Archive for the 'Capital II. Part 3' Category

Capital II. Chapter 20: Simple Reproduction (Parts 7-10)

Part 7 Variable capital and surplus-value in the two departments

Department I – means of production (machines, constant capital etc)

Department II – means of consumption (means of subsistence + luxury commodities)

Labour-power cannot form new values without already existing means of production (MoP). This chapter takes up the focus on the relationship between labour-power (as value forming labour) previously expended. It is an extension upon the discussion of dead and living labour in Volume I, from the perspective of the total social working day. From the relationship of activities between Deps I & II, Marx develops this point.

Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 20: Simple Reproduction (Parts 7-10)’

Capital II. Chapter 21: Accumulation & Reproduction on an Expanded Scale

Chapter 21 closes Capital II. It develops by complicating the discussion of simple reproduction given in the preceding chapter. Here Marx insists that it is the technical composition of capital that determines the expansion of production, whereas simple reproduction is only notable for its demonstration of the circuits of capital’s value composition(s). There are some interesting comments on the consumption by workers, which speak directly the present tendency to get works to work more by encouraging them to buy more stuff: Marx comments on this directly (591-2).


The most significant point in this chapter is to do with what happens with that part of revenue that is capitalised, rather than hoarded or consumed.

It is a banal point that the distinction between simple (Chapter 20) and expanded reproduction is that a sum of value is capitalised. Marx does insist twice that this is the necessary condition of any real accumulation. But the important thing Marx introduces is that the total social capital may retain the same total value, but its use-value composition will change.

Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 21: Accumulation & Reproduction on an Expanded Scale’

Capital II. Chapter 20: Simple Reproduction, Sections 1 – 6

first summary notes from this chapter sections 1 – 6 (ongoing)

1.Formulation of the Problem

Begins with considering the annual functioning of the social capital and the commodity product supplied by a society in the course of a year, this will show how the reproduction of the social capital proceeds, and what the distinguishing and common characteristics between the social capital and the individual capitals of which it is made up.

Annual product: includes productive and unproductive consumption, those parts of social product that replace capital, social reproduction and that of the consumption fund, for both workers and capitalists. This involves the reproduction of the working and capitalist class, and of capitalist relations of production.

The form of circulation analysed is that of commodity capital, see Chapter 3, vol II.

The beginning point of the circuit of commodity capital is C’. This commodity capital includes constant, variable and surplus value. The movement of this encompasses productive and unproductive consumption.

This circuit also highlights the preconditions for social reproduction, as it is necessary to show the movement of each of the portions of the overall C’ (c, v, s).

The overall process of reproduction includes the consumption process mediated by circulation as well as the reproduction of capital itself.

The consumption process stands out here in this discussion, it is a necessary component in understanding reproduction of social capital.

Continue reading ‘Capital II. Chapter 20: Simple Reproduction, Sections 1 – 6’