Archive for the 'Capital II. Part 2' Category

Capital II. Chapter 16: The turnover of variable capital

In this chapter Marx introduces the focus on the surplus value contained in commodity capital.

The observations made in this chapter relate particularly to chapters 4 (the General Formula for Capital) and 23 (Simple Reproduction) from Capital Volume I.

Part 1. The annual rate of surplus value

The values of variable and fixed capital reappear as portions of the value of the commodities produced. Marx notes that the difference between fixed and variable capital is that the former enters into the production process in its old form over various turnover periods (p.370).

The annual rate of surplus value is rate of surplus value produced per turnover multiplied by the number of turnovers of variable capital in a year.

The mass of surplus value obtained per turnover period is the value of variable capital advanced over that same period.

The ratio between advanced and applied variable capital relates to the turnover period.

“The circumstances that differentiate the ratio between the advanced and the applied variable capital affect the production of surplus-value – at a given rate of profit – only in so far as they differentiate the amount of variable capital which can actually be applied in a definite period of time, eg. One week, five weeks etc.”

Turned on its head, the annual rate for capital is the same as the annual rate of surplus value (p.376).

Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 16: The turnover of variable capital’


Capital II. Chapter 12: The Working Period, Chapter 13: Production Time & Chapter 14: Circulation Time

In these chapters Marx is concerned with barriers to the speed of value’s circulation. The turnover of capital is the time it takes a capital value to move though production and circulation and reflux back to the capitalist as M’  — though throughout Marx ignores surplus-value: he just wants to show how values move, not how they expand.

As with this volume generally, the question of speeding things up is central. Once we have a value, how can we make it move faster and faster?

These chapters deal particularly with problems arising from the natural forms of commodities’ use-values — both producing them and selling them. The theme of confinement emerges: capital values are either tied-up in production or confined to the form of commodity capital in circulation.

Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 12: The Working Period, Chapter 13: Production Time & Chapter 14: Circulation Time’

Reading Capital in Sydney records reading notes on Marx's Capital I, II and III, and other bits and pieces.

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