Archive for June, 2010

Capital II. Chapter 3: The circuit of commodity capital

This chapter opens with a series of comparisons between the circuit of commodity capital, and the circuits of money capital and productive capital. In these notes, I will draw out some of the characteristics of the circuit of commodity capital. As with his opening of Capital, volume I with a discussion about commodities, Marx returns to the centrality of commodities in the capital-relation in Chapter 3. Here, the notion of movement is central. Unlike the other circuits, this circuit completes an entire rotation before it is interrupted by production (C’-M-C … P … C’). Why is this significant? Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 3: The circuit of commodity capital’

Capital II. Chapter 4: The Three Figures of the Circuit (ongoing)

Tc = total circulation process, depicting the three figures:

(I) M – C … P … C’ – M’
(II) P … Tc … P
(III) Tc … P(C’)

Each figure demonstrates the point of the circuits to be valorisation: in (I) this is expressed in the form itself, in (II) we begin with the valorisation process itself, P, and in (III) the beginning is valorised value, closing with the newly valorised value.

The formal aspects of these forms demonstrate the metamorphoses of commodities into money, and so on. But Marx encourages us to look further, at the connection “between the circuits of individual capitals, as the partial movements of the reproduction process of the total social capital” (p180), if we do so then the process cannot be explained in formal terms of changes between money and commodities. Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 4: The Three Figures of the Circuit (ongoing)’

Capital II. Chapter 2: The Circuit of Productive Capital (to come)

Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 2: The Circuit of Productive Capital (to come)’

Capital II. Chapter 1: The Circuit of Money Capital (ongoing)

Marx sets out the different moments of the circuit of money capital in this first chapter: M-C … P … C’-M’. This sets up a template for his discussion of the other circuits through Part I. He emphasises that the use-value character of money’s capital-form and also the class relations that are presupposed by this. The two points, use-values and class relations, tend to presuppose one another. The style of the chapter repeats that of Chapter 3 of Capital I, with its use of organic metaphors and repeated references to the metamorphoses of capital-values. Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 1: The Circuit of Money Capital (ongoing)’

General comments on Capital II

Two hypotheses:

  1. More and Faster. Whereas Capital I is about how capital finds ways of drawing more surplus-value from labour; Capital II is concerned with how capital finds ways of making this surplus-value move faster. The relevance of this to the speed of contemporary life – and there is now a social movement around slowing down life – might be a discussion point as we move through this volume. Continue reading ‘General comments on Capital II’