Archive for the 'Capital I. Part 4' Category

CHAPTER 15: Machinery & Large-Scale Industy. Sections: 5-10

Dear all. The notes are going to go up progressively today (while i work around a few other deadlines). For now I present you my first point along with subheadings for the other things I will get to post (hopefully) before the day is out. And if i don’t get around to posting them, we can take them up for discussion at our meeting tonight. (sorry about sloppiness).


In the first 5 sections of chapter 15 we looked at how the machine, the definitive technology of Large Scale Industry creates contradictions within the logic of capital. In the second half of this chapter Marx crystallises some of the manifestations of ‘the contradictions and antagonisms inseparable from the capitalist application of machinery’: Continue reading ‘CHAPTER 15: Machinery & Large-Scale Industy. Sections: 5-10’

Chapter 15: Machinery and Large-Scale Industry. Sections 1 – 4

I have set out the notes under thematic headings mostly corresponding with the chronology of the text. There are a couple of suggested discussion points in the end two points. See you all in the reading group meeting!


‘Technology reveals the active relation of man to nature, the direct process of the production of his life, and thereby it also lays bare the process of the production of the social relations of his life and of the mental conceptions that flow from these relations.’[1] Continue reading ‘Chapter 15: Machinery and Large-Scale Industry. Sections 1 – 4’

Capital I. Chapter 14: The Division of Labour and Manufacture.

Manufacture takes two fundamental forms, the finished article being produced: 1) by  assembling parts made independently and in relative isolation; 2) or by “a series of connected processes and manipulations.” (p. 461) The first form, Marx calls ‘heterogeneous’, and the second, ‘organic’. Continue reading ‘Capital I. Chapter 14: The Division of Labour and Manufacture.’

Capital I. Chapter 13: Co-operation.

“Capitalist production only really begins . . . when each individual capital simultaneously employs a comparatively large number of workers, and when, as a result, the labour-process is carried on on an extensive scale, and yields relatively large quantities of products. A large number of workers working together, at the same time, in one place (or, if you like, in the same field of labour), in order to produce the same sort of commodity under the command of the same capitalist, constitutes the starting-point of capitalist production. This is true both historically and conceptually.” (p. 439) Continue reading ‘Capital I. Chapter 13: Co-operation.’

Capital I. Chapter 12: The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value

In the previous chapter (ch. 11), Marx made the assumption that “[t]hat portion of the working day which merely produces an equivalent for the value paid by the capitalist for his [i.e., the worker’s] labour-power . . . [is] a constant magnitude. And so it is”, Marx comments, “under given conditions of production and at a given stage in the economic development of society”, but “although the necessary labour-time was constant . . . the total working day was variable.” (p. 429) Continue reading ‘Capital I. Chapter 12: The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value’