedom, etc. (Bastiat, Proudhon)

The special difficulty in grasping money in its fully developed character as money — a difficulty which political economy attempts to evade by forgetting now one, now another aspect, and by appealing to one aspect when confronted with another — is that a social relation, a definite relation between individuals, here appears as a metal, a stone, as a purely physical, external thing which can be found, as such, in nature, and which is indistinguishable in form from its natural existence. Gold and silver, in and of themselves, are not money. Nature does not produce money, any more than it produces a rate of exchange or a banker. In Peru and Mexico gold and silver did not serve as money, although it does appear here as jeweler, and there is a developed system of production. To be money is not a natural attribute of gold and silver, and is therefore quite unknown to the physicist, chemist etc. as such. But money is directly gold and silver. Regarded as a measure, money still predominates in its formal quality; even more so as coin, where this appears externally on its face impression; but in its third aspect, i.e. in its perfection, where to be measure and coinage appear as functions of money alone, there all formal character has vanished, or directly coincides with its metallic existence. It is not at all apparent on its face that its character of being money is merely the result of social processes; it is money. This is all the more difficult since its immediate use value for the living individual stands in no relation whatever to this role, and because, in general, the memory of use value, distinct from exchange value, has become entirely extinguished in this incarnation of pure exchange value. Thus the fundamental contradiction contained in exchange value, and in the social mode of production corresponding to it, here emerges in all its purity. We have already criticized the attempts made to overcome this contradiction by depriving money of its metallic form, by positing it outwardly, as well, as something positedby society, as the expression of a social relation, whose ultimate form would be that of labour-money. It must by now have become entirely clear that this is a piece of foolishness as long as exchange value is retained as the basis, and that, moreover, the illusion that metallic money allegedly falsifies exchange arises out of total ignorance of its nature. It is equally clear, on the other side, that to the degree to which opposition against the ruling relations of production grows, and these latter themselves push ever more forcibly to cast off their old skin — to that degree, polemics are directed against metallic money or money in general, as the most striking, most contradictory and hardest phenomenon which is presented by the system in a palpable form. One or another kind of artful tinkering with money is then supposed to overcome the contradictions of which money is merely the perceptible appearance. Equally clear that some evolutionary operations can be performed with money, in so far as an attack on it seems to leave everything else as it was, and only to rectify it. Then one strikes a blow at the sack, intending the donkey. However, as long as the donkey does not feel the blows on the sack, one hits in fact only the sack and not the donkey. As soon as he feels it, one strikes the donkey and not the sack. As long as these operations are directed against money as such, they are merely an attack on consequences whose causes remain unaffected; i.e. disturbance of the productive process, whose solid basis then also has the power, by means of a more or less violent reaction, to define and to dominate these as mere passing disturbances.

On the other hand, it is in the character of the money relation — as far as it is developed in its purity to this point, and without regard to more highly developed relations of production — that all inherent contradictions of bourgeois society appear extinguished in money relations as conceived in a simple form; and bourgeois democracy even more than the bourgeois economists takes refuge in this aspect (the latter are at least consistent enough to regress to even simpler aspects of exchange value and exchange) in order to construct apologetics for the existing economic relations. Indeed, in so far as the commodity or labour is conceived of only as exchange value, and the relation in which the various commodities are brought into connection with one another is conceived as the exchange of these exchange values with one another, as their equation, then the individuals, the subjects between whom this process goes on, are simply and only conceived of as exchangers. As far as the formal character is concerned, there is absolutely no distinction between them, and this is the economic character, the aspect in which they stand towards one another in the exchange relation; it is the indicator of their social function or social relation towards one another. Each of the subjects is an exchanger; i.e. each has the same social relation towards the other that the other has towards him. As subjects of exchange, their relation is therefore that of equality. It is impossible to find any trace of distinction, not to speak of contradiction, between them; not even a difference. Furthermore, the commodities which they exchange are, as exchange values, equivalent, or at least count as such (the most that could happen would be a subjective error in the reciprocal appraisal of values, and if one individual, say, cheated the other, this would happen not because of the nature of the social function in which they confront one another, for this is the same, in this they are equal; but only because of natural cleverness, persuasiveness etc., in short only the purely individual superiority of one individual over another. The difference would be one of natural origin, irrelevant to the nature of the relation as such, and it may be said in anticipation of further development, the difference is even lessened and robbed of its original force by competition etc.). As regards the pure form, the economic side of this relation — the content, outside this form, here still falls entirely outside economics, or is posited as a natural content distinct from the economic, a content about which it may be said that it is still entirely separated from the economic relation because it still directly coincides with it — then only three moments emerge as formally distinct: the subjects of the relation, the exchangers (posited in the same character); the objects of their exchange, exchange values,equivalents, which not only are equal but are expressly supposed to be equal, and are posited as equal; and finally the act of exchange itself, the mediation by which the subjects are posited as exchangers, equals, and their objects as equivalents, equal. The equivalents are the objectification [Vergegenständlichung] of one subject for another; i.e. they themselves are of equal worth, and assert themselves in the act of exchange as equally worthy, and at the same time as mutually indifferent. The subjects in exchange exist for one another only through these equivalents, as of equal worth, and prove themselves to be such through the exchange of the objectivity in which the one exists for the other. Since they only exist for one another in exchange in this way, as equally worthy persons, possessors of equivalent things, who thereby prove their equivalence, they are, as equals, at the same time also indifferent to one another; whatever other individual distinction there may be does not concern them; they are indifferent to all their other individual peculiarities. Now, as regards the content outside the act of exchange (an act which constitutes the positing as well as the proving of the exchange values and of the subjects as exchangers), this content, which falls outside the specifically economic form, can only be: (1) The natural particularity of the commodity being exchanged. (2) The particular natural need of the exchangers, or, both together, the different use values of the commodities being exchanged. The content of the exchange, which lies altogether outside its economic character, far from endangering the social equality of individuals, rather makes their natural difference into the basis of their social equality. If individual A had the same need as individual B, and if both had realized their labour in the same object, then no relation whatever would be present between them; considering only their production, they would not be different individuals at all. Both have the need to breathe; for both the air exists as atmosphere; this brings them into no social contact; as breathing individuals they relate to one another only as natural bodies, not as persons. Only the differences between their needs and between their production gives rise to exchange and to their social equation in exchange; these natural differences are therefore the precondition of their social equality in the act of exchange, and of this relation in general, in which they relate to one another as productive. Regarded from the standpoint of the natural difference between them, individual A exists as the owner of a use value for B, and B as owner of a use value for A. In this respect, their natural difference again puts them reciprocally into the relation of equality. In this respect, however, they are not indifferent to one another, but integrate with one another, have need of one another; so that individual B, as objectified in the commodity, is a need of individual A, and vice versa; so that they stand not only in an equal, but also in a social, relation to one another. This is not all. The fact that this need on the part of one can be satisfied by the product of the other, and vice versa, and that the one is capable of producing the object of the need of the other, and that each confronts the other as owner of the object of the other’s need, this proves that each of them reaches beyond his own particular need etc., as a human being, and that they relate to one another as human beings; that their common species-being [Gattungswesen] is acknowledged by all. It does not happen elsewhere — that elephants produce for tigers, or animals for other animals. For example. A hive of bees comprises at bottom only one bee, and they all produce the same thing. Further. In so far as these natural differences among individuals and among their commodities (products, labour etc. are not as yet different here, but exist only in the form of commodities, or, as Mr Bastiat prefers, following Say, services [20]; Bastiat fancies that, by reducing the economic character of exchange value to its natural content, commodity or service, and thereby showing himself incapable of grasping the economic relation of exchange value as such, he has progressed a great step beyond the classical economists of the English school, who are capable of grasping the relations of production in their specificity, as such, in their pure form) form the motive for the integration of these individuals, for their social interrelation as exchangers, in which they are stipulated for each other as, and prove themselves to be, equals, there enters, in addition to the quality of equality, that offreedom. Although individual A feels a need for the commodity of individual B, he does not appropriate it by force, nor vice versa, but rather they recognize one another reciprocally as proprietors, as persons whose will penetrates their commodities. Accordingly, the juridical moment of the Person enters here, as well as that of freedom, in so far as it is contained in the former. No one seizes hold of another’s property by force. Each divests himself of his property voluntarily. But this is not all: individual A serves the need of individual B by means of the commodity a only in so far as and because individual B serves the need of individual A by means of the commodity b, and vice versa. Each serves the other in order to serve himself; each makes use of the other, reciprocally, as his means. Now both things are contained in the consciousness of the two individuals: (1) that each arrives at his end only in so far as he serves the other as means; (2) that each becomes means for the other (being for another) [Sein für andres] only as end in himself (being for self) [Sein für sich] [21]; (3) that the reciprocity in which each is at the same time means and end, and attains his end only in so far as he becomes a means, and becomes a means only in so far as he posits himself as end, that each thus posits himself as being for another, in so far as he is being for self, and the other as being for him, in so far as he is being for himself — that this reciprocity is a necessary fact, presupposed as natural precondition of exchange, but that, as such, it is irrelevant to each of the two subjects in exchange, and that this reciprocity interests him only in so far as it satisfies his interest to the exclusion of, without reference to, that of the other. That is, the common interest which appears as the motive of the act as a whole is recognized as a fact by both sides; but, as such, it is not the motive, but rather proceeds, as it were, behind the back of these self-reflected particular interests, behind the back of one individual’s interest in opposition to that of the other. In this last respect, the individual can at most have the consoling awareness that the satisfaction of his antithetical individual interest is precisely the realization of the suspended antithesis, of the social, general interest. Out of the act of exchange itself, the individual, each one of them, is reflected in himself as its exclusive and dominant (determinant) subject. With that, then, the complete freedom of the individual is posited: voluntary transaction; no force on either side; positing of the self as means, or as serving, only as means, in order to posit the self as end in itself, as dominant and primary [übergreifend]; finally, the self-seeking interest which brings nothing of a higher order to realization; the other is also recognized and acknowledged as one who likewise realizes his self-seeking interest, so that both know that the common interest exists only in the duality, many-sidedness, and autonomous development of the exchanges between self-seeking 245 interests. The general interest is precisely the generality of self-seeking interests. Therefore, when the economic form, exchange, posits the all-sided equality of its subjects, then the content, the individual as well as the objective material which drives towards the exchange, is freedom. Equality and freedom are thus not only respected in exchange based on exchange values but, also, the exchange of exchange values is the productive, real basis of all equality and freedom. As pure ideas they are merely the idealized expressions of this basis; as developed in juridical, political, social relations, they are merely this basis to a higher power. And so it has been in history. Equality and freedom as developed to this extent are exactly the opposite of the freedom and equality in the world of antiquity, where developed exchange value was not their basis, but where, rather, the development of that basis destroyed them. Equality and freedom presuppose relations of production as yet unrealized in the ancient world and in the Middle Ages. Direct forced labour is the foundation of the ancient world; the community rests on this as its foundation; labour itself as a ‘privilege’, as still particularized, not yet generally producing exchange values, is the basis of the world of the Middle Ages. Labour is neither forced labour; nor, as in the second case, does it take place with respect to a common, higher unit (the guild).

Now, it is admittedly correct that the [relation between those] engaged in exchange, in so far as their motives are concerned, i.e. as regards natural motives falling outside the economic process, does also rest on a certain compulsion; but this is, on one side, itself only the other’s indifference to my need as such, to my natural individuality, hence his equality with me and his freedom, which are at the same time the precondition of my own; on the other side, if I am determined, forced, by my needs, it is only my own nature, this totality of needs and drives, which exerts a force upon me; it is nothing alien (or, my interest posited in a general, reflected form). But it is, after all, precisely in this way that I exercise compulsion ever the other and drive him into the exchange system.

In Roman law, the servus is therefore correctly defined as one who may not enter into exchange for the purpose of acquiring anything for himself (see the Institutes). [22] It is, consequently, equally clear that although this legal system corresponds to a social state in which exchange was by no means developed, nevertheless, in so far as it was developed in a limited sphere, it was able to develop the attributes of the juridical person, precisely of the individual engaged in exchange, and thus anticipate (in its basic aspects) the legal relations of industrial society, and in particular the right which rising bourgeois society had necessarily to assert against medieval society. But the development of this right itself coincides completely with the dissolution of the Roman community.

Since money is only the realization of exchange value, and since the system of exchange values has realized itself only in a developed money system, or inversely, the money system can indeed only be the realization of this system of freedom and equality. As measure, money only gives the equivalent its specific expression, makes it into an equivalent in form, as well. A distinction of form does, it is true, arise within circulation: the two exchangers appear in the different roles of buyer and seller; exchange value appears once in its general form, in the form of money, then again in its particular form, in the natural commodity, now with a price; but, first of all, these forms alternate; circulation itself creates not a disequation, but only an equation, a suspension of the merely negated difference. The inequality is only a purely formal one. Finally, even equality now posits itself tangibly, in money as medium of circulation, where it appears now in one hand, now in another, and is indifferent to this appearance. Each appears towards the other as an owner of money, and, as regards the process of exchange, as money itself. Thus indifference and equal worthiness are expressly contained in the form of the thing. The particular natural difference which was contained in the commodity is extinguished, and constantly becomes extinguished by circulation. A worker who buys commodities for 3s. appears to the seller in the same function, in the same equality — in the form of 3s. — as the king who does the same. All distinction between them is extinguished. The seller quaseller appears only as owner of a commodity of the price of 3s., so that both are completely equal; only that the 3s. exist here in the form of silver, there again in the form of sugar, etc. In the third form of money, a distinguishing quality might seem to enter between the subjects of the process. But in so far as money here appears as the material, as the general commodity of contracts, all distinction between the contracting parties is, rather, extinguished. In so far as money, the general form of wealth, becomes the object of accumulation, the subject here appears to withdraw it from circulation only to the extent that he does not withdraw commodities of an equal price from circulation. Thus, if one individual accumulates and the other does not, then none does it at the expense of the other. One enjoys real wealth, the other takes possession of wealth in its general form. If one grows impoverished and the other grows wealthier, then this is of their own free will and does not in any way arise from the economic relation, the economic connection as such, in which they are placed in relation to one another. Even inheritance and similar legal relations, which perpetuate such inequalities, do not prejudice this natural freedom and equality. If individual A’s relation is not in contradiction to this system originally, then such a contradiction can surely not arise from the fact that individual B steps into the place of individual A, thus perpetuating him. This is, rather, the perpetuation of the social relation beyond one man’s natural lifespan: its reinforcement against the chance influences of nature, whose effects as such would in fact be a suspension of individual freedom. Moreover, since the individual in this relation is merely the individuation of money, therefore he is, as such, just as immortal as money, and his representation by heirs is the logical extension of this role.

If this way of conceiving the matter is not advanced in its historic context, but is instead raised as a refutation of the more developed economic relations in which individuals relate to one another no longer merely as exchangers or as buyers and sellers, but in specific relations, no longer all of the same character; then it is the same as if it were asserted that there is no difference, to say nothing of antithesis and contradiction, between natural bodies, because all of them, when looked at from e.g. the point of view of their weight, have weight, and are therefore equal; or are equal because all of them occupy three dimensions. Exchange value itself is here similarly seized upon in its simple character, as the antithesis to its more developed, contradictory forms. In the course of science, it is just these abstract attributes which appear as the earliest and sparsest; they appear in part historically in this fashion too the more developed as the more recent. In present bourgeois society as a whole, this positing of prices and their circulation etc. appears as the surface process, beneath which, however, in the depths, entirely different processes go on, in which this apparent individual equality and liberty disappear. It is forgotten, on one side, that the presupposition of exchange value, as 248 the objective basis of the whole of the system of production, already in itself implies compulsion over the individual, since his immediate product is not a product for him, but only becomes such in the social process, and since it must take on this general but nevertheless external form; and that the individual has an existence only as a producer of exchange value, hence that the whole negation of his natural existence is already implied; that he is therefore entirely determined by society; that this further presupposes a division of labour etc., in which the individual is already posited in relations other than that of mere exchanger, etc. That therefore this presupposition by no means arises either out of the individual’s will or out of the immediate nature of the individual, but that it is, rather, historical, and posits the individual as already determined by society. It is forgotten, on the other side, that these higher forms, in which exchange, or the relations of production which realize themselves in it, are now posited, do not by any means stand still in this simple form where the highest distinction which occurs is a formal and hence irrelevant one. What is overlooked, finally, is that already the simple forms of exchange value and of money latently contain the opposition between labour and capital etc. Thus, what all this wisdom comes down to is the attempt to stick fast at the simplest economic relations, which, conceived by themselves, are pure abstractions; but these relations are, in reality, mediated by the deepest antithesis, and represent only one side, in which the full expression of the antitheses is obscured.

What this reveals, on the other side, is the foolishness of those socialists (namely the French, who want to depict socialism as the realization of the ideals of bourgeois society articulated by the French revolution) who demonstrate that exchange and exchange value etc. are originally (in time) or essentially (in their adequate form) a system of universal freedom and equality, but that they have been perverted by money, capital, etc.[23] Or, also, that history has so far failed in every attempt to implement them in their true manner, but that they have now, like Proudhon, discovered e.g. the real Jacob, and intend now to supply the genuine history of these relations in place of the fake. The proper reply to them is: that exchange value or, more precisely, the money system is in fact the system of equality and freedom, and that the disturbances which they encounter in the further development of the system are disturbances inherent in it, are merely the realization of equality and freedom, which prove to be inequality and unfreedom. It is just as pious as it is stupid to wish that exchange value would not develop into capital, nor labour which produces exchange value into wage labour. What divides these gentlemen from the bourgeois apologists is, on one side, their sensitivity to the contradictions included in the system; on the other, the utopian inability to grasp the necessary difference between the real and the ideal form of bourgeois society, which is the cause of their desire to undertake the superfluous business of realizing the ideal expression again, which is in fact only the inverted projection [Lichtbild] of this reality. And now, indeed, in opposition to these socialists there is the stale argumentation of the degenerate economics of most recent times (whose classical representative as regards insipidness, affectation of dialectics, puffy arrogance, effete, complacent platitudinousness and complete inability to grasp historic processes is Frederick Bastiat, because the American, Carey, at least brings out the specific American relations as against the European), which demonstrates that economic relations everywhere express the same simple determinants, and hence that they everywhere express the equality and freedom of the simple exchange of exchange values; this point entirely reduces itself to an infantile abstraction. For example, the relation between capital and interest is reduced to the exchange of exchange values. Thus, after first taking from the empirical world the fact that exchange value exists not only in this simple form but also in the essentially different form of capital, capital is then in turn reduced again to the simple concept of exchange value; and interest, which, to crown all, expresses a specific relation of capital as such, is similarly torn out of this specificity and equated with exchange value; the whole relation in its specific character is reduced to an abstraction and everything reduced to the undeveloped relation of commodity exchange. In so far as I abstract from what distinguishes a concrete from its abstract, it is of course the abstract, and does not differ from it at all. According to this, all economic categories are only so many names for what is always the same relation, and this crude inability to grasp the real distinctions is then supposed to represent pure common sense as such. The ‘economic harmonies’ of Mr Bastiat amount au fondto the assertion that there exists only one single economic relation which takes on deferent names, or that any differences which occur, occur only in name. The reduction is not even formally scientific to the minima1 extent that everything is reduced to a real economic relation by dropping the difference that development makes; rather, sometimes one and sometimes another side is dropped in order to bring out now one, now another side of the identity. For example, the wage for labour is payment for a service done by one individual for another. (The economic form as such is dropped here, as noted above.) Profit is also payment for a service done by one individual for another. Hence wages and profit are identical, and it is, in the first place, an error of language to call one payment wages, the other profit. But let us now look at profit and interest. With profit, the payment of the service is exposed to chance fluctuations; with interest, it is fixed. Thus, since, with wages, payment is relatively speaking exposed to chance fluctuations, while with profit, in contrast to labour, it is fixed, it follows that the relation between interest and profit is the same as that between wages and profit, which, as we have seen, is the exchange of equivalents for one another. The opponents [24] then take this twaddle (which goes back from the economic relations where the contradiction is expressed to those where it is only latent and obscured) literally, and demonstrate that e.g. with capital and interest there is not a simple exchange, since capital is not replaced by an equivalent, but that the owner of capital, rather, having consumed the equivalent 20 times over in the form of interest, still has it in the form of capital and can exchange it for 20 more equivalents. Hence the unedifying debate in which one side asserts that there is no difference between developed and undeveloped exchange value, and the other asserts that there is, unfortunately, a difference, but, by rights, there ought not to be.

Capital. Sum of values. — Landed property and capital. –Capital comes from circulation. Content exchange value. –Merchant capital, money capital, and money interest. — Circulation presupposes another process. Motion between presupposed extremes

Money as capital is an aspect of money which goes beyond its simple character as money. It can be regarded as a higher realization; as it can be said that man is a developed ape. However, in this way the lower form is posited as the primary subject, over the higher. In any case, money as capital is distinct from money as money. The new aspect is to be developed. On the other hand, capital as money seems to be a regression of capital to a lower form. But it is only the positing of capital in a particular form which already existed prior to it, as non-capital, and which makes up one of its presuppositions. Money recurs in all later relations; but then it does not function as mere money. If, as here, the initial task is to follow it up to its totality as money-market, then the rest of the development is presupposed and has to be brought in occasionally. Thus we give here the general character of capital before we proceed to its particularity as money.

If I state, like for example Say, that capital is a sum of values[25] then I state nothing more than that capital = exchange value. Every sum of values is an exchange value, and every exchange value is a sum of values. I cannot get from exchange value to capital by means of mere addition. In the pure accumulation of money, as we have seen, the relation of capitalizing [Kapitalisieren] is not yet posited.

In so-called retail trade, in the daily traffic of bourgeois life as it proceeds directly between producers and consumers, in petty commerce, where the aim on one side is to exchange the commodity for money and on the other to exchange money for commodity, for the satisfaction of individual needs — in this movement, which proceeds on the surface of the bourgeois world, there and there alone does the motion of exchange values, their circulation, proceed in its pure form. A worker who buys a loaf of bread and a millionaire who does the same appear in this act only as simple buyers, just as, in respect to them, the grocer appears only as seller. All other aspects are here extinguished. The content of these purchases, like their extent, here appears as completely irrelevant compared with the formal aspect.

As in the theory the concept of value precedes that of capital, but requires for its pure development a mode of production founded on capital, so the same thing takes place in practice. The economists therefore necessarily sometimes consider capital as the creator of values, as their source, while at other times they presuppose values for the formation of capital, and portray it as itself only a sum of values in a particular function. The existence of value in its purity and generality presupposes a mode of production in which the individual product has ceased to exist for the producer in general and even more for the individual worker, and where nothing exists unless it is realized through circulation. For the person who creates an infinitesimal part of a yard of cotton, the fact that this is value, exchange value, is not a formal matter. If he had not created an exchange value, money, he would have created nothing at all. This determination of value, then, presupposes a given historic stage of the mode of social production and is itself something given with that mode, hence a historic relation.

At the same time, individual moments of value-determination develop in earlier stages of the historic process of social production and appear as its result.

Hence, within the system of bourgeois society, capital follows immediately after money. In history, other systems come before, and they form the material basis of a less complete development of value. Just as exchange value here plays only an accompanying role to use value, it is not capital but the relation of landed property which appears as its real basis. Modern landed property, on the other hand, cannot be understood at all, because it cannot exist, without capital as its presupposition, and it indeed appears historically as a transformation of the preceding historic shape of landed property by capital so as to correspond to capital. It is, therefore, precisely in the development of landed property that the gradual victory and formation of capital can be studied which is why Ricardo, the economist of the modern age, with great historical insight, examined the relations of capital, wage labour and ground rent within the sphere of landed property, so as to establish their specific form. The relation between the industrial capitalist and the proprietor of land appears to be a relation lying outside that of landed property. But, as a relation between the modern farmer and the landowner, it appears posited as an immanent relation of landed property itself; and the [latter], [26] as now existing merely in its relation to capital. The history of landed property, which would demonstrate the gradual transformation of the feudal landlord into the landowner, of the hereditary, semi-tributary and often unfree tenant for life into the modern farmer, and of the resident serfs, bondsmen and villeins who belonged to the property into agricultural day-labourers, would indeed be the history of the formation of modern capital. It would include within it the connection with urban capital, trade, etc. But we are dealing here with developed bourgeois society, which is already moving on its own foundation.

Capital comes initially from circulation, and, moreover, its point of departure is money. We have seen that money which enters into circulation and at the same time returns from it to itself is the last requirement, in which money suspends itself. It is at the same time the first concept of capital, and the first form in which it appears. Money has negated itself as something which merely dissolves in circulation; but it has also equally negated itself as something which takes up an independent attitude towards circulation. This negation, as a single whole, in its positive aspects, contains the first elements of capital. Money is the first form in which capital as such appears. M-C-C-M; that money is exchanged for commodity and the commodity for money; this movement of buying in order to sell, which makes up the formal aspect of commerce, of capital as merchant capital, is found in the earliest conditions of economic development; it is the first movement in which exchange value as such forms the content — is not only the form but also its own content. This motion can take place within peoples, or between peoples for whose production exchange value has by no means yet become the presupposition. The movement only seizes upon the surplus of their directly useful production, and proceeds only on its margin. Like the Jews within old Polish society or within medieval society in general, entire trading peoples, as in antiquity (and, later on, the Lombards), can take up this position between peoples whose mode of production is not yet determined by exchange value as the fundamental presupposition. Commercial capital is only circulating capital, and circulating capital is the first form of capital; in which it has as yet by no means become the foundation of production. A more developed form is money capitaland money interest, usury, whose independent appearance belongs in the same way to an earlier stage. Finally, the form C-M-M-C, in which money and circulation in general appear as mere means for the circulating commodity, which for its part again steps outside circulation and directly satisfies a need, this is itself the presupposition of that original appearance of merchant capital. The presuppositions appear distributed among different peoples; or, within society, commercial capital as such appears only as determined by this purely consumption-directed circulation. On the other side, the circulating commodity, the commodity which realizes itself only by taking on the form of another commodity, which steps outside circulation and serves immediate needs, is similarly [the] [27] first form of capital, which is essentially commodity capital.

On the other side it is equally clear that the simple movement of exchange values, such as is present in pure circulation, can never realize capital. It can lead to the withdrawal and stockpiling of money, but as soon as money steps back into circulation, it dissolves itself in a series of exchange processes with commodities which are consumed, hence it is lost as soon as its purchasing power is exhausted. Similarly, the commodity which has exchanged itself for another commodity through the medium of money steps outside circulation in order to be consumed, destroyed. But if it is given independence from circulation, as money, it then merely represents the non-substantial general form of wealth. Since equivalents are exchanged for one another, the form of wealth which is fixed as money disappears as soon as it is exchanged for the commodity; and the use value present in the commodity, as soon as it is exchanged for money. All that can happen in the simple act of exchange is that each can be lost in its role for the other as soon as it realizes itself in it. None can maintain itself in its role by going over into the other. For this reason the sophistry of the bourgeois economists, who embellish capital by reducing it in argument to pure exchange, has been countered by its inversion, the equally sophistical, but, in relation to them, legitimate demand that capital be really reduced to pure exchange, whereby it would disappear as a power and be destroyed, whether in the form of money or of the commodity. [*]

The repetition of the process from either of the points, money or commodity, is not posited within the conditions of exchange itself. The act can be repeated only until it is completed, i.e. until the amount of the exchange value is exchanged away. It cannot ignite itself anew through its own resources. Circulation therefore does not carry within itself the principle of self-renewal. The moments of the latter are presupposed to it, not posited by it. Commodities constantly have to be thrown into it anew from the outside, like fuel into a fire. Otherwise it flickers out in indifference. It would die out with money, as the indifferent result which, in so far as it no longer stood in any connection with commodities, prices or circulation, would have ceased to be money, to express a relation of production; only its metallic existence would be left over, while its economic existence would be destroyed. Circulation, therefore, which appears as that which is immediately present on the surface of bourgeois society, exists only in so far as it is constantly mediated. Looked at in itself, it is the mediation of presupposed extremes. But it does not posit these extremes. Thus, it has to be mediated not only in each of its moments, but as a whole of mediation, as a total process itself. Its immediate being is therefore pure semblance. It is the phenomenon of a process taking place behind it. It is now negated in every one of its moments: as a commodity — as money — and as a relation of the two, as simple exchange and circulation of both. While, originally, the act of social production appeared as the positing of exchange values and this, in its later development, as circulation — as completely developed reciprocal movement of exchange values — now, circulation itself returns back into the activity which posits or produces exchange values. It returns into it as into its ground. [28] It is commodities (whether in their particular form, or in the general form of money) which form the presupposition of circulation; they are the realization of a definite labour time and, as such, values; their presupposition, therefore, is both the production of commodities by labour and their production as exchange values. This is their point of departure, and through its own motion it goes back into exchange-value-creating production as its result. We have therefore reached the point of departure again, production which posits, creates exchange values; but this time, production which presupposes circulation as a developed moment and which appears as a constant process, which posits circulation and constantly returns from it into itself in order to posit it anew. The movement which creates exchange value thus appears here in a much more complex form, since it is no longer only the movement of presupposed exchange values, or the movement which posits them formally as prices, but which creates, brings them forth at the same time as presuppositions. Production itself is here no longer present in advance of its products, i.e. presupposed; it rather appears as simultaneously bringing forth these results; but it does not bring them forth, as in the first stage, as merely leading into circulation, but as simultaneously presupposing circulation, the developed process of circulation. (Circulation consists at bottom only of the formal process of positing exchange value, sometimes in the role of the commodity, at other times in the role of money.)

Transition from circulation to capitalist production. — Capital objectified labour etc. — Sum of values for production of values

This movement appears in different forms, not only historically, as leading towards value-producing labour, but also within the system of bourgeois production itself, i.e. production for exchange value. With semi-barbarian or completely barbarian peoples, there is at first interposition by trading peoples, or else tribes whose production is different by nature enter into contact and exchange their superfluous products. The former case is a more classical form. Let us therefore dwell on it. The exchange of the overflow is a traffic which posits exchange and exchange value. But it extends only to the overflow and plays an accessory role to production itself. But if the trading peoples who solicit exchange appear repeatedly (the Lombards, Normans etc. play this role towards nearly all European peoples), and if an ongoing commerce develops, although the producing people still engages only in so-called passive trade, since the impulse for the activity of positing exchange values comes from the outside and not from the inner structure of its production, then the surplus of production must no longer be something accidental, occasionally present, but must be constantly repeated; and in this way domestic production itself takes on a tendency towards circulation, towards the positing of exchange values. At first the effect is of a more physical kind. The sphere of needs is expanded; the aim is the satisfaction of the new needs, and hence greater regularity and an increase of production. The organization of domestic production itself is already modified by circulation and exchange value; but it has not yet been completely invaded by them, either over the surface or in depth. This is what is called the civilizing influence of external trade. The degree to which the movement towards the establishment of exchange value then attacks the whole of production depends partly on the intensity of this external influence, and partly on the degree of development attained by the elements of domestic production — division of labour etc. In England, for example, the import of Netherlands commodities in the sixteenth century and at the beginning of the seventeenth century gave to the surplus of wool which England had to provide in exchange, an essential, decisive role. In order then to produce more wool, cultivated land was transformed into sheep-walks, the system of small tenant-farmers was broken up etc., clearing of estates took place etc. Agriculture thus lost the character of labour for use value, and the exchange of its overflow lost the character of relative indifference in respect to the inner construction of production. At certain points, agriculture itself became purely determined by circulation, transformed into production for exchange value. Not only was the mode of production altered thereby, but also all the old relations of population and of production, the economic relations which corresponded to it, were dissolved. Thus, here was a circulation which presupposed a production in which only the overflow was created as exchange value; but it turned into a production which took place only in connection with circulation, a production which posited exchange values as its exclusive content.

On the other hand, in modern production, where exchange value and developed circulation are presupposed, it is prices which determine production on one side, and production which determines prices on the other.

When it is said that capital ‘is accumulated (realized) labour (properly, objectified [vergegenständlichte] labour), which serves as the means for new labour (production)’, [29] then this refers to the simple material of capital, without regard to the formal character without which it is not capital. This means nothing more than that capital is — an instrument of production, for, in the broadest sense, every object, including those furnished purely by nature, e.g. a stone, must first be appropriated by some sort of activity before it can function as an instrument, as means of production. According to this, capital would have existed in all forms of society, and is something altogether unhistorical. Hence every limb of the body is capital, since each of them not only has to be developed through activity, labour, but also nourished, reproduced, in order to be active as an organ. The arm, and especially the hand, are then capital. Capital would be only a new name for a thing as old as the human race, since every form of labour, including the least developed, hunting, fishing, etc., presupposes that the product of prior labour is used as means for direct, living labour. A further characteristic contained in the above definition is that the material stuff of products is entirely abstracted away, and that antecedent labour itself is regarded as its only content (matter); in the same way, abstraction is made from the particular, special purpose for which the making of this product is in its turn intended to serve as means, and merely production in general is posited as purpose. All these things only seemed a work of abstraction, which is equally valid in all social conditions and which merely leads the analysis further and formulates it more abstractly (generally) than is the usual custom. If, then, the specific form of capital is abstracted away, and only the content is emphasized,as which it is a necessary moment of all labour, then of course nothing is easier than to demonstrate that capital is a necessary condition for all human production. The proof of this proceeds precisely by abstraction from the specific aspects which make it the moment of a specifically developed historic stage of human production. The catch is that if all capital is objectified labour which serves as means for new production, it is not the case that all objectified labour which serves as means for new production is capital. Capital is conceived as a thing, not as a relation.

If it is said on the other hand that capital is a sum of values used for the production of values, then this means: capital is self-reproducing exchange value. But, formally, exchange value reproduces itself even in simple circulation. This explanation, it is true, does contain the form wherein exchange value is the point of departure, but the connection with the content (which, with capital, is not, as in the case of simple exchange value, irrelevant) is dropped. If it is said that capital is exchange value which produces profit, or at least has the intention of producing a profit, then capital is already presupposed in its explanation, for profit is a specific relation of capital to itself. Capital is not a simple relation, but aprocess, in whose various moments it is always capital. This process therefore to be developed. Already in accumulated labour, something has sneaked in, because, in its essential characteristic, it should be merely objectified labour, in which, however, a certain amount of labour is accumulated. But accumulated labour already comprises a quantity of objects in which labour is realized. ‘At the beginning everyone was content, since exchange extended only to objects which had no value for each exchanger: no significance was assigned to objects other than those which were without value for each exchanger; no significance was assigned to them, and each was satisfied to receive a useful thing in exchange for a thing without utility. But after the division of labour had made everyone into a merchant and society into a commercial society, no one wanted to give up his products except in return for their equivalents; it thus became necessary, in order to determine this equivalent, to know the value of the thing received.’ (Ganilh, 12, b.) [30] This means in other words that exchange did not stand still with the formal positing of exchange values, but necessarily advanced towards the subjection of production itself to exchange value.

(1) Circulation, and exchange value deriving from circulation, the presupposition of capital

To develop the concept of capital it is necessary to begin not with labour but with value, and, precisely, with exchange value in an already developed movement of circulation. It is just as impossible to make the transition directly from labour to capital as it is to go from the different human races directly to the banker, or from nature to the steam engine. We have seen that in money, as such, exchange value has already obtained a form independent of circulation, but only a negative, transitory or, when fixated, an illusory form. It exists only in connection with circulation and as the possibility of entering into it; but it loses this character as soon as it realizes itself, and falls back on its two earlier roles, as measure of exchange value and as medium of exchange. As soon as money is posited as an exchange value which not only becomes independent of circulation, but which also maintains itself through it, then it is no longer money, for this as such does not go beyond the negative aspect, but iscapital. That money is the first form in which exchange value proceeds to the character of capital, and that, hence, the first form in which capitalappears is confused with capital itself, or is regarded as sole adequate form of capital — this is a historic fact which, far from contradicting our development, rather confirms it. The first quality of capital is, then, this: that exchange value deriving from circulation and presupposing circulation preserves itself within it and by means of it; does not lose itself by entering into it; that circulation is not the movement of its disappearance, but rather the movement of its real self-positing [Sichsetzen] as exchange value, its self-realization as exchange value. [31] It cannot be said that exchange value as such is realized in simple circulation. It is always realized only in the moment of its disappearance. If the commodity is exchanged via money for another commodity, then its value-character disappears in the moment in which it realizes itself, and it steps outside the relation, becomes irrelevant to it, merely the direct object of a need. If money is exchanged for a commodity, then even the disappearance of the form of exchange is posited; the form is posited as a merely formal mediation for the purpose of gaining possession of the natural material of the commodity. If a commodity is exchanged for money, then the form of exchange value, exchange value posited as exchange value, money, persists only as long as it stays outside exchange, withdraws from it, is hence a purely illusory realization, purely ideal in this form, in which the independence of exchange value leads a tangible existence. If, finally, money is exchanged for money — the fourth form in which circulation can be analysed, but at bottom only the third form expressed in the form of exchange — then not even a formal difference appears between the things distinguished; a distinction without a difference; not only does exchange value disappear, but also the formal movement of its disappearance. At bottom, these four specific forms of simple circulation are reducible to two, which, it is true, coincide in themselves; the distinction consists in the different placing of the emphasis, the accent; which of the two moments — money and commodity — forms the point of departure. Namely, money for the commodity: i.e. the exchange value of the commodity disappears in favour of its material content (substance); or commodity for money, i.e. its content (substance) disappears in favour of its form as exchange value. In the first case, the form of exchange value is extinguished; in the second, its substance; in both, therefore, its realization is its disappearance. Only with capital is exchange value posited as exchange value in such a way that it preserves itself in circulation; i.e. it neither becomes substanceless, nor constantly realizes itself in other substances or a totality of them; nor loses its specific form, but rather preserves its identity with itself in each of the different substances. It therefore always remains money and always commodity. It is in every moment both of the moments which disappear into one another in circulation. But it is this only because it itself is a constantly self-renewing circular course of exchanges. In this relation, too, its circulation is distinct from that of simple exchange values as such. Simple circulation is in fact circulation only from the standpoint of the observer, or in itself, not posited as such. It is not always the same exchange value — precisely because its substance is a particular commodity — which first becomes money and then a commodity again; rather, it is always different commodities, different exchange values which confront money. Circulation, the circular path, consists merely of the simple repetition or alternation of the role of commodity and money, and not of the identity of the real point of departure and the point of return. Therefore, in characterizing simple circulation as such, where money alone is the persistent moment, the term mere money circulation, money turnover has been applied.

‘Capital values are self-perpetuating.’ (Say, 14.) [32] ‘Capital –permanent’ (‘self-multiplying’ does not belong here as yet) ‘value which no longer decayed; this value tears itself loose from the commodity which created it; like a metaphysical, insubstantial quality, it always remained in the possession of the same cultivateur‘ (here irrelevant; say owner) ‘for whom it cloaked itself in different forms.’ (Sismondi, VI.) [33]

The immortality which money strove to achieve by setting itself negatively against circulation, by withdrawing from it, is achieved by capital, which preserves itself precisely by abandoning itself to circulation. Capital, as exchange value existing prior to circulation, or as presupposing and preserving itself in circulation, not only is in every moment ideally both of the two moments contained in simple circulation, but alternately takes the form of the one and of the other, though no longer merely by passing out of the one into the other, as in simple circulation, but rather by being in each of these roles at the same time a relation to its opposite, i.e. containing it ideally within itself. Capital becomes commodity and money alternately; but (1) it is itself the alternation of both these roles; (2) it becomes commodity; but not this or the other commodity, rather atotality of commodities. It is not indifferent to the substance, but to the particular form; appears in this respect as a constant metamorphosis of this substance; in so far as it is then posited as a particular content of exchange value, this particularity itself is a totality of particularity; hence indifferent not to particularity as such, but to the single or individuated particularity. The identity, the form of generality [Allgemeinheit], which it obtains is that of being exchange value and, as such, money. It is still therefore posited as money, in fact it exchanges itself as commodity for money. But posited as money, i.e. as this contradictory form of the generality of exchange value, there is posited in it at the same time that it must not, as in simple exchange, lose this generality, but must rather lose the attribute antithetical to generality, or adopt it only fleetingly; therefore it exchanges itself again for the commodity, but as a commodity which itself, in its particularity, expresses the generality of exchange value, and hence constantly changes its particular form.

If we speak here of capital, this is still merely a word. The only aspect in which capital is here posited as distinct from direct exchange value and from money is that of exchange value which preserves and perpetuates itself in and through circulation. We have so far examined only one side, that of its self-preservation in and through circulation. The other equally important side is that exchange value ispresupposed, but no longer as simple exchange value, such as it exists as a merely ideal quality of the commodity before it enters into circulation, or as, rather, a merely intended quality, since it becomes exchange value only for a vanishing moment in circulation; nor as exchange value as it exists as a moment in circulation, as money; it exists here, rather, as money, as objectified exchange value, but with the addition of the relation just described. What distinguishes the second from the first is that it (1) exists in the form of objectivity; (2) arises out of circulation, hence presupposes it, but at the same time proceeds from itself as presupposition of circulation.

There are two sides in which the result of simple circulation can be expressed:

The simply negative: The commodities thrown into circulation have achieved their purpose; they are exchanged for one another; each becomes an object of a need and is consumed. With that, circulation comes to an end. Nothing remains other than money as simple residue. As such a residue, however, it has ceased to be money, loses its characteristic form. It collapses into its material, which is left over as the inorganic ashes of the process as a whole.

The positively negative: Money is negated not as objectified, independent exchange value — not only as vanishing in circulation –but rather the antithetical independence, the merely abstract generality in which it has firmly settled, is negated; but

      thirdly: Exchange value as the presupposition and simultaneously the result of circulation, just as it is assumed as having emerged from circulation, must emerge from it again. If this happens in a merely formal manner, it would simply become money again; if it emerges as a real commodity, as in simple circulation, then it would become a simple object of need, consumed as such, and again lose its quality as form. For this emergence to become real, it must likewise become the object of a need and, as such, be consumed, but it must be consumed by labour, and thereby reproduce itself anew.

Differently expressed: Exchange value, as regards its content, was originally an objectified amount of labour or labour time; as such it passed through circulation, in its objectification, until it became money, tangible money. It must now again posit the point of departure of circulation, which lay outside circulation, was presupposed to it, and for which circulation appeared as an external, penetrating and internally transforming movement; this point was labour; but [it must do so] now no longer as a simple equivalent or as a simple objectification of labour, but rather as objectified exchange value, now became independent, which yields itself to labour, becomes its material, only so as to renew itself and to begin circulating again by itself. And with that it is no longer a simple positing of equivalents, a preservation of its identity, as in circulation; but rathermultiplication of itself. Exchange value posits itself as exchange value only by realizing itself; i.e. increasing its value. Money (as returned to itself from circulation), as capital, has lost its rigidity, and from a tangible thing has become a process. But at the same time, labour has changed its relation to its objectivity; it, too, has returned to itself. But the nature of the return is this, that the labour objectified in the exchange value posits living labour as a means of reproducing it, whereas, originally, exchange value appeared merely as a product of labour. Exchange value emerging from circulation, a presupposition of circulation, preserving and multiplying itself in it by means of labour.

Exchange Value Emerging from Circulation Becomes its Premiss

[34] I. (1) General concept of capital. — (2) Particularity of capital: circulating capital, fixed capital. (Capital as the necessaries of life, as raw material, as instrument of labour.) (3) Capital as money. II. (1) Quantity of capital. Accumulation. (2) Capital measured by itself. Profit. Interest. Value of capital: i.e. capital as distinct from itself as interest and profit. (3) The circulation of capitals. (a) Exchange of capital and capital. Exchange of capital with revenue. Capital and prices. (b) Competition of capitals. (g) Concentration of capitals. III. Capital as credit. IV. Capital as share capital. V. Capital as money market. VI. Capital as source of wealth. The capitalist. After capital, landed property would be dealt with. After that, wage labour. All three presupposed, the movement of prices, as circulation now defined in its inner totality. On the other side, the three classes, as production posited in its three basic forms and presuppositions of circulation. Then the state. (State and bourgeois society. — Taxes, or the existence of the unproductive classes. — The state debt. — Population. — The state externally: colonies. External trade. Rate of exchange. Money as international coin. — Finally the world market. Encroachment of bourgeois society over the state. Crises. Dissolution of the mode of production and form of society based on exchange value. Real positing of individual labour as social and vice versa.)>

Product and capital. Value and capital. Proudhon

(Nothing is more erroneous than the manner in which economists as well as socialists regard society in relation to economic conditions. Proudhon, for example, replies to Bastiat by saying (XVI, 29): ‘For society, the difference between capita] and product does not exist. This difference is entirely subjective, and related to individuals. [35] Thus he calls subjective precisely what is social; and he calls society a subjective abstraction. The difference between product and capital is exactly this, that the product expresses, as capital, a particular relation belonging to a historic form of society. This so-called contemplation from the standpoint 265 of society means nothing more than the overlooking of thedifferences which express the social relation (relation of bourgeois society). Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand. As if someone were to say: Seen from the perspective of society, there are no slaves and no citizens: both are human beings. Rather, they are that outside society. To be a slave, to be a citizen, are social characteristics, relations between human beings A and B. Human being A, as such, is not a slave. He is a slave in and through society. What Mr Proudhon here says about capital and product means, for him, that from the viewpoint of society there is no difference between capitalists and workers; a difference which exists precisely only from the standpoint of society.)

(For Proudhon in his polemic against Bastiat, ‘Gratuité du crédit‘, everything comes down to his own wish to reduce the exchange between capital and labour to the simple exchange of commodities as exchange values, to the moments of simple circulation, i.e. he abstracts from just the specific difference on which everything depends. He says: ‘At a given moment, every product becomes capital, because everything which is consumed is at a given moment consumed reproductively.’ This very false, but never mind. ‘What is it that makes the motion of the product suddenly transform itself into that of capital? It is the idea of value. That means that the product, in order to become capital, needs to have passed through an authentic evaluation, to have been bought or sold, its price debated and fixed by a sort of legal convention. E.g. leather, coming from the slaughterhouse, is the product of the butcher. Is this leather bought by the tanner? The latter then immediately carries it or carries its value into his exploitation fund [fonds d’exploitation]. By means of the tanner’s labour, this capital becomes product again etc.’ [36] Every capital is here ‘a constituted value‘. Money is the ‘most perfect value‘, [37] constituted value to the highest power. This means, then: (1) Product becomes capital by becoming value. Or capital is just nothing more than simple value. There is no difference between them. Thus he says commodity (the natural side of the same, expressed as product) at one time, value another time, alternatively, or rather, since he presupposes the act of buying and selling, price. (2) Since money appears as the perfected form of value such as it is in simple circulation, therefore money is also the true constituted value.)

Capital and labour. Exchange value and use value for exchange value. — Money and its use value (labour) in this relation, capital. Self-multiplication of value is its only movement. — The phrase that no capitalist will employ his capital without drawing a gain from it. — Capital, as regards substance, objectified labour. Its antithesis, living, productive (i.e. value-preserving and value-increasing) labour. — Productive labour and labour as performance of a service. — Productive and unproductive labour. A. Smith etc. — Thief in Lauderdale’s sense and productive labour

The transition from simple exchange value and its circulation to capital can also be expressed in this way: Within circulation, exchange value appears double: once as commodity, again as money. If it is in one aspect, it is not in the other. This holds for every particular commodity. But the wholeness of circulation, regarded in itself, lies in the fact that the same exchange value, exchange value as subject, posits itself once as commodity, another time as money, and that it is just this movement of positing itself in this dual character and of preserving itself in each of them as its opposite, in the commodity as money and in money as commodity. This in itself is present in simple circulation, but is not posited in it. Exchange value posited as the unity of commodity and money is capital, and this positing itself appears as the circulation of capital. (Which is, however, a spiral, an expanding curve, not a simple circle.)

Let us analyse first the simple aspects contained in the relation of capital and labour, in order by this means to arrive at the inner connection not only of these aspects, but also of their further development from the earlier ones.

The first presupposition is that capital stands on one side and labour on the other, both as independent forms relative to each other; both hence also alien to one another. The labour which stands opposite capital is alien [fremde] labour, and the capital which stands opposite labour is aliencapital. The extremes which stand opposite one another are specifically different. In the first positing of simple exchange value, labour was structured in such a way that the product was not a direct use value for the labourer, not a direct means of subsistence. This was the general condition for the creation of an exchange value and of exchange in general. Otherwise the worker would have produced only a product — a direct use value for himself — but not an exchange value. This exchange value, however, was materialized in a product which had, as such, a use value for others, and, as such, was the object of their needs. The use value which the worker has to offer to the capitalist, which he has to offer to others in general, is not materialized in a product, does not exist apart from him at all, thus exists not really, but only in potentiality, as his capacity. It becomes a reality only when it has been solicited by capital, is set in motion, since activity without object is nothing, or, at the most, mental activity, which is not the question at issue here. As soon as it has obtained motion from capital, this use value exists as the worker’s specific, productive activity; it is his vitality itself, directed toward a specific purpose and hence expressing itself in a specific form.

In the relation of capital and labour, exchange value and use value are brought into relation; the one side (capital) initially stands opposite the other side as exchange value[*] and the other labour), stands opposite capital, as use value. In simple circulation, each of the commodities can alternately be regarded in one or the other role. In both cases, when it counts as commodity as such, it steps outside circulation as object of a need and falls entirely outside the economic relation. In so far as the commodity becomes fixed as exchange value — money — it tends towards the same formlessness, but as falling within the economic relation. In any case, the commodities are of interest in the exchange-value relation (simple circulation) only in so far as they have exchange value; on the other side their exchange value is of only passing interest, in that it suspends the one-sidedness — the usefulness, use value, existing only for the specific individual, hence existing directly for him — but not this use value itself; rather, it posits and mediates it as use value for others etc. But to the degree that exchange value as such becomes fixed in money, use value no longer confronts it as anything but abstract chaos; and, through just this separation from its substance, it collapses into itself and tends away from the sphere of simple exchange value, whose highest movement is simple circulation, and whose highest perfection is money. But within the sphere itself, the distinctness exists in fact only as a superficial difference, a purely formal distinction. Money itself in its highest fixedness is itself a commodity again, and distinguishes itself from the others only in that it expresses exchange value more perfectly; but, as currency, and precisely for that reason, it loses its exchange value as intrinsic quality, and becomes mere use value, although admittedly use value for determining the prices etc. of commodities. The aspects still immediately coincide and just as immediately they separate. Where they relate to one another independently, positively, as in the case of the commodity which becomes an object of consumption, it ceases to be a moment of the economic process; where negatively, as in the case of money, it becomes madness; madness, however, as a moment of economics and as a determinant of the practical life of peoples.

We have seen earlier that it cannot be said that exchange value is realized in simple circulation. This is so, however, because use value does not stand as such opposite exchange value, as something defined as use value by exchange value; while inversely use value as such does not stand in a connection with exchange value, but becomes a specific exchange value only because the common element of use values — labour time — is applied to it as an external yardstick. Their unity still immediately splits, and their difference still immediately coincides. It must now be posited that use value as such becomes what it becomes through exchange value, and that exchange value mediates itself through use value. In money circulation, all we had was the different forms of exchange value (price of the commodity — money) or only different use values (commodity — C), for which money, exchange value, is merely a vanishing mediation. A real connection of exchange value and use value did not take place. The commodity as such — its particularity — is for that reason an irrelevant, merely accidental, and in general imaginary.content, which falls outside the relation of economic forms; or, the latter is a merely superficial form, a formal quality: the real substance lies outside its realm and stands in no relation at all to the substance as such; therefore if this formal quality as such becomes fixed in money, then it transforms itself on the sly into an irrelevant natural product, a metal, in which every trace of a connection, whether with the individual or with intercourse between individuals, is extinguished. Metal as such of course expresses no social relations; the coin form is extinguished in it as well; the last sign of life of its social significance.

Posited as a side of the relation, exchange value, which stands opposite use value itself, confronts it as money, but the money which confronts it in this way is no longer money in its character as such, but money as capital. The use value or commodity which confronts capital or the posited exchange value is no longer the commodity such as it appeared in opposition to money, where its specific form was as irrelevant as its content, and which appeared only as a completely undefined substance. First, as use value for capital, i.e. therefore as an object in exchange with which capital does not lose its value-quality, as for example does money when it is exchanged for a particular commodity. The only utility whatsoever which an object can have for capital can be to preserve or increase it. We have already see, in the case of money, how value, having become independent as such — or the general form of wealth — is capable of no other motion than a quantitative one; to increase itself. It is according to its concept the quintessence of all use values; but since it is always only a definite amount of money (here, capital), its quantitative limit is in contradiction with its quality. It is therefore inherent in its nature constantly to drive beyond its own barrier. (As consumption-oriented wealth, e.g. in imperial Rome, it therefore appears as limitless waste, which logically attempts to raise consumption to an imaginary boundlessness, by gulping down salad of pearls etc.) Already for that reason, value which insists on itself as value preserves itself through increase; and it preserves itself precisely only by constantly driving beyond its quantitative barrier, which contradicts its character as form, its inner generality. Thus, growing wealthy is an end in itself. The goal-determining activity of capital can only be that of growing wealthier, i.e. of magnification, of increasing itself. A specific sum of money (and money always exists for its owner in a specific quantity, always as a specific sum of money) (this is to be developed as early as in the money chapter) can entirely suffice for a specific consumption, in which it ceases to be money. But as a representative of general wealth, it cannot do so. As a quantitatively specific sum, a limited sum, it is only a limited representative of general wealth, or representative of a limited wealth, which goes as far, and no further than, its exchange value, and is precisely measured in it. It thus does not by any means have the capacity which according to its general concept it ought to have, namely the capacity of buying all pleasures, all commodities, the totality of the material substances of wealth; it is not a ‘précis de toutes les choses’ etc. Fixed as wealth, as the general form of wealth, as value which counts as value, it is therefore the constant drive to go beyond its quantitative limit: an endless process. Its own animation consists exclusively in that; it preserves itself as a self-validated exchange value distinct from a use value only by constantly multiplying itself. (It is damned difficult for Messrs the economists to make the theoretical transition from the self-preservation of value in capital to its multiplication; and this in its fundamental character, not only as an accident or result. See e.g. Storch, how he brings this fundamental character in with an adverb, ‘properly’. [43] Admittedly, the economists try to introduce this into the relation of capital as an essential aspect, but if this is not done in the brutal form of defining capital as that which brings profit, where the increase of capital itself is already posited as a specialeconomic form, profit, then it happens only surreptitiously, and very feebly, as we shall later show in a brief review of all that the economists have contributed towards determining the concept of capital. Drivel to the effect that nobody would employ his capital without drawing a gain from it [44] amounts either to the absurdity that the good capitalists will remain capitalists even without employing their capital; or to a very banal form of saying that gainful investment is inherent in the concept of capital. Very well. In that case it would just have to be demonstrated.) — Money as a sum of money is measured by its quantity. This measuredness contradicts its character, which must be oriented towards the measureless. Everything which has been said here about money holds even more for capital, in which money actually develops in its completed character for the first time. The only use value, i.e. usefulness, which can stand opposite capital as such is that which increases, multiplies and hence preserves it as capital.

Secondly. Capital is by definition money, but not merely money in the simple form of gold and silver, nor merely as money in opposition to circulation, but in the form of all substances — commodities. To that degree, therefore, it does not, as capital, stand in opposition to use value, but exists apart from money precisely only in use values. These, its substances themselves, are thus now transitory ones, which would have no exchange value if they had no use value; but which lose their value as use values and are dissolved by the simple metabolism of nature if they are not actually used, and which disappear even more certainly if they are actually used. In this regard, the opposite of capital cannot itself be a particular commodity, for as such it would form no opposition to capital, since the substance of capital is itself use value; it is not this commodity or that commodity, but all commodities. The communal substance of all commodities, i.e. their substance not as material stuff, as physical character, but their communal substance as commodities and hence exchange values, is this, that they are objectified labour[**] The only thing distinct from objectified labour is non-objectified labour, labour which is still objectifying itself, labour as subjectivity. Or, objectifiedlabour, i.e. labour which is present in space, can also be opposed, as past labour, to labour which is present in time. If it is to be present in time, alive, then it can be present only as the living subject, in which it exists as capacity, as possibility; hence as worker. The only use value,therefore, which can form the opposite pole to capital is labour (to be exact, value-creating, productive labour. This marginal remark is an anticipation; must first be developed, by and by. Labour as mere performance of services for the satisfaction of immediate needs has nothing whatever to do with capital, since that is not capital’s concern. If a capitalist hires a woodcutter to chop wood to roast his mutton over, then not only does the wood-cutter relate to the capitalist, but also the capitalist to the wood-cutter, in the relation of simple exchange. The woodcutter gives him his service, a use value, which does not increase capital; rather, capital consumes itself in it; and the capitalist gives him another commodity for it in the form of money. The same relation holds for all services which workers exchange directly for the money of other persons, and which are consumed by these persons. This is consumption of revenue, which, as such, always falls within simple circulation; it is not consumption of capital. Since one of the contracting parties does not confront the other as a capitalist, this performance of a service cannot fall under the category of productive labour. From whore to pope, there is a mass of such rabble. But the honest and ‘working’ lumpenproletariat belongs here as well; e.g. the great mob of porters etc. who render service in seaport cities etc. He who represents money in this relation demands the service only for its use value, which immediately vanishes for him; but the porter demands money, and since the party with money is concerned with the commodity and the party with the commodity, with money, it follows that they represent to one another no more than the two sides of simple circulation; goes without saying that the porter, as the party concerned with money, hence directly with the general form of wealth, tries to enrich himself at the expense of his improvised friend, thus injuring the latter’s self-esteem, all the more so because he, a hard calculator, has need of the service not qua capitalist but as a result of his ordinary human frailty. A. Smith was essentially correct with his productive andunproductive labour, correct from the standpoint of bourgeois economy. [45] What the other economists advance against it is either horse-piss (for instance Storch, Senior even lousier etc.), [46] namely that every action after all acts upon something, thus confusion of the product in its natural and in its economic sense; so that the pickpocket becomes a productive worker too, since he indirectly produces books on criminal law (this reasoning at least as correct as calling a judge a productive worker because he protects from theft). Or the modern economists have turned themselves into such sycophants of the bourgeois that they want to demonstrate to the latter that it is productive labour when somebody picks the lice out of his hair, or strokes his tail, because for example the latter activity will make his fat head — blockhead — clearer the next day in the office. It is therefore quite correct — but also characteristic — that for the consistent economists the workers in e.g. luxury shops are productive, although the characters who consume such objects are expressly castigated as unproductive wastrels. The fact is that these workers, indeed, are productive, as far as they increase the capital of their master; unproductive as to the material result of their labour. In fact, of course, this ‘productive’ worker cares as much about the crappy shit he has to make as does the capitalist himself who employs him, and who also couldn’t give a damn for the junk. But, looked at more precisely, it turns out in fact that the true definition of a productive worker consists in this: A person who needs and demands exactly as much as, and no more than, is required to enable him to gain the greatest possible benefit for his capitalist. All this nonsense. Digression. But return in more detail to the productive and unproductive).

Exchange Between Capital and Labour

The two different processes in the exchange of capital with labour. (Here the use value of that which is exchanged for capital belongs to the specific economic form etc.)

The use value which confronts capital as posited exchange value is labour. Capital exchanges itself, or exists in this role, only in connection withnot-capital, the negation of capital, without which it is not capital; the real not-capital is labour.

If we consider the exchange between capital and labour, then we find that it splits into two processes which are not only formally but also qualitatively different, and even contradictory:

(1) The worker sells his commodity, labour, which has a use value, and, as commodity, also a price, like all other commodities , for a specific sum of exchange values, specific sum of money, which capital concedes to him.

(2) The capitalist obtains labour itself, labour as value- positing activity, as productive labour; i.e. he obtains the productive force which maintains and multiplies capital, and which thereby becomes the productive force, the reproductive force of capital, a force belonging to capital itself.

The separation of these two processes is so obvious that they can take place at different times, and need by no means coincide. The first process can be and usually, to a certain extent, is completed before the second even begins. The completion of the second act presupposes the completion of the product. The payment of wages cannot wait for that. We will even find it an essential aspect of the relation, that it does not wait for that.

In simple exchange, circulation, this double process does not take place. If commodity A is exchanged for money B, and the latter then for the commodity C, which is destined to be consumed — the original object of the exchange, for A — then the using-up of commodity C, its consumption, falls entirely outside circulation; is irrelevant to the form of the relation; lies beyond circulation itself, and is of purely physical interest, expressing no more than the relation of the individual A in his natural quality to an object of his individual need. What he does with commodity C is a question which belongs outside the economic relation. Here, by contrast, the use value of that which is exchanged for money appears as a particular economic relation, and the specific utilization of that which is exchanged for money forms the ultimate aim of both processes. Therefore, this is already a distinction of form between the exchange of capital and labour, and simple exchange — two different processes.

If we now further inquire how the exchange between capital and labour is different in content from simple exchange (circulation), then we find that this difference does not arise out of an external connection or equation; but rather that, in the totality of the latter process, the second form distinguishes itself from the first, in that this equation is itself comprised within it. The difference between the second act and the first — note that the particular process of the appropriation of labour by capital is the second act — is exactly the difference between the exchange of capital and labour, and exchange between commodities as it is mediated by money. In the exchange between capital and labour, the first act is an exchange, falls entirely within ordinary circulation; the second is a process qualitatively different from exchange, and only by misuse could it have been called any sort of exchange at all. It stands directly opposite exchange; essentially different category.

Capital and modern landed property. – Wakefield

<(Capital. I. Generality: (1) (a) Emergence of capital out of money. (b) Capital and labour (mediating itself through alien labour). (c) The elements of capital, dissected according to their relation to labour (Product. Raw material. Instrument of labour.) (2) Particularization of capital: (a) Capital circulant, capital fixe. Turnover of capital. (3) The singularity of capital: Capital and profit. Capital and interest. Capital asvalue, distinct from itself as interest and profit. II. Particularity: (1) Accumulation of capitals. (2) Competition of capitals. (3) Concentration of capitals (quantitative distinction of capital as at same time qualitative, as measure of its size and influence). III. Singularity: (1) Capital as credit. (2) Capital as stock-capital. (3) Capital as money market. In the money market, capital is posited in its totality; there it determines prices, gives work, regulates production, in a word, is the source of production; but capital, not only as something which produces itself (positing prices materially in industry etc., developing forces of production), but at the same time as a creator of values, has to posit a value or form of wealth specifically distinct from capital. This is ground rent. This is the only value created by capital which is distinct from itself, from its ownproduction. By its nature as well as historically, capital is the creator of modern landed property, of ground rent; just as its action therefore appears also as the dissolution of the old form of property in land. The new arises through the action of capital upon the old. Capital is this — in one regard — as creator of modern agriculture. The inner construction of modern society, or, capital in the totality of its relations, is therefore posited in the economic relations of modern landed property, which appears as a process: ground rent-capital-wage labour (the form of the circle can also be put in another way: as wage labour-capital-ground rent; but capital must always appear as the active middle). The question is now, how does the transition from landed property to wage labour come about? (The transition from wage labour to capital arises by itself, since the latter is here brought back into its active foundation.) Historically, this transition is beyond dispute. It is already given in the fact that landed property is the product of capital. We therefore always find that, wherever landed property is transformed into money rent through the reaction of capital on the older forms of landed property (the same thing takes place in another way where the modern farmer is created) and where, therefore, at the same time agriculture, driven by capital, transforms itself into industrial agronomy, there the cottiers, serfs, bondsmen, tenants for life, cottagers etc. become day labourers, wage labourers, i.e. that wage labour in its totality is initially created by the action of capital on landed property, and then, as soon as the latter has been produced as a form, by the proprietor of the land himself. This latter himself then ‘clears’, as Steuart says, [47] the land of its excess mouths, tears the children of the earth from the breast on which they were raised, and thus transforms labour on the soil itself, which appears by its nature as the direct wellspring of subsistence, into a mediated source of subsistence, a source purely dependent on social relations. (The reciprocal dependence has first to be produced in its pure form before it is possible to think of a real social communality [Gemeinschaftlichkeit]. All relations as posited by society, not as determined by nature.) Only in this way is the application of science possible for the first time, and the development of the full force of production. There can therefore be no doubt that wage labour in itsclassic form, as something permeating the entire expanse of society, which has replaced the very earth as the ground on which society stands, is initially created only by modern landed property, i.e. by landed property as a value created by capital itself. This is why landed property leads back to wage labour. In one regard, it is nothing more than the extension of wage labour, from the cities to the countryside, i.e. wage labour distributed over the entire surface of society. The ancient proprietor of land, if he is rich, needs no capitalist in order to become the modern proprietor of land. He needs only to transform his workers into wage workers and to produce for profit instead of for revenue. Then the modern farmer and the modern landowner are presupposed in his person. This change in the form in which he obtains his revenue or in the form in which the worker is paid is not, however, a formal distinction, but presupposes a total restructuring of the mode of production (agriculture) itself; it therefore presupposes conditions which rest on a certain development of industry, of trade, and of science, in short of the forces of production. Just as, in general, production resting on capital and wage labour differs from other modes of production not merely formally, but equally presupposes a total revolution and development of material production. Although capital can develop itself completely as commercial capital (only not as much quantitatively), without this transformation of landed property, it cannot do so as industrial capital. Even the development of manufactures presupposes the beginning of a dissolution of the old economic relations of landed property. On the other hand, only with the development of modern industry to a high degree does this dissolution at individual points acquire its totality and extent; but this development itself proceeds more rapidly to the degree that modern agriculture and the form of property, the economic relations corresponding to it, have developed. Thus England in this respect the model country for the other continental countries. Likewise: if the first form of industry, large-scale manufacture, already presupposes dissolution of landed property, then the latter is in turn conditioned by the subordinate development of capital in its primitive (medieval) forms which has taken place in the cities, and at the same time by the effect of the flowering of manufacture and trade in other countries (thus the influence of Holland on England in the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century). These countries themselves had already undergone the process, agriculture had been sacrificed to cattle-raising, and grain was obtained from countries which were left behind, such as Poland etc., by import (Holland again). It must be kept in mind that the new forces of production and relations of production do not develop out of nothing, nor drop from the sky, nor from the womb of the self-positing Idea; but from within and in antithesis to the existing development of production and the inherited, traditional relations of property. While in the completed bourgeois system every economic relation presupposes every other in its bourgeois economic form, and everything posited is thus also a presupposition, this is the case with every organic system. This organic system itself, as a totality, has its presuppositions, and its development to its totality consists precisely in subordinating all elements of society to itself, or in creating out of it the organs which it still lacks. This is historically how it becomes a totality. The process of becoming this totality forms a moment of its process, of its development. — On the other hand, if within one society the modern relations of production, i.e. capital, are developed to its totality, and this society then seizes hold of a new territory, as e.g. the colonies, then it finds, or rather its representative, the capitalist, finds, that his capital ceases to be capital without wage labour, and that one of the presuppositions of the latter is not only landed property in general, but modern landed property; landed property which, as capitalized rent, is expensive, and which, as such, excludes the direct use of the soil by individuals. Hence Wakefield’s theory of colonies, followed in practice by the English government in Australia. [48] Landed property is here artificially made more expensive in order to transform the workers into wage workers, to make capital act as capital, and thus to make the new colony productive; to develop wealth in it, instead of using it, as in America, for the momentary deliverance of the wage labourers. Wakefield’s theory is infinitely important for a correct understanding of modern landed property. — Capital, when it creates landed property, therefore goes back to the production of wage labour as its general creative basis. Capital arises out of circulation and posits labour as wage labour; takes form in this way; and, developed as a whole, it posits landed property as its precondition as well as its opposite. It turns out, however, that it has thereby only created wage labour as its general presupposition. The latter must then be examined by itself. On the other hand, modern landed property itself appears most powerfully in the process of clearing the estates and the transformation of the rural labourers into wage labourers. Thus a double transition to wage labour. This on the positive side. Negatively, after capital has posited landed property and hence arrived at its double purpose: (1) industrial agriculture and thereby development of the forces of production on the land; (2) wage labour, thereby general domination of capital over the countryside; it then regards the existence of landed property itself as a merely transitional development, which is required as an action of capital on the old relations of landed property, and aproduct of their decomposition; but which, as such — once this purpose achieved — is merely a limitation on profit, not a necessary requirement for production. It thus endeavours to dissolve landed property as private property and to transfer it to the state. This the negative side. Thus to transform the entire domestic society into capitalists and wage labourers. When capital has reached this point, then wage labour itself reaches the point where, on one side, it endeavours to remove the landowner as an excrescence, to simplify the relation, to lessen the burden of taxes etc., in the same form as the bourgeois; on the other hand, in order to escape wage labour and to become an independent producer — for immediate consumption — it demands the breaking-up of large landed property. Landed property is thus negated from two sides; the negation from the side of capital is only a change of form, towards its undivided rule. (Ground rent as the universal state rent (state tax), so that bourgeois society reproduces the medieval system in a new way, but as the latter’s total negation.) The negation from the side of wage labour is only concealed negation of capital, hence of itself as well. It must now be regarded as independent in respect to capital. Thus the transition double: (1) Positive transition from modern landed property, or from capital through the mediation of modern landed property, to general wage labour; (2) negative transition: negation of landed property by capital, i.e. thus negation of autonomous value by capital, i.e. precisely negation of capital by itself. But its negation is wage labour. Then negation of landed property and, through its mediation, of capital, on the part of wage labour, i.e. on the part of wage labour which wants to posit itself as independent.>

< The market, which appears as an abstract quality at the beginning of economics, takes on total shapes. First, the money market. This includes the discount market; in general, the loan market; hence money trade, bullion market. As money-lending market it appears in the banks, for instance the discount at which they discount: loan market, billbrokers etc.; but then also as the market in all interest-bearing bills: state funds and the share market. The latter separate off into larger groups (first the shares of money institutions themselves; bank shares; joint-stock bank shares; shares in the means of communication (railway shares the most important; canal shares; steam navigation shares, telegraph shares, omnibus shares); shares of general industrial enterprises (mining shares the chief ones). Then in the supply of common elements (gas shares, water-supply shares). Miscellaneous shares of a thousand kinds. For the storage of commodities (dock shares etc.).Miscellaneous in infinite variety, such as enterprises in industry or trading companies founded on shares. Finally, as security for the whole,insurance shares of all kinds.) Now, just as the market by and large is divided into home market and foreign market, so the internal market itself again divides into the market of home shares, national funds etc. and foreign funds, foreign shares etc. This development actually belongs properly under the world market, which is not only the internal market in relation to all foreign markets existing outside it, but at the same time the internal market of all foreign markets as, in turn, components of the home market. The concentration of the money market in a chief location within a country, while the other markets are more distributed according to the division of labour; although here, too, great concentration in the capital city, if the latter is at the same time a port of export. — The various markets other than the money market are, firstly, as different as are products and branches of production themselves. The chief markets in these various products arise in centres which are such either in respect of import or export, or because they are either themselves centres of a given production, or are the direct supply points of such centres. But these markets proceed from this simple difference to a more or less organic separation into large groups, which themselves necessarily divide up according to the basic elements of capital itself: product market and raw-material market. The instrument of production as such does not form a separate market; it exists as such chiefly first, in the raw materials themselves which are sold as means of production; then, however, in particular in the metals, since these exclude all thought of direct consumption, and then the products, such as coal, oil, chemicals, which are destined to disappear as auxiliary means of production. Likewise dyes, wood, drugs etc. Hence:

I. Products. (1) Grain market with its various subdivisions. E.g. seed market: rice, sage, potatoes etc. This very important economically; at the same time market for production and for direct consumption. (2) Colonial-produce market. Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar; spices (pepper, tobacco, pimento, cinnamon, cassia lignea, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmegs, etc.). (3) Fruits. Almonds, currants, figs, plums, prunes, raisins, oranges, lemons etc. Molasses (for production etc.). (4) Provisions. Butter; cheese; bacon; hams; lard; pork; beef (smoked), fish etc. (5)Spirits. Wine, rum, beer etc. II. Raw Materials. (1) Raw materials for mechanical industry. Flax; hemp; cotton; silk; wool; hides; leather; gutta-percha etc. (2) Raw materials for chemical industry. Potash, saltpetre; turpentine; nitrate of soda etc. III. Raw materials which at the same time instruments of production. Metals (copper, iron, tin, zinc, lead, steel etc.), wood. Lumber. Timber. Dye-woods. Specialized wood for shipbuilding etc. Accessory means of production and raw materials. Drugs and dyes. (Cochineal, indigo etc. Tar. Tallow. Oil. Coals etc.) Of course, every product must go to market, but really great markets, as distinct from retail trade, are formed only by the great consumption goods (economically important are only the grain market, the tea, the sugar, the coffee market (wine market to some extent, and market in spirits generally), or those which are raw materials of industry: wool, silk, wood, metal market etc.) To be seen at what point the abstract category of the market has to be brought in.)

Exchange between capital and labour. Piecework wages. –Value of labour power. — Share of the wage labourer in general wealth determined only quantitatively. — The worker’s equivalent, money. Thus confronts capital as equal. — But aim of his exchange satisfaction of his need. Money for him only medium of circulation. — Savings, self-denial as means of the worker’s enrichment. — Valuelessness and devaluation of the worker a condition of capital

The exchange between the worker and the capitalist is a simple exchange; each obtains an equivalent; the one obtains money, the other a commodity whose price is exactly equal to the money paid for it; what the capitalist obtains from this simple exchange is a use value: disposition over alien labour. From the worker’s side — and service is the exchange in which he appears as seller — it is evident that the use which the buyer makes of the purchased commodity is as irrelevant to the specific form of the relation here as it is in the case of any other commodity, of any other use value. What the worker sells is the disposition over his labour, which is a specific one, specific skill etc.

What the capitalist does with his labour is completely irrelevant, although of course he can use it only in accord with its specific characteristics, and his disposition is restricted to a specific labour and is restricted in time (so much labour time). The piece-work system of payment, it is true, introduces the semblance that the worker obtains a specified share of the product. But this is only another form of measuring time (instead of saying, you will work for 12 hours, what is said is, you get so much per piece; i.e. we measure the time you have worked by the number of products); it is here, in the examination of the general relation, altogether beside the point. If the capitalist were to content himself with merely the capacity of disposing, without actually making the worker work, e.g. in order to have his labour as a reserve, or to deprive his competitor of this capacity of disposing (like e.g. theatre directors who buy singers for a season not in order to have them sing, but so that they do not sing in a competitor’s theatre), then the exchange has taken place in full. True, the worker receives money, hence exchange value, the general form of wealth, in one or another quantity; and the more or less he receives, the greater or the lesser is the share in the general wealth he thus obtains. How this more or less is determined, how the quantity of money he receives is measured, is of so little relevance to the general relation that it cannot be developed out of the latter. In general terms, the exchange value of his commodity cannot be determined by the manner in which its buyer uses it, but only by the amount of objectified labour contained in it; hence, here, by the amount of labour required to reproduce the worker himself. For the use value which he offers exists only as an ability, a capacity [Vermögen] of his bodily existence; has no existence apart from that. The labour objectified in that use value is the objectified labour necessary bodily to maintain not only the general substance in which his labour power exists, i.e. the worker himself, but also that required to modify this general substance so as to develop its particular capacity. This, in general terms, is the measure of the amount of value, the sum of money, which he obtains in exchange. The further development, where wages are measured, like all other commodities, by the labour time necessary to produce the worker as such, is not yet to the point here. Within circulation, if I exchange a commodity for money, buy a commodity for it and satisfy my need, then the act is at an end. Thus it is with the worker. But he has the possibility of beginning it again from the beginning because his life is the source in which his own use value constantly rekindles itself up to a certain time, when it is worn out, and constantly confronts capital again in order to begin the same exchange anew. Like every individual subject within circulation, the worker is the owner of a use value; he exchanges this for money, for the general form of wealth, but only in order to exchange this again for commodities, considered as the objects of his immediate consumption, as the means of satisfying his needs. Since he exchanges his use value for the general form of wealth, he becomes co-participant in general wealth up to the limit of his equivalent — a quantitative limit which, of course, turns into a qualitative one, as in every exchange. But he is neither bound to particular objects, nor to a particular manner of satisfaction. The sphere of his consumption is not qualitatively restricted, only quantitatively. This distinguishes him from the slave, serf etc. Consumption certainly reacts on production itself; but this reaction concerns the worker in his exchange as little as it does any other seller of a commodity; rather, as regards mere circulation — and we have as yet no other developed relation before us — it falls outside the economic relation. This much, however, can even now be mentioned in passing, namely that the relative restriction on the sphere of the workers’ consumption (which is only quantitative, not qualitative, or rather, only qualitative as posited through the quantitative) gives them as consumers (in the further development of capital the relation between consumption and production must, in general, be more closely examined) an entirely different importance as agents of production from that which they possessed e.g. in antiquity or in the Middle Ages, or now possess in Asia. But, as noted, this does not belong here yet. Similarly, because the worker receives the equivalent in the form of money, the form of general wealth, he is in this exchange an equal vis-à-vis the capitalist, like every other party in exchange; at least, so he seems. In fact this equality is already disturbed because the worker’s relation to the capitalist as a use value, in the form specifically distinct from exchange value, in opposition to value posited as value, is a presupposition of this seemingly simple exchange; because, thus, he already stands in an economically different relation — outside that of exchange, in which the nature of the use value, the particular use value of the commodity is, as such, irrelevant. This semblance exists, nevertheless, as an illusion on his part and to a certain degree on the other side, and thus essentially modifies his relation by comparison to that of workers in other social modes of production. But what is essential is that the purpose of the exchange for him is the satisfaction of his need. The object of his exchange is a direct object of need, not exchange value as such. He does obtain money, it is true, but only in its role as coin; i.e. only as a self-suspending and vanishing mediation. What he obtains from the exchange is therefore not exchange value, not wealth, but a means of subsistence, objects for the preservation of his life, the satisfaction of his needs in general, physical, social etc. It is a specific equivalent in means of subsistence, in objectified labour, measured by the cost of production of his labour. What he gives up is his power to dispose of the latter. On the other side, it is true that even within simple circulation the coin may grow into money, and that in so far as he receives coin in exchange, he can therefore transform it into money by stockpiling it, etc., withdrawing it from circulation; fixes it as general form of wealth, instead of as vanishing medium of exchange. In this respect it could thus be said that, in the exchange between capital and labour, the worker’s object — hence, for him, the product of the exchange — is not the means of subsistence, but wealth; not a particular use value, but rather exchange value as such. Accordingly the worker could make exchange value into his own product only in the same way in which wealth in general can appearsolely as product of simple circulation in which equivalents are exchanged, namely by sacrificing substantial satisfaction to obtain the form of wealth, i.e. through self-denial, saving, cutting corners in his consumption so as to withdraw less from circulation than he puts goods into it. This is the only possible form of enriching oneself which is posited by circulation itself. Self-denial could then also appear in the more active form, which is not posited in simple circulation, of denying himself more and more rest, and in general denying himself any existence other than his existence as worker, and being as far as possible a worker only; hence more frequently renewing the act of exchange, or extending it quantitatively, hence through industriousness[49] Hence still today the demand for industriousness and also for saving, self-denial, is made not upon the capitalists but on the workers, and namely by the capitalists. Society today makes the paradoxical demand that he for whom the object of exchange is subsistence should deny himself, not he for whom it is wealth. The illusion that the capitalists in fact practised ‘self-denial’[50] and became capitalists thereby — a demand and a notion which only made any sense at all in the early period when capital was emerging from feudal etc. relations — has been abandoned by all modern economists of sound judgment. The workers are supposed to save, and much bustle is made with savings banks etc. (As regards the latter, even the economists admit that their proper purpose is not wealth, either, but merely a more purposeful distribution of expenditure, so that in their old age, or in case of illness, crises etc., they do not become a burden on the poorhouses, on the state, or on the proceeds of begging (in a word, so that they become a burden on the working class itself and not on the capitalists, vegetating out of the latter’s pockets), i.e. so that they save for the capitalists; and reduce the costs of production for them.) Still, no economist will deny that if the workers generally, that is, as workers (what the individual worker does or can do, as distinct from his genus, can only exist just as exception, not as rule, because it is not inherent in the character of the relation itself), that is, if they acted according to this demand as a rule (apart from the damage they would do to general consumption — the loss would be enormous — and hence also to production, thus also to the amount and volume of the exchanges which they could make with capital, hence to themselves as workers) then the worker would be employing means which absolutely contradict their purpose, and which would directly degrade him to the level of the Irish, the level of wage labour where the most animal minimum of needs and subsistence appears to him as the sole object and purpose of his exchange with capital. If he adopted wealth as his purpose, instead of making his purpose use value, he would then, therefore, not only come to no riches, but would moreover lose use value in the bargain. For, as a rule, the maximum of industriousness, of labour, and the minimum of consumption — and this is the maximum of his self-denial and of his moneymaking — could lead to nothing else than that he would receive for his maximum of labour a minimum of wages. By his exertions he would only have diminished the general level of the production costs of his own labour and therefore its general price. Only as an exception does the worker succeed through will power, physical strength and endurance, greed etc., in transforming his coin into money, as an exception from his class and from the general conditions of his existence. If all or the majority are too industrious (to the degree that industriousness in modern industry is in fact left to their own personal choice, which is not the case in the most important and most developed branches of production), then they increase not the value of their commodity, but only its quantity; that is, the demands which would be placed on it as use value. If they all save, then a general reduction of wages will bring them back to earth again; for general savings would show the capitalist that their wages are in general too high, that they receive more than its equivalent for their commodity, the capacity of disposing of their own labour; since it is precisely the essence of simple exchange — and they stand in this relation towards him — that no one throws more into circulation than he withdraws; but also that no one can withdraw more than he has thrown in. An individual worker can beindustrious above the average, more than he has to be in order to live as a worker, only because another lies below the average, is lazier; he can save only because and if another wastes. The most he can achieve on the average with his self-denial is to be able better to endure the fluctuations of prices — high and low, their cycle — that is, he can only distribute his consumption better, but never attain wealth. And that is actually what the capitalists demand. The workers should save enough at the times when business is good to be able more or less to live in the bad times, to endure short time or the lowering of wages. (The wage would then fall even lower.) That is, the demand that they should always hold to a minimum of life’s pleasures and make crises easier to bear for the capitalists etc. Maintain themselves as pure labouring machines and as far as possible pay their own wear and tear. Quite apart from the sheer brutalization to which this would lead — and such a brutalization itself would make it impossible even to strive for wealth in general form, as money, stockpiled money — (and the worker’s participation in the higher, even cultural satisfactions, the agitation for his own interests, newspaper subscriptions, attending lectures, educating his children, developing his taste etc., his only share of civilization which distinguishes him from the slave, is economically only possible by widening the sphere of his pleasures at the times when business is good, where saving is to a certain degree possible), [apart from this,] he would, if he saved his money in a properly ascetic manner and thus heaped up premiums for the lumpenproletariat, pickpockets etc., who would increase in proportion with the demand, he could conserve savings — if they surpass the piggy-bank amounts of the official savings banks, which pay him a minimum of interest, so that the capitalists can strike high interest rates out of his savings, or the state eats them up, thereby merely increasing the power of his enemies and his own dependence — conserve his savings and make them fruitful only by putting them into banks etc., so that, afterwards, in times of crisis he loses his deposits, after having in times of prosperity foregone all life’s pleasures in order to increase the power of capital; thus has saved in every way for capital, not for himself.

Incidentally — in so far as the whole thing is not a hypocritical phrase of bourgeois ‘philanthropy’, which consists in fobbing the worker off with ‘pious wishes’ — each capitalist does demand that his workers should save, but only his own, because they stand towards him as workers; but by no means the remaining world of workers, for these stand towards him as consumers. In spite of all ‘pious’ speeches he therefore searches for means to spur them on to consumption, to give his wares new charms, to inspire them with new needs by constant chatter etc. It is precisely this side of the relation of capital and labour which is an essential civilizing moment, and on which the historic justification, but also the contemporary power of capital rests. (This relation between production and consumption to be developed only under capital and profit etc.) (Or, then again, under accumulation and competition of capitals.) These are nevertheless all exoteric observations, relevant here only in so far as they show the demands of hypocritical bourgeois philanthropy to be self-contradictory and thus to prove precisely what they were supposed to refute, namely that in the exchange between the worker and capital, the worker finds himself in the relation of simple circulation, hence obtains not wealth but only subsistence, use values for immediate consumption. That this demand contradicts the relation itself emerges from the simple reflection (the recently and complacently advanced demand that the workers should be given a certain share in profits [51] is to be dealt with in the sectionwage labour; other than as a special bonus which can achieve its purpose only as an exception from the rule, and which is in fact, in noteworthy practice, restricted to the buying-up of individual overlookers etc. in the interests of the employer against the interests of their class; or to travelling salesmen etc., in short, no longer simple workers, hence also not to the simple relation; or else it is a special way of cheating the workers and of deducting a part of their wages in the more precarious form of a profit depending on the state of the business) that, if the worker’s savings are not to remain merely the product of circulation — saved up money, which can be realized only by being converted sooner or later into the substantial content of wealth, pleasures etc. — then the saved-up money would itself have to become capital, i.e. buy labour, relate to labour as use value. It thus presupposes labour which is not capital, and presupposes that labour has become its opposite — not-labour. In order to become capital, it itself presupposes labour as not-capital as against capital; hence it presupposes the establishment at another point of the contradiction it is supposed to overcome. if, then, in the original relation itself, the object and the product of the worker’s exchange — as product of mere exchange, it can be no other — were not use value, subsistence, satisfaction of direct needs, withdrawal from circulation of the equivalent put into it in order to be destroyed by consumption — then labour would confront capital not as labour, not as not-capital, but as capital. But capital, too, cannot confront capital if capital does not confront labour, since capital is only capital as not-labour; in this contradictory relation. Thus the concept and the relation of capital itself would be destroyed. That then are situations in which property-owners who themselves work engage in exchange with one another is certainly not denied. But such conditions are not those of the society in which capital as such exists in developed form; they are destroyed at all points, therefore, by its development. As capital it can posit itself only by positing labour as not-capital as pure use value. (As a slave, the worker has exchange value, a value; as a free wage-worker he has no value; it is rather his power of disposing of his labour, effected by exchange with him, which has value. It is not he who stands toward the capitalist as exchange value, but the capitalist toward him. His valuelessness and devaluation is the presupposition of capital and the precondition of free labor in general. Linguet regards it as a step backwards; [52] he forgets that the worker is thereby formally posited as a person who is something for himself apart from his labour, and who alienates his life-expression only as a means towards his own life. So long as the worker as such has exchange value, industrial capital as such cannot exist, hence nor can developed capital in general. Towards the latter, labour must exist as pure use value, which is offered as a commodity by its possessor himself in exchange for it, for its exchange value, which of course becomes real in the worker’s hand only in its role as general medium of exchange; otherwise vanishes.) Well. The worker, then, finds himself only in the relation of simple circulation, of simple exchange, and obtains only coin for his use value; subsistence; but mediated. This form of mediation is, as we saw, essential to and characteristic of the relation. That it can proceed to the transformation of the coin into money — savings — proves precisely only that his relation is that of simple circulation; he can save more or less; but beyond that he cannot get; he can realize what he has saved only by momentarily expanding the sphere of his pleasures. It is of importance — and penetrates into the character of the relation itself — that, because money is the product of his exchange, general wealth drives him forward as an illusion; makes him industrious. At the same time, this not only formally opens up a field of arbitrariness in the realiz ….. [53]



29 November – c. mid-December 1857

The Chapter on Capital (continuation)

(Labour power as capital!)—Wages not productive

[1]‘… processes of the same subject; thus e.g. the substance of the eye, the capital of vision etc. Such belletristic phrases, which relate everything to everything else by means of some analogy, may even appear profound the first time they are expressed, all the more so if they identify the most disparate things. Repeated, however, and then repeated with outright complacency as statements of scientific value, they are purely and simply ridiculous. Good only for belletristic sophomores and empty chatterboxes who defile all the sciences with their liquorice-sweet filth. The fact that labour is a constant new source of exchange for the worker as long as he is capable of working—meaning not exchange in general, but exchange with capital—is inherent in the nature of the concept itself, namely that he only sells a temporary disposition over his labouring capacity, [2] hence can always begin the exchange anew as soon as he has taken in the quantity of substances required in order to reproduce the externalization of his life [Lebensäusserung]. Instead of aiming their amazement in this direction—and considering the worker to owe a debt to capital for the fact that he is alive at all, and can repeat certain life processes every day as soon as he has eaten and slept enough—these whitewashing sycophants of bourgeois economics should rather have fixed their attention on the fact that, after constantly repeated labour, he always has only his living, direct labour itself to exchange. The repetition itself is in fact only apparent. What he exchanges for capital is his entire labouring capacity, which he spends, say, in 20 years. Instead of paying him for it in a lump sum, capital pays him in small doses, as he places it at capital’s disposal, say weekly. This alters absolutely nothing in the nature of the thing and gives no grounds whatsoever for concluding that—because the worker has to sleep 10-12 hours before he becomes capable of repeating his labour and his exchange with capital—labour forms his capital.[3] What this argument in fact conceives as capital is the limit, the interruption of his labour, since he is not a perpetuum mobile. The struggle for the ten hours’ bill etc. proves that the capitalist likes nothing better than for him to squander his dosages of vital force as much as possible, without interruption. We now come to the second process, which forms the relation between capital and labour after this exchange. We want to add here only that the economists themselves express the above statement by saying that wages are not productive. For them, of course, to be productive means to be productive of wealth. Now, since wages are the product of the exchange between worker and capital—and the only product posited in this act itself—they therefore admit that the worker produces no wealth in this exchange, neither for the capitalist, because for the latter the payment of money for a use value—and this payment forms the only function of capital in this relation—is a sacrifice of wealth, not creation of the same, which is why he tries to pay the smallest amount possible; nor for the worker, because it brings him only subsistence, the satisfaction of individual needs, more or less—never the general form of wealth, never wealth. Nor can it do so, since the content of the commodity which he sells rises in no way above the general laws of circulation: [his aim is] to obtain for the value which he throws into circulation its equivalent, through the coin, in another use value, which he consumes. Such an operation, of course, can never bring wealth, but has to bring back him who undertakes it exactly to the point at which he began. This does not exclude, as we saw, but rather includes, the fact that the sphere of his immediate gratifications is capable of a certain contraction or expansion. On the other side, if the capitalist—who is not yet posited as capitalist at all in this exchange, but only as money—were to repeat this act again and again, his money would soon be eaten up by the worker, who would have wasted it in a series of other gratifications, mended trousers, polished boots—in short, services received. In any case, the repetition of this operation would be precisely limited by the circumference of his moneybag. They would no more enrich him than does the expenditure of money for other use values for his beloved person, which, as is well known, do not—pay him, but cost him.

The exchange between capital and labour belongs within simple circulation, does not enrich the worker.—Separation of labour and property the precondition of this exchange.—Labour as object absolute poverty, labour as subject general possibility of wealth.—Labour without particular specificity confronts capital

It may seem peculiar, in this relation between labour and capital, and already in this first relation of exchange between the two, that the worker here buys the exchange value and the capitalist the use value, in that labour confronts capital not as a use value, but as the use value pure and simple, but that the capitalist should obtain wealth, and the worker merely a use value which ends with consumption. (In so far as this concerns the capitalist, to be developed only with the second process.) This appears as a dialectic which produces precisely the opposite of what was to be expected. However, regarded more precisely, it becomes clear that the worker who exchanges his commodity goes through the form C-M-M-C in the exchange process. If the point of departure in circulation is the commodity, use value, as the principle of exchange, then we necessarily arrive back at the commodity, since money appears only as coin and, as medium of exchange, is only a vanishing mediation; while the commodity as such, after having described its circle, is consumed as the direct object of need. On the other hand, capital represents M-C-C-M, the antithetical moment.

Separation of property from labour appears as the necessary law of this exchange between capital and labour. Labour posited as not-capital as such is: (1) not-objectified labour [nicht-vergegenständlichte Arbeit], conceived negatively (itself still objective; the not-objective itself in objective form). As such it is not-raw-material, not-instrument of labour, not-raw-product: labour separated from all means and objects of labour, from its entire objectivity. This living labour, existing as an abstraction from these moments of its actual reality (also, not-value); this complete denudation, purely subjective existence of labour, stripped of all objectivity. Labour as absolute poverty: poverty not as shortage, but as total exclusion of objective wealth. Or also as the existing not-value, and hence purely objective use value, existing without mediation, this objectivity can only be an objectivity not separated from the person: only an objectivity coinciding with his immediate bodily existence. Since the objectivity is purely immediate, it is just as much direct not-objectivity. In other words, not an objectivity which falls outside the immediate presence [Dasein] of the individual himself. (2) Not-objectified labour, not-value, conceived positively, or as a negativity in relation to itself, is the not-objectified, hence non-objective, i.e. subjective existence of labour itself. Labour not as an object, but as activity; not as itself value, but as the living source of value. [Namely, it is] general wealth (in contrast to capital in which it exists objectively, as reality) as the general possibility of the same, which proves itself as such in action. Thus, it is not at all contradictory, or, rather, the in-every-way mutually contradictory statements that labour is absolute poverty as object, on one side, and is, on the other side, the general possibility of wealth as subject and as activity, are reciprocally determined and follow from the essence of labour, such as it is presupposed by capital as its contradiction and as its contradictory being, and such as it, in turn, presupposes capital.

The last point to which attention is still to be drawn in the relation of labour to capital is this, that as the use value which confronts money posited as capital, labour is not this or another labour, but labour pure and simple, abstract labour; absolutely indifferent to its particularspecificity [Bestimmtheit], but capable of all specificities. Of course, the particularity of labour must correspond to the particular substance of which a given capital consists; but since capital as such is indifferent to every particularity of its substance, and exists not only as the totality of the same but also as the abstraction from all its particularities, the labour which confronts it likewise subjectively has the same totality and abstraction in itself. For example, in guild and craft labour, where capital itself still has a limited form, and is still entirely immersed in a particular substance, hence is not yet capital as such, labour, too, appears as still immersed in its particular specificity: not in the totality and abstraction of labour as such, in which it confronts capital. That is to say that labour is of course in each single case a specific labour, but capital can come into relation with every specific labour; it confronts the totality of all labours duncmei [4] and the particular one it confronts at a given time is an accidental matter. On the other side, the worker himself is absolutely indifferent to the specificity of his labour; it has no interest for him as such, but only in as much as it is in fact labour and, as such, a use value for capital. It is therefore his economic character that he is the carrier of labour as such—i.e. of labour as use value for capital; he is a worker, in opposition to the capitalist. This is not the character of the craftsmen and guild-members etc., whose economic character lies precisely in the specificity of their labour and in their relation to a specific master, etc. This economic relation—the character which capitalist and worker have as the extremes of a single relation of production—therefore develops more purely and adequately in proportion as labour loses all the characteristics of art; as its particular skill becomes something more and more abstract and irrelevant, and as it becomes more and more a purely abstract activity, a purely mechanical activity, hence indifferent to its particular form; a merely formal activity, or, what is the same, a merely material [stofflich] activity, activity pure and simple, regardless of its form. Here it can be seen once again that the particular specificity of the relation of production, of the category—here, capital and labour—becomes real only with the development of a particular material mode of production and of a particular stage in the development of the industrial productive forces. (This point in general to be particularly developed in connection with this relation, later; since it is here already posited in the relation itself, while, in the case of the abstract concepts, exchange value, circulation, money, it still lies more in our subjective reflection.)

Labour process absorbed into capital. (Capital and capitalist)

(2) We now come to the second side of the process. The exchange between capital or capitalist and the worker is now finished, in so far as we are dealing with the process of exchange as such. We now proceed to the relation of capital to labour as capital’s use value. Labour is not only the use value which confronts capital, but, rather, it is the use value of capital itself. As the not-being of values in so far as they are objectified, labour is their being in so far as they are not-objectified; it is their ideal being; the possibility of values, and, as activity, the positing of value. As against capital, labour is the merely abstract form, the mere possibility of value-positing activity, which exists only as a capacity, as a resource in the bodiliness of the worker. But when it is made into a real activity through contact with capital—it cannot do this by itself, since it is without object—then it becomes a really value-positing, productive activity. In relation with capital, this activity can in general consist only of the reproduction of itself—of the preservation and increase of itself as the real and effective value, not of the merely intended value, as with money as such. Through the exchange with the worker, capital has appropriated labour itself; labour has become one of its moments, which now acts as a fructifying vitality upon its merely existent and hence dead objectivity. Capital is money (exchange value posited for itself), but no longer is it money as existing in a particular substance and hence excluded from other substances of exchange value and existing alongside them, but rather money as obtaining its ideal character from all substances, from the exchange values of every form and mode of objectified labour. Now, in so far as capital, money existing in all particular forms of objectified labour, enters into the process with not-objectified, but rather living labour, labour existing as process and as action, it is initially this qualitative difference of the substance in which it exists from the form in which it now also exists as labour. It is the process of this differentiation and of its suspension, in which capital itself becomes a process. Labour is the yeast thrown into it, which starts it fermenting. On the one side, the objectivity in which it exists has to be worked on, i.e. consumed by labour; on the other side, the mere subjectivity of labour as a mere form has to be suspended, and labour has to be objectified in the material of capital. The relation of capital, in its content, to labour, of objectified labour to living labour—in this relation, where capital appears as passive towards labour, it is its passive being, as a particular substance, which enters into relation with the forming activity of labour—can, in general, be nothing more than the relation of labour to its objectivity, its material—which is to be analysed already in the first chapter, which has to precede exchange value and treat of production in general—and in connection with labour as activity, the material, the objectified labour, has only two relations, that of the raw material, i.e. of the formless matter, the mere material for the form-positing, purposive activity of labour, and that of the instrument of labour, the objective means which subjective activity inserts between itself as an object, as its conductor. The concept of the product, which the economists introduce here, does not yet belong here at all as an aspect distinct from raw material and instrument of labour. It appears as result, not as presupposition of the process between the passive content of capital and labour as activity. As a presupposition, the product is not a distinct relation of the object to labour; distinct from raw material and instrument of labour, since raw material and instrument of labour, as substance of values, are themselves already objectified labour, products. The substance of value is not at all the particular natural substance, but rather objectified labour. This latter itself appears again in connection with living labour as raw material and instrument of labour. As regards the pure act of production in itself, it may seem that the instrument of labour and the raw material are found freely in nature, so that they need merely to be appropriated, i.e. made into the object and means of labour, which is not itself a labour process. Thus, in contrast to them, theproduct appears as something qualitatively different, and is a product not only as a result of labour with an instrument on a material, but rather as the first objectification of labour alongside them. But, as components of capital, raw material and instrument of labour are themselves already objectified labour, hence product. This does not yet exhaust the relation. For, e.g. in the kind of production in which no exchange value, no capital at all exists, the product of labour can become the means and the object of new labour. For example, in agricultural production purely for use value. The hunter’s bow, the fisherman’s net, in short the simplest conditions, already presuppose a product which ceases to count as product and becomes raw material or more specifically instrument of production, for this [is] actually the first specific form in which the product appears as the means of reproduction. This link therefore by no means exhausts the relation in which raw material and instrument of labourappear as moments of capital itself. The economists, incidentally, introduce the product as third element of the substance of capital in another connection entirely, as well. This is the product in so far as its character is to step outside both the process of production and circulation, and to become immediate object of individual consumption; approvisionnement, as Cherbuliez calls it. [5] That is, the products presupposed so that the worker lives as a worker and is capable of living during production, before a new product is created. That the capitalist possesses this capacity is posited in the fact that every element of capital is money, and, as such, can be transformed from its general form of wealth into the material of wealth, object of consumption. The economists’ approvisionnement thus applies only to the workers; i.e. it is money expressed in the form of articles of consumption, use values, which they obtain from the capitalist in the act of exchange between the two of them. But this belongs within the first act. The extent to which this first relates to the second is not yet the question here. The only diremption posited by the process of production itself is the original diremption, that posited by the difference between objective labour and living labour itself, i.e. that between raw material and instrument of labour. It is quite consistent of the economists to confuse these two aspects with each other, because they must bring the two moments in the relation between capital and labour into confusion and cannot allow themselves to grasp their specific difference.

Thus: the raw material is consumed by being changed, formed by labour, and the instrument of labour is consumed by being used up in this process, worn out. On the other hand, labour also is consumed by being employed, set into motion, and a certain amount of the worker’s muscular force etc. is thus expended, so that he exhausts himself. But labour is not only consumed, but also at the same time fixed, converted from the form of activity into the form of the object; materialized; as a modification of the object, it modifies its own form and changes from activity to being. The end of the process is the product, in which the raw material appears as bound up with labour, and in which the instrument of labour has, likewise, transposed itself from a mere possibility into a reality, by having become a real conductor of labour, but thereby also having been consumed in its static form through its mechanical or chemical relation to the material of labour. All three moments of the process, the material, the instrument, and labour, coincide in the neutral result—the product. The moments of the process of production which have been consumed to form the product are simultaneously reproduced in it. The whole process therefore appears as productive consumption, i.e. as consumption which terminates neither in a void, nor in the mere subjectification of the objective, but which is, rather, again posited as an object. This consumption is not simply a consumption of the material, but rather consumption of consumption itself; in the suspension of the material it is the suspension of this suspension and hence the positing of the same. [6] This form-giving activity consumes the object and consumes itself, but it consumes the given form of the object only in order to posit it in a new objective form, and it consumes itself only in its subjective form as activity. It consumes the objective character of the object—the indifference towards the form—and the subjective character of activity; forms the one, materializes the other. But as product, the result of the production process is use value.

If we now regard the result so far obtained, we find:

Firstly: The appropriation, absorption of labour by capital—money, i.e. the act of buying the capacity of disposing over the worker, here appears only as a means to bring this process about, not as one of its moment’s—brings capital into ferment, and makes it into a process, process of production, in whose totality it relates to itself not only as objectified by living labour, but also, because objectified, [as] mere object of labour.

Secondly: Within simple circulation, the substance of the commodity and of money was itself indifferent to the formal character, i.e. to the extent that commodity and money remained moments of circulation. As for the substance of the commodity, it fell outside the economic relation as an object of consumption (of need); money, in so far as its form achieved independence, was still related to circulation, but only negatively, and was only this negative relation. Fixed for itself, it similarly became extinguished in dead materiality, and ceased to be money. Both commodity and money were expressions of exchange value, and differed only as general and particular exchange value. This difference itself was again merely a nominal one, since not only were the two roles switched in real circulation, but also, if we consider each of them by itself, money itself was a particular commodity, and the commodity as price was itself general money. The difference was only formal. Each of them was posited in the one role only in so far as and because it was not posited in the other. Now however, in the process of production, capital distinguishes itself as form from itself as substance. It is both aspects at once, and at the same time the relation of both to one another. But:

Thirdly: It still only appeared as this relation in itself. The relation is not posited yet, or it is posited initially only in the character of one of its two moments, the material moment, which divides internally into material (raw material and instrument) and form (labour), and which, as a relation between both of them, as a real process, is itself only a material relation again—a relation of the two material elements which form the content of capital as distinct from its formal relation as capital. If we now consider the aspect of capital in which it originally appears in distinction from labour, then it is merely a passive presence in the process, a merely objective being, in which the formal character which makes it capital –i.e. a social relation existing as being-for-itself [für sich seiendes]—is completely extinguished. It enters the process only as content—as objectified labour in general; but the fact that it is objectified labour is completely irrelevant to labour—and the relation of labour to it forms the process; it enters into the process, is worked on, rather, only as object, not as objectified labour. Cotton which becomes cotton yarn, or cotton yarn which becomes cloth, or cloth which becomes the material for printing and dyeing, exist for labour only as available cotton, yarn, cloth. They themselves do not enter into any process as products of labour, as objectified labour, but only as material existences with certain natural properties. How these were posited in them makes no difference to the relation of living labour towards them; they exist for it only in so far as they exist as distinct from it, i.e. as material for labour. This [is the case], in so far as the point of departure is capital in its objective form, presupposed to labour. On another side, in so far as labour itself has become one of capital’s objective elements through the exchange with the worker, labour’s distinction from the objective elements of capital is itself a merely objective one; the latter in the form of rest, the former in the form of activity. The relation is the material relation between one of capital’s elements and the other; but not its own relation to both. It therefore appears on one side as a merely passive object, in which all formal character is extinguished; it appears on the other side only as a simpleproduction process into which capital as such, as distinct from its substance, does not enter. It does not even appear in the substance appropriate to itself—as objectified labour, for this is the substance of exchange value—but rather only in the natural form-of-being [Daseinsform] of this substance, in which all relation to exchange value, to objectified labour, and to labour itself as the use value of capital—and hence all relation to capital itself—is extinguished. Regarded from this side, the process of capital coincides with the simple process of production as such, in which its character as capital is quite as extinguished in the form of the process, as money was extinguished as money in the form of value. To the extent to which we have examined the process so far, capital in its being-for-itself, i.e. the capitalist, does not enter at all. It is not the capitalist who is consumed by labour as raw material and instrument of labour. And it is not the capitalist who does this consuming but rather labour. Thus the process of the production of capital does not appear as the process of the production of capital, but as the process of production in general, and capital’s distinction from labour appears only in the material character of raw material and instrument of labour. It is this aspect—which is not only an arbitrary abstraction, but rather an abstraction which takes place within the process itself—on which the economists seize in order to represent capital as a necessary element of every production process. Of course, they do this only by forgetting to pay attention to its conduct as capital during this process.

This is the occasion to draw attention to a moment which here, for the first time, not only arises from the standpoint of the observer, but is posited in the economic relation itself. In the first act, in the exchange between capital and labour, labour as such, existing for itself, necessarily appeared as the worker. Similarly here in the second process: capital as such is posited as a value existing for itself, as egotistic value, so to speak (something to which money could only aspire). But capital in its being-for-itself is the capitalist. Of course, socialists sometimes say, we need capital, but not the capitalist. [7] Then capital appears as a pure thing, not as a relation of production which, reflected in itself, is precisely the capitalist. I may well separate capital from a given individual capitalist, and it can be transferred to another. But, in losing capital, he loses the quality of being a capitalist. Thus capital is indeed separable from an individual capitalist, but not from the capitalist, who, as such, confronts theworker. Thus also the individual worker can cease to be the being-for-itself [Fürsichsein] of labour; he may inherit or steal money etc. But then he ceases to be a worker. As a worker he is nothing more than labour in its being- for-itself. (This to be further developed later.) [8]

Production process as content of capital. Productive and unproductive labour (productive labour—that which produces capital).—The worker relates to his labour as exchange value, the capitalist as use value etc.—He divests himself [entäussert sich] of labour as the wealth-producing power. (Capital appropriates it as such.) Transformation of labour into capital etc. Sismondi, Cherbuliez, Say, Ricardo, Proudhon etc.

[Labour Process and Process of Valorisation]

Nothing can emerge at the end of the process which did not appear as a presupposition and precondition at the beginning. But, on the other hand, everything also has to come out. Thus, if at the end of the process of production, which was begun with the presuppositions of capital, capital appears to have vanished as a formal relation, then this can have taken place only because the invisible threads which draw it through the process have been overlooked. Let us therefore consider this side.

The first result, then, is this:
(a) Capital becomes the process of production through the incorporation of labour into capital; initially, however, it becomes the materialprocess of production; the process of production in general, so that the process of the production of capital is not distinct from the material process of production as such. Its formal character is completely extinguished. Because capital has exchanged a part of its objective being for labour, its objective being is itself internally divided into object and labour; the connection between them forms the production process, or, more precisely, the labour process. With that, the labour process posited prior to value, as point of departure—which, owing to its abstractness, its pure materiality, is common to all forms of production—here reappears again within capital, as a process which proceeds within its substance and forms its content.

(It will be seen that even within the production process itself this extinguishing of the formal character is merely a semblance.) [9]

In so far as capital is value, but appears as a process initially in the form of the simple production process, the production process posited in no particular economic form, but rather, the production process pure and simple, to that extent—depending on which particular aspect of the simple production process (which, as such, as we saw, by no means presupposes capital, but is common to all modes of production) is fixed on—it can be said that capital becomes product, or that it is instrument of labour or raw material for labour. Further, if it is conceived in one of the aspects which confronts labour as material or as mere means, then it is correct to say that capital is not productive, [*] because it is then regarded merely as the object, the material which confronts labour; as merely passive. The correct thing, however, is that it appears not as one of these aspects, nor as a difference within one of these aspects, nor as mere result (product), but rather as the simple production process itself; that this latter now appears as the self-propelling content of capital.

(b) Now to look at the side of the form-character, such as it preserves and modifies itself in the production process.

As use value, labour exists only for capital, and is itself the use value of capital, i.e. the mediating activity by means of which it realizes[verwerter] itself. Capital, as that which reproduces and increases its value, is autonomous exchange value (money), as a process, as the process of realization. Therefore, labour does not exist as a use value for the worker; for him it is therefore not apower productive of wealth, [and] not a means or the activity of gaining wealth. He brings it as a use value into the exchange with capital, which then confronts him not as capital but rather as money. In relation to the worker, it is capital as capital only in the consumption of labour, which initially falls outside this exchange and is independent of it. A use value for capital, labour is a mere exchange value for the worker; available exchange value. It is posited as such in the act of exchange with capital, through its sale for money. The use value of a thing does not concern its seller as such, but only its buyer. The property of saltpetre, that it can be used to make gunpowder, does not determine the price of saltpetre; rather, this price is determined by the cost of production of saltpetre, by the amount of labour objectified in it. The value of use values which enter circulation as prices is not the product of circulation, although it realizes itself only in circulation; rather, it is presupposed to it, and is realized only through exchange for money. Similarly, the labour which the worker sells as a use value to capital is, for the worker, his exchange value, which he wants to realize, but which is already determined prior to this act of exchange and presupposed to it as a condition, and is determined like the value of every other commodity by supply and demand; or, in general, which is our only concern here, by the cost of production, the amount of objectified labour, by means of which the labouring capacity of the worker has been produced and which he therefore obtains for it, as its equivalent. The exchange value of labour, the realization of which takes place in the process of exchange with the capitalist, is therefore presupposed, predetermined , and only undergoes the formal modification which every only ideally posited price takes on when it is realized. It is not determined by the use value of labour. It has a use value for the worker himself only in so far as it is exchange value, not in so far as it produces exchange values. It has exchange value for capital only in so far as it is use value. It is a use value, as distinct from exchange value, not for the worker himself, but only for capital. The worker therefore sells labour as a simple, predetermined exchange value, determined by a previous process—he sells labour itself asobjectified labour; i.e. he sells labour only in so far as it already objectifies a definite amount of labour, hence in so far as its equivalent is already measured, given; capital buys it as living labour, as the general productive force of wealth; activity which increases wealth. It is clear, therefore, that the worker cannot become rich in this exchange, since, in exchange for his labour capacity as a fixed, available magnitude, he surrenders itscreative power, like Esau his birthright for a mess of pottage. Rather, he necessarily impoverishes himself, as we shall see further on, because the creative power of his labour establishes itself as the power of capital, as an alien power confronting him. He divests himself [entaüssert sich] of labour as the force productive of wealth; capital appropriates it, as such. The separation between labour and property in the product of labour, between labour and wealth, is thus posited in this act of exchange itself. What appears paradoxical as result is already contained in the presupposition. The economists have expressed this more or less empirically. Thus the productivity of his labour, his labour in general, in so far as it is not a capacity but a motion, real labour, comes to confront the worker as an alien power; capital, inversely, realizes itself through theappropriation of alien labour. (At least the possibility of realization is thereby posited; as result of the exchange between labour and capital. The relation is realized only in the act of production itself, where capital really consumes the alien labour.) Just as labour, as a presupposedexchange value, is exchanged for an equivalent in money, so the latter is again exchanged for an equivalent in commodities, which are consumed. In this process of exchange, labour is not productive; it becomes so only for capital; it can take out of circulation only what it has thrown into it, apredetermined amount of commodities, which is as little its own product as it is its own value, Sismondi says that the workers exchange their labour for grain, which they consume, while their labour ‘has become capital for its master’. (Sismondi, VI.) [13] “Giving their labour in exchange, the workers transform it into capital.’ (id., VIII.) [14] By selling his labour to the capitalist, the worker obtains a right only to the price of labour, not to the product of his labour, nor to the value which his labour has added to it. (Cherbuliez XXVIII.) ‘Sale of labour = renunciation of all fruits of labour.‘ (loc.cit.) [15] Thus all the progress of civilization, or in other words every increase in the powers of social production[gesellschaftliche Produktivkräfte], if you like, in the productive powers of labour itself— such as results from science, inventions, division and combination of labour, improved means of communication, creation of the world market, machinery etc. – enriches not the worker but rather capital; hence it only magnifies again the power dominating over labour; increases only the productive power of capital. Since capital is the antithesis of the worker, this merely increases the objective power standing over labour. The transformation of labour (as living, purposive activity) into capital is, in itself, the result of the exchange between capital and labour, in so far as it gives the capitalist the title of ownership to the product of labour (and command over the same). This transformation is positedonly in the production processitself. Thus, the question whether capital is productive or not is absurd. Labour itself is productive only if absorbed into capital, where capital forms the basis of production, and where the capitalist is therefore in command of production. The productivity of labour becomes the productive force of capital just as the general exchange value of commodities fixes itself in money. Labour, such as it exists for itself in the worker in opposition to capital, that is, labour in its immediate being, separated from capital, is not productive. Nor does it ever become productive as an activity of the worker so long as it merely enters the simple, only formally transforming process of circulation. Therefore, those who demonstrate that the productive force ascribed to capital is a displacement, a transposition of the productive force of labour, [16] forget precisely that capital itself is essentially this displacement, this transposition, and that wage labour as such presupposes capital, so that, from its standpoint as well, capital is this transubstantiation; the necessary process of positing its own powers as alien to the worker. Therefore, the demand that wage labour be continued but capital suspended is self-contradictory, self-dissolving. Others say, even economists, e.g. Ricardo, Sismondi etc., thatonly labour is productive, not capital. [17] But then they do not conceive capital [18] in its specific character as form, as a relation of production reflected into itself, but think only about its material substance, raw material etc. But these material elements do not make capital into capital. Then, however, they recall that capital is also in another respect a value, that is, something immaterial, something indifferent to its material consistency. Thus, Say: ‘Capital is always an immaterial essence, because it is not material which makes capital, but the value of this material, a value which has nothing corporeal about it.’ (Say, 21.) [19] Or: Sismondi: ‘Capital is a commercial idea.’ (Sismondi, LX.) [20] But then they recall that capital is a different economic quality as well, other than value, since otherwise it would not be possible to speak of capital as distinct from value at all, and, if all capitals were value, all values as such would still not be capital. Then they take refuge again in its material form within the production process, e.g. when Ricardo explains that capital is ‘accumulated labour employed in the production of new labour’, [21] i.e. merely as instrument of labour or material for labour. In this sense Say even speaks of the ‘productive service of capital’[22] on which remuneration is supposed to be based, as if the instrument of labour as such were entitled to thanks from the worker, and as if it were not precisely because of him that it is posited as instrument of labour, as productive. This presupposes the autonomy of the instrument of labour, i.e. of its social character, i.e. its character as capital, in order to derive the privileges of capital from it. Proudhon’s phrase ‘le capital vaut, le travail produit‘ [23] means absolutely nothing more than: capital is value, and, since nothing further is here said about capital other than that it is value, that value is value (the subject of the judgement is here only another name for the predicate) [24]; and labour produces, is productive labour, i.e. labour is labour, since it is precisely nothing apart from ‘produire‘. [25] It must be obvious that these identical judgements do not contain any particularly deep wisdom, and that above all, they cannot express a relation in which value and labour enter into connection, in which they connect and divide in relation to one another, and where they do not lie side by side in mutual indifference. Already the fact that it is labour which confronts capital as subject, i.e. the worker only in his character as labour, and not he himself, should open the eyes. This alone, disregarding capital, already contains a relation, a relation of the worker to his own activity, which is by no means the‘natural’ one, but which itself already contains a specific economic character.

To the extent that we are considering it here, as a relation distinct from that of value and money, capital is capital in general, i.e. the incarnation of the qualities which distinguish value as capital from value as pure value or as money. Value, money, circulation etc., prices etc. are presupposed, as is labour etc. But we are still concerned neither with a particular form of capital, nor with an individual capital as distinct from other individual capitals etc. We are present at the process of its becoming. This dialectical process of its becoming is only the ideal expression of the real movement through which capital comes into being. The later relations are to be regarded as developments coming out of this germ. But it is necessary to establish the specific form in which it is posited at a certain point. Otherwise confusion arises.

Realization process [Verwertungsprozess]. — (Costs of production.) — (Surplus value not explicable by exchange. Ramsay. Ricardo.) Capitalist cannot live from his wage etc. (Faux frais de production.[26]—Mere self-preservation, non-multiplication of value contradicts the essence of capital

Hitherto, capital has been regarded from its material side as a simple production process. But, from the side of its formal specificity 311 this process is a process of self-realization. Self-realization includes preservation of the prior value, as well as its multiplication.

Value enters as subject. Labour is purposeful activity, and the material side therefore presupposes that the instrument of labour has really been used as means to an end in the production process, and that the raw material has obtained a higher use value as product than it had before, whether this is due to chemical alteration or mechanical modification. However, this side alone, as impinging merely on the use value, still belongs in the simple production process. It is not the point here—this is, rather, understood, presupposed—that a higher use value has been created (this in itself is very relative; when grain is transformed into spirits, the higher use value is itself already posited in respect of circulation); no higher use value has yet been created for the individual, the producer. This, in any case, is accidental, and does not affect the relation as such; rather, a higher use value for others. The point is, [rather,] that a higher exchange value be created. In the case of simple circulation, the process ended for the individual commodity by its being consumed as use value. With that, it left circulation; lost its exchange value, its economic form-character [Formbestimmung] in general. Capital has consumed its material with labour and its labour with material; it has consumed itself as use value, but only as use value for itself, as capital. Its consumption as use value therefore in this case falls within circulation itself, or rather it itself posits the beginning of circulation or its end, as one prefers. The consumption of the use value itself here falls within the economic process, because the use value here is itself determined by exchange value. In no moment of the production process does capital cease to be capital or value to be value, and, as such, exchange value. Nothing is more ridiculous than to say, as does Mr Proudhon, that capital changes from a product into an exchange value by means of the act of exchange, i.e. by re-entering simple circulation. [27] We would then be thrown back to the beginning, to direct barter even, where we observe the origin of exchange value out of the product. Already its presupposition as self-preserving exchange value comprises the possibility that capital can and does re-enter into circulation as a commodity at the end of the production process, after its consumption as use value. However, in so far as the product now again becomes commodity, and as commodity, exchange value, and obtains a price and is realized as such in money, to that extent it is a simple commodity, exchange value as such, and, as such, its fate within circulation may be to be realized in money, or it may equally be that it does not realize itself in money; i.e. that its exchange value becomes money or not. Thus its exchange value has become much more problematic—before, it was posited ideally—than the fact that it came into existence. What is more, its being really posited as a higher exchange value in circulation cannot originate out of circulation itself, in which, in its simple character, only equivalents are exchanged. Therefore, it if comes out of circulation as a higher exchange value, it must have entered into it as such.

Capital as,a form consists not of objects of labour and labour, but rather of values, and, still more precisely, of prices. The fact that its value-elements have various substances in common during the production process does not affect their character as values; they are not changed thereby. If, out of the form of unrest—of the process—at the end of the process, they again condense themselves into a resting, objective form, in the product, then this, too, is merely a change of the material [Stoffwechsel] in relation to value, and does not alter the latter. [28] True, the substances as such have been destroyed, but they have not been made into nothing, but rather into a substance with another form. Earlier, they appeared as elemental, indifferent preconditions of the product. Now they are the product. The value of the product can therefore only = the sum of the values which were materialized in the specific material elements of the process, i.e. raw material, instrument of labour (including the merely instrumental commodities), and labour itself. The raw material has been entirely used up, labour has been entirely used up, the instrument has been only partly used up, hence continues to possess a part of the value of the capital in its specific mode of existence as present prior to the process. This part therefore does not come under view here at all, since it has suffered no modification. The different modes in which the values existed were a pure semblance; value itself formed the constantly self-identical essence within their disappearance. Regarded as a value, the product has in this respect not become product, but rather remained identical, unchanged value, which merely exists in a different mode, which is, however, irrelevant to it and which can be exchanged for money. The value of the product is = to the value of the raw material + the value of the part of the instrument of labour which has been destroyed, i.e. transferred to the product, and which is suspended in its original form, + the value of labour. Or, the price of the product is equal to these costs of production, i.e. = to the sum of the prices of the commodities consumed in the production process. That means, in other words, nothing more than that the production process in its material aspect has been irrelevant to value; that value therefore has remained identical with itself and has merely taken on another mode of existence, become materialized in another substance and form. (The form of the substance is irrelevant to the economic form, to value as such.) If capital was originally = to 100 thalers, then afterwards, as before, it remains equal to 100 thalers, although the 100 thalers existed in the production price as 50 thalers of cotton, 40 thalers of wages + 10 thalers of spinning machine, and now exist as cotton yarn to the price of 100 thalers. This reproduction of the 100 thalers is a simple retention of self-equivalence [Sichselbstgleichbleiben], except that it is mediated through the material production process. The latter must therefore proceed to the product, for otherwise cotton loses its value, instrument of labour used up for nothing, wages paid in vain. The only stipulation for the self-preservation of value is that the production process really be a total process, i.e. continue to the point where a product exists. The completeness [Totalität] of the production process, i.e. the fact that it proceeds to the product, is here in fact the precondition of the self-preservation, the self-equivalent retention of value; but this is already contained in the first precondition, that capital really becomes use value, a real production process; is therefore presupposed at this point. On the other hand, the production process is a production process for capitalonly to the extent that it preserves itself in this process as value, i.e. as product. The statement that the necessary price = the sum of the prices of the costs of production is therefore purely analytical. It is the presupposition of the production of capital itself. First capital is posited as 100 thalers, as simple value; then it is posited in this process as a sum of prices of specific value-elements of itself, elements specified by the price of production itself. The price of capital, its value expressed in money, = the price of its productThat means the value of capital as the result of the production process is the same as it was as the presupposition of the process. However, during the process it does not retain the simplicity it had at the beginning, and which it takes on once again at the end, as the result; rather, it decomposes into the initially quite irrelevant quantitative elements of value of labour (wage), value of the instrument of labour, and value of the raw material. No further relation has been posited, other than that the simple value decomposes quantitatively to form the price of production, as a number of values which recombine in their simplicity in the product, but which exists now as a sum. But the sum is = to the original unity. Otherwise, as regards value, and apart from the quantitative subdivision, there is not the least difference in the relation between the distinct amounts of value. The original capital was 100 thalers; the product is 100 thalers, but now 100 thalers as the sum of 50 + 40 + 10 thalers. I could just as well have regarded the original 100 thalers as a sum of 50 + 40 + 10 thalers, but equally as a sum of 60 + 30 + 10 thalers, etc. The fact that they now appear as the sum of specific amounts of units is posited because each of the different material elements into which capital decomposed in the production process represents a part of its value, but a specific part.

It will be seen later that these amounts into which the original unity is decomposed themselves have certain relations with one another, but this does not concern us here yet. In so far as any movement in the value itself is posited during the production process, it is the purely formal one which consists of the following simple act: that value exists first as a unity, a specific amount of units, which are themselves regarded as a unity, a whole: capital in the amount of 100 thalers; secondly, that this unity is divided during the production process into 50 thalers, 40 thalers and 10 thalers, a division which is essential to the extent that material, instrument and labour are required in specific quantities, but which here appears, in regard to the 100 thalers themselves, merely as an irrelevant decomposition of the same unity into different amounts; finally, that the 100 thalers reappear as a sum in the product. The only process, as regards value, [is] that it sometimes appears as a whole, unity; then as a division of this unity into certain amounts; finally, as sum. The 100 thalers which appear at the end as a sum are just as much a sum and in fact exactly the same sum as that which appeared at the outset as a unity. The character of being a sum, of being added up, arose only out of the subdivision which took place in the act of production; but does not exist in the product as such. The statement thus says nothing more than that the price of the product = the price of the costs of production, or that the value of capital = the value of the product, that the value of the capital has preserved itself in the act of production, and now appears as a sum. With this mere identity of capital, or, reproduction of its value throughout the production process, we would have come no further than we were at the beginning. What was there at the outset as presupposition is now there as result, and in unchanged form. It is clear that it is not in fact this to which the economists refer when they speak of the determination of price by the cost of production. Otherwise, a value greater than that originally present could never be created; no greater exchange value, although perhaps a greater use value, which is quite beside the point here. We are dealing with the use value of capital as such, not with the use of value of a commodity.

When one says that the cost of production or the necessary price of a commodity is = to 110, then one is calculating in the following way: Original capital = 100 (e.g. raw material = 50; labour = 40; instrument = 10) + 5% interest + 5% profit. Thus the production cost = 110, not = 100; the production cost is thus greater than the cost of production. Now, it is no help at all to flee from exchange value to the use value of the commodity, as some economists love to do. Whether the use value is greater or lesser is not, as such, determined by the exchange value. Commodities often fall beneath their prices of production, although they indisputably have obtained a higher use value than they had in the periodprior to production. It is equally useless to seek refuge in circulation. I produce at 100, but I sell at 110. ‘Profit is not made by exchanging. Had it not existed before, neither could it after that transaction.’ (Ramsay, IX, 88.) [29] This signifies the attempt to explain the augmentation of value with the aid of simple circulation, despite the fact that the latter expressly posits value as an equivalent only. It is clear even empirically that if everyone sold for 10% too much, this is the same as if they all sold at the cost of production. The surplus value [Mehrwert] would then be purely nominal, artificial, a convention, an empty phrase. And, since money is itself a commodity, a product, it also would be sold for 10% too much, i.e. the seller who received 110 thalers would in fact receive only 100. (Consult Ricardo on foreign trade, which he conceives as simple circulation, and says, therefore: ‘foreign trade can never increase the amount of exchange value in a country’. (Ricardo, 39, 40.) [30] The grounds he cites for this conclusion are absolutely the same as those which ‘prove’ that exchange as such, simple circulation, i.e. commerce in general, in so far as it is conceived as such, can never increase exchange values, never create exchange value.) The statement that the price = the cost of production would otherwise have to read, also: the price of a commodity is always greater than its cost of production. In addition to the simple division and readdition, the production process also adds the formal element to value, namely that its elements now appear as production costs, i.e. precisely that the elements of the production process are not preserved in their material character, but rather as values, while the mode of existence which these had before the production process is consumed.

It is clear, on another side, that if the act of production is merely the reproduction of the value of capital, then it would have undergone a merely material but not an economic change, and such a simple preservation of its value contradicts its concept [Begriff]. True, it would not remain outside circulation, as in the case of autonomous money, but would, rather, take on the form of different commodities; however, it would do so for nothing; this would be a purposeless process, since it would ultimately represent only the same sum of money, and would only have run the risk of suffering some damage in the act of production—[moreover, it is a process] which can fail, and in which money surrenders its immortal form. Well then. The production process is now at an end. The product, too, is realized in money again, and has again taken on the original form of the 100 thalers. But the capitalist has to eat and drink, too; he cannot live from this change into the form of money. Thus, a part of the 100 thalers would have to be exchanged not as capital, but as coin for commodities as use values, and be consumed in this form. The 100 thalers would have become 90, and since he always ultimately reproduces capital in the form of money, more precisely, in the quantity of money with which he began production, at the end the 100 thalers would be eaten up and the capital would have disappeared. But the capitalist is paid for thelabour of throwing the 100 thalers into the production process as capital, instead of eating them up. But with what is he to be paid? And does not his labour appear as absolutely useless, since capital includes the wage; so that the workers could live from the simple reproduction of the cost of production, which the capitalist cannot do? He would thus appear among the faux frais de production[31] But, whatever his merits may be, reproduction would be possible without him, since, in the production process, the workers only transfer the value which they take out, hence have no need for the entire relation of capital in order to begin it always anew; and secondly, there would then be no fund out of which to pay him what he deserves, since the price of the commodity = the cost of production. But, if his labour were defined as a particular labour alongside and apart from that of the workers, e.g. that of the labour of superintendence etc., [32] then he would, like them, receive a certain wage, would thus fall into the same category as they, and would by no means relate to labour as a capitalist; and he would never get rich, but receive merely an exchange value which he would have to consume via circulation. The existence of capital vis-à-vis labour requires that capital in its being-for-itself, the capitalist, should exist and be able to live as not-worker. It is equally clear, on the other side, that capital, even as conventionally defined, would not retain its value if it could retain nothing but its value. The risks of production have to be compensated. Capital has to preserve itself through the fluctuations of prices. The constantly ongoing devaluation of capital, resulting from the increase in the force of production, has to be compensated, etc. The economists therefore state flatly that if no gain, no profit were to be made, everyone would eat up his money instead of throwing it into production and employing it as capital. In short, if this not-realization [Nichtverwerten], i.e. the non-multiplication of the value of capital, is presupposed, then what is presupposed is that capital is not a real element of production, that it is not a specific relation of production; then a condition is presupposed in which the production costs do not have the form of capital and where capital is not posited as the condition of production.

It is easy to understand how labour can increase use value; the difficulty is, how it can create exchange values greater than those with which it began.

Suppose that the exchange value which capital pays the worker were an exact equivalent for the value which labour creates in the production process. In that case, an increase in the exchange value of the product would be impossible. Everything which labour as such had brought into the production process, in addition to the already present value of the raw material and of the instrument of labour, would have been paid to the worker. In so far as the value of the product is a surplus over and above the value of raw material and instrument, that value would go to the worker; except that the capitalist would pay him this value in his wages, and that the worker pays it back to the capitalist in the product.

Capital enters the cost of production as capital. Interest-bearing capital. Proudhon

<Interest on borrowed capital makes tangible the truth that what is meant by the cost of production—even by economists who make this assertion—is not the sum of values which enter into production. For the industrial capitalist, interest is among his direct expenses, his real costs of production. But interest itself already presupposes that capital emerges from production as surplus value, since interest is itself only one form of this surplus value. Therefore, since, from the standpoint of the borrower, interest already enters into his direct production costs, it is apparent that capital enters as such into the cost of production, but that capital as such is not the mere addition of its value-components.—As interest, capital itself appears again in the character of a commodity, but a commodity specifically distinct from all other commodities; capital as such—not as a mere sum of exchange values—enters into circulation and becomes a commodity. Here, the character of the commodity is itself present as an economic, specific determinant, not irrelevant as in simple circulation, nor directly related to labour as its opposite, as its use value, as with industrial capital; [but, rather,] capital as it exists in its further aspects, after emerging from circulation and production. The commodity as capital; or capital as commodity, is therefore not exchanged for an equivalent in circulation; by entering into circulation, it obtains its being-for-itself; it obtains its original relation to its owner, even when it passes into the possession of another. It is therefore merely loaned. For its owner, its use value as such is its realization [Verwertung]; money as money, not as medium of circulation; its use value as capital. The demand raised by Mr Proudhon, that capital should not be loaned out and should bear no interest, but should be sold like a commodity for its equivalent, [33] amounts at bottom to no more than the demand that exchange value should never become capital, but always remain simple exchange value; that capitalshould not exist as capital. This demand, combined with the other, that wage labour should remain the general basis of production, reveals a happy confusion with regard to the simplest economic concepts. Hence the miserable role he plays in the polemic with Bastiat, about which, later. His chatter about considerations of fairness and right only amounts to this, that he wants to use the relation of property or of law corresponding to simple exchange as the measuring-rod for the relation of property and law at a higher stage of exchange value. Which is why Bastiat himself, unconsciously, stresses those moments of simple circulation which drive in the direction of capital.—Capital itself as commodity is money as capital or capital as money.>

<The third moment to be developed in the formation of the concept of capital is original accumulation [ursprüngliche Akkumulation] as against labour, hence the still objectless labour vis-à-vis accumulation. The first moment took its point of departure from value, as it arose out of and presupposed circulation. This was the simple concept of capital; money on the direct path to becoming capital; the second momentproceeded from capital as the presupposition and result of production; the third moment posits capital as a specific unity of circulation and production. (Relation between capital and labour, capitalist and worker itself [posited] as a result of the production process.) A distinction is to be drawn between the accumulation of capitals, which presupposes capitals, the relation of capital as present [daseiend], which also presupposes its relations to labour, prices (fixed capital and circulating capital), interest and profit. [34] But in order to come into being, capital presupposes a certain accumulation; which is already contained in the independent antithesis between objectified and living labour; in the independent survival of this antithesis. This accumulation, necessary for capital to come into being, which is therefore already included in its concept as presupposition—as a moment—is to be distinguished essentially from the accumulation of capital which has already become capital, where there must already be capitals.>

<We have already seen so far that capital presupposes: (1) the production process in general, such as is common to all social conditions, that is, without historic character, human, if you like; (2) circulation which is already a specific historic product in each of its moments, and even more so in its totality; (3) capital as a specific unity of the two. Now, the extent to which the production process in general comes to be modified historically as soon as it becomes merely an element of capital has to be found out in the course of developing it; just as the simple conception of the specific characteristics of capital must yield its general historic presuppositions.>

<Everything else is empty chatter. Only at the end, and as a result of the whole development, can it become clear which aspects belong in the first section, ‘Production in General’, and which into the first section of the second section, ‘Exchange Value in General’. We already saw, for example, that the distinction between use value and exchange value belongs within economics itself, and that use value does not lie dead as a simple presupposition, which is what Ricardo makes it do. [35] The chapter on production objectively ends with the product as result; that on circulation begins with the commodity, which is itself again a use value and an exchange value (hence, also, distinct from both, a value), circulation as the unity of both—which is, however, merely formal and hence collapses into the commodity as mere object of consumption, extra-economic, and exchange value as independent money.>

Surplus value. Surplus labour time.—Bastiat on wages. Value of labour. How determined?—Self-realization is self-preservation of capital. Capitalist may not live merely from his labour etc. Conditions for the self-realization of capital. Surplus labour time etc.—To the extent that capital is productive (as creator of surplus labour etc.), this only historic-transitory.—The free blacks in Jamaica.—Wealth which has gained autonomy requires slave labour or wage labour (forced labour in both cases)

The surplus value which capital has at the end of the production process—a surplus value which, as a higher price of the product, is realized only in circulation, but, like all prices, is realized in it by already being ideally presupposed to it, determined before they enter into it—signifies, expressed in accord with the general concept of exchange value, that the labour time objectified in the product—or amount of labour (expressed passively, the magnitude of labour appears as an amount of space; but expressed in motion, it is measurable only in time)—is greater than that which was present in the original components of capital. This in turn is possible only if the labour objectified in the price of labour is smaller than the living labour time purchased with it. The labour time objectified in capital appears, as we have seen, [36] as a sum consisting of three parts: (a) the labour time objectified in the raw material; (b) the labour time objectified in the instrument of labour; (c) the labour time objectified in the price of labour. Now, parts (a) and (b) remain unchanged as components of capital; while they may change their form, their modes of material existence, in the process, they remain unchanged as values. Only in (c) does capital exchange one thing for something qualitatively different; a given amount of objectified labour for an amount of living labour. If living labour reproduced only the labour time objectified in the labour price, this also would be merely formal, and, as regards value, the only change which would have taken place would have been that from one mode to another mode of the existence of the same value, just as, in regard to the value of the material of labour and the instrument, only a change of its mode of material existence has taken place. If the capitalist has paid the worker a price = one working day, and the worker’s working day adds only one working day to the raw material and the instrument, then the capitalist would merely have exchanged exchange value in one form for exchange value in another. He would not have acted as capital. At the same time, the worker would not have remained within the simple exchange process; he would in fact have obtained the product of his labour in payment, except that the capitalist would have done him the favour of paying him the price of the product in advance of its realization [Realisation]. The capitalist would have advanced him credit, and free of charge at that, pour le roi de Prusse. [37] Voilà tout. No matter that for the worker the exchange between capital and labour, whose result is the price of labour, is a simple exchange; as far as the capitalist is concerned, it has to be a not-exchange. He has to obtain more value than he gives. Looked at from the capitalists’ side, the exchange must be only apparent; i.e. must belong to an economic category other than exchange, or capital as capital and labour as labour in opposition to it would be impossible. They would be exchanged for one another only as identical exchange values existing in different material modes.—Thus the economists take refuge in this simple process in order to construct a legitimation, an apology for capital by explaining it with the aid of the very process which makes its existence impossible. In order to demonstrate it, they demonstrate it away. You pay me for my labour, you exchange it for its product and deduct from my pay the value of the raw material and instrument which you have furnished. That means we are partners who bring deferent elements into the process of production and exchange according to their values. Thus the product is transformed into money, and the money is divided in such a way that you, the capitalist, obtain the price of your raw material and your instrument, while I, the worker, obtain the price which my labour added to them. The benefit for you is that you now possess raw material and instrument in a form in which they are capable of being consumed (circulated); for me, that my labour has realized itself [sich verwertet]. Of course, you would soon be in the situation of having eaten up all your capital in the form of money, whereas I, as worker, would enter into the possession of both.

What the worker exchanges with capital is his labour itself (the capacity of disposing over it); he divests himself of it [entäussert sie]. What he obtains as price is the value of this divestiture [Entäusserung]. He exchanges value-positing activity for a predetermined value, regardless of the result of his activity. [*] Now how is its value determined? By the objectified labour contained in his commodity. This commodity exists in his vitality. In order to maintain this from one day to the next—we are not yet dealing with the working class, i.e. the replacement for wear and tear so that it can maintain itself as a class, since the worker here confronts capital as a worker, i.e. as a presupposed perennial subject [Subjekt], and not yet as a mortal individual of the working species—he has to consume a certain quantity of food, to replace his used-up blood etc. He receives no more than an equivalent. Thus tomorrow, after the completed exchange—and only after he has formally completed the exchange does he execute it in the process of production—his labouring capacity exists in the same mode as before: he has received an exact equivalent, because the price which he has obtained leaves him in possession of the same exchange value he had before. Capital has paid him the amount of objectified labour contained in his vital forces. Capital has consumed it, and because it did not exist as a thing, but as the capacity of a living being, the worker can, owing to the specific nature of his commodity—the specific nature of the life process—resume the exchange anew. Since we are dealing here not with any particularly qualified labour but with labour in general, simple labour, we are here not yet concerned with the fact that there is more labour objectified in his immediate existence than is contained in his mere vitality—i.e. the labour time necessary to pay for the products necessary to maintain his vitality—namely the values he has consumed in order to produce a specific labouring capacity, a special skill—and the value of these shows itself in the costs necessary to produce a similar labouring skill.

If one day’s work were necessary in order to keep one worker alive for one day, then capital would not exist, because the working day would then exchange for its own product, so that capital could not realize itself and hence could not maintain itself as capital. The self-preservation of capital is its self-realization. If capital also had to work in order to live, then it would not maintain itself as capital but as labour. Property in raw materials and instruments of labour would be merely nominal; economically they would belong to the worker as much as to the capitalist, since they would create value for the capitalist only in so far as he himself were a worker. He would relate to them therefore not as capital, but as simple material and means of labour, like the worker himself does in the production process. If, however, only half a working day is necessary in order to keep one worker alive one whole day, then the surplus value of the product is self-evident, because the capitalist has paid the price of only half a working day but has obtained a whole day objectified in the product; thus has exchanged nothing for the second half of the work day. The only thing which can make him into a capitalist is not exchange, but rather a process through which he obtains objectified labour time, i.e.value, without exchange. Half the working day costs capital nothing; it thus obtains a value for which it has given no equivalent. And the multiplication of values can take place only if a value in excess of the equivalent has been obtained, hence created.

Surplus value in general is value in excess of the equivalent. The equivalent, by definition, is only the identity of value with itself. Hence surplus value can never sprout out of the equivalent; nor can it do so originally out of circulation; it has to arise from the production process of capital itself. The matter can also be expressed in this way: if the worker needs only half a working day in order to live a whole day, then, in order to keep alive as a worker, he needs to work only half a day. The second half of the labour day is forced labour; surplus-labour. What appears as surplus value on capital’s side appears identically on the worker’s side as surplus labour in excess of his requirements as worker, hence in excess of his immediate requirements for keeping himself alive. The great historic quality of capital is to create this surplus labour, superfluous labour from the standpoint of mere use value, mere subsistence; and its historic destiny [Bestimmung] is fulfilled as soon as, on one side, there has been such a development of needs that surplus labour above and beyond necessity has itself become a general need arising out of individual needs themselves—and, on the other side, when the severe discipline of capital, acting on succeeding generations [Geschlechter], has developed general industriousness as the general property of the new species [Geschlecht]—and, finally, when the development of the productive powers of labour, which capital incessantly whips onward with its unlimited mania for wealth, and of the sole conditions in which this mania can be realized, have flourished to the stage where the possession and preservation of general wealth require a lesser labour time of society as a whole, and where the labouring society relates scientifically to the process of its progressive reproduction, its reproduction in a constantly greater abundance; hence where labour in which a human being does what a thing could do has ceased. Accordingly, capital and labour relate to each other here like money and commodity; the former is the general form of wealth, the other only the substance destined for immediate consumption. Capital’s ceaseless striving towards the general form of wealth drives labour beyond the limits of its natural paltriness [Naturbedürftigkeit], and thus creates the material elements for the development of the rich individuality which is as all-sided in its production as in its consumption, and whose labour also therefore appears no longer as labour, but as the full development of activity itself, in which natural necessity in its direct form has disappeared; because a historically created need has taken the place of the natural one. This is why capital is productive; i.e. an essential relation for the development of the social productive forces. It ceases to exist as such only where the development of these productive forces themselves encounters its barrier in capital itself.

The Times of November 1857 contains an utterly delightful cry of outrage on the part of a West-Indian plantation owner. This advocate analyses with great moral indignation—as a plea for the re-introduction of Negro slavery—how the Quashees (the free blacks of Jamaica) content themselves with producing only what is strictly necessary for their own consumption, and, alongside this ‘use value’, regard loafing (indulgence and idleness) as the real luxury good; how they do not care a damn for the sugar and the fixed capital invested in the plantations, but rather observe the planters’ impending bankruptcy with an ironic grin of malicious pleasure, and even exploit their acquired Christianity as an embellishment for this mood of malicious glee and indolence. [39] They have ceased to be slaves, but not in order to become wage labourers, but, instead, self-sustaining peasants working for their own consumption. As far as they are concerned, capital does not exist as capital, because autonomous wealth as such can exist only either on the basis of direct forced labour, slavery, or indirect forced labour, wage labour. Wealth confronts direct forced labour not as capital, but rather as relation of domination [Herrschaftsverhältnis]; thus, the relation of domination is the only thing which is reproduced on this basis, for which wealth itself has value only as gratification, not as wealth itself, and which can therefore never create general industriousness. (We shall return to this relation of slavery and wage labour.) [40]

Surplus value. Ricardo. Physiocrats. A. Smith. Ricardo

The difficulty of grasping the creation of value shows itself (1) in those modern English economists who accuse Ricardo of not having understood the surplus, the surplus value (see Malthus on value, who at least tries to proceed scientifically), [41] whereas, among all the economists, Ricardo alone understood it, as is demonstrated by his polemic against A. Smith’s confusion of the determination of value by wages and by the labour time objectified in the commodity. The newcomers are just plain simpletons. However, Ricardo himself often gets into confusion, because, although he well understands that the creation of surplus value is the presupposition of capital, he often goes astray in conceiving the multiplication of values on any basis other than the investment of additional objectified labour time in the same product, in other words, on any basis other than when production becomes more difficult. Hence the absolute antithesis in his thinking between value and wealth. Hence the one-sidedness of his theory of ground rent; his erroneous theory of international trade, which is supposed to produce only use value (which he calls wealth), not exchange value. [42] The only avenue for the increase of values as such, apart from the growing difficulty of production (theory of rent), remains population growth (the natural increase among workers resulting from the growth of capital), although he himself never plainly summarized this relation. The basic mistake, that he never investigates where actually the distinction between the determination of value by wages and that by objectified labour comes from. Money and exchange itself (circulation) therefore appear only as purely formal elements in his economics; and although, according to him, economics is concerned only with exchange value, profit etc. appears there only as a percentage share of the product, which happens just as much on the basis of slavery. He never investigated the form of the mediation.

(2) The Physiocrats. Here the difficulty of grasping capital, the self-realization of value, hence the surplus value created by capital in the act of production, presents itself in tangible form, and this was necessarily so among the fathers of modern economics, just as was the case with the creation of surplus value in Ricardo, which he conceives in the form of rent, during the final classical conclusion of this economics. It is at bottom the question of the concept of capital and of wage labour, and therefore the fundamental question which presents itself at the threshold of the system of modern society. The Monetary System had understood the autonomy of value only in the form in which it arose from simple circulation—money; it therefore made this abstract form of wealth into the exclusive object [Objekt] of nations which were just then entering into the period in which the gaining of wealth as such appeared as the aim of society itself. Then came the Mercantile System, an epoch where industrial capital and hence wage labour arose in manufactures, and developed in antithesis to and at the expense of non-industrial wealth, of feudal landed property. [The Mercantilists] already have faint notions of money as capital, but actually again only in the form of money, of thecirculation of mercantile capital, of capital which transforms itself into money. Industrial capital has value for them, even the highest value—as a means, not as wealth itself in its productive process—because it creates mercantile capital and the latter, via circulation, becomes money. Labour in manufactures—i.e. at bottom industrial labour, but agricultural labour was and appeared to them, in antithesis, as chiefly productive of use values; raw products, processed, are more valuable, because in a clearer form, likewise more suitable for circulation, commerce; creating more money for the mercantile form (in this regard the historic view of wealth of non-agricultural peoples such as Holland, for example, in antithesis to that of the agricultural, feudal; agriculture did not appear at all in industrial form, but in feudal, hence as source of feudal, not of bourgeois wealth). Thus one form of wage labour, the industrial, and one form of capital, the industrial, were recognized as sources of wealth, but only in so far as they produced money. Exchange value itself therefore not yet conceived in the form of capital. Now the Physiocrats. They distinguish between capital and money, and conceive it in its general form as autonomous exchange value which preserves and increases itself in and through production. They also therefore examine the relation for itself, not merely as a moment of simple circulation, but rather as its presupposition which constantly rises out of it to become its presupposition again. They are therefore the fathers of modern economics. They also understand that the creation of surplus value by wage labour is the self-realization [Selbstverwertung], i.e. the realization [Verwirklichung] of capital. But how does labour act as a means to produce a surplus value out of capital, i.e. already-present value? Here they let the form drop altogether and only look at the simple production process. Hence only that labour can be productive which takes place in the kind of field where the natural force of the instrument of labour tangibly permits the labourer to produce more value than he consumes. Surplus value therefore does not arise from labour as such, but rather from the natural forces which labour uses and conducts—agriculture. This is therefore the onlyproductive labour, for they have come so far that [they consider that] only labour which creates surplus value is productive (that surplus value has to express itself in a material product is a crude view which still occurs in A. Smith. [43] Actors are productive workers, not in so far as they produce a play, but in so far as they increase their employer’s wealth. But what sort of labour takes place, hence in what form labour materializes itself, is absolutely irrelevant for this relation. It is not irrelevant, again, from later points of view); but this surplus value surreptitiously transforms itself into a quantity of use value coming out of production, larger than that which is consumed in it. This multiplication of use values, the excess of the product above that which has to serve as a means for new production—of which a part can therefore be consumed unproductively—appears tangibly only in the relation between the natural seed and its product. Only a part of the harvest has to be directly returned to the soil as seed; products found in nature, the elements air, water, earth, light, and added substances such as fertilizer, then recreate the seed again in multiplied quantity as grain etc. In short, human labour has only to conduct the chemical processes (in agriculture), and in part also to promote them mechanically, or promote the reproduction of life itself (cattle-raising) in order to obtain the surplus, i.e. to transform the identical natural substances from a useless into a valuable form. An over-abundance of agricultural products (grain, cattle, raw materials) is therefore the true form of general wealth. From the economic viewpoint, therefore, rent is the only form of wealth. Thus it is that the first prophets of capital conceive only the not-capitalists, the feudal landed proprietors, as the representatives of bourgeois wealth. The consequence, the levy of all taxes on rent, is then, however, entirely to the advantage of bourgeois capital. The bourgeois glorify feudalism in theory—many a feudal figure, like the elder Mirabeau [44] has been duped by this—only in order to ruin it in actual practice. All other values merely represent raw material + labour; labour itself represents grain or other products of the soil, which labour consumes; hence the factory worker etc. adds no more to the raw material than he consumes in raw materials. Therefore, his labour as well as his employer create no additional wealth—wealth being the surplus above the commodities consumed in production—but merely give it forms more pleasant and useful for consumption. At that time the utilization of natural energy in industry had not developed, nor the division of labour etc. which increases the natural force of labour itself. This was the case, however, in A. Smith’s time. With him, therefore, labour in principle the source of value, likewise of wealth, but actually labour too posits surplus value only in so far as in the division of labour the surplus appears as just as much a gift of nature, a natural force of society, as the soil with the Physiocrats. Hence the weight A. Smith lays on the division of labour. Capital, on the other hand, appears to him—because, although he defines labour as productive of value, he conceives it as use value, as productivity for-itself [für sich seiend], as human natural force in general (this distinguishes him from the Physiocrats), but not as wage labour, not in its specific character as form in antithesis to capital—not as that which contains wage labour as its internal contradiction from its origin, but rather in the form in which it emerges from circulation, as money, and is therefore created out of circulation, by saving. Thus capital does not originally realize itself—precisely because the appropriation of alien labour [fremde Arbeit] is not itself included in its concept. Capital appears only afterwards, after already having been presupposed as capital — a vicious circle—as command over alien labour. Thus, according to A. Smith, labour should actually have its own product for wages, wages should be = to the product, hence labour should not be wage labour and capital not capital. Therefore, in order to introduce profit and rent as original elements of the cost of production, i.e. in order to get a surplus value out of the capitalist production process, he presupposes them, in the clumsiest fashion. The capitalist does not want to give the use of his capital for nothing; the landowner, similarly, does not want to give land and soil over to production for nothing. They want something in return. This is the way in which they are introduced, with their demands, as historical facts, but not explained. Wages are actually the only economically justifiable, because necessary, element of production costs. Profit and rent are only deductions from wages, arbitrarily wrested by force in the historical process by capital and landed property, and justified by law, not economically. But on the other side, since he [Adam Smith] then confronts labour with the means and materials of production in the form of landed property and capital, as independent entities, he has essentially posited labour as wage labour. Therefore contradictions. Hence his vacillation in the determination of value; the placing of profit and ground rent on the same level; erroneousviews about the influence of wages on prices etc. Now Ricardo (see 1). [45] With him, however, wage labour and capital are again conceived as a natural, not as a historically specific social form [Gesellschaftsform] for the creation of wealth as use value; i.e. their form as such, precisely because it is natural, is irrelevant, and is not conceived in its specific relation to the form of wealth, just as wealth itself, in its exchange-value form, appears as a merely formal mediation of its material composition; thus the specific character of bourgeois wealth is not grasped—precisely because it appears there as the adequate form of wealth as such, and thus, although exchange value is the point of departure, the specific economic forms of exchange themselves play no role at all in his economics. Instead, he always speaks about distribution of the general product of labour and of the soil among the three classes, as if the form of wealth based on exchange value were concerned only with use value, and as if exchange value were merely a ceremonial form, which vanishes in Ricardo just as money as medium of circulation vanishes in exchange. Therefore, in order to bring out the true laws of economics, he likes to refer to this relation of money as a merely formal one. Hence also his weakness in the doctrine of money proper.

The exact development of the concept of capital [is] necessary, since it [is] the fundamental concept of modern economics, just as capital itself, whose abstract, reflected image [is] its concept [dessen abstraktes Gegenbild sein Begriff], [is] the foundation of bourgeois society. The sharp formulation of the basic presuppositions of the relation must bring out all the contradictions of bourgeois production, as well as the boundary where it drives beyond itself.

<It is important to note that wealth as such, i.e. bourgeois wealth, is always expressed to the highest power as exchange value, where it is posited as mediator, as the mediation of the extremes of exchange value and use value themselves. This intermediary situation [Mitte] always appears as the economic relation in its completeness, because it comprises the opposed poles, and ultimately always appears as a one-sidedly higher power vis-à-vis the extremes themselves; because the movement, or the relation, which originally appears as mediatory between the extremes necessarily develops dialectically to where it appears as mediation with itself, as the subject [Subjekt] for whom the extremes are merely its moments, whose autonomous presupposition it suspends in order to posit itself, through their suspension, as that which alone is autonomous. Thus, in the religious sphere, Christ, the mediator between God and humanity—a mere instrument of circulation between the two—becomes their unity, God-man, and, as such, becomes more important than God; the saints more important than Christ; the popes more important than the saints. Where it is posited as middle link, exchange value is always the total economic expression, itself one-sided against the extremes; e.g. money in simple circulation; capital itself as mediator between production and circulation. Within capital itself, one form of it in turn takes up the position of use value against the other as exchange value. Thus e.g. does industrial capital appear as producer as against the merchant, who appears as circulation. Thus the former represents the material [stofflich], the latter the formal side, i.e. wealth as wealth. At the same time, mercantile capital is itself.in turn the mediator between production (industrial capital) and circulation (the consuming public) or between exchange value and use value, where both sides are posited alternately, production as money and circulation as use value (consuming public) or the former as use value (product) and the latter as exchange value (money). Similarly within commerce itself: the wholesaler as mediator between manufacturer and retailer, or between manufacturer and agriculturalist, or between different manufacturers; he is the same mediator at a higher level. And in turn, in the same way, the commodity brokers as against the wholesalers. Then the banker as against the industrialists and merchants; the joint-stock company as against simple production; the financier as mediator between the state and bourgeois society, on the highest level. Wealth as such presents itself more distinctly and broadly the further it is removed from direct production and is itself mediated between poles, each of which, considered for itself, is already posited as economic form. Money becomes an end rather than a means; and the higher form of mediation, as capital, everywhere posits the lower as itself, in turn, labour, as merely a source of surplus value. For example, the bill-broker, banker etc. as against the manufacturers and farmers, which are posited in relation to him in the role of labour (of use value); while he posits himself toward them as capital, extraction of surplus value; the wildest form of this, the financier.>

Capital is direct unity of product and money or, better, of production and circulation. Thus it itself is again something immediate, and its development consists of positing and suspending itself as this unity—which is posited as a specific and therefore simple relation. The unity at first appears in capital as something simple.

<Ricardo’s reasoning is simply this: products are exchanged for one another—hence capital for capital—according to the amounts of objectified labour contained in them. A day’s work is always exchanged for a day’s work. This is presupposition. Exchange itself can therefore be entirely left out. The product—capital posited as product—is exchange value in itself, to which exchange merely adds form; formal form with him. The only question is now in what proportions this product is divided up and distributed. Whether these proportions are regarded as specific quotas of the presupposed exchange value, or of its content, material wealth, [is] the same thing. Moreover, since exchange as such is merely circulation—money as circulation—it is better to abstract from it altogether, and to examine only the proportions of material wealth which have been distributed within the production process or because of it to the various factors. In the exchange form, all value etc. is merelynominal; it is real only in the form of the proportion. Exchange as a whole, to the extent that it creates no greater material variety, is nominal. Since a full day’s work is always exchanged for a full day’s work, the sum of values remains the same—the growth in the forces of production affects only the content of wealth, not its form. An increase of values can arise, therefore, only out of an increasing difficulty in production—and this can take place only where the forces of nature no longer afford an equal service to equal quantities of human labour, i.e. where the fertility of the natural elements decreases—in agriculture. The decline of profits is therefore caused by rent. [46] Firstly the false presupposition that a full day’s work is always worked in all social conditions; etc. etc. (see above [47].>


29 November – c. mid-December 1857, continued

Surplus value and productive force. Relation when these increase.—Result.—Productive force of labour is productive force of capital.—In proportion as necessary labour is already diminished, the realization of capital becomes more difficult

We have seen: The worker needs to work only e.g. half a working day in order to live a whole one; and hence to be able to begin the same process again the next day. Only half a day’s work is objectified in his labouring capacity—to the extent that it exists in him as someone alive, or as a living instrument of labour. The worker’s entire living day (day of life) is the static result, the objectification of half a day’s work. By appropriating the entire day’s work and then consuming it in the production process with the materials of which his capital consists, but by giving in exchange only the labour objectified in the worker—i.e. half a day’s work—the capitalist creates the surplus value of his capital; in this case, half a day of objectified labour. Now suppose that the productive powers of labour double, i.e. that the same labour creates double the use value in the same time. (For the moment, use value is defined in the present relation as only that which the worker consumes in order to stay alive as a worker; the quantity of the means of life for which, through the mediation of money, he exchanges the labour objectified in his living labouring capacity.) The worker would then have to work only 1/4 day in order to live a full day; the capitalist then needs to give the worker only 1/4 day’s objectified labour in exchange, in order to increase his surplus value in the production process from 1/2 to 3/4; so that he would gain 3/4 day’s objectified labour instead of 1/2. At the end of the production process, the value of the capital would have risen by 3/4 instead of by 2/4. Thus the capitalist would have to make the workers work only 3/4 day, in order to add the same surplus value—that of 1/2 or 2/4 objectified labour—to his capital. However, as representative of the general form of wealth—money—capital is the endless and limitless drive to go beyond its limiting barrier. Every boundary [Grenze] is and has to be a barrier [Schranke] for it. [48] Else it would cease to be capital—money as self-reproductive. If ever it perceived a certain boundary not as a barrier, but became comfortable within it as a boundary, it would itself have declined from exchange value to use value, from the general form of wealth to a specific, substantial mode of the same. Capital as such creates a specific surplus value because it cannot create an infinite one all at once; but it is the constant movement to create more of the same. The quantitative boundary of the surplus value appears to it as a mere natural barrier, as a necessity which it constantly tries to violate and beyond which it constantly seeks to go. [*] Therefore (quite apart from the factors entering in later, competition, prices etc.) the capitalist will make the worker work not only 3/4 day, because the 3/4 day bring him the same surplus value as the whole day did before, but rather he will make him work the full day; and the increase in the productive force which allows the worker to work for 1/4 day and live a whole day now expresses itself simply in that he now has to work 3/4 day for capital, whereas before he worked for it only 2/4 day. The increased productive force of his labour, to the extent that it is a shortening of the time required to replace the labour objectified in him (for use value, subsistence), appears as a lengthening of the time he labours for the realization of capital (for exchange value). From the worker’s standpoint, he now has to do a surplus labour of 3/4 day in order to live a full day, while before he only had to do a surplus labour of 2/4 day. The increase, the doubling of the productive force, has increased his surplus labour by 1/4 [day]. One remark here: the productive force has doubled, the surplus labour the worker has to do has not doubled, but has only grown by 1/4 [day]; nor has capital’s surplus value doubled; but it, too, has grown by only 1/4 [day]. This shows, then, that surplus labour (from the worker’s standpoint) or surplus value (from capital’s standpoint) does not grow in the same numerical proportion as the productive force. Why? The doubling in the productive force is the reduction of necessary labour (for the worker) by 1/4 [day], hence also the [increase of the] production of surplus value by 1/4, because the original relation was posited as 1/2. If the worker had to work, originally, 2/3 day in order to live one full day, then the surplus value would have been 1/3, and the surplus labour the same. The doubling in the productive force of labour would then have enabled the worker to restrict his necessary labour to half of 2/3 or 2 ÷ (3 × 2), 2/6 or 1/3 day, and the capitalist would have gained 1/3 [day] of value. But the total surplus labour would have become 2/3 [day]. The doubling of the productive force, which resulted in 1/4 [day] surplus value and surplus labour in the first example, would now result in 1/3 [day] surplus value or surplus labour. The multiplier of the productive force—the number by which it is multiplied—is therefore not the multiplier of surplus labour or of surplus value; but rather, if the original relation of the labour objectified in the labour price was 1/2 of the labour objectified in 1 working day, which always appears as the limit, [**] then the doubling is equal to the division of 1/2 by 2 (in the original relation), i.e. 1/4. If the original relation was 2/3, then the doubling equals the division of 2/3 by 2 = 2/6 or 1/3. The multiplier of the productive force is thus never the multiplier but always the divisor of the original relation, not the multiplier of its numerator but of its denominator. If it were the former, then the multiplication of the productive force would correspond to the multiplication of the surplus value. Instead, the surplus value is always equal to the division of the original relation by the multiplier of the productive force. If the original relation was 8/9, i.e. the worker needs 8/9 of a working day to live, so that capital gains only 1/9 in its exchange with living labour, if surplus labour equals 1/9, then the worker can now live from half of 8/9 of a working day, i.e. with 8/18 = 4/9 (whether we divide the numerator or multiply the denominator the same thing), and the capitalist, who orders a full day’s work, would have a total surplus value of 4/9 working day; subtracting the original surplus value of 1/9 from this leaves 3/9 or 1/3. The doubling of the productive force therefore = here an increase in surplus value or surplus time by 1/3. This is simply because the surplus value is always equal to the relation between the whole working day and that part of the working day necessary to keep the worker alive. The unit in which surplus value is calculated is always a fraction, i.e. the given part of a day which exactly represents.the price of labour. If that is = 1/2, then the increase in the productive force = the reduction of necessary labour to 1/4; if it is = 1/3, then reduction of necessary labour to 1/6; hence in the first, the total surplus value = 3/4; in the second = 5/6; the relative surplus value, i.e. relative to that present before, in the first case = 1/4, in the second = 2/6 or 1/3. Therefore the value of capital does not grow in the same proportion as the productive force increases, but in the proportion in which the increase in the productive force, the multiplier of productive force, divides the fraction of the working day which expresses the part of the day belonging to the worker. The extent to which the productive force of labour increases the value of capital thus depends on the original relation between the portion of labour objectified in the worker and his living labour. This portion is always expressed as a fractional part of the whole working day, 1/3, 2/3, etc. The increase in productive force, i.e. its multiplication by a given amount, is equal to a division of the numerator or the multiplication of the denominator of this fraction by the same amount. Thus the largeness or smallness of the increase of value depends not only on the number which expresses the multiplication of the productive force, but equally on the previously given relation which makes up the part of the work day belonging to the price of labour. If this relation is 1/3, then the doubling of the productive force of the working day = a reduction of the same to 1/6; if it is 2/3, then reduction to 2/6. The objectified labour contained in the price of labour is always equal to a fractional part of the whole day; always arithmetically expressed as a fraction; always a relation between numbers, never a simple number. If the productive force doubles, multiplies by 2, then the worker has to work only 1/2 of the previous time in order to get the price of labour out of it; but how much labour time he still needs for this purpose depends on the first, given relation, namely on the time which was required before the increase in productive force. The multiplier of the productive force is the divisor of this original fraction. Value or surplus labour therefore does not increase in the same numerical relation as productive force. If the original relation is 1/2 and the productive force is doubled, then thenecessary (for the worker) labour time reduces itself to 1/4 and the surplus value grows by only 1/4. If the productive force is quadrupled, then the original relation becomes 1/8 and the value grows by only 1/8. The value can never be equal to the entire working day; i.e. a certain part of the working day must always be exchanged for the labour objectified in the worker. Surplus value in general is only the relation of living labour to that objectified in the worker; one member of the relation must therefore always remain. A certain relation between increase in productive force and increase of value is already given in the fact that the relation is constant as a relation, although its factors vary. We see therefore, on one side, that relative surplus value is exactly equal to relative surplus labour; if the working day was 1/2 and the productive force doubles, then the part belonging to the worker, necessary labour, reduces itself to 1/4 and the new value is also exactly 1/4; but the total value is now 3/4. While surplus value rose by 1/4, i.e. in the relation of 1:4, the total surplus value = 3/4 = 3:4. Now if we assume that 1/4 was the original necessaryworking day, and a doubling in productive force took place, then necessary labour is reduced to 1/8 and surplus labour or surplus value exactly = 1/8 = 1:8. The total surplus value by contrast = 7:8. In the first example the original total surplus value = 1:2 (1/2) and then rose to 3:4; in the second case the original total surplus value was 3/4 and has now risen to 7:8 (7/8). In the first case it has grown from 1/2 or 2/4 to 3/4; in the second from 3/4 or 6/8 to 7/8; in the first case by 1/4, in the second by 1/8; i.e. in the first case it rose twice as much as in the second: but in the first case the total surplus value is only 3/4 or 6/8 while it is 7/8 in the second, i.e. 1/8 more.

Let necessary labour be 1/16, then total surplus value = 15/16; which was 5/8 = 10/16 in the previous relation; thus the total surplus value presupposed is by 5/16 higher than in the previous case. [50] Now let the productive force double, then necessary labour = 1/32; which was previously = 2/32 (1/16); hence surplus time has risen by 1/32, surplus value by the same proportion. As regards the total surplus value, which was 15/16 or 30/32, this is now 31/32. Compared to the earlier relation (where necessary labour was 1/4 or 8/32), the total surplus value is now 31/32, whereas it was only 30/32 earlier, hence grew by 1/32. But regarded relatively, the doubling of production increased it in the first case by 1/8 or 4/32, while it has now increased by only 1/32, i.e. by 3/32 less.

If necessary labour had already been reduced to 1/1,000, then the total surplus value would be = 999/1,000. Now if the productive force increased a thousandfold, then necessary labour would decline to 1/1,000,000 working day and the total surplus value would amount to 999,999/1,000,000 of a working day; whereas before this increase in productive force it amounted to only 999/1,000 or 999,000/1,000,000; it would thus have grown by 999/1,000,000 = 1/11 (with the addition of 1 ÷ (11 + 1/999 ), [51] i.e. the thousandfold increase in productive force would have increased the total surplus by not even 1/11, i.e. not even by 3/33, whereas in the previous case it rose by 1/32 owing to a mere doubling of the productive force. If necessary labour falls from 1/1,000 to 1/1,000,000, then it falls by exactly 999/1,000,000 (for 1/1,000 = 1,000/1,000,000), i.e. by the surplus value.

If we summarize this, we find:
     Firstly: The increase in the productive force of living labour increases the value of capital (or diminishes the value of the worker) not because it increases the quantity of products or use values created by the same labour—the productive force of labour is its natural force—but rather because it diminishes necessary labour, hence, in the same relation as it diminishes the former, it creates surplus labour or, what amounts to the same thing, surplus value; because the surplus value which capital obtains through the production process consists only of the excess of surplus labour over necessary labour. The increase in productive force can increase surplus labour—i.e. the excess of labour objectified in capital as product over the labour objectified in the exchange value of the working day—only to the extent that it diminishes the relation of necessary labour to surplus labour, and only in the proportion in which it diminishes this relation. Surplus value is exactly equal to surplus labour; the increase of the one [is] exactly measured by the diminution of necessary labour.

     Secondly: The surplus value of capital does not increase as does the multiplier of the productive force, i.e. the amount to which the productive force (posited as unity, as multiplicand) increases; but by the surplus of the fraction of the living work day which originally represents necessary labour, in excess over this same fraction divided by the multiplier of the productive force. Thus if necessary labour = 1/4 of the living work day and the productive force doubles, then the value of capital does not double, but grows by 1/8; which is equal to 1/4 or 2/8 (the original fraction of the work day which represents necessary labour) – 1/4 divided by 2, or = 2/8 minus 1/8 = 1/8. (That value doubles itself can also be expressed, it grows 4/2 [-fold] or 16/8 [-fold]. Its growth would relate to that of the productive force by 1:16. (That is it!) [52] If the fraction was 1/1,000 and the productive force increases a thousandfold, then the value of capital does not grow a thousandfold, but rather by far less than 1/11; it grows by 1/1,000 – 1/1,000,000, i.e. by 1,000/1,000,000 – 1/1,000,000 = 999/1,000,000.)

Thus the absolute sum by which capital increases its value through a given increase of the productive force depends on the given fractional part of the working day, on the fractional part of the working day which represents necessary labour, and which therefore expresses the original relation of necessary labour to the living work day. The increase in productive force in a given relation can therefore increase the value of capital differently e.g. in the different countries. A general increase of productive force in a given relation can increase the value of capital differently in the different branches of industry, and will do so, depending on the different relation of necessary labour to the living work day in these branches. This relation would naturally be the same in all branches of business in a system of free competition, if labour were simple labour everywhere, hence necessary labour the same. (If it represented the same amount of objectified labour.)

     Thirdly: The larger the surplus value of capital before the increase of productive force, the larger the amount of presupposed surplus labour or surplus value of capital; or, the smaller the fractional part of the working day which forms the equivalent of the worker, which expresses necessary labour, the smaller is the increase in surplus value which capital obtains from the increase of productive force. Its surplus value rises, but in an ever smaller relation to the development of the productive force. Thus the more developed capital already is, the more surplus labour it has created, the more terribly must it develop the productive force in order to realize itself in only smaller proportion, i.e. to add surplus value—because its barrier always remains the relation between the fractional part of the day which expresses necessary labour, and the entire working day. It can move only within these boundaries. The smaller already the fractional part falling to necessary labour, the greater the surplus labour, the less can any increase in productive force perceptibly diminish necessary labour; since the denominator has grown enormously. The self-realization of capital becomes more difficult to the extent that it has already been realized. The increase of productive force would become irrelevant to capital; realization itself would become irrelevant, because its proportions have become minimal, and it would have ceased to be capital. If necessary labour were 1/1,000 and the productive force tripled, then it would fall to only 1/3,000 or surplus labour would have increased by only 2/3,000. But this happens not because wages have increased or the share of labour in the product, but because it has alreadyfallen so low, regarded in its relation to the product of labour or to the living work day. [***]

(All these statements correct only in this abstraction for the relation from the present standpoint. Additional relations will enter which modify them significantly. The whole, to the extent that it proceeds entirely in generalities, actually already belongs in the doctrine of profit.)

So much in general for the time being: the development of the productive force of labour—first the positing of surplus labour—is a necessary condition for the growth of value or the realization of capital. As the infinite urge to wealth, it strives consistently towards infinite increase of the productive forces of labour and calls them into being. But on the other hand, every increase in the productive force of labour—leaving aside the fact that it increases the use values for the capitalist—is an increase in the productive force of capital and, from the present standpoint, is a productive force of labour only in so far as it is a productive force of capital.

[Absolute and Relative Surplus Value]

Concerning increases in the value of capital

This much is already clear, can at least be mentioned in anticipation: the increase in the productive force does not in and by itself increase prices. For example the bushel of wheat. If a half of a working day objectifies itself in one bushel of wheat, and if this is the worker’s price, then the surplus labour can only produce 2 bushels of wheat. Thus 2 bushels of wheat [is] the value of one working day, and if that = 26s. in money, = 26s. Each bushel = 13s. Now if the productive force doubles, then the bushel of wheat no more than = 1/4 working day; = 6 1/2s. With the productive force, the price of this fractional part of the commodity fell. But the total price remained; but now a surplus of 3/4 working day. Every fourth = 1 bushel wheat = 6 1/2s. Thus the total product = 26s. = 4 bushels. Same as before. The value of the capital increased from 13s. to 19 1/2s. The value of labour diminished from 13s. to 6 1/2s.; material production rose from 2 bushels to 4. Now 19 1/2. [53] Now, if the force of production were to double also in gold production, so that, if 13s. were the product of half a working day and this half a day were the necessary labour before; now 1/4 [working day] produces 52s. or 52-13=39s. more. 1 bushel of wheat now = 13s.; the same fractional price afterwards as before; but the total product = 52s.; before only = 26s. On the other hand, the 52s. would now buy 4 bushels, while the 26, earlier, bought only 2.

Well. First of all it is clear that if capital has already raised surplus labour to the point where the entire living work day is consumed in the production process (and we here assume the working day to be the natural amount of labour time which the worker is able to put at the disposal of capital; this is always only for a specific time, i.e. specific labour time), then an increase in the productive force cannot increase labour time, nor, therefore, objectified labour time. The product objectifies one working day, whether the necessary time of labour is represented by 6 or 3 hours, by 1/2 or 1/4 of the working day. The surplus value of capital has grown; i.e. its value relative to the worker—for if it was only = 2/4 before, it is now = to 3/4 of objectified labour time; but its value increased not because the absolute but because the relative amount of labour grew; i.e. the total amount of labour did not grow; the working day is as long before as after; hence no absolute increase in surplus time (surplus labour time); rather the amount of necessary labour decreased, and that is how relative surplus labour increased. The worker in fact worked a whole day before, but only 1/2 day of surplus time; afterwards, as before, he works the whole day, but 3/4 of a day of surplus time. To that extent, therefore, the price (presupposing this as its gold and silver value), or the exchange value of capital, has not increased with the doubling of the productive force. This therefore concerns the rate of profit, not the price of the product or the value of the capital, which became a commodity again in the product. But in fact the absolute values also increase in this manner, because that part of wealth which is posited as capital—as self-realizing value—also increases. (Accumulation of capitals.Take our earlier example. Let capital = 100 thalers, and let it decompose in the production process into the following parts: 50 thalers cotton, 40 thalers wages, 10 thalers instrument. Assume at the same time, in order to simplify the arithmetic, that the entire instrument of labour is consumed in one act of production (and this is quite beside the point here, so far), so that its entire value would reappear in the form of the product. Suppose in this case that the 40 thalers which go to labour express a labour time objectified in living labouring capacity of, say, 4 hours, giving capital 8 hours. Presupposing the instrument and the raw material, the total product would amount to 100 thalers, if the worker works only 4 hours, i.e. if the raw material and the instrument were his property and he worked for 4 hours only. He would increase the 60 thalers by 40, which he could consume, since firstly he replaces the 60 thalers in raw material and instrument required for production, and then adds a surplus value of 40 thalers as reproduction of his own living labour capacity or of the time objectified in him. He could repeat the work again and again, since he would have reproduced the value of the raw material and of the instrument as well as of the labouring capacity; the latter by constantly increasing the value of the former by 4 hours of objectified labour. But now let him receive the 40 thalers in wages only by working 8 hours, so that he would add to the material and instrument of labour, which now confront him as capital, a surplus value of 80 thalers; while the former surplus value of 40 thalers, which he added, is only exactly the value of his labour. He would thus add a surplus value exactly = to the surplus labour or surplus time. [*] The value of capital would thus have increased from 100 thalers to 140. [**]

Now, capital regarded as simple exchange value would be absolutely greater, 140 thalers instead of 100; but in fact, a new value would merely have been created, i.e. a value which is not merely necessary to replace the 60 thalers in advances for the materials and the instrument of labour and the 40 thalers for labour, a new value of 40 thalers. The values in circulation would have been increased by 80 thalers, by 40 thalers of additional objectified labour time.

Now assume the same presupposition. 100 thalers capital; specifically, 50 for cotton, 40 for labour, 10 for instrument of production; let the surplus labour time remain as before, i.e. 4 hours, and the total labour time 8 hours. Thus in all cases the product only = 8 hours labour time = 140 thalers. Now suppose the productive force of labour doubles; i.e. 2 hours would be enough for the worker to realize raw materials and instrument to the extent required to maintain his labouring capacity. If 40 thalers were an objectified labour time of 4 hours, then 20 thalers would be the objectified labour time of 2 hours. These 20 thalers now express the same use value as the 40 thalers before. The exchange value of labouring capacity has diminished by half, because half of the original labour time creates the same use value, while the exchange value of the use value is measured purely by the labour time objectified in it. But the capitalist makes the workers work 8 hours now as before, and his product therefore represents now as before a labour time of 8 hours = 80 thalers of labour time, while the value of raw material and material remain the same, namely 60 thalers; altogether, as before, 140 thalers. (In order to live, the worker himself would have had to add to the 60 thalers of raw material and instrument a value of no more than 20 thalers, he would thus have created a value of only 80 thalers. The total value of his product would have diminished, by the doubling of production, from 100 to 80, by 20 thalers, i.e. by 1/5 of 100 = 20%.) But the surplus time or surplus value for capital is now 6 hours instead of 4, or 60 thalers instead of 40. Its increment is 2 hours, 20 thalers. His accounts would now show the following: for raw material, 50; for labour, 20; for instrument, 10; costs = 80 thalers. Gain = 60 thalers. Now as before he would sell the product for 140 thalers, but would show a gain of 60 thalers instead of 40 as before. On one side, therefore, he throws only the same exchange value into circulation as before, 140 thalers. But the surplus value of his capital has grown by 20 thalers. Accordingly, only the share he gets of the 140 thalers [is] the rate of his profit. The worker in fact worked 2 hours more for him free of charge, i.e. 6 hours instead of 4, and this is the same for him as if he had worked 10 hours instead of 8 in the earlier relation, had increased his absolute labour time. But indeed a new value has arisen also; namely 20 additional thalers are posited as autonomous value, as objectified labour which has become free, unbound from the task of serving only in exchange for earlier labour power [Arbeitskraft]. This can present itself in two ways. Either the 20 thalers set as much additional labour into motion as becomes capital and creates larger exchange value: make more objectified labour into the point of departure for the new production process; or the capitalist exchanges the 20 thalers as money for commodities other than those which he needs in its production as industrial capital; all commodities other than labour and money themselves thus are exchanged for 20 more thalers, for 2 more hours of objectified labour time. Their exchange value has thus increased by just this liberated sum. In fact, 140 thalers are 140 thalers, as the very ‘perceptive’ French publisher of the Physiocrats remarks against Boisguillebert. [55] But it is false that these 140 thalers only represent more use value; they represent a greater amount of independent exchange value, of money, of latent capital; i.e. of wealth posited as wealth. The economists themselves admit this later when they allow the accumulation of capitals to accumulate not only the mass of use values, but that of exchange values too; for, according to Ricardo himself, the element of the accumulation of capitals is posited just as completely with relative surplus labour as with absolute—impossible any other way. [56] On the other side, it is already implicit in the thesis best developed by Ricardo, that these excess 20 thalers, which are created purely by the increase in productive force, can become capital again. Earlier, only 40 of the 140 thalers (leaving capital’s consumption aside for now) could become new capital; 100 do not become capital but remain capital; now 60 [can], i.e. the present capital is greater by an exchange value of 20 thalers. Thus, exchange value, wealth as such, has increased, although the total sum of the same has not directly increased. Why has it increased? Because that part of the total sum has increased which was not a mere medium of circulation, but money; or which was not merely equivalent, but exchange value for-itself [für sich seiend]. Either the liberated 20 thalers were accumulated as money, i.e. added to the stock of exchange values in general (abstract) exchange value form or they all circulated, and then the prices of the commodities bought with them rise; they all represent more money, as well as, since the production cost of gold has not fallen (rather, risen relative to the commodity produced by the more productive capital), more objectified labour (because of this, the excess production, which at first only appeared on the side of the one producing capital, now appears on the side of the others, which produce the more expensive commodities); or the 20 thalers are directly used up as capital by the originally circulating capital. Thus a new capital of 20 thalers is posited—a sum of self-preserving and self-realizing wealth. Capital has risen by the exchange value of 20 thalers. (Circulation actually does not yet concern us here, since we are here dealing with capital in general, and circulation can only mediate between capital in the form of money and capital in its form as capital; the first capital may realize money as such, i.e. exchange it for commodities, consume more than before; but in the hand of the producer of these commodities this money becomes capital. Thus it becomes capital directly in the hands of the first capital, or, via a detour, [in those] of another capital. But the other capital is always in turn capital as such; and we are concerned here with capital as such, [let us] say the capital of the whole society. The differentiation etc. of capitals does not concern us yet.) In general, these 20 thalers can appear only in a double form. As money, so that capital again exists in the character of money which has not yet become capital—its point of departure; the abstract-autonomous form of exchange value or of general wealth; or itself in turn as capital, as a new domination of objectified labour over living labour. [***] (Every increase in the mass 347 of capital employed can increase the productive force not only at an arithmetical but at a geometrical rate; although it can increase profit at the same time—as increase of productive force—only at a much lower rate. The influence of the increase of capital on the increase of productive force is thus infinitely greater than that of the increase of the productive force on the growth of capital.) As general wealth, materialized in the form of money (of the thing, in its mere abstractness), or of new living labour. The capitalist consumes, say, 20 of the 140 thalers as use values for himself, through the mediation of money as means of circulation. Thus, in the first presupposition, he could begin the process of self-realization only with a larger capital, a larger use value of 120 (as against 100). After the doubling in the productive forces, he can do it with 140 thalers without restricting his consumption. A larger part of the exchange values solidifies as exchange value, instead of vanishing in use value (whether it solidifies as such, through production, directly or indirectly). To create a larger capital means to create a larger exchange value; although exchange value in its direct form as simple exchange value has not been increased by the growth of productivity, it has in its intensified form as capital. This larger capital of 140 thalers represents, absolutely, more objectified labour than the earlier capital of 120 thalers. It therefore also, at least relatively, sets more living labour into motion and therefore also ultimately reproduces more simple exchange value. The capital of 120 thalers at 40% produced a product or simple exchange value of 60 thalers at 40%; the capital of 140 thalers a simple exchange value of 64 thalers. Here, then, the increase in exchange value in the form of capital is still posited directly as an increase in exchange value in its simple form. It is of the highest importance to remember this. It is not enough to say, like Ricardo, that exchange value does not increase; i.e. the abstract form of wealth; but only exchange value as capital. [57] In saying this he is looking only at the original production process. But if relative surplus labour increases—and capital therefore increases absolutely—then there is necessarily also an increase within circulation also of relative exchange value existing as exchange value, money as such, and therefore, through the mediation of the production process, absolute exchange value. In other words, of this same amount of exchange value—or money—and the product of the realization process appears in this simple form—the product is surplus value only relative to capital, to value such as it existed before the production process; for itself, regarded as an independent existence, it is merely quantitatively defined exchange value—a part has become liberated, which does not exist as equivalent for already present exchange values or for already present labour time. If it is exchanged for those already present, it gives them not an equivalent but more than an equivalent, and thus liberates a part of the exchange value on their side. In a static state, this liberated exchange value by which society has become richer can only be money, in which case only the abstract form of wealth has increased; [is] in motion: [it] can realize itself only in new living labour (whether labour which had been dormant is set into motion, ornew workers are created (population [growth] is accelerated) or again a new circle of exchange values, of exchange values in circulation, is expanded, which can occur on the production side if the liberated exchange value opens up a new branch of production i.e. a new object of exchange, objectified labour in the form of a new use value; or the same is achieved when objectified labour is put in the sphere of circulation in a new country, by an expansion of trade). The latter must then be created.

The form in which Ricardo attempts to clarify the matter for himself (and he is very unclear in this regard) says at bottom nothing more than that he just introduces a certain relation, instead of saying, simply, that out of the same sum of simple exchange values a smaller part posits itself in the form of simple exchange value (equivalent) and a larger part in the form of money (money as the original, antediluvian form out of which capital always arises anew; money in its character as money, not as coin etc.); that therefore the part posited as exchange value for-itself, i.e. as value, increases, i.e. wealth in the form of wealth (whereas he comes to just the mistaken conclusion that it increases only in the form of material, physical wealth as use value). The origin of wealth as such, in so far as it arises not from rent, i.e., according to him, not from the increase in productive force, but rather from the decrease of the same, is therefore totally incomprehensible to him, and he entangles himself in the wildest contradictions. Let us take the form of the matter. [58] Capital 1,000 sets 50 workers into motion; or 50 living work days; through a doubling of the productive force, it could set 100 working days into motion. But these latter do not exist in the 349 presupposition, and are introduced arbitrarily, because otherwise—unless more real working days are introduced—he does not grasp the increase in exchange value which arises from increased productivity. At the same time, the growth of population is never developed by him as an element in the increase of exchange values; never clearly and definitely stated. Let the presupposition be capital 1,000 and workers 50. The correct deduction, which he himself also draws (see Notebook) [59] : capital 500 with 25 workers can produce the same use value as before; the other 500 with the other 25 workers establish a new business and likewise produce an exchange value of 500. The profit remains the same, since it arises not from the exchange of 500 for 500, but from the proportions in which profit and wages originally divide in the 500, and since exchange deals in equivalents, which can no more increase value than external trade can, which Ricardo explicitly demonstrates. Since the exchange of equivalents just means nothing more than that the value in the hands of A before the exchange with B still exists in his hands after the exchange with B. The total value or wealth has remained the same. Use value, however, or the material of wealth, has doubled. Now, there is absolutely no reason here why wealth should grow as wealth, exchange value as such—as far as the increase in the productive forces is concerned. If the productive forces again double in both branches, then capital A can again divide into two of 250 with 12 1/2 working days each, capital B can do the same. [60] There are now four capitals with the same total exchange value of £1,000, consuming 50 living work days as before, [*]producing four times as much use value as before the doubling of consumption value. Ricardo is too classical to commit absurdities, like those who claim to improve on him, who derive the larger value after the increase in productive force from one party selling at a higher price within circulation. As soon as the capital of 500 has become commodity, simple exchange value, instead of exchanging it for 500, he exchanges it for 550 (at 10%,), but then the other party obviously only gets 450 in exchange value instead of 500 and the total sum remains 1,000 as before. This happens often enough in commerce, but explains the profit made by one capital only by the loss of the other capital, and not the profit of capital; and without this presupposition there can be profit neither on one nor on the other side. Ricardo’s process can therefore go on without any other limit than the increase of the productive force (and this is again physical, located outside the economic relation itself) possible with a capital of 1,000 and 50 workers. See the following passage: ‘Capital is that part of the wealth of a country which is employed with a view to future production, and may be increased in the same manner as wealth.‘ [61] (Wealth for him the abundance of use values; and, seen from the standpoint of simple exchange, the identical objectified labour can express itself in limitless use values and constantly remain the same exchange value, as long as it remains the same amount of objectified labour, for its equivalent is measured not by the mass of use value in which it exists, but rather by its own amount.) ‘An additional capital will be equally efficacious in the formation of future wealth, whether it be obtained from improvements of skill or machinery, or from using more revenue productively; for wealth’ (use value) ‘always depends on the quantity of commodities produced’ (also some what on their variety, it seems),’without regard to the facility with which the instruments employed in production may have been produced’ (i.e. the labour time objectified in them).’A certain quantity of clothes and provisions will maintain and employ the same number of men; but they will be of twice the value’ (exchange value) ‘if 200 have been employed on their production.’ If, owing to an increase in the productive force, 100 produce as much in use values as 200 earlier, then: ‘of the 200, half are let go, so that the remaining 100 produce as much as the 200 did before. Thus a half of the capital can be withdrawn from this branch of business; as much capital has become free as labour. And since one half of the capital now does quite the same service as did the whole, two capitals have now been formed etc.’ (cf. 39, 40 ibid. on national trade, [62] to which we must return). Ricardo does not speak here about the working day; [the fact] that, if the capitalist earlier exchanged half of an objectified working day for the worker’s entire living work day, [he] thus at bottom gains only half a living work day, since he gives the other half in objectified form to the worker, and obtains it from him in the living form, i.e. pays the worker a half of the working day, instead of in the form of simultaneous working days, i.e. of different workers; this does not alter the matter, only its expression. Each one of these working days furnishes so much more surplus time. If the capitalist, before, had the working day as limit, he now has 50 working days etc. As has been said, this form does not posit an increase in exchange values with an increase in the number of capitals through productivity, and, according to Ricardo, it would also be possible for the population to fall from, say, 10,000,000 to 10,000, without a decrease in exchange values or the quantity of use values (see conclusion of his book). [63] We are the last to deny that capital contains contradictions. Our purpose, rather, is to develop them fully. But Ricardo does not develop them, but rather shifts them off by considering the value in exchange as indifferent for the formation of wealth. That is to say, he contends that in a society based upon the value of exchange, and wealth resulting from such value, the contradictions to which this form of wealth is driven with the development of productive powers etc. do not exist, and that a progress of value is not necessary in such a society to secure the progress of wealth, consequently that value as the form of wealth does not at all affect that wealth itself and its development, i.e. he regards exchange value as merely formal. Then, however, he remembers (1) that the capitalists are concerned with value, (2) that, historically, with the progress of the productive forces (of international trade too, he should have noted), there is a growth in wealth as such, i.e. the sum of values. Now, how to explain this? Capitals accumulate faster than the population; thus wages rise; thus population; thus grain prices; thus the difficulty of production and hence the exchange values. The latter are then finally reached by a detour. We will here entirely omit the moment of rent, since we are not yet concerned with increased difficulty of production but rather with its opposite, with increase in the productive forces. With the accumulation of capitals, wages rise unless population grows simultaneously; the worker marries, production is spurred on or his children live better, do not die before their time etc. In short, the population grows. Its growth, however, gives rise to competition among the workers, and thereby forces the worker to sell his labour power to the capitalist at its value again, or momentarily even below it. Now the accumulated capital, which has meanwhile grown up more slowly, again has the surplus which it earlier spent in the form of wages, i.e. as coin, in order to buy the use value of labour, available to it in the form of money, in order to realize it as capital in living labour, and, since it now also disposes over a greater amount of working days, its exchange value grows in turn. (Even this not really developed in Ricardo, but mixed up with the theory of rent; since the surplus which capital earlier lost in the form of wages is now lost to it in the form of rent, owing to the growth of population.) But even the growth of population is not really comprehensible in his theory. At no time has he shown that there is an inherent relation between the whole of the labour objectified in capital and the living work day (whether the latter is represented as one working day of 50 × 12 hours, or as 12 hours of labour by 50 workers, is the same thing as far as the relation goes), and that this inherent relation is just the relation between the fractional part of the living work day, or that between the equivalent of the objectified labour with which the worker is paid, and the living working day; where the whole is the day itself, and the inherent relation is the variable relation (the day itself is a constant) between the fractional part of the necessary hours of labour and the hours of surplus labour. And, just because he has not developed this relation, he has also not developed [the point] (which did not concern us up to now, since we were concerned with capital as such and introduced the development of the productive forces as an external relation) that the development of the productive forces itself presupposes both the increase of capital and the increase of simultaneous working days, which, however, within the given barrier of a capital that sets one working day into motion (even if it be a day of 50 × 12 hours, 600 hours), is itself the barrier to the development of its productive force. The wage covers not only the worker, but also his reproduction; so that when this specimen of the working class dies, another replaces it; after the 50 workers are dead, 50 new ones are there to replace them. The 50 workers themselves—as living labour capacities—represent not only the costs of their own production, but also the costs which had to be paid to their parents above and beyond their wages as individuals, in order to replace themselves with 50 new individuals. Thus the population progresses even without a rise in wages. But now, why does it not progress rapidly enough? and why does it need a special stimulus? Surely only because the aim of capital is not served merely by obtaining more ‘wealth’ in the Ricardian sense, but because it wants more value, to command more objectified labour. But indeed, according to him, it can command the latter only if wages fall; i.e. if more living work days are exchanged for the same capital with objectified labour, and hence a greater value is created. In order to make wages fall, he presupposes increase of population. And in order to prove increase of population here, he presupposes that the demand for working days increases, in other words, that capital can buy more objectified labour (objectified in labouring capacity), hence that its value has grown. Originally, however, he proceeded from just the contrary presupposition, and took the detour only because that is where he began. If £1,000 was able to buy 500 working days, and the productive force increases, then either it can proceed to employ the 500 in the same branch of work, or it can divide up and employ 250 in one branch of work, 250 in another, so that this capital splits into 2 capitals of 500 each. But it can never command more than 500 working days, since otherwise, according to Ricardo, not only the use values it produces but also their exchange value must have multiplied itself, the objectified labour timeover which it exercises command. Thus, given his presupposition, an increased demand for labour cannot take place. But if it does take place, then capital’s exchange value has grown. Compare Malthus on value, who senses the contradictions, but falls flat when he himself tries to develop them. [64]

Labour does not reproduce the value of the material in which, and of the instrument with which, it works. It preservestheir value simply by relating to them in the labour process as to their objective conditions. This animating and preserving force costs capital nothing; appears, rather, as its own force etc.

We have always spoken only about the two elements of capital, the two parts of the living work day, of which one represents wages, the other profit; one, necessary labour, the other, surplus labour. But what about the other two parts of capital, which are realized in the material of labour and the instrument of labour? As far as the simple production process is concerned, labour presupposes the existence of an instrument which facilitates the work, and of a material in which it presents itself, which it forms. This form gives it its use value. This use value becomes exchange value through exchange, to the extent that it contains objectified labour. But are they, as components of capital, values which labour must replace? Thus in the above example (and such objections [were] heaped on Ricardo; that he regarded profit and wages only as components of production costs, not the machine and the material), it seems that if the capital is 100, divided 50 for cotton, 40 for wages, 10 for instrument; and if the wages, of 40 thalers, = 4 hours of objectified labour, and capital orders a working day of 8 hours, then the worker who has to reproduce 40 thalers for wages, 40 thalers surplus time (profit), 10 thalers instrument, 50 thalers cotton = 140 thalers, reproduces only 80 thalers. For 40 thalers are the product of half a working day; 40 are the other, surplus half. But the value of the two other component parts of capital is 60 thalers. Since the worker’s real product is 80 thalers, he can reproduce only 80, not 140. He would have, instead, decreased the value of the 60; since 40 of the 80 [is] replacement for his wages; and the remaining 40 of surplus labour [is] smaller by 20 than 60. Instead of a profit of 40, the capitalist would have a loss of 20 on the part of his original capital consisting of instrument and material. How is the worker supposed to create still another 60 on top of the 80 thalers of value, since one half of his working day, as his wages show, creates only 40 thalers out of the instrument and the material; the other half only the same; and he disposes of only one working day, cannot work two days in one? Suppose the 50 thalers in material = lb. of cotton yarn; the 10 thalers in instrument = spindle. Now, first, as regards the use value, it is clear that if the cotton did not already have the form of yarn and wood and iron the form of the spindle, then the worker could produce no fabric, no higher use value. For him himself, the 50 thalers and the 10 thalers in the production process are nothing but yarn and spindle, not exchange values. His labour has given them a higher use value, and added objectified labour to the amount of 80 thalers to them, i.e. 40 thalers to reproduce his wages, 40 surplus time. The use value—the fabric—contains one additional working day, half of which, however, replaces only that part of capital for which the disposition over the labouring capacity has been exchanged. The worker has not created the objectified labour contained in yarn and spindle, which form a part of the value of the product; for him they were and remain material to which he gave another form and into which he incorporated new labour. The only condition is that he should not waste them, and this he did not do, in so far as his product has use value, and a higher use value than before. It now contains objectified labour in two parts—his working day, and that already contained in his material, yarn and spindle, independent of him and before him. The previously objectified labour was the condition of his labour; it was necessary to make his labour what it is, costs him no labour. Suppose they were not already presupposed as components of capital, as values, and had cost him nothing. Then the value of the product, if he worked a whole day, would be 80, if a half day, 40 thalers. It would just = one objectified working day. Indeed, they cost him nothing in production; however, this does not destroy the labour time objectified in them, which remains and merely obtains another form. If, in addition to the fabric, the worker also had to create the yarn and the spindle in the same working day, then the process would be in fact impossible. The fact, therefore, that they call for his labour neither as use values in their original form, nor as exchange values, but are on hand, makes it possible for the addition of a working day by him to create a product of a value higher than one working day. He succeeds in this, however, to the extent that he does not have to create this additional part, but rather finds it on hand as material, as presupposition. It can therefore only be said that he reproduces these values in so far as without labour they would rot, be useless; but without them, labour would be equally useless. In so far as the worker reproduces these values, he does so not by giving them a higher exchange value, or entering into any process with their exchange value at all, but merely by subordinating them to the simple production process, merely byworking. But this costs him no additional labour time besides what he needs for their processing and higher realization. It is a situation into which capital has put him so that he may work. He reproduces the values only by giving them a higher value, and this giving of a higher value is = his working day. Otherwise he lets them be as they are. That their old value is preserved happens because a new one is added to them, not that the old is itself reproduced, created. In so far as they are products of previous labour, a product of previous labour, a sum of previously objectified labour remains an element of his product, so that the product contains, in addition to its new value, the old as well. He therefore in fact produces in this product only the day’s work which he adds to it, and the preservation of the old value costs him absolutely nothing apart from what it costs him to add the new. For him it is only a material, and remains that no matter how it changes its form; therefore [it is] something presentindependently of his labour. That this material, which remains that, since it only obtains a different form, itself already contains labour time is the business of capital, not his own; similarly, it is independent of his labour and continues on after it, just as it existed before it. This so-called reproduction costs him no labour time, but is rather the condition of his labour time, since it is nothing more than positing the substance on hand as the material of his labour, relating to it as material. He therefore replaces the old labour time by the act of working itself, not by the addition of special labour time for this purpose. He replaces it simply by the addition of the new, by means of which the old is preserved in the product and becomes an element of a new product. Thus the worker in his working day does not replace the raw material and the instrument in so far as they are values. The capitalist thus obtains this preservation of the old value just as free of charge as he obtains surplus labour. But he obtains it free of charge, because it costs the worker nothing, and is, instead, the result of the fact that the material and the instrument of labour are already in his hands as presupposition, and the worker cannot work, therefore, without making this already objectified labour, now in the hands of capital, into the material of his own labour, thereby also preserving the labour objectified in this material. The capitalist, then, pays the worker nothing for the fact that the yarn and the spindle—their value—reappear, as far as their value is concerned, in the fabric, and are thus preserved. This preservation takes place simply by the addition of new labour, which adds a higher value. What arises from the original relation between capital and labour, then, is that the same service which living labour as living labour performs for objectified labour costs capital nothing, just as it costs the worker nothing, but merely expresses the relation that the material and the instrument of labour confront the worker as capital, as presuppositions independent of him. The preservation of the old value is not a separate act from the addition of the new, but happens by itself; appears as a natural result of the same. But the fact that this preservation costs capital nothing and costs the worker nothing either is already posited in the relation of capital and labour, which in itself is already the former’s profit and the latter’s wage.

The individual capitalist may imagine (and for his accounts it serves as well) that, if he owns a capital of 100 thalers, 50 thalers in cotton, 40 thalers to buy labour with, 10 thalers in instrument, plus a profit of 10% counted as part of his production costs, then labour has to replace his 50 thalers of cotton, 40 thalers subsistence, 10 thalers instrument plus 10% of 50, of 40 and of 10; so that in his imagination, labour creates 55 thalers of raw material, 44 thalers subsistence and 11 thalers instrument for him, together = 110. But this is a peculiar notion for economists, even though it has been advanced with great pomp as an innovation against Ricardo. If the worker’s working day = 10 hours, and if he can create 40 thalers in 8 hours, i.e. can create his wage, or, what is the same, can maintain and replace his labour capacity, then he needs 4/5 of a day in order to replace his wages for capital, and he gives capital 1/5 in surplus labour, or 10 thalers. In exchange for the 40 thalers in wages, for 8 hours of objectified labour, therefore, capital obtains 10 hours of living labour, and this excess constitutes the entirety of its profit. The total objectified labour which the worker has created, then, is 50 thalers, and, regardless of the costs of the instrument and of the raw materials, more he cannot add, for his day cannot objectify itself in more labour than that; now, the fact that he adds these 50 thalers—10 hours of labour (of which only 8 replace the wage)—to the 60 thalers contained in raw material and instrument—and thereby has simultaneously preserved the raw material and the instrument — they are preserved just by coming into contact again with living labour, and being used as instrument and as material—this costshim no labour (and he would have no time available in which to do this), nor does the capitalist pay him for it. Like every other natural or social power of labour unless it is the product of previous labour, or of such previous labour as does not need to be repeated (e.g. the historical development of the worker etc.), this natural animating power of labour—namely that, by using the material and instrument, it preserves them in one or another form, including the labour objectified in them, their exchange value—becomes a power of capital, not of labour. Hence not paid for by capital. As little as the worker is paid for the fact that he can think etc.

We have seen the original presupposition of the coming into being of capital is the existence of money as money, i.e. as money which has withdrawn from circulation and asserts itself negatively towards it, i.e. value which has become independent from and against circulation—i.e. the commodity for which the character of exchange value is not merely a formal, vanishing character, [which it possesses only] before being exchanged for another use value and finally disappearing as an object of consumption. On the other side, money (in its third, adequate form)—as value which no longer enters circulation as equivalent, but is not yet potentiated as capital, i.e. value independent of and relating negativelyagainst circulation—is at the same time the result of capital’s product, in so far as that product is not merely its own reproduction (but this reproduction is merely formal, since, of the three parts of its value, only one is really consumed and hence reproduced, namely that which replaces wages; profit, on the other hand, is not reproduction but addition of value, surplus value). Just as money at first appeared as the presupposition, the cause of capital, so it now appears as its effect. In the first movement, money arose out of simple circulation; in the second it arises from the production process of capital. In the first, it makes a transition to capital; in the second it appears as a presupposition of capital posited by capital itself; and is therefore already posited as capital in itself [an sich], already contains the ideal relation towards capital. It does not simply make a transition to capital, but rather, as money, its potential to be transformed into capital is already posited in it.

Absolute surplus labour time. Relative.—It is not the quantity of living labour, but rather its quality as labour which simultaneously preserves the labour time already contained in the material etc.—The change of form and substance in the direct production process.—The preservation of the previous stage of production by the subsequent one is contained in the simple production process etc.—Preservation of the old use value by new labour etc.—Process of production and process of realization. The quantity of objectified labour is preserved because contact with living labour preserves its quality as use value for new labour.—In the real production process, the separation of labour from its objective conditions of existence is suspended. But in this process labour already incorporated in capital etc. Appears as capital’s power of self-preservation. Eternalization of value

The increase of values is therefore the result of the self-realization of capital; [regardless of] whether this self-realization is the result of absolutesurplus time or of relative, i.e. of a real increase in absolute labour time or of an increase in relative surplus labour, i.e. of a decrease in the fractional part of the working day which is required as labour time necessary to preserve the labouring capacity, as necessary labour in general.

Living labour time reproduces nothing more than that part of objectified labour time (of capital) which appears as an equivalent for the power of disposition over living labour capacity, and which, therefore, as an equivalent, must replace the labour time objectified in this labouring capacity, i.e. replace the production costs of the living labour capacities, in other words, must keep the workers alive as workers. What it produces in addition to that is not reproduction but rather new creation, and, more specifically, creation of new values, because it is the objectification of new labour time in a use value. That the labour time contained in the raw material and instrument is preserved at the same time is a result not of the quantity of labour, but of its quality of being labour as such; and there is no special payment for this, its general quality, for the fact that labour, as labour, is labour—leaving aside all special qualifications, all specific kinds of labour — because capital has boughtthis quality as part of its exchange with the worker.

But the equivalent for this quality (for the specific use value of labour) is measured simply by the quantity of labour time which has produced it. Initially the worker’s use of the instrument as an instrument, and his shaping of the raw material, adds to the value of the raw material and of the instrument as much new form as is = to the labour time contained in his own wage; what he adds additionally is surplus labour time, surplus value. For their part, the raw materials and the instrument are preserved not in their form but in their substance, through the simple relation of being used as instrument and being posited as the raw material of labour, the simple process of coming into contact with labour, being posited as its means and object and therefore as objectification of living labour, moments of labour itself; and, viewed economically, their substance is objectified labour time. By being posited as a material mode of existence—means and end [Objekt]—of living labour, objectified labour time ceases to exist in a one-sided, objective form, in which, as a mere thing, it is at the prey of processes of chemical decay etc. There is an indifference on the part of the substance [Stoff] towards the form, which develops out of merely objectified labour time, in whose objective existence labour has become merely the vanished, external form of its natural substance, existing merely in the external form of the substantial [das Stoffliche] (e.g. the form of the table for wood, or the form of the cylinder for iron) [65]; no immanent law of reproduction maintains this form in the way in which the tree, for example, maintains its form as a tree (wood maintains itself in the specific form of the tree because this form is a form of the wood; while the form of the table is accidental for wood, and not the intrinsic form of its substance); it exists only as a form external to the substance, or it exists only as a substance [stofflich]. The dissolution to which its substance is prey therefore dissolves the form as well. However, when they are posited as conditions of living labour, they are themselves reanimated. Objectified labour ceases to exist in a dead state as an external, indifferent form on the substance, because it is itself again posited as a moment of living labour; as a relation of living labour to itself in an objective material, as theobjectivity of living labour (as means and end [Objekt]) (the objective conditions of living labour). The transformation of the material by living labour, by the realization of living labour in the material—a transformation which, as purpose, determines labour and is its purposeful activation (atransformation which does not only posit the form as external to the inanimate object, as a mere vanishing image of its material consistency)—thus preserves the material in a definite form, and subjugates the transformation of the material to the purpose of labour. Labour is the living, form-giving fire; it is the transitoriness of things, their temporality, as their formation by living time. In the simple production process—leaving aside the realization process—the transitoriness of the forms of things is used to posit their usefulness. When cotton becomes yarn, yarn becomes fabric, fabric becomes printed etc. or dyed etc. fabric, and this becomes, say, a garment, then (1) the substance of cotton has preserved itself in all these forms. (The chemical process, regulated by labour, has everywhere consisted of an exchange of (natural) equivalents etc.); (2) in each of these subsequent processes, the material has obtained a more useful form, a form making it more appropriate to consumption; until it has obtained at the end the form in which it can directly become an object of consumption, when, therefore, the consumption of the material and the suspension of its form satisfies a human need, and its transformation is the same as its use. The substance of cotton preserves itself in all of these processes; it becomes extinct in one form of use value in order to make way for a higher one, until the object is in being as an object of direct consumption. But when cotton is posited, say, as twist, then it is posited in a specific relation to a further kind of labour. If this labour were not to take place, then not only has the form been posited in it uselessly, i.e. the previous labour is not reaffirmed by new labour, but the material is also spoiled, because, in the form of twist, it has a use value only in so far as it is worked on further: it is a use value only in respect of the use which further labour makes of it; is use value only in so far as its form as twist is suspended in the form of fabric; while cotton in its existence as cotton is capable of an infinite number of useful employments. Thus, without further labour, the use value of cotton and twist, material and form, would be botched; it would be destroyed instead of produced. Material as well as form, substance like form, are preserved by further labour—preserved as use value, until they obtain the form of use value as such, whose use is consumption. It is therefore already a part of the simple production process that the earlier stage of production is preserved by the later, and that positing the higher use value preserves the old, or, the old use value is transformed only to the extent that it is raised to a higher use value. It is living labour which preserves the use value of the incomplete product of labour by making it the material of further labour. It preserves it, however, i.e. protects it from uselessness and decay, only by working it in a purposeful way, by making it the object of new living labour. This preservation of the old use value is not a process taking place separately from the increase or the completion of the use value by new labour; it takes place, rather, entirely in this new labour of raising the use value. When the labour of weaving transforms yarn into fabric, i.e. treats yarn as the raw material of weaving (a particular form of living labour) (and twist has a use value only if it is woven into fabric), it thereby preserves the use value which cotton had as such, as well as that which cotton had obtained specifically as yarn. It preserves the product of labour by making it into the raw material of new labour; but what happens is not that it (1) adds new labour and (2) besides that, by means of additional labour, preserves the use value of the raw material. It preserves the utility of cotton as yarn by weaving the yarn into fabric. (All this belongs already in the first chapter on production in general.) Preserves it by weaving it. This preservation of labour as product—of the use value of the product of labour by its becoming the raw material of new labour, being again posited as material objectivity of purposeful living labour—is given with the simple production process. As regards use value, labour has the property of preserving the existing use value by raising it, and it raises it by making it into the object of new labour as defined by an ultimate aim; by changing it in turn from the form of its indifferent consistency into that of objective material, the body of labour. (The same holds for the instrument. A spindle maintains itself as a use value only by being used up for spinning. If it is not, the specific form which is here posited in iron and wood would be spoiled for use, together with the labour which posited it and the material in which it did the positing. The use value of wood and iron, and of their form as well, are preserved only by being posited as a means of living labour, as an objective moment of the existence of labour’s vitality. As an instrument of labour, it is their destiny [Bestimmung] to be used up, but used up in the process of spinning. The increased productivity which it lends to labour creates more use values and thereby replaces the use value eaten up in the consumption of the instrument. This appears most clearly in agriculture, because there the instrument appears most easily, because most anciently, as a use value, directly as a means of life—in contrast to exchange value. If the hoe allows the tiller to grow twice as much grain as before, then he has to spend less time on the production of the hoe itself; he has enough food to make a new hoe.) Now, in the realization process, the value components of capital—the one in the form of the material, the other in the form of instrument — confront the worker, i.e. living labour (for the labourer exists in the process only as such) not as values, but rather as simple moments of the production process; as use values for labour, as the objective conditions of its efficacity, or as its objective moments. It lies in the nature of labour itself to preserve them by using the instrument as instrument and by giving the raw material a higher form of use value. But, as components of capital, the use values thus obtained from labour are exchange values; as such, determined by the costs of production contained in them, the amount of labour objectified in them. (Use value is concerned only with the quality of the labour already objectified.) The quantity of objectified labour is preserved in that its quality is preserved as use value for further labour, through the contact with living labour. The use value of cotton, as well as its use value as yarn, are preserved by being woven; by existing as one of the objective moments (together with the spinning wheel) in the weaving process. The quantity of labour time contained in the cotton and the cotton yarn are therefore also preserved thereby. The preservation of the quality of previous labour in the simple production process, — hence of its material as well—becomes, in the realization process, the preservation of the quantity of labour already objectified. For capital, this preservation is the preservation of the amount of objectified labour by the production process; for living labour itself, it is merely the preservation of the already present use value. Living labour adds a new amount of labour; however, it is not this quantitative addition which preserves the amount of already objectified labour, but rather its quality as living labour, the fact that it relates as labour to the use values in which the previous labour exists. But living labour is not paid for this quality, which it possesses as living labour—if it were not living labour, it would not be bought at all—rather, it is paid for the amount of labour contained in itself. What is paid for is only the price of its use value, like that of all other commodities. It does not receive payment for its specific quality of adding new amounts of labour to the amounts of labour already objectified, and at the same time preserving labour which is already objectified as objectified labour; and this quality does not cost the worker anything either, since it is a natural property of his labouring capacity. Within the production process, the separation of labour from its objective moments of existence—instruments and material—is suspended. The existence of capital and of wage labour rests on this separation. Capital does not pay for the suspension of this separation which proceeds in the real production process — for otherwise work could not go on at all. (Nor does this suspension take place in the process of exchange with the worker; but rather in the process of work itself, during production. But, as ongoing labour, it is itself already incorporated in capital, and a moment of the same. This preserving force of labour therefore appears as the self-preserving force of capital. The worker has merely added new labour; as for previous labour—owing to the existence of capital—this has an eternal existence as value, quite independent of its material existence. This is how the matter appears to capital and to the worker.) If it had to pay for this quality also, then it would just cease to be capital. This is part of the material role which labour plays by its nature in the production process; of its use value. But as use value, labour belongs to the capitalist; it belongs to the worker merely as exchange value. Its living quality of preserving objectified labour time by using it as the objective condition of living labour in the production process is none of the worker’s business. This appropriation, by means of which living labour makes instrument and material in the production process into the body of its soul and thereby resurrects them from the dead, does indeed stand in antithesis to the fact that labour itself is objectless, is a reality only in the immediate vitality of the worker—and that the instrument and material, in capital, exist as beings-for-themselves [für sich selbst seiende]. (Return to this.) The process of the realization of capital proceeds by means of and within the simple production process, by putting living labour into its natural relation with its moments of material being. But to the extent that labour steps into this relation, this relation exists not for itself, but for capital; labour itself has become already a moment of capital.

Capitalist obtains surplus labour free of charge together with the maintenance of the value of material and instrument. Labour, by adding a new value to the old one, at the same time maintains, eternizes [sic] the latter.—The preservation of values in the product costs capital nothing.—By means of the appropriation of ongoing labour, the capitalist already possesses a claim to (and, respectively) appropriation of future labour

We see therefore that the capitalist, by means of the exchange process with the worker—by indeed paying the worker an equivalent for the costs of production contained in his labour capacity, i.e. giving him the means of maintaining his labour capacity, but appropriating living labour for himself—obtains two things free of charge, first the surplus labour which increases the value of his capital; but at the same time, secondly, the quality of living labour which maintains the previous labour materialized in the component parts of capital and thus preserves the previously existing value of capital. But this preservation does not take place as a result of an increase in the amount of labour objectified by living labour, a creation of value, but simply as a result of its existence as living labour in the proper relation with material and instrument, i.e. through itsquality as living labour. As such a quality, it is itself a moment of the simple production process and does not cost the capitalist anything, any more than yarn and spindle do, apart from their price, for having also become moments of the production process.

When e.g. in times of stagnations of trade etc. the mills are shut down, then it can indeed be seen that the machinery rusts away and that the yarn is useless ballast and rots, as soon as their connection with living labour ceases. If the capitalist employs labour only in order to create surplus value—to create value in addition to that already present—then it can be seen as soon as he orders work to stop that his already present capital, as well, becomes devalued; that living labour hence not only adds new value, but, by the very act of adding a new value to the old one, maintains, eternizes it. (This shows clearly the absurdity of the charge against Ricardo, that he conceives only profits and wages as necessary components of the cost of production, and not also the part of capital contained in raw materials and instrument. To the extent that the value which they represent is merely preserved, there are no new production costs. But as far as these present values 366 themselves are concerned, they all dissolve again into objectified labour — necessary labour and surplus labour—wages and profit. The purely natural material in which no human labour is objectified, to the extent that it is merely a material that exists independently of labour, has no value, since only objectified labour is value; as little value as is possessed by the common elements as such.) The maintenance of present capital by the labour which realizes it therefore costs capital nothing and hence does not belong among the production costs; although the present values are preserved in the product and equivalents have therefore to be given for them in exchange. But the maintenance of these values in the product costs capital nothing and cannot therefore be cited among the costs of production. Nor are they replaced by labour, since they are not consumed, except in so far as they are consumed apart from and outside labour, i.e. as labour consumes (suspends) their transitoriness. Only the wage is really consumed.

[Surplus Value and Profit]

Let us return once more to our example. 100 thalers capital, i.e. 50 thalers raw material, 40 thalers labour, 10 thalers instrument of production. Let the worker require 4 hours in order to create the fraction of production necessary for his maintenance, the 40 thalers representing the means of his life. Let his working day be 8 hours. The capitalist then obtains a surplus of 4 hours free of charge; his surplus value equals 4 objectified hours, 40 thalers; hence his product = 50 + 10 (preserved, not reproduced values; remained constant, unchanged as values) + 40 thalers (wages, re- produced, because consumed in the form of wage) + 40 thalers of surplus value. Sum: 140 thalers. Of these 140, 40 are excess. The capitalist had to live during production and before he began to produce; say 20 thalers. He had to own the latter apart from his capital of 100 thalers; hence equivalents for them had to be present in circulation. (How these arose does not concern us here.) Capital presupposes circulation as a constant magnitude. These equivalents now present again. Thus consumes 20 thalers of his gain. These enter into simple circulation. The 100 thalers also enter into simple circulation, but only in order to be transformed again into the conditions of new production, 50 thalers of raw material, 40 subsistence for workers, 10 instrument. There remains a surplus value, an addition as such, newly created, of 20 thalers. This ismoney, posited as a negatively independent value against circulation. It cannot enter into circulation as a mere equivalent, in order to exchange for objects of mere consumption, since circulation is presupposed as constant. But the independent, illusory existence of money is suspended; it now only exists in order to be realized, i.e. to become capital. In order to become that, however, it would again have to be exchanged for the moments of the production process, subsistence for workers, raw material and instrument; all these dissolve into objectified labour, can only be posited by living labour. Money, then, in so far as it now already in itself exists as capital, is therefore simply a claim on future (new) labour. It exists, objectively, merely as money. Surplus value, the new growth of objectified labour, to the extent that it exists for itself, is money; but now, it is money which in itself is already capital; and, as such, it is a claim on new labour. Here capital already no longer enters into relation with ongoing labour, but with future labour. And it no longer appears dissolved into its simple elements in the production process, but as money; no longer, however, as money which is merely the abstract form of general wealth, but as a claim on the real possibility of general wealth—labour capacity, and more precisely, labour capacity in the process of becoming [das werdende Arbeitsvermögen]. As a claim, its material existence as money is irrelevant, and can be replaced by any other title. Like the creditor of the state, every capitalist with his newly gained value possesses a claim on future labour, and, by means of the appropriation of ongoing labour has already at the same time appropriated future labour. (This side of capital to be developed to this point. But already here its property of existing as value separately from its substance can be seen. This already lays the basis for credit.) To stockpile it in the form of money is therefore by no means the same as materially to stockpile the material conditions of labour. This is rather a stockpiling of property titles to labour. Posits future labour as wage labour, as use value for capital. No equivalent on hand for the newly created value; its possibility only in new labour.

In this example, then, an absolute surplus labour time of 4 hours created, added to the old values, to the world of available wealth, a new value of 20 thalers money, and money already in connection with its form as capital (already as posited possibility of capital, not as before, becoming the possibility of capital as such only by ceasing to be money as such).

Now if the productive force doubles, so that instead of 4 hours the worker has to put in only 2 hours of necessary labour, and if the capitalist makes him work 8 hours as before, then the accounts are as follows: 50 thalers material, 20 wages, 10 instrument of labour, 60 surplus value (6 hours, 4 before). New growth of absolute surplus value: 2 hours or 20 thalers. Sum: 140 thalers (in the product).

A total of 140 thalers as before; but now 60 of them are surplus value; of which 40 for absolute increase in surplus time as before, 20 for relative. But the simple exchange value only contains 140 thalers as before. Now, is it only the use values which have increased, or has a new value been created? Before, capital had to begin again with 100 in order to realize itself anew at 40%. What happens to the 20 of surplus value? Before, the capitalist ate up 20 of them; he was left with a value of 20. Now he eats up 20 and is left with 40. On another side, the capital entering into production remained 100; now it has become 80. What is gained in value on one side in one form is lost as value on the other side in another form. The first capital re-enters into the production process; again produces a surplus value (capitalist’s consumption deducted) of 20. At the end of this second operation, a newly created value is present without equivalent. 20 thalers together with the first 40. Now let us take the second capital.

Material, 50; wages (2 hours), 20; instrument, 10. But in the 2 hours he produces a value of 8, i.e. 80 thalers (of which 20 for costs of production). Remainder, 60, since 20 reproduce the wage (disappear as wage). 60 + 60 = 120. At the end of this second operation, 20 thalers for consumption; remainder surplus value 20; together with the first operation, 60. In the third operation with the first capital, 60; with the second, 80; in the fourth operation with the first capital 80, with the second, 100. The first capital has increased as value in proportion as its exchange value, as productive capital, has decreased.

Suppose both capitals together with their surplus can be used as capital; i.e. their surplus exchanged for new labour. We then get the following calculation (leaving consumption aside): the first capital produces 40%, the second 60%. 40% of 140 is 56; 60% of 140 (i.e. capital, 80; surplus value, 60) is 84. The total product in the first case 140 + 56 = 196; in the second 140 + 84 = 224. In the second case absolute surplus value 28 higher than in the first. The first capital has 40 thalers with which to buy new labour time; the value of the hour of labour was presupposed at 10 thalers; therefore, his 40 thalers buy 4 new hours of labour, which produce 80 for him(of which 40 go to replace the wages of 8 hours of labour). At the end it was 140 + 80 (i.e. reproduction of the capital of 100: surplus value of 40, or reproduction of 140; or, in the first case, 100 thalers reproduce themselves as 140; the second 40, since they are spent only to buy new labour, hence do not simply replace value—impossible presupposition, by the way) which produce 80. 140 + 80 = 220. The second capital of 140; the 80 produce 40; or the 80 thalers reproduce themselves as 120; the remaining 60, however, reproduce themselves (since they are spent purely for the purchase of labour, and do not therefore simply replace any value, but reproduce out of themselves and posit the surplus) as 180; then 120 + 120 = 240. (Produced 40 thalers more than the first capital, exactly the surplus time of two hours, for the first is a surplus time of 2 hours as assumed in the first case). Thus the result is a greater exchange value, because more labour objectified; 2 hours more surplus labour.

Something else should be noted here as well: 140 thalers at 40% yield 56; capital and interest together = 140 + 56 = 196; but we have obtained 220; according to which the interest on 140 would be not 56 but 84; which would be 60% on 140 (140:84 = 100: xx = 8,400/140 = 60). Similarly in the second case: 140 at 60% = 84; capital and interest = 140 + 84 = 224; but we obtain 240; according to which the interest on the 140 is not 84 but 100; (140 + 100 = 240); i.e., %, (140:100 = 100:x; x = 10,000/140); [x = 71 3/7%]. Now where does this come from? In the first case 60% instead of 40; in the second 71 3/7 instead of 60%.) In the first case, where it was 60 instead of 40, hence 20% too much came out; in the second case 71 3/7 instead of 60, i.e. 11 3/7 too much. Why, then, firstly the difference between the two cases and secondly the difference in each case?

In the first case, the original capital was 100 = 60 (material and instrument of labour) plus 40 in labour; 2/5 labour, 3/5 (material). The first 3/5 bring no interest at all; the last 2/5 bring 100%. But computed on the basis of the whole capital, the increase is only 40%; 2/5 of 100 = 40. But the 100% on the latter amount to only 40% on the whole 100; i.e. an increase of 2/5 in the whole. Now, if only 2/5 of the newly arrived capital of 40 had increased by 100%, then this would yield an increase of the whole by 16 [thalers]. 40 + 16 = 56. This together with the 140 = 196; which is then actually 40% on 156, capital and interest reckoned together. 40 increased by 100%, doubled, is 80; 2/5 of 40 increased by 100% is 16. [66] 40 of the 80 replace capital. Gain of 40.

The account then: 100c + 40 interest + 40c + 40i = 220; or, capital of 140 with an interest of 80; but if we had calculated 100c + 40i + 40c + 16i = 196; or, capital of 140 with interest of 56.

An interest of 24 on a capital of 40 is too much; but 24 = 3/5 of 40 (3 × 8 = 24); i.e. in addition to the capital, only 2/5 of the capital grew by 100%; the whole capital therefore by only 2/5, i.e. 16%. [67] The interest computation on 40 is 24% too high (by 100% on 3/5 of the capital); 24 on 24 is 100% on 3 × 8 (3/5 of 40). But on the whole amount of 140, it is 60% instead of 40; i.e. 24 too much out of 40, 24 out of 40 = 60%. Thus we figured 60% too much on a capital of 40 (60 = 3/5 of 100). But we figured 24 too high on 140 (and this is the difference between 220 and 196); this is first 1/5 of 100 then 1/12 of 100 too much; 1/5 of 100 = 20%; 1/12 of 100 = 8 4/12% or 8 1/3%; thus altogether 28 1/3% too high. Thus on the whole not 60%, as on 40, but only 28 1/3% too much; which makes a difference of 31 2/3, depending on whether we figure 24 too many on the 40 [or on] the capital of 140. Similarly in the other example.

In the first 80 which produce 120, 50 + 10 was simply replaced, but 20 reproduced itself threefold: 60 (20 reproduction, 40 surplus).

Hours of Labor If 20 posit 60, making up triple the value, then 60 180.


Mid-December 1857—22 January, 1858

The Chapter on Capital (continuation)

Confusion of profit and surplus value. Carey’s erroneous calculation. —The capitalist, who does not pay the worker for the preservation of the old value, then demands remuneration for giving the worker permission to preserve the old capital.—Surplus value and profit etc.—Difference between consumption of the instrument and of wages. The former consumed in the production process, the latter outside it.—Increase of surplus value and decrease in rate of profit. (Bastiat)

This highly irksome calculation will not delay us further. The point is simply this: if, as in our first example, material and instrument amount to 3/5 (60 out of 100), and wages 2/5 (40), and if the capital yielded a gain of 40%, then it equals 140 at the end (this 40% gain equal to the fact that the capitalist made the workers put out 12 hours of labour, where 6 were necessary, hence gained 100% on the necessary labour time). Now if the 40 thalers which were gained go to work again as capital with the same presuppositions—and at the present point, the presuppositions have not changed yet—then of the 40 thalers 3/5 i.e. 24 thalers have to be used for material and instrument, and 2/5 for labour; so that the only thing that doubles is the wage of 16 which becomes 32, 16 for reproduction, 16 surplus labour; so that altogether at the end of production 40 + 16 = 56 or 40%. Thus the entire capital of 40 would have produced 196 under the same conditions. It should not be assumed, as happens in most of the economics books, that the 40 thalers are spent purely for wages, to buy living labour, and thus yield 80 thalers at the end of production.

If it is said: a capital of 100 yields 10% in one period, 5% in another, then nothing is more mistaken than to conclude, as do Carey and consorts, that the share of capital in production was 1/10 and that of labour 9/10 in the first case; in the second case, the share of capital only 1/20 and that of labour 19/20; i.e. that the share of labour rises as the rate of profit falls. [1] From the viewpoint of capital—and capital has no awareness whatever of the nature of its process of realization, and has an interest in having an awareness of it only in times of crisis — a profit of 10% on a capital of 100 looks like a profit on each of its value components—material, instrument, wages—equally and indifferently, as if this capital were simply a sum of 100 thalers of value which had, as such, increased by 10%. But the question is, in fact: (1) what was the relation between the component parts of capital and (2) how much surplus labour did it buy with the wage—with the hours of labour objectified in the wage? If I know the total size of a capital, the relation of its value components to one another (in practice, I would also have to know what part of the instrument of production is used up in the process, i.e. actually enters into it), and if I know the profit, then I know how much surplus labour has been created. If 3/5 of the capital consisted of material (which for the sake of convenience we here suppose to be entirely consumed productively as material of production), i.e. 60 thalers, and wages 40, and if the profit on the 100 thalers is 10, then the labour bought for 40 thalers of objectified labour time has created 50 thalers of objectified labour in the production process, hence has worked a surplus labour time or created a surplus value of 25% = 1/4 of the necessary labour time. Then if the worker works a day of 12 hours, he has worked 3 hours of surplus time, and the labour time necessary to maintain him alive for one day was 9 hours of labour. The new value created in production may only be 10 thalers, but, according to the real rate, these 10 thalers are to be reckoned on the base of the 40, not of the 100. The 60 thalers of value have created no value whatever; the working day has. Thus the worker has increased the part of capital spent for labour capacity by 25%, not by 10%. The total capital has grown by 10%. 10 is 25% of 40; it is only 10% of 100. Thus the profit rate on capital in no way expresses the rate at which living labour increases objective labour; for this increase is merely = to the surplus with which the worker reproduces his wage, i.e. = to the time which he works over and above that which he would have to work in order to reproduce his wages. If the worker in the above example were not a worker for a capitalist, and if he related to the use values contained in the 100 thalers not as to capital but simply as to the objective conditions of his labour, then, before beginning the production process anew, he would possess 40 thalers in subsistence, which he would consume during the working day, and 60 thalers in instrument and material. He would work only 3/4 of a day, 9 hours, and at the end of the day his product would be not 110 thalers but 100, which he would again exchange in the above proportions, beginning the process again and again. But he would also work 3 hours less; i.e. he would save 25% surplus labour = 25% surplus value out of the exchange which he undertakes between 40 thalers in subsistence and his labour time; and if at some time he worked 3 hours extra, because the material and the instrument were there on hand, then it would not occur to him to say that he had created a new value of 10%, but rather one of 25%, because he could buy one fourth additional subsistence, 50 thalers’ worth instead of 40; and, since he is concerned with use values, these items of subsistence by themselves would be of value for him. This illusion that the new value is derived not from the exchange of 9 hours of labour time as objectified in 40 thalers for 12 hours of living labour, i.e. a surplus value of 25% on this part, but that it comes from an even 10% increase in the total capital—10% of 60 is 6 and of 40 is 4—this illusion is the basis of the notorious Dr Price’s compound interest calculation[2] which led the heaven- born Pitt to his sinking fund idiocy. [3] The identity of surplus gain with surplus labour time—absolute and relative—sets a qualitative limit on the accumulation of capital, namely the working day, the amount of time out of 24 hours during which labouring capacity can be active, the degree to which the productive forces are developed, and the population, which expresses the number of simultaneous working days etc. If, on the other side, surplus value is defined merely as interest—i.e. as the relation in which capital increases itself by means of some imaginary sleight of hand, then the limit is merely quantitative, and there is then absolutely no reason why capital cannot every other day convert the interest into capital and thus yield interest on its interest in infinite geometrical progression. Practice has shown the economists that Price’s interest-multiplication is impossible; but they have never discovered the blunder contained in it. 

Of the 110 thalers which emerge at the end of production, 60 thalers (material and instrument), in so far as they are values, have remained absolutely unchanged. The worker took nothing away from them and added nothing to them. Of course, from the standpoint of the capitalist, the fact that the worker maintains the value of objectified labour by the very fact of his labour being living labour appears as if the worker still had to pay the capitalist to get permission to enter into the proper relation with the objectified moments, the objective conditions, of labour. Now, as regards the remaining 50 thalers, 40 of them represent not only preservation but actual reproduction, since capital has divested itself of them [von sich entäussert] in the form of wages and the worker has consumed them; 10 thalers represent production above and beyond reproduction, i.e. 1/4 surplus labour (of 3 hours). Only these 50 thalers are a product of the production process. Therefore, if the worker, as is wrongly asserted, divided the product with the capitalist so that the former’s share were 9/10, then he would have to get not 40 thalers (and he has obtained them in advance, in exchange for which he has reproduced them and paid them back in their entirety, as well as maintaining the already existing values for the capitalist free of charge), which is only 8/10 but rather 45, which would leave capital only 5. Then, having begun the production process with 100 thalers, the capitalist would have at the end only 65 thalers as product. But the worker obtains none of the 40 thalers he has reproduced, nor any of the 10 thalers of surplus value. If the 40 thalers which have been reproduced are to serve for the purchase of further living labour, then, as far as the relation is concerned, all that can be said is that an objectified labour of 9 hours (40 thalers) buys living labour for 12 hours (50 thalers) and thus yields a surplus value of 25% of the real product (partly reproduced as wage fund, partly newly produced as surplus value) in the realization process.

Just now the original capital of 100 was: 50—10—40. [4] Produced surplus gain of 10 thalers (25% surplus time). Altogether 110 thalers.

Now suppose it were: 60—20—20. The result would be 110 thalers, so says the ordinary economist, and the even more ordinary capitalist says that 10% has been produced in equal proportions by all parts of the capital. Again, 80 thalers of capital would merely be preserved; no change taken place in its value. Only the 20 thalers would have turned into 30; i.e. surplus labour would have increased by 50%, not by 25% as before.

Take the third case: 100: 70—20—10. Result 110.

Then the invariable value, 90. The new product 20; hence surplus value or surplus time 100%. Here we have three cases in which the profit on the whole capital is always 10, but in the first case the new value created was 25% above the objectified labour spent to buy living labour, in the second case 50%, in the third: 100%.

The devil take this wrong arithmetic. [5] But never mind. Commençons de nouveau.

In the first case we had: 

Invariable value Wage Labour Surplus Value Total
60 40 10 110

We continue to presuppose a working day = 12 hours. (We could also assume a growing working day, e.g. hours before, but now x + bhours, while productive force remains constant; or both factors variable.)

  Hours Thalers
If the worker produces in 12 50
then in 1 4 1/6
then in 9 3/5 40
then in 2 2/5 10

The worker’s necessary labour then amounts to 9 3/5 hours (40 thalers); hence surplus labour 2 2/5 hours (value of 10 thalers). 2 2/5 hours is 1/5 of the working day. The worker’s surplus labour amounts to 1/5 of the day, i.e. = the value of 10 thalers. Now if we look at these 2 2/5 hours as a percentage which capital has gained above the labour time objectified in 9 3/5 hours, then 2 2/5:9 3/5 = 12/5:48/5, i.e. = 12:48 = 1:4. Thus 1/4 of the capital = 25% of it. Likewise, 10 thalers:40 thalers = 1:4 = 25%. Now, summarizing the whole result: [6] 

No.1 Original Capital: 100 Constant Value: 60 Value reproduced for wages: 40 Surplus value from production: 10 Total sum: 110 Surplus Time and value: 2 2/5 hours or 10. (2 2/5 of labour) % of objectified labour exchanged: 25%

It might be said that the instrument of labour, its value, has to be not only replaced but reproduced; since it is in fact used up, consumed in production. This to be looked at under fixed capital. In actuality the value of the instrument is transposed to that of the material; to the extent that it is objectified labour, it only changes its form. If in the above example the value of the material was 50 and that of the instrument 10, then now, with the instrument used up by 5, the value of the material is 55 and that of the instrument 5; if it disappears altogether, then that of the material has reached 60. This is an element of the simple production process. Unlike wages, the instrument has not been consumed outside the production process.)

Now to the second presupposition:

Original capital: 100 Constant Value: 80 Value reproduced for wages: 20 Surplus value from production: 10 Total sum: 110

If the worker produces 30 thalers in 12 hours, then in 1 hour 2 2/4 thalers, in 8 hours 20 thalers, in 4 hours 10 thalers. 10 thalers are 50% of 20 thalers; as are 4 hours out of 8 hours; the surplus value = 4 hours, 1/3 of a day, or 10 thalers surplus value. 

No. II Original Capital: 100 Constant Value: 80 Value reproduced for wages: 20 8 hours Surplus value from production: 10 Total sum: 110 Surplus time and value: 4 hours or 10. 2 working days. % on capital: 50%

In the first case, like the second, the profit on a total capital of 100 = 10%, but in the first case the real surplus value which capital obtains from the production process is 25%, in the second, 50%.

The conditions presupposed in No. II are in themselves as possible as those in No. I. But brought into connection with one another, those of No. II are absurd. Material and instrument have been raised from 60 to 80, the productivity of labour has fallen from 4 1/6 thalers per hour to 2 3/4 and surplus value increased by 100%. (Suppose, however, that the increased expenditure for wages expresses more working days in the first case, fewer in the second, and then the presupposition is correct.) It is in itself irrelevant that necessary wages, i.e. the value of labour expressed in thalers, have fallen. Whether the value of an hour of labour is expressed in 2 thalers or in 4, in both cases the product of 12 hours of labour is exchanged (in circulation) for 12 hours of labour, and in both cases surplus labour appears as surplus value. The absurdity of the presupposition comes from the fact (1) that we have posited 12 hours as the minimum working time; and hence cannot introduce additional or fewer working days; (2) the more we make capital increase on one side, the more we not only make necessary labour decline, but have also to decrease itsvalue, although the value is the same. In the second case, the price would, rather, have to rise. The fact that the worker can live from less work, i.e. that he produces more in the same number of hours, would have to be shown not in a decrease in the thalers for necessary labour, but in the number of necessary hours. If he gets, as e.g. in the first case, 4 1/6 thalers, but if the use value of this value, which has to be constant in order to express value (not price), had multiplied, then he no longer needs 9 3/5 but only 4 hours for the reproduction of his living labouring capacity, and this would have to express itself in the surplus over the value. But the way we have set up the presuppositions, our ‘invariable value’ is variable, while the 10% are invariable, here a constant addition to reproductive labour, although it expresses different percentage parts of the same. In the first case the invariable value is smaller than in the second case, but the total product of labour is larger; since, if one part of 100 is smaller, the other has to be larger; and, since absolute labour time is fixed at the identical amount, and since further the total product of labour becomes smaller, in proportion as ‘invariable value’ becomes larger, and larger as the latter becomes smaller, we therefore obtain less product (absolutely) from the same labour time in proportion as more capital is employed. Now, this would be quite correct, since, if out of a given sum such as 100 more is spent as ‘invariable value’, less can be spent for labour time, and thus, relative to total capital, less new overall value can be created; but then, if capital is to make a profit, one cannot hold labour time constant, as is done here, or, if one holds it constant, the value of the working hour cannot become smaller, as it does here; which is impossible if ‘invariable value’ becomes larger and surplus value becomes larger; thenumber of working hours would have to become smaller. But that is what we have assumed in the example. We assume in the first case that 50 thalers are produced in 12 hours of labour; in the second case, only 30 thalers. In the first, we make the worker work 9 3/5 hours; in the second only 6, although he produces less per hour. It’s absurd. But, understood differently, is there not after all something correct in these figures? Does not absolute new value decrease despite an increase in the relative, as soon as relatively more material and instrument than labour is introduced into the component parts of capital? Relative to a given capital, less living labour is employed; hence, even if the excess of this living labour above its costs is greater, and therefore the percentage of wages rises, i.e. the percentage relative to capital actually consumed, then the absolute new value does not necessarily become relatively smaller than in the case of a capital which employs less material and instrument (and this is the main point of the change in invariable value, i.e. value unchanged as value in the production process) and relatively more living labour; precisely because relatively more living labour is employed? An increase in the productive force then corresponds to the increase in the instrument, since the surplus value of the instrument does not keep pace, as in the previous mode of production, with its use value, its productive force, and since any increase in productive force creates more surplus value, although by no means in the same numerical proportion. The increase in the productive forces, which has to express itself in an enlargement of the value of the instrument — the space it takes up in capital expenditure—necessarily brings with it an increase in the material, since more material has to be worked in order to produce more product. (The increase in the productive force can, however, also relate to quality; but if that is given, only to quantity; or to quantity if quality is given; or to both.) Now, although there is less (necessary) labour in relation to surplus labour, and absolutely less living labour in relation to capital, is it not possible for its surplus value to rise, although in relation to the capital as a whole it declines, i.e. the so-called rate of profit declines? Take for example a capital of 100. Let material be 30 at first. 30 for instrument. (Together, invariable value of 60.) Wages 40 (4 working days). Profit 10%. Here profit is 25% on wages and 10% on capital as a whole. Now let material become 40 and instrument 40. Let productivity double, so that only 2 working days necessary = 20. Now posit that the absolute profit be smaller than 10; i.e. the profit on total capital. Is it not possible for profit on labour employed to be more than 25%, i.e. in the given case, more than merely a fourth of 20? In fact, a third of 20 is 6 2/3; i.e. less than 10, but 33 1/3% of labour employed, while in the previous case it was only 25%. In this case, we would end up with only 106 2/3, while in the previous case we would have had 110, but still, with the same capital (100) the surplus labour, surplus gain relative to labour employed, would be greater than in the first case; but since 50% less labour was employed, in absolute terms, than in the first case, while the profit on labour employed was only 8 1/3 more than in the first case, it follows that the absolute quantity which results has to be smaller, and the same applies to the profit on total capital. For 20 × 33 1/3 is smaller than 40 × 25. This whole instance is improbable and cannot count as a general example in economics; for an increase in the instrument and an increase in the material worked are both presupposed, while not only the relative but the absolute number of workers has declined. (Of course, when two factors = a third, one has to grow smaller as the other grows larger.) But an increase in the value of the instrument in relation to capital as a whole, and an increase in the value of the material, all in all presuppose a division of labour, hence at least an absolute increase in the number of workers, if not an increase relative to capital as a whole. However, take the case of the lithographing machine, which everyone can use to make lithographs without special skill; suppose the value of the instrument immediately upon its invention to be greater than that which 4 workers absorbed before these handy things were invented; it now requires only 2 workers (here, as with many instrument-like machines, no further division of labour takes place; instead, the qualitative division disappears); let the instruments originally have a value of only 40, but let 4 working days be necessary (necessary, here, for the capitalist to make a profit). (There are machines, e.g.  forced air heating ducts, where labour as such disappears altogether except at a single point; the duct is open at one point, and carries heat to the others; no workers are required at all. This the case generally (see Babbage) [7] with energy transmission, where, previously, energy had to be carried in material form by numbers of workers, here firemen, from one point to another – where the transmission from one room to another, which has now become a physical process, appeared as the labour of numbers of workers.) Now, if he uses this lithographing machine as a source of income, as capital, and not as use value, then the material must necessarily increase, since he can put out more lithographs in the same amount of time, which is precisely where this greater profit comes from. Let this lithographer then employ an instrument to the amount of 40, material 40, 2 working days (20) which [give] him 33 1/3%, i.e. 6 2/3 out of an objectified labour time of 20; then his capital, like the other’s, consists of 100, only yields 6 2/3%, but he gains 33 1/3 on labour employed, while the other gains 10 on capital, but only 25% on labour. The value obtained from labour employed may be smaller, but the profits on the whole capital are greater if the other elements of capital are relatively smaller. Despite this, the business at 6 2/3% on the total capital and 33 1/3% on labour could become more profitable than the earlier one based on 25% on labour and 10% profit on the total capital. Suppose e.g. that grain prices etc. rose so that the maintenance of the worker rose by 25 % in value. The 4 working days would now cost the first lithographer 50 instead of 40. His instruments and material would remain the same: 60 thalers. He would then have to lay out a capital of 110. With this capital, his profit on the 50 thalers for 4 working days would be 12 (25 %). Hence 12 thalers on 110 (i.e. 9 1/6% on the total capital of 110). The other lithographer: machine 40, material 40; but the 2 working days will cost him 25% more than 20, i.e. 25. He would thus have to lay out 105; his surplus value on labour 33 1/3 %, i.e. 1/3, is 8 1/3.  He would gain then, 8 1/3 on 105; 13 1/8%. Then suppose a 10 year cycle with 5 bad and 5 good harvests at the above average proportions; then the first lithographer would gain 50 thalers of interest on the second during the first 5 years; in the last 5 45 5/6; altogether 95 5/6 thalers; average interest over the 10 years 9 7/12 thalers. The other capitalist would have gained 31 1/3 in the first 5 years, 65 5/8 in the last; 96 23/24 altogether; a 10-year average of 9 84/120.  Since No. II uses up more material at the same price, he sells   cheaper. It could be said in reply that he sells dearer because he uses up more instrument; especially because he uses up more of the value of the machine in proportion as he uses up more material; however, it is in practice not true that machines wear out and have to be replaced more rapidly as they work more material. But all this is beside the point. Let the relation between the value of the machine and that of the material be constant in both cases.

This example attains significance only if we assume a smaller capital which employs more labour and less material and machinery, but yields a higher percentage on the total capital; and a larger capital employing more machinery and more material, as many working days in absolute numbers but relatively fewer, and a smaller percentage on the whole, because less on labour, being more productive, division of labour used, etc. It also has to be postulated (which was not done above) that the use value of the machine significantly greater than its value; i.e. that its devaluation in the service of production is not proportional to its increasing effect on production.

Thus, as above, a press (first, hand-operated printing press; second, self-acting printing press).

Capital I, 100, uses 30 in material; 30 for the manual press; 4 working days = 40 thalers; gain 10 %; hence 25 % on living labour (1/4 surplus time).

Capital II, 200, uses 100 in materials; 60 in press, 4 working days (40 thalers); gain on the 4 working days 13 1/3 thalers = 1 working day and 1/3, compared to only 1 working day in the first case; total sum: 213 1/3. I.e. 6 2/3 %, compared to 10% in the first case. Nevertheless, the surplus value on the labour which has been employed is 13 1/3 in this second case, as against 10 in the first; in the first, 4 days create 1 surplus day in 4 working days; in the second, 4 days create 1 1/3 surplus days. But the rate of profit on the total capital is 1/3 or 33 1/3 % smaller than in the first; the total amount of the gain is 1/3 greater. Now let us suppose that the 30 and the 100 in material are sheets of book paper, and that the instruments wear out in the same space of time, say 10 years or 1/10 per year. Then No. I has to replace 1/10 of 30 in material, i.e. 3; No. II, 1/10 of 60, i.e. 6. The material does not enter further into annual production (which may be regarded as 4 working days of 3 months each) on either side, see above.

Capital I sells 30 sheets at 30 for materials + 3 for instrument + 50 (objectified labour time) (production time) = 83. 

Capital II sells 100 sheets at 100, material, + 6, instrument, + 53 1/3 = 159 1/3.

Capital I sells 30 sheets for 83 thalers, 1 sheet at 83/80 thalers = 2 thalers, 23 silver groschen.

Capital II sells 100 sheets for 159 thalers, 10 silver groschen; 1 sheet at

159 Thalers 10 silver groschen

i.e., 1 thaler, 17 silver groschen, 8 pfennings.

It is clear then that Capital I is done for, because its selling price is infinitely too high. Now, although in the first case the profit on total capital was 10 % and in the second case only 63 %, the first capital only took in 25 % on labour time, while the second takes 33 1/3%. With Capital I, necessary labour is greater relative to the total capital; and hence surplus labour, while smaller in absolute terms than with Capital II, shows up as a higher rate of profit on the smaller total capital. 4 working days at 60 are greater than 4 at 160; in the first, 1 working day corresponds to a capital of 15; in the second, 1 working day corresponds to 40. But with the second capital, labour is more productive (which is given both in thegreater amount of machinery, hence the greater amount of space that it takes up among the value components of capital; and in the greater amount, of material in which a working day, which consists of a greater proportion of surplus time and hence uses more material in the same time, is expressed). It creates more surplus time (relative surplus time, i.e. determined by the development of the force of production). In the first case, surplus time is 1/4, in the second, 1/3. It therefore creates more use values and a higher exchange value in the same amount of time; but the latter not in proportion with the former, since, as we saw, exchange value does not rise in the same numerical proportion as the productivity of labour. The fractional price is therefore smaller than the total production price—i.e. the fractional price multiplied by the amount of fractional prices produced is greater. Now, if we had assumed an absolutely greater number of working days than in No. I, although a relatively smaller number, then the matter would have been even more striking. The profit of the larger capital, working with more machinery, therefore appears smaller than that of the smaller capital working with relatively or absolutely more living labour, precisely because the higher profit on living labour appears as smaller, when calculated on the basis of a total capital in which living labour makes up a lesser proportion  of the whole, than the lower profit on living labour which makes up a larger proportion of the smaller total capital. But the fact that No. II can employ more material, and that a larger proportion of the total value is in the instrument, is only the expression of the productivity of labour.

This, then, is the unfortunate Bastiat’s famous riddle; he had firmly convinced himself—to which Mr Proudhon had no answer—that because the rate of profit of the larger and more productive total capital is smaller, it follows that the worker’s share has grown larger, whereas precisely the opposite is the case; his surplus labour has grown larger.  [8]

Nor does Ricardo seem to have understood the matter, for otherwise he would not have tried to explain the periodic decline of profit merely by the rise in wages caused by the rise in grain prices (and hence of rent). [9]  But at bottom, surplus value — in so far as it is indeed the foundation of profit, but still distinct from profit commonly so-called—has never been developed. The unfortunate Bastiat would have said in the above case that in the first example the profit was 10 % (i.e. 1/10), in the second only 6 1/4 %, i.e. 1/16 (leaving out the percentage), so that the worker receives 9/10 in the first case, 15/16 in the second. The relation is correct in neither of the two cases, nor is their relation to one another correct. Now, as far as the further relation of the new value of capital to capital as indifferent total value is concerned (and this is how capital as such appeared to us at the beginning, before we moved on into the production process, and it must again appear to us in this way at the end of the process), this is to be developed partly under the rubric of profit, where the new value obtains a new character, and partly under the heading of accumulation. We are here initially concerned only with developing the nature of surplus value as the equivalent of the absolute or relative labour time mobilized by capital above and beyond necessary labour time.

The consumption, in the production process, of the element of value consisting of the instrument cannot in the least [serve to] distinguish the instrument of labour from the material—here, where all that is to be explained is the creation of surplus value, self realization. This is because this consumption is part of the simple production process itself, hence the value of the consumed instrument (whether it be the simple use value of the instrument itself or the exchange value, if production has already progressed to where there is a division of labour and where at least the surplus is exchanged) has to be recovered again in the value (exchange value) or the use value of the product—so that the process can begin anew. The instrument loses its use value in the same proportion as it helps to raise the exchange value of the raw material and serves as a means of labour. This point must, indeed, be examined, because the distinction between the invariable value, the part of capital which is preserved; that which is reproduced (reproduced for capital; from the standpoint of the real production of labour-produced); and that which is newly produced, is of essential importance.

Multiplication of simultaneous working days. (Accumulation of capital.) – Growth of the constant part of capital in relation to the variable part spent on wages = growth of the productivity of labour. – Proportion in which capital has to increase in order to employ the same number of workers if productivity rises

It is now time to finish with the question of the value resulting from the growth of the productive forces. We have seen: this creates a surplus value (not merely a greater use value) just as in the case of an absolute increase in surplus labour. If a certain limit is given, say e.g. that the worker needs only half a day in order to produce his subsistence for a whole day—and if the natural limit has been reached—then an increase of absolute labour time is possible only if more workers are employed at the same time, so that the real working day is simultaneously multiplied instead of only lengthened (in the given conditions, the individual worker can work no more than 12 hours; if a surplus time of 24 hours is to be gained, then there have to be 2 workers). Capital in this case, before entering the self-realization process, has to buy 6 additional hours of labour in the act of exchange with the worker, i.e. has to lay out a greater part of itself; at the same time it has to lay out more for material, on the average (beside the fact that the extra worker has to be available, i.e. that the working population has to have grown). Hence the possibility of this further realization process depends here on a previous accumulation of capital (as regards its material existence). If, however, productivity increases, and hence relative surplus time—at the present point we can still regard capital as always directly engaged in the production of subsistence, raw materials etc.—then less expenditure is necessary for wages and the growth in the material is created by the realization process itself. But this question belongs, rather, with the accumulation of capitals.

We now come to the point where we last broke off. [10] An increase in productivity increases the surplus value, although it does not increase the absolute amount of exchange values. It increases values because it creates a new value as value, i.e. a value which is not merely an equivalent destined for exchange, but which asserts itself as such; in a word, more money. The question is: does it ultimately also increase the amount of exchange values? This is, at bottom, admitted; for even Ricardo admits that along with the accumulation of capitals there is an increase in savings, hence a growth in the exchange values produced. The growth of savings means nothing more than the growth of independent values—of money. But Ricardo’s demonstration contradicts his own assertion.

Our old example. 100 thalers capital; 60 thalers in constant value; 40 in wages; produces 80; hence product = 140.[*]  Let these 40 in surplus value be absolute labour time.

Now suppose that productivity doubles: then, if a wage of 40 gives 8 hours of necessary labour, the worker could now produce a whole day of living labour in 4 hours. Surplus time would then increase by 1/3 (2/3 of a day to produce a whole day before, now 1/3). 2/3 of the product of the working day would be surplus value, and if the hour of necessary labour = 5 thalers (5×8 = 40), then he would now need only 5×4 = 20 thalers. For capital, then, a surplus gain of 20, i.e. 60 instead of 40. At the end, 140, of which 60 = the constant value, 20 = the wage and 60 = the surplus gain; together, 140. The capitalist can then begin production anew with 80 thalers of capital:

Let capitalist A on the same stage of old production invest his capital of 140 in new production. Following the original proportions, he needs 3/5 for the invariable part of capital, i.e. 3×140/5 = 3×28 = 84, leaving 56 for necessary labour. Before, he spent 40 on labour, now 56; 2/5 of 40 additionally. Then at the end, his capital = 84 + 56 + 56 = 196.

Capitalist B on the higher stage of production would similarly employ his 140 thalers for new production. If out of a capital of 80 he needs 60 for invariable value and only 20 for labour, then out of a capital of 60 he needs 45 for invariable value and 15 for labour; thus the total would be = 60 + 20 +20 = 100 in the first and, secondly, 45 + 15 + 15 = 75. Thus his total yield is 175, while that of the first = 196. An increase in the productivity of labour means nothing more than that the same capital creates the same value with less labour, or that less labour creates the same product with more capital. That less necessary labour produces more surplus labour. The necessary labour is smaller in relation to capital; for the process of its realization this is obviously the same as: capital is larger in relation to the necessary labour which it sets into motion; for the same capital sets more surplus labour in motion, hence less necessary labour. [*]

It is sometimes said about machinery, therefore, that it saves labour; however, as Lauderdale correctly remarked, the mere saving of labour is not the characteristic thing; [12] for, with the help of machinery, human labour performs actions and creates things which without it would be absolutely impossible of accomplishment. The latter concerns the use value of machinery. What is characteristic is the saving of necessary labour and the creating of surplus labour. The higher productivity of labour is expressed in the fact that capital has to buy a smaller amount of necessary labour in order to create the same value and a greater quantity of use values, or that less necessary labour creates the same exchange value, realizes more material and a greater mass of use values. Thus, if the total value of the capital remains the same, an increase in the productive force means that the constant part of capital (consisting of machinery and material) grows relative to the variable, i.e. to the part of capital which is exchanged for living labour and forms the wage fund. This means at the same time that a smaller quantity of labour sets a larger quantity of capital in motion. If the total value of capital entering into the production process increases, then the wage fund (this variable part of capital) must decrease relatively, compared to the relation if the productivity of labour, i.e. the relation of necessary to surplus labour, had remained the same. Now let us assume in the above case that the capital of 100 is agricultural capital. Then, 40 thalers for seeds, fertilizer etc.; 20 thalers instrument of labour, and 40 thalers wage labour, at the old level of production. (Let these 40 thalers = 4 days of necessary labour.) At the old production level, these create a total of 140. Now let fertility double, owing to improvement either in the instrument or in the fertilizer etc. In this case the product has to = 140 thalers (given that the instrument is entirely consumed). Let fertility double, so that the price of the necessary working day falls by half; so that only 4 necessary half days of work (i.e. 2 whole ones) are necessary in order to produce 8. 2 working days to produce 8 is the same as when a of each working day (3 hours) is required for necessary labour. Now, instead of 40 thalers, the farmer has to spend only 20 for labour. Thus at the end of the process the component parts of capital have changed; from the original 40 for seed etc., which now have double the use value; 20 for instrument and 20 for labour (2 whole working days). Before the relation of the constant part of capital to the variable = 60:40 = 3:2; now 80:20 = 4:1. Looking at the whole capital, necessary labour was = 2/5; now 1/5. Now, if the farmer wants to continue to use labour in the old relation, then by how much would his capital have to increase? Or—in order to avoid the nefarious presupposition that he continued to operate with a constant capital of 60 and a wage fund of 40 – – after a doubling of productive force, which introduces false relations [*]; because it presupposes that, despite the doubled force of production, capital continued to operate with the same component parts, to employ the same quantity of necessary labour without spending more for raw material and instrument of labour [**]; then, therefore, productivity doubles, so that he now needs to spend only 20 thalers on labour, whereas he needed 40 before. (If it is given that 4 whole working days were necessary, each = 10 thalers, in order to create a surplus of 4 whole working days, and if this surplus is provided for him by the transformation of 40 thalers of cotton into yarn, then he now needs only 2 whole working days in order to create the same value, i.e. that of 8 working days; the value of the yarn expressed a surplus time of 4 working days before, now of 6. Or, each of the workers needed 6 hours of necessary labour time before in order to create 12; now 3. Necessary labour time was 12×4 = 48, or 4 days. In each of these days, the surplus time was = 1/2 day (6 hours). It [391] now amounts to only 12×2 = 24 or 2 days; 3 hours per day. In order to bring forth the surplus value, each of the 4 workers would have to work 6×2 hours; i.e. 1 day; now he needs to work only 3×2 hours; i.e. 1/2 day. Now, whether 4 work 1/2 a day or 2 a whole (1) day is the same. The capitalist could dismiss 2 workers. He would even have to dismiss them, since a certain quantity of cotton is only enough to make a certain quantity of yarn; thus he cannot order 4 whole days of work any more, but only 4 half days. But if the worker has to work 12 hours in order to obtain 3 hours, i.e. his necessary wage, then, if he works 6 hours, he will obtain only 1 1/2 hours of exchange value. But if he can live for 12 hours with 3 hours of necessary labour, then with it he can live only 6 hours. Thus if all 4 workers were to be employed, each of the 4 could live only half a day; i.e. the same capital cannot keep all 4 alive as workers, but only 2..The capitalist could pay 4 out of the old fund for 4 half days of work; then he would pay 2 too many and would make the workers a present of the productive force; since he can use only 4 half days of living labour; such ‘possibilities’ neither occur in practice, nor can we deal with them here, where we are concerned with the relation of capital as such.) Now 20 thalers of the capital of 100 are not directly employed in production. The capitalist uses 40 thalers of raw material, 20 for instrument, together 60 as before, but now only 20 thalers for labour (2 working days). Of the whole capital of 80 he uses 3/4 (60) for the constant part and only 1/4 for labour. Then if he employs the remaining 20 in the same way, 3/4 for constant capital, a1/4 for labour; then 15 for the first, 5 for the second. Now since 1 working day = 10 thalers (given), 5 would be only = 6 hours = 1/2 working day. With the new value of 20, gained through productivity, capital could buy only 1/2 a working day more, if it continues to realize itself in the same proportion. It would have to grow threefold (namely, 60) (together with the 20 = 80) in order to employ the 2 dismissed workers for the previous 2 full working days. In the new relation, the capital uses 3/4 in constant capital in order to employ 1/4 as wage fund.

Thus if 20 is the whole capital, 3/4 i.e. 15 constant and a labour (i.e. 5) = 1/2 a working day.

With a whole capital of 4×20, hence 4×15 = 60 constant, hence 4×5 = 20 wages = 4/2 working days = 2 working days.

Therefore, if the productive force of labour doubles, so that a capital of 60 thalers in raw materials and instrument now needs only 20 thalers in labour (2 working days) for its realization, whereas it needed 100 before, then the total capital of 100 would have to grow to 160, or the capital of 80 now being dealt with would have to double in order to retain all the labour put out of work. But the doubling of productive force creates a new capital of only 20 thalers = 1/2 of the labour time employed earlier; and this is only enough to employ 1/2 a working day additionally. Before the doubling of the productive force, the capital was 100 and employed 4 working days (on the supposition that 2/5 = wage fund of 40); now, when the wage fund has fallen to 1/5 of 100, to 20 = 2 working days (but to 1/4 of 80, the capital newly entering into the realization process), it would have to rise to 160, by 60 %, in order still to be able to employ 4 working days as before. It can only employ 1/2 a new working day with the 20 thalers drawn from the increase in the productive force, if the whole old capital continues operating. Before, it employed with 100, 16/4 (4 days) working days; it could now employ only 5/4. Therefore, when the force of production doubles, capital does not need to double in order to set the same necessary labour into motion, 4 working days; i.e. it does not need to rise to 200, but needs to rise only by double the whole, minus the part deducted from the wage fund. (100 – 20 = 80) x 2 = 160. (By contrast, the first capital, before the increase in productive force, which divided 100 as 60 constant 40 wages (4 working days), in order to employ two additional days, would need to grow from 100 to only 150; i.e. 3/5 constant capital (30) and 2/5 wage fund (20). If it is given that the working day doubles in both cases, then the second would amount to 250 at the end, the first only 160.) Of the part of capital which is withdrawn from the wage fund owing to the increase in the force of production, one part has to be transformed again into raw material and instrument, another part is exchanged for living labour; this can take place only in the proportions between the different parts which are posited by the new productivity. It can no longer take place in the old proportion, for the relation of the wage fund to the constant fund has decreased. If the capital of 100 first used 2/5 for wage fund (40) and, owing to a doubling of productive force, then used only 1/5 (20), then 1/5 of the capital has become free (20 thalers); and the employed part, 80, uses only 1/4 as wage fund. Thus, of the 20, similarly, only 5 thalers (1/2 working day). The whole capital of 100 therefore now employs 2 1/2 working days; or, it would have to grow to 160 in order to employ 4 again.

If the original capital had been 1,000, divided in the same way: 3/5 constant capital, 2/5 wage fund, then 600 + 400 (let 400 equal 40 working days; each working day = 10 thalers). Now double the productive force of labour, i.e. only 20 working days required for the same product (= 200 thalers), then the capital necessary to begin production anew would be = 800; that is 600 + 200; 200 thalers would have been set free. Employed in the same relation, then 3/4 for constant capital = 150 and 1/4 wages = 50. Thus, if the 1,000 thalers are employed in their entirety, then now 750 constant + 250 wage fund = 1,000 thalers. But 250 wage fund would be = 25 working days (i.e. the new fund can employ labour time only in the new relation, i.e. at 1/4; in order to employ the entire labour time as before, it would have to quadruple). The liberated capital of 200 would employ a wage fund of 50 = 5 working days (1/4 of the liberated labour time). (The part of the labour fund disconnected from capital is itself employed as capital at only 1/4 for labour fund; i.e. precisely in the relation in which that part of the new capital which is labour fund stands to the total sum of the capital.) Thus in order to employ 20 working days (4×5 working days), this fund would have to grow from 50 to 4×50 = 200; i.e. the liberated part would have to grow from 200 to 600, i.e. triple; so that the entire new capital would amount to 800. Then the total capital, 1,600; of this, 1,200 constant part and 400 labour fund. Thus if a capital of 1,000 originally contained a labour fund of 400 (40 working days), and if, owing to a doubling of productive force, it now needs to employ a labour fund of only 200 in order to buy necessarylabour, i.e. only 1/2 of the previous labour; then the capital would have to grow by 600 in order to employ all the previous labour in its entirety (in order to gain the same amount of surplus time). It would have to be able to employ twice the labour fund, i.e. 2×200 = 400; but, since the relation of the labour fund to the total capital is now = 1/4, this requires a total capital of 4×400 = 1,600.[*]

Or, which is the same thing, it is = 2×the new capital which owing to the new productive force replaces the old in production (800×2) (thus if the productive force had quadrupled, quintupled etc. = 4 x, 5 x the new capital etc. If the force of production has doubled, then necessary labour is reduced to 1/2; likewise the labour fund. Thus if it amounted, as in the above case of the old capital of 1,000, to 400, i.e. 2/5 of the total capital, then, afterwards, 1/5 or 200. This relation, by which it is reduced, is the liberated part of the labour fund = 1/5 of the old capital = 200. 1/5 of the old = 1/4 of the new. The new capital is = to the old + 3/5 of the same. These trivia more closely later etc.)

Given the same original relations between the parts of the capital and the same increase in the productive force, the largeness or smallness of the capital is completely irrelevant for the general theses. Quite another question is whether, when capital grows larger, the relations remain the same (but this belongs under accumulation). But, given this, we see how an increase in the force of production changes the relations between the component parts of capital. If in both cases 3/5 was originally constant and 3 labour fund, then doubling the productive force acts in the same way on a capital of 100 as on one of 1,000. (The word labour fund is here used only for convenience’s sake; we have not yet developed capital in this specificity [Bestimmtheit]. So far two parts; the one exchanged for commodities (material and instrument), the other for labour capacity.) (The new capital, i.e. the part of the old capital which represents its function, is = the old minus the liberated part of the labour fund; this liberated part, however, = the fraction which used to express necessary labour (or, same thing, the labour fund) divided by the multiplier of the productive force. Thus, if the old capital = 1,000 and the fraction expressing necessary labour or the labour fund = 2/5, and if the force of production doubles, then the new capital which represents the function of the old = 800, i.e. 2/3 of the old capital = 400; this divided by 2, the multiplier of productive force, = 2/10 = 1/5 = 200. Then the new capital = 800 and the liberated part of the labour fund = 200.)

We have seen that under these conditions a capital of 100 thalers has to grow to 160, and a capital of 1,000 to 1,600, in order to retain the same labour time (of 4 or 40 working days) etc.; both have to grow by 60%, i.e. 3/5 of themselves (of the old capital), in order to be able to re-employ the liberated labour time (in the first case 20 thalers, in the second 200) of 1/5—the liberated labour fund—as such.

Percentage of total capital can express very different relations. Capital (like property) rests on productivity of labour

(Notabene. We saw above that identical percentages of the total capital can express very different relations in which capital creates its surplus value, i.e. posits surplus labour, relative or absolute.[13] If the relation between the invariable value-part of capital and the variable part (that exchanged for labour) such that the latter = 1/2 the total capital (i.e. capital 100 = 50 (constant) + 50 (variable), then the part exchanged for labour would have to increase by only 50% in order to yield 25% on the capital; i.e. 50 + 50 (+ 25) = 125; while in the above example 75 + 25 (+ 25) = 125; i.e. the part exchanged for living labour increases by 100% in order to yield 25% on the capital. Here we see that, if the relations remain the same, the same percentage on the total capital holds no matter how big or small it may be; i.e. if the relation of the labour fund to the total capital remains the same; thus, above, 1/4. Thus: 100 yields 125, 80 yields 100, 1,000 yields 1,250, 800 yields 1,000, 1,600 yields 2,000 etc., always = 25%. If capitals whose component parts are in different relations, including therefore their forces of production, nevertheless yield the same percentages on total capital, then the real surplus value has to be very different in the different branches.)

(Thus the example is correct, the productive force compared under the same conditions with the same capital before the rise in productive force. Let a capital of 100 employ constant value 50, labour fund = 50. Let the fund increase by 50%, i.e. 1/2; then the total product = 125. Let the labour fund of 50 thalers employ 10 working days, pay 5 thalers per day. Since the new value is 1/2, the surplus time has to be = 5 working days; i.e. the worker who needed to work only 10 working days in order to live for 15 has to work 15 for the capitalist in order to live for 15; and his surplus labour of 5 days constitutes capital’s surplus value. Expressed in hours, if the work day = 12 hours, then surplus labour = 6 per day. Thus in 10 days or 120 hours, the worker works 60 hours = 5 days too many. But now with the doubling of productivity, relations within the 100 thalers would be 75 and 25, i.e. the same capital now needs to employ only 5 workers in order to create the same value of 125; the 5 working days then = 10; doubled; i.e. 5 working days are paid, 10 produced. The worker would need to work only 5 days in order to live 10 (before the increase in productive force he had to work 10 to live 15; thus, if he worked 5, he could live only 7 1/2); but he has to work 10 for the capitalist in order to live 10; the latter thus makes a profit of 5 days; 1 day per day; or, expressed in days, the worker had to work 1/2 to live 1 before (i.e. 6 hours to live 12); now he needs to work only 1/4 to live 1 (i.e. 3 hours). If he worked a whole day, he could live 2; if he worked 12 hours, 24; if he worked 6, 12 hours. But he now has to work 12 hours to live 12. He would need to work only 1/2 in order to live 1; but he has to work 2×1/2 = 1 to live 1. In the old state of the productive force, he had to work 10 days to live 15; or 12 hours to live 18; or 1 hour to live 1 1/2, or 8 hours to live 12, i.e. 2/3 of a day to live 3/3. But he has to work 3/3 to live 2/3, i.e. 1/3 too much. The doubling of the productive force increases the relation of surplus time from 1:1 1/2 (i.e. 50%) to 1:2 (i.e. 100%). In the earlier labour time relation: he needed 8 to live 12, i.e. 2/ 3 of the whole day was necessary labour; he now needs only 1/2, i.e. 6, to live 12. That is why capital now employs 5 workers instead of 10. If the 10 (cost 50) produced 75 before, then now the 25, 50: i.e. the former only 50%, the second 100. The workers work 12 hours as before; but in the first case capital bought 10 working days, now merely 5; because the force of production doubled, the 5 produce 5 days of surplus labour; because in the first case 10 working days yielded only 5 days of surplus labour; now, with the force of production doubled, i.e. risen from 50 % to 100 % – 5, 5; in the first case 120 working hours (= 10 working days) produce 180; in the second, 60, 60; i.e. in the first case, the surplus time is 1/3 of the whole day (50% of necessary labour) (i.e. 4 hours out of 12; necessary time 8); in the second case surplus time is 1/2 the whole day (100% of necessary labour) (i.e. 6 hours out of 12; necessary time 6); hence the 10 days yielded 5 days of surplus time (surplus labour) in the first case, and in the second the 5 yield 5. Thus relative surplus time has doubled; relative to the first relation it grew by only 1/2 compared to 1/3; i.e. by 16 4/6%.)

constant variable 100 60 + 40 (original relation) 100 75 + 25 (+ 25) = 125(25%) 160 120 + 40 (+ 40) = 200(25%)

Since surplus labour, or surplus time, is the presupposition of capital, it therefore also rests on the fundamental presupposition that there exists a surplus above the labour time necessary for the maintenance and reproduction of the individual; that the individual e.g. needs to work only 6 hours in order to live one day, or 1 day in order to live 2 etc. With the development of the forces of production, necessary labour time decreases and surplus labour time thereby increases. Or, as well, that one individual can work for 2 etc. (‘ Wealth is disposable time and nothing more… If the whole labour of a country were sufficient only to raise the support of the whole population, there would be no surplus labour, consequently nothing that can be allowed to accumulate as capital . . . Truly wealthy a nation, if there is no interest or if the working day is 6 hours rather than 12… Whatever may be due to the capitalist, he can only receive the surplus labour of the labourer; for the labourer must live.’ (The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties.[14]

Property. Origin in the productivity of labour. If one can produce only enough for one, everyone worker; there can be no property. When one man’s labour can maintain five, there will be four idle men for one employed in production. Property grows from the improvement in the mode of production … The growth of the property, this greater ability to maintain idle men and unproductive industry = capital … machinery itself can seldom be applied with success to abridge the labours of an individual: more time would be lost in its construction than could be saved by its application. It is only really useful when it acts on great masses. when a single machine can assist the labours of thousands. It is accordingly in the most populous countries where there are most idle men that it is always most abundant. It is not called into action by scarcity of men, but by the facility with which they are brought together … Not 1/4 of the English population provides everything that is consumed by all. Under William the Conqueror for example the amount of those directly participating in production much greater relative to the idle men.’ (Ravenstone, IX, 32.) [15]

Just as capital on one side creates surplus labour, surplus labour is at the same time equally the presupposition of the existence of capital. The whole development of wealth rests on the creation of disposable time. The relation of necessary labour time to the superfluous (such it is, initially, from the standpoint of necessary labour) changes with the different stages in the development of the productive forces. In the less productive [16] stages of exchange, people exchange nothing more than their.superfluous labour time; this is the measure of their exchange, which therefore extends only to superfluous products. In production resting on capital, the existence of necessary labour time is conditional on the creation of superfluous labour time. In the lowest stages of production, firstly, few human needs have yet been produced, and thus few to be satisfied. Necessary labour is therefore restricted, not because labour is productive, but because it is not very necessary; and secondly, in all stages of production there is a certain common quality [Gemeinsamkeit] of labour, social character of the same, etc. The force of social production develops later etc. (Return to this.) [17]

Increase of surplus labour time. Increase of simultaneous working days (Population). (Population can increase in proportion as necessary labour time becomes smaller, i.e. the time required to produce living labour capacities decreases.) Surplus capital and surplus population. — Creation of free time for society

Surplus time is the excess of the working day above that part of it which we call necessary labour time; it exists secondly as the multiplication ofsimultaneous working days, i.e. of the labouring population. (It can also be created – but this is mentioned here only in passing, belongs in the chapter on wage labour – by means of forcible prolongation of the working day beyond its natural limits; by the addition of women and children to the labouring population.) The first relation, that of the surplus time and the necessary time in the day, can be and is modified by the development of the productive forces, so that necessary labour is restricted to a constantly smaller fractional part. The same thing then holds relatively for the population. A labouring population of, say, 6 million can be regarded as one working day of 6×12, i.e. 72 million hours: so that the same laws applicable here.

It is a law of capital, as we saw, to create surplus labour, disposable time; it can do this only by setting necessary labour in motion—i.e. entering into exchange with the worker. It is its tendency, therefore, to create as much labour as possible; just as it is equally its tendency to reduce necessary labour to a minimum. It is therefore equally a tendency of capital to increase the labouring population, as well as constantly to posit a part of it as surplus population—population which is useless until such time as capital can utilize it. (Hence the correctness of the theory of surplus population and surplus capital.) It is equally a tendency of capital to make human labour (relatively) superfluous, so as to drive it, as human labour, towards infinity. Value is nothing but objectified labour, and surplus value (realization of capital) is only the excess above that part of objectified labour which is necessary for the reproduction of labouring capacity. But labour as such is and remains the presupposition, and surplus labour exists only in relation with the necessary, hence only in so far as the latter exists. Capital must therefore constantly posit necessary labour in order to posit surplus labour; it has to multiply it (namely the simultaneous working days) in order to multiply the surplus; but at the same time it must suspend them as necessary, in order to posit them as surplus labour. As regards the single working day, the process is of course simple: (1) to lengthen it up to the limits of natural possibility; (2) to shorten the necessary part of it more and more (i.e. to increase the productive forces without limit). But the working day, regarded spatially—time itself regarded as space—is many working days alongside one another. The more working days capital can enter into exchange with at once, during which it exchanges objectified for living labour, the greater its realization at once. It can leap over the natural limit formed by one individual’s living, working day, at a given stage in the development of the forces of production (and it does not in itself change anything that this stage is changing) only by positing anotherworking day alongside the first at the same time – by the spatial addition of more simultaneous working days. E.g. I can drive the surplus labour of A no higher than 3 hours; but if I add the days of B, C, D etc., then it becomes 12 hours. In place of a surplus time of 3, I have created one of 12. This is why capital solicits the increase of population; and the very process by means of which necessary labour is reduced makes it possible to put new necessary labour (and hence surplus labour) to work. (I.e. the production of workers becomes cheaper, more workers can be produced in the same time, in proportion as necessary labour time becomes smaller or the time required for the production of living labour capacity becomes relatively smaller. These are identical statements.) (This still without regard to the fact that the increase in population increases the productive force of labour, since it makes possible a greater division and combination of labour etc. The increase of population is anatural force of labour, for which nothing is paid. From this standpoint, we use the term natural force to refer to the social force. Allnatural forces of social labour are themselves historical products.) It is, on the other side, a tendency of capital—just as in the case of the single working day—to reduce the many simultaneous necessary working days (which, as regards their value, can be taken as one working day) to the minimum, i.e. to posit as many as possible of them as not necessary. Just as in the previous case of the single working day it was a tendency of capital to reduce the necessary working hours, so now the necessary working days are reduced in relation to the total amount of objectified labour time. (If 6 are necessary to produce 12 superfluous working hours, then capital works towards the reduction of these 6 to 4. Or 6 working days can be regarded as one working day of 72 hours; if necessary labour time is reduced by 24 hours, then two days of necessary labour fall away—i.e. 2 workers.) At the same time, the newly created surplus capital can be realized as such only by being again exchanged for living labour. Hence the tendency of capital simultaneously to increase the labouring population as well as to reduce constantly its necessary part (constantly to posit a part of it as reserve). And the increase of population itself the chief means for reducing the necessary part. At bottom this is only an application of the relation of the single working day. Here already lie, then, all the contradictions which modern population theory expresses as such, but does not grasp. Capital, as the positing of surplus labour, is equally and in the same moment the positing and the not-positing of necessary labour; it exists only in so far as necessary labour both exists and does not exist. [*]

If the relation of the necessary working days to the total number of objectified working days was = 9:12 (hence surplus labour = 1/4), then the striving of capital is to reduce it to 6:9 (i.e. 2/3, hence surplus labour = 1/3). (Develop this more closely later; still, the major basic traits here, where we are dealing with the general concept of capital.)


mid-December 1857 – 22 January 1858

[Circulation Process of Capital]

Transition from the process of the production of capital into the process of circulation. — Devaluation of capital itself owing to increase of productive forces. (Competition.) (Capital as unity and contradiction of production process and realization process.) Capital as barrier to production. — Overproduction. (Demand by the workers themselves.) — Barriers to capitalist production

[Reproduction and Accumulation of Capital]

We have now seen how, in the realization process, capital has (1) maintained its value by means of exchange itself (exchange that is, with living labour); (2) increased, created a surplus value. There now appears, as the result of this unity of the process of production and the process of realization, the product of the process, i.e. capital itself, emerging as product from the process whose presupposition it was — as a product which is a value, or, value itself appears as the product of the process, and specifically a higher value, because it contains more objectified labour than the value which formed the point of departure. This value as such is money. However, this is the case only in itself; it is not posited as such; that which is posited at the outset, which is on hand, is a commodity with a certain (ideal) price, i.e. which exists only ideally [ideell] as a certain sum of money, and which first has to realize itself [sich realisieren] as such in the exchange process, hence has to re-enter the process of simple circulation in order to be posited as money. We now come therefore to the third side of the process in which capital is posited as such.

(3) Looked at precisely, that is, the realization process of capital — and money becomes capital only through the realization process — appears at the same time as its devaluation process [Entwertungsprozess], its demonetization. And this in two respects. First, to the extent that capital does not increase absolute labour time but rather decreases the relative, necessary labour time, by increasing the force of production, to that extent does it reduce the costs of its own production — in so far as it was presupposed as a certain sum of commodities, reduces its exchange value: one part of the capital on hand is constantly devalued owing to a decrease in the costs of production at which it can bereproduced; not because of a decrease in the amount of labour objectified in it, but because of a decrease in the amount of living labour which it is henceforth necessary to objectify in this specific product. This constant devaluation of the existing capital does not belong here, since it already presupposes capital as completed. It is merely to be noted here in order to indicate how later developments are already contained in the general concept of capital. Belongs in the doctrine of the concentration and competition of capitals. — The devaluation being dealt with here is this, that capital has made the transition from the form of money into the form of a commodity, of a product, which has a certain price, which is to be realized. In its money form it existed as value. It now exists as product, and only ideally as price; but not as value as such. In order torealize itself, i.e. to maintain and to multiply itself as value, it would first have to make the transition from the form of money into that of use values (raw material — instrument — wages); but it would thereby lose the form of value; and it now has to enter anew into circulation in order to posit this form of general wealth anew. The capitalist now enters the process of circulation not simply as one engaged in exchange, but as producer,and the others engaged in exchange are, relative to him, consumers. They must exchange money in order to obtain his commodity for their consumption, while he exchanges his product to obtain their money. Suppose that this process breaks down — and the separation by itself implies the possibility of such a miscarriage in the individual case — then the capitalist’s money has been transformed into a worthless product, and has not only not gained a new value, but also lost its original value. But whether this is so or not, in any case devaluation forms one moment of the realization process; which is already simply implied in the fact that the product of the process in its immediate form is not value, but first has to enter anew into circulation in order to be realized as such. Therefore, while capital is reproduced as value and new value in the production process, it is at the same time posited as not-value, as something which first has to be realized as value by means of exchange. The three processes of which capital forms the unity are external; they are separate in time and space. As such, the transition from one into the other, i.e. their unity as regards the individual capitalists, is accidental. Despite their inner unity, they exist independently alongside one another, each as the presupposition of the other. Regarded broadly and as a whole, this inner unity must necessarily maintain itself to the extent that the whole of production rests on capital, and it must therefore realize all the necessary moments of its self-formation, and must contain the determinants necessary to make these moments real. But at the point we have reached so far, capital still does not appear as the determinant of circulation (exchange) itself but merely as one moment of the latter, and it appears to stop being capital just at the point where it enters into circulation. As acommodity, capital now shares the fate of commodities in general; it is a matter of accident whether or not it is exchanged for money, whether its price is realized or not.

In the production process itself — where capital continued to be presupposed as value-its realization appeared totally dependent solely on the relation of itself as objectified labour to living labour; i.e. on the relation of capital to wage labour. But now, as a product, as a commodity, it appears dependent on circulation, which lies outside this process. (In fact, as we have seen, it returns into it as its ground, but also and equally emerges from it again.) [19] As a commodity, it must be (1) a use value and, as such, an object of need, object of consumption; (2) it must be exchanged for its equivalent — in money. The new value can be realized only through a sale.

If it contained objectified labour at a price of 100 thalers before, and now at a price of 110 (the price here merely an expression, in money, of the amount of objectified labour), then this has to be demonstrated through the exchange of the labour objectified in the newly produced commodity for 110 thalers. The product is devalued [entwertet] initially in so far as it must be exchanged for money at all, in order to obtain its form as value again. Inside the production process, realization appeared totally identical with the production of surplus labour (the objectification of surplus time), and hence appeared to have no bounds other than those partly presupposed and partly posited within this process itself, but which ate always posited within it as barriers to be forcibly overcome. There now appear barriers to it which lie outside it. To begin with, even on an entirely superficial inspection, the commodity is an exchange value only in so far as it is at the same time a use value, i.e. an object of consumption (still entirely irrelevant here, what kind of consumption); it ceases to be an exchange value when it ceases to be a use value (since it does not yet exist as money again, but rather still in a specific mode of existence coinciding with its natural quality). Its first barrier, then, isconsumption itself — the need for it. (Given the present presuppositions, there is no basis whatever for speaking of ineffective, non-paying needs; i.e. a need which does not itself possess a commodity or money to give in exchange.) Then, secondly, there has to be an equivalent for it, and, since circulation was presupposed at the outset as a constant magnitude — as having a given volume — but since, on the other hand, capital has created a new value in the production process, it seems indeed as if no equivalent were available for it. Thus, by emerging from the production process and re-entering circulation, capital (a) as production, appears to encounter a barrier,in the available magnitude ofconsumption — of consumption capacity. As a specific use value, its quantity is irrelevant up to a certain point; then, how- ever, at a certain level — since it satisfies only a specific need — it ceases to be required for consumption. As a specific, one-sided, qualitative use value, e.g. grain, its quantity itself is irrelevant only up to a certain level; it is required only in a specific quantity; i.e. in a certain measure. This measure, however, is given partly in its quality as use value — its specific usefulness, applicability — partly in the number of individuals engaged in exchange who have a need for this specific consumption. The number of consumers multiplied by the magnitude of their need for this specific product. Use value in itself does not have the boundlessness of value as such. Given objects can be consumed as objects of needs only up to a certain level. For example: No more than a certain amount of grain is consumed etc. Hence, as use value, the product contains a barrier — precisely the barrier consisting of the need for it — which, however, is measured not by the need of the producers but by the total need of all those engaged in exchange. Where the need for a certain use value ceases, it ceases to be a use value. It is measured as a use value by the need for it. But as soon is it ceases to be a use value, it ceases to be an object of circulation (in so far as it is not money). (b) As new value and as value as such, however, it seems to encounter a barrier in the magnitude of available equivalents, primarily money, not as medium of circulation but as money. The surplus value (distinct, obviously, from the original value) requires a surplus equivalent. This now appears as a second barrier.

(c) Money — i.e. wealth as such, i.e. wealth existing in and because of the exchange for alien objectified labour — originally appeared to collapse into itself [in sich zusammenzufallen] to the extent that it did not proceed to the exchange for alien living labour, i.e. to the production process. Circulation was incapable of renewing itself from within itself. At the same time, the production process now appears to be in a fix, in as much as it is not able to make the transition into the process of circulation. Capital, as production resting on wage labour, presupposes circulation as the necessary condition and moment of the entire motion. This specific form of production presupposes this specific form of exchange which finds its expression in the circulation of money. In order to renew itself, the entire product has to be transformed into money; not as in earlier stages of production, where exchange is by no means concerned with production in its totality, but only with superfluous production and superfluous products.

These are, then, the contradictions which present themselves of their own accord to a simple, objective, non-partisan view. How they are constantly suspended in the system of production resting on capital, but also constantly created again — and are suspended only by force (although this suspension appears up to a certain point merely as a quiet equilibration) — this is another question. The important thing at present is to take note of the existence of these contradictions. All the contradictions of circulation come to life again in a new form. The product as use value is in contradiction with itself as value; i.e. in as much as it exists in a specific quality, as a specific thing, as a product of specific natural properties, as a substance of need in contradiction with its substance as value, which it possesses exclusively on account of its being objectified labour. But this time, this contradiction is posited not merely as it was in circulation, as a merely formal difference; rather the quality of being measured by use value is here firmly determined as the quality of being measured by the total requirement for this product by all those engaged in exchange — i.e. by the amount of total consumption. The latter here appears as measure for it as use value and hence also as exchange value.In simple circulation it had simply to be transposed from the form of a particular use value into the form of exchange value. Its barrier then appeared only in the fact that, [coming] from circulation, it existed in a particular form owing to its natural composition, rather than in the value form in which it could be exchanged for all other commodities directly. What is posited now is that the measure of its availability is given in itsnatural composition itself. In order to be transposed into the general form, the use value has to be present in a limited and specific quantity; aquantity whose measure does not lie in the amount of labour objectified in it, but arises from its nature as use value, in particular, use value for others. At the same time, the previous contradiction, that money for-itself [das für sich seiende Geld] had to proceed to exchangeitself for living labour, now appears even greater, in as much as the surplus money, in order to exist as such,’ or the surplus value, has to exchange itself for surplus value. Hence, as value, it encounters its barrier in alien production, just as, as use value, its barrier is alien consumption; in the latter, its measure is the amount of need for the specific product, in the former, the amount of objectified labour existing in circulation. The indifference of value as such towards use value is thereby brought into just as false a position [Position] as are, on the other side, the substance of value and its measure as objectified labour in general.*

The main point here — where we are concerned with the general concept of capital — is that it is this unity of production and realization,not immediately but only as a process, which is linked to certain conditions, and, as it appeared, external conditions.**

The creation by capital of absolute surplus value — more objectified labour — is conditional upon an expansion, specifically a constant expansion, of the sphere of circulation. The surplus value created at one point requires the creation of surplus value at another point, for which it may be exchanged; if only, initially, the production of more gold and silver, more money, so that, if surplus value cannot directly become capital again, it may exist in the form of money as the possibility of new capital. A precondition of production based on capital is therefore the production of a constantly widening sphere of circulation, whether the sphere itself is directly expanded or whether more points within it are created as points of production. While circulation appeared at first as a constant magnitude, it here appears as a moving magnitude, being expanded by production itself. Accordingly, it already appears as a moment of production itself. Hence, just as capital has the tendency on one side to create ever more surplus labour, so it has the complementary tendency to create more points of exchange; i.e., here, seen from the standpoint of absolute surplus value or surplus labour, to summon up more surplus labour as complement to itself; i.e. at bottom, to propagate production based on capital, or the mode of production corresponding to it. The tendency to create the world market is directly given in the concept of capital itself. Every limit appears as a barrier to be overcome. Initially, to subjugate every moment of production itself to exchange and to suspend the production of direct use values not entering into exchange, i.e. precisely to posit production based on capital in place of earlier modes of production, which appear primitive [naturwüchsig] from its standpoint. Commerce no longer appears here as a function taking place between independent productions for the exchange of their excess, but rather as an essentially all-embracing presupposition and moment of production itself. ***

On the other side, the production of relative surplus value, i.e. production of surplus value based on the increase and development of the productive forces, requires the production of new consumption; requires that the consuming circle within circulation expands as did the productive circle previously. Firstly quantitative expansion of existing consumption; secondly: creation of new needs by propagating existing ones in a wide circle; thirdly: production of new needs and discovery and creation of new use values. In other words, so that the surplus labour gained does not remain a merely quantitative surplus, but rather constantly increases the circle of qualitative differences within labour (hence of surplus labour), makes it more diverse, more internally differentiated. For example, if, through a doubling of productive force, a capital of 50 can now do what a capital of 100 did before, so that a capital of 50 and the necessary labour corresponding to it become free, then, for the capital and labour which have been set free, a new, qualitatively different branch of production must be created, which satisfies and brings forth a new need. The value of the old industry is preserved by the creation of the fund for a new one in which the relation of capital and labour posits itself in a new form. Hence exploration of all of nature in order to discover new, useful qualities in things; universal exchange of the products of all alien climates and lands; new (artificial) preparation of natural objects, by which they are given new use values. * The exploration of the earth in all directions, to discover new things of use as well as new useful qualities of the old; such as new qualities of them as raw materials etc.; the development, hence, of the natural sciences to their highest point; likewise the discovery, creation and satisfaction of new needs arising from society itself; the cultivation of all the qualities of the social human being, production of the same in a form as rich as possible in needs, because rich in qualities and relations — production of this being as the most total and universal possible social product, for, in order to take gratification in a many-sided way, he must be capable of many pleasures [genussfähig], hence cultured to a high degree — is likewise a condition of production founded on capital. This creation of new branches of production, i.e. of qualitatively new surplus time, is not merely the division of labour, but is rather the creation, separate from a given production, of labour with a new use value; the development of a constantly expanding and more comprehensive system of different kinds of labour, different kinds of production, to which a constantly expanding and constantly enriched system of needs corresponds.

Thus, just as production founded on capital creates universal industriousness on one side — i.e. surplus labour, value-creating labour — so does it create on the other side a system of general exploitation of the natural and human qualities, a system of general utility, utilizing science itself just as much as all the physical and mental qualities, while there appears nothing higher in itself, nothing legitimate for itself, outside this circle of social production and exchange. Thus capital creates the bourgeois society, and the universal appropriation of nature as well as of the social bond itself by the members of society. Hence the great civilizing influence of capital; its production of a stage of society in comparison to which all earlier ones appear as mere local developments of humanity and as nature-idolatry. For the first time, nature becomes purely an object for humankind, purely a matter of utility; ceases to be recognized as a power for itself; and the theoretical discovery of its autonomous laws appears merely as a ruse so as to subjugate it under human needs, whether as an object of consumption or as a means of production. In accord with this tendency, capital drives beyond national barriers and prejudices as much as beyond nature worship, as well as all traditional, confined, complacent, encrusted satisfactions of present needs, and reproductions of old ways of life. It is destructive towards all of this, and constantly revolutionizes it, tearing down all the barriers which hem in the development of the forces of production, the expansion of needs, the all-sided development of production, and the exploitation and exchange of natural and mental forces.

But from the fact that capital posits every such limit as a barrier and hence gets ideally beyond it, it does not by any means follow that it hasreally overcome it, and, since every such barrier contradicts its character, its production moves in contradictions which are constantly overcome but just as constantly posited. Furthermore. The universality towards which it irresistibly strives encounters barriers in its own nature, which will, at a certain stage of its development, allow it to be recognized as being itself the greatest barrier to this tendency, and hence will drive towards its own suspension.

Those economists who, like Ricardo, conceived production as directly identical with the self-realization of capital — and hence were heedless of the barriers to consumption or of the existing barriers of circulation itself, to the extent that it must represent counter-values at all points, having in view only the development of the forces of production and the, growth of the industrial population — supply without regard to demand — have therefore grasped the positive essence of capital more correctly and deeply than those who, like Sismondi, emphasized the barriers of consumption and of the available circle of counter-values, although the latter has better grasped the limited nature of production based on capital, its negative one-sidedness. The former more its universal tendency, the latter its particular restrictedness. The whole dispute as to whetheroverproduction is possible and necessary in capitalist production revolves around the point whether the process of the realization of capital within production directly posits its realization in circulation; whether its realization posited in the production process is its real realization. Ricardo himself, of course, has a suspicion that the exchange value of a commodity is not a value apart from exchange, and that it proves itself as a value only in exchange; but he regards the barriers which production thereby encounters as accidental, as barriers which are overcome. He therefore conceives the overcoming of such barriers as being in the essence of capital, although he often becomes absurd in the exposition of that view; while Sismondi, by contrast, emphasizes not only the encounter with the barriers, but their creation by capital itself, and has a vague intuition that they must lead to its breakdown. He therefore wants to put up barriers to production, from the outside, through custom, law etc., which of course, as merely external and artificial barriers, would necessarily be demolished by capital. On the other side, Ricardo and his entire school never understood the really modern crises, in which this contradiction of capital discharges itself in great thunderstorms which increasingly threaten it as the foundation of society and of production itself.

The attempts made from the orthodox economic standpoint to deny that there is general overproduction at any given moment are indeed childish. Either, in order to rescue production based on capital (see e.g. MacCulloch), [22] all its specific qualities are ignored and their specific character as forms omitted, and capital is conceived as its inverse, as simple production for immediate use value. Totally abstracts away the essential relations. In fact, in order to cleanse it of contradictions, it is virtually dropped and negated. [23] — Or, like e.g. Mill, more perceptively (copied from the dull Say): supply and demand are allegedly identical, and should therefore necessarily correspond. [24] Supply, namely, is allegedly a demand measured by its own amount. Here a great confusion: (1) This identity of supply, so that it is a demand measured by its own amount, is true only to the extent that it is exchange value = to a certain amount of objectified labour. To that extent it is the measure of its own demand — as far as value is concerned. But, as such a value, it first has to be realized through the exchange for money, and as object of exchange for money it depends (2) on its use value, but as use value it depends on the mass of needs present for it, the demand for it. But as use value it is absolutely not measured by the labour time objectified in it, but rather a measuring rod is applied to it which lies outside its nature as exchange value. Or, it is further said: Supply itself is demand for a certain product of a certain value (which expresses itself in the demanded amount of the product). Then, if the supplied product is unsaleable, it proves that too much has been produced of the supplied commodity and too little of what the supplier demands. Thus allegedly there is no general overproduction, but merely overproduction of one or a few articles, as against underproduction of others. This again forgets that what the producing capital demands is not a specific use value, butvalue for itself, i.e. money — money not in the role of medium of circulation, but as a general form of wealth, or a form of the realization of capital in one regard, a return to its original dormant state in the other. But the assertion that too little money is produced means indeed nothing else than what is being asserted, that production is not identical with realization, i.e. that it is overproduction, or, what is the same, that it is production which cannot be transformed into money, into value; production which does not pass the test of circulation. Hence the illusion of the money-artists (including Proudhon etc.), that it is a case of lack of means of circulation — on account of the high cost of money — and that more money has to be created artificially. [25] (See also the Birminghamites, e.g. the Gemini.) [26] Or it is said that production and consumptionare the same from the social standpoint, that hence an excess or disproportion between the two can never take place. Social standpoint here means the abstraction which ignores precisely the specific social structure and relations and hence also the contradictions which emerge from it. Storch, for example, remarked quite correctly against Say that a great part of consumption is not consumption for immediate use, but consumption in the production process, e.g. consumption of machines, coal, oil, required buildings etc. [27] This consumption is in no way identical with that at issue here. Malthus and Sismondi have likewise correctly remarked that e.g. the workers’ consumption is in no way in itself asufficient consumption for the capitalist. [28] The moment of realization is here simply thrown out entirely, and production and consumption are simply equated, i.e. not production based on capital but production based directly on use value is presupposed. Or, expressed socialistically[29]: labour and the exchange of labour, i.e. production and its exchange (circulation), are allegedly the entire process; how then could a disproportion arise except by oversight, miscalculation? Labour is here regarded not as wage labour, nor capital as capital. On one side, the consequences of production based on capital are accepted, on the other side the presuppositions and conditions of these consequences are denied — necessary labour as posited by and for surplus labour. Or — e.g. Ricardo — since production is itself regulated by the costs of production, it allegedly regulates itself, and if one branch of production does not realize itself then capital withdraws from it to a certain degree and throes itself on another point where it is needed. [30] But apart from the fact that this necessity of evening-up already presupposes the unevenness, the disharmony and hence the contradiction — in a general crisis of overproduction the contradiction is not between the different kinds of productive capital, but between industrial and loanable capital — between capital as directly involved in the production process and capital as money existing (relatively) outside of it. Finally: proportionate production (this is already in Ricardo also, etc.) only when it is capital’s tendency to distribute itself in correct proportions, but equally its necessary tendency — since it strives limitlessly for surplus labour, surplus productivity, surplus consumption etc. — to drive beyond the proportion. (In competition this inner tendency of capital appears as a compulsion exercised over it by alien capital, which drives it forward beyond the correct proportion with a constant march, march! Free competition, as Mr Wakefield correctly sniffs out in his commentary on Smith, has never yet been developed by the economists, no matter how much they prattle about it, and [no matter] how much it is the basis of the entirety of bourgeois production, production resting on capital. It has been understood only negatively: i.e. as negation of monopolies, the guild system, legal regulations etc. As negation of feudal production. But it also has to be something for itself, after all, since a mere 0 is an empty negation, abstraction, from a barrier which immediately arises again e.g. in the form of monopoly, natural monopolies etc. Conceptually, competition is nothing other than the inner nature of capital, its essential character, appearing in and realized as the reciprocal interaction of many capitals with one another, the inner tendency as external necessity.) (Capital exists and can only exist as many capitals, and its self-determination therefore appears as their reciprocal interaction with one another.) Capital is just as much the constant positing as the suspension of proportionate production. The existing proportion always has to be suspended by the creation of surplus values and the increase of productive forces. But this demand, that production should be expanded simultaneously and at once in the same proportion, makes external demands upon capital which in no way arise out of it itself; at the same time, the departure from the given proportion in one branch of production drives all of them out of it, and in unequal proportions. So far (for we have not yet reached the aspect of capital in which it is circulating capital, and still have circulation on one side and capital ‘on the other, or production as its presupposition, or ground from which it arises), even from the standpoint of production alone, circulation contains the relation to consumption and production — in other words, surplus labour as counter value [Gegenwert], and differentiation of labour in an ever richer form.

The simple concept of capital has to contain its civilizing tendencies etc. in themselves; they must not, as in the economics books until now, appear merely as external consequences. Likewise the contradictions which are later released, demonstrated as already latent within it.

So far in the realization process, we have only the indifference of the individual moments towards one another; that they determine each other internally and search for each other externally; but that they may or may not find each other, balance each other, correspond to each other. The inner necessity of moments which belong together, and their indifferent, independent existence towards one another, are already a foundation of contradictions.

Still, we are by no means finished. The contradiction between production and realization — of which capital, by its concept, is the unity — has to be grasped more intrinsically than merely as the indifferent, seemingly reciprocally independent appearance of the individual moments of the process, or rather of the totality of processes.

To approach the matter more closely: First of all, there is a limit, not inherent to production generally, but to production founded on capital. This limit is double, or rather the same regarded from two directions. It is enough here to demonstrate that capital contains a particular restriction of production — which contradicts its general tendency to drive beyond every barrier to production — in order to have uncovered the foundation of overproduction, the fundamental contradiction of developed capital; in order to have uncovered, more generally, the fact that capital is not, as the economists believe, the absolute form for the development of the forces of production — not the absolute form for that, nor the form of wealth which absolutely coincides with the development of the forces of production. The stages of production which precede capital appear, regarded from its standpoint, as so many fetters upon the productive forces. It itself, however, correctly understood, appears as the condition of the development of the forces of production as long as they require an external spur, which appears at the same time as their bridle. It is a discipline over them, which becomes superfluous and burdensome at a certain level of their development, just like the guilds etc. These inherent limits have to coincide with the nature of capital, with the essential character of its very concept. These necessary limits are:

(1) Necessary labour as limit on the exchange value of living labour capacity or of the woes of the industrial population; 
(2) Surplus value as limit on surplus labour time; and, in regard to relative surplus labour time, as barrier to the development of the forces of production; 
(3) What is the same, the transformation into money, exchange value as such, as limit of production; or exchange founded on value, or value founded on exchange, as limit of production. This is:

(4) again the same as restriction of the production of use values by exchange value; or that real wealth has to take on a specific form distinct from itself, a form not absolutely identical with it, in order to become an object of production at all.

However, these limits come up against the general tendency of capital (which showed itself in simple circulation, where money as medium of circulation appeared as merely vanishing, without independent necessity, and hence not as limit and barrier) to forget and abstract from:

(1) necessary labour as limit of the exchange value of living labour capacity; (2) surplus value as the limit of surplus labour and development of the forces of production; (3) money as the limit of production; (4) the restriction of the production of use values by exchange value.

Hence overproduction: i.e. the sudden recall of all these necessary moments of production founded on capital; hence general devaluation in consequence of forgetting them. Capital, at the same time, [is] thereby faced with the task of launching its attempt anew from a higher level of the development of productive forces, with each time greater collapse as capital. Clear, therefore, that the higher the development of capital, the more it appears as barrier to production — hence also to consumption — besides the other contradictions which make it appear as burdensome barrier to production and intercourse.

<The entire credit system, and the over-trading, over-speculation etc. connected with it, rests on the necessity of expanding and leaping over the barrier to circulation and the sphere of exchange. This appears more colossally, classically, in the relations between peoples than in the relations between individuals. Thus e.g. the English forced to lend to foreign nations, in order to have them as customers. At bottom, the English capitalist exchanges doubly with productive English capital, (1) as himself, (2) as Yankee etc. or in whatever other form he has placed his money.>

<Capital as barrier to production is pointed out: e.g. Hodgskin [32]; ‘In the present state, every accumulation of capital adds to the amount of profit demanded from the labourer, and extinguishes all that labour which would only procure the labourer his comfortable existence… Profitthe limitation of production.’ (H[odgskin, Notebook,] p. 46.) [33] Through foreign trade, the barrier of the sphere of exchange [is] expanded. and [it is] made possible for the capitalist to consume more surplus labour: ‘In a series of years the world can take no more from us than we can take from the world. Even the profits made by our merchants in their foreign trade are paid by the consumer of the return goods here. Foreign trade mere barter, and as such exchange for the convenience and enjoyment of the capitalist. But he can consume commodities to a certain degree only. He exchanges cottons etc. for the wines and silks of foreign countries. But these represent only the surplus labour of our own population as much as the clothes and cottons, and in this way the destructive power of the capitalist is increased beyond all bounds.Thus nature is outwitted.’ (Source and Remedy etc., pp. 27, 28.) [34] How the glut is connected with the barrier of necessary labour: ‘The very meaning of an increased demand by the labourers is, a disposition to take less themselves, and leave a larger share for their employers; and if it be said that this, by diminishing consumption, increases glut, I can only say that glut then is synonymous with high profits.’ (Enquiry, London, 1821, p. 12.) [35] Herein the one side of the contradiction completely expressed. ‘The practice of stopping labour at that point where it can produce, in addition to the subsistence of the labourer, a profit for the capitalist, opposed to the natural law which regulates production.’ (H[odgskin, Notebook,] 41, IX.) [36] The more the capital accumulates, the more the whole amount of profit demanded does so; so there arises an artificial check to production and population.’ (H[odgskin, Notebook,] [37] The contradictions between capital as instrument of production in general and as instrument of production of value, developed as follows by Malthus (X, 40 seq.): ‘Profits are invariably measured by value and never by quantity… The wealth of a country depends partly upon the quantity of produce obtained by its labour, and partly upon such an adaptation of this quantity to the wants and powers of the existing population as is calculated to give it value. Nothing can be more certain than that it is not determined by either of them alone. But where wealth and value are perhaps the most nearly connected, is in the necessity of the latter to the production of the former. The value set upon Commodities, that is the sacrifice of labour which people are willing to make in order to sustain them, in the actual state of things may be said to be almost the sole cause of the existence of wealth… The consumptive demand occasioned only by the workmen employed in productive labour can never alone furnish a motive to the accumulation and employment of capital… the powers of production alone do not secure the creation of a proportionate degree of wealth, as little as the increase of population. What it requires in addition is such a distribution of produce, and such an adaptation of this produce to the wants of those who are to consume it, as constantly to increase the exchangeable value of the whole mass, i.e. the powers of production are only called fully into motion by the unchecked demand for all that is produced … [38] This is however brought about on the one hand by constantly new branches of industry (and reciprocal expansion of the old), by means of which the old obtain new markets etc. Production indeed itself creates demand, in that it employs more workers in the same branch of business, and creates new branches of business, where new capitalists again employ new workers and at the same time alternately become market for the old; but the demand created by the productive labourer himself can never be an adequate demand, because it does not go to the full extent of what he produces. If it did, there would be no profit, consequently no motive to employ him. The very existence of a profit upon any commodity presupposes a demand exterior to that of the labourer who has produced it.’ ‘Both labourers and capital may be redundant compared with the means of employing them profitably.’>[39]

<To be noted for (3), to which we shall soon proceed, that the provisional accumulation, as which capital appears vis-a-vis labour, and by means of which it is the command over labour, is at first nothing else but surplus labour itself in the form of surplus produce, at the same timeclaim on alien co-existing labour.>

The point here, of course, is not yet to develop overproduction specifically, but only the predisposition to it, such as it is posited in primitive form in the capital relation itself. We must also, therefore, omit here any regard for the other possessing and consuming etc. classes, which do not produce but live from their revenue, hence exchange with capital; form centres of exchange for it. We can consider them only partly (but better, along with accumulation, )in so far as they are most important for the historic formation of capital.

In production based on slavery, as well as in patriarchal agricultural-industrial production, where the greatest part of the population directly satisfies the greatest part of its needs directly by its labour, the sphere of circulation and exchange is still very narrow; and more particularly in the former, the slave does not come into consideration as engaged in exchange at all. But in production based on capital, consumption is mediated at all points by exchange, and labour never has a direct use value for those who are working. Its entire basis is labour as exchange value and as the creation of exchange value.

Well. First of all

the wage worker as distinct from the slave is himself an independent centre of circulation, someone who exchanges, posits exchange value, and maintains exchange value through exchange. Firstly: in the exchange between that part of capital which is specified as wages, and living labour capacity, the exchange value of this part of capital is posited immediately, before capital again emerges from the production process to enter into circulation, or this can be conceived as itself still an act of circulation. Secondly: To each capitalist, the total mass of all workers, with the exception of his own workers, appear not as workers, but as consumers, possessors of exchange values (wages), money, which they exchange for his commodity. They are so many centres of circulation with whom the act of exchange begins and by whom the exchange value of capital is maintained. They form a proportionally very great part — although not quite so great as is generally imagined, if one focuses on the industrial worker proper — of all consumers. The greater their number — the number of the industrial population — and the mass of money at their disposal, the greater the sphere of exchange for capital. We have seen that it is the tendency of capital to increase the industrial population as much as possible.


Actually, the relation of one capitalist to the workers of another capitalist is none of our concern here. It only shows every capitalist’s illusion, but alters nothing in the relation of capital in general to labour. Every capitalist knows this about his worker, that he does not relate to him as producer to consumer, and [he therefore] wishes to restrict his consumption, i.e. his ability to exchange, his wage, as much as possible. Of course he would like the workers of other capitalists to be the greatest consumers possible of his own commodity. But the relation of every capitalist to his own workers is the relation as such of capital and labour, the essential relation. But this is just how the illusion arises — true for the individual capitalist as distinct from all the others — that apart from his workers the whole remaining working class confronts him as consumerand participant in exchange, as money-spender, and not as worker. It is forgotten that, as Malthus says, ‘the very existence of a profit upon any commodity pre-supposes a demand exterior to that of the labourer who has produced it’, [40] and hence the demand of the labourer himself can never be an adequate demand. Since one production sets the other into motion and hence creates consumers for itself in the alien capital’s workers, it seems to each individual capital that the demand of the working class posited by production itself is an ‘adequate demand’. On one side, this demand which production itself posits drives it forward, and must drive it forward beyond the proportionin which it would have to produce with regard to the workers; on the other side, if the demand exterior to the demand of the labourer himself disappears or shrinks up, then the collapse occurs. Capital itself then regards demand by the worker — i.e. the payment of the wages on which this demand rests — not as a gain but as a loss. I.e. the immanent relation between capital and labour asserts itself. Here again it is the competition among capitals, their indifference to and independence of one another, which brings it about that the individual capital relates to the workers of the entire remaining capital not as to workers: hence is driven beyond the right proportion. What precisely distinguishes capital from the master-servant relation is that the worker confronts him as consumer and possessor of exchange values, and that in the form of the possessor of money, in the form of money he becomes a simple centre of circulation — one of its infinitely many centres, in which his specificity as worker is extinguished.[*]

To begin with: capital forces the workers beyond necessary labour to surplus labour. Only in this way does it realize itself, and create surplus value. But on the other hand, it posits necessary labour only to the extent and in so far as it is surplus labour and the latter is realizable assurplus value. It posits surplus labour, then, as the condition of the necessary, and surplus value as the limit of objectified labour, of value as such. As soon as it cannot posit value, it does not posit necessary labour; and, given its foundation, it cannot be otherwise. It therefore restricts labour and the creation of value — by an artificial check, as the English express it — and it does so on the same grounds as and to the same extent that it posits surplus labour and surplus value. By its nature, therefore, it posits a barrier to labour and value-creation, in contradiction to its tendency to expand them boundlessly. And in as much as it both posits a barrier specific to itself, and on the other side equally drives over and beyond every barrier, it is the living contradiction. [**]

While capital thus, on one side, makes surplus labour and its exchange for surplus labour into the precondition of necessary labour and hence of the positing of labour capacity [Arbeitsvermögen] as a centre of exchange — hence already narrows and attaches conditions to the sphere of exchange from this side — it is just as essential to it, on the other side, to restrict the worker’s consumption to the amount necessary to reproduce his labour capacity — to make the value which expresses necessary labour the barrier to the realization of labour capacity and hence of the worker’s exchange capacity, and to strive to reduce the relation of this necessary labour to surplus labour to the minimum. [Thus we have] a new barrier to the sphere of exchange, which is, however, at the same time identical, as is the first, with the tendency of capital to relate to every limit on its self-realization as to a barrier. The boundless enlargement of its value — boundless creation of value — therefore absolutely identical here with the positing of barriers to the sphere of exchange, i.e. the possibility of realization — the realization of the value posited in the production process.

The same with the productive force. On the one hand, the necessary tendency of capital to raise it to the utmost, in order to increase relativesurplus time. On the other hand, thereby decreases necessary labour time, hence the worker’s exchange capacity. Further, as we have seen, relative surplus value rises much more slowly than the force of production, and moreover this proportion grows ever smaller as the magnitude reached by the productive forces is greater. But the mass of products grows in a similar proportion — if not, then new capital would be set free — as well as labour — which did not enter into circulation. But to the same degree as the mass of products grows, so grows the difficulty of realizing the labour time contained in them — because the demands made on consumption rise. (We are still concerned here only with the way in which the capital realization process is its devaluation process. Out of place here would be the question how, while it has the tendency toheighten the productive forces boundlessly, it also and equally makes one-sided, limits etc. the main force of production, the human being himself, and has the tendency in general to restrict the forces of production.)

Capital, then, posits necessary labour time as the barrier to the exchange value of living labour capacity; surplus labour time as the barrier to necessary labour time; and surplus value as the barrier to surplus labour time; while at the same time it drives over and beyond all these barriers, to the extent that it posits labour capacity opposite itself as something simply engaged in exchange, as money, and surplus labour time as the only barrier, because creatrix of surplus value. (Or, from the first aspect, it posits the exchange of surplus values as the barrier to the exchange of the necessary values.)

In one and the same moment, it posits the values on hand in circulation — or, what is the same, the proportion of values posited by it to the values contained in it and presupposed in circulation — as the barrier, the necessary barrier to its value-creation; on the other hand, its productivity as the only barrier and creatrix of values. It therefore drives constantly on one side towards its own devaluation, on the other side towards the obstruction of the productive forces, and of labour which objectifies itself in values.

Overproduction. — Proudhon (How is it possible that in the price of the commodity which the worker buys, he pays the profit etc. and still obtains his necessary wages). — Price of the commodity and labour time. Surplus etc. (Price and value etc.) — Capitalist does not sell too dearbut still above what the thing costs him. — Price (fractional). Bastiat. Decline of the fractional price. — Price can fall below value without damage to capital. Number and unit (measure) important in the multiplication of prices

(This nonsense about the impossibility of overproduction (in other words, the assertion of the immediate identity of capital’s process of production and its process of realization) has been expressed in a manner which is at least sophistical, i.e. ingenious, as mentioned above, [41] by James Mill, in the formula that supply = its own demand, that supply and demand therefore balance, which means in other words the same thing as that value is determined by labour time, and hence that exchange adds nothing to it, and which forgets only that exchange does have to take place and that this depends (in the final instance) on the use value. Mill says, then, that if demand and supply do not balance, this comes about because too much has been produced of one specific product (the supplied product) and too little of the other (the one in demand). This too much and too little concerns not the exchange value, but the use value. More of the supplied product exists than is ‘needed’; this is what it boils down to. Hence that overproduction comes from use value and therefore from exchange itself. This in stultified form in Say — products are exchanged only for products; [42] therefore, at most, too much has been produced of one and too little of another. Forgetting: (1) that values are exchanged for values, and a product exchanges for another only to the extent that it is value; i.e. that it is or becomes money; (2) it exchanges for labour. The good gentleman adopts the standpoint of simple exchange, in which indeed no overproduction is possible, for it is indeed concerned not with exchange value but with use value. Overproduction takes place in connection with realization, not otherwise. [43]>

Proudhon, who certainly hears the bells ringing but never knows where, therefore sees the origin of overproduction in the fact ‘that the worker cannot buy back his product’. [44] By this he understands that interest and profit are added on to it; or that the price of the product is an overcharge on top of its real value. This demonstrates first of all that he understands nothing about the determination of value, which, generally speaking, can include no overcharge. In practical commerce, capitalist A can screw capitalist B. The one pockets what the other loses. If we add them both together, then the sum of their exchange = the sum of the labour time objectified in it, of which capitalist A has merely pocketed more than his share in relation to B. From all the profits made by capital, i.e. the total mass of capitalists, there is deducted (1) the constant part of capital; (2) the wage, or, the amount of objectified labour time necessary in order to reproduce living labour capacity. They can therefore divide nothing among themselves other than the surplus value. The proportion — just or unjust — in which they distribute this surplus value among themselves alters absolutely nothing about exchange or about the exchange relation between capital and labour.

It might be said that necessary labour time (i.e. the wage), which therefore excludes profit, and is rather to be deducted from it, is itself again determined by the prices of products which already include profit. Where else could the profit come from which the capitalist who does not directly employ this worker makes in the exchange with him? For example, the spinner’s worker exchanges his wages for so many bushels of grain. But in the price of each bushel, the profit of the farmer, i.e. of capital, is already included. So that the price of the consumption goods which are bought by necessary labour itself already includes surplus labour time. It is clear, first of all, that the wage paid by the spinner to his workmen must be high enough to buy the necessary bushel of wheat, regardless of what profit for the farmer may be included in the price of the bushel of wheat; but that, likewise, on the other side, the wage which the farmer pays his workers must be high enough to procure for them the necessary quantity of clothing, regardless of what profit for the weaver and the spinner may be included in the price of these articles of clothing.

The puzzle arises simply because (1) price and value are being mixed up; (2) relations are brought in which are irrelevant to the determination of value of such. Suppose initially — and this is the conceptual relation — that capitalist A himself produces all the consumption goods which the worker needs, or which represent the sum of use values in which his necessary labour objectifies itself. Then, with the money which he obtains from the capitalist — money appears in this transaction only as medium of circulation — the worker would have to buy back from the capitalist, with that money, a fractional part — the part representing his necessary labour — of his product. The price of a fractional part of capitalist A’s product is of course the same for the worker as for everyone else engaged in exchange. From the moment he buys from the capitalist, his specific quality as worker is extinguished; the money contains no trace of the relation in which, or of the operation by which, it was obtained; in circulation he confronts the capitalist simply as M, and the capitalist confronts him as C; as realizer of the price of C, which is hence presupposed for him just as for every other representative of M, i.e. buyer. Good. But in the price of the fractional part of the commodity which he buys, the profit is included in which the surplus value going to the capitalist appears. If his necessary labour time, therefore, represents 20 thalers = a certain fractional part of the product, it follows that, if the profit is 10%, the capitalist sells him the commodity for 22 thalers.

That is what Proudhon thinks, and concludes from it that the worker cannot buy back his product, i.e. the fractional part of the total product which objectifies his necessary labour. (We will come back directly to his other conclusion, that therefore capital cannot adequately exchange,hence overproduction.) To make the matter tangible, say that the worker’s 20 thalers = 4 bushels of grain. Consequently — if 20 thalers is the value of the 4 bushels expressed in money — if the capitalist sells them for 22, then the worker could not buy back the 4 bushels, or rather he could buy only 3 7/11 bushels. In other words, he imagines that the monetary transaction distorts the relation. 20 thalers is the price of necessary labour = 4 bushels; and the capitalist pays this to the worker; but as soon as the latter presents his 20 thalers and asks for the 4 bushels, he gets only 3 7/11. Since he would thereby receive less than the necessary wage, he could not live at all, and thus Mr Proudhon proves more than he intends.[*]

But the presupposition, if you please, is wrong. If 5 thalers expresses the value of a bushel, i.e. the labour time objectified in it, and if 4 bushels express the necessary wages of labour, then capitalist A sells these 4 bushels not, as Proudhon thinks, for 22 but for 20 thalers. But the thing is this: let the total product (including necessary and surplus labour time) equal 110 thalers = 22 bushels; let 16 of these bushels = 80 thalers, represent the capital invested in seed, machinery etc.; 4 bushels = 20 thalers for necessary labour time; 2 bushels = 10 thalers, surplus labour time. The capitalist sells each bushel at 5 thalers, the necessary value of the bushel, and nevertheless he makes a gain of 10% on each bushel, or 5/10 of a thaler, 1/2 a thaler = 15 silver groschen. How? Because he sells 22×5 instead of 20×5. We can here equate to 0 the additional capital he would have to lay out in order to produce 2 additional bushels, since these can dissolve in pure surplus labour, more thorough ploughing, elimination of weeds, procurement of mineral fertilizer which, say, costs him nothing, etc. The value contained in the 2 surplus bushels has costhim nothing, hence makes up a surplus above his expenditures. If he sells 20 of the 22 bushels for what they cost him, for 100 thalers, plus 2, which cost him nothing — but whose value = the labour contained in them — for 10 thalers, then it is the same for him as if he sold all of them, each bushel for 15 silver groschen more than it cost him. (For 1/2 a thaler or 10% of 5 thalers = 5/10.) Therefore, although he makes 2 thalers on the 4 bushels he sells to the worker, the worker obtains each bushel at its necessary value. The capitalist makes 2 thalers on them only because, beside these 4 bushels, he sells 18 additional ones at the identical price. If he sold only 16, he would make nothing; for then he would sell a total of: 5×20 =100, his invested capital.

Indeed, in manufacturing, too, it is possible that the capitals outlays do not increase, while a surplus value is sold nevertheless; i.e. it is not necessary that the outlay in raw material and machinery should grow. Assume that the same product obtains a higher finish through labour by hand — the mass of required raw material and instrument held constant — and hence its use value, therefore the use value of the product, increases, not in quantity, but in quality, owing to the increased hand labour employed on it. Its exchange value — the labour objectified in it — simply grows in relation to this labour. If the capitalist then sells for 10% more, then the worker gets paid the fractional part of the product, expressed in money, which represents necessary labour; and if the product could be divided, then the worker could buy this fractional part. The capitalists profit would come not from overcharging the worker for this fractional part, but from the fact that in the whole of the product he sells a fractional part which he has not paid for, and which represents, precisely, surplus labour time. The product is always divisible as value; in its natural form, it need not be so. Profit here always comes from the fact that the whole value contains a fractional part which is not paid, and hence a fractional part of surplus labour is paid in each fractional part of the whole. So in the above example. When the capitalist sells 22 bushels, i.e. 2 which represent surplus labour, it is the same as if he sold an extra 1/10 of a bushel per bushel, i.e. 1/10 surplus value. If e.g. only one clock has been produced, where the relation of labour, capital and surplus value is the same, then the quality of the clock has been raised 1/10 in value by 1/10 labour time which costs the capitalist nothing.

Third case, that the capitalist, as is usual in manufacturing (but not in extractive industry), needs more raw material (let the instrument remain constant; however, nothing is changed if it, too, is variable) in which the surplus labour time objectifies itself. (Actually this does not belong here yet, for capital here can or must just as well be assumed as having also produced the raw material, e.g. the cotton, and surplus production at any point has to reduce itself to mere surplus labour, or, what is rather the reality, presupposes simultaneous surplus labour at all points of circulation.) Assume that he spins up 25 lb. of cotton, which cost him 50 thalers, and for which he requires machinery (which we will assume to be entirely consumed in the production process) at 30 thalers, and wages 20 thalers, for 25 lb. of twist, which he sells at 110. He sells each pound of twist, then, for 4 2/3 thalers, or 4 thalers 12 silver groschen. The worker thus obtains 4 6/11 lb. of twist, if he wants to buy it again. If the worker were working for himself, he would likewise sell the pound for 4 thalers 12 silver groschen and make no profit — presupposing that he performs only the necessary labour; but he would spin up less cotton.

As we know, the value of a pound of twist consists exclusively of the amount of labour time objectified in it. Now suppose that the value of the pound of twist = 5 thalers. Given that 4/5, i.e. 4 thalers, represent cotton, instrument etc.; then 1 thaler represents the labour realized in the cotton by means of the instrument. If the worker, in order to live from spinning, needs say 20 thalers per month, then — since he earns 1 thaler for spinning 1 lb. of twist, but needs 20 — he would have to spin 20 lb.. of twist. If he himself owned the cotton, material etc., and were working for himself, hence were his own master, then he would have to sell 20 lb. of twist; since he would earn only 1/5 on each, one thaler, and 1×20 = 20. If he works for the capitalist, then the labour which spins up 20 lb. of cotton only represents the necessary labour; for, by presupposition, of the 20 lb. of twist or 20 x 5 = 100 thalers, 80 thalers only represent the already purchased cotton and instrument, and the newly reproduced value represents nothing but necessary labour. Of the 20 lb. of twist, 4 lb. = 20 thalers would represent necessary labour, and 16 nothing more than the constant part of capital. 16×5 = 80 thalers. Each additional pound which the capitalist orders to be produced over and above the 20 contains 1/5 surplus labour, surplus value for him. (Objectified labour which he has sold without having paid for it.) If he orders 1 more pound spun, he gains 1 thaler; 10 lb, more, 10 thalers. Out of 10 lb. or 50 thalers, the capitalist would have 40 thalers to replace his investment and 10 thalers of surplus labour; or 8 lb. of twist with which to buy the material for 10 (machinery and cotton), and 2 lb. of twist, or their value, which have cost him nothing. If we now summarize the capitalist’s accounts, we find that he has invested, in thalers

  Wages Surplus value
80 + 40 = 120 (raw material, instrument, etc.) 20 10
  120 20 10 = 150

Altogether he has produced 30 lb. of twist (30×5 = 150); the pound at 5 thalers, the exact value of the pound, i.e. purely determined by the labour objectified in it, and deriving value only from the latter. Of this 30 lb., 24 represent constant capital, 4 lb. go for wages, and 2 form thesurplus value. Calculating it on the basis of his total investment, 140 thalers or 28 lb., as the capitalist himself does, this surplus value forms 1/14 = 7 1/7% (although, in the example given, the surplus value amounts to 50% on labour).

Now assume that the productivity of labour grows to the extent that he is capable of spinning 40 lb. with the same wage cost. According to our assumption he would sell these 40 lb. at their real value, i.e. the pound at 5 thalers, of which 4 thalers is labour objectified in cotton etc., 1 thaler is newly added labour. He would then sell:

40 lb. – the lb. @ 5 thalers = 40×5 = 200; from these 40 lb. deduct

20 lb. for necessary labor = 100  
    On the first 20 lb. he would have made not a farthing;
of the remaining hundred, take off 4/5 = 4×20 = 80.
  80 for material, etc. Leaves:
  &20  thalers.

On an investment of 200 thalers the capitalist would have earned 20, or 10%. 10% on total investment; but in fact 20 on the second hundred thalers or second 20 lb., in which he did not pay the objectified labour. Now assume that he is capable of making double that, say

lb. Thalers  
80 400 Of this, take off 20 lb. for [necessary labor]
20 for necessary labour etc. = 100  
Leaves: 300 Of these, take off 4/5 for material
  240 etc.
Leaves:   60 A profit of 60 on 400 is = 6 on 40 = 15%

In fact in the above example the capitalist’s investment is only 180; on this he makes 20, or 11 1/9%.

The smaller the part of the outlay becomes which represents necessary labour, the greater the gain, although it stands in no obvious relation to the real surplus value, i.e. surplus labour. For example. In order for the capitalist to gain 10%, he has to spin 40 lb. of twist; the worker needs to spin only 20 = necessary labour. Surplus labour = necessary labour, 100% surplus value. This is our old law. But this is not the matter at issue here.

In the above example with the 40 lb., the real value of the pound is 5 thalers, and, like the capitalist, the worker himself, if he conducted his own business as a worker (and could advance himself enough funds to be able to realize the raw material etc. to the extent necessary to allow him to live as a worker), would sell the pound at 5 thalers. He would, however, produce only 20 lb., and from its sale he would use 4/5 to obtain new raw material, and 1/5 to live. The only thing he would make out of the 100 thalers would be his wages. The capitalist’s gain comes not from selling the pound too dear — he sells it at its exact value — but from selling it above the costs of production, his costs (not the costs, for the 1/5 costs the worker surplus labour). If he sold at less than 5 thalers, he would be selling below the value, and the buyer would have the 1/5 of labour contained in every pound of twist above the investment etc., for nothing. But the capitalist calculates in this manner:

Value of 1 pound      =     5 thalers
          of 40 pounds  = 200 thalers; from which take off costs:
    20 Leaves 20.

What he calculates is not that he gains 20 thalers out of the second 100 thalers, but that he gains 20 on his entire investment of… 180 thalers. This gives him a profit of 11 1/9%, instead of 20. He calculates further that, in order to make this profit, he has to sell 40 lb. 40 lb. at 5 thalers gives him not 1/5, or 20%, but 20 thalers distributed over 40 lb., or 1/2 a thaler per pound. At the price for which he sells the pound, he makes 1/2 a thaler out of 5 thalers; or 1 out of 10 thalers; 10% of the selling price. The price is determined by the price of the fractional unit (1 pound) multiplied by the number to be sold; here 1 pound at 5 thalers×40. While this determination of price is correct for the capitalists pocket, it is equally liable to lead one astray theoretically, in as much as it now seems as if an overcharge above the real value took place in each individual pound, and the origin of the surplus value in each individual pound has become invisible. This determination of price by the multiplication of the value of the unit (measure) of the use value (pound, yard, ton etc.) with the number of these units produced is important later in the theory of prices. There follows from it among other things that a decline in the price of the unit and an increase in the number of units — brought about by growth of the productive forces — shows that profit increases in relation with labour, or that the proportion [Verhältnis] of necessary labour declines in relation [im Verhältnis] to surplus labour — and not the opposite, as is the opinion of Mr Bastiat etc. [45] E.g. if labour grew, owing to productivity, to the point where the worker was producing twice as many pounds in the same time as before — presupposing that 1 lb. of twist renders him entirely the same service, regardless of its cost, and that twist, clothing, is all he needs to live — then the value added by labour to 20 lb. of twist would no longer amount to 1/5 but now only to 1/10, because he would be transforming the 20 lb. cotton into twist in 1/2 the time. To the 80 thalers which the raw material cost, there would then be added not 20 thalers but only 10. The 20 lb. would cost 90 thalers and each pound 90/20 or 4 10/20 thalers. But if the total labour time remained the same, then labour would now transform 80 lb. of cotton into twist, instead of 40. 80 lb. twist, the pound at 4 9/20 thalers, = 356 thalers. [46] The capitalist’s account would be

Total receipts 356 thalers; deduct for labour
  266 Of which, take off for investment etc.
  239 17/89  
    26 72/89 The capitalist’s gain thus 26 72/89 instead of
20. Say 27 (which a little too high (17/89 too
high)). His total outlays etc. 330; over 
12%, although he would make less on 
the individual pound.

The capitalist’s gain from the value of the measure (unit) of use value — pound, yard, quarter etc. — decreases in proportion as the relation of living labour to raw material etc. — of newly added labour — decreases; i.e. the less labour time is necessary to give the raw material the form which the unit expresses. Yard of cloth etc. But on the other side, — since this identical with the increased productivity of labour, or the growth of surplus labour time — the number of these units grows, units in which surplus labour time is contained, i.e. labour time not paid for.

It further follows from the above that the price can fall below the value, and capital can still make a gain; he must sell, however, a number multiplied by the unit large enough to form a surplus over the number multiplied by the unit which forms the necessary price of labour. If the relation of labour to raw material etc. is 1/5, then he can sell at e.g. only 1/10 above the constant value, since the surplus labour costs himnothing. He then makes a present of 1/10 of the surplus labour to the consumer and realizes only 1/10 for himself. This very important in competition; overlooked in particular by Ricardo. The determination of prices is founded on the determination of values, but new elements enter in. The price, which originally appeared only as the value expressed in money, becomes further determined as itself a specific magnitude. If 5 thalers is the value of a pound of twist, i.e. the same labour time as is contained in 5 thalers is contained in 1 pound of twist, then this remains its value regardless of whether 4 or 4 million lb. of twist are being appraised. The moment of the NUMBER OF POUNDS, because it expresses the relation of surplus labour to necessary labour in another form, becomes decisively important in the determination of price. This matter brought to popular awareness in the question of the ten hours bill etc.

Specific accumulation of capital (transformation of surplus labour (revenue) into capital). Proudhon. Value- and price- determination. In antiquity (slaves) not overproduction but over-consumption

It follows further from the above:

If the worker were to restrict himself to necessary labour, he would spin no more than 20 lb. of twist, and realize no more raw material, machinery etc. than would have a value of 80 thalers monthly. Apart from the raw material, machinery etc. which are required for the workersreproduction, self-maintenance, the capitalist must necessarily lay out capital in raw material (and machinery, even if not in the same proportion) for the objectification of surplus labour. (In agriculture, fishery, in short, the extractive industries, this is not absolutely necessary; it becomes so, however, when they are conducted on a large scale, i.e. industrially; it appears then as surplus outlay not in raw material itself, but in the instruments to take it out with.) These surplus outlays — i.e. the tendering of the material for surplus labour — of the objective elements of its realization [Verwirklichung] are actually what forms the specific so-called provisional accumulation of capital: the accumulation of the stock get us say for the time being) specifically of capital. For it is stupid, as we shall see more closely, to regard it as a quality specific to capital — that the objective conditions of living labour must be present, as such — whether they are furnished by nature or produced in history. Thesespecific advances which capital makes signify nothing more than that it realizes objectified surplus labour — surplus product — in new living surplus labour, instead of investing (spending) it, like, say, Egyptian kings or Etruscan priest-nobles for pyramids etc.

Into the determination of prices (as we shall also see with profit) there also enters —fraud, reciprocal chicanery. One party can win in exchange what the other loses; all they can distribute among themselves is the surplus value — capital as a class. But these proportions open a field for individual deception etc. (apart from supply and demand) which has nothing to do with the determination of value as such.

Thus, out the window goes Mr Proudhon’s discovery that the worker cannot buy back his product. The basis on which this rests is that he (Proudhon) understands nothing, either about value-determination or about price-determination. But, furthermore and regardless of that, his conclusion that this is why there is over production is false in this abstraction. In the slave relation, the masters are not troubled by the fact that the workers do not compete with them as consumers. (Nevertheless, production for luxury as it presents itself in antiquity is a necessary result of the slave relation. Not overproduction, but over-consumption and insane consumption, signifying, by its turn towards the monstrous and the bizarre, the downfall of the old system of states.)

After capital steps out of the production process as product, it must be transformed into money again. The money which previously appeared merely as realized commodity etc., now appears as realized capital, or, realized capital as money. This an aspect of money (as of capital). The mass of money as medium of circulation has nothing to do with the difficulty of making capital into a reality [realisieren], i.e. of realizing it [verwerten]. This can already be seen from the above development.

The general rate of profit. If the capitalist merely sells at his own cost of production, then it is a transfer to another capitalist. Worker gains almost nothing thereby

In the above example, where the capitalist, if he sells the pound of twist at 5 thalers — i.e. 40 lb. at 5 thalers each — hence sells the pound of twist at its real value and thereby gains 1/2 a thaler out of 5 (the selling price), 10% on the selling price, or 1/2 on 4 1/2, i.e. 11 1/9% of his outlay, if he sells at only 10% — assume now a profit of merely 9/20 of a thaler on 4 1/2 thalers (this is a 1/20 difference from 1/2 on 4 1/2 thalers; a difference of just 1 1/9%). He then sells the pound at 4 1/2 thalers + 9/20 of a thaler; i.e. at 4 19/20 thalers or the 40 lb. at 198 thalers. Now various cases are possible. The capitalist with whom he exchanges — to whom he sells his 40 lb. assume him to be the owner of a silver mine, i.e. silver producer — pays him only 198 thalers hence gives him 2 thalers too little objectified labour in silver for the labour objectified in 40 lb. of cotton. Posit that with this capitalist B, the proportions of the outlay are exactly the same, etc. If capitalist B also takes only 10 instead of 11 1/9, then for 200 thalers he could not demand 40 lb. twist, but only 39 3/5. It is therefore impossible that both capitalists at the same time sell at 1 1/9% too little, or that the one offered 40 lb. for 198 thalers and the other offered 200 thalers for 39 3/5 lb., a case that cannot occur. In the previously assumed case, capitalist B would have paid 1 1/9% too little in his purchase of 40 lb. twist, i.e. apart from the profit which he does not obtain from exchange, but which exchange merely confirms, i.e. a profit of 11 1/9, he would also have gained the 14% lost by the other capitalist, for a total of 12 2/9%. From his own workers — the labour set into motion by his own capital — he would have gained 11 1/9%; the additional 1 1/9% are surplus labour by the workers of capitalist A, which he appropriates for himself. The general rate of profit can therefore fall in one or another branch of business if competition etc. forces the capitalist to sell below the value, i.e. to realize a part of the surplus labour not for himself, but for those who buy from him. But the general rate cannot fall in this way; it can fall only if the proportion of surplus labour to necessary labour falls relatively, and this, as we saw earlier, takes place if the proportion is already very large, or, expressed differently, if the proportion of living labour set into motion by capital is very small — if the part of capital which exchanges for living labour is very small compared to that which exchanges for machinery and raw material. The general rate of profit can fall in that case, even though absolute surplus labour rises.

With that, we come to another point. A general rate of profit as such is possible only if the rate of profit in one branch of business is too high and in another too low; i.e. that a part of the surplus value which corresponds to surplus labour — is transferred from one capitalist to the other. If in 5 branches of business, for example, the respective rate of profit is

15% 12% 10% 8% 5%

then the average rate is 10%; but, in order for this to exist in reality, capitalist A and B have to give up 7% to D and E — more particularly, 2 to D and 5 to E — while C remains as it was. It is impossible for rates of profit on the same capital of 100 to be equal, since the relations of surplus labour are altogether different, depending on the productivity of labour and on the relation between raw material, machinery and wages, and on the overall volume in which production takes place. But suppose that a given branch of business, E, is necessary, say, the bakery trade, then the average 10% has to be paid to it. But this can happen only if A and B credit E with a part of their surplus labour. The capitalist class thus to a certain extent distributes the total surplus value so that, to a certain degree, it [shares in it] evenly in accordance with the size of its capital, instead of in accordance with the surplus values actually created by the capitals in the various branches of business The larger profit — arising from the real surplus labour within a branch of production, the really created surplus value — is pushed down to the average level by competition, and the deficit of surplus value in the other branch of business raised up to the average level by withdrawal of capitals from it, i.e. a favourable relation of demand and supply. Competition cannot lower this level itself, but merely has the tendency to create such a level. Further developments belong in the section on competition. This is realized [realisiert] by means of the relation of prices in the different branches of business, which fall belowthe value in some, rise above it in others. This makes it seem as if an equal sum of capital in unequal branches of business created equal surplus labour or surplus value.

Now in the above example, where capitalist A is forced, say by competition, to sell at a profit of 10% instead of 11 1/9%, and hence sells the pound of twist at 1/20 of a thaler too cheaply, the worker would continue to obtain 20 thalers as before, in money, his necessary wages; but in twist, he would obtain 4 4/90 lb. instead of 4 lb. If his wages were in twist, he would have obtained 4/20 of a thaler = 1/5 of a thaler or 6 silver groschen, i.e. 1% more than his necessary wages. If the worker works in a branch of business whose product lies entirely outside the sphere of his consumption, then he gains not a farthing in this operation; rather, for him it is a matter of performing a part of his surplus labour indirectly for capitalist B, instead of directly for capitalist A; i.e. through the mediation of capitalist A. He can gain from the fact that capitalist A lets go of a part of the labour objectified in his product for nothing, only if he is himself a consumer of this product, and only to the extent that he is such a consumer. Thus, if his consumption of twist makes up 1/10 of his expenditure, then he gains exactly 1/50 of a thaler from the operation (2/100 of a thaler out of 2 thalers, 1/100 of 1, exactly 1% of the 2 thalers), i.e. 1/10% of his total wages of 20 thalers, or, 7 1/5 pfennigs. This would be the proportion — 7 1/5 pfennigs — in which he would participate in his own surplus labour of 20 thalers. Such are the proportions of the surplus wages which the worker makes at best, when the price in the branch of business where he is occupied. falls below the necessary value. In thebest case — and this is impossible — the limit (in the instance given) is 6 silver groschen or 1%, i.e. if he could live exclusively on twist; i.e. in the best case his surplus wages are determined by the relation of necessary labour time to surplus labour time. In the luxury-goods industries proper, from whose consumption he is himself excluded, it is always = 0.

Now let us assume that capitalists A, B, C exchange among one another; the total product of each = 200 thalers. Let A produce twist, B grain and C silver; let the relations of surplus and necessary labour, and of outlays and profit be just the same. A sells 40 lb. twist at 198, instead of at 200 thalers, and loses 1 1/2% of his gains; ditto B his, say 40 bushels wheat, at 198 instead of 200; but C exchanges the labour objectified in his 200 thalers in full. Between A and B the relation is such that neither of them loses in the exchange with the other. A would obtain 40 bushels wheat, B 40 lb. twist; but each of them a value of only 198. C obtains 40 lb. twist or 40 bushels wheat for 198 thalers and in both cases pays 2 thalers too little, or obtains 2/3 lb. twist or 2/5 bushel wheat too much. But now assume that the relation takes the form that A sells his 40 lb. to the silver man, C, for 200 thalers, but C has to pay 202 to the grain man, B, or 2 thalers above its value. Between twist A and silver C everything is all right; both exchange at value with each other; but because B’s price has risen above its value, the 40 lb. twist and the 200 thalers silver, when expressed in grain, have fallen by 1 1/9%, or, neither of them could in fact any longer buy 40 bushels grain for 200 thalers, but only 39 2/5. 39 2/5 bushels wheat would cost 200 thalers, or the single bushel wheat, [47] instead of 5 thalers, 5 1/20 thalers; 5 thalers l 1/4 silver groschen. Now, in this last relation, assume that the worker’s consumption consists 1/2 of wheat; his twist consumption was 1/10 of his income; his wheat consumption 5/10. On the 1/10 he had gained 1/10% on his total wages; on the wheat, he loses 4/10%; thus on the whole he loses 4/10% instead of gaining. Although the capitalist would have paid him his necessary labour, his wages would fall beneath the necessary pay as a consequence of grain man B’s overcharging. If this continued on, then his necessary wages would have to rise. Thus if the sale of twist by capitalist A is due to a rise above value in the price of grain or of other use values which form the most essential part of the worker’s consumption — then capitalist A’s worker would lose in the same relation as his consumption of the now more expensive product is greater than the cheaper product he himself produces. But if A had sold twist at 1 1/9% above its value, and B sold grain at 1 1/9% below, then, in the best case, if the worker consumed nothing but grain, he could gain at most 6 silver groschen, or, since we presupposed half in grain, only 3 silver groschen, or 3% on his wages of 20 thalers. Thus the worker may experience all three cases: his gain or loss from the operation = 0; it may depreciate his necessary wages, so that they no longer suffice hence make him fall below the necessary minimum; it can thirdly bring him a surplus wage, which is resolved into a very small share of his own surplus labour.

We saw above that if the relation of necessary labour to the other conditions of production = 2/5 (20 out of 100 total outlay) or = 40% of the total value (in 20 lb. twist = 4 lb. twist) (or of 100 thalers, 80 raw material and instrument, 20 labour) and the relation of surplus labour to necessary labour is 100% (i.e. the same quantity), then the capitalist makes 11 1/9% on his outlay.

If he took only 10% and made a gift of the 1 1/9 or 2 thalers (transferred surplus value), then the worker, in so far as he is a consumer, would likewise gain, and in the best (impossible) case, if he lived only from the products of his master, it would [be], as we saw:

suppose the capitalist sold the pound of twist at 4 15/20 (4 3/4) instead of at 5 thalers, then the worker would gain 5/20 on the pound, and 20/20 = 1 on 4 lb.; but 1 out of 20 = 1/20 = 5% (1 thaler out of 20); the capitalist would sell the 40 lb. at 4 15/20 thalers = 95/20 of a thaler × 40 = 190 thalers; his outlays 180, his gain = 10 = 5 6/9[%], his minus-gain = 5 6/9; if he, the capitalist, sold at 4 12/20, then the worker would gain 8/20 thalers per pound, 32/20 per 4 lb., 1 thaler 12/20 or 1 3/5 thalers on his total wages, i.e. 8 48/119%, while the capitalist would lose 16 thalers of the surplus gain, or would only keep altogether 184 thalers, or 4 thalers gain on 180 = 1/45 of 180 = 1/45 of 180 = 2 2/9%; would lose 8 8/9; assume finally the capitalist sold the pound of twist at 4 1/2 thalers; the 40 lb. at 180; his profit = 0; he would make the consumer a present of the worker’s surplus value or surplus labour time, then the worker’s gain = 1/3 of a thaler per lb., = 4/2 of a thaler = 2 thalers,or 2 thalers out of 20 = 10%
1 1/9% loss on the capitalist’s side:= 1% = 6 silver groschen on 20 thalers (=1/9 of a thaler out of 20) gain above wages for the worker: – 1 thaler
5 6/9; (= 10 thalers) = 5% (1 thaler out of 20)
= 8 8/9% (= 16) = 8 48/119% (1 thaler 18 silver groschen)
Gain = 0
(loss = 11 1/9%)
  = 10% (2 thalers)
(less than 1/2 pound)

If on the other hand the capitalist had raised wages by 10% from 20 to 22 thalers, because, say, the demand for labour in his branch of business had risen above the supply — while he continued to sell the pound of twist at its value, i.e. at 5 thalers as before, then his profit would have fallen by only 2 thalers, from 200 to 198, i.e. by 1 1/9%, and would still have been 10%.

It follows from this that if the capitalist, say, out of consideration for Mr Proudhon, sold his commodities at the production costs they cost him,and if his total profit = 0, this would be merely a transfer of the surplus value or surplus labour time from capitalist A to B, C, D etc., and as regards his worker, his gain at best — i.e. his share of his own surplus labour — would be limited to that part of the wage which he consumed in the depreciated commodity; and if he spent his entire wages on it, the gain could not be greater than the proportion of necessary labour to the total product (in the above example 20: 200 = 1/10, 1/10 of 20 = 2 thalers). As regards the other workers, the case is entirely the same; they gain from the depreciated commodity only in relation (1) as they consume it; (2) relative to the size of their wage, which is determined by necessary labour. If the depreciated commodity were, e.g. grain — one of the staffs of life — then first its producer, the farmer, and following him all other capitalists, would make the discovery that the worker’s necessary wage is no longer the necessary wage; but stands above its level; hence it is brought down; hence ultimately only the surplus value of capitals A, B, C etc. is increased, and the surplus labour of those occupied in them.

Posit 5 capitalists, A. B, C, D and E. Let E produce a commodity which is consumed only by workers. E would then realize his profit purely in the exchange of his commodity with wages; but, as always, his profit would originate not in the exchange of his commodity for the workers’ money, but in the exchange of his capital with living labour. Posit that necessary labour relates in all 5 branches of business at 1/5; let 1/5 be surplus labour in all of them; let constant capital be = 3/5 in all. Capitalist E exchanges his product for 1/5 of capital A, 1/5 of capital B, 1/5 of capital C, 1/5 of capital D, and 1/5 constitutes his wages. He would make no profit on this last 1/5, as we have seen; or rather his profit would not arise from the fact that he gives the workers 1/5 of his capital in money, and that they buy back the same 1/5 from him as money — would not originate from the exchange with them as consumers, as centres of circulation His whole transaction with them as consumers rests on the basis that he gives them his product in the form of money, and they give him back the same money for exactly the same fractional part of the product. With the workers of A, B, C, D, his relation is not that of capitalist to worker, but of C[ommodity] to M[oney], of vendor to buyer. We have presupposed that the workers of A, B, C, D consume no part of their own products; D does, however, exchange for 1/5 of the product of A, B, C and E, i.e. 4/5 of their product; but this exchange is only a detour to get to the wages which A, B, C and D pay their own workers. They each give the workers money to the value of 1/5 of their product, or 1/5 of their product as payment for necessary labour, and with this, with p of the value of their product or capital, they then buy E’s commodity. But this exchange with E is then only an indict form of advancing the part of capital which represents necessary labour — i.e. deduction from their capital. They cannot therefore gain thereby. The gain comes from the realization of the remaining 4/5 of capital A, B, C, D, and this realization consists of each of them, through the exchange, getting back the labour objectified in his product, in another form. For each of them, since there is a division of labour, 3/5 replaces his constant capital, raw material and material of labour. Their gain — the realization of surplus labour time, its positing as surplus value — consists in the reciprocal realization of the last 1/5. It is not necessary that capitals A, B, C, D exchange the entire p with one another. Since they are, as capitalists, at the same time large consumers, and can in no way live on air, but since, as capitalists, they do not live from their labour either, they have nothing to exchange or to consume apart from other peoples’ products. That is, for their own consumption they exchange just that 4/5 which represents surplus labour time, the labour created by means of capital. Posit that each consumes 1/5 of this 1/5, i.e. 1/25, in the form of his own product. There remain 4/25 to be either realized or to be transformed into use values for their own consumption through exchange. Let A exchange 2/25 with B, 1/25 with C, 1/25 with E, and likewise on the part of B, C, E.

The case we have posited, where capital E realizes the whole of its profit in exchange with wages, is the most favourable — or expresses, rather, the only correct relation in which it is possible for capital to realize the surplus value created in production through exchange with the workers’ consumption. But capitals A, B, C, D can realize their value in this case only through exchange among one another, i.e. through the exchange of capitalists among themselves. Capitalist E consumes nothing of his own commodity, since he has paid 1/5 of it to his own workers, exchanged 1/5 for 1/5 of capital A, 1/5 for 1/5 of capital B, 1/5 for 1/5 of capital C, 1/5 for 1/5 of capital D. A, B, C, D make no profit on this exchange, since it is the respective 1/5 which they have paid to their own workers.

Given the relation we have assumed, of 2/5 raw material, 1/5 machinery, 1/5 workers’ necessaries, and 1/5 surplus product, from which Messrs the capitalists at the same time live and realize their surplus value, then we need, if the total product of each of A, B, C, D, E = 100, a producer E for workers’ necessaries, 2 capitalists A and B, who produce raw materials for all the others, 1, C, who produces the machinery, and 1, D, who makes the surplus produce, The accounts would be these (the machinery-maker etc. has to produce every part of his commodity for himself):

Machinery Surplus
(A) Raw material
20 40 20 20 = 100
(B) Ditto 20 40 20 20 = 100
(C) Machinery
20 40 20 20 = 100
(D) Workers’
20 40 20 20 = 100
(E) Surplus producer 20 40 20 20 =100  
    10 20 10 10 = 50  

E therefore exchanges his entire product of 100 for 20 in his own workers’ wages, 20 in wages for workers of raw material A, 20 for the workers of raw material B, 20 for the workers of machinery maker C, 20 for the workers of surplus producer D; of this he exchanges 40 for raw material, 20 for machinery, 20 he obtains back for workers’ necessaries, and 20 remain for him to buy surplus produce, from which he himself lives. Likewise the others in the relation. What constitutes their surplus value is the 1/5 or 20, which all of them can exchange for surplus product. If they consumed the entire surplus, then they would have come no further at the end than they were at the beginning, and the surplus value of their capital would not grow. Posit that they eat up only 10; or 1/10, half of the surplus value; then surplus producer D himself would eat up 10 less; and each of the others 10 less; all in all, then, he would sell only half of his commodity, = 50, and could not begin his business anew. Posit therefore that he consumes only 50 in conumables. Likewise, 50 in money, then each of the capitalists A, B, C, D, E, would accumulate 10 thalers in money. These would represent the surplus value not consumed. These 10 thalers, or together 50, could be realized, however, only by being laid out for new labour. In order to produce more raw material, A and B need 4 thalers more of living labour, and, since they have no additional machinery for it, more labour by hand to the amount of 6 thalers. Thus, out of the 400 thalers which exist in raw materials, machines and workers’ necessaries, only 50 are there for capitalists’ consumables. But each of the capitalists now owns a surplus of 10, out of which 4 are in raw material, 2 in machines, 2 in workers’ necessaries, on which he must make a gain of 2 (like 100 from 80, as before); D has gained 10 on his 40 and can therefore increase his production in the same proportion, i.e. by 5. The next year he produces 7½ % more = 57½.

This example may or may not be continued later. Does not actually belong here. This much is clear, that realization here takes place in the exchange among the capitalists, for although E produces only for workers’ consumption, he exchanges with the others through the form of wages, 1/5 of A, 1/5 of B, 1/5 of C, 1/5 of D etc. A, B, C, D likewise exchange with E: not directly, but indirectly, in that each of them requires 1/5 from him as necessaries for his workers. The realization consists of each of them exchanging his own product for fractional parts of the products of the other four, arid this in such a way that a part of the surplus product goes for the capitalist’s own consumption, and a part is transformed into surplus capital with which to set new labour into motion. The realization consists of the real possibility of increased realization — production of new and larger values. It is clear here that D and E, where E represents all commodities consumed by the workers and D all those consumed by the capitalists, would have produced too much — that is, too much relative to the proportion of the part of capital going to the worker, or too much relative to the part of capital consumable by the capitalists (too much relative to the proportion by which they must increase their capital; and this proportion later obtains a minimum limit in the form of interest) — that general overproduction would take place, not because relativelytoo little [sic] had been produced of the commodities consumed by the workers or too little [sic] of those consumed by the capitalists, but because too much of both had been produced — not too much for consumption, but too much to retain the correct relation between consumption and realization; too much for realization.

Barrier of capitalist production. — Relation of surplus labour to necessary labour. Proportion of the surplus consumed by capital to that transformed into capital. — Devaluation during crises

In other words: At a given point in the development of the productive forces — for this will determine the relation of necessary labour to surplus labour — a fixed relation becomes established, in which the product is divided into one part — corresponding to raw material, machinery, necessary labour, surplus labour — and finally surplus labour divides into one part which goes to consumption and another which becomes capital again. This inner division, inherent in the concept of capital, appears in exchange in such a way that the exchange of the capitals among one another takes place in specific and restricted proportions — even if these are constantly changing, in the course of production. If the relations are e.g. those of 2/5 raw material, 1/5 machinery, 1/5 wages, 1/5 surplus product, of which 1/10 for consumption, 1/10 for new production — this is the division within capital — this will appear in the exchange process as distribution among, say, 5 capitals. This gives, in any case, both the sum total of the exchange which can take place, and the proportions in which each of these capitals must both exchange and produce. If the relation of necessary labour to the constant part of capital is, as e.g. in the above example, = 1/5:3/5, then we have seen that the capital which works for the consumption of capitalists and workers combined may not be greater than 1/5 + 1/10 of the 5 capitals, each of which represents 1, = 1½ capitals. Given likewise is the relation in which each capital must exchange with each other one, which represents a specific one of its own moments. Finally, in which each of them must exchange at all. If, for example, the relation of raw material = 2/5, then the capitals which produce raw material can at any final point exchange no more than 3/5, while 2/5 must be regarded as fixed. (E.g. as seed etc. in agriculture.) Exchangein and for itself gives these conceptually opposite moments an indifferent being; they exist independently of one another; their inner necessity becomes manifest in the crisis, which puts a forcible end to their seeming indifference towards each other.

A revolution in the forces of production further alters these relations, changes these relations themselves, whose foundations — from the standpoint of capital and hence also of that of realization through exchange — always remains the relation of necessary to surplus labour,or, if you like, of the different moments of objectified to living labour. It is possible, as we have already indicated earlier, that the capital as well as the living labour capacity set free owing to the increase in productive forces must both lie dormant, because they are not present in the proportions in which production must take place on the basis of the newly developed productive forces. If it proceeds regardless of that, then ultimately a minus, a negative magnitude, will come out of the exchange on one side or the other.

The barrier always remains, that exchange — hence production as well — takes place in such a way that the relation of surplus labour to necessary labour remains the same — for this is = to the constancy [Gleichbleiben] of the realization of capital. The second relation — the proportion between the part of the surplus product consumed by capital and that part transformed anew into capital — is determined by the first relation. Firstly, the magnitude of the sum to be divided into these two parts depends on this original relation; secondly, just as the creation of surplus value by capital depends on the creation of surplus labour, so does the increase of capital as capital (accumulation, and, without accumulation, capital cannot form the foundation of production, since it would remain stagnant, and would not be an element of progress, required already by the mere increase of population etc.) depend on the transformation of a part of this surplus product into new capital. If the surplus value were simply consumed, then capital would not have realized itself as capital, and not produced itself as capital, i.e. as value which produces value. We have seen that if 40 lb. of twist of a value of 200 thalers — because they contain labour time objectified in 200 thalers — are exchanged for 198 thalers, then not only does the manufacturer of twist lose 1-% gain; but also his product is devalued, has been sold below its real value, although it is sold at a price which still leaves him a profit of 10%. On the other hand, the producer of silver gains 2 thalers. Keeps 2 thalers as liberated capital. Nevertheless, a devaluation has taken place as regards the total sum. For the sum is 398 thalers instead of 400. For, in the hand of the producer of silver, the 200 thalers of twist are also worth only 198; it is the same for him as if the productive force of his labour had increased to the point where the same objectified labour were contained in 200 thalers as before, but that 2 of these thalers had left the column of necessary outlays in his books and gone over into the column of surplus value, so that he would have paid 2 thalers less for necessary labour. The opposite could be the case only if the silver producer were able to re-sell for 200 thalers the 40 lb. of twist he bought at 198 thalers. Then he would have 202 thalers, and say he sold them to a manufacturer of silk who gave him silk to the value of 200 thalers in exchange for the 40 lb. of twist. The 40 lb. twist would then have been sold at their true value, although not first-hand by their producer, but rather second-hand, by their buyer, and the total accounts would look as follows: Exchanged, 3 products each containing objectified labour of a value of 200 thalers; hence sum of the values of the capitals: 600. The manufacturer of twist, A, the manufacturer of silver, B, the manufacturer of silk, C: A 198, B 202 (i.e. 2 extra from the first exchange and 200 in silk), C 200. Total 600. In this case the combined value of the capitals remained the same, and all that took place was a displacement, in that B pocketed as an extra the value-fraction which A lost.

If A, the twist maker, could sell only 180 (the cost of the thing for him), and absolutely could not find a buyer for 20 twist, then objectified labour in the amount of 20 thalers would have become valueless. The same would be the case if he gave a value of 200 for 180 thalers; for B, the manufacturer of silver — to the extent that this necessity had arisen for A owing to overproduction of twist, so that B, too, could not get rid of the value contained in the 40 lb. twist for more than 180 — 20 thalers of his capital would have been set free. He would have in hand a relative surplus value of 20 thalers, but in absolute values — objectified labour time to the extent that it is exchangeable — he would have only 200 as before — that is, 40 lb. twist at 180 and 20 thalers liberated capital. It would be the same for him as if the production costs of twist had decreased, i.e. as if, owing to increased labour productivity, 40 lb. twist contained 20 thalers less labour time, or as if, with a working day = 4 thalers, 5 working days less were necessary in order to transform lb. of cotton into 40 lb. twist; so that, then, he would have to exchange less labour time objectified in silver for the labour time objectified in twist. But the combined sum of the values on hand would be 380 instead of 400. Thus a general depreciation of 20 thalers would have taken place, or a destruction of capital to the amount of 20 thalers. A general devaluation thus takes place despite the fact that the depreciation of the twist manufacturer’s 40 lb.. twist from 200 to 180 necessarily appears as an appreciation on the part of silver, a depreciation of twist relative to silver; and a general depreciation of prices as such always includes an appreciation of money, i.e. of the commodity in which all the others are appraised. Thus, in a crisis — a general depreciation of prices — there occurs up to a certain moment a general devaluation or destruction of capital. The devaluation, like the depreciation, can be absolute and not merely relative, because value expresses not merely a relation between one commodity and another, as does price, but rather the relation between the price of the commodity and the labour objectified in it, or between one amount of objectified labour of the same quality and another. If these amounts are not equal, then devaluation takes place, which is not outweighed by appreciation on the other side, for the other side expresses a fixed amount of objectified labour which remains unchanged by exchange. In general crises, this devaluation extends even to living labour capacity itself. In consequence of what has been indicated above, the destruction of value and capital which takes place in a crisis coincides with — or means the same thing as — a general growth of the productive forces, which, however, takes place not by means of a real increase of the productive force of labour (the extent to which this happens in consequence of crises is beside the point here), but by means of a decrease of the existing value of raw materials, machines, labour capacity. For example. The cotton manufacturer loses capital on his products (e.g. twist), but he buys the same value of cotton, labour etc. at a lower price. It is the same for him as if the real value of labour, of cotton etc., had decreased, i.e. as if they had been produced more cheaply owing to an increase in the productive force of labour. In the same way, on the other hand, a sudden general increase in the forces of production would relatively devalue all the present values which labour objectifies at the lower stage of the productive forces, and hence would destroy present capital as well as present labouring capacity. The other side of the crisis resolves itself into a real decrease in production, in living labour — in order to restore the correct relation between necessary and surplus labour, on which, in the last analysis, everything rests. (Thus it is by no means true, as Lord Overstone thinks — as a true usurer — that crises simply resolve themselves in enormous profits for the one, and tremendous losses for the other.)[48]

Capital coming out of the production process becomes money again

Exchange does not change the inner characteristics of realization; but it projects them to the outside; gives them a reciprocally independent form, and thereby lets their unity exist merely as an inner necessity, which must therefore come forcibly to the surface in crises. Both are therefore posited in the essence of capital: the devaluation [Entwertung] of capital in the production process, as well as the suspension of devaluation and the creation of the conditions for the realization [Verwertung] of capital. The process by which this takes place in reality can be examined only as soon as real capital, i.e. competition etc. — the actual real conditions — have been examined. Does not belong here yet. On the other hand,without exchange the production of capital as such would not exist, since realization as such cannot exist without exchange. Without exchange, the only question of concern would be the measurement etc. of the use value produced, only use value as such.

After capital, in the production process, (1) has realized itself, i.e. created a new value; (2) become devalued, i.e. made the transition from money to the form of a particular commodity, it (3) realizes itself together with its new value, in that the product is thrown into circulation again, and, as C, is exchanged for M. At the point where we stand now, where capital is being examined only in general, the real difficulties of this third process are present only as possibilities, and are therefore suspended, again as possibilities. Therefore, the product now posited as having been transformed back into money.

Capital is thus now posited as money again, and money therefore posited in the new aspect of realized capital, not merely as realized price of the commodity. Or, the commodity realized in the price is 448 now realized capital. We will examine this new aspect of money, or rather of capital as money, later. In accost with the initial nature of money, the only apparent feature by which capital — when transformed into money — may be measured is the new value which it has created; i.e. the first aspect of money as the general measure of commodities repeats itself; now as the measure of surplus value — of the realization of capital. In the form of money, this realization appears as measured by itself; as berg its own measure. The capital was originally 100 thalers; because it is now 110, the measure of its realization is posited in its own form — as a proportion of the capital returned (returned to its money form) from the production process and from exchange, relative to the original capital; no longer as a relation between two unequal qualities — objectified and living labour — or necessary labour and surplus labour. When capital is posited as money, it is therefore posited in the first aspect of money, as measure of value. Here, however, this value is its own value, or the measure of its self, negation. [49] We will return to this (under profit).

The second form of money was that of the medium of circulation, and in this regard the money form of capital appeared as a mere vanishing moment for the purpose of exchanging it again, but not, as in the case of money as a medium of circulation in general, an exchange in return for commodities — use values — for final consumption, but rather an exchange in return for those particular use values in which it is able to begin its course as capital anew — raw material and instrument en the one hand, living labour capacity on the other. In this role it is circulating capital,about which later. However, the end-product of money in its role as medium of circulation is the beginning of the act of production with positedcapital as the point of departure, and this is the point which we will here examine before we go further. In the first aspect, measure, the new value did appear as measured; but the difference merely formal; instead of surplus labour, money — surplus labour objectified in a specific commodity. But the qualitative nature of this new value also undergoes a change — i.e. the magnitude of the measure itself, to be examined only later. Secondly, as medium of circulation the disappearance of the money form is also merely formal. It only becomes essential after not only the first but also the second circular path has been completed. Thus initially it results only in our standing again at the beginning of the realization process. We therefore begin to take up the continuation at this point.)

The third form of money, as independent value in a negative relation vis-à-vis circulation, is capital which does not step out of the production process into exchange again to become money. Rather, it is capital which becomes a commodity and enters into circulation in the form of self-sufficient value [sich auf sich selbst beziehenden Werts]. This third form presupposes capital in the earlier forms and at the same time forms the transition from capital to the particular capitals, the real capitals; since now, in this last form, capital already in its very concept divides into two capitals with an independent existence. Along with the duality, plurality in general is then given. Such is the march of this development.[50]

(Before we go any further, just one remark. Capital in general, as distinct from the particular capitals, does indeed appear (1) only as an abstraction; not an arbitrary abstraction, but an abstraction which grasps the specific characteristics which distinguish capital from all other forms of wealth — or modes in which (social) production develops. These are the aspects common to every capital as such, or which make every specific sum of values into capital. And the distinctions within this abstraction are likewise abstract particularities which characterize every kind of capital, in that it is their position [Position] or negation [Negation] (e.g. fixed capital or circulating capital); (2) however, capital in general, asdistinct from the particular real capitals, is itself a real existence. This is recognized by ordinary economics, even if it is not understood, and forms a very important moment of its doctrine of equilibrations etc. For example, capital in this general form, although belonging to individual capitalists, in its elemental form as capital, forms the capital which accumulates in the banks or is distributed through them, and, as Ricardo says, so admirably distributes itself in accordance with the needs of production. [51] Likewise, through loans etc., it forms a level between the different countries. If it is therefore e.g. a law of capital in general that, in order to realize itself, it must posit itself doubly, and must realize itself in this double form, then e.g. the capital of a particular nation which represents capital par excellence in antithesis to another will have to lend itself out to a third nation in order to be able to realize itself. This double positing, this relating to self as to an alien, becomes 450 damn real in this case. While the general is therefore on the one hand only a mental [gedachte] mark of distinction [differentia specifica], it is at the same time aparticular real form alongside the form of the particular and individual.[52] (We will return later to this point, which, while having more of a logical than an economic character, will nevertheless have a great importance in the course of our inquiry. The same also in algebra. For example,a, b, c are numbers as such; in general; but then again they are whole numbers as opposed to a/b, b/c, c/b, c/a, b/a etc., which latter, however, presuppose the former as their general elements.)


mid-December 1857- 22 January 1858, continued

Surplus labour or surplus value becomes surplus capital. All determinants of capitalist production now appear as results of (wage) labour itself. The realization process [Verwirklichungsprozess] of labour at the same time its de-realization process [Entwirklichungsprozess]

The new value, then, [is] itself posited as capital again, as objectified labour entering into the process of exchange with living labour, and hence dividing itself into a constant part — the objective conditions of labour, material and instrument — and the conditions for the subjective condition of labour, the existence of living labour capacity, the necessaries, subsistence goods for the worker. With this second entrance by capital in this form, some points appear clarified which were altogether unclear in its first occurrence — as money in transition from its role as value to its role as capital. Now they are solved through the process of realization and production itself. In the first encounter, the presuppositions themselves appeared to come in from the outside, out of circulation; as external presuppositions for the arising of capital; hence not emergent from its inner essence, and not explained by it. These external presuppositions will now appear as moments of the motion of capital itself, so that it has itself — regardless how they may arise historically — pre-posited them as its own moments.

Within the production process itself, surplus value, the surplus value procured through compulsion by capital, appeared as surplus labour,itself in the form of living labour, which, however, since it cannot create something out of nothing, finds its objective conditions laid out before it. Now this surplus labour appears in objectified form as surplus product, and, in order to realize itself as capital, this surplus product divides into a double form: as objective condition of labour — material and instrument; as subjective — consumption goods for the living labour now to be put to work. The general form as value — objectified labour — and objectified labour coming out of circulation — is of course the general, self-evident presupposition. Further: the surplus product in its totality — which objectifies surplus labour in its totality — now appears as surplus capital (in contrast to the original capital, before it had undertaken this cycle), i.e. as independent exchange value, in which living labour capacity encounters its specific use value. All moments which confronted living labour capacity, and employed it as alien, external powers, and which consumed it under certain conditions independent of itself, are now posited as its own product and result.

Firstly: surplus value or the surplus product are nothing but a specific sum of objectified living labour –the sum of surplus labour. This new value which confronts living labour as independent, as engaged in exchange with it, as capital, is the product of labour. It is itself nothing other than the excess of labour as such above necessary labour — in objective form and hence as value.

Secondly: the particular forms which this value must adopt in order to realize itself anew, i.e. to posit itself as capital — on one side as raw material and instrument, on the other as subsistence goods for labour during the act of production — are likewise, therefore, only particularforms of surplus labour itself. Raw material and instrument are produced by it in such relations — or, it is itself objectively posited in production as raw material and instrument in such a proportion — that a given sum of necessary labour — i.e. living labour which reproduces (the value of) the consumption goods — can objectify itself in it, and objectify itself in it continuously, i.e. can always begin anew the diremption into the objective and subjective conditions of its self-preservation and self-reproduction. In addition to this, living labour, in the process of reproducing its objective conditions, has at the same time posited raw material and instrument in such proportions that it can realize itself in them as surplus labour, as labour beyond the necessary, and can hence make them into material for the creation of new values. The objective conditions of surplus labour — which are restricted to the proportion of raw arterial and instrument beyond the requirements of necessary labour, whereas the objective conditions of necessary labour divide within their objectivity into objective and subjective, into objective moments of labour as well as subjective (consumption goods for living labour) — therefore now appear, are therefore now posited, as the product, result, objective form, external existence of surplus labour itself. Originally, by contrast, the fact that instrument and necessaries were on hand in the amounts which made it possible for living labour to realize itself not only as necessary, but also as surplus labour — this appeared alien to living labour itself, appeared as an act of capital.

Thirdly: The independent, for-itself existence [Fürsichsein] of value vis-à-vis living labour capacity — hence its existence as capital — the objective, self-sufficient indifference, the alien quality [Fremdheit] of the objective conditions of labour vis-a-vis living labour capacity, which goes so far that these conditions confront the person of the worker in the person of the capitalist — as personification [53] with its own will and interest — this absolute divorce, separation of property, i.e. of the objective conditions of labour from living labour capacity — that they confront him as alien property, as the reality of other juridical persons, as the absolute realm of their will — and that labour therefore, on the other side, appears as alien labour opposed to the value personified in the capitalist, or the conditions of labour — this absolute separation between property and labour, between living labour capacity and the conditions of its realization, between objectified and living labour, between value and value-creating activity — hence also the alien quality of the content of labour for the worker himself — this divorce now likewise appears as a product of labour itself, as objectification of its own moments. For, in the new act of production itself — which merely confirmed the exchange between capital and living labour which preceded it — surplus labour, and hence the surplus product, the total product of labour in general (of surplus labour as well as necessary labour), has now been posited as capital, as independent and indifferent towards living labour capacity, or as exchange value which confronts its mere use value. Labour capacity has appropriated for itself only the subjective conditions of necessary labour — the means of subsistence for actively producing labour capacity, i.e. for its reproduction as mere labour capacity separated from the conditions of its realization — and it has posited these conditions themselves as things, values, which confront it in an alien, commanding personification. The worker emerges not only not richer, but emerges rather poorer from the process than he entered. For not only has he produced the conditions of necessary labour as conditions belonging to capital; but also the value-creating possibility, the realization [Verwertung] which lies as a possibility within him, now likewise exists as surplus value, surplus product, in a word as capital, as master over living labour capacity, as value endowed with its own might and will, confronting him in his abstract, objectless, purely subjective poverty. He has produced not only the alien wealth and his own poverty, but also the relation of this wealth as independent, self-sufficient wealth, relative to himself as the poverty which this wealth consumes, and from which wealth thereby draws new vital spirits into itself, and realizes itself anew. All this arose from the act of exchange, in which he exchanged his living labour capacity for an amount of objectified labour, except that this objectified labour — these external conditions of his being, and the independent externality [Ausserihmsein] (to him) of these objective conditions — now appear as posited by himself, as his own product, as his own self-objectification as well as the objectification of himself as a power independent of himself, which moreover rules over him, rules over him through his own actions.

In surplus capital, all moments are products of alien labour — alien surplus labour transformed into capital; means of subsistence for necessary labour; the objective conditions — material and instrument — whereby necessary labour can reproduce the value exchanged for it in means of subsistence; finally the amount of material and instrument required so that new surplus labour can realize itself in them, or a new surplus value can be created.

It no longer seems here, as it still did in the first examination of the production process, as if capital, for its part, brought with it any value whatever from circulation. Rather, the objective conditions of labour now appear as labour’s product — both to the extent that they are value in general, and as use values for production. But while capital thus appears as the product of labour, so does the product of labour likewise appear as capital — no longer as a simple product, nor as an exchangeable commodity, but as capital; objectified labour as mastery, command over living labour. The product of labour appears as alien property, as a mode of existence confronting living labour as independent, as value in its being for itself; the product of labour, objectified labour, has been endowed by living labour with a soul of its own, and establishes itself opposite living labour as an alien power: both these situations are themselves the product of labour. Living labour therefore now appears from its own standpoint as acting within the production process in such a way that, as it realizes itself in the objective conditions, it simultaneously repulses this realization from itself as an alien reality, and hence posits itself as insubstantial, as mere penurious labour capacity in face of this reality alienated [entfremdet] from it, belonging not to it but to others; that it posits its own reality not as a being for it, but merely as a being for others, and hence also as mere other-being [Anderssein], or being of another opposite itself. This realization process is at the same time the de-realization process of labour. It posits itself objectively, but it posits this, its objectivity, as its own not-being or as the being of its not-being — of capital. It returns back into itself as the mere possibility of value-creation or realization [Verwertung]; because the whole of real wealth, the world of real value and likewise the real conditions of its own realization [Verwirklichung] are posited opposite it as independent existences. As a consequence of the production process, the possibilities resting in living labour’s own womb exist outside it as realities — but as realities alien to it, which form wealth in opposition to it.

In so far as the surplus product is realized anew as surplus capital, enters anew into the process of production and self-realization, it divides into (1) means of subsistence for the workers, to be exchanged for living labour capacity; let this part of capital be designated as labour fund;this labour fund, the part allotted for the maintenance of living labour capacity — and for its progressive maintenance, since surplus capital constantly grows — now likewise appears as the product of alien labour, labour alien to capital, as well as (2) its other component parts — the material conditions for the reproduction of a value = to these means of subsistence + a surplus value. Further, if we consider this surplus capital, then the division of capital into a constant part — raw material and instrument with an antediluvian existence before labour — and a variable part, i.e. the necessary goods exchangeable for living labour capacity, appears as purely formal, in so far as both of them are equally posited by labour and are equally posited by it as its own pranky-positions. Now, however, this internal division of capital appears in such a way that labour’s own product — objectified surplus labour — splits into two component parts — the objective conditions for new realization of labour (1), and a labour fund for maintaining the possibility of this living labour, i.e. of living labour capacity as alive (2), but in such a way that labour capacity can only re-appropriate that part of its own result — of its own being in objective form –which is designated as labour fund, can appropriate and extract this part from the form of the alien wealth which confronts it, only by reproducing not merely its own value, but by also realizing that part of the new capital which represents the objective conditions for the realization of new surplus labour and surplus production, or production of surplus values. Labour has itself created a new fund for the employment of new necessary labour, or, what is the same, a fund for the maintenance of new living labour capacities, of workers, but has created at the same time the condition that this fund can be employed only if new surplus labour is employed on the extra part of the surplus capital Thus, the production by labour of this surplus capital — surplus value — is at the same time the creation of the real necessity of new surplus labour, and thus surplus capital is itself at the same time the real possibility both of new surplus labour and of new surplus capital. It here becomes evident that labour itself progressively extends and gives an ever wider and fuller existence to the objective world of wealth as a power alien to labour, so that, relative to the values created or to the real conditions of value-creation, the penurious subjectivity of living labour capacity forms an ever more glaring contrast. The greater the extent to which labour objectifies itself, the greater becomes the objective world of values, which stands opposite it as alien — alien property. With the creation of surplus capital, labour places itself under the compulsion to create yet further surplus capital etc. etc.

In regard to the original not-surplus capital, the relation has changed, as regards labour capacity, in so far as (1) the part of it which is exchanged for necessary labour has been reproduced by this labour itself, i.e. no longer comes to it out of circulation, but is its own product; and (2) that part of the value which, as raw material and instrument, represents the real conditions for the realization [Verwertung] of living labour, has been maintained by it itself in the production process; and, since every use value by its nature consists of transitory material, but since exchange value is present, exists, only in use value, therefore this maintenance = protection from decay and ruin, or negation of the transitory nature of the values owned by the capitalists; hence, this maintenance means to posit them as values for-themselves, as indestructible wealth.Hence, this original sum of values has been posited for the first time as capital in the production process, by living labour.

Formation of surplus capital I. — Surplus capital II. — Inversion of the law of appropriation. — Chief result of the production and realization process: the reproduction and new production of the relation of capital and labour itself, of capitalist and worker

Now, from the standpoint of capital: As regards the surplus capital, the capitalist represents value for-itself, money in its third moment, wealth, by means of simple appropriation of alien labour; since every moment of surplus capital, material, instrument, necessaries, resolves into alien labour, which the capitalist does not appropriate by means of exchange for existing values, but has appropriated without exchange. True, the exchange of a part of values belonging to him, or of objectified labour possessed by him, for alien living labour capacity, appears as theoriginal precondition for this surplus capital. For the formation of surplus capital I, if we give that name to the surplus capital emerging from the original production process, i.e. for the appropriation of alien labour, of objectified alien labour, it appears as a condition that the capitalist should possess values, of which he formally exchanges one part for living labour capacity. We say formally, because living labour must replace and return to him these exchanged values as well. But be this as it may. In any case, it appears as a condition for the formation of surplus capital I, i.e. for the appropriation of alien labour or of the values in which it is objectified, that there must be an exchange of values belonging to the capitalist, thrown into circulation by him, and supplied to living labour capacity by him — of values which do not arise from hisexchange with living labour, or not from his relation as capital to labour.

But now let us think of this surplus capital as having been thrown back into the production process, as realizing its surplus value anew in exchange, and as appearing anew as new surplus capital at the beginning of a third production process. This, surplus capital II, has different presuppositions from surplus capital I. The presupposition of surplus capital I was the existence of values belonging to the capitalist and thrown by him into circulation, or, more exactly, into the exchange with living labour capacity. The presupposition of surplus capital II is nothing more than the existence of surplus capital I; i.e. in other words, the presupposition that the capitalist has already appropriated alien labour without exchange. This puts him into a position where he is able to begin the process again and again. True, in order to create surplus capital II, he had to exchange a part of the value of surplus capital I in the form of means of subsistence for living labour capacity, but the values he gave in that exchange were not values which he originally put into circulation out of his own funds; they were, rather, objectified alien labour which he appropriated without giving any equivalent whatever, and which he now re-exchanges for alien living labour; in the same way, moreover, as the material etc. in which this new labour realizes itself and in which it creates surplus value have come into his hands without exchange, by mere appropriation. The previous appropriation of alien labour now appears as the simple precondition for the new appropriation of alien labour; or, his ownership of alien labour in objective (material) form, in the form of existing values, appears as the condition of his ability to appropriate new alien living labour capacity, hence surplus labour, labour without equivalent. The fact that he has previously confronted living labour as capital appears as the only condition required in order that he may not only maintain himself as capital, but also, as a growing capital, increasingly appropriate alien labour without equivalent; or, that he may extend his power, his existence as capital opposite living labour capacity, and on the other side constantly posit living labour capacity anew in its subjective, insubstantial penury as living labour capacity. Property — previous, or objectified, alien labour — appears as the only condition for further appropriation of present or living alien labour. In so far as surplus capital I was created by means of a simple exchange between objectified labour and living labour capacity — an exchange entirely based on the laws of the exchange of equivalents as measured by the quantity of labour or labour time contained in them –and in so far as the legal expression of this exchange presupposed nothing other than everyone’s right of property over his own products, and of free disposition over them — but in so far as the relation of surplus capital II to I is therefore a consequence of this first relation — we see that, by a peculiar logic, the right of property undergoes a dialectical inversion [dialekrischer Umschlag], so that on the side of capital it becomes the right to an alien product, or the right of property over alien labour, the right to appropriate alien labour without an equivalent, and, on the side of labour capacity, it becomes the duty to relate to one’s own labour or to one’s own product as to alien property. The right of property is inverted, to become, on the one side, the right to appropriate alien labour, and, on the other, the duty of respecting the product of one’s own labour, and one’s own labour itself, as values belonging to others. The exchange of equivalents, however, which appeared as the original operation, an operation to which the right of property gave legal expression, has become turned round in such a way that the exchange by one side is now only illusory, since the part of capital which is exchanged for living labour capacity, firstly, is itself alien labour, appropriated without equivalent, and, secondly, has to be replaced with a surplus by living labour capacity, is thus in fact not consigned away, but merely changed from one form into another. The relation of exchange has thus dropped away entirely, or is a mere semblance. Furthermore, the right of property originally appeared to be based on one’s own labour. Property now appears as the right to alien labour, and as ‘the impossibility of labour appropriating its own product. The complete separation between property, and, even more so, wealth, and labour, now appears as a consequence of the law which began with their identity.

Finally, the result of the process of production and realization is, above all, the reproduction and new production of the relation of capital and labour itself, of capitalist and worker. This social relation, production relation, appears in fact as an even more important result of the process than its material results. And more particularly, within this process the worker produces himself as labour capacity, as well as the capital confronting him, while at the same time the capitalist produces himself as capital as well as the living labour capacity confronting him. Each reproduces itself, by reproducing its other, its negation. The capitalist produces labour as alien; labour produces the product as alien. The capitalist produces the worker, and the worker the capitalist etc.

Original accumulation of capital. (The real accumulation). — Once developed historically, capital itself creates the conditions of its existence (not as conditions for its arising, but as results of its being). — (Performance of personal services, as opposed to wage labour.) — Inversion of the law of appropriation. Real alien relation [Fremdheit] of the worker to his product. Division of labour. Machinery etc.

Once production founded on capital is presupposed — money has become transformed into capital actually only at the end of the first production process, which resulted in its reproduction and in the new production of surplus capital I; surplus capital I, however, is itself posited,realized as surplus capital, only when it has produced surplus capital II, i.e. as soon as those presuppositions of money, while it is in the process of passing over into capital, which still lie outside the movement of real capital have vanished, and when capital has therefore itself posited, and posited in accordance with its immanent essence, the conditions which form its point of departure in production — [then] the condition that the capitalist, in order to posit himself as capital, must bring values into circulation which he created with his own labour — or by some other means, excepting only already available, previous wage labour — belongs among the antediluvian conditions of capital, belongs to its historic presuppositions, which, precisely as such historic presuppositions, are past and gone, and hence belong to the history of its formation, but in no way to its contemporary history, i.e. not to the real system of the mode of production ruled by it. While e.g. the flight of serfs to the cities is one of the historic conditions and presuppositions of urbanism, it is not a condition, not a moment of the reality of developed cities, but belongs rather to their past presuppositions, to the presuppositions of their becoming which are suspended in their being. The conditions and presuppositions of the becoming, of the arising, of capital presuppose precisely that it is not yet in being but merely in becoming; they therefore disappear as real capital arises, capital which itself, on the basis of its own reality, posits the conditions for its realization. Thus e.g. while the process in which money or value for-itself originally becomes capital presupposes on the part of the capitalist an accumulation — perhaps by means of savings garnered from products and values created by his own labour etc., which he has undertaken as a not-capitalist, i.e. while the presuppositions under which money becomes capital appear as given, external presuppositions for the arising of capital-[nevertheless,] as soon as capital has become capital as such, it creates its own presuppositions, i.e. the possession of the real conditions of the creation of new valueswithout exchange — by means of its own production process. These presuppositions, which originally appeared as conditions of its becoming — and hence could not spring from its action as capital — now appear as results of its own realization, reality, as posited by it — not as conditions of its arising, but as results of its presence. It no longer proceeds from presuppositions in order to become, but rather it is itself presupposed, and proceeds from itself to create the conditions of its maintenance and growth. Therefore, the conditions which preceded the creation of surplus capital I, or which express the becoming of capital, do not fall into the sphere of that mode of production for which capital serves as the presupposition; as the historic preludes of its becoming, they lie behind it, just as the processes by means of which the earth made the transition from a liquid sea of fire and vapour to its present form now lie beyond its life as finished earth. That is, individual capitals can continue to arise e.g. by means of hoarding. But the hoard is transformed into capital only by means of the exploitation of labour. The bourgeois economists who regard capital as an eternal and natural (not historical) form of production then attempt at the same time to legitimize it again by formulating the conditions of its becoming as the conditions of its contemporary realization; i.e. presenting the moments in which the capitalist still appropriates as not-capitalist — because he is still becoming — as the very conditions in which he appropriates as capitalist. These attempts at apologetics demonstrate a guilty conscience, as well as the inability to bring the mode of appropriation of capital as capital into harmony with thegeneral laws of property proclaimed by capitalist society itself. On the other side, much more important for us is that our method indicates the points where historical investigation must enter in, or where bourgeois economy as a merely historical form of the production process points beyond itself to earlier historical modes of production. In order to develop the laws of bourgeois economy, therefore, it is not necessary to write the real history of the relations of production, But the correct observation and deduction of these laws, as having themselves become [55]in history, always leads to primary equations — like the empirical numbers e.g. in natural science — which point towards a past lying behind this system. These indications [Andeutung], together with a correct grasp of the present, then also offer the key to the understanding of the past — a work in its own right which, it is to be hoped, we shall be able to undertake as well. [56] This correct view likewise leads at the same time to the points at which the suspension of the present form of production relations gives signs of its becoming — foreshadowings of the future. Just as, on one side the pre-bourgeois phases appear as merely historical, i.e. suspended presuppositions, so do the contemporary conditions of production likewise appear as engaged in suspending themselves and hence in positing the historic presuppositions for a new state of society.

Now, if we initially examine the relation such as it has become, value having become capital, and living labour confronting it as mere use value, so that living labour appears as a mere means to realize objectified, dead labour, to penetrate it with an animating soul while losing its own soul to it –and having produced, as the end-product, alien wealth on one side and [, on the other,] the penury which is living labour capacity’s sole possession — then the matter is simply this, that the process itself, in and by itself, posits the real objective conditions of living labour (namely, material in which to realize itself, instrument with which to realize itself, and necessaries with which to stoke the flame of living labour capacity, to protect it from being extinguished, to supply its vital processes with the necessary fuels) and posits them as alien, independent existences — or as the mode of existence of an alien person, as self-sufficient values for-themselves, and hence as values which form wealth alien to an isolated and subjective labour capacity, wealth of and for the capitalist. The objective conditions of living labour appear as separated, independent[verselbständigte] values opposite living labour capacity as subjective being, which therefore appears to them only as a value of another kind(not as value, but different from them, as use value). Once this separation is given, the production process can only produce it anew, reproduce it, and reproduce it on an expanded scale. How it does this, we have seen. The objective conditions of living labour capacity are presupposed as having an existence independent of it, as the objectivity of a subject distinct from living labour capacity and standing independently over against it; the reproduction and realization [Verwertung], i.e. the expansion of these objective conditions, is therefore at the same time their own reproduction and new production as the wealth of an alien subject indifferently and independently standing over against labour capacity. What is reproduced and produced anew [neuproduziert] is not only the presence of these objective conditions of living labour, but also their presence as independent values, i.e. values belonging to an alien subject, confronting this living labour capacity. The objective conditions of labour attain a subjective existence vis-à-vis living labour capacity — capital turns into capitalist; on the other side, the merely subjective presence of the labour capacity confronted by its own conditions gives it a merely indifferent, objective form as against them — it is merely a value of a particular use value alongside the conditions of its own realization [Verwertung] as values of another use value. Instead of their being realized [realisiert] in the production process as the conditions of its realization [Verwirklichung], what happens is quite the opposite: it comes out of the process as mere condition for their realization [Verwertung] and preservation as values for-themselves opposite living labour capacity. The material on which it works is alien material; the instrument is likewise an alien instrument; its labour appears as a mere accessory to their substance and hence objectifies itself in things not belonging to it. Indeed, living labour itself appears as alien vis-à-vis living labour capacity, whose labour it is, whose own life’s expression [Lebensäusserung] it is, for it has been surrendered to capital in exchange for objectified labour, for the product of labour itself. Labour capacity relates to its labour as to an alien, and if capital were willing,to pay it withoutmaking it labour it would enter the bargain with pleasure. Thus labour capacity’s own labour is as alien to it — and it really is, as regards its direction etc. — as are material and instrument. Which is why the product then appears to it as a combination of alien material, alien instrument and alien labour — as alien property, and why, after production, it has become poorer by the life forces expended, but otherwise begins the drudgery anew, existing as a mere subjective labour capacity separated from the conditions of its life. The recognition [Erkennung] of the products as its own, and the judgment that its separation from the conditions of its realization is improper –forcibly imposed — is an enormous [advance in] awareness [Bewusstsein], itself the product of the mode of production resting on capital, and as much the knell to its doom as, with the slave’s awareness that he cannot be the property of another, with his consciousness of himself as a person, the existence of slavery becomes a merely artificial, vegetative existence, and ceases to be able to prevail as the basis of production.

However, if we consider the original relation, before the entry of money into the self-realization process, then various conditions appear which have to have arisen, or been given historically, for money to become capital and labour to become capital-positing, capital-creating labour, wage labour. (Wage labour, here, in the strict economic sense in which we use it here, and no other — and we will later have to distinguish it from other forms of labour for day-wages etc. — is capital-positing, capital-producing labour, i.e. living labour which produces both the objective conditions of its realization as an activity, as well as the objective moments of its being as labour capacity, and produces them as alien powers opposite itself, as values for-themselves, independent of it.) The essential conditions are themselves posited in the relation as it appears originally: (1) on the one side the presence of living labour capacity as a merely subjective existence, separated from the conditions of living labour as well as from the means of existence, the necessary goods, the means of self-preservation of living labour capacity; the living possibility of labour, on the one side, in this complete abstraction; (2) the value, or objectified labour, found on the other side, must be an accumulation of use values sufficiently large to furnish the objective conditions not only for the production of the products or values required to reproduce or maintain living labour capacity, but also for the absorption of surplus labour — to supply the objective material for the latter; (3) a free exchange relation — money circulation — between both sides; between the extremes a relation founded on exchange values — not on the master –servant relation — i.e., hence, production which does not directly furnish the producer with his necessaries, but which is mediated through exchange, and which cannot therefore usurp alien labour directly, but must buy it, exchange it, from the worker himself; finally (4) one side — the side representing the objective conditions of labour in the form of independent values for-themselves — must present itself as value,and must regard the positing of value, self-realization, moneymaking, as the ultimate purpose — not direct consumption or the creation of use value.

So long as both sides exchange their labour with one another in the form of objectified labour, the relation is impossible; it is likewise impossible if living labour capacity itself appears as the property of the other side, hence as not engaged in exchange. (The.fact that slavery is possible at individual points within the bourgeois system of production does not contradict this. However, slavery is then possible there only because it does not exist at other points; and appears as an anomaly opposite the bourgeois system itself.)

The conditions under which the relation appears at the origin, or which appear as the historic presuppositions of its becoming, reveal at first glance a two-sided character — on one side, dissolution of lower forms of living labour; on the other, dissolution of happier forms of the same.

The first presupposition, to begin with, is that the relation of slavery or serfdom has been suspended. Living labour capacity belongs to itself, and has disposition over the expenditure of its forces, through exchange. Both sides confront each other as persons. Formally, their relation has the equality and freedom of exchange as such. As far as concerns the legal relation, the fact that this form is a mere semblance, and a deceptive semblance, appears as an external matter. What the free worker sells is always nothing more than a specific, particular measure of force-expenditure [Kraftäusserung ]; labour capacity as a totality is greater than every particular expenditure. He sells the particular expenditure of force to a particular capitalist, whom he confronts as an independent individual. It is clear that this is not his relation to the existence of capital as capital, i.e. to the capitalist class. Nevertheless, in this way everything touching on the individual, real person leaves him a wide field of choice, of arbitrary will, and hence of formal freedom. In the slave relation, he belongs to the individual, particular owner, and is his labouring machine. As a totality of force-expenditure, as labour capacity, he is a thing [Sache] belonging to another, and hence does not relate as subject to his particular expenditure of force, nor to the act of living labour. In the serf relation he appears as a moment of property in land itself, is an appendage of the soil, exactly like draught-cattle. In the slave relation the worker is nothing but a living labour-machine, which therefore has a value for others, or rather is a value. The totality of the free worker’s labour capacity appears to him as his property, as one of his moments, over which he, as subject, exercises domination, and which he maintains by expending it. This to he developed later under wage labour.

The exchange of objectified labour for living labour does not yet constitute either capital on one side or wage labour on the other. The entire class of so-called services from the bootblack up to the king falls into this category. Likewise the free day-labourer, whom we encounter sporadically in all places where either the oriental community [Gemeinwesen] or the western commune [Gemeinde] consisting of free landowners dissolves into individual elements — as a consequence of increase of population, release of prisoners of war, accidents by which the individual is impoverished and loses the objective conditions of his self-sustaining labour, owing to division of labour etc. If A exchanges a value or money, i.e. objectified labour, in order to obtain a service from B, i.e. living labour, then this can belong:

(1) within the relation of simple circulation. Both in fact exchange only use values with one another; one exchanges necessaries, the other labour, a service which the other wants to consume, either directly — personal service — or he furnishes him the material etc. from which, with his labour, with the objectification of his labour, he makes a use value, a use value designed for A’s consumption. For example, when the peasant takes a wandering tailor, of the kind that existed in times past, into his house, and gives him the material to make clothes with. Or if I give money to a doctor to patch up my health. What is important in these cases is the service which both do for one another. Do ut facias here appears on quite the same level as facio ut des, or do ut des. [57] The man who takes the cloth I supplied to him and makes me an article of clothing out of it gives me a use value. But instead of giving it directly in objective form, he gives it in the form of activity. I give him a completed use value; he completes another for me. The difference between previous, objectified labour and living, present labour here appears as a merely formal difference between the different tenses of labour, at one time in the perfect and at another in the present. It appears in fact as a merely formal difference, a difference mediated by division of labour and by exchange, whether B himself produces the necessaries on which he has to subsist, or whether he obtains them from A and, instead of producing the necessaries himself, produces an article of clothing, in exchange for which he obtains them from A. In both cases he can take possession of the use value possessed by A only by giving him an equivalent for it; which, in the last analysis, always resolves itself into his own living labour, regardless of the objective form it may adopt, whether before the exchange is concluded, or as a consequence of it. Now, the article of clothing not only contains a specific, form-giving labour –a specific form of usefulness imparted to the cloth by the movement of labour — but it contains also a certain quantity of labour — hence not only use value, butvalue generally, value as such. But this value does not exist for A, since he consumes the article, and is not a clothes-dealer. He has therefore bought the labour not as value-positing labour, but as an activity which creates utility, use value. In the case of personal services, this use value is consumed as such without making the transition from the form of movement [Bewegung] into the form of the object [Sache]. If, as is frequently the case in simple relations, the performer of the service does not obtain money, but direct use values themselves, then it no longer even seems as if value were being dealt in on one or the other side; merely use values. But even given that A pays money for the service, this is not a transformation of his money into capital, but rather the positing of his money as mere medium of circulation, in order to obtain an object for consumption, a specific use value. This act is for that reason not an act which produces wealth, but the opposite, one which consumes wealth. The point for A is not the objectification in the cloth of labour as such, of a certain amount of labour time, hence value, but rather the satisfaction of a certain need. Here A sees his money not realized but devalued in its transposition from the form of value into that of use value. Labour is here exchanged not as use value for value, but as itself a particular use value, as value for use. The more frequently A repeats the exchange, the poorer does he become. This exchange is not an act of wealth-getting for him, not an act of value creation, but of devaluation of the values he has in hand, in his possession. The money which A here exchanges for living labour — service in kind, or service objectified in a thing — is not capital but revenue, money as a medium of circulation in order to obtain use value, money in which the form of value is posited as merely vanishing, not money which will preserve and realize itself as such through the acquisition of labour. Exchange of money as revenue, as a open medium of circulation, for living labour, can never posit money as capital, nor, therefore, labour as wage labour in the economic sense. A lengthy disquisition is not required to show that to consume (spend) money is not the same as to produce money. In situations in which the greatest part of surplus labour appears as agricultural labour, and where the owner of the land therefore appears as owner both of surplus labour and of the surplus product, it is the revenue of the owner of the land which forms the labour fund for the free worker, for the worker in manufactures (here, hand crafts) as opposed to the agricultural labourers. The exchange with them [58] is a form of the consumption of the owner of the land — he divides another part of his revenue directly — for personal services, often only the illusion of services, with a heap of retainers. In Asiatic societies, where the monarch appears as the exclusive proprietor of the agricultural surplus product, whole cities arise, which are at bottom nothing more than wandering encampments, from the exchange of his revenue with the ‘free hands’, as Steuart calls them. [59] There is nothing of wage labour in this relation, but it can stand in opposition to slavery and serfdom, though need not do so, for it always repeats itself under various forms of the overall organization of labour. To the extent that money mediates this exchange the determination of prices will become important on both sides, but it will do so for A only in so far as he does not want to pay too much for the use value of the labour; not in so far as he is concerned with its value. The essence of the relation remains unchanged even if this price, which begins as conventional and traditional, is thereafter increasingly determined economically, first by the relation of demand and supply, finally by the production costs at which the vendors themselves of these living services can be produced; nothing is essentially changed thereby, because the determination of prices remains a merely formal moment for the exchange of mere use values, as before. This determination itself, however, is created by other relations, by the general laws and the self-determination of the ruling mode of production, acting, as it were, behind the back of this particular act of exchange. One of the forms in which this kind of pay [Besoldung] first appears in the old communities is where an army is maintained. The pay [Sold] of the common soldier is also reduced to a minimum — determined purely by the production costs necessary to procure him. But he exchanges the performance of his services not for capital, but for the revenue of the state.

In bourgeois society itself, all exchange of personal services for revenue — including labour for personal consumption, cooking, sewing etc., garden work etc., up to and including all of the unproductive classes, civil servants, physicians, lawyers, scholars etc. — belongs under this rubric, within this category. All menial servants etc. By means of their services — often coerced — all these workers, from the least to the highest, obtain for themselves a share of the surplus product, of the capitalist’s revenue. But it does not occur to anyone to think that by means of the exchange of his revenue for such services, i.e. through private consumption, the capitalist posits himself as capitalist. Rather, he thereby spends the fruits of his capital. It does not change the nature of the relation that the proportions in which revenue is exchanged for this kind of living labour are themselves determined by the general laws of production.

As we have already mentioned in the section on money, [60] it is here rather the performer of the service who actually posits value; who transposes a use value — a certain kind of labour, service etc. — into value, money. Hence in the Middle Ages, those who are oriented towards the production and accumulation of money proceed partly not from the side of the consuming landed nobility, but quite the opposite, from the side of living labour; they accumulate and thus become capitalists, dunamei, for a later period. The emancipated serf becomes, in part, the capitalist.

It thus does not depend on the general relation, but rather on the natural, particular quality of the service performed, whether the recipient of payment receives it as day-wages, or as an honorarium, or as a sinecure — and whether he appears as superior or inferior in rank to the person paying for the service. However, with the presupposition of capital as the dominant power, all these relations become more or less dishonoured.But this does not belong here yet — this demystification [Entgötterung] of personal services, regardless of the lofty character with which tradition may have poetically endowed them.

It is not, then, simply the exchange of objectified labour for living labour — which appear, from this standpoint, as two different aspects, as use values in different forms, the one objective, the other subjective — which constitutes capital and hence wage labour, but rather, the exchange of objectified labour as value, as self-sufficient value, for living labour as its use value, a use value not for a specific, particular use or consumption, but as use value for value.

In the exchange of money for labour or service, with the aim of direct consumption, a real exchange always takes place; the fact that amounts of labour are exchanged on both sides is of merely formal interest for measuring the particular forms of the utility of labour by comparing them with each other. This concerns only the form of the exchange; but does not form its content. In the exchange of capital for labour, valueis not a measure of the exchange of two use values, but is rather the content of the exchange itself.

(2) In periods of the dissolution of pre-bourgeois relations, there sporadically occur free workers whose services are bought for purposes not of consumption, but of production; bat, firstly, even if on a large scale, for the production only of direct use values, not of values; andsecondly, if a nobleman e.g. brings the free worker together with his serfs, even if he re-sells a part of the worker’s product, and the free worker thus creates value for him, then this exchange takes place only for the superfluous [product] and only for the sake of superfluity, for luxury consumption; is thus at bottom only a veiled purchase of alien labour for immediate consumption or as use value. Incidentally, wherever these free workers increase in number, and where this relation grows, there the old mode of production — commune, patriarchal, feudal etc. — is in the process of dissolution, and the elements of real wage labour are in preparation. But these free servants [Knechte] can also emerge, as e.g. in Poland etc., and vanish again, without a change in the mode of production taking place.

(In order to express the relations into which capital and wage labour enter as property relations or laws, we need do no more than express the conduct of both sides in the realization process as an appropriation process. For example, the fact that surplus labour is posited as surplus value of capital means that the worker does not appropriate the product of his own labour; that it appears to him as alien property;inversely, that alien labour appears as the property of capital. This second law of bourgeois property, the inversion of the first — which, through laws of inheritance etc., attains an existence independent of the accidental transitoriness of individual capitalists — becomes just as established in law as the first. The first is the identity of labour with property; the second, labour as negated property, or property as negation of the alien quality of alien labour. In fact, in the production process of capital, as will be seen more closely in its further development, labour is a totality — a combination of labours — whose individual component parts are alien to one another, so that the overall process as a totality is not the work of the individual worker, and is furthermore the work of the different workers together only to the extent that they are [forcibly] combined, and do not [voluntarily] enter into combination with one another. The combination of this labour appears just as subservient to and led by an alien will and an alien intelligence — having its animating unity elsewhere — as its material unity appears subordinate to the objective unity of themachinery, of fixed capital, which, as animated monster, objectifies the scientific idea, and is in fact the coordinator, does not in any way relate to the individual worker as his instrument; but rather he himself exists as an animated individual punctuation mark; as its living isolated accessory. Thus, combined labour is combination in-itself in a double way; not combination as a mutual relation among the individuals working together, nor as their predominance either over their particular or individual function or over the instrument of labour. Hence, just as the worker relates to the product of his labour as an alien thing, so does he relate to the combination of labour as an alien combination, as well as to his own labour as an expression of his life, which, although it belongs to him, is alien to him and coerced from him, and which A. Smith etc. therefore conceives is a burden, sacrifice etc. [61] Labour itself, like its product, is negated as the labour of the particular, isolated worker. This isolated labour, negated, is now indeed communal or combined labour, posited. The communal or combined labour posited in this way — as activity and in the passive, objective form — is however at the same time posited as an other towards the really existing individual labour — as analien objectivity (alien property) as well as an alien subjectivity (of capital). Capital thus represents both labour and its product as negated individualized labour and hence as the negated property of the individualized worker. Capital therefore is the existence of social labour — the combination of labour as subject as well as object — but this existence as itself existing independently opposite its real moments — hence itself aparticular existence apart from them. For its part, capital therefore appears as the predominant subject and owner of alien labour, and its relation is itself as complete a contradiction as is that of wage labour.>

Forms which precede capitalist production

(Concerning the process which precedes the formation of the capital relation or of original accumulation)

A presupposition of wage labour, and one of the historic preconditions for capital, is free labour and the exchange of this free labour for money, in order to reproduce and to realize money, to consume the use value of labour not for individual consumption, but as use value for money. Another presupposition is the separation of free labour from the objective conditions of its realization — from the means of labour and the material for labour. Thus, above all, release of the worker from the soil as his natural workshop — hence dissolution of small, free landed property as well as of communal landownership resting on the oriental commune. In both forms, the worker relates to the objective conditions of his labour as to his property; this is the natural unity of labour with its material [sachlich] presuppositions. The worker thus has an objective existence independent of labour. The individual relates to himself as proprietor, as master of the conditions of his reality. He relates to the others in the same way and — depending on whether this presupposition is posited as proceeding from the community or from the individual families which constitute the commune — he relates to the others as co-proprietors, as so many incarnations of the common property, or as independent proprietors like himself, independent private proprietors -beside whom the previously all-absorbing and all-predominant communal property is itself posited as a particular ager publicus [62] alongside the many private landowners.

In both forms, the individuals relate not as workers but as proprietors — and members of a community, who at the same time work. The aim of this work is not the creation of value -although they may do surplus labour in order to obtain alien, i.e. surplus products in exchange — rather, its aim is sustenance of the individual proprietor and of his family, as well as of the total community. The positing of the individual as a worker, in this nakedness, is itself a product of history.

In the first form of this landed property, an initial, naturally arisen spontaneous [naturwüchsiges] community appears as first presupposition. Family, and the family extended as a clan [Stamm], [63] or through intermarriage between families, or combination of clans. Since we may assume that pastoralism, or more generally a migratory form of life, was the first form of the mode of existence, not that the clan settles in a specific site, but that it grazes off what it finds — humankind is not settlement-prone by nature (except possibly in a natural environment so especially fertile that they sit like monkeys on a tree; else roaming like the animals) — then the clan community, the natural community, appears not as a result of, but as a presupposition for the communal appropriation (temporary) and utilization of the land. When they finally do settle down, the extent to which this original community is modified will depend on various external, climatic, geographic, physical etc. conditions as well as on their particular natural predisposition — their clan character. This naturally arisen clan community, or, if one will, pastoral society, is the first presupposition — the communality [Gemeinschaftlichkeit] of blood, language, customs — for the appropriation of the objective conditions of their life, and of their life’s reproducing and objectifying activity (activity as herdsmen, hunters, tillers etc.). The earth is the great workshop, the arsenal which furnishes both means and material of labour, as well as the seat, the base of the community. They relate naively to it as the property of the community, of the community producing and reproducing itself in living labour. Each individual conducts himself only as a link, as a member of this community as proprietor or possessor. The real appropriation through the labour process happens under these presuppositions, which are not themselves the product of labour, but appear as its natural or divine presuppositions. This form, with the same land-relation as its foundation, can realize itself in very different ways. E.g. it is not in the least a contradiction to it that, as in most of the Asiatic land-forms, the comprehensive unity standing above all these little communities appears as the higher proprietor or as the sole proprietor; the real communities hence only as hereditary possessors. Because the unity is the real proprietor and the real presupposition of communal property, it follows that this unify can appear as a particular entity above the many real particular communities, where the individual is then in fact propertyless, or, property — i.e. the relation of the individual to the natural conditions of labour and of reproduction as belonging to him, as the objective, nature-given inorganic body of his subjectivity — appears mediated for him through a cession by the total unity — a unity realized in the form of the despot, the father of the may communities — to the individual, through the mediation of the particular commune. The surplus product — which is, incidentally, determined by law in consequence of the real appropriation through labour — thereby automatically belongs to this highest unity. Amidst oriental despotism and the propertylessness which seems legally to exist there, this clan or communal property exists in fact as the foundation, created mostly by a combination of manufactures and agriculture within the small commune, which thus becomes altogether self-sustaining, and contains all the conditions of reproduction and surplus production within itself. A part of their surplus labour belongs to the higher community, which exists ultimately as a person, and this surplus labour takes the form of tribute etc., as well as of common labour for the exaltation of the unity, partly of the real despot, partly of the imagined clan-being, the god. Now, in so far as it actually realizes itself in labour, this kind of communal property can appear either in the form where the little communes vegetate independently alongside one another, and where, inside them, the individual with his family work independently on the lot assigned to them (a certain amount of labour for the communal reserves, insurance so to speak, and to meet the expenses of the community as such, i.e. for war, religion etc.; this is the first occurrence of the lordly dominium in the most original sense, e.g. in the Slavonic communes, in the Rumanian etc. Therein lies the transition to villeinage [Frondienst] etc.); or the unity may extend to the communality of labour itself, which may be a formal system, as in Mexico, Peru especially, among the early Celts, a few clans of India. The communality can, further, appear within the clan system more in a situation where the unity is represented in a chief of the clan-family, or as the relation of the patriarchs among one another. Depending on that, a more despotic or a more democratic form of this community system. The communal conditions of real appropriation through labour, aqueducts, very important among the Asiatic peoples; means of communication etc. then appear as the work of the higher unity — of the despotic regime hovering over the little communes. Cities proper here form alongside these villages only at exceptionally good points for external trade; or where the head of the state and his satraps exchange their revenue (surplus product) for labour, spend it as labour-fund.

The second form — and like the first it has essential modifications brought about locally, historically etc. –product of more active, historic life, of the fates and modifications of the original clans — also assumes the community as its first presupposition, but not, as in the first case, as the substance of which the individuals are mere accidents, or of which they form purely natural component parts — it presupposes as base not the countryside, but the town as an already created seat (centre) of the rural population (owners of land). The cultivated field here appears as aterritorium belonging to the town; not the village as mere accessory to the land. The earth in itself — regardless of the obstacles it may place in the way of working it, really appropriating it — offers no resistance to [attempts to] relate to it as the inorganic nature of the living individual, as his workshop, as the means and object of labour and the means of life for the subject The difficulties which the commune encounters can arise only from other communes, which have either previously occupied the land and soil, or which disturb the commune in its own occupation. War is therefore the great comprehensive task, the peat communal labour which is required either to occupy the objective conditions of being there alive, or to protect and perpetuate the occupation. Hence the commune consisting of families initially organized in a warlike way — as a system of war and army, and this is one of the conditions of its being there as proprietor. The concentration of residences in the town, basis of this bellicose organization. The clan system in itself leads to higher and lower ancestral lineages [Geschlechtern], [64] a distinction which is still further developed through intermixture with subjugated clans etc. Communal property — as state property, ager publicus — here separated from private property. The property [Eigentum] of the individual is here not, unlike the first case, itself directly communal property; where it is, the individual has no property as distinct from the commune, but rather is merely its possessor [Besitzer]. The less it is the case that the individual’s property can in fact be realized solely through communal labour — thus e.g. the aqueducts in the Orient — the more the purely naturally arisen, spontaneous character of the clan has been broken by historic movement, migration; the more, further, the clan removes itself from its original seat and occupies alien ground, hence enters into essentially new conditions of labour, and develops the energy of the individual more — its common character appearing, necessarily, more as a negative unity towards the outside — the more, therefore, are the conditions given under which the individual can become a private proprietor of land and soil — of a particular plot — whose particular cultivation falls to him and his family. The commune — as state — is, on one side, the relation of these free and equal private proprietors to one another, their bond against the outside, and is at the same time their safeguard. The commune here rests as much on the fact that its members consist of working landed proprietors, small-owning peasants, as the peasants’ independence rests on their mutual relations as commune members, on protection of the ager publicus for communal needs and communal glory etc. Membership in the commune remains the presupposition for the appropriation of land and soil, but, as a member of the commune, the individual is a private proprietor. He relates to his private property as land and soil, but at the same time as to his being as commune member; and his own sustenance as such is likewise the sustenance of the commune, and conversely etc. The commune, although already a product of history here, not only in fact but also known as such, and therefore possessing an origin, is the presupposition of property in land and soil — i.e. of the relation of the working subject to the natural presuppositions of labour as belonging to him — but this belonging [is] mediated by his being a member of the state, by the being of the state — hence by a presupposition regarded as divine etc. Concentration in the town, with the land as territorium; small agriculture working for direct consumption; manufacture as domestic side occupation of wives and daughters (spinning and weaving) or, independently, in individual branches only (fabri [66] etc.). The presupposition of the survival of the community is the preservation of equal ity among its free self-sustaining peasants, and their own labour as the condition of the survival of their property. They relate as proprietors to the natural conditions of labour; but these conditions must also constantly be posited as real conditions and objective elements of the personality of the individual, by means of personal labour. On the other side, the tendency of this small bellicose community system drives beyond these barriers etc. (Rome, Greece, Jews etc.). ‘When the auguries’, Niebuhr says, ‘had assured Numa of the divine sanction of his election, the pious king’s first concern was not worship at the temple, but a human one. He divided the lands which Romulus had won in war and given over to occupation: he endowed the order of Terminus. All the law-givers of antiquity, Moses above all, founded their success in commanding virtue, integrity and proper custom on landed property, or at least on secured, hereditary possession of land, for the greatest possible number of citizens.’ (Vol. I, 245, 2nd edition. Röm. Gesch.[67] The individual is placed in such conditions of earning his living as to make not the acquiring of wealth his object, but self-sustenance, his own reproduction as a member of the community; the reproduction of himself as proprietor of the parcel of ground, and, in that quality, as a member of the commune. The survival of the commune is the reproduction of all of its members as self-sustaining peasants, whose surplus time belongs precisely to the commune, the work of war etc. The property in one’s own labour is mediated by property in the condition of labour — the hide of land, guaranteed in its turn by the existence of the commune, and that in turn by surplus labour in the form of military service etc. by the commune members. It is not cooperation in wealth-producing labour by means of which the commune member reproduces himself, but rather cooperation in labour for the communal interests (imaginary and real), for the upholding of the association inwardly and outwardly. Property is quiritorium, [68] of the Roman variety; the private proprietor of land is such only as a Roman, but as a Roman he is a private proprietor of land.

A[nother] form of the property of working individuals, self- sustaining members of the community, in the natural conditions of their labour, is the Germanic. Here the commune member is neither, as such, a co-possessor of the communal property, as in the specifically oriental form (wherever property exists only as communal property, there the individual member is as such only possessor of a particular part, hereditary or not, since any fraction of the property belongs to no member for himself, but to him only as immediate member of the commune, i.e. as in direct unity with it, not in distinction to it. This individual is thus only a possessor. What exists is only communal property, and only private possession. The mode of this possession in relation to the communal property may be historically, locally etc. modified in quite different ways, depending on whether labour itself is performed by the private possessor in isolation, or is in turn determined by the commune or by the unity hovering above the particular commune); nor is the situation such as obtains in the Roman, Greek form (in short, the form of classical antiquity) — in this case, the land is occupied by the commune, Roman land; a part remains to the commune as such as distinct from the commune members,ager publicus in its various forms; the other part is divided up and each parcel of land is Roman by virtue of being the private property, the domain of a Roman, the part of the laboratorium belonging to him; but, also, he is a Roman only in so far as he possesses this sovereign right over a part of the Roman earth. <In antiquity, urban occupation and trade little esteemed, agriculture, however, highly; in the Middle Ages the contrary appraisal.> <The right of using the communal land through possession originally appertained to the patricians, who then granted it to their clients; the transfer of property out of the ager publicus appertained exclusively to the plebeians; all assignments in favour of the plebeians and compensation for a share of the communal property. Actual property in land, excepting the area around the city walls, originally only in the hands of the plebeians (rural communes included later.)> <Basis of the Roman plebs as a totality of agriculturists, as is indicated in their quiritary property. Antiquity unanimously esteemed agriculture as the proper occupation of the free man, the soldier’s school. In it the ancestral stock of the nation sustains itself; it changes in the cities, where alien merchants and dealers settle, just as the indigenous move where gain entices them. Wherever there is slavery, the freedman seeks his support in such dealings, in which he then often gathers riches: thus these occupations were mostly in their hands in antiquity, and were therefore not proper for a citizen: hence the opinion that admission of the craftsmen to full citizenship rights would be a risky undertaking (among the earlier Greeks they were as a rule excluded). oudeni gar exhn Rwmaiwn oute caphlon oute ceirotecn eceiv. [69] Antiquity had no inkling of a privileged guild-system such as prevailed in the history of medieval cities; and already here the martial spirit declined as the guilds defeated the aristocratic lineages, and was finally extinguished altogether; and consequently, with it, the cities’ external respect and freedom.> <The clans of the ancient states were founded on two different principles, either on ancestry [Gesehlecht] or on the locality. The ancestral clans preceded the locality clans in time and are almost everywhere pushed aside by the latter. Their most extreme, strictest form is the caste-order, in which one is separated from the other, without the right of intermarriage, quite different in [degree of] privilege; each with an exclusive, irrevocable occupation. The locality clans originally corresponded to a partition of the countryside into districts and villages; so that someone residing in a given village at the time of this partition, in Attica under Cleisthenes, was registered as a demotes (villager) of that village, and as a member of the phylon (tribe) of the village’s region. Now, his descendants, as a rule, remained in the same phylon and the same demos without regard to their residence; whereby this partition also took on an ancestral appearance.> <These Roman gens not blood relatives; to the communal name, Cicero adds descent from free men as a sign. Communal sacra(shrines) for the Roman gentiles; later ceased (already in Cicero’s time). Practice of co-gentile inheritance, in cases without dependents or will, survived longest of all. In the earliest periods, obligation of all members of the gens to help those of their own who require this, to carry unaccustomed burdens. (This occurs originally everywhere among the Germans, remains longest among the Dithmarschen.) The gentes,corporations [Innungen]. There was in the world of antiquity no more general institution than that of kin groups. Thus among the Gaels the noble Campbells and their vassals forming one clan.> [70] Since the patrician represents the community in a higher degree, he is the possessor of theager publicus and uses it through his clients etc. (and also appropriates it little by little). The Germanic commune is not concentrated in the town; by means of such a concentration — the town as centre of rural life, residence of the agricultural workers, likewise the centre of warfare — the commune as such would have a merely outward existence, distinct from that of the individual. The history of classical antiquity is the history of cities, but of cities founded on landed property and on agriculture; Asiatic history is a kind of indifferent unity of town and countryside (the really large cities must be regarded here merely as royal camps, as works of artifice [Superfötation] erected over the economic construction proper); the Middle Ages (Germanic period) begins with the land as the seat of history, whose further development then moves forward in the contradiction between town and countryside; the modern [age] is the urbanization of the countryside, not ruralization of the city as in antiquity.

22 January 1858 – Beginning of February 1858

The Chapter on Capital (continuation)

With its coming-together in the city, the commune possesses an economic existence as such; the city’s mere presence, as such, distinguishes it from a mere multiplicity of independent houses. The whole, here, consists not merely of its parts. It is a kind of independent organism. Among the Germanic tribes, where the individual family chiefs settled in the forests, long distances apart, the commune exists, already from outwardobservation, only in the periodic gathering-together [Vereinigung] of the commune members, although their unity-in-itself is posited in their ancestry, language, common past and history, etc. The commune thus appears as a coming-together [Vereinigung], not as a being-together[Verein]; as a unification made up of independent subjects, landed proprietors, and not as a unity. The commune therefore does not in fact exist as a state or political body, as in classical antiquity, because it does not exist as a city. For the commune to come into real existence, the free landed proprietors have to hold a meeting, whereas e.g. in Rome it exists even apart from these assemblies in the existence of the city itselfand of the officials presiding over it etc. True, the ager publicus, the communal or people’s land, as distinct from individual property, also occurs among the Germanic tribes. It takes the form of hunting land, grazing land, timber land etc., the part of the land which cannot be divided if it is to serve as means of production in this specific form. But this ager publicus does not appear, as with the Romans e.g., as the particular economic presence of the state as against the private proprietors, so that these latter are actually private proprietors as such, in so far as they areexcluded, deprived, like the plebeians, from using the ager publicus. Among the Germanic tribes, the ager publicus appears rather merely as a complement to individual property, and figures as property only to the extent that it is defended militarily as the common property of one tribe against a hostile tribe. Individual property does not appear mediated by the commune; rather, the existence of the commune and of communal property appear as mediated by, i.e. as a relation of, the independent subjects to one another. The economic totality is, at bottom, contained in each individual household, which forms an independent centre of production for itself (manufactures purely as domestic secondary task for women etc.). In the world of antiquity, the city with its territory is the economic totality; in the Germanic world, the totality is the individual residence, which itself appears as only a small dot on the land belonging to it, and which is not a concentration of many proprietors, but the family as independent unit. In the Asiatic form (at least, predominantly), the individual has no property but only possession; the real proprietor, proper, is the commune — hence property only as communal property in land. In antiquity (Romans as the most classic example, the thing in its purest, most fully developed form), the form of state property in land and that of private property in land [are] antithetical, so that the latter is mediated by the former, or the former itself exists in this double form. The private proprietor of land hence at the same time urban citizen. Urban citizenship resolves itself economically into the simple form that the agriculturist [is a] resident of a city. In the Germanic form, the agriculturist not citizen of a state, i.e. not inhabitant of a city; [the] basis [is] rather the isolated, independent family residence, guaranteed by the bond with other such family residences of the same tribe, and by their occasional coming-together [Zusammnenkommen] to pledge each others’ allegiance in war, religion, adjudication etc. Individual landed property here appears neither as a form antithetical to the commune’s landed property, nor as mediated by it, but just the contrary. The commune exists only in the interrelations among these individual landed proprietors as such. Communal property as such appears only as a communal accessory to the individual tribal seats and the land they appropriate. The commune is neither the substance of which the individual appears as a mere accident; nor is it a generality with a being and unity as such [seiende Einheit] either in the mind and in the existence of the city and of its civic needs as distinct from those of the individual, or in its civic land and soil as its particular presence as distinct from the particular economic presence of the commune member; rather, the commune, on the one side, is presupposed in-itself prior to the individual proprietors as a communality of language, blood etc., but it exists as a presence, on the other hand, only in its real assembly for communal purposes; and to the extent that it has a particular economic existence in the hunting and grazing lands for communal use, it is so used by each individual proprietor as such, not as representative of the state (as in Rome); it is really the common property of the individual proprietors, not of the union of these proprietors endowed with an existence separate from themselves, the city itself.

The main point here is this: In all these forms — in which landed property and agriculture form the basis of the economic order, and where the economic aim is hence the production of use values, i.e. the reproduction of the individual within the specific relation to the commune in which he is its basis — there is to be found: (1) Appropriation not through labour, but presupposed to labour; appropriation of the natural conditions of labour, of the earth as the original instrument of labour as well as its workshop and repository of raw materials. The individual relates simply to the objective conditions of labour as being his; [relates] to them as the inorganic nature of his subjectivity, in which the latter realizes itself; the chief objective condition of labour does not itself appear as a product of labour, but is already there as nature; on one side the living individual, on the other the earth, as the objective condition of his reproduction; (2) but this relation to land and soil, to the earth, as the property of the labouring individual –who thus appears from the outset not merely as labouring individual, in this abstraction, but who has an objective mode of existence in his ownership of the land, an existence presupposed to his activity, and not merely as a result of it, a presupposition of his activity just like his skin, his sense organs, which of course he also reproduces and develops etc. in the life process, but which are nevertheless presuppositions of this process of his reproduction — is instantly mediated by the naturally arisen, spontaneous, more or less historically developed and modified presence of the individual as member of a commune — his naturally arisen presence as member of a tribe etc. An isolated individual could no more have property in land and soil than he could speak. He could, of course, live off it as substance, as do the animals. The relation to the earth as property is always mediated through the occupation of the land and soil, peacefully or violently, by the tribe, the commune, in some more or less naturally arisen or already historically developed form. The individual can never appear here in the dot-like isolation [Punktualität] in which he appears as mere free worker. If the objective conditions of his labour are presupposed as belonging to him, then he himself is subjectively presupposed as member of a commune, through which his relation to land and soil is mediated. His relation to the objective conditions of labour is mediated through his presence as member of the commune; at the same time, the real presence of the commune is determined by the specific form of the individual’s property in the objective conditions of labour. Whether this property mediated by commune-membership appears as communal property, where the individual is merely the possessor and there is no private property in land and soil — or whether property appears in the double form of state and private property alongside one another, but so that the latter appears as posited by the former, so that only the citizen is and must be a private proprietor, while his property as citizen has a separate, particular existence at the same time — or whether, finally, the communal property appears only as a complement to individual property, with the latter as the base, while the commune has no existence for-itself except in the assembly of the commune members, their coming-together for common purposes — these different forms of the commune or tribe members’ relation to the tribe’s land and soil — to the earth where it has settled — depend partly on the natural inclinations of the tribe, and partly on the economic conditions in which it relates as proprietor to the land and soil in reality, i.e. in which it appropriates its fruits through labour, and the latter will itself depend on climate, physical make-up of the land and soil, the physically determined mode of its exploitation, the relation with hostile tribes or neighbor tribes, and the modifications which migrations, historic experiences etc. introduce. The survival of the commune as such in the old mode requires the reproduction of its members in the presupposed objective conditions. Production itself, the advance of population (this too belongs with production), necessarily suspends these conditions little by little; destroys them instead of reproducing them etc., and, with that, the communal system declines and falls, together with the property relations on which it was based. The Asiatic form necessarily hangs on most tenaciously and for the longest time. This is due to its presupposition that the individual does not become independent vis-à-vis the commune; that there is a self-sustaining circle of production, unity of agriculture and manufactures, etc. If the individual changes his relation to the commune, he thereby changes and acts destructively upon the commune; as on its economic presupposition; on the other side, the alteration of this economic presupposition brought about by its own dialectic — impoverishment etc. In particular, the influence of warfare and o f co nquest, which e.g. in Rome belonged to the essential conditions of the commune itself, suspends the real bond o n which it rests. In all these forms, the reproduction of presupposed relations –more or less naturally arisen or historic as well, but become traditional — of the individual to his commune, together with a specific, objective existence, predetermined for the individual, of his relations both to the conditions of labour and to his co-workers, fellow tribesmen etc. — are the foundation of development, which is therefore from the outset restricted, but which signifies decay, decline and fall once this barrier is suspended. Thus among the Romans, the development of slavery, the concentration of land possession, exchange, the money system, conquest etc., although all these elements up to a certain point seemed compatible with the foundation, and in part appeared merely as innocent extensions of it, partly grew out of it as mere abuses. Great developments can take place here within a specific sphere. The individuals may appear great. But there can be no conception here of a free and full development either of the individual or of the society, since such development stands in contradiction to the original relation.

Do we never find in antiquity an inquiry into which form of landed property etc. is the most productive, creates the greatest wealth? Wealth does not appear as the aim of production, although Cato may well investigate which manner of cultivating a field brings the greatest rewards, and Brutus may even lend out his money at the best rates of interest. [1] The question is always which mode of property creates the best citizens. Wealth appears as an end in itself only among the few commercial peoples –monopolists of the carrying trade — who live in the pores of the ancient world, like the Jews in medieval society. Now, wealth is on one side a thing, realized in things, material products, which a human being confronts as subject; on the other side, as value, wealth is merely command over alien labour not with the aim of ruling, but with the aim of private consumption etc. It appears in all forms in the shape of a thing, be it an object or be it a relation mediated through the object, which is external and accidental to the individual. Thus the old view, in which the human being appears as the aim of production, regardless of his limited national, religious, political character, seems to be very lofty when contrasted to the modern world, where production appears as the aim of mankind and wealth as the aim of production. In fact, however, when the limited bourgeois form is stripped away, what is wealth other than the universality of individual needs, capacities, pleasures, productive forces etc., created through universal exchange? The full development of human mastery over the forces of nature, those of so-called nature as well as of humanity’s own nature? The absolute working-out of his creative potentialities, with no presupposition other than the previous historic development, which makes this totality of development, i.e. the development of all human powers as such the end in itself, not as measured on a predetermined yardstick? Where he does not reproduce himself in one specificity, but produces his totality? Strives not to remain something he has become, but is in the absolute movement of becoming? In bourgeois economics — and in the epoch of production to which it corresponds — this complete working-out of the human content appears as a complete emptying-out, this universal objectification as total alienation, and the tearing-down of all limited, one-sided aims as sacrifice of the human end-in-itself to an entirely external end. This is why the childish world of antiquity appears on one side as loftier. On the other side, it really is loftier in all matters where closed shapes, forms and given limits are sought for. It is satisfaction from a limited standpoint; while the modern gives no satisfaction; or, where it appears satisfied with itself, it is vulgar.

What Mr Proudhon calls the extra-economic origin of property, by which he understands just landed property, [2] is the pre-bourgeoisrelation of the individual to the objective conditions of labour, and initially to the natural objective conditions of labour — for, just as the working subject appears naturally as an individual, as natural being — so does the first objective condition of his labour appear as nature, earth, as his inorganic body; he himself is not only the organic body, but also the subject of this inorganic nature. This condition is not his product but something he finds to hand — presupposed to him as a natural being apart from him. Before we analyse this further, one more point: the worthy Proudhon would not only be able to, but would have to, accuse capital and wage labour — as forms of property — of having an extra-economic origin. For the encounter with the objective conditions of labour as separate from him, as capital from the worker’s side, and the encounter with the worker as propertyless, as an abstract worker from the capitalist’s side — the exchange such as takes place between value and living labour, presupposes a historic process, no matter how much capital and labour themselves reproduce this relation and work out its objective scope, as well as its depth — a historic process, which, as we saw, forms the history of the origins of capital and wage labour. In other words: the extra-economic origin of property means nothing else than the historic origin of the bourgeois economy, of the forms of production which are theoretically or ideally expressed by the categories of political economy. But the fact that pre-bourgeois history, and each of its phases, also has its own economy and an economic foundation for its movement, is at bottom only the tautology that human life has since time immemorial rested on production, and, in one way or another, on social production, whose relations we call, precisely, economic relations.

The original conditions of production (or, what is the same, the reproduction of a growing number of human beings through the natural process between the sexes; for this reproduction, although it appears as appropriation of the objects by the subjects in one respect, appears in another respect also as formation, subjugation of the objects to a subjective purpose; their transformation into results and repositories of subjective activity) cannot themselves originally be products — results of production. It is not the unity of living and active humanity with the natural, inorganic conditions of their metabolic exchange with nature, and hence their appropriation of nature, which requires explanation or is the result of a historic process, but rather the separation between these inorganic conditions of human existence and this active existence, a separation which is completely posited only in the relation of wage labour and capital. In the relations of slavery and serfdom this separation does not take place; rather, one part of society is treated by the other as itself merely an inorganic and natural condition of its own reproduction. The slave stands in no relation whatsoever to the objective conditions of his labour; rather, labour itself, both in the form of the slave and in that of the serf, is classified as an inorganic condition of production along with other natural beings, such as cattle, as an accessory of the earth. In other words: the original conditions of production appear as natural presuppositions, natural conditions of the producer’s existence just as his 490 living body, even though he reproduces and develops it, is originally not posited by himself, but appears as the presupposition of his self; his own (bodily) being is a natural presupposition, which he has not posited. These natural conditions of existence, to which he relates as to his own inorganic body, are themselves double: (1) of a subjective and (2) of an objective nature. He finds himself a member of a family, clan, tribe etc. — which then, in a historic process of intermixture and antithesis with others, takes on a different shape; and, as such a member, he relates to a specific nature (say, here, still earth, land, soil) as his own inorganic being, as a condition of his production and reproduction. As a natural member of the community he participates in the communal property, and has a particular part of it as his possession; just as, were he a natural Roman citizen, he would have an ideal claim (at least) to the ager publicus and a real one to a certain number of iugera [3] of land etc. His property, i.e. the relation to the natural presuppositions of his production as belonging to him, as his, is mediated by his being himself the natural member of a community. (The abstraction of a community, in which the members have nothing in common but language etc., and barely that much, is obviously the product of much later historical conditions.) As regards the individual, it is clear e.g. that he relates even to language itself as his own only as the natural member of a human community. Language as the product of an individual is an impossibility. But the same holds for property.

Language itself is the product of a community, just as it is in another respect itself the presence [Dasein] of the community, a presence which goes without saying. (Communal production and common property as they exist e.g. in Peru are evidently a secondary form; introduced by and inherited from conquering tribes, who, at home, had common property and communal production in the older, simpler form such as is found in India and among the Slavs. Likewise the form which we find among the Celts in Wales e.g. appears as a transplanted, secondary form, introduced by conquerors among the lesser, conquered tribes. The completion and systematic elaboration of these systems by a supreme central authority shows their later origin. Just as the feudalism introduced into England was more perfect in form than that which arose spontaneously in France.) (Among nomadic pastoral tribes — and all pastoral peoples are originally migratory — the earth appears like other natural conditions, in its elemental limitlessness, e.g. in the Asiatic steppes and the high plateau. It is grazed etc., consumed by the herds, from which the pastoral peoples in turn live. They relate to it as their property, although they never stabilize this property. This is the case too with the hunting grounds of the wild Indian tribes in America; the tribe regards a certain region as its hunting domain, and asserts it by force against other tribes, or tries to drive others off the domains they assert. Among the nomadic pastoral peoples, the commune is indeed constantly united; the travelling society, the caravan, the horde, and the forms of supremacy and subordination develop out of the conditions of this mode of life. What is in fact appropriated and reproduced here is not the earth but the herd; but the earth is always used communally at each halting place.) The only barrier which the community can encounter in relating to the natural conditions of production — the earth –as to its own property (if we jump ahead to the settled peoples) is another community, which already claims it as its own inorganic body. Warfare is therefore one of the earliest occupations of each of these naturally arisen communities, both for the defence of their property and for obtaining new property. (We can indeed content ourselves here with speaking of land and soil as original property, for among the herding peoples property in natural products of the earth –e.g. sheep — is at the same time property in the pastures they wander through. In general, property in land and soil includes its organic products.) (If human beings themselves are conquered along with the land and soil as its organic accessories, then they are equally conquered as one of the conditions of production, and in this way arises slavery and serfdom, which soon corrupts and modifies the original forms of all communities, and then itself becomes their basis. The simple construction is thereby negatively determined.)

Property thus originally means no more than a human being’s relation to his natural conditions of production as belonging to him, as his, aspresupposed along with his own being; relations to them as natural presuppositions of his self, which only form, so to speak, his extended body. He actually does not relate to his conditions of production, but rather has a double existence, both subjectively as he himself, and objectively in these natural nonorganic conditions of his existence. The forms of these natural conditions of production are double: (1) his existence as a member of a community; hence the existence of this community, which in its original form is a clan system, a more or less modifiedclan system; (2) the relation to land and soil mediated by the community, as its own, as communal landed property, at the same timeindividual possession for the individual, or in such a way that only the fruits are divided, but the land itself and the labour remain common. (However, residences etc., even if only the Scythians’ wagons, always appear in individual possession.) A natural condition of production for the living individual is his belonging to a naturally arisen, spontaneous society, clan etc. This is e.g. already a condition for his language etc. His own productive existence is possible only on this condition. His subjective existence is thereby conditioned as such, just as it is conditioned by his relation to the earth as his workshop. (Property is, it is true, originally mobile, for mankind first seizes hold of the ready-made fruits of the earth, among whom belong e.g. the animals, and for him especially the ones that can be tamed. Nevertheless even this situation –hunting, fishing, herding, gathering fruits from trees etc. –always presupposes appropriation of the earth, whether for a fixed residence, or for roaming, or for animal pasture etc.)

Property therefore means belonging to a clan (community) (having subjective-objective existence in it); and, by means of the relation of this community to the land and soil, [relating] to the earth as the individual’s inorganic body; his relation to land and soil, to the external primary condition of production –since the earth is raw material, instrument and fruit all in one — as to a presupposition belonging to his individuality, as modes of his presence. We reduce this property to the relation to the conditions of production. Why not to consumption, since the production of the individual is originally restricted to the reproduction of his own body through the appropriation of ready objects prepared by nature itself for consumption? Even where the only task is to find and to discover, this soon requires exertion, labour — as in hunting, fishing, herding — and production (i.e. development) of certain capacities on the part of the subject. Then also, situations in which it is possible to seize hold of the things available without any instruments whatever (i.e. products of labour destined for production), without alteration of form (which already takes place for herding) etc., are themselves transitional and in no case to be regarded as normal; nor as normal original situations. The original conditions of production, incidentally, of course include substances consumable directly, without labour; thus the consumption fund appears as s component part of the original production fund.

The fundamental condition of property resting on the clan system (into which the community originally resolves itself) –to be a member of the clan — makes the clan conquered by another clan propertyless and throws it among the inorganic conditions of the conqueror’s reproduction, to which the conquering community relates as its own. Slavery and serfdom are thus only further developments of the form of property resting on the clan system. They necessarily modify all of the latter’s forms. They can do this least of all in the Asiatic form. In the self-sustaining unity of manufacture and agriculture, on which this form rests, conquest is not so necessary a condition as where landed property, agriculture are exclusively predominant. On the other hand, since in this form the individual never becomes a proprietor but only a possessor, he is at bottom himself the property, the slave of him in whom the unity of the commune exists, and slavery here neither suspends the conditions of labour nor modifies the essential relation.

It is now clear, further, that:

Property, in so far as it is only the conscious relation –and posited in regard to the individual by the community, and proclaimed and guaranteed as law — to the conditions of production as his own, so that the producer’s being appears also in the objective conditions belonging to him — is only realized by production itself. The real appropriation takes place not in the mental but in the real, active relation to these conditions — in their real positing as the conditions of his subjective activity.

It is thereby also clear that these conditions change. Only when tribes hunt upon it does a region of the earth become a hunting domain; only cultivation of the soil posits the land as the individual’s extended body. After the city of Rome had been built and the surrounding countryside cultivated by its citizens, the conditions of the community were different from what they had been before. The aim of all these communities is survival; i.e. reproduction of the individuals who compose it as proprietors, i.e. in the same objective mode of existence as forms the relation among the members and at the same time therefore the commune itself. This reproduction, however, is at the same time necessarily new production and destruction of the old form. For example, where each of the individuals is supposed to possess a given number of acres of land, the advance of population is already under way. If this is to be corrected, then colonization, and that in turn requires wars of conquest. With that, slaves etc. Also, e.g., enlargement of the ager publicus, and therewith the patricians who represent the community etc. Thus the preservation of the old community includes the destruction of the conditions on which it rests, turns into its opposite. If it were thought that productivity on the same land could be increased by developing the forces of production etc, (this precisely the slowest of all in traditional agriculture), then the new order would include combinations of labour, a large part of the day spent in agriculture etc., and thereby again suspend the old economic conditions of the community. Not only do the objective conditions change in the act of reproduction, e.g. the village becomes a town, the wilderness a cleared field etc., but the producers change, too, in that they bring out new qualities in themselves, develop themselves in production, transform themselves, develop new powers and ideas, new modes of intercourse, new needs and new language. The older and more traditional the mode of production itself — and this lasts a long time in agriculture; even more in the oriental supplementation of agriculture with manufactures — i.e. the longer the real process of appropriation remains constant, the more constant will be the old forms of property and hence the community generally. Where there is already a separation between the commune members as private proprietors [on one side,] and they themselves as the urban commune and proprietors of the commune’s territorium [on the other], there the conditions already arise in which the individual can lose his property, i.e. the double relation which makes him both an equal citizen, a member of the community, and a proprietor. In the oriental form this loss is hardly possible, except by means of altogether external influences, since the individual member of the commune never enters into the relation of freedom towards it in which he could lose his (objective, economic) bond with it. He is rooted to the spot, ingrown. This also has to do with the combination of manufacture and agriculture, of town (village) and countryside. In classical antiquity, manufacture appears already as a corruption (business for freedmen, clients, aliens) etc. This development of productive labour. (not bound in pure subordination to agriculture as a domestic task, labour by free men for agriculture or war only, or for religious observances, and manufactures for the community — such as construction of houses, streets, temples), which necessarily develops through intercourse with aliens and slaves, through the desire to exchange the surplus product etc., dissolves the mode of production on which the community rests, and, with it, the objective individual, i.e. the individual defined as Roman, Greek, etc. Exchange acts in the same way; indebtedness etc.

The original unity between a particular form of community (clan) and the corresponding property in nature, or relation to the objective conditions of production as a natural being, as an objective being of the individual mediated by the commune — this unity, which appears in one respect as the particular form of property — has its living reality in a specific mode of production itself, a mode which appears both as a relation between the individuals, and as their specific active relation to inorganic nature, a specific mode of working (which is always family labour, often communal labour). The community itself appears as the first great force of production; particular kinds of production conditions (e.g. stock-breeding, agriculture), develop particular modes of production and particular forces of production, subjective, appearing as qualities of individuals, as well as objective [ones].

In the last analysis, their community, as well as the property based on it, resolves itself into a specific stage in the development of the productive forces of working subjects — to which correspond their specific relations amongst one another and towards nature. Until a certain point, reproduction. Then turns into dissolution.

Property, then, originally means — in its Asiatic, Slavonic, ancient classical, Germanic form — the relation of the working (producing or self-reproducing) subject to the conditions of his production or reproduction as his own. It will therefore have different forms depending on the conditions of this production. Production itself aims at the reproduction of the producer within and together with these, his objective conditions of existence. This relation as proprietor — not as a result but as a presupposition of labour, i.e. of production — presupposes the individual defined as a member of a clan or community (whose property the individual himself is, up to a certain point). Slavery, bondage etc., where the worker himself appears among the natural conditions of production for a third individual or community (this is not the case e.g. with the general slavery of the Orient, only from the European point of view) — i.e. property no longer the relation of the working individual to the objective conditions of labour — is always secondary, derived, never original, although [it is] a necessary and logical result of property founded on the community and labour in the community. It is of course very simple to imagine that some powerful, physically dominant individual, after first having caught the animal, then catches humans in order to have them catch animals; in a word, uses human beings as another naturally occurring condition for his reproduction (whereby his own labour reduces itself to ruling) like any other natural creature. But such a notion is stupid — correct as it may be from the standpoint of some particular given clan or commune –because it proceeds from the development of isolated individuals. But human beings become individuals only through the process of history. He appears originally as a species-being [Gattungswesen], clan being, herd animal — although in no way whatever as a zwon politicon [4] in the political sense. Exchange itself is a chief means of this individuation [Vereinzelung]. It makes the herd-like existence superfluous and dissolves it. Soon the matter [has] turned in such a way that as an individual he relates himself only to himself, while the means with which he posits himself as individual have become the making of his generality and commonness. In this community, the objective being of the individual as proprietor, say proprietor of land, is presupposed, and presupposed moreover under certain conditions which chain him to the community, or rather form a link in his chain. In bourgeois society, the worker e.g. stands there purely without objectivity, subjectively; but the thing which stands opposite him has now become the true community[Gemeinwesen], which he tries to make a meal of, and which makes a meal of him.

All forms (more or less naturally arisen, spontaneous, all at the same time however results of a historic process) in which the community presupposes its subjects in a specific objective unity with their conditions of production, or in which a specific subjective mode of being presupposes the communities themselves as conditions of production, necessarily correspond to a development of the forces of production which is only limited, and indeed limited in principle. The development of the forces of production dissolves these forms, and their dissolution is itself a development of the human productive forces. Labour begins with a certain foundation — naturally arisen, spontaneous, at first-then historic presupposition. Then, however, this foundation or presupposition is itself suspended, or posited as a vanishing presupposition which has become too confining for the unfolding of the progressing human pack.

In so far as classical landed property reappears in modern small-parcel landownership, it itself belongs to political economy and we shall come to it in the section on landed property.

(All this is to be returned to at greater depth and length.)

What we are here concerned with is this: the relation of labour to capital, or to the objective conditions of labour as capital, presupposes a process of history which dissolves the various forms in which the worker is a proprietor, or in which the proprietor works. Thus above all (1)Dissolution of the relation to the earth — land and soil — as natural condition of production — to which he relates as to his own inorganic being; the workshop of his forces, and the domain of his will. All forms in which this property appears presuppose a community, whose members, although there may be formal distinctions between them, are, as members of it, proprietors. The original form of this property is therefore itselfdirect common property (oriental form, modified in the Slavonic; developed to the point of antithesis, but still as the secret, if antithetical, foundation in classical and Germanic property). (2) Dissolution of the relations in which he appears as proprietor of the instrument. Just as the above form of landed property presupposes a real community, so does this property of the worker in the instrument presuppose a particular form of the development of manufactures, namely craft, artisan work; bound up with it, the guild-corporation system etc. (The manufacture system of the ancient Orient can be examined under (1) already.) Here labour itself still half artistic, half end-in-itself etc. Mastery. Capitalist himself still master-journeyman. Attainment of particular skill in the work also secures possession of instrument etc. etc. Inheritability then to a certain extent of the mode of work together with the organization of work and the instrument of work. Medieval cities. Labour still as his own; definite self-sufficient development of one-sided abilities etc. (3) Included in both is the fact that he has the means of consumption in his possession before production, which are necessary for him to live as producer — i.e. during production, before its completion. As proprietor of land he appears as directly provided with the necessary consumption fund. As master in a craft he has inherited it, earned it, saved it up, and as a youth he is first an apprentice, where he does not appear as an actual independent worker at all, but shares the master’s fare in a patriarchal way. As journeyman (a genuine one) there is a certain communality in the consumption fund possessed by the master. While it is not the journeyman’s property either, still, through the laws of the guild, tradition etc., at least co-possession etc. (To be gone into further.) (4)Dissolution likewise at the same time of the relations in which the workers themselves, the living labour capacities themselves, still belongdirectly among the objective conditions of production, and are appropriated as such — i.e. are slaves or serfs. For capital, the worker is not a condition of production, only work is. If it can make machines do it, or even water, air, so much the better. And it does not appropriate the worker, but his labour — not directly, but mediated through exchange.

These are, now, on one side, historic presuppositions needed before the worker can be found as a free worker, as objectless, purely subjective labour capacity confronting the objective conditions of production as his not-property, as alien property, as value for-itself, as capital. But the question arises, on the other side, which conditions are required so that he finds himself up against a capital?

(The formula of capital, where living labour relates to the raw material as well as to the instrument and to the means of subsistence required during labour, as negatives, as not-property, includes, first of all, not-land-ownership, or, the negation of the situation in which the working individual relates to land and soil, to the earth, as his own, i.e. in which he works, produces, as proprietor of the land and soil. In the best case he relates not only as worker to the land and soil, but also as proprietor of the land and soil to himself as working subject. Ownership of land and soil potentially also includes ownership of the raw material, as well as of the primordial instrument, the earth itself, and of its spontaneous fruits. Posited in the most original form, it means relating to the earth as proprietor, and finding raw material and instrument on hand, as well as the necessaries of life created not by labour but by the earth itself. Once this relation is reproduced, secondary instruments and fruits of the earth created through labour itself appear as included with landed property in its primitive forms. This historic situation is thus first of all negated as a full property relation, in the worker’s relation to the conditions of labour as capital. This is historic state No. I, which is negated in this relation or presupposed as historically dissolved. Secondly, however, where there is ownership of the instrument on the part of the worker, i.e. the worker relates to the instrument as his own, where the worker works as owner of the instrument (which at the same time presupposes the subsumption of the instrument under his individual work, i.e. a particular, limited developmental stage of the productive force of labour), where this form of the worker as owner or of the working owner is already posited as an independent form beside and apart from landed property — the artisan-like and urban development of labour — not, as in the first case, as accidental to landed property and subsumed under it — hence where the raw material and the necessaries of life are also mediated as the craftsman’s property, mediated through his craft work, through his property in the instrument –there a second historical stage is already presupposed beside and apart from the first, which must itself already appear significantly modified, through the achievement of independence by this second sort of property or by working owners. Since the instrument itself is already the product of labour, thus the element which constitutes property already exists as posited by labour, the community can no longer appear here in a naturally arisen, spontaneous form as in the first case — the community on which this form of property founded — but rather as itself already a produced, made, derived and secondary community, produced by the worker himself. It is clear that wherever ownership of the instrument is the relation to the conditions of production as property, there, in the real labour process, the instrument appears only as a means of individual labour; the art of really appropriating the instrument, of handling it as an instrument of labour, appears as the worker’s particular skill, which posits him as the owner of the instrument. In short, the essential character of the guild-corporation system, of craft work as its subject, constituted by owners — can be resolved into the relation to the instrument of production — the instrument of labour as property — as distinct from the relation to the earth, to land and soil (to the raw material as such) as one’s own. That the relation to this one moment of the conditions of production constitutes the working subject as owner, makes him into a working owner, this [is] historic situation No. II, which by its nature can exist only as antithesis to or, if one will, at the same time as complement of a modified form of the first — likewise negated in the first formula of capital. The third possible form, in which the worker relates as owner only to the necessaries of life, finding them on hand as the natural condition of the working subject, without relating to the land and soil, or to the instrument, or even (therefore) to labour itself as his own, is at bottom the formula of slavery and bondage, which is likewise negated, posited as a historically dissolved condition, in the relation of the worker to the conditions of production as capital. The original forms of property necessarily dissolve into the relation to the different objective moments which condition production, as one’s own; they form the economic foundation of different forms of community, just as they for their part have specific forms of the community as presupposition. These forms are e ssenti ally modified by the inclusion of labour itself among the objective conditions of production (serfdom and sla very), through which the simply affirmative character of all forms of property included under No. I is lost and modified. They all contain, within themselves, slavery as possibility and hence as their own suspension. As regards No. II, where the particular kind of work — mastery of it, and, consequent upon that, an identity between property in the instrument and property in the conditions of production — while it excludes slavery and bondage, can take on an analogous negative development in the form of the caste system.) (The third form, ownership of the necessaries of life — if it does not reduce itself to slavery and serfdom — cannot contain a relation by the working individual to the conditions of production and hence of existence; it can therefore only be the relation of a member of the original community based on land ownership who has lost his landed property and not yet proceeded to variety No. II of property, such as the Roman plebs at the time of the bread and circuses.) (The relation of personal servitude, or of the retainers to their lord, is essentially different. For it forms, at bottom, only a mode of existence of the land-proprietor himself, who no longer works, but whose property includes, among the other conditions of production, the workers themselves as bondsmen etc. Here the master — servant relation [Herrschaftsverhältnis] as essential element of appropriation. Basically the appropriation of animals, land etc. cannot take place in a master — servant relation, although the animal provides service. The presupposition of the master-servant relation is the appropriation of an alien will. Whatever has no will, e.g. the animal, may well provide a service, but does not thereby make its owner into a master. This much can be seen here, however, that the master — servant relation likewise belongs in this formula of the appropriation of the instruments of production; and it forms a necessary ferment for the development and the decline and fall of all original relations of property and of production, just as it also expresses their limited nature. Still, it is reproduced — in mediated form — in capital, and thus likewise forms a ferment of its dissolution and is an emblem of its limitation.}

<The power to sell ones self and ones own when in distress was a grievous general right; it prevailed in the North as well as among the Greeks and in Asia: the power of the creditor to take into servitude a debtor who could not make payment, and to obtain payment through sale of the debtors labour or of his person, was almost equally widespread. (Niebuhr, I, p. 600.)> <In one passage Niebuhr says that the Greek writers writing in the period of Augustus had great difficulty with, and misunderstood, the relation between patricians and plebeians, confusing this relation with that between patrons and clients, because they write at a time when rich and poor were the only true classes of citizens; where the needy person, no matter how noble his ancestry, required a patron, and where the millionaire, even if he were a freed slave, was sought out as a patron. They could hardly find a trace of inherited dependency-relations any longer. (I, 620.)) (Craftsmen were to be found in both classes —Metoikoi [6] and freedmen and their descendants — and the plebeian who abandoned agriculture assumed the limited civic rights to which these were restricted. They did not lack the privilege of legal corporations; and their guilds were so highly esteemed, that Numa [7] was named as their founder: they were 9: pipers, gold-smiths, carpenters, dyers, harness makers, tanners, copper-smiths, potters, and the ninth guild, the miscellaneous remainder … Those among them who were independent citizens; isopolites, [8] who belonged to no patron — if there was such a right; and descendants of servitors, whose bondage was dissolved by extinction of their patrons line; all these people without a doubt remained as distant from the wranglings of the patricians and the commune as did the Florentine guilds from the feuds of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines: the servitors probably still stood entirely under the command of the patricians. 0, 623.))

On one side, historic processes are presupposed which place a mass of individuals in a nation etc. in the position, if not at first of real free workers, nevertheless of such who are so dunamei, whose only property is their labour capacity and the possibility of exchanging it for values then present; individuals who confront all objective conditions of production as alien property, as their own not-property, but at the same time as values, as exchangeable, hence appropriable to a certain degree through living labour. Such historic processes of dissolution are also the dissolution of the bondage relations which fetter the worker to land and soil and to the lord of land and soil; but which factually presuppose his ownership of the necessaries of life — this is in truth the process of his release from the earth; dissolution of the landed property relations, which constituted him as a yeoman, as a free, working small landowner or tenant (colonus), a free peasant [*]; dissolution of the guild relations which presuppose his ownership of the instrument of labour, and which presuppose labour itself as a craftsmanlike, specific skill, as property (not merely as the source of property); likewise dissolution of the client-relations in the various forms in which not-proprietors appear in the retinue of their lord as co-consumers of the surplus product and wear the livery of their master as an equivalent, participate in his feuds, perform personal services, imaginary or real etc. It will be seen on closer inspection that all these processes of dissolution mean the dissolution of relations of production in which: use value predominates, production for direct consumption; in which exchange value and its production presupposes the predominance of the other form; and hence that, in all these relations, payments in kind and services in kind predominate over payment in money and money-services. But this only by the way. It will likewise be found on closer observation that all the dissolved relations were possible only with a definite degree of development of the material (and hence also the intellectual) forces of production.

What concerns us here for the moment is this: the process of dissolution, which transforms a mass of individuals of a nation etc. into free wage labourers bunamei. — individuals forced solely by their lack of property to labour and to sell their labour — presupposes on the other side notthat these individuals previous sources of income and in part conditions of property have disappeared, but the reverse, that only their utilization has become different, that their mode of existence has changed, has gone over into other hands as a free fund or has even in part remained in the same hands. But this much is clear: the same process which divorced a mass of individuals from their previous relations to the objective conditions of labour, relations which were, in one way or another, affirmative, negated these relations, and thereby transformed these individuals into free workers, this same process freed — bunamei — these objective conditions of labour — land and soil, raw material, necessaries of life, instruments of labour, money or all of these — from their previous state of attachment to the individuals now separated from them. They are still there on hand, but in another form; as a free fund, in which all political etc. relations are obliterated. The objective conditions of labour now confront these unbound, propertyless individuals only in the form of values, self-sufficient values. The same process which placed the mass face to face with the objective conditions of labour as free workers also placed these conditions, as capital, face to face with the free workers. The historic process was the divorce of elements which up until then were bound together; its result is therefore not that one of the elements disappears, but that each of them appears in a negative relation to the other — the (potentially) free worker on the one side, capital (potentially) on the other. The separation of the objective conditions from the classes which have become transformed into free workers necessarily also appears at the same time as the achievement of independence by these same conditions at the opposite pole.

If the relation of capital and wage labour is regarded not as already commanding and predominant over the whole of production, [**] but as arising historically — i.e. if we regard the original transformation of money into capital, the process of exchange between capital, still only existingbunamei on one side and the free workers existing bunamei on the other — then of course one cannot help making the simple observation, out of which the economists make a great show, that the side which appears as capital has to possess raw materials, instruments of labour and necessaries of life so that the worker can live during production, before production is completed. This further takes the form that there must have taken place on the part of the capitalist an accumulation — an accumulation prior to labour and not sprung out of it — which enables him to put the worker to work and to maintain his effectiveness, to maintain him as living labour capacity. [***] This act by capital which is independent of labour, not posited by labour, is then shifted from the prehistory of capital into the present, into a moment of its reality and of its present activity, of its self-formation. From this is ultimately derived the eternal right of capital to the fruits of alien labour, or rather its mode of appropriation is developed out of the simple and just laws of equivalent exchange.

Wealth present in the form of money can be exchanged for the objective conditions of labour only because and if these are separated from labour itself. We saw that money can be piled up in part by way of the sheer exchange of equivalents; but this forms so insignificant a source that it is not worth mentioning historically — if it is presupposed that this money is gained through the exchange of ones own labour. The monetary wealth which becomes transformed into capital in the proper sense, into industrial capital, is rather the mobile wealth piled up through usury — especially that practiced against landed property — and through mercantile props. We shall have occasion below to speak further of both of these forms — in so far as they appear not as themselves forms of capital, but as earlier forms of wealth, as presuppositions for capital.

It is inherent in the concept of capital, as we have seen — in its origin — that it begins with money and hence with wealth existing in the form of money. It is likewise inherent in it that it appears as coming out of circulation, as the product of circulation. The formation of capital thus does not emerge from landed property (here at most from the tenant [Pächter] in so far as he is a dealer in agricultural products); or from the guild (although there is a possibility at the last point); but rather from merchants and usurers wealth. But the latter encounter the conditions where free labour can be purchased only when this labour has been released from its objective conditions of existence through the process of history. Only then does it also encounter the possibility of buying these conditions themselves. Under guild conditions, e.g., mere money, if it is not itself guild money, masters money, cannot buy the looms to make people work with them; how many an individual may operate etc. is prescribed. In short, the instrument itself is still so intertwined with living labour, whose domain it appears, that it does not truly circulate. What enables money-wealth to become capital is the encounter, on one side, with free workers; and on the other side, with the necessaries and materials etc., which previously were in one way or another the property of the masses who have now become object-less, and are also free and purchasable. The other condition of labour, however — a certain level of skill, instrument as means of labour etc. — is already available to it in this preliminary or first period of capital, partly as a result of the urban guild system, partly as a result of domestic industry, or industry which is attached to agriculture as an accessory. This historic process is not the product of capital, but the presupposition for it. And it is through this process that the capitalist inserts himself as (historic) middle-man between landed property, or property generally, and labour. History knows nothing of the congenial fantasies according to which the capitalist and the workers form an association etc., nor is there a trace of them in the conceptual development of capital. Manufactures may develop sporadically, locally, in a framework which still belongs to a quite different period, as e.g. in the Italian cities alongside the guilds. But as the sole predominant forms of an epoch, the conditions for capital have to be developed not onlylocally but on a grand scale. (Notwithstanding this, individual guild masters may develop into capitalists with the dissolution of the guilds; but the case is rare, in the nature of the thing as well. As a rule, the whole guild system declines and falls, both master and journeyman, where the capitalist and the worker arise.)

It goes without saying — and shows itself if we go more deeply into the historic epoch under discussion here — that in truth the period of the dissolution of the earlier modes of production and modes of the workers relation to the objective conditions of labour is at the same time a period in which monetary wealth on the one side has already developed to a certain extent, and on the other side grows and expands rapidly through the same circumstances as accelerate the above dissolution. It is itself one of the agencies of that dissolution, while at the same time that dissolution is the condition of its transformation into capital. But the mere presence of monetary wealth, and even the achievement of a kind of supremacy on its part, is in no way sufficient for this dissolution into capital to happen. Or else ancient Rome, Byzantium etc. would have ended their history with free labour and capital, or rather begun a new history. There, too, the dissolution of the old property relations was bound up with development of monetary wealth — of trade etc. But instead of leading to industry, this dissolution led in fact to the supremacy of the countryside over the city. — The original formation of capital does not happen, as is sometimes imagined, with capital heaping up necessaries of life and instruments of labour and raw materials, in short, the objective conditions of labour which have already been unbound from the soil and animated by human labour. [****] Capital does not create the objective conditions of labour. Rather, its original formation is that, through the historic process of the dissolution of the old mode of production, value existing as money-wealth is enabled, on one side, to buy the objective conditions of labour; on the other side, to exchange money for the living labour of the workers who have been set free. All these moments are present; their divorce is itself a historic process, a process of dissolution, and it is the latter which enables money to transform itself into capital. Money itself, to the extent that it also plays an active role, does so only in so far as it intervenes in this process as itself a highly energetic solvent, and to that extent assists in the creation of the plucked, object-less free workers; but certainly not by creating the objective conditions of their existence; rather by helping to speed up their separation from them — their propertylessness. When e.g. the great English landowners dismissed their retainers, who had, together with them, consumed the surplus product of the land; when further their tenants chased off the smaller cottagers etc., then, firstly, a mass of living labour powers was thereby thrown onto the labour market, a mass which was free in a double sense, free from the old relations of clientship, bondage and servitude, and secondly free of all belongings and possessions, and of every objective, material form of being, free of all property; dependent on the sale of its labour capacity or on begging, vagabondage and robbery as its only source of income. It is a matter of historic record that they tried the latter first, but were driven off this road by gallows, stocks and whippings, onto the narrow path to the labour market; owing to this fact, the governments, e.g. of Henry VII, VIII etc. appear as conditions of the historic dissolution process and as makers of the conditions for the existence of capital. On the other side, the necessaries of life etc., which the landowners previously ate up together with their retainers, now stood at the disposal of any money which might wish to buy them in order to buy labour through their instrumentality. Money neither created nor stockpiled these necessaries; they were there and were consumed and reproduced before they were consumed and reproduced through its mediation. What had changed was simply this, that these necessaries were now thrown on to the exchange market — were separated from their direct connection with the mouths of the retainers etc. and transformed from use values into exchange values, and thus fell into the domain and under the supremacy of money wealth. Likewise with the instruments of labour. Money wealth neither invented nor fabricated the spinning wheel and the loom. But, once unbound from their land and soil, spinner and weaver with their stools and wheels came under the command of money wealth. Capital proper does nothing but bring together the mass of hands and instruments which it finds on hand. It agglomerates them under its command. That is its real stockpiling; the stockpiling of workers, along with their instruments, at particular points. This will have to be dealt with more closely in the so-called stockpilingof capital. Monetary wealth — as merchant wealth — had admittedly helped to speed up and to dissolve the old relations of production, and made it possible for the proprietor of land for example, as A. Smith already nicely develops, [11] to exchange his grain and cattle etc. for use values brought from afar, instead of squandering the use values he himself produced, along with his retainers, and to locate his wealth in great part in the mass of his co-consuming retainers. It gave the exchange value of his revenue a higher significance for him. The same thing took place in regard to his tenants, who were already semi-capitalists, but still very hemmed-in ones. The development of exchange value — favoured by moneyexisting in the form of the merchant estate — dissolves production which is more oriented towards direct use value and its corresponding forms of property — the relations of labour to its objective conditions — and thus pushes forward towards the making of the labour market (certainly to be distinguished from the slave market). However, even this action of money is only possible given the presupposition of an urban artisanateresting not on capital but on the organization of labour in guilds etc. Urban labour itself had created means of production for which the guilds became just as confining as were the old relations of landownership to an improved agriculture, which was in part itself a consequence of the larger market for agricultural products in the cities etc. The other circumstances which e.g. in the sixteenth century increased the mass of circulating commodities as well as that of money, which created new needs and thereby raised the exchange value of indigenous products etc., raised prices etc., all of these promoted on one side the dissolution of the old relations of production, sped up the separation of the worker or non-worker but able-bodied individual from the objective conditions of his reproduction, and thus promoted the transformation of money into capital. There can therefore be nothing more ridiculous than to conceive this original formation of capital as if capital had stockpiled and created the objective conditions of production — necessaries, raw materials, instrument — and then offered them to the worker, who wasbare of these possessions. Rather, monetary wealth in part helped to strip the labour powers of able-bodied individuals from these conditions; and in part this process of divorce proceeded without it. When the formation of capital had reached a certain level, monetary wealth could place itself as mediator between the objective conditions of life, thus liberated, and the liberated but also homeless and empty-handed labour powers, and buy the latter with the former. But now, as far as the formation of money-wealth itself is concerned, this belongs to the prehistory of the bourgeois economy. Usury, trade, urbanization and the treasury rising with it play the main roles here. So, too, hoarding by tenants, peasants etc.; although to a lesser degree. — This shows at the same time that the development of exchange and of exchange value, which is everywhere mediated through trade, or whose mediation may be termed trade — money achieves an independent existence in the merchant estate, as does circulation in trade — brings with it both the dissolution of labour’s relations of property in its conditions of existence, in one respect, and at the same time the dissolution of labour which is itself classed as one of the objective conditions of production; all these are relations which express a predominance of use value and of production directed towards use value, as well as of a real community which is itself still directly present as a presupposition of production. Production based on exchange value and the community based on the exchange of these exchange values — even though they seem, as we saw in the previous chapter on money, to posit property as the outcome of labour alone, and to posit private property over the product of one’s own labour as condition — and labour as general condition of wealth, all presuppose and produce the separation of labour from its objective conditions. This exchange of equivalents proceeds; it is only the surface layer of a production which rests on the appropriation of alien labour without exchange, but with the semblance of exchange. This system of exchange rests oncapital as its foundation, and, when it is regarded in isolation from capital, as it appears on the surface, as an independent system, then it is a mere illusion, but a necessary illusion. Thus there is no longer any ground for astonishment that the system of exchange values — exchange of equivalents measured through labour — turns into, or rather reveals as its hidden background, the appropriation of alien labour without exchange, complete separation of labour and property. For the domination of exchange value itself, and of exchange-value-producing production, presupposes alien labour capacity itself as an exchange value — i.e. the separation of living labour capacity from its objective conditions; a relation to them — or to its own objectivity — as alien property; a relation to them, in a word, as capital. Only in the period of the decline and fall of the feudal system, but where it still struggles internally — as in England in the fourteenth and first half of the fifteenth centuries — is there a golden age for labour in the process of becoming emancipated. In order for labour to relate to its objective conditions as its property again, another system must take the place of the system of private exchange, which, as we saw, posits the exchange of objectified labour for labour capacity, and therefore the appropriation of living labour without exchange. — The way in which money transforms itself into capital often shows itself quite tangibly in history; e.g. when the merchant induces a number of weavers and spinners, who until then wove and spun as a rural, secondary occupation, to work for him, making their secondary into their chief occupation; but then has them in his power and has brought them under his command as wage labourers. To draw them away from their home towns and to concentrate them in a place of work is a further step. In this simple process it is clear that the capitalist has prepared neither the raw material, nor the instrument, nor the means of subsistence for the weaver and the spinner. All that he has done is to restrict them little by little to one kind of work in which they become dependent on selling, on the buyer, the merchant, and ultimately produce only for and through him. He bought their labour originally only by buying their product; as soon as they restrict themselves to the production of this exchange value and thus must directly produce exchange values, must exchange their labour entirely for money in order to survive, then they come under his command, and at the end even the illusion that they sold him products disappears. He buys their labour and takes their property first in the form of the product, and soon after that the instrument as well, or he leaves it to them as sham property in order to reduce his own production costs. — The original historic forms in which capital appears at first sporadically or locally, alongside the old modes of production, while exploding them little by little everywhere, is on one side manufactureproper (not yet the factory); this [12] springs up where mass quantities are produced for export, for the external market — i.e. on the basis of large-scale overland and maritime commerce, in its emporiums like the Italian cities, Constantinople, in the Flemish, Dutch cities, a few Spanish ones, such as Barcelona etc. Manufacture seizes hold initially not of the so-called urban trades, but of the rural secondary occupations, spinning and weaving, the two which least requires guild-level skills, technical training. Apart from these great emporiums, where the external market is its basis, where production is thus, so to speak, naturally oriented towards exchange value — i.e. manufactures directly connected with shipping, shipbuilding itself etc. — it takes up its first residence not in the cities, but on the land, in villages lacking guilds etc. The rural subsidiary occupations have the broad basis [characteristic] of manufactures, while the urban trades demand great progress in production before they can be conducted in factory style. Likewise certain branches of production — such as glassworks, metal works, sawmills etc., which demand a higher concentration of labour powers from the outset, apply more natural energy from the outset, demand mass production, likewise concentration of the means of labour etc. Likewise paper mills. On.the other side the rise of the tenant and the transformation of the agricultural population into free day-labourers. Although this transformation in the countryside is the last to push on towards its ultimate consequences and its purest form, its beginnings there are among the earliest. Classical antiquity, which could never get beyond the urban artisanate proper, could therefore never get to large industry. The first presupposition of the latter is to draw the land in all its expanse into the production not of use values but of exchange values. Glass factories, paper mills, iron works etc. cannot be operated on guild principles. They demand mass production; sales to a general market; monetary wealth on the part of their entrepreneur — not that he creates the conditions, neither the subjective nor the objective ones; but under the old relations of property and of production these conditions cannot be brought together. — The dissolution of relations of serfdom, like the rise of manufacture, then little by little transforms all branches of work into branches operated by capital. — The cities themselves, it is true, also contain an element for the formation of wage labour proper, in the non-guild day-labourers, unskilled labourers etc.

While, as we have seen, the transformation of money into capital presupposes a historic process which divorces the objective conditions of labour from the worker and makes them independent of him, it is at the same time the effect of capital and of its process, once arisen, to conquer all of production and to develop and complete the divorce between labour and property, between labour and the objective conditions of labour, everywhere. It will be seen in the course of the further development how capital destroys craft and artisan labour, working small-landownership etc., together with itself in forms in which it does not appear in opposition to labour — in small capital and in the intermediate species, the species between the old modes of production (or their renewal on the foundation of capital) and the classical, adequate mode of production of capital itself.

The only stockpiling presupposed at the origin of capital is that of monetary wealth, which, regarded in and for itself, is altogether unproductive, as it only springs up out of circulation and belongs exclusively to it. Capital rapidly forms an internal market for itself by destroying all rural secondary occupations, so that it spins, weaves for everyone, clothes everyone etc., in short, brings the commodities previously created as direct use values into the form of exchange values, a process which comes about by itself through the separation of the workers from land and soil and from property (even in the form of serf property) in the conditions of production.

With the urban crafts, although they rest essentially on exchange and on the creation of exchange values, the direct and chief aim of this production is subsistence as craftsmen, as master-journeymen, hence use value; not wealth, not exchange value as exchange value.Production is therefore always subordinated to a given consumption, supply to demand, and expands only slowly.

The production of capitalists and wage labourers is thus a chief product of capital’s realization process. Ordinary economics, which looks only at the things produced, forgets this completely. When objectified labour is, in this process, at the same time posited as the worker’s non-objectivity, as the objectivity of a subjectivity antithetical to the worker, as property of a will alien to him, then capital is necessarily at the same time the capitalist, and the idea held by some socialists that we need capital but not the capitalists is altogether wrong. It is posited within the concept of capital that the objective conditions of labour — and these are its own product — take on a personality towards it, or, what is the same, that they are posited as the property of a personality alien to the worker. The concept of capital contains the capitalist. Still, this error is in no way greater than that of e.g. all philologists who speak of capital in antiquity, of Roman, Greek capitalists. This is only another way of expressing that labour in Rome and Greece was free, which these gentlemen would hardly wish to assert. The fact that we now not only call the plantation owners in America capitalists, but that they are capitalists, is based on their existence as anomalies within a world market based on free labour. If the concern is the word, capital, which does not occur in antiquity [*] then the still migrating hordes with their herds on the Asiatic high plateau are the biggest capitalists, since capital originally means cattle, which is why the métairie contract still frequently drawn up in southern France, for lack of capital, just as an exception, is called: Bail de bestes à cheptel. [14] If one wants to descend to bad Latin, then our capitalists or Capitales Homines would be those ‘qui debent censum de capite’. [15]

The conceptual specification of capital encounters difficulties which do not occur with money; capital is essentially capitalist; but at the same time again as an element of his existence distinct from him, or production in general, capital. We shall likewise find later that many things are subsumed under capital which do not seem to belong within it conceptually. E.g. capital is lent out. It is stockpiled etc. In all these designations it appears to be a mere thing, and to coincide entirely with the matter in which it is present. But this and other questions will be cleared up in the course of the development. (Noted incidentally as a joke: the good Adam Müller, who takes all figurative ways of speaking as very mystical, has also heard of living capital in ordinary life as opposed to dead capital, and now rationalizes this theosophically. [16] King Aethelstan couldteach him a lesson here: Reddam de meo proprio decimas Deo tam in Vivente Capitale (livestock), quam in mortis fructuis terrae(dead fruits of the earth).) [17] Money always remains the same form in the same substratum; and can thus be more easily conceived as a mere thing. But one and the same commodity, money etc., can represent capital or revenue etc. Thus it is clear even to the economists that money is not something tangible; but that one and the same thing can be subsumed sometimes under the title capital, sometimes under another and contrary one, and correspondingly is or is not capital. It is then evident that it is a relation, and can only be a relation of production.

We have seen that the true nature of capital emerges only at the end of the second cycle. What we have to examine now is this cycle itself, or the circulation of capital. Production originally appeared to lie beyond circulation, and circulation beyond production. The circulation of capital — circulation posited as the circulation of capital — spans both moments. Production appears in it as the conclusion and the point of departure of circulation, and vice versa. The independence of circulation is here reduced to a mere semblance, as is the otherworldliness of production.


22 January 1858 – Beginning of February 1858, continued

Exchange of labour for labour rests on the worker’s propertylessness

<But one more remark on the topic above: The exchange of equivalents, which seems to presuppose ownership of the products of one’s own labour — hence seems to posit as identical: appropriation through labour, the real economic process of making something one’s own [Zueigen-Machen], and ownership of objectified labour; what appeared previously as a real process is here recognized as a legal relation, i.e. as a general condition of production, and therefore recognized by law, posited as an expression of the general will — turns into, reveals itself through a necessary dialectic as absolute divorce of labour and property, and appropriation of alien labour without exchange, without equivalent. Production based on exchange value, on whose surface this free and equal exchange of equivalents proceeds, is at its base the exchange ofobjectified labour as exchange value for living labour as use value, or, to express this in another way, the relating of labour to its objective conditions — and hence to the objectivity created by itself — as alien property: alienation [Entäusserungof labour. At the same time, the condition of exchange value is its measurement by labour time, and hence living labour — not its value — as measure of values. The notion that production and hence society depended in all states of production on the exchange of mere labour for labour is a delusion. In the various forms in which labour relates to the conditions of production as its own property, the reproduction of the worker is by no means posited throughmere labour, for his property relation is not the result but the presupposition of his labour. In landed property this is clear; it must also become clear in the guild system that the particular kind of property which labour creates does not rest on labour alone or on the exchange of labour, but on an objective connection between the worker and a community and conditions which are there before him, which he takes as his basis. These too are products of labour, of the labour of world history; of the labour of the community — of its historic development, which does not proceed from the labour of individuals nor from the exchange of their labours. Therefore, mere labour is also not the presupposition of realization [Verwertung]. A situation in which labour is merely exchanged for labour — whether in the direct, living form, or in the form of the product — presupposes the separation of labour from its original intertwinement with its objective conditions, which is why it appears as mere labour on one side, while on the other side its product, as objectified labour, has an entirely independent existence as value opposite it. The exchange of labour for labour — seemingly the condition of the worker’s property — rests on the foundation of the worker’s propertylessness.>

(It will be shown later that the most extreme form of alienation, wherein labour appears in the relation of capital and wage labour, and labour, productive activity appears in relation to its own conditions and its own product, is a necessary point of transition –and therefore already contains in itself, in a still only inverted form, turned on its head, the dissolution of all limited presuppositions of production, and moreover creates and produces the unconditional presuppositions of production, and therewith the full material conditions for the total, universal development of the productive forces of the individual.)

Circulation of capital and circulation of money. — Presupposition of value within each single capital (instrument etc.). — Production process and circulation process moments of production. — The productivity of the different capitals (branches of industry) determines that of the individual capital. — Circulation period. Velocity of circulation substitutes for volume of capital. Mutual dependence of capitals in the velocity of their circulation. Circulation a moment of production. Production process and its duration. Transformation of the product into money. Duration of this operation. Retransformation of money into the conditions of production. Exchange of part of the capital with living labour. — Transport costs

The circulation of money began at an infinite number of points and returned to an infinite number of points. The point of return was in no way posited as the point of departure. In the circulation of capital, the point of departure is posited as the terminal point and the terminal point as the point of departure. The capitalist himself is the point of departure and of return. He exchanges money for the conditions of production, produces, realizes the product, i.e. transforms it into money, and then begins the process anew. The circulation of money, regarded for itself, necessarily becomes extinguished in money as a static thing. The circulation of capital constantly ignites itself anew, divides into its different moments, and is aperpetuum mobile. The positing of prices on the side of money circulation was purely formal, in so far as value is presupposed independently of money circulation. The circulation of capital posits prices, not only formally but really, in so far as it posits value. If value itself appears within it as presupposition, this can only be as value posited by another capital. The breadth of the path for money circulation has been measured in advance, and the circumstances which accelerate or retard it are external impulses. In its circulation, capital expands itself and its path, and the speed or slowness of its circulation itself forms one of its intrinsic moments. It becomes qualitatively altered in circulation and the totality of the moments of its circulation are themselves the moments of its production — its reproduction as well as its new production.

[Circuit and Turnover of Capital]

<We saw how at the end of the second cycle, i.e. the second cycle of surplus value which has been realized as surplus capital, the illusion disappears that the capitalist exchanges anything at all with the worker other than a part of the latter’s own objectified labour. However, within the mode of production already founded on capital, the part of capital which represents raw materials and instrument appears to the individual capital as a value presupposed to it and likewise presupposed to the living labour which it buys. These two headings turn out to have been posited byalien capital, hence again by capital, but another one. One capitalist’s raw material is another’s product. One’s product is the other’s raw material. One capitalist’s instrument is another’s product, and may even serve as raw material for the production of another instrument. Thus, what we called the constant value which appeared as a presupposition in the case of the individual capital is nothing but the presupposition of capital by capital, i.e. the fact that the different capitals in the different branches of industry posit one another reciprocally as presupposition and condition. Each of them regarded for itself can be resolved into dead labour which, as value, has become independent vis-a-vis living labour. None of them in the last analysis contains anything other than labour — apart from the natural material from which value is absent. The introduction of many capitals must not interfere with the investigation here. The relation of the many will, rather, be explained after what they all have in common, the quality of being capital, has been examined. >

The circulation of capital is at the same time its becoming, its growth, its vital process. If anything needed to be compared with the circulation of the blood, it was not the formal circulation of money, but the content-filled circulation of capital.

Since circulation presupposes production at all points — and is the circulation of products, whether money or commodity, while the latter always arise from the production process, which is itself the process of capital — it follows that the circulation of money itself now appears as determined by the circulation of capital, whereas previously it seemed to run side by side with the production process. We shall return to this point.

If we now consider circulation, or the circulation of capital as a whole, then the great distinction within it appears to be that between the production process and circulation itself, both as moments of its circulation. How long capital remains within the sphere of the production process depends on the latter’s technological conditions, and the time it spends in this phase directly coincides — even though the duration is necessarily different depending on the type of production, its object etc. — with the development of the productive forces. The duration is here nothing but the labour time necessary for the making of the product (false!). [19] The smaller this labour time, the greater, as we have seen, the relative surplus value. If less labour time is required to make a given quantity of products, it is the same thing as if more finished products can be supplied in a given amount of labour time. The abbreviation of the time during which a given amount of capital remains within the production process and is withdrawn from circulation, ’embarked’, [20] coincides with the abbreviation of the labour time required to make the product — [therefore coincides] with the development of the forces of production, the utilization of the forces of nature, of machinery, and of the natural powers of social labour — the agglomeration of the workers, the combination and division of labour. Thus no new moment seems to enter in from this side. However, when it is recalled that, as far as the individual capital is concerned, the part of it which constitutes raw material and instrument (means of labour) is itself the product of an alien capital, then it may be seen that the speed with which it can repeat the production process anew is at the same time determined by the development of the productive forces in all other branches of industry. This becomes quite clear if one supposes the same capital to produce its own raw materials, instruments and final products. The length of time during which capital remains in the phase of the production process becomes itself a moment of circulation, if we presuppose various capitals. But we are not yet concerned with many capitals here. This moment therefore does not belong here.

The second moment is the space of time running from the completed transformation of capital into the product until when it becomes transformed into money. The frequency with which capital can repeat the production process, self-realization, in a given amount of time, evidently depends on the speed with which this space of time is run through, or on its duration. If a capital — say originally a capital of 100 thalers — turns over 4 times in one year; let the gain be 5% of itself each time, if the new value is not capitalized; this is the same as if a capital 4 times as large, say 400, at the same percentage, were to turn over once in one year; each time 20%. The velocity of turnover therefore — the remaining conditions of production being held constant — substitutes for the volume of capital. Or, if a value 4 times smaller realizes itself as capital 4 times in the same period in which a 4 times greater value realizes itself as capital only once, then the smaller capital’s gain — production of surplus value — is at least as great as the larger’s. We say at least. It can be greater, because the surplus value can itself again be employed as surplus capital. For example, assume that a capital of 100 has a profit (here anticipating this form of surplus value for the calculation’s sake) of 10% each time, no matter how often it turns over. Then, at the end of the first 3 months, it would be 110, at the end of the second 121, at the end of the third 133 1/10, and at the end of the last turnover 146 41/100, while a capital of 400 with one annual turnover would be only 440. In the first case the gain = 46 41/100, in the second only = 40. (The fact that the presupposition is wrong, in as much as capital does not bring the samerate of profit with each increase in its size, is beside the point as far as the example is concerned, for the issue here is not how much more than 40 it brings, but the very fact that in the first case it does — and it does — bring in more than 40.) We have already encountered the law of the substitution of velocity for mass, and mass for velocity, in money circulation. It holds in production just as in mechanics. It is a circumstance to return to when we consider the equalization of the rate of profit, price etc. The question which interests us here is this: Does not a moment of value-determination enter in independently of labour, not arising directly from it, but originating in circulation itself? (The fact that credit equalizes the differences in capital turnover does not belong here yet. But the question itself belongs here, because it arises out of the simple concept of capital — regarded in general.) The more frequent turnover of capital in a given period of time resembles the more frequent harvests during the natural year in the southerly countries compared with the northerly. As already stated above, we here abstract entirely from the different amounts of time which capital must spend in the phase of production — in the productive realization process itself. Just as grain when it is put in the soil as seed loses its immediate use value, is devalued as immediate use value, so is capital devalued from the completion of the production process until its retransformation into money and from there into capital again. <This velocity with which it can transpose itself from the form of money back into the conditions of production — unlike in slavery, it is not the worker himself who appears among these conditions of production, but rather the exchange with him — depends on the production speed and continuity of the remaining capitals, which supply him with raw material and instrument, as well as on the availability of workers, and in this last respect a relative surplus population is the best condition for capital.) (Quite apart from capital A’s production process, the speed and continuity of production process B appears as a moment which conditions the retransformation of capital A from the form of money into the form of industrial capital. The duration of the production process of capital B thus appears as a moment in the velocity of the circulation process of capital A. The duration of one capital’s production phase determines the velocity of the other’s circulation phase. Their simultaneity is a condition required so that A’s circulation is not obstructed — the fact that its own elements, for which it has to exchange and be exchanged, are thrown into production and circulation simultaneously. For example. In the final third of the eighteenth century, the hand-spinning system was incapable of supplying the required amounts of raw material for weaving — or, what is the same — spinning could not put the flax or cotton through its production process with the required simultaneity — simultaneous velocity. The consequence was the invention of the spinning machine, which supplied a greater product in the same labour time, or, what is the same thing, required less labour time for the same product — less time delay in the spinning process. All moments of capital which appear involved in it when it is considered from the point of view of its general concept obtain an independent reality, and, further, only show themselves when it appears as real, as many capitals. The inner, living organization, which takes place in this way within and through competition, thus develops all the more extensively.)

If we examine the entire turnover of capital, then four moments appear, or, each of the two great moments of the production process and the circulation process appears again in a duality: we can take either circulation or production as the point of departure here. This much has now been said, that circulation is itself a moment of production, since capital becomes capital only through circulation; production is a moment of circulation only in so far as the latter is itself regarded as the totality of the production process. The moments are: (I) The real production process and its duration. (II) Transformation of the product into money. Duration of this operation. (III) Transformation of the money in the proper proportions into raw material, means of labour and labour, in short, into the elements of productive capital. (IV) The exchange of a part of the capital for living labour capacity can be regarded as a particular moment, and must be so regarded, since the labour market is ruled by other laws than the product market etc. Here population is the main thing, not in absolute but in relative terms. Moment I does not come into consideration here, as stated, since it coincides with the conditions of realization generally. Moment III can be considered only when the theme is not capital generally, but many capitals. Moment IV belongs in the section on wages etc.

We are concerned here only with Moment II. In money circulation there was a merely formal alternation of exchange value as money and as commodity. Here money, commodity, are conditions of production, ultimately of the production process. The moments here are different; they are filled with content. The differences in capital turnover as posited in II — since it depends neither on greater difficulty in the exchange with labour, nor on delays resulting from the fact that raw material [Rohstoff] and raw material [Rohmaterial[21] are not present simultaneously in circulation, nor in the different durations of the production process — could therefore arise only from increased difficulties in realization. This is obviously not an immanent case arising from the relation itself, but rather coincides here, where we are examining capital in general, with what we have said about the way in which realization simultaneously results in devaluation. No business will be founded on the principle that it can sell its products with greater difficulty than another. If this resulted from the smaller size of the market, then not a larger — as presupposed — but a smaller capital would be employed there than in the business with a larger market. It could be connected, however, with the greater distance of the market in space and hence the delayed return. The longer time required by capital A to realize itself would be due here to the greater spatial distance it has to travel after the production process in order to exchange as C for M. But cannot e.g. the product produced for China be regarded in such a way that the product is completed, its production process completed, only when it has reached the Chinese market? Its realization costs would rise by the costs of transport from England to China. (We cannot yet speak about the compensation for the longer fallow period of capital here, because the secondary and derived forms of surplus value — interest — would already have to have been presupposed.) The costs of production would resolve into the labour time objectified in the direct production process + the labour time contained in transport. Now the question is initially this: Given the basic principles we have so far asserted, can a surplus value be extracted from the transport costs? Let us deduct the constant part of the capital consumed in transport, ship, vehicle etc. and everything which falls under the heading of their application, since this element contributes nothing to the question, and it is irrelevant whether this is posited as = 0 or = x. Is it possible, then, that there is surplus labour in these transport costs, and that capital can therefore squeeze a surplus value out of them? The question is simple to answer if we ask a further question, where and which is the necessary labour or the value in which it objectifies itself? The product must pay (1) its own exchange value, the labour objectified in itself; (2) the surplus time, which the shipper, carter etc. employs on its transportation. Whether he can or cannot extract the surplus value depends on the wealth of the country into which he brings the product and on its needs etc., on the use value of the product for this land. In direct production, it is clear that all the surplus labour which the manufacturer makes the worker do is surplus value for him, in that it is labour objectified in new use values, which costs him nothing. But he can obviously not employ him during transport for a longer time than is required for the transporting. Otherwise he would throw labour time away instead of realizing it, i.e. he would not objectify it in a use value. If the sailor, the carter etc. require only half a year of labour time to live a full year (if this is generally the proportion of labour necessary for subsistence), then the capitalist employs him for a whole year and pays him a half. By adding a whole years labour time to the value of the transported products, but paying only ½, he gains a surplus value of 100% on necessary labour. The case is entirely the same as indirect production, and the original surplus value of the transported product can come about only because the workers are not paid for a part of the transportation time, because it is surplus time, time over and above the labour necessary for them to live. That an individual product might be made so much more expensive, owing to the transport costs, that it could not be sold — on account of the disproportion between the value of the product and its surplus value as a transported product, a quality which becomes extinguished in it as soon as it has arrived at its destination-does not affect the matter. If a manufacturer were to set his entire machinery into motion in order to spin 1 lb. of twist, then the value of this lb. would likewise rise so that it would hardly find a market. The rise in the prices of imported products, as well as the smaller consumption of them in the Middle Ages etc., stem precisely from this cause. Whether I extract metals from mines, or take commodities to the site of their consumption, both movements are equally spatial. The improvement of the means of transport and communication likewise falls into the category of the development of the productive forces generally. The fact that it can depend on the value of the products whether or not they are able to bear transport costs; that, further, commercial traffic in mass quantities is required to reduce transport costs — a ship with a loading capacity of 100 tons can carry 2 or 100 tons with the same transport costs etc. — and in order to make means of communication pay etc., all this does not belong here. (Nevertheless, it will be necessary to devote a special section to the means of communication, since they make up a form of fixed capital which has its own laws of realization.) If one imagines the same capital both producing and transporting, then both acts fall within direct production, and circulation as we have considered it so far, i.e. transformation into money as soon as the product has achieved its final form for consumption, would begin only when the product had been brought to its point of destination. This capitalists delayed return compared to that of another, who gets rid of his product on the spot, would resolve into another form of greater use of fixed capital, with which we are not yet concerned here. Whether A requires 100 thalers more for instrument, or whether he needs 100 thalers more in order to bring his product to its destination, to market, is the same thing. In both cases more fixed capital is used; more means of production, which is consumed in direct production. In this respect, then, no immanent case would be posited here; it would fall under the examination of the difference between fixed capital and circulating capital.

Circulation costs. — Means of communication and transport. (Division of the branches of labour.) (Concentration of many workers. Productive force of this concentration.) (Mass production.) — General as distinct from particular conditions of production

Still, an additional moment enters here: the costs of circulation, which are not contained in the simple concept of circulation and do not concern us yet. Only in connection with interest and particularly with credit can we speak of the costs of circulation arising from circulation as an economic act — as a relation of production, not as a direct moment of production, as was the case with the means of transport and communication. Circulation as we regard it here is a process of transformation, a qualitative process of value, as it appears in the different form of money, production (realization) process, product, retransformation into money and surplus capital. [We are concerned here] in so far as new aspects are created within this process of transformation as such — in this transition from one form to another. The costs of circulation are not necessarily included e.g. in the transition from product to money. They can be = 0.

However, in so far as circulation itself creates costs, itself requires surplus labour, it appears as itself included within the production process. In this respect circulation appears as a moment of the direct production process. Where production is directly oriented towards use, and only the excess product is exchanged, the costs of circulation appear only for the excess product, not for the main product. The more production comes to rest on exchange value, hence on exchange, the more important do the physical conditions of exchange — the means of communication and transport — become for the costs of circulation. Capital by its nature drives beyond every spatial barrier. Thus the creation of the physical conditions of exchange — of the means of communication and transport — the annihilation of space by time — becomes an extraordinary necessity for it. Only in so far as the direct product can be realized in distant markets in mass quantities in proportion to reductions in the transport costs, and only in so far as at the same time the means of communication and transport themselves can yield spheres of realization for labour, driven by capital; only in so far as commercial traffic takes place in massive volume — in which more than necessary labour is replaced — only to that extent is the production of cheap means of communication and transport a condition for production based on capital, and promoted by it for that reason. All labour required in order to throw the finished product into circulation — it is in economic circulation only when it is present on the market — is from capitals viewpoint a barrier to be overcome — as is all labour required as a condition for the production process (thus e.g. expenses for the security of exchange etc.). The sea route, as the route which moves and is transformed under its own impetus, is that of trading peoples xat’ ezochn. [24] On the other side, highways originally fall to the community, later for a long period to the governments, as pure deductions from production, deducted from the common surplus product of the country, but do not constitute a source of its wealth, i.e. do not cover their production costs. In the original, self-sustaining communes of Asia, on one side no need for roads; on the other side the lack of them locks them into their closed-off isolation and thus forms an essential moment of their survival without alteration (as in India). Road construction by means of the corvée, or through taxes, which is another form, is a forced transformation of a part of a country’s surplus labour or surplus product into roads. If an individual capital is to undertake this — i.e. if it is to create the conditions of the production process which are not included in theproduction process directly — then the work must provide a profit.

Presupposing a certain road between A and B get land cost nothing), then this contains no more than a definite quantity of labour, hence value. Whether the capitalist or the state has it built is the same thing. Does the capitalist make a gain here, then, by creating surplus labour and hence surplus value? First, strip off what is puzzling about the road, which arises from its nature as fixed capital. Imagine that the road could be sold at once, like a coat or a ton of iron. If the production of the road cost say 12 months, then its value = 12 months. If the general standard of labour is such that a worker can live from say 6 months of objectified labour, then, if he built the entire road, he would create surplus value for himself to the amount of 6 months labour; or if the commune built the road, and the worker wanted to work only the necessary time, then another worker would have to be drawn in to work 6 months. The capitalist, however, forces the one worker to work 12 months, and pays him 6. The part of the value of the road which contains his surplus labour forms the capitalists profit. The material form in which the product appears must absolutely not interfere in laying the foundations of the theory of value through objectified labour time. But the question is precisely: can the capitalist realize the road [den Weg verwerten], can he realize [realisieren] its value through exchange? This question naturally arises with every product, but it takes a special form with the general conditions of production. Suppose the value of the road is not realized. But it is built anyway, because it is a necessary use value. How does the matter stand then? It has to be built and has to be paid for — in so far as its cost of production must be exchanged for it. It comes into existence only through a certain consumption of labour, means of labour, raw materials etc. Whether it is built bycorvée or through taxes is the same. But it is built only because it is a necessary use value for the commune, because the commune requires it at any price. This is certainly a surplus labour which the individual must perform, whether in the form of forced labour, or in the indirect form of taxes, over and above the direct labour necessary for his subsistence. But to the extent that it is necessary for the commune, and for each individual as its member, what he performs is not surplus labour, but a part of his necessary labour, the labour necessary for him to reproduce himself as commune member and hence to reproduce the community, which is itself a general condition of his productive activity. If the labour time were entirely consumed in direct production (or, expressed indirectly, if it were impossible to raise surplus tax revenue for this specific purpose), then the road would have to remain unbuilt. If the whole society is regarded as one individual, then necessary labour would consist of the sum of all the particular labour functions which the division of labour separates off. This one individual would have to spend e.g. so much time for agriculture, so much for industry, so much for trade, so much for making instruments, so much, to return to our subject, for road building and means of communication. All these necessities resolve into so much labour time which must be directed towards different aims and expended in particular activities. How much labour time could be employed would depend on the amount of labour capacity (= the mass of individuals capable of labour who constitute the society) and on the development of the productive force of labour (the mass of products (use values) which it can create in a given span of time). Exchange value, which presupposes a more or less developed division of labour, depending on the level of exchange itself, presupposes that, instead of one individual (the society) doing different kinds of labour and employing his labour time in different forms, each and every individuals labour time is devoted exclusively to the necessary particular functions. If we speak of necessary labour time,then the particular separate branches of labour appear as necessary. Where exchange value is the basis, this reciprocal necessity is mediated through exchange, and shows itself precisely in the fact that every particular [piece of] objectified labour, every particularly specified and materialized [piece of] labour time exchanges for the product and symbol of labour time in general, of objectified labour time pure and simple, for money, and can thus be exchanged again for every particular labour. This necessity is itself subject to changes, because needs are produced just as are products and the different kinds of work skills. Increases and decreases do take place within the limits set by these needs and necessary labours. The greater the extent to which historic needs — needs created by production itself, social needs — needs which are themselves the offspring of social production and intercourse, are posited as necessary, the higher the level to which real wealth has become developed. Regarded materially, wealth consists only in the manifold variety of needs. The crafts themselves do not appear necessary ALONGSIDE self-sustaining agriculture, where spinning, weaving etc. are done as a secondary domestic occupation. But e.g. if agriculture itself rests on scientific activities — if it requires machinery, chemical fertilizer acquired through exchange, seeds from distant countries etc., and if rural, patriarchal manufacture has already vanished — which is already implied in the presupposition — then the machine-making factory, external trade, crafts etc. appear as needs for agriculture. Perhaps guano can be procured for it only through the export of silk goods. Then the manufacture of silk no longer appears as a luxury industry, but as a necessary industry for agriculture. It is therefore chiefly and essentially because, in this case, agriculture no longer finds the natural conditions of its own production within itself, naturally, arisen, spontaneous, and ready to hand, but these exist as an independent industry separate from it — and, with this separateness the whole complex set of interconnections in which this industry exists is drawn into the sphere of the conditions of agricultural production — it is because of this, that what previously appeared as a luxury is now necessary, and that so-called luxury needs appear e.g. as a necessity for the most naturally necessary and down-to- earth industry of all. This pulling-away of the natural ground from the foundations of every industry, and this transfer of its conditions of production outside itself, into a general context — hence the transformation of what was previously superfluous into what is necessary, as a historically created necessity — is the tendency of capital. The general foundation of all industries comes to be general exchange itself, the world market, and hence the totality of the activities, intercourse, needs etc. of which it is made up. Luxury is the opposite of the naturally necessary. Necessary needs are those of the individual himself reduced to a natural subject. The development of industry suspends this natural necessity as well as this former luxury — in bourgeois society, it is true, it does so only in antithetical form, in that it itself only posits another specific social standard as necessary, opposite luxury. These questions about the system of needs and system of labours — at what point is this to be dealt with? Will be seen in due course.

Now back to our road. If it can be built at all, it proves that the society possesses the labour time (living labour and objectified labour) required for its construction. [**] Why, then, as soon as production based on exchange value and division of labour appears does road building not become the business of individuals? (And it does not so become where it is conducted through taxes by the state.) First of all: the society, the united individuals, may possess the surplus time to build the road, but only in concentration. Concentration is always the addition of the part of labour capacity which each individual can employ on road building, apart from his particular work; but it is not only addition. The unification of their forces increases their force of production; but this is by no means the same as saying that all of them added together numerically would possess the same labour capacity if they did not work together, hence if to the sum of their labour capacities were not added the surplusexisting only in and through their united, combined labour. Hence the violent rounding-up of the people in Egypt, Etruria, India etc. for forced construction and compulsory public works. Capital effects the same concentration in another way, through the manner of its exchange with free labour. [*] Secondly: On one side, the population may be developed far enough, and the support which it finds in the employment of machinery etc. may be far enough advanced on the other side, so that the power arising only from the material, massive concentration of labour — and in antiquity it is always this massive effect of forcibly concentrated labour — may be superfluous, and a relatively smaller mass of living labourmay be required. [**] A special class of road-workers may form, employed by the state, [***] or a part of the occasionally unemployed population is used for it, together with a number of superintendents etc., who do not work as capitalists, however, but as more highly educatedmenials. (About the relation of this skilled labour etc. later.) The workers are then wage workers, but the state employs them not as such, but as menial servants.

Now, for the capitalist to undertake road building as a business, at his expense, [****] various conditions are required, which all amount to this, that the mode of production based on capital is already developed to its highest stage. Firstly: Large capital is itself presupposed, a large capital concentrated in his hands, in order that he may be able to undertake work of such dimensions and of such slow turnover, [and hence] realization. Hence mostly share-capital, the form in which capital has worked itself up to its final form, in which it is posited, not only in itself,in its substance, but is posited also in its form, as social power and product. Secondly: It must bring interest, but not necessarily profit (it may bring more than interest, but this is not required). We do not yet need to examine this point any further here. Thirdly: As presupposition, such a volume of traffic — commercial, above all — that the road pays for itself, i.e. that the price demanded for the use of the road is worth that much exchange value for the producers, or supplies a productive force for which they can pay that much. Fourthly: A portion of idle wealth which can lay out its revenue for these articles of locomotion. But these two presuppositions are what remains essential: (1) Capital in the required mass, employable for this object, at attractive interest; (2) it has to be worth it for the productive capitals, for industrial capital, to pay the price of passage. Thus e.g. the first railway between Liverpool and Manchester had become a necessity of production for the Liverpool cotton brokers and even more for the Manchester manufacturers. [*] Capital as such — its being posited with the necessary scope — will produce roads only when the production of roads has become a necessity for the producers, especially for productive capital itself; a condition for the capitalistsprofit-making. Then the road will pay for itself. But in this case, a large volume of traffic is already presupposed. It is the same presuppositiondoubly: On one side, the wealth of the country sufficiently concentrated and transformed into the form of capital, to allow it to undertake such works as realization processes for capital; on the other side the volume of traffic sufficient, and the barrier formed by the lack of means of communication sufficiently felt as such, to allow the capitalist to realize the value of the road (in installments over time) as road (i.e. its use). Allgeneral conditions of production, such as roads, canals, etc., whether they facilitate circulation or even make it possible at all, or whether they increase the force of production (such as irrigation works etc. as in Asia and, incidentally, as still built by governments in Europe), presuppose, in order to be undertaken by capital instead of by the government which represents the community as such, the highest development of production founded on capital. The separation of public works from the state, and their migration into the domain of the works undertaken by capital itself, indicates the degree to which the real community has constituted itself in the form of capital. A country, e.g. the United States, may feel the need for railways in connection with production; nevertheless the direct advantage arising from them for production may be too small for the investment to appear as anything but sunk capital. Then capital shifts the burden on to the shoulders of the state; or, where the state traditionally still takes up a position superior to capital, it still possesses the authority and the will to force the society of capitalists to put a part of their revenue, not of their capital, into such generally useful works, which appear at the same time as general conditions of production, and hence not as particularconditions for one capitalist or another — and, so long as capital does not adopt the form of the joint-stock company, it always looks out only for its particular conditions of realization, and shifts the communal conditions off on to the whole country as national requirements. Capital undertakes only advantageous undertakings, advantageous in its sense. True, it also speculates unsoundly, and, as we shall see, must do so. It then undertakes investments which do not pay, and which pay only as soon as they have become to a certain degree devalued. Hence the many undertakings where the first investment is sunk and lost, the first entrepreneurs go bankrupt — and begin to realize themselves only at second or third hand, where the invested capital has become smaller owing to devaluation. Incidentally, the state itself and everything connected with it belongs with these deductions from revenue, belongs so to speak to the consumption costs for the individual, the production costs for society. A road itself may so increase the force of production that it creates new traffic which then makes the road profitable. There are works and investments which may be necessary without being productive in the capitalist sense, i.e. without the realization of the surplus labourcontained in them through circulation, through exchange, as surplus value. If a worker works e.g. 12 hours per day for a year building a road,and if the generally necessary labour time is = 6 hours on the average, then he works a surplus time of 6 hours. But if the road cannot be sold for 12 hours, perhaps only for 6, then this road construction is not an undertaking for capital, and road building is not productive labour for it. Capital must be able to sell the road (the timing and mode of the sale are beside the point here) in such a way that both the necessary and the surplus labour are realized, or in such a way that it obtains out of the general fund of profits — of surplus values — a sufficiently large share to make it the same as if it had created surplus value. This relation is to be examined later in connection with profit and necessary labour. The highest development of capital exists when the general conditions of the process of social production are not paid out of deductions from the social revenue, the states taxes — where revenue and not capital appears as the labour fund, and where the worker, although he is a free wage worker like any other, nevertheless stands economically in a different relation — but rather out of capital as capital. This shows the degree to which capital has subjugated all conditions of social production to itself, on one side; and, on the other side, hence, the extent to which social reproductive wealth has been capitalized, and all needs are satisfied through the exchange form; as well as the extent to which the socially posited needs of the individual, i.e. those which he consumes and feels not as a single individual in society, but communally with others — whose mode of consumption is social by the nature of the thing — are likewise not only consumed but also produced through exchange, individual exchange. In the case of the above road, road building must be so advantageous that the transformation of a given amount of labour time into the road must reproduce the workers labour capacity to the same degree as if he transformed it into cultivated fields. Value is determined by objectified labour time, whatever form it may take. But it does depend now on the use value in which it is realized, whether this value isrealizable. It is presupposed here that the road is a requirement for the commune, hence the use value is presupposed. For capital, on the other side, if it is to undertake the building of the road, it must be presupposed that not only the necessary labour time but also the surplus labour time worked by the worker can be paid for — this is where his profit comes from. (The capitalist often compels this payment by means of protective tariffs, monopoly, state coercion; while the individuals engaged in exchange, under conditions of free exchange, would at most pay the necessary labour.) It is very possible that surplus labour time is present but not paid for (which can after all happen to every capitalist). Where capital rules (just as where there is slavery and bondage or serfdom of any sort), the worker’s absolute labour time is posited for him as condition of being allowed to work the necessary labour time, i.e. of being allowed to realize the labour time necessary for the maintenance of his labour capacity in use values for himself. Competition then has the result, in every kind of work, that he must work the full time — i.e. surplus labour time. But it may be the case that this surplus labour time, although present in the product, is not exchangeable. For the worker himself — compared with the other wage workers — it is surplus labour. For the employer, it is labour which, while it has a use value for him, like e.g. his cook, has no exchange value, hence the entire distinction between necessary and surplus labour timedoes not exist. Labour may be necessary without being productive. All general, communal conditions of production — so long as their production cannot yet be accomplished by capital as such and under its conditions — are therefore paid for out of a part of the country’s revenue — out of the governments treasury — and the workers do not appear as productive workers, even though they increase the productive force of capital.

The result of our digression is, incidentally, that the production of the means of communication, of the physical conditions of circulation, is put into the category of the production of fixed capital, and hence does not constitute a special case. Meanwhile, and incidentally, there opened up for us the prospect, which cannot be sharply defined yet at this point, of a specific relation of capital to the communal, general conditions of social production, as distinct from the conditions of a particular capital and its particular production process.

Transport to market (spatial condition of circulation) belongs in the production process. Credit, the temporal moment of circulation. — Capital is circulating capital. — Money circulation a mere illusion. — Sismondi. Cherbuliez. (Capital. Its various component parts)

Circulation proceeds in space and time. Economically considered, the spatial condition, the bringing of the product to the market, belongs to the production process itself. The product is really finished only when it is on the market. The movement through which it gets there belongs still with the cost of making it. It does not form a necessary moment of circulation, regarded as a particular value-process, since a product may be bought and even consumed at the point of its production. But this spatial moment is important in so far as the expansion of the market and the exchangeability of the product are connected with it. The reduction of the costs of this real circulation (in space) belongs to the development of the forces of production by capital, the reduction of the costs of its realization. In certain respects, as an external condition for the existence of the economic process of circulation, this moment may also be reckoned as part of the production costs of circulation, so that, with respect to this moment, circulation itself appears as a moment not only of the production process in general, but also of the direct production process. In any case, what appears here is the determination of this moment by the general degree of development of the productive forces, and of production based on capital generally. This locational moment — the bringing of the product to market, which is a necessary condition of its circulation, except when the point of production is itself a market — could more precisely be regarded as the transformation of the product into a commodity. Only on the market is it a commodity. (Whether or not this forms a particular moment is a matter of chance. If capital produces to order, then neither this moment nor the transformation into money exists as a particular moment for it. Work done to order, i.e. supply corresponding to a prior demand, as a general or predominant situation, is not characteristic of large industry and in no way arises from the nature of capital as a condition.)

Secondly, the temporal moment. This is an essential part of the concept of circulation. Suppose the act of making the transition from commodity to money is fixed by contract, then this still requires time — calculating, weighing, measuring. The abbreviation of this moment is likewise development of productive force. However, this is time still conceived only as an external condition for the transition from the state of money into that of commodity; the transition itself is presupposed; the question is the time which elapses during this presupposed act. This belongs to the cost of production. Quite different is the time which generally passes before the commodity makes its transition into money; or the time during which it remains a commodity, only a potential but not a real value. This is pure loss.

It is clear from everything said above that circulation appears as an essential process of capital. The production process cannot be begun anew before the transformation of the commodity into money. The constant continuity of the process, the unobstructed and fluid transition of value from one form into the other, or from one phase of the process into the next, appears as a fundamental condition for production based on capital to a much greater degree than for all earlier forms of production. On another side, while the necessity of this continuity is given, its phases are separate in time and space, and appear as particular, mutually indifferent processes. It thus appears as a matter of chance for production based on capital whether or not its essential condition, the continuity of the different processes which constitute its process as a whole, is actually brought about. The suspension of this chance element by capital itself is credit. (It has other aspects as well; but this aspect arises out of the direct nature of the production process and is hence the foundation of the necessity of credit.) Which is why credit in any developed form appears in no earlier mode of production. There was borrowing and lending in earlier situations as well, and usury is even the oldest of the antediluvian forms of capital. But borrowing and lending no more constitute credit than working constitutes industrial labour or free wage labour. And credit as an essential, developed relation of production appears historically only in circulation based on capital or on wage labour.(Money itself is a form for suspending the unevenness of the times required in different branches of production, to the extent that this obstructs exchange.) Although usury is itself a form of credit in its bourgeoisified form, the form adapted to capital, in its pre-bourgeois form it is rather the expression of lack of credit.

(The retransformation of money into objective moments or conditions of production presupposes the latters’ availability. It constitutes the various markets where the producer encounters them as commodity — in the hands of a merchant — markets which (alongside the labour market) are essentially distinct from the markets for direct, individual, final consumption.)

Money became transformed into commodity through circulation, and in the exchange of M-C, consumption completed the process; or, the commodity was exchanged for money — and in the exchange C-M, M was either a vanishing moment itself to be exchanged for C again, in which case the process ended with consumption again, or the money withdrew from circulation and transformed itself into dead treasure, merely symbolic wealth. At no point did the process ignite from within, but rather the presuppositions of money circulation lay outside it, and it constantly required a new push from the outside. In so far as both moments were exchanged, their change of form within circulation was merely formal. But in so far as content entered in, it dropped out of the economic process; content did not form a part of it. The commodity did not sustain itself as money, nor the money as commodity; each was either one or the other. Value as such did not sustain itself in and through circulation as predominant over the process of its transformation, its metamorphosis; nor was the use value itself (as is the case in the capital production process) produced by the exchange value. With capital the consumption of the commodity is itself not final; it falls within the production process; it itself appears as a moment of production, i.e. of value-positing [Wertsetzen].

Capital is now posited, however, as not merely sustaining itself formally, but as realizing itself as value, as value relating to itself as value in every one of the moments of its metamorphosis, in which it appears at one time as money, at another time as commodity, then again as exchange value, then again as use value. The passage from one moment to the other appears as a particular process, but each of these processes is the transition to the other. Capital is thus posited as value-in-process, which is capital in every moment. [25] It is thus posited as circulating capital; in every moment capital, and circulating from one form into the next. The point of return is at the same time the point of departure and vice versa — namely the capitalist. All capital is originally circulating capital, product of circulation, as well as producing circulation, tracing in this way its own course. From the present standpoint, money circulation now appears as itself merely a moment of the circulation of capital, and its independence is posited as a mere semblance. It appears as determined on all sides by the circulation of capital, to which we shall return. In so far as it forms an independent motion alongside that of capital, this independence is posited only by the continuity of the circulation of capital, so that this one moment may be held constant and regarded for itself.

<Capital a permanent, self-multiplying value which never decays. This value tears itself loose from the commodity which created it; remains, like a metaphysical, insubstantial quality, always in the possession of the same farmer, (e.g.), for whom it cloaks itself in different forms. (Sism. VI.) [26] In the exchange of labour for capital, the worker demands subsistence in order to live; the capitalist demands work in order to make a profit. (Sism. loc. cit.) The master of the workshop gains, makes a profit from every increase in the powers of productionwhich the division of labour brings about. (loc. cit.) [27] Sale of labour = renunciation of all fruits of labour. (Cherbuliez, ch. XXVIII.) [28]The three component parts of capital do not grow evenly (i.e. matière première, instrument, approvisionnement ), [29] nor are they in thesame relation in the different stages of society. The approvisionnement remains the same for a certain period, regardless of how quickly thespeed of production and consequently the quantity of products may increase. Thus an increase of productive capital does not necessarily entail an increase of the approvisionnement which is destined to form the price of labour; it can be accompanied by a reduction of it. (loc. cit.)[30]>

Influence of circulation on the determination of value. — Circulation time = time of devaluation. — Difference between the capitalist mode of production and all earlier ones (universality etc.). Propagandistic nature of capital. — Abbreviation of circulation (credit). — Storch. — What the capitalist advances is labour. (Malthus.) — Barriers to capitalist production. (Thompson)”[31]

(In as much as the renewal of production depends on the sale of the finished products; transformation of the commodity into money and retransformation of money into the conditions of production — raw material, instrument, wages; in as much as the circuits which capital travels in order to go from one of these forms into the other constitute sections of circulation, and these sections are travelled in specific amounts of time(even spatial distance reduces itself to time; the important thing e.g. is not the markets distance in space, but the speed — the amount of time — with which it can be reached), by that much the velocity of circulation, the time in which it is accomplished, is a determinant of how many products can be produced in a given period of time; how often capital can be realized in a given period of time, how often it can reproduce andmultiply its value. Thus a moment enters into value-determination which indeed does not come out of the direct relation of labour to capital. The frequency with which the same capital can repeat the production process (creation of new value) in a given period of time is evidently a condition not posited directly by the production process itself. Thus, while circulation does not itself produce a moment of value-determination,for that lies exclusively in labour, its speed does determine the speed with which the production process is repeated, values are created — thus, if not values, at least to a certain extent the mass of values. Namely, the values and surplus values posited by the production process, multiplied by the number of repetitions of the production process in a given period of time. When we speak of the velocity of the circulation of capital, we postulate that delays in the transition from one phase to the next arise only from external barriers, not such as arise from the production process and circulation itself (such as crises, overproduction etc.). Thus, in addition to the labour time realized in production, the circulation time of capital enters in as a moment of value creation — of productive labour time itself. While labour time appears as value-positing activity, this circulation time of capital appears as the time of devaluation. The difference shows itself simply in this: if the totality of the labour time commanded by capital is set at its maximum, say infinity, so that necessary labour time forms an infinitely small part and surplus labour time an infinitely large part of this [infinity], then this would be the maximum realization of capital, and this is the tendency towards which it strives. On the other side, if the circulation time of capital were = 0, if the various stages of its transformation proceeded as rapidly in reality as in the mind, then that [32] would likewise be the maximum of the factor by which the production process could be repeated, i.e. the number of capital realization processes in a given period of time. The repetition of the production process would be restricted only by the amount of time which it lasts, the amount of time which elapses during the transformation of raw material into product. Circulation time is therefore not a positive value-creating element; if it were = to 0, then value-creation would be at its maximum. But if either surplus labour time or necessary labour time = 0, i.e. if necessary labour time absorbed all time, or if production could proceed altogether without labour, then neither value, nor capital, nor value-creation would exist. Circulation time therefore determines value only in so far as it appears as a natural barrier to the realization of labour time. It is therefore in fact a deduction from surplus labour time, i.e. an increase of necessary labour time. It is clear that necessary labour time has to be paid for, whether the circulation process proceeds slowly or quickly. E.g. in trades where specific workers are required, who can, however, only be employed for a part of the year because the products are, say, saleable only in a given season, [in those trades] the workers would have to be paid for the entire year, i.e. surplus labour time is decreased in exact proportion to the reduction in their possibilities of employment during a given period of time, but still they must be paid in one way or another. (For example in the form that their wages for 4 months suffice to maintain them for a year.) If capital could utilize them for 12 months, it would pay them no higher, and would have gained that much surplus labour. Circulation time thus appears as a barrier to the productivity of labour = an increase in necessary labour time = a decrease in surplus labour time = a decrease in surplus value = an obstruction, a barrier to the self-realization process [Selbstverwertungsprozess] of capital. Thus, while capital must on one side strive to tear down every spatial barrier to intercourse, i.e. to exchange, and conquer the whole earth for its market, it strives on the other side to annihilate this space with time, i.e. to reduce to a minimum the time spent in motion from one place to another. The more developed the capital, therefore, the more extensive the market over which it circulates, which forms the spatial orbit of its circulation, the more does it strive simultaneously for an even greater extension of the market and for greater annihilation of space by time. (If labour time is regarded not as the working day of the individual worker, but as the indefinite working day of anindefinite number of workers, then all relations of population come in here; the basic doctrines of population are therefore just as much contained in this first chapter on capital as are those of profit, price, credit etc.) There appears here the universalizing tendency of capital, which distinguishes it from all previous stages of production. Although limited by its very nature, it strives towards the universal development of the forces of production, and thus becomes the presupposition of a new mode of production, which is founded not on the development of the forces of production for the purpose of reproducing or at most expanding a given condition, but where the free, unobstructed, progressive and universal development of the forces of production is itself the presupposition of society and hence of its reproduction; where advance beyond the point of departure is the only presupposition. This tendency — which capital possesses, but which at the same time, since capital is a limited form of production, contradicts it and hence drives it towards dissolution — distinguishes capital from all earlier modes of production, and at the same time contains this element, that capital is posited as a mere point of transition. All previous forms of society — or, what is the same, of the forces of social production — foundered on the development of wealth. Those thinkers of antiquity who were possessed of consciousness therefore directly denounced wealth as the dissolution of the community. The feudal system, for its part, foundered on urban industry, trade, modern agriculture (even as a result of individual inventions like gunpowder and the printing press). With the development of wealth — and hence also new powers and expanded intercourse on the part of individuals — the economic conditions on which the community rested were dissolved, along with the political relations of the various constituents of the community which corresponded to those conditions: religion, in which it was viewed in idealized form (and both [religion and political relations] rested in turn on a given relation to nature, into which all productive force resolves itself); the character, outlook etc. of the individuals. The development of science alone — i.e. the most solid form of wealth, both its product and its producer — was sufficient to dissolve these communities. But the development of science, this ideal and at the same time practical wealth, is only one aspect, one form in which the development of the human productive forces, i.e. of wealth, appears. Considered ideally, the dissolution of a given form of consciousness sufficed to kill a whole epoch. In reality, this barrier to consciousness corresponds to a definite degree of development of the forces of material production and hence of wealth. True, there was not only a development on the old basis, but also a development of this basis itself. The highest development of this basis itself (the flower into which it transforms itself; but it is always this basis, this plant as flower; hence wilting after the flowering and as consequence of the flowering) is the point at which it is itself worked out, developed, into the form in which it is compatible with the highest development of the forces of production, hence also the richest development of the individuals. As soon as this point is reached, the further development appears as decay, and the new development begins from a new basis. We saw earlier that property in the conditions of production was posited as identical with a limited, definite form of the community; hence of the individual with the characteristics — limited characteristics and limited development of his productive forces — required to form such a community. This presupposition was itself in turn the result of a limited historic stage of the development of the productive forces; of wealth as well as of the mode of creating it. The purpose of the community, of the individual — as well as the condition of production — [is] the reproduction of these specific conditions of production and of the individuals, both singly and in their social groupings and relations — as living carriers of these conditions. Capital posits the production of wealth itself and hence the universal development of the productive forces, the constant overthrow of its prevailing presuppositions, as the presupposition of its reproduction. Value excludes no use value; i.e. includes no particular kind of consumption etc., of intercourse etc. as absolute condition; and likewise every degree of the development of the social forces of production, of intercourse, of knowledge etc. appears to it only as a barrier which it strives to overpower. Its own presupposition — value –is posited as product, not as a loftier presupposition hovering over production. The barrier to capital is that this entire development proceeds in a contradictory way, and that the working-out of the productive forces, of general wealth etc., knowledge etc., appears in such a way that the working individual alienates himself [sich entäussert]; relates to the conditions brought out of him by his labour as those not of his own but of an alien wealth and of his own poverty. But this antithetical form is itself meeting, and produces the real conditions of its own suspension. The result is: the tendentially and potentially general development of the forces of production — of wealth as such — as a basis; likewise, the universality of intercourse, hence the world market as a basis. The basis as the possibility of the universal development of the individual, and the real development of the individuals from this basis as a constant suspension of its barrier, which is recognized as a barrier, not taken for a sacred limit. Not an ideal or imagined universality of the individual, but the universality of his real and ideal relations. Hence also the grasping of his own history as a process, and the recognition of nature (equally present as practical power over nature) as his real body. The process of development itself posited and known as the presupposition of the same. [33] For this, however, necessary above all that the full development of the forces of production has become the condition of production; and not that specificconditions of production are posited as a limit to the development of the productive forces. —

If we now return to the circulation time of capital, then its abbreviation (except for development of the means of communication and transport required to bring the product to market) [means] in part the creation of a continuous and hence an ever more extensive market; and in part the development of economic relations, development of forms of capital, by means of which it artificially abbreviates the circulation time.(All forms of credit.) (It may be further remarked at this point that, since capital alone possesses the conditions of the production of capital, hence satisfies and strives to realize [them], [it is] a general tendency of capital at all points which are presuppositions of circulation, which form its productive centres, to assimilate these points into itself, i.e. to transform them into capitalizing production or production of capital. This propagandistic (civilizing) tendency a property exclusively of capital — as distinct from the earlier conditions of production.) The modes of production where circulation does not form the immanent, dominant condition of production, naturally ado] not [meet] the specific circulation requirements of capital and hence also do not [provide for] the working-out of the economic forms as well as of the real forces of production corresponding to them. — Production based on capital originally came out of circulation; we now see that it posits circulation as its own condition, and likewise the production process in its immediacy as moment of the circulation process, as well as the circulation process as one phase of the production process in its totality. — In so far as different capitals have different circulation times (e.g. one a more distant market, the other a near one; one a guaranteed transformation into money, the other a risky one; one more fixed capital, the other more circulating capital), this makes for differences among them in realization. But this happens only in the secondary realization process. Circulation time in itself is a barrier to realization (necessary labour time is of course also a barrier; but at the same time an element, since value and capital would vanish without it); [it is a] deduction from surplus labour time or an increase in necessary labour time in relation to surplus labour time. The circulation of capital realizes value, while living labour creates value. Circulation time is only a barrier to this realization of value, and, to that extent, to value creation; a barrier arising not from production generally but specific to production of capital, the suspension of which — or the struggle against which — hence also belongs to the specific economic development of capital and gives the impulse for the development of its forms in credit etc. <Capital itself is the contradiction [, in] that, while it constantly tries to suspend necessary labour time (and this is at the same time the reduction of the worker to a minimum, i.e. his existence as mere living labour capacity), surplus labour time exists only in antithesis with necessary labour time, so that capital posits necessary labour time as a necessary condition of its reproduction and realization. At a certain point, a development of the forces of material production — which is at the same time a development of the forces of the working class — suspends capital itself.>

<‘The entrepreneur can resume production only after he has sold the completed product, and has employed the price for the purchase of new materials and wages: thus, the more prompt circulation is in bringing about these two effects, the more is he capable of beginning his production anew, and the more products does the capital supply in a given period of time.’ (Storch, 34.) [34]> <The specific advances of the capitalistdo not consist of cloth etc., but of labour.’ (Malthus, IX, 26.)[35]> <‘The accumulation of the general capital of the community in other hands [than] those of the operative labourers, necessarily retards the progress of all industry save that of the usual remuneration of capital, which the time and circumstances afford to the holders of the capital… In the previous systems, the force of production regarded in reference to and subordinate to actual accumulations, and to the perpetuating of the existing modes of distribution. Actual accumulation and distribution are subordinate to the power of producing. (Thompson, 3.) [36] >

Circulation and creation of value. Equalization between different capitals in the conditions of circulation.) Capital not a source of value-creation. — Circulation costs. — Continuity of production presupposes suspension of circulation time

It follows from the relation of circulation time to the production process that the sum of values produced, or the total realization of capital in a given epoch, is determined not simply by the new value which it creates in the production process, or by the surplus time realized in the production process, but rather by this surplus time (surplus value) multiplied by the number which expresses how often the production process of capital can be repeated within a given period of time. The number which expresses this frequency of repetition may be regarded as the coefficient of the production process or of the surplus value created through it. However, this coefficient is not positively but negatively determined by the velocity of circulation. i.e. if the velocity of circulation were absolute, i.e. if no interruption in production resulting from circulation occurred at all, then this coefficient would be at its maximum. If the real conditions of e.g. wheat production in a given country permit only one harvest, then no velocity of circulation can make two harvests out of it. But if an obstruction in the circulation occurred, if the farmer could not sell his wheat soon enough e.g. to hire workers again, then production would be delayed. The maximum of the coefficient of the production process or the realization process in a given period of time is determined by the absolute time taken up by the production phase itself. With circulation completed, capital is able to begin its production process anew. Thus if circulation caused no delay at all, if its velocity were absolute and its duration = 0, i.e. if it were accomplished in no time, then this would only be the same as if capital had been able to begin its production process anew directly it was finished; i.e. circulation would not have existed as a limiting barrier for production, and the repetition of the production process in a given period of time would be absolutely dependent on, identical with, the duration of the production process. Thus if the development of industry allowed xlb. of twist to be produced in 4 months with a capital of 100, then with that capital the production process could be repeated only 3 times per year, and only 3x lb. of twist could be produced. No velocity of circulation could increase the reproduction of capital, or rather the repetition of its realization process, beyond that point. That could occur only in consequence of an increase in the forces of production. Circulation time in itself is not a productive force of capital, but a barrier to its productive force arising from its nature as exchange value. The passage through the various phases of circulation here appears as a barrier to production, a barrier posited by the specific nature of capital itself. All that can happen through the acceleration and abbreviation of circulation time — of the circulation process — is the reduction of the barrier posited by the nature of capital. The natural barriers to the repetition of the production process e.g. in agriculture coincide with the duration of one cycle of the production phase. The barrier posited by capital is the lag not between seeding and harvest, but between harvest and the transformation of the harvest into money, and retransformation of the money into say e.g. purchase of labour. The circulation-artists who imagine that they can do something with the velocity of circulation other than lessen the obstacles to reproduction posited by capital itself are on the wrong track. (Even madder, of course, are those circulation-artists who imagine that credit institutes and inventions which abolish the lag of circulation time will not only do away with the delays and interruptions in production caused by the transformation of the finished product into capital, but will also make the capital, with which productive capital exchanges, itself superfluous; i.e. they want to produce on the basis of exchange value bat to remove at the same time, by some witchcraft, the necessary conditions of production on this basis.) The most that credit can do in this respect — as regards mere circulation — is maintain the continuity of the production process, if all other conditions of this continuity are present, i.e. if the capital to be exchanged with actually exists etc.

It is posited in the circulation process that the transformation of the capital into money is posited as a condition for the realization of capital through production, for the exploitation of labour by capital; or, the exchange of capital for capital [*] is posited as barrier to the exchange of capital for labour and vice versa.

Capital exists as capital only in so far as it passes through the phases of circulation, the various moments of its transformation, in order to be able to begin the production process anew, and these phases are themselves phases of its realization — but at the same time, as we saw, of itsdevaluation. As long as capital remains frozen in the form of the finished product, it cannot be active as capital, it is negated capital. Its realization process is delayed in the same degree, and its value-in-process [prozessierender Wert] negated. This thus appears as a loss for capital, as a relative loss of its value, for its value consists precisely in its realization process. This loss of capital means in other words nothing else but that time passes it by unseized, time during which it could have been appropriating alien labour, surplus labour time through exchange with living labour, if the deadlock had not occurred. Now let us imagine many capitals in particular branches of business, all of which are necessary(which would become evident if, in the eventuality of a massive flight of capital from a given branch, supply falling below demand, the market price would therefore rise above the natural price in that branch), and let a single branch of business require e.g. that capital A remain longer in the form of devaluation, i.e. that the time in which it passes through the various phases of circulation is longer than in all other branches of business, in which case this capital A would regard the smaller new value which it could produce as a positive loss, just as if it had so many more outlays to make in order to produce the same value. It would thus charge relatively more exchange value for its products than the other capitals, in order to share the same rate of gain. But this could take place in fact only if the loss were distributed among the other capitals. If A demands more exchange value for the product than there is labour objectified in it, then it can obtain this more only if the others obtain less than the real value of their products. That is, the less favourable conditions under which A has produced would be borne in proportional shares by all the capitalists who exchange with it, and in this way an equal average level would come out. But the sum of the surplus value created by all these capitals together would be lessened exactly by the amount of capital As lesser realization in relation to the other capitals; only, instead of this reduction falling exclusively on capital A, it is borne as a general loss, as a loss shared proportionally by all the capitals. Nothing can therefore be more ridiculous than the notion (see e.g. Ramsay)[37] that, apart from the exploitation of labour, capital forms an original source, separately from labour, of value-creation, because the distribution of surplus labour among the capitals takes place not in proportion to the surplus labour time achieved by the individual capital, but in proportion to the total surplus labour which the totality of capitals achieved, and hence a higher value-creation can be attributed to the individual capital than is directly explicable from its particular exploitation of labour power. But thismore on one side has to be compensated by a less on the other. This is what average means, if it means anything at all. The question how the relation of capital to alien capital, i.e. the competition of capitals, distributes the surplus value among them obviously has nothing to do with the absolute amount of this surplus value. Nothing more absurd, then, than to conclude that, because one capital obtains a compensation for itsexceptional circulation time, i.e. puts its relatively lesser realization to account as positively greater realization, now all capitals combined,capital can make something out of nothing, make a plus out of a minus, make a plus-surplus value out of a minus-surplus value or out of minus-surplus labour time, and that it possesses, therefore, a mystical wellspring of value independent of the appropriation of alien labour. The manner in which the capitals among other things compute their proportional share of the surplus value — not only according to the surplus labour time which they set in motion, but also in accordance with the time which their capital has worked as such, i.e. lain fallow, found itself in the phase of devaluation — does of course not alter in the least the total sum of the surplus value which they have to distribute among themselves. This sum itself cannot grow by being smaller than it would have been if capital A, instead of lying fallow, had created surplus value; i.e. by having created less surplus value in the same time as the other capitalists. And this lying-fallow is made good for capital A only in so far as it arises necessarily out of the conditions of the particular branch of production, and hence appears in respect to capital as such as a burden on realization, as a necessary barrier to its realization generally. The division of labour leaves’ this barrier as a barrier only as regards the production process of this particular capital. If the production process is regarded as conducted by capital as such, this lying-fallow is a general barrier to capitals realization. If one imagines all production carried out by labour alone, then all the larger advances which it requires during its realization appear as what they are — deductions from surplus value.

Circulation can create value only in so far as it requires fresh employment — of alien labour — in addition to that directly consumed in the production process. This is then the same as if more necessary labour were used in the direct production process. Only the actual circulation costs increase the value of the product, but decrease the surplus value.

To the extent that the circulation of capital (the product etc.) does not merely express the phases necessary to begin the production process anew, this circulation (see Storch’s example) does not form a moment of production in its totality — is hence not circulation posited by production, and, in so far as it creates expenses, these are faux frais de production. The costs of circulation generally, in so far as their merely economic moments, circulation proper, are concerned (bringing the product to market gives it a new use value), are to be regarded as deduction from surplus value, i.e. as an increase of necessary labour in relation to surplus labour.

The continuity of production presupposes that circulation time has been suspended. If it has not been suspended, then time must pass between the different metamorphoses through which capital must travel; its circulation time must appear as deduction from its production time. On the other hand, the nature of capital presupposes that it travels through the different phases of circulation not as it does in the mind, where one concept turns into the next at the speed of thought, in no time, but rather as situations which are separate in time. It must spend some time as a cocoon before it can take off as a butterfly. Thus the conditions of production arising out of the nature of capital itself contradict each other. The contradiction can be suspended and overcome only [**] in two ways:

Firstly, credit: A pseudo-buyer B — i.e. someone who really pays but does not really buy — mediates the transformation of capitalist As product into money. But B himself is paid only after capitalist C has bought As product. Whether the money which this credit-man, B, gives to A is used by A to buy labour or to buy raw material and instrument, before A can replace either of them from the sale of his product, does not alter the case. Given our presupposition, he must basically give him both — i.e. all the conditions of production (these represent, however, a greater value than the original ones with which A began the production process). In this case capital B replaces capital A; but they are not realized at the same time. Now B takes the place of A; i.e. his capital lies fallow, until it is exchanged with capital C. It is frozen in the product of A, who has made his product liquid in capital B.

[Theories of Surplus Value and Profit

Ramsay. Circulation time. Concludes therefore that capital is its own source of profit. — Ramsay. Confusion about surplus value and profit and law of values. (No surplus value according to Ricardo’s law.) — Ricardo. Competition. — Quincey. [39]Ricardo’s theory of value. Wages and profit. Quincey. — Ricardo. — Wakefield. Conditions of capitalist production [in] colonies

The economists’ absolute confusion in respect of Ricardo’s determination of value through labour time — something which is founded on a basic defect of his own development — emerges very clearly with Mr Ramsay. He says (after having previously drawn, from the influence of the circulation time of capitals on their relative realization, i.e. their relative share of the general surplus value, the nonsensical conclusion that: This shows how capital may regulate value independently of labour’ (IX, 84. R, 43)[40] or that capital is a source of value independent of labour’[41]) — he says, literally: A circulating capital (approvisionnement) will always maintain more labour than that formerly bestowed upon itself. Because, could it employ no more than had been previously bestowed upon itself, what advantage could arise to the owner from the use of itas such? (loc. cit. 49.) Given two capitals of equal value, each produced through the labour of 100 men operating for a given time, of which the one is entirely circulating, the other entirely fixed, and may perhaps consist of wine kept to improve. Now, this circulating capital, raised by the labour of 100 men, will set 150 men in motion. Therefore the product at the end of the coming year will in this case be the result of the labour of 150 men. But still it will be of no more value than the wine at the termination of the same period, although only 100 men employed upon the latter. (50.) Or is it asserted that the quantity of labour which every circulating capital will employ is no more than equal to the [quantity] previously bestowed upon it? That would mean, that the value of the capital expended = that of the product. (52.) Great confusion between the labour bestowed upon capital and that which it will employ. The capital which is exchanged for labour capacity, the approvisionnement —and this he here calls circulating capital — can never employ more labour than has been bestowed upon it. (The reaction of a development of the productive forces on present capital is beside the point here.) But there has been more labour bestowed upon it than it has paid for — surplus labour, which is converted into surplus value and surplus produce, enabling the capital to renew this profitable bargain, where the mutuality is all on one side, on a more enlarged scale. It is enabled to employ more new living labour, because during the process of production a portion of fresh labour has been bestowed upon it beyond the accumulated labour of which it consisted before entering that process.

Mr Ramsay seems to imagine that, if a capital is the product of 20 working days (necessary and surplus together), this product of 20 working days can employ 30 working days. But this is by no means the case. Say that 10 days of necessary labour and 10 surplus days were employed on the product. Then the surplus value = 10 surplus days. If the capitalist then exchanges these again for raw material, instrument and labour, then he can set new necessary labour into motion with the surplus product. The point is not that he employed more labour time than is present in the product, but that he exchanges the surplus labour time, which costs him nothing, for new necessary labour time — in other words, precisely, that he employs the entire labour time bestowed upon the product, while he has paid only part of that labour. Mr Ramsay’s conclusion, that if the quantity of labour which every circulating capital will employ was no more than equal to that previously bestowed upon it, the value of the capital expended would be equal to that of the produce, i.e. no surplus value would be left, would be correct only if the quantity of labour bestowed upon the capital were wholly paid for, i.e. if capital did not appropriate a part of the labour without equivalent. These misunderstandings on Ricardo’s part [42] obviously arise from the fact that he himself was not clear about the process, nor, as a bourgeois, could he be. Insight into this process is = to the statement that capital is not only, as A. Smith thinks, [43] command over alien labour, in the sense that every exchange value is that, since it gives its possessor buying power, but that it is the power to appropriate alien labour without exchange, without equivalent, but with the semblance of exchange. Ricardo knows no argument to refute those, like A. Smith and others, who fall into the same error regarding value as determined by labour, and value as determined by the price of labour (wages), other than to say: with the product of the same quantity of labour one can set sometimes more and sometimes less living labour into motion, i.e. he regards the product of labour in respect of the worker only as use value — only the part of the product which he needs to be able to live as worker. But how it comes about that the worker suddenly only represents use value in the exchange, or only draws use value from the exchange, is by no means clear to him, as is already proved by his arguments against A. Smith, which are never in general terms, but always about particular examples. But why is it, then, that the share of the worker in the value of the product is determined not by the value, but rather by the use value of the product, thus not by the labour time employed on it, but by its quality of maintaining living labour capacity? If he tries to explain this with, say, competition among the workers, then the answer which would have to be given is the same as that which he gives A. Smith about competition among capitalists, i.e. that competition may well even out, equalize the level of profit, but in no way creates the measure of this level. [44] Likewise, competition among the workers could press down a higher wages level etc., but the general standard of wages, or as Ricardo puts it the natural price of wages, could not be explained by the competition between worker and worker, but only by the original relation between capital and labour. Competition generally, this essential locomotive force of the bourgeois economy, does not establish its laws, but is rather their executor. Unlimited competition is therefore not the presupposition for the truth of the economic laws, but rather the consequence — the form of appearance in which their necessity realizes itself. For the economists to presuppose, as does Ricardo, that unlimited competition exists [45] is to presuppose the full reality and realization of the bourgeois relations of production in their specific and distinct character. Competition therefore does not explain these laws; rather, it lets them be seen, but does not produce them. Then Ricardo says, too: the production costs of living labour depend on the production costs of making the values required to reproduce it. [46] While he previously regarded the product in relation to the worker only as a use value, he now regards the worker only as an exchange value in relation to the product. The historic process through which product and living labour come into this mutual relation is none of his concern. He is just as vague about the way in which this relation is perpetuated. Capital, with him, is the result of saving; this already shows that he misunderstands the process of its origins and reproduction. He therefore also imagines that production is impossible without capital, although he can very well imagine capital possible without ground rent. The distinction between profitand surplus value does not exist for him, proof that he is clear about the nature of neither one. His procedure already shows this from the very beginning. Originally, he makes workers exchange with workers — and their exchange is then determined by the equivalent, by the labour timereciprocally expended in production. Then comes the real problem of his economics, to demonstrate that this determination of value is not altered by the accumulation of capitals — i.e. by the presence [Dasein] of capital. Firstly, he has no inkling that his first spontaneous relation is itself only a relation abstracted from the mode of production resting on capital. Secondly, what he has available is a definite amount of objective labour time, which may of course increase, and he asks himself, how is it distributed? The question is rather how is it created, and there it is precisely the specific nature of the relation of capital and labour, or the specific and distinct character of capital, which explains this. As Quincey (X, 5) puts it, modern economics (the economics of Ricardo) is in fact concerned only with the dividends, while the total product is regarded as fixed, determined by the quantity of labour employed on it — its value appraised in accordance with that. [47] Accordingly, Ricardo has rightly been accused of not understanding surplus value, although his opponents understand it even less. Capital is represented as appropriating a certain part of the ready and available value of labour (of the product); the creation of this value, which it appropriates above and beyond the reproduced capital, is not presented as the source of the surplus value. This creation is identical with the appropriation of alien labour without exchange, and for that reason the bourgeois economists are never permitted to understand it clearly. Ramsay accuses Ricardo of forgetting that the fixed capital (which consists of capital not included in approvisionnement, with Ramsay the raw material at the same time along with theinstrument) is a deduction from the sum total available for distribution among capitalist and worker. ‘Ricardo forgets that the whole product is divided not only between wages and profits, but that another part is necessary for replacing fixed capital.’ (IX, p. 88. R. 174, note.) Indeed, since Ricardo does not grasp the relation between objectified and living labour in its living movement — [a relation] not to be deduced from the dividends of a given quantity of labour, but from the positing of surplus labour — and does not, therefore, grasp the relation among the different component parts of capital, it therefore seems with him as if the entire product were divided into wages and profits, so that the reproduction of capital is itself counted as part of profit. Quincey (loc. cit. Notebook X, 5) gives this exposition of the Ricardian doctrine: ‘If the price is 10s. then wages and profit as a whole cannot exceed 10s. But do not the wages and profits as a whole, themselves, on the contrary, predetermine the price? No, that is the old superannuated doctrine.’ (p. 204). ‘The new economics has shown that all price is governed by proportional quantity of the producing labour, and by that only. Being itself once settled, then ipso facto, price settles the fund out of which both wages and profits must derive their separate dividends.’ (loc. cit. 204.) [48] Capital here appears not as positing surplus value, i.e. surplus labour, but only as making deductions from a given quantity of labour. The fact that instrument and raw material appropriate these dividends then has to be explained by their use value in production, which then presupposes the absurdity that raw material and instrument create use value through theirseparation from labour. For this separation makes them into capital. Considered for themselves, they are themselves labour, accumulated labour. Besides, this clashes with sound common sense, because the capitalist knows very well that he counts wages and profit among the production costs and regulates the necessary price accordingly. This contradiction in the determination of the product by relative labour time, and the limitation of the sum of profit and wages by the sum of this labour time, and the real determination of prices in practice, comes about only because profit is not grasped as itself a derivative, secondary form of surplus value; the same is true of what the capitalist justly regards ashis production costs. His profit arises simply from the fact that a part of the cost of production costs him nothing, hence does not enter into hisoutlays, his production costs.


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