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«Part II: The Transformation of Money in Capital Ch. 4: The General Formula for Capital Ch. 5: Contradictions in the General Formula of Capital Ch. 6: ...»

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Mais dans l'ordre social, la richesse a acquis la propriété de se reproduire par le travail d'autrui, et sans que son proprietaire y concoure. La richesse, comme le travail, et par le travail, donne un fruit annuel qui peut être détruit chaque année sans que le riche en devienne plus pauvre. Ce fruit est le revenu qui net du capital" (Sismondi: "Nouv. Princ.

d'Econ. Pol." Paris, 1819, t. I, pp. 81-82.) [2] "Wages as well as profits are to be considered, each of them, as really a portion of the finished product." (Ramsay, l. c., p. 142.) "The share of the product which comes to the labourer in the form of wages." (J. Mill, "Eléments, &c." Translated by Parissot. Paris, 1823, p. 34.) [3] "When capital is employed in advancing to the workman his wages, it adds nothing to the funds for the maintenance of labour." (Cazenove in note to his edition of Malthus' "Definitions in Pol. Econ." London, 1853, p. 22.) [4] "The wages of labour are advanced by capitalists in the case of less than one fourth of the labourers of the earth." (Rich. Jones: "Textbook of Lectures on the Pol. Econ. of Nations." Hertford, 1852, p. 36.) [5] "Though the manufacturer" (i.e., the labourer) "has his wages advanced to him by his master, he in reality costs him no expense, the value of these wages being generally reserved, together with a profit, in the improved value of the subject upon which his labour is bestowed." (A. Smith, l. c., Book II.. ch. III, p. 311.) [6] "This is a remarkably peculiar property of productive labour. Whatever is productively consumed is capital and it becomes capital by consumption." (James Mill, l.

c., p. 242.) James Mill, however, never got on the track of this "remarkably peculiar property."

[7] "It is true indeed, that the first introducing a manufacture employs many poor, but they cease not to be so, and the continuance of it makes many." ("Reasons for a Limited Exportation of Wool." London, 1677, p. 19.) "The farmer now absurdly asserts, that he keeps the poor. They are indeed kept in misery." ("Reasons for the Late Increase of the Poor Rates: or a Comparative View of the Prices of labour and Provisions." London, 1777, p. 31.) [8] Rossi would not declaim so emphatically against this, had lie really penetrated the secret of "productive consumption."

[9] "The labourers in the mines of S. America, whose daily task (the heaviest perhaps in the world) consists in bringing to the surface on their shoulders a load of metal weighing from 180 to 200 pounds, from a depth of 450 feet, live on broad and beans only; they themselves would prefer the bread alone for food, but their masters, who have found out that the men cannot work so hard on bread, treat them like horses, and compel them to eat beans; beans, however, are relatively much richer in bone-earth (phosphate of lime) than is bread." (Liebig, l. c., vol. 1., p. 194, note.) [10] James Mill, l. c., p. 238.

[11] "If the price of labour should rise so high that, notwithstanding the increase of capital, no more could be employed, I should say that such increase of capital would be still unproductively consumed." (Ricardo, l. c., p. 163.) [12] "The only productive consumption, properly so called, is the consumption or destruction of wealth" (he alludes to the means of production) "by capitalists with a view to reproduction.... The workman... is a productive consumer to the person who employs him, and to the State, but not, strictly speaking, to himself." (Malthus' "Definitions, &c.", p. 30.) [13] "The only thing, of which one can say, that it is stored up and prepared beforehand, is the skill of the labourer.... The accumulation and storage of skilled labour, that most important operation, is, as regards the great mass of labourers, accomplished without any capital whatever." (Th. Hodgskin: "Labour Defended, &c.," p. 13.) [14] "That letter might be looked upon as the manifesto of the manufacturers." (Ferrand:

"Motion on the Cotton Famine." H.o.C., 27th April, 1863.) [15] It will not be forgotten that this same capital sings quite another song, under ordinary circumstances, when there is a question of reducing wages. Then the masters exclaim with one voice: "The factory operatives should keep in wholesome remembrance the fact that theirs is really a low species of skilled labour, and that there is none which is more easily acquired, or of its quality more amply remunerated, or which, by a short training of the least expert, can be more quickly, as well as abundantly, acquired... The master's machinery" (which we now learn can be replaced with advantage in 12 months,) "really plays a far more important part in the business of production than the labour and skill of the operative" (who cannot now be replaced under 30 years), "which six months' education can reach, and a common labourer can learn." (See ante, p. 423.) [16] Parliament did not vote a single farthing in aid of emigration, but simply passed some Acts empowering the municipal corporations to keep the operatives in a half-starved state, i.e., to exploit them at less than the normal wages. On the other hand, when 3 years later, the cattle disease broke out, Parliament broke wildly through its usages and voted, straight off, millions for indemnifying the millionaire landlords, whose farmers in any event came off without loss, owing to the rise in the price of meat. The bull-like bellow of the landed proprietors at the opening of Parliament, in 1866, showed that a man can worship the cow Sabala without being a Hindu, and can change himself into an ox without being a Jupiter.

[17] "L'ouvrier demandait de la subsistence pour vivre, le chef demandait du travail pour gagner." (Sismondi, l. c., p. 91.) [18] A boorishly clumsy form of this bondage exists in the county of Durham. This Is one of the few counties, in which circumstances do not secure to the farmer undisputed proprietary rights over the agricultural labourer. The mining industry allows the latter some choice. In this county, the farmer, contrary to the custom elsewhere, rents only such farms as have on them labourers' cottages. The rent of the cottage is a part of the wages.

These cottages are known as "hinds' houses." They are let to the labourers in consideration of certain feudal services, under a contract called "bondage," which, amongst other things, binds the labourer, during the time he is employed elsewhere, to leave some one, say his daughter, &c., to supply his place. The labourer himself is called a "bondsman." The relationship here set up also shows how individual consumption by the labourer becomes consumption on behalf of capital-or productive consumption-from quite a new point of view: "It is curious to observe that the very dung of the hind and bondsman is the perquisite of the calculating lord... and the lord will allow no privy but his own to exist in the neighbourhood, and will rather give a bit of manure here and there for a garden than bate any part of his seigneurial right." ("Public Health, Report VII., 1864," p. 188.) [19] It will not be forgotten, that, with respect to the labour of children, &c., even the formality of a voluntary sale disappears.

[20] "Capital pre-supposes wage-labour, and wage-labour pre-supposes capital. One is a necessary condition to the existence of the other; they mutually call each other into existence. Does an operative in a cotton-factory produce nothing but cotton goods? No, he produces capital. He produces values that give fresh command over his labour, and that, by means of such command, create fresh values." (Karl Marx: "Lohnarbeit und Kapital," in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung: No. 266, 7th April, 1849.) The articles published under the above title in the N. Rh. Z. are parts of some lectures given by me on that subject, in 1847, in the German "Arheiter-Verein" at Brussels, the publication of which was interrupted by the revolution of February.

Transcribed by Zodiac Html Markup by Stephen Baird (1999) Next: Chapter Twenty-Four: Conversion of Surplus-Value into Capital Capital Volume One- Index Karl Marx Capital Volume One

Part VII:

The Accumulation of Capital



Contents Section 1 - Capitalist Production on a Progressively Increasing Scale. Transition of the Laws of Property that Characterise Production of Commodities into Laws of Capitalist Appropriation Section 2 - Erroneous Conception, by Political Economy, of Reproduction on a Progressively Increasing Scale Section 3 - Separation of Surplus-Value into Capital and Revenue. The Abstinence Theory Section 4 - Circumstances that, Independently of the Proportional Division of Surplus-Value into Capital and Revenue, Determine the Amount of Accumulation.

Degree of Exploitation of Labour-Power. Productivity of Labour. Growing Difference in Amount Between Capital Employed and Capital Consumed. Magnitude of Capital Advanced Section 5 - The So-Called Labour-Fund SECTION 1.





Hitherto we have investigated how surplus-value emanates from capital; we have now to see how capital arises from surplus-value. Employing surplus-value as capital, reconverting it into capital, is called accumulation of capital. [1] First let us consider this transaction from the standpoint of the individual capitalist.

Suppose a spinner to have advanced a capital of £10,000, of which four-fifths (£8,000) are laid out in cotton, machinery, &c., and one-fifth (£2,000) in wages. Let him produce 240,000 lbs. of yam annually, having a value of £2,000. The rate of surplus-value being 100%, the surplus-value lies in the surplus or net product of 40,000 lbs. of yarn, one-sixth of the gross product, with a value of £2,000 which will be realised by a sale. £2,000 is £2,000. We can neither see nor smell in this sum of money a trace of surplus-value.

When we know that a given value is surplus-value, we know how its owner came by it;

but that does not alter the nature either of value or of money.

In order to convert this additional sum of £2,000 into capital, the master-spinner will, all circumstances remaining as before, advance four-fifths of it (£1,600) in the purchase of cotton, &c., and one-fifth (£400) in the purchase of additional spinners, who will find in the market the necessaries of life whose value the master has advanced to them.

Then the new capital of £2,000 functions in the spinning-mill, and brings in, in its turn, a surplus-value of £400.

The capital-value was originally advanced in the money-form. The surplus-value on the contrary is, originally, the value of a definite portion of the gross product. If this gross product be sold, converted into money, the capital-value regains its original form. From this moment the capital-value and the surplus-value are both of them sums of money, and their reconversion into capital takes place in precisely the same way. The one, as well as the other, is laid out by the capitalist in the purchase of commodities that place him in a position to begin afresh the fabrication of his goods, and this time, on an extended scale.

But in order to be able to buy those commodities, he must find them ready in the market.

His own yams circulate, only because he brings his annual product to market, as all other capitalists likewise do with their commodities. But these commodities, before coming to market, were part of the general annual product, part of the total mass of objects of every kind, into which the sum of the individual capitals, i.e., the total capital of society, had been converted in the course of the year, and of which each capitalist had in hand only an aliquot part. The transactions in the market effectuate only the interchange of the individual components of this annual product, transfer them from one hand to another, but can neither augment the total annual production, nor alter the nature of the objects produced. Hence the use that can be made of the total annual product, depends entirely upon its own composition, but in no way upon circulation.

The annual production, must in the first place furnish all those objects (use-values) from which the material components of capital, used up in the course of the year, have to be replaced. Deducting these there remains the net or surplus-product, in which the surplus-value lies. And of what does this surplus-product consist? Only of things destined to satisfy the wants and desires of the capitalist class, things which, consequently, enter into the consumption-fund of the capitalists? Were that the case, the cup of surplus-value would be drained to the very dregs, and nothing but simple reproduction would ever take place.

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