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By Wellsy
#15097572
This is for self-clarification of readings I’m undertaking so I can mark out some basic and crude distinctions in Marx.

A quick down and dirty take on this article on the value-form: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/appendix.htm


When describing the role of exchange between linen and coat he describes it from the particular position of someone engaging in trade as opposed to exchange in the abstract.
This seems to be why he posits the linen as relative value-form and the coat as the equivalent value-form which are a unity within commodity exchange.
One is seeking to establish the value of his linen and to do so rather than a tautological (A = A) he compares it with another commodity.
The value he seeks to affirm is done so by finding it’s equivalent value and thus in taking the position of the owner trading their linen for a coat, they can’t adopt both positions on the commodity as they’re at a specific side of the exchange.



Here both, linen and coat, are at the same time in relative value-form and in equivalent form. But, nota bene, for two different persons and in two different expressions of value, which simply occur (ins Leben treten) at the same time. For A his linen is in relative value-form – because for him the initiative proceeds from his commodity – and the commodity of the other person, the coat, is in equivalent form. Conversely from the standpoint of B. Thus one and the same commodity never possess, even in this case, the two forms at the same time in the same expression of value.



So the coat in itself doesn’t express the value of linen but is a means of expressing the relative value of the linen itself, the coat is a mirror for the linen’s own value.
It has to have value in order to be exchanged and you can’t directly see the value by examining this exchange, because as will see later on, it’s exchange value can be posited against an infinite amount of commodities with their own value.
And part of presupposing there exists an actual value of the commodity which is to be inferred is an inference that the item has a stable value in relation to all other commodities rather than an arbitrary one. Part of defending such a stability of value eventually flows into Marx’s assertion of an equality of average social labor (not an equality of physiological effort expanded in labor)
https://www.marxists.org/archive/rubin/value/ch12.htm

This opponent was [Samuel] Bailey, who held that the concept of value is thoroughly unnecessary in political economy, that one must restrict oneself to the observation and analysis of individual proportions in which various goods are exchanged. Bailey, who was more successful in his superficiality than in his witty critique of Ricardo, tried to undermine the foundations of the labor theory of value. He maintained that it is wrong to speak of the value of a table. We can only say that the table is exchanged once for three chairs, another time for two pounds of coffee, etc.; the magnitude of the value is something thoroughly relative, and it varies in different instances. From this Bailey drew conclusions which led to the negation of the concept of value as a concept which differs from the relative value of a given product in a given act of exchange. Let us imagine the following case: the value of a table equals three chairs. A year later, the table is exchanged for six chairs. We think we are right if we say that even though the exchange value of the table has changed, its value has remained unchanged. Only the value of the chairs fell, to half their former value. Bailey finds this statement meaningless. Since the relation of exchange between the table and the chairs changed, the relation of the chairs to the table changed also, and the value of the table consists only of this.



In order to disprove Bailey's theory, Marx considered it necessary to develop (in Capital) the conception that exchange value cannot be grasped if it is not reduced to some common factor, namely to value. The first section of Chapter 1 of Capital is devoted to giving a foundation to this idea of the transition from exchange value to value and from value to the common basis under both, namely labor.

And assuming they have value and we don’t yet know what that value is derived from, it’s enough at this point to make the point that the relative/equivalent value-forms are exactly that, only forms of appearances of value but not value itself.

And the value-form is entirely independent of the physical properties of the linen which is the basis of its use-value.
Because it’s about the relationship to the other commodity rather than the use which for the seller is a point of indifference, its use-value matters little compared to the exchange value it has, perhaps to acquire a use-value he subjectively desires.

But his desire for a particular use-value doesn’t dictate the exchange value as the exchange value is an ideal property of the commodity not based on its physicality. Something can have use-value without exchange value, such a thing is not a commodity but merely a product of labor, something which can exist outside of markets where one has a means of their own production and thus the basis for their own communal consumption.
This has a particular ontological nature which might explore later in Ilyenkov’s work on ideality in which it is the social relations and activity which imbue a thing with ideal properties which aren’t found in it as a physical object isolated from those real world relationships.
Especially as these physical objects come to represent other physical objects, a certain quantity of a commodity is representative of a certain quantity of an infinite array of commodities.



There is also a point about abstract labor not elaborated upon but implicit in this work about how the basis of comparison between different objects with different use value presupposes but a comparison of a singule point of abstraction which exists in reality because it is an actuality in which people act towards objects rather than simply a instinct of their psychological outlook, the abstract way in which they view objects is a reflection of real qualities.
How do I compare the use value of reading a book to driving a car, utility from utilitarianism is but a reflection of exchange value which abstracts the particularity of things to the most abstract form.

https://epistemh.pbworks.com/f/4.+Macintyre.pdf

If someone suggests to us, in the spirit of Bentham and Mill. that we should guide our own choices by the prospects of our own future pleasure or happiness, the appropriate retort is to enquire: 'But which pleasure, which happiness ought to guide me?' For there are too many different kinds of enjoyable activity, too many different modes in which happiness is achieved. And pleasure or happiness are not states of mind for the production of which these activities and modes are merely alternative means. The pleasure-of-drinking-Guinness is not the pleasure-of-swimming-at-Crane's-Beach, and the swimming and the drinking are not two different means for providing the same end-state. The happiness which belongs peculiarly to the way of life of the cloister is not the same happiness as that which belongs peculiarly to the military life. For different pleasures and different happinesses are to a large degree incommensurable: there are no scales of quality or quantity on which to weigh them. Consequently appeal to the criteria of pleasure will not tell me whether to drink or swim and appeal to those of happiness cannot decide for me between the life of a monk and that of a soldier.


https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch03m.htm

The apparent absurdity of merging all the manifold relationships of people in the one relation of usefulness, this apparently metaphysical abstraction arises from the fact that in modern bourgeois society all relations are subordinated in practice to the one abstract monetary-commercial relation.

So this is just to properly affirm that this value is most certainly not a comparison of use-values because it is simply incommensurable, the valuing of one use value over an another is based in one’s social relations just as the capacity to even conceive of thins in a utilitarian fashion is based within very definite relations ie capitalist relations, where market and money dominate human relationships rather than are subordinate to other kinds.


In the equivalent value-form we see that the material form of the commodity immediately appears as exchangeable, it doesn’t have to be represented by something in order to appear able to be exchanged and it is also exchangeable in a definite quantity/magnitude.
It’s not Linen = Coat but X amount of Linen = Y amount of Coat/s and this definite quantity must be a quantity of something in order to be comparable, there must be a unit of comparison.


There is also a very interesting section on the peculiarities of the equivalent value-form:

1. Is a very interesting analogy of how the material form (use-value) is the appearance of it’s opposite, exchange value. And a very powerful anaology he uses is how iron which weights say 1lbs becomes the appearance of weight as measure against other objects.
So because both objects have weight, one can abstract the qualities and focus on the quantity of weight/heaviness between objects. And similarily, one can’t establish value tautologically of an object to its own use-value, it must always be in relation to another object/commodity.
This way the other object/commodity is the basis for which there can be the appearance of value in the same way one uses the 1lbs of iron to make the appearance of weight between things.
2. Concrete labor appears as abstract labor is the next peculiarity. There is an indifference to the actual use-value of the commodities in the exchange ratio between them, because they can’t be valued quantitatively on the basis of use value.
This is also clearly seen in how so many commodities are comparable to one another, it doesn’t matter what object is in consideration, it can be exchanged with the right conditions/relations. And here he makes an interesting point of how the abstract dominates the concrete.
“This inversion (Verkehrung) by which the sensibly-concrete counts only as the form of appearance of the abstractly general and not, on the contrary, the abstractly general as property of the concrete, characterises the expression of value. At the same time, it makes understanding it difficult. If I say: Roman Law and German Law are both laws, that is obvious. But if I say: Law (Das Recht), this abstraction (Abstraktum) realises itself in Roman Law and in German Law, in these concrete laws, the interconnection becoming mystical.”
In primitive language they have endless proper nouns for object as they don’t yet have such an abstract existence to label things in the abstract. So they have names for particular types of trees but they don’t have the concept of tree in general. Similarly here labor has become abstract as human labor in general rather than any particular labor and this I suspect is on the basis of labour-power as a commodity. People are no longer attached to a particular kind of labour but deprived of their own means of production and thus consumption must enter in exchange of their labour power for money in order to survive they will labor in any way possible to get the means for their survival. The pursuit of value over use-value means that the abstract dominates the concrete but it is a real illusion in which we relate to things in this abstract way.
3. Then is a piece on private labor becoming social labor, this is interesting in that I wonder of the origins/development of private labor and separation from the social. As the original communal life of man and division of labor made his labor directly social and part of the whole. It must’ve taken some time for property to develop to the point for labor to be properly private and this seems to reach its epitome in capitalism where the ideology of liberalism no matter it variation is always essentially based on a public/private divide which hadn’t existed in much of human history. But it makes sense in that when society is dominated by market exchange, things only count to the extent they realize their value on the market and hence the basis of human relations taking the appearance of things relating to things, as this is fundamentally how our society relates to one another. One’s means of interaction is in one’s pocket on their card or even phone. One is indifferent to strangers the world around them except as a means of instrumental and mutual exchange and hence a liberal sense of freedom is the freedom from interference from others (asocial). I can pursue my desires and freely enter into exchange as one sees fit and you can’t impose on me any further. Hence when taken to an extreme the sort of selfishness of many as they do not relate to people as persons but as means of satisfaction, reduced to means of their own pleasure

He goes onto summarize how Aristotle examines value but only gets as far as wondering how seemingly incomparable things can be compared in value/exchangeable and suggests the reason he couldn’t posit the basis of labor as value is because labor was not a commodity which prevailed through society, labor was unequal in a slave based economy.
4. Then is a summary that the equivalent form of commodities suggests different types of labor count as the same ie human labor, such labor is quantified, and that this presupposes definite social relations of production (Marx shows the social side of what is assumed natural technical production).
He emphasizes how the social relations which give the commodity it’s very appearance of having value is a kind of fetishism which perceives power in objects which is actually a product of human activity and relations. This inversion is noticed in how people see the market as an overwhelming force in itself which they as an individual have no control but it is necessarily the product of human activity as objects do nothing themselves. He notes the relative-value form is more striking in its fetishism than the equivalent value-form.
In the relative value form the value of the object consists only in its comparison to another object and as such the social relation is hidden where as the equivalent value-form has the appearance of direct social value, that it is valuable with in itself and not as a result of social relations of production. The example he gives is gold in which it is immediately exchangeable with all other commodities. He is basically saying the powerful sense which money has that drives people to wish to amass large amounts of it because it has the power to be exchanged with almost anything the more expanse the market it and thus it appears money is valuable in itself. But of course some upon reflection tend to speak of money having only imaginary value and in a sense they are right, they notice that there is no use-value in money, one can’t see its value in the object itself but whence it does have its very real world value as witness and acted upon every day is of course the mystery.

Then is the point that the commodity within simple commodity exchange is a unity of use-value and exchange value, it is both a useful thing that meets social needs but something which can be immediately exchanged. It is a unity of opposites, this is pivotal to Marx’s method based on Goethe’s romantic science where one mixes concreteness and abstraction, such that one can penetrate the essence through an archetypal phenomena. A commodity which has no use-value cannot be of course used nor exchanged and whilst an object can be a product and thus have a use-value, to be a commodity it must of course have exchange value.
He makes the point then that the development of the value-form is identical with the development of the commodity, hence the importance of analyzing it in detail to reveal the basis of value.
He shows a point of how the exchange ratio between commodities can be equivalent to the exchange of a commodity with a commodity as money from “20 yards of linen = 1 coat” to “20 yards of linen = 2 pounds sterling” and as such the value-form is the basis of money but in a more developed form which is merely a more developed commodity-form.

Thus sets the stage for examining how the commodity form develops into the money form.
So he started with a simple value form with the exchange ratio of one commodity for another, then moves onto the expanded value form which is but a series of commodities in equality of value to one another.
X amount of item 1 = Y amount of item 2 = Z amount of item 3 and so on in an infinite series where ever conditions give rise to markets. It is the expansion of human labor as the determinant of value in that all sorts of labor are indifferent in exchange except as quantity.
But this is but an expanded series of particular exchanges and thus haven’t quite unified themselves. Thus the next development is from the expanded value form to the general value-form where a series of commodities all establish their equal value in relation to a single commodity.
This is the early hint at the origins of the money form where on commodity is beginning to take on the quality of being the universal commodity in which all others find their measure.
Here all commodities are unified around the single commodity. So this general commodity of exchange, it’s body becomes the general measure of social value, it represents all human labor in general/universally.
This general commodity becomes excluded because it is now becoming money instead of a particular commodity among many
“Finally, the world of commodities gives itself a unified, general, relative value-form, by excluding from itself one single type of commodity in which all other commodities express their value in common. Thereby the excluded commodity becomes general equivalent or the equivalent-form becomes the general equivalent-form.”
The distinction between relative and equivalent value form now hardens further in it’s polarity.
In the simple value form of one commodity for another, the relationship is reversible, one can switch positions between commodities depending on what they’re selling.
Then a particular commodity expands it relative value form relative to all other commodities which are regarded as its equivalent value-form.
Then the next stage when there is a unified or general value form, all other commodities are excluded from equivalent value form or immediate exchangeability, commodities aren’t traded they are mediated by the general commodity. This general commodity has no relative-value form because it is related to the world of commodities totally.
“Thus the expanded relative value-form or form II now appears as the specific relative value-form of the commodity which plays the role of the general equivalent.”

Now comes the transition from the general value form to the money form. In phase 2 with the expanded value form, it is a kind of subjective process in which one seeks to determine the value of their own commodity but in phase 3 the general value form, the commodity which excludes all others from equivalent value-form to become the general is obtained in an objective process that has excluded it. Then this commodity which is excluded plays the role of money and historically Gold has played such a role due to it’s physical properties/nature but only in order to perform the social role of exchange more smoothly rather than it’s value being based in those properties. The money form as distinct from the merely general value form is that the general value settles on a particular object because of it’s natural properties ie gold simply replaces the general commodity. By the nature of trade and it’s social monopoly, it solidifies itself as money. Then the money form transitions into the price-form, gold gives rise to a specific price/quantity such as 2 pounds sterling.

It seems behind all this are a lot of presuppositions as to how these transitions don’t occur as some abstract scheme but in the actual logical necessity of history. To which how something exists but isn’t a dominant form but moves onto being a real universal as it takes a dominant place in society seems important to understanding how while money has existed its particular social functions and its existence as a form of capital means follow the qualitative relationships of such things historically such that it was once an accidental or marginal thing up until it wasn’t.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/universal.htm
The real case-history of economic (market) relations testifies, however, in favor of Marx who shows that the “form of value in general” has not at all times been the universal form of the organization of production. Historically, and for a rather long time, it remained a particular relation of people and things in production although occurring haphazardly. It was not until capitalism and the “free enterprise society” came into being that value (i.e., the market form of the product) became the general form of inter-relationships among the component parts of production.

Similar transitions, of the “individual and accidental” into the universal is not a rarity, but rather a rule in history. In history – yet not exclusively the history of humanity with its culture – it always so happens that a phenomenon which later becomes universal, is at first emergent precisely as a solitary exception “from the rule,” as an anomaly, as something particular and partial. Otherwise, hardly anything could ever be expected to turn up. History would have a rather mystical appearance, if all that is new in it emerged at once, as something “common” to all without exception, as an abruptly embodied “idea.”

It is in this light that one should approach the reconsideration by Marx and Lenin of the Hegelian dialectical conception of the universal. While highly esteeming the dialectical tendencies in Hegel’s thought, Marxism furthers his conception in depth and in breadth, and thus, turns the category of the “universal” into the foremost category of the logic governing the investigation of concrete and historically evolving phenomena.

In the context of the materialistic conception of the dialectics of history and of thinking, the Hegelian formulas have different significance than in the language of their originator, being shorn of the slightest sign of mystical coloring. The “universal” comprises and embodies in itself “the entire treasure of particulars” not as an “Idea,” but as a totally real, special phenomenon which tends to become universal and which develops “out of itself,” by force of its intrinsic contradictions new but no less real, phenomena, other “particular” forms of actual progress. Hence, the “genuine universal” is not any particular form found in each and every member of a class but the particular which is driven on to emerge by its very “particularity,” and precisely by this “particularity” to become the “genuine universal.”


Marx’s ideas of money are interesting in particular because he doesn’t assert a single dominant characteristic of money but does note the many different functions of money.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/rubin/value/ch04.htm

If the transfer of goods from the seller to the buyer and the inverse transfer of money are carried out simultaneously, then money assumes the function, or has the form of a "medium of circulation." If the transfer of goods precedes the transfer of money, and the relation between the seller and the buyer is transformed into a relation between debtor and creditor, then money has to assume the function of a "means of payment." If the seller keeps the money which he received from his sale, postponing the moment when he enters a new production relation of purchase, the money acquires the function or form of a "hoard." Every social function or form of money expresses a different character or type of production relation among the participants in exchange.


Marx often spoke of the functions of things, functions which correspond to the different production relations among people. In the expression of value one commodity "serves as an equivalent" (C., I, p. 48 and p. 70). "The function of money" represents a series of different functions: "Function as a measure of value" (Ibid., p. 117), "function as a medium of circulation" or "function as coin" (Ibid., p. 117 and p. 126), "function as means of payment" (Ibid., pp. 127, 136, 139), "function of hoards" (p. 144) and "the function of money of the world" (p.144). The different production relations between buyers and sellers correspond to different functions of money.
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By Wellsy
#15097573
Noticed a point about economists making an illegitimate abstraction which largely neglects the nature of money and exchange in generalization simple commodity exchange between individuals and not distinguishing the different form of exchange with money.

The gist of which is that money separates the unity of direct exchange of commodities for use values into exchange in time and place in which money mediates things.
Money doesn’t simply alleviate the inconvenience of barter but generalizes the possibility that one’s exchange can’t realize the furture exchanges one hopes it does.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch03.htm

At first sight, circulation appears as a simply infinite process. [61] The commodity is exchanged for money, money is exchanged for the commodity, and this is repeated endlessly. This constant renewal of the same process does indeed form an important moment of circulation. But, viewed more precisely, it reveals other phenomena as well; the phenomena of completion, or, the return of the point of departure into itself. The commodity is exchanged for money; money is exchanged for the commodity. In this way, commodity is exchanged for commodity, except that this exchange is a mediated one. The purchaser becomes a seller again and the seller becomes purchaser again. In this way, each is posited in the double and the antithetical aspect, and hence in the living unity of both aspects. It is entirely wrong, therefore, to do as the economists do, namely, as soon as the contradictions in the monetary system emerge into view, to focus only on the end results without the process which mediates them; only on the unity without the distinction, the affirmation without the negation. The commodity is exchanged in circulation for a commodity: at the same time, and equally, it is not exchanged for a commodity, in as much as it is exchanged for money. The acts of purchase and sale, in other words, appear as two mutually indifferent acts, separated in time and place. When it is said that he who sells also buys in as much as he buys money, and that he who buys also sells in as much as he sells money, then it is precisely the distinction which is overlooked, the specific distinction between commodity and money. After the economists have most splendidly shown that barter, in which both acts coincide, does not suffice for a more developed form of society and mode of production, they then suddenly look at the kind of barter which is mediated by money as if it were not so mediated, and overlook the specific character of this transaction. After they have shown us that money is necessary in addition to and distinct from commodities, they assert all at once that there is no distinction between money and commodities. They take refuge in this abstraction because in the real development of money there are contradictions which are unpleasant for the apologetics of bourgeois common sense, and must hence be covered up. In so far as purchase and sale, the two essential moments of circulation, are indifferent to one another and separated in place and time, they by no means need to coincide. Their indifference can develop into the fortification and apparent independence of the one against the other. But in so far as they are both essential moments of a single whole, there must come a moment when the independent form is violently broken and when the inner unity is established externally through a violent explosion. Thus already in the quality of money as a medium, in the splitting of exchange into two acts, there lies the germ of crises, or at least their possibility, which cannot be realized, except where the fundamental preconditions of classically developed, conceptually adequate circulation are present.



Marx, Marginalism and Modern Sociology - Simon Clarke

The marginalist theory of capitalist society starts with the elementary exchange between two isolated individuals, possessing different sets of goods, and then seeks to show that the results achieved in the analysis of this elementary exchange relation continue to hold for increasingly complex systems of production, distribution and exchange. However, as soon as we have regard to the social form of exchange, we find that such a generalisation is illegitimate. The limits to the rationality of exchange becomes apparent as soon as we move beyond the immediate exchange of use-values to a system of exchange, in which the rationality of the individual exchange is conditional on the rationality of the system as a whole.



The rationality of the elementary exchange relation is intuitively obvious. Each party to the exchange has full knowledge of the opportunities available to her, which comprise the goods in her possession and those offered by the other party to the exchange. Each party can then offer to trade, on the basis of their subjective evaluations of the relative utilities of the goods in play, and can choose to exchange to the extent, and only to the extent, that such exchanges increase utility. Thus the rationality of exchange is constrained only by the physical resources in the possession of the individual, and the subjective judgements of the parties to exchange, so that prices express nothing but individual assessments of the relative utility of things. The generalisation of this result from the elementary exchange to a system of exchange, composed of a multiplicity of elementary exchanges, would seem to be a formality. The generalisation of the commodity form, as more and more things become the objects of exchange, merely expands the opportunities for increasing utility through exchange, without imposing any additional constraints on the individual, so long as that individual is always free to choose not to exchange.



This generalisation is illegitimate, for as I have argued in Chapter Four, it conceals a change in the form of the exchange relation which is of fundamental significance. In the immediate exchange relation things were exchanged as objects of direct utility. However, a system of exchange does not consist in a multiplicity of such immediate and symmetrical exchanges, but comprises mediated exchange relations, in which each exchange is asymmetrical, no longer involving the direct exchange of use-values for one another, but the exchange of use-values for values. As a use-value a commodity is a mere thing, but as a value the commodity is necessarily a socially determined thing, so that exchange can only be analysed as a socially determined relation, the rationality of each individual exchange depending on the rationality of the system of which it is necessarily a part.



The implications for the marginalist analysis of exchange become clear as soon as we turn to the explanation of money. For the marginalists money is simply a means of avoiding the inconvenience of barter, which has no substantive implications. However, barter cannot be reduced to the elementary form of immediate exchange, for in barter the individual acquires things through exchange with a view to their subsequent exchange for other things. The ‘inconvenience’ of barter does not lie in the mediated character of the exchange relation, which requires the individual to enter two exchange relations instead of only one, for this is as much the case when money serves as the mediating term in the exchange as it is when any other commodity plays that role. The ‘inconvenience’ of barter lies in the fact that the first exchange is conditional on the outcome of the second, the results of which cannot be known with certainty. I may wish to exchange corn for meat, but the butcher may want not corn but cloth. The butcher may be willing to accept my corn in exchange for her meat, with a view to subsequently exchanging the corn for cloth with somebody else. In this event neither of us wants the corn in itself, but only as the means of exchange for something else: corn serves in this exchange not as a use-value, but as a value. However, in exchanging meat for corn the butcher runs the risk of not being able to make the subsequent exchange on the anticipated terms, and this is where the ‘inconvenience’ of barter lies.



The use of durable, infinitely divisible commodities, with a high value in relation to their volume, as means of exchange certainly removes some of the physical inconvenience attached to less suitable commodities, but it does not solve the fundamental problem of barter, that exchanges are made conditional on an uncertain outcome. If corn is not in general demand the butcher will be unwilling to accept corn in exchange for meat, but the introduction of money does not solve this problem, for if corn is not in general demand I will no more be able to exchange my corn for money than I was able to exchange it for meat. On the other hand, if I am able to sell my corn for money, the rationality of this exchange is not determined by the conditions of this exchange alone, but also by my uncertain expectation of the future price of meat. It is the uncertainty of the outcome of particular exchanges that disqualifies particular commodities from serving as the means of exchange, and gives rise to money as the universal equivalent. However money does not remove the uncertainty attached to particular exchanges, it merely expresses that uncertainty in a universal form. Money does not resolve the inconvenience of barter, it generalises it. Far from expressing the rationality of exchange, money expresses the irrationality of a system of social production in which provision for human need is achieved only through the alienated form of commodity exchange.



The explanation of money presents problems of a different order from those raised by recognition of inequalities of wealth and power, because the existence of money cannot be explained without abandoning the most fundamental assumptions of the marginalist model. In the elementary act of exchange the agents of exchange knew with certainty the range of opportunities available to them, expressed in the reciprocal offers of each party to the exchange. If the exchange-ratios of all commodities, in the present and the future, are generally known, the results achieved in the analysis of the elementary act of exchange can be generalised to a system of indirect exchange. However, in the absence of uncertainty as to future exchange-ratios, every commodity can serve indifferently as means of exchange, and there is no need for one commodity to serve as a universal equivalent. On the other hand, if we recognise the existence of ignorance and uncertainty we can explain the emergence of money, but it is no longer legitimate to generalise the results achieved in the analysis of the elementary act of exchange.


I suspect this relates also the denial of economic crisis because in largely ignoring the nature of exchange-value and conflating or hiding it under the exchange of things based on use-values, there is a denial of such a gap between exchanges causing a problem.
https://college.holycross.edu/eej/Volume14/V14N4P299_318.pdf

Here Say states the law of markets that supply creates its own demand, because products exchange for products. The economy works as if it were a barter system with money strictly neutral with respect to output and employment. Perhaps Say's clearest statement of his law is the following passage from chapter 15: " . . . a product is no sooner created, that it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of it's own value" (Say, 1971m p. 134)

But this sounds like an economy that is based around satisfying human needs directly rather than one dominated by exchange and in which it is impossible to know whether such value will be realized on the market until it is either sold or not. And this assumes an economy of simple commodity production and exchanges rather than an industrial capitalist economy with mass production. It is in fact quite clear to one with eyes that in many cases there is great human need which isn’t met because there is a lack of effective demand, ie money of value to get what one actually desires.
So there could be great desire for things whilst entire factories are left unused, medicine and food unsold, homes empty because it’s about the value realized through exchange and not about the satisfaction of human need through use-value.

There is of course more to crisis theory such as Marx’s point about the composition of organic capital and the reduction of value leading to a tendency for the rate of profit to fall and so on. But just interesting to me to notice what I’ve seem summarized else where about the illegitimacy of neutral money and ignoring the actual qualities and functions of money by some thinkers.
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By Wellsy
#15097888
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch01.htm



Independent Individuals. Eighteenth-century Ideas



Marx characterizes political economists by the Robinson Crusoe story where they posit the individual abstracted from the relations of production yet behaving in a way which presupposes them.
They thus ideally posit an abstract individual and then ideologically impute the content of a person living under capitalism of various stages (Smith – Mercantile, Ricardo – Industrial).
Engel’s describes this ideological method in his anti-duhring” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch08.htm
This is only giving a new twist to the old favourite ideological method, also known as the a priori method, which consists in ascertaining the properties of an object, by logical deduction from the concept of the object, instead of from the object itself. First the concept of the object is fabricated from the object; then the spit is turned round, and the object is measured by its reflexion, the concept. The object is then to conform to the concept, not the concept to the object. With Herr Dühring the simplest elements, the ultimate abstractions he can reach, do service for the concept, which does not alter matters; these simplest elements are at best of a purely conceptual nature. The philosophy of reality, therefore, proves here again to be pure ideology, the deduction of reality not from itself but from a concept.



And when such an ideologist constructs morality and law from the concept, or the so-called simplest elements of “society”, instead of from the real social relations of the people round him, what material is then available for this construction? Material clearly of two kinds: first, the meagre residue of real content which may possibly survive in the abstractions from which he starts and, secondly, the content which our ideologist once more introduces from his own consciousness. And what does he find in his consciousness? For the most part, moral and juridical notions which are a more or less accurate expression (positive or negative, corroborative or antagonistic) of the social and political relations amidst which he lives; perhaps also ideas drawn from the literature on the subject; and, as a final possibility, some personal idiosyncrasies. Our ideologist may turn and twist as he likes, but the historical reality which he cast out at the door comes in again at the window, and while he thinks he is framing a doctrine of morals and law for all times and for all worlds, he is in fact only fashioning an image of the conservative or revolutionary tendencies of his day — an image which is distorted because it has been torn from its real basis and, like a reflection in a concave mirror, is standing on its head.

It is the same in regards to the empiricism (distinct from a moment of one’s method deploying the empirical): https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/geoff2.htm

he essence of empiricism is that as a theory of knowledge it holds that sensory experience is the only source of knowledge and affirms that all knowledge is founded on experience and is obtained through experience. One reflection of this philosophical method is that it takes a series of facts as ‘given’ (by experience), that is, takes them uncritically, accepting them as fixed and natural phenomena and using them as the basis on which an analytical structure can be built. According to this conception, a general law – such as the law of value – is taken as given, as a point of departure. Such a general law, argues the empiricist, can be upheld only when it can be established as an immediately given principle under which all the facts being considered can be directly subsumed, without contradiction. The ‘general’ for the empiricist is mechanically constructed out of a series of ‘concrete’ experiences and in this way all dialectical relations are set aside, since the universal is merely analysed from the empirically concrete. Engels characterises this method – this starting with so-called ‘principles’ or ‘laws’ which are tested against ‘the facts’ as ideological – as a method which inverts the true process by which knowledge develops.



The general results of the investigation of the world are obtained at the end of this investigation, hence are not principles, points of departure, but results, conclusions. To construct the latter in one’s head is ideology, an ideology which tainted every species of materialism hitherto existing. (Engels, Anti-Duhring)



And Engels immediately points out the roots of this ideology: it rested on a lack of understanding of the origin of thought in definite historical-social conditions. ‘While in nature the relationship of thinking to being was certainly to some extent clear to materialism in history it was not, nor did materialism realise the dependence of all thought upon the historical material conditions obtaining at the particular time.’

Marx immediately criticizes this tendency for abstract individualism as nonsensical as man in his actual origins and logically was necessarily a social being and it is only within the midst of a modern society that the idea of one’s self as an individual even emerges as a concept.



Eternalization of historic relations of production. – Production and distribution in general. – Property



Then there is the tendency towards abstract universals by identifying that which is common to production and the conditions production across human history which Marx doesn’t denigrate as inappropriate in itself except this is as far as many thinkers of political economy go, they don’t go onto then distinguish the particular nature of different modes of production thus capitalist production becomes synonymous with the entire history of production and it’s nature is as with the robinson crusoe abstract individualism presupposes it as the nature of man against the world rather than social relations constituting humanity.

This is analogous to those who in the beginning of psychology sort to find that which is common between man and animals but never identify the distinction between man and animal. Thus we end up with the impression of man as merely a smart animal and nothing more. They acknowledge the continuity between man and animals but never the discontinuity that distinguishes man. This is erroneous because there is no distinction, when everything is the same then there is nothing else.
And so Marx emphasizes the historical approach to analyzing production not just as production in general but the general in relation to the particular.

“To summarize: There are characteristics which all stages of production have in common, and which are established as general ones by the mind; but the so-called general preconditions of all production are nothing more than these abstract moments with which no real historical stage of production can be grasped.”
This is a point of weakness in abstract universals that they show no necessary relationship to particulars and individuals and hence the nominalism of modernity that asserts the individual as more real than the abstract universal.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/pilling4.htm#Pill5

Hegel objected to the Kantian method of arriving at concepts because it made it impossible to trace the connection between the individual and the particular. All objects not included in a class were set against those standing outside this class. Identity (conceived as a dull sameness) and opposition were placed into two rigidly opposed criteria of thought. The direction Hegel took in trying to overcome the limitations imposed by such rigidity of thinking led to far richer results, and it was a method which guided Marx throughout Capital. For Hegel a concept was primarily a synonym for the real grasping of the essence of phenomena and was in no way limited simply to the expression of something general, of some abstract identity discernible by the senses in the objects concerned. A concept (if it was to be adequate) had to disclose the real nature of a thing and this it must do not merely by revealing what it held in common with other objects, but also its special nature, in short its peculiarity. The concept was a unity of universality and particularity. Hegel insisted that it was necessary to distinguish between a universality which preserved all the richness of the particulars within it and an abstract ‘dumb’ generality which was confined to the sameness of all objects of a given kind. Further, Hegel insisted, this truly universal concept was to be discovered by investigating the actual laws of the origin, development and disappearance of single things.

As such the particular which is the genus to all other particulars is a richer conception than abstract universals as it better reflects the real world development and relations in a things logical necessity.


[Consumption and Production]



Marx goes onto emphasize how production and consumption are a unity which is mediated by distribution but to treat each distinct moment as independent from one another is to consider them analytically but not in their actual dynamic process in influencing one another.
When considers in this way, it makes it impossible of course to identify the origins of new value in capitalist production in which exchange is an exchange among equivalents and thus is not the creation of new wealth and thus the mystery of the mercantilist view of trade creating wealth/value.
But Marx revealead as distinct from the universal and natural category of labor, that labour is transformed into a commodity in terms of labour power which is distinct from actual labor and is instead payment as much as it reproduces the worker every day, that he shows up to work.
Labour power revealed that within production there is consumption, the consumption of labour as a commodity as labour power produces the production of raw materials into products turned into commodities for exchange.
Production doesn’t just produce the thing for consumption but even the social means of consumption and so we produce tools to eat (knives, plates, forks, glasses) and not just the actual thing of consumption.
“Thus production produces consumption (1) by creating the material for it; (2) by determining the manner of consumption; and (3) by creating the products, initially posited by it as objects, in the form of a need felt by the consumer. It thus produces the object of consumption, the manner of consumption and the motive of consumption. Consumption likewise produces the producer’s inclination by beckoning to him as an aim-determining need.”
And consumption is an ideal positing, desire for an object which it doesn’t yet have and so it creates production as much as production creates consumption in that the human need propels the need for the thing to be produced. Production is production of a definite thing, it aims for something of use in order that it can be exchanged and isn’t production of things for its own sake, it has consumption as its end. Hence no factory of mudpies, but rather things which meet social needs. A point is also made that a product is only realized as a product if it is consumed, a house where no one lives, a railway with no trans running on it is not a product because it isn’t consumed.
But production is the more dominant part in that it is the basis of reproduction in which consumption is but part of the cyclical process of reproduction.

“The individual produces an object and, by consuming it, returns to himself, but returns as a productive and self-reproducing individual. Consumption thus appears as a moment of production.”



Distribution and production

Marx makes a point that distribution cannot be considered independent of production, this is something typical to reformers who ignore production entirely but focus entirely on distribution as if it is independent of production and can be twisted in any which way as needed socially.
“The structure [Gliederung] of distribution is completely determined by the structure of production. Distribution is itself a product of production, not only in its object, in that only the results of production can be distributed, but also in its form, in that the specific kind of participation in production determines the specific forms of distribution, i.e. the pattern of participation in distribution.”
But the nature of production has determinate relations which determines distribution itself, what goes to the wage labor, what goes to the capitalist, what goes to the land owner and so on.
As much is proven in how the same categories in production are reproduced in distribution.
“When one examines the usual works of economics, it is immediately striking that everything in them is posited doubly. For example, ground rent, wages, interest and profit figure under distribution, while land, labour and capital figure under production as agents of production. In the case of capital, now, it is evident from the outset that it is posited doubly, (1) as agent of production, (2) as source of income, as a determinant of specific forms of distribution.”

There is a distribution of production itself which then determines the distribution from there on, hence in examining production we can already infer the nature of distribution as it is within the mode of production one sees how things are distributed in the first place.
“The question of the relation between this production-determining distribution, and production, belongs evidently within production itself. If it is said that, since production must begin with a certain distribution of the instruments of production, it follows that distribution at least in this sense precedes and forms the presupposition of production, then the reply must be that production does indeed have its determinants and preconditions which form its moments.”
A wage laborer exists only in the context of capitalist production and thus he receives a wage, which is quite distinct from being a serf within feudalism or a slave. One might change say the wage of workers by some degrees but this doesn’t change the quality of things and hence why reformism is characterized by trying to tweak things but isn’t essentially opposed to production as a radical/revolutionary would be.
Marx also mentions that the mode of production determines how it is even possible to distribute in the case of conquering lands where a mode of production sets definite limits on what can be taken and in what manner. One can steal cattle in raids but it’s quite different to a stock-jobber nation.

Exchange and production

“The process always returns to production to begin anew. That exchange and consumption cannot be predominant is self-evident. Likewise, distribution as distribution of products; while as distribution of the agents of production it is itself a moment of production. A definite production thus determines a definite consumption, distribution and exchange as well as definite relations between these different moments. Admittedly, however, in its one-sided form, production is itself determined by the other moments. For example if the market, i.e. the sphere of exchange, expands, then production grows in quantity and the divisions between its different branches become deeper. A change in distribution changes production, e.g. concentration of capital, different distribution of the population between town and country, etc. Finally, the needs of consumption determine production. Mutual interaction takes place between the different moments. This the case with every organic whole.”
In emphasizing production Marx notes it is the entry/starting point of analysis where everything feedbacks onto production, it is the starting point in explaining all others as the qualities of consumption, distribution and exchange exist in a particular form depending on the mode of production.

THE METHOD OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Not going to go onto it too much although it is a pivotal part in which Marx describes his process of moving from a chaotic empirical whole to a series of simple abstract concepts. This is what the political economists did, as they began to investigate society they identified certain concepts/relations as pivotal. But the next stage Marx makes is the reexamination of those concepts and relations based on the concept of the whole with these new tools of thought, this is the ascent from the abstract to the concrete.
So one starts with the concrete, being, the unknown, but it becomes abstract to concepts which ignore many details for essential ones. But through these abstract notions one can then fill them with greater content and connect these analytical concepts within a synthesis such that one can better see the whole through the concepts. The emergence of a concept is synonymous with Hegel’s abstract notion, and it is the starting point of a science. The concrete for thought is when ones concepts are very complex, connected within many other concepts which are but essential reflections of reality.
The concepts are still abstract but they’re concrete because they’re very rich in content through their connections.

“Human anatomy contains a key to the anatomy of the ape”
Here Marx makes a point that it is only clear to us the nature of the earlier periods once things have matured to their more complex form.
Hence with Darwin, the continuity between animal and man arises only once there exists actual relations from what might’ve been accidental but once developed show themselves to be universal.
This is like how Aristotle couldn’t examine the basis of value, such a thing was too diminished and accidental in the sense Ilyenkov mentioned in earlier post to properly constitute the nature of a thing. We only see things in retrospect.

Don’t quite grasp the last section of this and will have to explore later.
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15097889
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch02.htm

Here Marx examines a piece from Alfred Darimon who is concerned with the circulation of money based on bank of France where he compares the gold reserves held by the bank against the discounted bills and the fluctuations in their amount.
At the outset Marx said Mr. Dariomon is already confused in conflating the circulation of money with the amount of gold reserves and discounted bills held by the Bank.
“The quantity of discounted bills and the fluctuations in this quantity express the requirements of credit, whereas the quantity of money in circulation is determined by quite different influences. In order to reach any conclusions about circulation at all, Darimon would above all have had to present a column showing the amount of notes in circulation next to the column on bullion assets and the column on discounted bills… he omission of this necessary link in the equation immediately betrays the bungling of the dilettante, and the intentional muddling together of the requirements of credit with those of monetary circulation – a confusion on which rests in fact the whole secret of Proudhonist wisdom.”

Marx further criticizes this method in that it doesn’t even perform adequately what Darimon wishes to show in that his attempt only showed the exchange between bills of exchange and gold/metal, but this isn’t the pure form of the relationship as there is evidence that it can vary in many ways.
He then goes on to show through the different records of how much the Bank of France has of bills and metal show various relationships such as:
“The conclusions that emerge from a sequential comparison of the six-month period have the same claim to validity as those which emerge from Mr Darimon’s comparison of the beginning of the series with its end. And what does the comparison show? Conclusions which reciprocally devour each other. Twice, the portfolio increases more rapidly than the metal assets decrease (April-May, June-July). Twice the metal assets and the portfolio both decline, but the former more rapidly than the latter (May – June, August-September). Finally, during one period both metal assets and the portfolio increase, but the latter more rapidly than the former. Decrease on one side, increase on the other; decrease on both sides; increase on both sides; in short, everything except a lawful regularity, above all no inverse correlation, not even an interaction, since a decline in portfolio cannot be the cause of a decline in metal assets, and an increase in portfolio cannot be the cause of an increase in metal assets.”

Basically there is no relationship of clear law like regularity, the increase or decrease in the quantity of gold or bills of exchange requires an explanation from elsewhere since on the face of it, there doesn’t appear to be any connection.
To which Marx summarizes that as much can be explained if Darimon actually considered the circulation of money because it would show that not all bankotes issued for exchange for discounted paper was necessarily converted into metal because it was still in circulation or that the banknotes returned in deposits and payment of bills but never entering circulation. That the decrease in metals with a decrease in the discounted bills would be explained by withdrawals from the banks or conversions to metal which effect the bank’s discounts.

This all makes a point against Darimon who apparently assumes that the bank’s policy on the circulation and exchange of its metal and notes is directly dictated by the bank itself as if it were in control of the economy.
But the conclusion that the bank does no control the quantity of the means of circulation is shown in little relationship between an increase in commercial needs not leading to a turnover of notes and that the increase or decrease of turnover in no way directly dictates the quantity of metal held.
It seems part of Marx’s focus on Darimon is to lead a criticism that one can simply change the nature of circulation so as to change the nature of the economy and thus dismissing from consideration the relationship between money as a means of circulation from the mode of production.

“The general question would be this: Can the existing relations of production and the relations of distribution which correspond to them be revolutionized by a change in the instrument of circulation, in the organization of circulation? Further question: Can such a transformation of circulation be undertaken without touching the existing relations of production and the social relations which rest on them?”

Part of Darimon’s concern with the bank is that he is critical of the gap between the demand and supply that arises in his eyes from the policy of the bank.

“In the question under discussion now, Darimon got no further than the point that banks, which deal in credit, like merchants who deal in commodities or workers who deal in labour, sell at a higher price when demand rises in relation to supply, i.e. they make their services more difficult for the public to obtain at the very moment the public has the greatest need for them. We saw that the bank has to act in this way whether the notes it issues are convertible or inconvertible.”

As following the earlier post where Marx asserts that the commodity which becomes the general equivalent is barred from relative value-form and is the only equivalent value-form, here Darimon wishes to displace the monopoly of gold/silver as the medium of circulation not considering their special place as the general commodity and wishing to reduce them back to the expanded commodity form in which they’re but one commodity among many. But then whether it really is money still is debatable yet this is what is asserted to be the end of Darimon. The point here is to really emphasize that the nature of money or gold is that it becomes a special kind of commodity by an objective process and not merely by the policy of a large bank and one doesn’t improve the situation by simply displacing the monopoly of gold. Because it is a necessary development from the very basis of commodity exchange, so to only change money and not the very basis of exchange in actuality, is to be confused about how to resolve the problems of money/economy.


“His final judgement is: abolish the privilege of gold and silver, degrade them to the rank of all other commodities. Then you no longer have the specific evils of gold and silver money, or of notes convertible into gold and silver. You abolish all evils. Or, better, elevate all commodities to the monopoly position now held by gold and silver. Let the pope remain, but make everybody pope. Abolish money by making every commodity money and by equipping it with the specific attributes of money. The question here arises whether this problem does not already pronounce its own nonsensicality, and whether the impossibility of the solution is not already contained in the premises of the question. Frequently the only possible answer is a critique of the question and the only solution is to negate the question. The real question is: does not the bourgeois system of exchange itself necessitate a specific instrument of exchange? Does it not necessarily create a specific equivalent for all values? One form of this instrument of exchange or of this equivalent may be handier, more fitting, may entail fewer inconveniences than another. But the inconveniences which arise from the existence of every specific instrument of exchange, of any specific but general equivalent, must necessarily reproduce themselves in every form, however differently. Darimon naturally skips over this question with enthusiasm. Abolish money and don’t abolish money! Abolish the exclusive privilege possessed by gold and silver in virtue of their exclusive monetary role, but turn all commodities to money, i.e. give them all together equally a quality which no longer exists once its exclusiveness is gone.



The bullion drains do in fact bring to the surface a contradiction which Darimon formulates superficially and distorts as well. It is evident that gold and silver are not commodities like the others, and that modern economics is horrified to see itself suddenly and temporarily thrown back again and again to the prejudices of the Mercantile System. The English economists attempt to overcome the difficulty by means of a distinction. What is demanded in moments of such monetary crises, they say, is not gold and silver as money, not gold and silver as coin, but gold and silver as capital. They forget to add: yes, capital, but capital in the specific form of gold and silver. Why else is there an outflow of precisely these commodities, while most of the others depreciate owing to lack of outflow, if capital were exportable in every form?”



So to further this point of how superficial this change would be, he goes onto to consider a crisis as a result of a commodity rather than just of money/gold.
He considers a grain crop failure and makes a point that such a loss amounts to a loss in productivity which effects the nation regardless if money is exchanged or not, the value of things has dropped on the basis of this commodity and the rise of it’s price would be in proportion to the decrease in all other commodity in exchange for grain. The crisis cannot be averted by displacing the monopoly of gold as money as the crisis doesn’t originate in money but in production of value.

“The rise in the grain price is = to the fall in the price of all other commodities … With or without metallic money, or money of any other kind, the nation would find itself in a crisis not confined to grain, but extending to all other branches of production, not only because their productivity would have positively diminished and the price of their production depreciated as compared to their value, which is determined by the normal cost of production, but also because all contracts, obligations etc. rest on the average prices of products. For example, x bushels of grain have to be supplied to service the state’s indebtedness, but the cost of producing these x bushels has increased by a given factor. Quite apart from the role of money the nation would thus find itself in a general crisis. If we abstract not only from money but from exchange value as well, then products would have depreciated and the nation’s productivity diminished while all its economic relations are based on the average productivity of its labour.



A crisis caused by a failure in the grain crop is therefore not at all created by the drain of bullion, although it can be aggravated by obstacles set up to impede this drain.



The depreciation of most commodities (labour included) and the resultant crisis, in the case of an important crop mishap, cannot therefore be crudely ascribed to the export of gold, because depreciation and crisis would equally take place if no gold whatever were exported and no grain imported. The crisis reduces itself simply to the law of supply and demand, which, as is known, acts far more sharply and energetically within the sphere of primary needs – seen on a national scale – than in all other spheres. Exports of gold are not the cause of the grain crisis, but the grain crisis is the cause of gold exports.”


Marx then makes an example to continue to show the insignificance of money as cause of crisis and to assert that the very existence of exchange is the problem, one can’t keep relations of production but attempt to change money to avoid the problem.

“how to prevent the periodic depreciation of money (in their language, to abolish the privileges of commodities in relation to money). In this last formulation the problem would have reduced itself to: how to overcome the rise and fall of prices. The way to do this: abolish prices. And how? By doing away with exchange value. But this problem arises: exchange corresponds to the bourgeois organization of society. Hence one last problem: to revolutionize bourgeois society economically. It would then have been self-evident from the outset that the evil of bourgeois society is not to be remedied by ‘transforming’ the banks or by founding a rational ‘money system’.”

Marx also seems to make a point, I think, that even if money cannot be converted into gold, gold as the universal commodity still serves to give value to money as a symbol of value.
He then seems to go onto criticize the likes of John Gray and his like in thinking that replacing money with a particular kind of labor chit could do away with the problem as they would more directly represent labour time, but Marx makes a point that labour time cannot be directly expressed but only indirectly hence the existence of money. But the point of money is that there is a gap between exchange value and prices because the value expressed in commodities is the average labor time not the actual labor time employed and so there is in the very basis of production a divergence between exchange value derived from the necessary average labor time and the actual labor employed.
“This inconvertibility of the time-chits which we are now discussing is nothing more than another expression for the inconvertibility between real value and market value, between exchange value and price. In contrast to all other commodities, the time-chit would represent an ideal labour time which would be exchanged sometimes against more and sometimes against less of the actual variety, and which would achieve a separate existence of its own in the time-chit, an existence corresponding to this non-equivalence.

… Commodity A = 1s. (i.e. = 1/x silver); commodity B = 2s. (i.e. 2/x silver). Hence commodity B = double the value of commodity A. The value relation between A and B is expressed by means of the proportion in which they are exchanged for a quantity of a third commodity, namely silver; they are not exchanged for a value-relation.”
As such, one wouldn’t be changing anything as it would simply be money, it is left untouched except perhaps in name. Money mediates exchange otherwise one might as well advocate for a barter system but as mentioned, this merely reduces the scale of the issues of exchange whereas money generalizes it.
Any one requires the general equivalent value-form commodity such as gold to properly generalize the equivalent value-form for the immediacy of exchange otherwise commodities would have to more directly relate to particular commodities for trade as opposed to the increased circulation made by their mediation by the third commodity/money-form.
And because social relations have become so transformed by capitalist production in producing commodities for markets and less people of their own means of subsistence, then money is a human necessity to survive as opposed to a time in many countries where they still had their own farmland or what ever.
“To the degree that production is shaped in such a way that every producer becomes dependent on the exchange value of his commodity, i.e. as the product increasingly becomes an exchange value in reality, and exchange value becomes the immediate object of production – to the same degree must money relations develop, together with the contradictions immanent in the money relation, in the relation of the product to itself as money. The need for exchange and for the transformation of the product into a pure exchange value progresses in step with the division of labour, i.e. with the increasingly social character of production. But as the latter grows, so grows the power of money, i.e. the exchange relation establishes itself as a power external to and independent of the producers. What originally appeared as a means to promote production becomes a relation alien to the producers. As the producers become more dependent on exchange, exchange appears to become more independent of them, and the gap between the product as product and the product as exchange value appears to widen.”

And as pretty much summarized by Simon Clarke in the earlier post, money splits the immediacy of exchange in points in space and time which can lead to issues where money’s value actually does become imaginary because it can’t be properly realized. This is a very small bit which expresses the nature of economic crisis, where the real value of things asserts itself against the future assumption of money and commodities realizing their value.
“Secondly: Just as the exchange value of the commodity leads a double existence, as the particular commodity and as money, so does the act of exchange split into two mutually independent acts: exchange of commodities for money, exchange of money for commodities; purchase and sale. Since these have now achieved a spatially and temporally separate and mutually indifferent form of existence, their immediate identity ceases. They may correspond or not; they may balance or not; they may enter into disproportion with one another. They will of course always attempt to equalize one another; but in the place of the earlier immediate equality there now stands the constant movement of equalization, which evidently presupposes constant non-equivalence. It is now entirely possible that consonance may be reached only by passing through the most extreme dissonance.”

Another relation opens up which clearly exemplifies capitalism despite illusions of capitalist production for the purpose of human needs, is that one seeks to realize value/profits and thus exchange value becomes primary and use-value only important to the extent it plays a role in the realization of exchange values.

“Thirdly: With the separation of purchase and sale, with the splitting of exchange into two spatially and temporally independent acts, there further emerges another, new relation. Just as exchange itself splits apart into two mutually independent acts, so does the overall movement of exchange itself become separate from the exchangers, the producers of commodities. Exchange for the sake of exchange separates off from exchange for the sake of commodities. A mercantile estate [17] steps between the producers; an estate which only buys in order to sell and only sells so as to buy again, and whose aim in this operation is not the possession of commodities as products but merely the obtaining of exchange values as such, of money.”
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By Wellsy
#15097890
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... e/ch04.htm
This section seems to be a more elaborate form of the value-form chapter I summarized for myself in the OP.
See the same descriptions in the transformation of exchange value. Although he more explicitly hints at the presupposed relations of exchange that make the different stages of exchange regular. So the simple commodity exchange is not dominant in society, it’s at the borders of a group and done haphazardly, it does not have the cyclical nature of production as it exists today. So the cyclical reproduction of the relation of exchange took time to solidify even at the margins.



Also interesting to see the point that labor is motion and thus time is it’s natural measure, the means in which to quantify it.
Also see the point about money being the single equivalent value-form to the exclusion of all other commodities as it allows the unity of all commodities in their measure of the one commodity.
It is from this that the possibility of price emerges, as price itself is not exchange value but comes from the basis of the universal commodity which is the equivalent value-form. To which price in relation to gold, as opposed to the world of commodities which find their universal exchange value with gold, is a quantity based on the amount of that commodity ie gold. Hence a pounds and such, the weight of gold being the basis of price.
And this makes clear the earlier criticism of those trying to make labour chits and so on, because labour simply cannot be represented in a kind of price, it is the substance of value but such value is inferred first through the exchange of commodities and these then develop to a point which makes price possible.
There is a distinction between price and exchange value which can’t be erased from the commodity/value form, it can’t be collapsed, it is nonsensical.

“Now, it can admittedly be said that the price of money is also posited as 1 bushel of wheat, 3 bushels of rye and all the other quantities of different commodities, whose price is 1 ounce of gold. But then, in order to express the price of money, the whole sphere of commodities would have to be listed, each in the quantity which equals 1 ounce of gold. Money would then have as many prices as there are commodities whose price it itself expresses. The chief quality of price, unity, would disappear. No commodity expresses the price of money, because none expresses its relation to all other commodities, its general exchange value. But it is the specific characteristic of price that exchange value must be expressed in its generality and at the same time in a specific commodity. But even this is irrelevant. In so far as money appears as a material in which the price of all commodities is expressed and measured, to that extent is money itself posited as a particular amount of gold, silver, etc., in short, of its natural matter; a simple amount of a certain material, not itself as exchange value, as relation. In the same way, every commodity which expresses the price of another is itself not posited as exchange value, but as a simple amount of itself. In its quality as unit of exchange value, as their measure, their common point of comparison, money is essentially a natural material, gold, silver; since, as the price of the commodity, it is not an exchange value, not a relation, but a certain weight of gold, silver; e.g. a pound with its subdivisions, and thus money appears originally as pound, aes grave. This is precisely what distinguishes price from exchange value, and we have seen that exchange value necessarily drives towards price formation. Hence the nonsensicality of those who want to make labour time as such into money, i.e. who want to posit and then not posit the distinction between price and exchange value.”


Now we see a point on money as the medium of exchange because once price is derived from the universal commodity based on it’s weight, then the smoothness of exchange can be engaged, but the quality of money of course separates the immediacy of exchange between commodities to different points in time. Hence the illegitimacy of those who generalize barter and only later speak vaguely of the role of money but pay no mind to the particular qualities of it’s role in modern exchange. It really seems that Simon Clarke must’ve studied this work in forming his criticism of marginalism.
“But when we now go over to the second quality of money, money as medium of exchange and realizer of prices, then we have found that in this case it must be present in a certain quantity; that the given weight of gold and silver which has been posited as a unit is required in a given quantity in order to be adequate to this function. If the sum of prices to be realized, which depends on the price of a particular commodity multiplied by its quantity, is given on one side, and the velocity of monetary circulation on the other, then a certain quantity of the circulating medium is required. When we now examine the original form more closely, the direct form in which circulation presents itself, C–M–M–C, then we see that money appears here as a pure medium of exchange. The commodity is exchanged for a commodity, and money appears merely as the medium of this exchange. The price of the first commodity is realized with money, in order to realize the price of the second commodity with the money, and thus to obtain it in exchange for the first. After the price of the first commodity is realized, the aim of the person who now has its price in money is not to obtain the price of the second commodity, but rather to pay its price in order to obtain the commodity. At bottom, therefore, money served him to exchange the first commodity for the second. As mere medium of exchange, money has no other purpose. The man who has sold his commodity and got money wants to buy another commodity, and the man from whom he buys it needs the money in order to buy another commodity etc.”


Marx then seems to go onto how the actual physical quantity of money within certain limits becomes irrelevant as it simply becomes a symbol of exchange and if it does circulate within a short period of time, a single piece functions many different exchanges of commodities rather than needing individual and distinct physical quantities for all of those exchanges. And money really is only a symbol in it’s actual function although in noticing this, the basis of it’s value seems entirely illusory. But it allows the shifting of equivalent prices between one another. Marx makes the point that this function would not change if unknowingly, fake money entered into circulation seemingly as ‘real’ money, it would still allow the circulation of commodities for their equivalent. So money realizes equivalent prices, and it changes the title of ownership of commodities, the comparison of all commodities on the basis of prices (everything has its price). This would have to be studied further perhaps to consider the nature of money today where we speak of floating the dollar and money not strictly based on the quantity of gold, with different ideas about the significance of this relation. The possibility of fake money performing the same function is only possible because real money is indifferent to the material and is always purely a symbol.
“Looking at this moment of circulation in isolation, it is thus essential that the unit of money should really represent a given quantity of gold or silver. But when we take circulation as a totality, as a self-enclosed process, C–M–M–C, then the matter stands differently. In the first case the realization of price would be only apparent: in reality only a part of its price would be realized. The price posited in it ideally would not be posited in reality. The commodity which is ideally equated to a given weight of gold would in actual exchange not bring in as much gold as that. But if a fake £ were to circulate in the place of a real one, it would render absolutely the same service in circulation as a whole as if it were genuine. If a commodity, A, with the price of £1, is exchanged for 1 fake £, and if this fake pound is again exchanged for commodity B, price £1, then the fake pound has done absolutely the same service as if it had been genuine. The genuine pound is, therefore, in this process, nothing more than a symbol, in so far as the moment in which it realizes prices is left out, and we look only at the totality of the process, in which it serves only as medium of exchange and in which the realization of prices is only a semblance, a fleeting mediation. Here the gold pound serves only to allow commodity A to be exchanged for commodity B, both having the same price. The real realization of the price of commodity A is, here, the commodity B, and the real realization of the price of B is the commodity A or C or D, which amounts to the same as far as the form of the relation is concerned, for which the particular content of the commodity is entirely irrelevant. Commodities with identical prices are exchanged. Instead of exchanging commodity A directly for commodity B, the price of commodity A is exchanged for the price of commodity B and the price of commodity B for commodity A. Money thus represents to the commodity only the latter’s price.



As a mere medium of circulation, in its role in the constant flow of the circulatory process, money is neither the measure of prices, because it is already posited as such in the prices themselves; nor is it the means for the realization of prices, for it exists as such in one single moment of circulation, but disappears as such in the totality of its moments; but is, rather, the mere representative of the price in relation to all other commodities, and serves only as a means to the end that all commodities are to be exchanged at equivalent prices. It is exchanged for one commodity because it is the general representative of its exchange value; and, as such, as the representative of every other commodity of equal exchange value, it is the general representative; and that is, as such, what it is in circulation itself. It represents the price of the one commodity as against all other commodities, or the price of all commodities as against the one commodity. In this relation it is not only the representative of commodity prices, but the symbol of itself; i.e. in the act of circulation itself, its material, gold and silver, is irrelevant.”



Money as gold becomes a special commodity different from all others as it doesn’t have it’s relative value-form but is the equivalent of all, it greases the wheels of exchange but as such it is a pure commodity because it really does become purely exchange, explicitly indifferent to its material body. This just emphasizes how the exchange value in commodities realizes itself in a more independent and developed form and originates from this, the commodity form.

“In its role as mere medium of circulation, it can be said about money that it ceases to be a commodity (particular commodity), when its material is irrelevant and it meets only the needs of circulation itself, and no other direct need: gold and silver cease to be commodities as soon as they circulate as money. It can be said about it, on the other hand, that it is now merely a commodity (general commodity), the commodity in its pure form, indifferent to its natural particularity and hence indifferent to all direct needs, without natural relation to a particular need as such.”



Money can then begin to be hoarded as treasure when it becomes an end in itself M – C – C – M, this is the latent beginning of money as capital, where one spends money in order to end up with more money at the end of it by investing it in productive industry.

Money develops an independence from circulation when circulation becomes a norm, because money is of course quite valuable to have when it is clearly established as a means to acquire everything else. Money is the precondition for the possibility of circulation but it is also its result.
It can then develop into money capital because it is no longer simply about the measure of exchange values/ratios but comes to be seen as a moment and means of production.


Marx quotes Sismondi who is perhaps one of the earliest theories of the possibility of economic crisis.
“Commerce separated the shadow from the body, and introduced the possibility of owning them separately.”
Because money is the universal representation of all commodities, it comes to be seen in itself as having the wealth of all those commodities, money is imbued with the unreal qualities of the real world relations which it functions within. Money really does buy you a lot of products and services and not just in the imagination. “With money, general wealth is not only a form, but at the same time the content itself. The concept of wealth, so to speak, is realized, individualized in a particular object.”.

Whereas gold is still too particular, money eventually becomes something in itself indifferent even to the commodity on which it was based. Because it is the pure form of all commodities and not readily seen as the relationship of one commodity to all others. But money is potential wealth, as is seen when there is an economic crisis and suddenly money can no longer realize as much as it once could in the form of commodities. It’s strength is in its potential yet so is its weakness.

Marx makes an interesting point of money in relation to greed where once greed was once for a particular kind of thing, now it epitomizes greed in general because of the generality of what money can allow one to acquire.
“Money is therefore not only an object, but is the object of greed”
He in fact states that greed as such rather than for a particular thing but as a psychological drive is only possible with the existence of money, he calls it the fountainhead of greed itself. You do not wish to hoard any one thing, but desire money itself which is no particular thing because it represents all other things. And he cites two polar examples of greed, hedonism and miserliness
“The mania for possessions is possible without money; but greed itself is the product of a definite social development, not natural, as opposed to historical. Hence the wailing of the ancients about money as the source of all evil. Hedonism [Genusssucht] in its general form and miserliness [Geiz] are the two particular forms of monetary greed. Hedonism in the abstract presupposes an object which possesses all pleasures in potentiality. Abstract hedonism realizes that function of money in which it is the material representative of wealth; miserliness, in so far as it is only the general form of wealth as against its particular substances, the commodities. In order to maintain it as such, it must sacrifice all relationship to the objects of particular needs, must abstain, in order to satisfy the need of greed for money as such. Monetary greed, or mania for wealth, necessarily brings with it the decline and fall of the ancient communities [Gemeinwesen]. Hence it is the antithesis to them. It is itself the community [Gemeinwesen], [2] and can tolerate none other standing above it.”

It is interesting to note here how he posits greed as not some instinctual want/desire but clearly makes it a social and historical thing introduced to humans. Which complicates the attempt to universalize greed as such with human nature.
Which is also interesting considering how within capitalism where the wage labourer proliferates due to the historical acts which deprived many of their own subsistence, all labourers necessarily desire money as a necessary need and often as a want.

He makes a point of how for money to function as it does within capitalism, one must of course make money as need as for the wage labourer otherwise it fails to properly circulate and function as a moment in the development of production.
And Marx speaks of it dissolving communities and existing only on the side of societies in particular industries because labour itself wasn’t generalized basis of value in its social form.

Marx describes how money existed at the margins of communities and as thus was counter to its very nature but once one has made money as necessity to their daily existence, then it becomes the basis of community and is at its center.

See an interesting quote where a point is made which relates to the general form of value in which if the commodity which becomes the general isn’t yet gold, it causes a problem for circulation as it may well still be consumed ie hides, salt.

Now money is mentioned as the negation of the medium of circulation, such that money in the form of a gold coin stamped with the face of some ruler is confined within a certain geography.
But as it becomes more dominant, this loses its significance as coin because it becomes reduced to simply gold/silver, the metals themselves and not the shape/form of the gold silver. And then even the return of the physical gold and such doesn’t necessarily need to occur for money to function because as a symbol of exchange for the means of circulation, one doesn’t need money to be physically exchanged. Hence how we all have our debit cards and such with a bunch of numbers doing the task for us.
Money is no longer tied to any particular commodity but is representative of the nexus of all commodity exchanges.
Then money becomes the measure of exchange value itself rather than measuring exchange values.
Then there is talk about displays of wealth where gold was wealth in general one would hoard it and it would signify one’s wealth, but now one expresses the same wealth crudely with money. One doesn’t need a mass quantity of gold, only money which signifies such wealth.
But such a display is pointed by the fact that it is not being used as money, a bit like someone burning their money, it shows their wealth by ones indifference to it which for everyone else would be insane.
A point is made how the hoarding of gold and silver arises in part because they are durable forms of exchange which other commodities are not.

And then a point is made that even in hoarding other commodities it is only wealth of a particular form whereas money is the general form of wealth.

And following what I said earlier about money being only the potential of a commodity, so Marx makes a point that the contradiction of this hoarding is that it isn’t actual wealthy by a symbol of its possible realization.
It is the fantasy of what the money represents and what it could do that so enamors the greed miser. When taken out of circulation it isn’t wealth anymore in actuality because it realizes nothing, hence the asceticsism of hoarding rather than hedonism of spending.

Money represents not actual value but the fluctuation of value “Finally, in the last-mentioned character, it also contradicts itself because it must represent value as such; but represents in fact only a constant amount of fluctuating value. It therefore suspends itself as completed exchange value.”


And I kinda skipped the last section of the link as its expressing what will be pursued further and some historical details.
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By Wellsy
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https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... e/ch05.htm

Here Marx summarizes how money as such is most certainly not equivalent to its physical form. That even the face on a coin becomes irrelevant where money appears to be the metal as such but no examination of the physical properties yield the value which allows it to function as money.
And he then expands on the position of pure exchange value indifferent to use-value, presumably in distinction to those who speak of the political economy and value purely as use-value and thus as physical production unrelated to social value.
There is a brief mention of bourgeoisie economists engaging in apologetics by not even properly acknowledging money but simply describing simpler commodity exchange and generalizing from this.

In following this viewpoint of pure exchange value he begins to describe the characteristics of this view in which one is indifferent to the qualities of a person engaging in exchange except as someone who performs an exchange (e.g. exchangers).
That they relate to one another both as exchangers they are equals and what they exchange are also equivalents. Marx summarizes that formally there is nothing but equality of 1) Exchangers 2) The objects of exchange and 3) the very act of exchange.
But outside of this formal economic position is the content which begins to show an difference that is logically presupposed by the fact of this exchange.
So the difference between the actual commodities being exchanged and the different relations of the subjects engaged in exchanged are ignore in their content when concerned only with the pure form of such economic activity.
And makes a point that it is in fact the difference between the commodities and those who exchange that brings into reality the very formal equality of the exchange because if their commodities were exactly the same, there would be no basis/reason for exchange.

If individual A had the same need as individual B, and if both had realized their labour in the same object, then no relation whatever would be present between them; considering only their production, they would not be different individuals at all. Both have the need to breathe; for both the air exists as atmosphere; this brings them into no social contact; as breathing individuals they relate to one another only as natural bodies, not as persons. Only the differences between their needs and between their production gives rise to exchange and to their social equation in exchange; these natural differences are therefore the precondition of their social equality in the act of exchange, and of this relation in general, in which they relate to one another as productive. Regarded from the standpoint of the natural difference between them, individual A exists as the owner of a use value for B, and B as owner of a use value for A. In this respect, their natural difference again puts them reciprocally into the relation of equality. In this respect, however, they are not indifferent to one another, but integrate with one another, have need of one another; so that individual B, as objectified in the commodity, is a need of individual A, and vice versa; so that they stand not only in an equal, but also in a social, relation to one another. This is not all. The fact that this need on the part of one can be satisfied by the product of the other, and vice versa, and that the one is capable of producing the object of the need of the other, and that each confronts the other as owner of the object of the other’s need, this proves that each of them reaches beyond his own particular need etc., as a human being, and that they relate to one another as human beings; that their common species-being [Gattungswesen] is acknowledged by all.

This is something remarked upon by Simon Clarke in criticizing the formal approach to economics in that the very existence of exchange often presupposes not an equality between individuals but in fact an inequality in it’s very structure and the reproduction of such exchanges, one must be in constant need in order to reproduce for example the working class, they must be deprived of their own means of subsistence otherwise they aren’t completely compelled to work as a wage labourer (hence the history of primitive accumulation preceding more complex forms of capitalism).
This is the direction Marx takes in logically deducing the social relations which presuppose the capacity for such an individual to engage in exchange as an equal.
That one is compelled to exchange within a division of labor which isn’t freely determined by the individuals will but one is born into definite social relations of production, the individual is just as determined by society as in earlier epochs.
And this is a point against the formal freedom of liberalism that valorizes ‘free choice’ but as with any belief system, it presupposes itself within certain limits on which it’ll tolerate any intrusion upon it’s own basis.
As such, liberalism is strictly about maintaining the very conditions in which the individual can pursue their own individual interests/pleasures against any asserted common good/consensus which is argued to be impossible to achieve and is instead a strength of liberal ideology rather than it’s downfall.
This is the conservative tendency inherent in it as opposed to its more revolutionary character in the emergence of the capitalist class as the ruling class, because the paradox of consensus is that it always sides with the status quo because there isn’t enough agreement to ever change.
But this emphasis is an abstraction against liberalism’s own radical origins, the appeals to non-violence and such ignoring the very history on which it originate, disavowing its own birth and the very history of struggles originating always in illiberal struggles in civil society.
Marx summarizes as much when he explicitly says that the opposition of capital and labor are logically presupposed by such conditions but in the formal abstractness of economics it is entirely hidden. This situates the earlier comment about apologetics by appeals to simple commodity exchange in there is a more conscious effort in recognizing that the money form and pure exchange is contradictory in such a way and engages in apologetics by trying to focus on use value and ignore the pure form of exchange.
Marx also condemns the French socialists that see socialism as the realization of bourgeoisie freedoms/ideals and it is merely money and such which obstructs such ideals being realized. Or that socialism is in fact the true realization of the ideals of the bourgeoisie revolutions.
This is a continuation of a point he has already made in earlier works”
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
The implementation of such a genuine, substantive freedom of course would require “despotic inroads117 on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production,” something Marx already wrote earlier, in The Communist Manifesto (Manifesto of the Communist Party, MECW 6:504). It would neither be a realization of bourgeois freedom nor would it even be commensurate with, or justifiable on the basis of, bourgeois freedom and equality, even as it is bourgeois production which makes this substantive freedom first possible.


In this abstractness is essentially the denial of the distinctions and development which properly distinguish capital as it is reduced to exchange value and left at that. And if exchange value is without distinction and development then one can describe all kinds of exchange as essentially the same by ignoring their real differences by adherence to a formal equality against noticing the content of inequality and difference.
The reduction is not even formally scientific to the minimal extent that everything is reduced to a real economic relation by dropping the difference that development makes; rather, sometimes one and sometimes another side is dropped in order to bring out now one, now another side of the identity. For example, the wage for labour is payment for a service done by one individual for another. (The economic form as such is dropped here, as noted above.) Profit is also payment for a service done by one individual for another. Hence wages and profit are identical, and it is, in the first place, an error of language to call one payment wages, the other profit.

And so we end up with those who deny difference or those who acknowledge the differences but argue their shouldn’t be in order to advocate superficial changes.
Hence the unedifying debate in which one side asserts that there is no difference between developed and undeveloped exchange value, and the other asserts that there is, unfortunately, a difference, but, by rights, there ought not to be.


The next section emphasizes that money as capital is a distinct kind of function of money as opposed to money as money and it’s like considering the simpler to a complex form, as ape to humans. But that he wishes to outline capital in order to relate it particularly to money.
First a criticism of capital = a sum of values which is no different to capital = exchange value as exchange value is a sum of values but the mere mechanical addition of such value does not constitute capital as that can formally lead only to a distinction of quantity but doesn’t properly note quality.
A point is made though that such a tendency is based in the fact that there is a real indifference to the content of exchange that distinguishes the worker from the millionaire purchasing bread from someone who sells bread ie baker.
Just as there is a real indifference to the content of labor as the current social relations is based on the production of exchange values primarily. A theory of value precedes capital but requires the domination of capital in pure form to make sense of value despite it existing in a lesser form historically.
Just as landed property might appear crucial to understanding capital but it only makes sense in examining the transition between serf to farmer, from feudalism to capitalism, to see the social distinctions in the development of value/capital.
That capital is connected to money is prominent with the basis of merchant capital which starts with money trades it for a commodity, sells the commodity in order to acquire more money. Here the process begins and ends with money M – C – C – M.
Here exchange value is both form and content of capital.
But this can exist in a time in which capitalist production doesn’t yet dominated over social relations and is thus still seemingly an accidental rather than universal feature.
Here one begin to see how the existence of such can only make sense in retrospect from the standpoint of a more complex and pure form of capital.
At such a stage the relation is more to meet needs and as such the formula is as follows C – M – M – C , money is a means of circulating commodities to satisfy needs.
With this process, the commodity which only realizes itself by being exchanged with another commodity takes on the nature of commodity capital, it is a commodity produced in order to acquire another commodity.

Marx criticizes those which would use this relation to describe capital though because in this process wealth isn’t developed but rather consumed, money either steps out of circulation or it is realized in a commodity which is then consumed.
All that can happen in the simple act of exchange is that each can be lost in its role for the other as soon as it realizes itself in it. None can maintain itself in its role by going over into the other. For this reason the sophistry of the bourgeois economists, who embellish capital by reducing it in argument to pure exchange, has been countered by its inversion, the equally sophistical, but, in relation to them, legitimate demand that capital be really reduced to pure exchange, whereby it would disappear as a power and be destroyed, whether in the form of money or of the commodity.

This stage of merchant capital isn’t yet properly cyclical, it doesn’t quite reproduce itself as it has a very clear start and end.
Circulation therefore does not carry within itself the principle of self-renewal. The moments of the latter are presupposed to it, not posited by it. Commodities constantly have to be thrown into it anew from the outside, like fuel into a fire. Otherwise it flickers out in indifference.

Summarizing the above, the point then becomes that simple commodity exchange as an explanation of capital is a semblance of actual expansion of capital, it has money, it has commodities but it isn’t self-expanding.
Circulation is on the surface of bourgeoisie society but the process of interest is behind this appearance, something deeper. Circulation in capitalism is but a phenomenon of yet unexplained phenomenon.
Circulation is presupposed by labor producing values and exchange values in order that circulation leads to a return to such production for exchange. One must reach a stage of production which presupposes circulation, the return to production as opposed to the earlier describe completed cycle for consumption.

Then appears a summary of simple trade between simple groups on the margins of their groups with external others based on surplus of use values. Eventually this surplus becomes a stable relation in which one must continue to reproduce in order to maintain satisfaction for the need of the others product/commodity. It does not yet dominate ones internal production but it is influencing it in some degree. At some point if the influence is strong enough, then ones internal production is changed from serving domestic needs through use-values and turned into production strictly for exchange due to established circulation of commodities. The example given of production in England broken up in order for greater surplus of wool from sheep to trade with Netherlands. That not only was production altered, but old production was in fact replaced with a new kind of production.
Then a point is made of abstracting capital as a thing rather than a social relation of production in defining it as accumulated/objectified labor but it is so broad that any instrument of production is suddenly capital and one is indifferent to the particular nature of production.
If capital is defined as reproducing exchange value then this notes the form of capital in value expands through exchanges but it is indifferent to the content in that one exchanges exchange values in order to profit but one hasn’t explained capital as it is presupposed in the explanation.
The point is to note not just the existence of exchange values but also the changes in production in itself as serving the production for exchange values instead of use values.

Marx then emphasizes that one must examine value in order to make explicit capital rather than labor, and to examine money capital due to the conflation of money with capital rather than a distinction of money as money and money capital. He acknowledges that money capital is the first historical form of capital. Marx makes emphasis of two different relations of value in which one trades a commodity for money C – M or trades money for a commodity M – C , where one trades the substance (commodity) for the form (money) or form for the substance (money for the commodity).
The point here is a bit like the earlier case of trade for consumption that the circulation proper doesn’t exist because the cycle starts with a commodity and ends in a commodity for consumption, it doesn’t register as self-expanding capital.
Marx asserts that capital doesn’t disappear in circulation but always remain capital even when changing forms ( C – M – M – C ).
‘Capital – permanent’ (‘self-multiplying’ does not belong here as yet) ‘value which no longer decayed; this value tears itself loose from the commodity which created it; like a metaphysical, insubstantial quality, it always remained in the possession of the same cultivateur’ (here irrelevant; say owner) ‘for whom it cloaked itself in different forms.’ (Sismondi, VI.)

Capital becomes commodity and money alternately; but (1) it is itself the alternation of both these roles; (2) it becomes commodity; but not this or the other commodity, rather a totality of commodities. It is not indifferent to the substance, but to the particular form; appears in this respect as a constant metamorphosis of this substance; in so far as it is then posited as a particular content of exchange value, this particularity itself is a totality of particularity; hence indifferent not to particularity as such, but to the single or individuated particularity.

My best reading is in this section Marx is summarizing that capital emerges only once the circulation of commodities and money along with production primarily for exchange value have become stable relations of production such that the cycle doesn’t end merely in the satisfaction of a need or in the hoarding of money waiting until one wishes to acquire more commodities for consumption. It becomes an integral part of the production cycle and expands itself in doing so.
The transition from simple exchange value and its circulation to capital can also be expressed in this way: Within circulation, exchange value appears double: once as commodity, again as money. If it is in one aspect, it is not in the other. This holds for every particular commodity. But the wholeness of circulation, regarded in itself, lies in the fact that the same exchange value, exchange value as subject, posits itself once as commodity, another time as money, and that it is just this movement of positing itself in this dual character and of preserving itself in each of them as its opposite, in the commodity as money and in money as commodity. This in itself is present in simple circulation, but is not posited in it. Exchange value posited as the unity of commodity and money is capital, and this positing itself appears as the circulation of capital. (Which is, however, a spiral, an expanding curve, not a simple circle.)


Then Marx makes a point of labor and capital as alien to one another before moving onto the relation of labour to production of exchange value.
First labor produces use values for one’s own use and only does the surplus go onto be exchange value. Without surplus, one just goes on reproducing one’s own existence/subsistence.
But it being a surplus it has a use-value which can satisfy the need of others. Marx then makes a point that the labourer doesn’t present a finished product to the capitalist at the outset but in fact only offers his potential to create a use-value.
The use-value only becomes an actuality once capital has set in motion the labourer by soliciting him with payment. Here he repeats the independence of labor and capital, labor as use value brought in relation to capital as exchange value.
In simple commodity exchange/circulation, a commodity can be readily considered either use or exchange value, but when considered as use-value, the commodity steps out of exchange and is consumed and satisfies a need.
In simple commodity exchange, the exchange value only exists for the person trading a commodity who has no use-value for his particular product and thus wishes to exchange it, the use-value becomes a use-value for others. Money has a use-value only in the sense of helping one to acquire other use-values, figuring out prices and such, its fixedness is in this function. The commodity has no standing outside the economic relations, such relations are marginalized and as such the commodity loses its sense as a commodity outside of exchange/trade and becomes once again a product with a use-value.
Money is fleeting as a mere moment in these brief exchanges but not yet fixed with value outside of the dominant economic/productive relations and hence the connection between use-value and exchange-value is more imaginary than objective as of yet.

When money confronts use-value as exchange value it is no longer money as it was but it is capital (following the earlier polarization between capital and labor). Marx then goes onto characterize capital as not merely money as measure but a drive for forever expansion beyond itself, measurelessness.
it preserves itself as a self-validated exchange value distinct from a use value only by constantly multiplying itself.

Then capital is emphasized that it isn’t simply money but it also exists through commodities, through their use-value but in realizing exchange value. Bodies for the transition of exchange value because they have use-value.
He speaks of the abstractness of capital as not a particular commodity but commodities en masse in which they are objectified or past labor which is polar to possible (non-objectified) or living/present labor which is present in the worker.
He then goes onto summarize productive and unproductive labor in terms of whether its based in the expansion of capital or it is an exchange of equivalents such as found in a service which is provided to someone who happens to be a capitalist but it isn’t to expand capital.
As its akin to simple commodity relation in which money is a vanishing use-value for a commodity or service.
There is a harsh criticism of those who would classify anything which is useful as productive labor because they focus on use-values as opposed to exchange value and lose sight of the productive value for capitalism.
Hence everyone is productive as smashing a window in creating work for someone else to do.
The fact is that these workers, indeed, are productive, as far as they increase the capital of their master; unproductive as to the material result of their labour. In fact, of course, this ‘productive’ worker cares as much about the crappy shit he has to make as does the capitalist himself who employs him, and who also couldn’t give a damn for the junk.

Also see more clearly the basis for marking the distinction between labor-power and actual labor in that it is clearly the potential/capacity which is paid for prior to actual completion of the work.
If we consider the exchange between capital and labour, then we find that it splits into two processes which are not only formally but also qualitatively different, and even contradictory:
(1) The worker sells his commodity, labour, which has a use value, and, as commodity, also a price, like all other commodities, for a specific sum of exchange values, specific sum of money, which capital concedes to him.
(2) The capitalist obtains labour itself, labour as value-positing activity, as productive labour; i.e. he obtains the productive force which maintains and multiplies capital, and which thereby becomes the productive force, the reproductive force of capital, a force belonging to capital itself. The separation of these two processes is so obvious that they can take place at different times, and need by no means coincide. The first process can be and usually, to a certain extent, is completed before the second even begins. The completion of the second act presupposes the completion of the product. The payment of wages cannot wait for that. We will even find it an essential aspect of the relation, that it does not wait for that.

In simple exchange, circulation, this double process does not take place. If commodity A is exchanged for money B, and the latter then for the commodity C, which is destined to be consumed – the original object of the exchange, for A – then the using-up of commodity C, its consumption, falls entirely outside circulation; is irrelevant to the form of the relation; lies beyond circulation itself, and is of purely physical interest, expressing no more than the relation of the individual A in his natural quality to an object of his individual need. What he does with commodity C is a question which belongs outside the economic relation. Here, by contrast, the use value of that which is exchanged for money appears as a particular economic relation, and the specific utilization of that which is exchanged for money forms the ultimate aim of both processes. Therefore, this is already a distinction of form between the exchange of capital and labour, and simple exchange – two different processes.

As above notes, there is a clear distinction between simple commodity exchange and capitalist production.
Marx continues that point 1 falls entirely under the ideas of exchange but the 2nd is something quite distinct, something which doesn’t exist within simple commodity exchange although the possibility for such presupposes labor creating such use-values, but it isn’t subsumed for an owner necessarily.
Or if it is, it is always in a specific social form, whether between slave and master, serf and lord, worker and capitalist.

Next Marx goes onto landed property with a fleeting note of Wakefield which I assume is E. G. Wakefield, theorist of colonial economics I believe. Someone who I stumbled upon in my own education of Australian history and most profoundly illustrates the social relations of capitalism in a letter in which he brings all the physical properties of capitalist production, yet is unable to compel anyone to work for him for a wage. A strongly recommended read as it isn’t just great for historical interest but how wonderfully it illustrates the limitations of those who would universalize capitalism as natural and merely a technical material matter when one attempted to transplant it directly to Australia where there was no relations ready made to produce such an outcome.
But upon reading the section, there is a focus on ground rent, so maybe not. Point is made that ground rent is something which is distinct from capital but is dependent on it. Making a point that the laborers on such landed property turn into wage laborers and agriculture is radically transformed by capital.
This latter himself then ‘clears’, as Steuart says, [47] the land of its excess mouths, tears the children of the earth from the breast on which they were raised, and thus transforms labour on the soil itself, which appears by its nature as the direct wellspring of subsistence, into a mediated source of subsistence, a source purely dependent on social relations. (The reciprocal dependence has first to be produced in its pure form before it is possible to think of a real social communality [Gemeinschaftlichkeit]. All relations as posited by society, not as determined by nature.)

I’m guessing this is touching on the basis of capitalism’s expansion through enclosures and such and then radically transforming landed property into a capitalist form based on a radically different and dominant mode of production.
And following still Ilyenkov’s point about what appears as accidental becoming the universal not in the Hegelian sense but in empirical history, one sees an emphasis on capitalism having to actually emerge from real world conditions and relations and not just as something from nowhere and mystical.
It must be kept in mind that the new forces of production and relations of production do not develop out of nothing, nor drop from the sky, nor from the womb of the self-positing Idea; but from within and in antithesis to the existing development of production and the inherited, traditional relations of property. While in the completed bourgeois system every economic relation presupposes every other in its bourgeois economic form, and everything posited is thus also a presupposition, this is the case with every organic system. This organic system itself, as a totality, has its presuppositions, and its development to its totality consists precisely in subordinating all elements of society to itself, or in creating out of it the organs which it still lacks. This is historically how it becomes a totality.

And I finally see the emphasis on Wakefield as evidence on this point of how landed property transforms into its capitalist form.
On the other hand, if within one society the modern relations of production, i.e. capital, are developed to its totality, and this society then seizes hold of a new territory, as e.g. the colonies, then it finds, or rather its representative, the capitalist, finds, that his capital ceases to be capital without wage labour, and that one of the presuppositions of the latter is not only landed property in general, but modern landed property; landed property which, as capitalized rent, is expensive, and which, as such, excludes the direct use of the soil by individuals. Hence Wakefield’s theory of colonies, followed in practice by the English government in Australia. [48] Landed property is here artificially made more expensive in order to transform the workers into wage workers, to make capital act as capital, and thus to make the new colony productive; to develop wealth in it, instead of using it, as in America, for the momentary deliverance of the wage labourers. Wakefield’s theory is infinitely important for a correct understanding of modern landed property. – Capital, when it creates landed property, therefore goes back to the production of wage labour as its general creative basis.

This is of course quite important in an explanatory fashion as the mass of laborers without means of subsistence and totally cut off from property on which to develop their subsistence is a precondition for the mass development and expansion of capital.
In the case of colonies there is a clear necessity for forced labor in the form of convicts or slaves (Australia/USA).

I glanced quickly through the section on the expansion and development of markets into their own kind of division of labor with shares and different commodities of emphasis.

Then is a section on examining the relationship between worker and capitalist, the nature of exchange money (general form of wealth) for the capacity of the worker to work, and the exchange being an equivalent in which the worker gets paid in full for his labour power and then is free to use that money how he wishes but is restricted not so much qualitatively but quantitatively, there is a limit on how much he can buy with his wage.
Because it is a ‘fair’ exchange, the worker in the abstract is equal to the capitalist, just buyers and sellers meeting on the market and of their own free will entering into contracts for equal exchange yanno. The same song and dance libertarians still often sell.
The formal sameness of the exchange misses the nature of the exact nature of the relationship of the exchange.
In fact this equality is already disturbed because the worker’s relation to the capitalist as a use value, in the form specifically distinct from exchange value, in opposition to value posited as value, is a presupposition of this seemingly simple exchange; because, thus, he already stands in an economically different relation – outside that of exchange, in which the nature of the use value, the particular use value of the commodity is, as such, irrelevant. This semblance exists, nevertheless, as an illusion on his part and to a certain degree on the other side, and thus essentially modifies his relation by comparison to that of workers in other social modes of production. But what is essential is that the purpose of the exchange for him is the satisfaction of his need. The object of his exchange is a direct object of need, not exchange value as such. He does obtain money, it is true, but only in its role as coin; i.e. only as a self-suspending and vanishing mediation. What he obtains from the exchange is therefore not exchange value, not wealth, but a means of subsistence, objects for the preservation of his life, the satisfaction of his needs in general, physical, social etc. It is a specific equivalent in means of subsistence, in objectified labour, measured by the cost of production of his labour. What he gives up is his power to dispose of the latter. On the other side, it is true that even within simple circulation the coin may grow into money, and that in so far as he receives coin in exchange, he can therefore transform it into money by stockpiling it, etc., withdrawing it from circulation; fixes it as general form of wealth, instead of as vanishing medium of exchange. In this respect it could thus be said that, in the exchange between capital and labour, the worker’s object – hence, for him, the product of the exchange – is not the means of subsistence, but wealth; not a particular use value, but rather exchange value as such.

Marx then goes onto call bullshit to the very notion of self denial as a means to save up money and become wealthy ie a capitalist. Expecting the very people who rely on it for basic subsistence to deny themselves that subsistence on the false hope of acquiring enough wealth to be one’s own capitalist. And if they’re ‘smart’ enough to get anywhere, at best they probably end up a small business owner and fail within the first year and if not will eventually fall apart to competition of larger corporations as they all do despite the rhetoric of support small business in a global economy and mega corporations.
Society today makes the paradoxical demand that he for whom the object of exchange is subsistence should deny himself, not he for whom it is wealth. The illusion that the capitalists in fact practised ‘self-denial’ [50] and became capitalists thereby – a demand and a notion which only made any sense at all in the early period when capital was emerging from feudal etc. relations – has been abandoned by all modern economists of sound judgement.

If he adopted wealth as his purpose, instead of making his purpose use value, he would then, therefore, not only come to no riches, but would moreover lose use value in the bargain. For, as a rule, the maximum of industriousness, of labour, and the minimum of consumption – and this is the maximum of his self-denial and of his moneymaking – could lead to nothing else than that he would receive for his maximum of labour a minimum of wages.

By his exertions he would only have diminished the general level of the production costs of his own labour and therefore its general price. Only as an exception does the worker succeed through will power, physical strength and endurance, greed etc., in transforming his coin into money, as an exception from his class and from the general conditions of his existence. If all or the majority are too industrious (to the degree that industriousness in modern industry is in fact left to their own personal choice, which is not the case in the most important and most developed branches of production), then they increase not the value of their commodity, but only its quantity; that is, the demands which would be placed on it as use value. If they all save, then a general reduction of wages will bring them back to earth again; for general savings would show the capitalist that their wages are in general too high, that they receive more than its equivalent for their commodity, the capacity of disposing of their own labour; since it is precisely the essence of simple exchange – and they stand in this relation towards him – that no one throws more into circulation than he withdraws; but also that no one can withdraw more than he has thrown in. An individual worker can be industrious above the average, more than he has to be in order to live as a worker, only because another lies below the average, is lazier; he can save only because and if another wastes. The most he can achieve on the average with his self-denial is to be able better to endure the fluctuations of prices – high and low, their cycle – that is, he can only distribute his consumption better, but never attain wealth. And that is actually what the capitalists demand. The workers should save enough at the times when business is good to be able more or less to live in the bad times, to endure short time or the lowering of wages. (The wage would then fall even lower.) That is, the demand that they should always hold to a minimum of life’s pleasures and make crises easier to bear for the capitalists etc. Maintain themselves as pure labouring machines and as far as possible pay their own wear and tear.

It also does well to make a point as to why anyone who things they as an individual worker can save themselves from the ills of capitalism is an utter fool, only as a class can one break through this problem, as their essential relation to production makes it inevitable that counteracting forces will keep him a worker unless an exception to the rule/average. As distinct from a slave whom has exchange value, the worker has no exchange value but rather his use-value as a worker is what is valuable.
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By Wellsy
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https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... e/ch06.htm
Continues summarizing the exchange between worker and capitalist in reproducing the worker through payment for his subsistence and thus capacity to work and how wages are considered unproductive because they do not expand wealth but consume the capitalist’s wealth.
Labour confronts capital in the C – M – M – C process as he sells his labour power for an equivalent exchange value in order to spend money on the commodities for his consumption.
The opposite is the case for the capitalist which moves from M – C – C – M , it starts with money capital and pays wages and other investments in order to acquire a commodity with greater value which is then sold for a profit.
Living labour separated from objectified labor such as land and means of production forms the necessary basis of labor as the absolute exclusion from wealth. Yet living labour is in fact the basis of wealth as it creates it for the capitalist, labour power as the possibility of yet to be actualized wealth.
So there is a unity of opposites, a contradiction in labour as both a source of poverty and wealth. Seems point in summarizing all this is to emphasize the presupposed relationship between labor and capital.
Then there seems to be a point that as capital is indifferent to the particularity of things but is an abstract generality and only concerned with particularly to the extent it realizes the general, so too labour is of a particular sort but there is an indifference as it too is but a means to acquire money (general form of possible wealth), the worker motivated by what he wants from the exchange makes the labour itself something which he is indifferent to the particularity of except as a means to an end. Just as it is but a means to an end for value for the capitalist also.
This is distinct from the craftsman or guildsman whose interest is to a particular labor and to a particular master but this differs from the worker in relation to capital, the craftsman/guildsman exist where capital isn’t yet dominant.

Then Marx focuses on the actual labour of the worker after the fact of the exchange for his labour power, where his labour is only initiated once put in motion by capital and provided by capital the means to labor with raw materials and instruments of production.
But Marx then focuses on how the very instruments of production and such are products of labor themselves, products of labor are thus not yet distinct from the means of production themselves.
This is quite clear where labor exists without capital, where the laborer appropriates nature and makes his own tools, whether the hunters bow, the fishermans fishing pole and so on. Products of labor thus first arise as instruments of production, rather than products of exchange.
It seems Marx is making this point in order to properly distinguish between these things and the sense that it is a result of capital. He speaks of the products which are to be consumed by the worker in order that he can live and continue to work being seen as part of capital but it confuses the exchange between individual workers as consumers within the act of production which is quite distinct from this exchange.
Then emphasized is the productive consumption of labor in which raw materials, instruments of labor and the activity of labour itself are consumed in order to result in a product.
The objects are consumed in order to produce a new object, a use-value.

Then a summary is made:
1. Capital is but a means to iniatiate the labour process in buying the labour power of the worker. It seems he is pointing out how it isn’t capital’s doing but rather a process in which money as the form of general wealth which is based in its capacity to be traded with objectified labor becomes the means of initiating living labor.
2. A summary how in simple circulation money and commodity both cease to exist as such once the cycle of circulation is completed in consumption. But capital is defined by its existence in both forms, it continues as both money capital and commodity capital, capital appears as relating to itself, but;
3. Capital enters as objectified labour in general but which is indifferent to labour because labour confronts only the direct object to be worked upon, it doesn’t recognize it as objectified labor in general. In examining the production process, capital doesn’t appear at all because it isn’t consumed in the material process of production and hence the ease at which the production of capital is conflated with production in general.
capital’s distinction from labour appears only in the material character of raw material and instrument of labour.


Then there is a brief note about how relations of production are personified in individuals although indifferent to the actual individual. One cannot be a capitalist without capital and one cannot be a worker outside of the relation to capital and production.
A capitalist is his capital, a worker is his labour-power.

As capital seems to dissolve into the material qualities of the simple productive process and thus appears as production in general, it ends up seen as the product, whether raw materials/instruments of production for labour.
It appears merely as a passive object which confronts labour and thus is unproductive. But it doesn’t appear as one of these distinct things but as the simple production process as a whole and thus the self-propelling sense of capital.
There is a small section examining the point about productive labor is that which creates capital and isn’t simply labor which creates something. That some economists might try to infer how unproductive labor might indirectly help create capital but this only affirms the distinction that only labor which produces capital is thus productive. If the labour does not augment capital/wealth, then it is not productive in an economic sense. Unproductive labor may very well be necessary for the possibility of productive labor and human life in many ways, but it doesn’t create value necessarily as needed for the capitalist.

Next is a section examining the subjective position of the worker to the objective conditions of production where he enters into exchange with the capitalist but the capitalist’s money appears only as an exchange value to the worker which they can then trade for their use-value, labour, in order to acquire the equivalents of the exchange in commodities for their consumption. An exchange which as with any commodity is already set not by the use-value of the commodity but by supply/demand, prices which pre-exist the exchange.
From the capitalist he is purchasing a use value and it is an exchange which is determined as a very definite amount of objectified labor (because money as possibility of wealth purchases a definite quantity of commodities), so his wage is already set from previous cycles of production in which living labour objectified its activity. Which the capitalist then uses to purchase living labor in order to supply itself with the use value to expand its wealth.
This seems to be the basis on which Marx speaks of the more the labourer sells himself the more he impoverishes himself and enriches capital because he is in fact paid out of already objectified labor really and his creative value creating labor in effect goes to the capitalist above the exchange for his labor power. It is logically impossible for the individual to then become wealthy because he enhances the capitalist’s wealth and not his own no matter how productive he is.
The separation between labour and property in the product of labour, between labour and wealth, is thus posited in this act of exchange itself. What appears paradoxical as result is already contained in the presupposition. The economists have expressed this more or less empirically. Thus the productivity of his labour, his labour in general, in so far as it is not a capacity but a motion, real labour, comes to confront the worker as an alien power; capital, inversely, realizes itself through the appropriation of alien labour.

Sismondi says that the workers exchange their labour for grain, which they consume, while their labour ‘has become capital for its master’. (Sismondi, VI.) [13] ‘Giving their labour in exchange, the workers transform it into capital.’ (id., VIII.) [14] By selling his labour to the capitalist, the worker obtains a right only to the price of labour, not to the product of his labour, nor to the value which his labour has added to it. (Cherbuliez XXVIII.) ‘Sale of labour = renunciation of all fruits of labour.’ (loc.cit.) [15] Thus all the progress of civilization, or in other words every increase in the powers of social production [gesellschaftliche Produktivkräfte], if you like, in the productive powers of labour itself – such as results from science, inventions, division and combination of labour, improved means of communication, creation of the world market, machinery etc. – enriches not the worker but rather capital; hence it only magnifies again the power dominating over labour; increases only the productive power of capital. Since capital is the antithesis of the worker, this merely increases the objective power standing over labour.

It seems all of this is to mark how capital comes into existence/being as opposed to it’s more particular kinds in relation to the concept.
. But we are still concerned neither with a particular form of capital, nor with an individual capital as distinct from other individual capitals etc. We are present at the process of its becoming. This dialectical process of its becoming is only the ideal expression of the real movement through which capital comes into being.


Next is a move from capital as identical to the simple production process in general to the point of value existing and expanding.
Hitherto, capital has been regarded from its material side as a simple production process. But, from the side of its formal specificity this process is a process of self-realization. Self-realization includes preservation of the prior value, as well as its multiplication.

Even in the simple commodity process is a point of the creation of a thing with a higher use-value, but in regards to exchange the point is of course a higher exchange value is the goal.
But in simple circulation, things fall outside of circulation in their consumption but capital doesn’t cease to be capital, it doesn’t fall outside of the economic sphere even as it realizes itself in use-value of labor as here there is still exchange value.
The form of capital is realized not in objects of labor or labor as such but as value and specifically in prices. Value might transfer material forms but it none the less remains.
True, the substances as such have been destroyed, but they have not been made into nothing, but rather into a substance with another form. Earlier, they appeared as elemental, indifferent preconditions of the product. Now they are the product.

But there can be no wealth through exchange as this is no more than shuffling chairs on the deck in terms of value already existing transported into different forms ie the costs of production.
The point of illustrating the illusion of capital as merely value reproduced in different forms is that it contradicts the essence of capital as expanding wealth.
If capital was originally = to 100 thalers, then afterwards, as before, it remains equal to 100 thalers, although the 100 thalers existed in the production price as 50 thalers of cotton, 40 thalers of wages + 10 thalers of spinning machine, and now exist as cotton yarn to the price of 100 thalers. This reproduction of the 100 thalers is a simple retention of self-equivalence [Sichselbstgleichbleiben], except that it is mediated through the material production process. The latter must therefore proceed to the product, for otherwise cotton loses its value, instrument of labour used up for nothing, wages paid in vain.
The value as = to the price of a 100 thalers doesn’t end up any more than 100 thalers but is simply the same value divided among the different points of production.
So in this view, you start with 100 thalers, divided it up into the costs of production and then you end up with 100 thalers at the end of it. Unity, division, unity.
This kind of production can create greater use-values but not greater exchange-value. Use value is not determined by exchange value so no point about it can rectify this issue at present.
The entire point of being a capitalist becomes non-existent if value isn’t expanded through exchange and even where one might trick or deceive someone into paying more for something than it is worth, all this does is transpose wealth between persons, it still does not create new value.
This much is clear when one adopt the perspective of the whole of society rather than the individual and considers how does it expand its wealth, people trading, even if they trick one another, merely transport value to different places in society.
It is easy to understand how labour can increase use value; the difficulty is, how it can create exchange values greater than those with which it began.


Next is a section on interest-bearing capital which presupposes surplus capital as it is itself a portion of surplus. The point of loaning money isn’t simply to have an equivalent in the form of money but to get money in order to invest it, as capital so that it can expand ones wealth.
Marx criticizes Proudhorn for asserting that no loans should be made and thus capital should be reduced to simple commodity which exchange for equivalents, that capital shouldn’t be capital.
But this command with the remaining want of wage labor is in contradiction as wage labor and capital presuppose one another.
In summarizing Proudhorn with these points he concludes that:
he wants to use the relation of property or of law corresponding to simple exchange as the measuring-rod for the relation of property and law at a higher stage of exchange value.

Proudhorn is simply naïve to the properties of capitalist production and capital, still confused with earlier forms of production and exchange.
A brief distinction is made between original accumulation of objectified labor and accumulation of capital. The former arises as a precondition for the development of capital, the latter arises only once capital is established.

A brief point is made that whilst capitalism is presupposed upon production in general, the distinction between production in general/abstract can only be properly differentiated from the historically particular upon the development of capital.
Only at the end, and as a result of the whole development, can it become clear which aspects belong in the first section, ‘Production in General’, and which into the first section of the second section, ‘Exchange Value in General’.

I suspect this has got to do with a specific point within Hegel and Marx’s dialectical method that their method isn’t merely a historical reconstruction but is one of a logical emphasis.
That one actually delves back into the past based upon the present more developed forms in order to identify an essential and archetypal phenomenon which presupposes the complex form but exists in the pasts.
It's not just a mechanical addition of historical facts, but in identifying a particular thing which logically explains the present form.
This is why one can’t explain somethings until their complexity has emerged because it’s difficult to identify what is essential and will become universal within the many features in a simple/primitive form.
Next is a section on surplus value which arises at the end of the cycle of capital.
Here is summarized that the only possibility for the product to be ideally presupposed as having a higher ideal price (before it is realized in an exchange on the market) is if the labor expressed in it is greater than the capital which was invested in the production of it (“original components of capital”).
That objectified labor is smaller than the living labor that was purchased. Here we are seeing the beginning of the distinction between labor power and labor performed in that the money exchanged is smaller than the value from labor determined in the product.
So the components of labor in regard to capital are examined
(a) the labour time objectified in the raw material; (b) the labour time objectified in the instrument of labour; (c) the labour time objectified in the price of labour.

a) and b) are unchanged as values and it is only c) in which two qualitatively different things are exchanged, objectified labor (indirectly represented in money) and living labor. If living labor only reproduced its value equivalent to what is exchanged for in money, then it would be as formally equal as all other components, same value but in different material forms. And if this were the case, the worker would be paid in advance of the product which he creates is sold for, but of course the worker is paid before the actual product is sold so it is a form of credit towards the worker.
Here Marx criticizes the apologetics for the perspective of the capitalist which must necessary see the fact that one is getting greater value than what the worker sees as an equivalent exchange or they do not function as a personification of capital. By framing it as equivalent exchange they make impossible the very explanation of capital in its expansion of value. They condemn the pursuit of scientific truth in order to hide a problematic fact and must do so in an absurdity of focusing on exchange.
Thus the economists take refuge in this simple process in order to construct a legitimation, an apology for capital by explaining it with the aid of the very process which makes its existence impossible. In order to demonstrate it, they demonstrate it away. You pay me for my labour, you exchange it for its product and deduct from my pay the value of the raw material and instrument which you have furnished. That means we are partners who bring different elements into the process of production and exchange according to their values.

But the worker is paid in a predetermined value regardless of his activity, you could be a lazy worker or a productive worker but yet paid the same.
The commodity of your capacity to work isn’t on the face of it determined by your actual productivity.
Capital has paid him the amount of objectified labour contained in his vital forces. Capital has consumed it, and because it did not exist as a thing, but as the capacity of a living being, the worker can, owing to the specific nature of his commodity – the specific nature of the life process – resume the exchange anew.

This is furthered that if the worker only needs to work for half a day to create the equivalent value on which he needs to live, then the rest of the working day is surplus/forced labour.
This is further proven by the example where people do have their own means of subsistence and thus aren’t forced to work for longer than is necessary for their own existence.
The Times of November 1857 contains an utterly delightful cry of outrage on the part of a West-Indian plantation owner. This advocate analyses with great moral indignation – as a plea for the re-introduction of Negro slavery – how the Quashees (the free blacks of Jamaica) content themselves with producing only what is strictly necessary for their own consumption, and, alongside this ‘use value’, regard loafing (indulgence and idleness) as the real luxury good; how they do not care a damn for the sugar and the fixed capital invested in the plantations, but rather observe the planters’ impending bankruptcy with an ironic grin of malicious pleasure, and even exploit their acquired Christianity as an embellishment for this mood of malicious glee and indolence. [39] They have ceased to be slaves, but not in order to become wage labourers, but, instead, self-sustaining peasants working for their own consumption. As far as they are concerned, capital does not exist as capital, because autonomous wealth as such can exist only either on the basis of direct forced labour, slavery, or indirect forced labour, wage labour. Wealth confronts direct forced labour not as capital, but rather as relation of domination [Herrschaftsverhältnis]; thus, the relation of domination is the only thing which is reproduced on this basis, for which wealth itself has value only as gratification, not as wealth itself, and which can therefore never create general industriousness. (We shall return to this relation of slavery and wage labour.) [40]


Next is a focus on the creation of value/surplus value in relation to physiocrats, A. Smith and D. Ricardo where there is a summary of each.
Marx praises the physiocrats for recognizing capital as not merely the money form but something which expands its value through various forms. This is found in a simple production form in agriculture in which labor clearly produces more than it consumes.
There is a tangible form here in which one multiplies use-values and there is a clear surplus above that needed for the laborer’s subsistence. But because the excess of a use-value is in an agricultural form, wealth appears in the form of rent and the feudal lord now appears as the representative of bourgeois wealth. With Adam Smith this is taken further in abstract form in which labor in general is wealth creating but not specifically as wage labor but labor in general which creates use values.
Ricardo continues in not properly distinguishing the social form of labor as wage labor but as a natural thing, similarly with his view of capital. It arises from the same confusion in thinking of value as use-value and not exchange value which appears to merely be a mediator in the process.
Just as money conceived as neutral is merely a mediation of forms of use-values and little more.
Then a point is that bourgeoisie wealth does realize its highest form in money which expresses the extreme contradiction between use-value and exchange-value but seems to appear as an independent mediation of the two. Merely moments in which it itself reigns dominant.
An analogy of Christ as the mediator between God and humanity becomes a god-man more important than God due to his function of mediator and so to do the religious representatives that follow, such as saints, popes and so on. Capital mediates between circulation and production.
Within capital itself, one form of it in turn takes up the position of use value against the other as exchange value. Thus e.g. does industrial capital appear as producer as against the merchant, who appears as circulation. Thus the former represents the material [stofflich], the latter the formal side, i.e. wealth as wealth. At the same time, mercantile capital is itself in turn the mediator between production (industrial capital) and circulation (the consuming public) or between exchange value and use value, where both sides are posited alternately, production as money and circulation as use value (consuming public) or the former as use value (product) and the latter as exchange value (money). Similarly within commerce itself: the wholesaler as mediator between manufacturer and retailer, or between manufacturer and agriculturalist, or between different manufacturers; he is the same mediator at a higher level. And in turn, in the same way, the commodity brokers as against the wholesalers. Then the banker as against the industrialists and merchants; the joint-stock company as against simple production; the financier as mediator between the state and bourgeois society, on the highest level. Wealth as such presents itself more distinctly and broadly the further it is removed from direct production and is itself mediated between poles, each of which, considered for itself, is already posited as economic form.
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By Wellsy
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https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... e/ch07.htm
Surplus value and productive force.
Now Marx explains based on the distinction between the commodity labour power and the actual objectification of labor that the labourer reproduces himself in say half a day of labor. Thus the surplus is based on the work done beyond the reproduction of the worker himself. Marx then poses the doubling of production such that the worker produces twice as much use-values as he did previously, so that his ½ day of work required to reproduce himself is now ¼ and the surplus is ¾. So to maintain the same surplus value as before when the worker reproduced themselves with ½ days labor, the worker would only need to work ¾ of the day. But capital in the form of money needs to expand beyond such limits to be capital.
So the capitalist doesn’t let the worker simply work ¾ of the day due to the increased production of use values reducing the labor needed to reproduce the worker, instead he keeps him worker for the full day and now the worker is exploited at a greater magnitude. Because where as one would be required to work ½ a day to reproduce themselves and ½ was the surplus, now ¼ is to reproduce the worker and ¾ is the surplus for the capitalist.
Marx is careful to note that whilst production has doubled, the surplus value has not double, it has merely increased ¼ a day. So surplus value does not rise in the same proportion as production does, why?
Well in trying to follow Marx makes the point that the reduction of necessary labor/subsistence is by ¼ which means the increase of surplus by ¼ as from the previous ½ of subsistence and surplus value for a work day.
If the worker had a subsistence of 2/3 a day, then the surplus value and surplus labor would both be 1/3. If production was doubled, then the initial subsistence of 2/3 of the work day would be 2/(3 × 2), 2/6 or 1/3 day. This would then add 1/3 to surplus value/labor for the capitalist resulting in 2/3. So the surplus is not what is doubled, rather production is doubled which results in the division of the original relation of labor. So in the case of the original work day as split between ½ necessary and ½ surplus labor, the doubling of production is equivalent to dividing labor by 2 or halving it ie ¼.
The multiplier of the productive force is thus never the multiplier but always the divisor of the original relation, not the multiplier of its numerator but of its denominator. If it were the former, then the multiplication of the productive force would correspond to the multiplication of the surplus value.
So when dealing with a fraction such as 8/9 as the necessary subsistence labor (1/9 surplus labor/value), then we either divide the numerator (top) or multiply the denominator (bottom), as it amounts to the same thing.
Dividing numerator of 8/9: (8/2 =4) = 4/9
Multiplying the denominator of 8/9: (9 X 2 = 18) = 8/18 = 4/9
Then the capitalist acquires the difference between 8/9 and 4/9 (8-4 = 4) = 4/9. Then subtracting the original surplus value of 1/9 = 3/9 or 1/3 surplus value. So the doubling of production here = an increase of 1/3 of surplus value/labor. So surplus value isn’t a result directly of expanding productive forces but of the relationship between the subsistence labor and the surplus labor for the full work day. How much the worker needs to consume and how much he produces beyond that. The doubling of production is always in relation to the original relation between labor and the work day, the time required before the expansion of productive forces.
Marx continues on with pretty much the same fractional point but with different numbers, considering production expanding by more than double to reiterate the point and finally arrives at his conclusions.
1. The increase in living labor (surplus labor, not labor needed to reproduce the worker through his wages he exchanges for commodities for consumption) is what increases the value of capital, whilst diminishing the value of the worker because of the reduction of necessary labor. The capitalist doesn’t need to pay the worker as much to reproduce his subsistence.
2. Surplus value does not multiply in the way that the productive forces itself does, doubling production does not double value. If necessary labor is ¼ and the surplus is ¾ and production is doubled, then necessary labor is 1/(4x2) = 1/8. Necessary labor has halved and so what was previously 2/8 necessary labor has now changed to 1/8. So if one subtracts 1/8 from 2/8 then we have a difference of 1/8 and this is is the surplus labor/value added.
This is quite different if surplus value doubled with production as (3x2)/4 = 6/4 = 1 ½. But this doesn’t seem to make sense, because even if we subtract subsistence labor (1/8) from the total 12/8 (=6/4), there is somehow 11/8 in terms of value which is somehow above 1.
As the absolute sum is 1 divided between necessary and surplus labor, this seems to be nonsensical as the above example isn’t dealing with the absolute of the full working day.
3. The smaller the fraction of necessary labor, the smaller the ability to expand surplus value. If productive forces have already developed to a significant degree and the reproduction of the worker is quite reduced, it is harder to acquire as much value out of an increasingly diminishing portion of the necessary work day. The productive forces become so huge that the reproduction of the worker is brought very close to zero and the expansion of value is increasingly difficult to achieve and it ceases to function as capital.
If necessary labour were 1/1,000 and the productive force tripled, then it would fall to only 1/3,000 or surplus labour would have increased by only 2/3,000. But this happens not because wages have increased or the share of labour in the product, but because it has already fallen so low, regarded in its relation to the product of labour or to the living work day.

Marx notes these are simplifications for the point of illustration and not a reflection of other factors that intrude upon profit.

Concerning increases in the value of capital
Marx immediately makes a point that increase in production does not amount to an increase in price.
So if half a work day produces 1 bushel of wheat (worker’s price, necessary labor) and thus the full day is worth 2 bushels of wheat (necessary and surplus labor/value), and the full working day costs 26s and thus a single bushel of wheat is 13s. Cue doubling of material production and so the ½ of necessary labor turns into ¼, which in turn means a bushel is no longer ½ of 26s but ¼ is = 6 1/2s. So the fractional price has changed although the total price has remained the same, with a bushel initially costing ½ of the work day but now ¼ but the full day remains 26s. But the surplus value has changed from 2/4 to ¼ which equals ¾ of .26s = 19 ½s, a rise from its .13s. The worker’s price has changed from 13s to 6 1/2s. Production rose from 2 bushels to 4 a day (worth 26s). So here the price has dropped, and value has increased.
Now if gold production simultaneously doubled such that ½ a day of necessary labor for gold production is = 13s (full day worth 26s) and then after production is doubled and necessary labor is now ¼. The full day’s work is now worth 52s (4 x 13) and the surplus value is (52s – 13) = 39s. 1 bushel of wheat would be equivalent to ¼ which is 13s. This is the same as the initial price of a single bushel of wheat when the work day for wheat was ½ necessary labor. But the total product or price is now worth 52s whereas before it was 26s. Whereas 26s bought 2 bushels, the 52s now purchase 4 bushels.

So value has grown not because of the absolute amount of labor (total surplus labor time) but of the relative amount of labor grew (necessary labor time decreased). So the rate of profit here is being established, not the price of the product or value of capital.
Marx continues with another example.
Capital = 100 thalers = 50 thalers cotton, 40 thalers wages and 10 thalers instruments/tools. He assumes in this example the instrument/tool is entirely consumed in the production process so that its value is entirely transferred into the product. He assumes that the 40 thalers in wages amount to 4 hours work and so the full work day would be 8 hours for the capitalist.
Now excluding the capitalist and assuming the worker owns the raw material (cotton) and the instruments/tools (total 60 thalers) and worked for 4 hours he would have added 40 thalers worth to the product, the equivalent to his wages. Now reintroducing the capitalist, the worker is paged the 40 thalers in wages but works for 8 hours. He now produces 80 thalers of value, 40 of which is equivalent to his work and 40 of which is equal to the surplus labor time. In this case, the initial 100 thalers has transformed into 140 thalers.
Now keeping the same example but introducing the doubling of production and so instead of 4 hours, 2 hours is required to reproduce the labourer’s capacity to labour. So 40 thalers is objectified in 4 hours labour time and 20 thalers is objectified in 2 hours labor time. These 20 thalers are equivalent to the 40 thalers in reproducing the worker. Half of the labor time creates the same use value for the worker. The worker still works a full 8 hours, but now he reproduces the cost of the raw material and instruments (60 thalers) plus the reduced cost of himself (20 thalers) totaling 80 thalers. The total value of the product he produces is reduced from being (100 = 60 + 40) to (80 = 60 + 20), the doubling of production results in a 1/5 or 20% difference in the total value of the reproduction of the product. The capitalist gains the difference as he now gains the 20 thalers difference in wages between before and now. His accounting is now 50 for cotton, 20 for wages and 10 for instruments ie 80 thalers, but the total work day is still 8 hours and the total value still 140 which the capitalist sells his product for but in subtracting the 80, he now gains 60 thalers now instead of his previous 40. So he throws 140 of exchange value into circulation but gains an extra 20 thalers, so his share of the 140 is his rate of profit. The worker has worked an extra 2 hours more than previous, free of charge (wages). If instead of a decrease in the relative value of labour one increased the absolute amount of labour performed, this scenario would be equivalent to another 2 hours work or 10 hours of labour total in the original relation of production (prior to the doubling of productive forces).

Marx makes a point that this ‘liberated’ sum of an extra 20 thalers either goes into capital by investing in objectified labor for production in the next cycle or it is exchanged as money for commodities not needed into capitalist production. So all commodities other than labor and money are now able to be traded for an extra 20 thalers which previously did not exist. Here we begin to see the expansion of capital as a means to be reintroduced as extra capital than what previously existed. Earlier of the 140 thalers, 40 was the extra capital to be reinvested, but now there exists 60. There remains the total sum of 140 but wealth has increased, ie more money exists which is able to exist as capital and purchase objectified labor and dominate more over living labor. The increase of capital has a greater effect upon the increase in production than the increase in production has upon capital itself.

Marx criticizes a limitation of Ricardo in that he posits that this process does not increase exchange value but only exchange value as capital. Because it appears that exchange value doesn’t increase in form although as capital it is intensified but exchange value has increased as there is now money in existence which previously did not exist.
But if relative surplus labour increases – and capital therefore increases absolutely – then there is necessarily also an increase within circulation also of relative exchange value existing as exchange value, money as such, and therefore, through the mediation of the production process, absolute exchange value.

Though the language is difficult for me, it seems that he accuses Ricardo of thinking that in production there is an increase not in exchange value but only in the physical wealth use values. Ricardo seems to think of the expansion of wealth in terms that if some industry can through the development of production require half the amount of labourers to produce the same amount of use-values, then those labourers can be deployed elsewhere in new or expanding industries to increase other use-values. Thus the wealth of the nation’s commodities expands with production. He rightly doesn’t fall into the illusion of thinking of profit through some deception in trade where one gets more for than what their commodity is worth in that this doesn’t create value or profit in itself but only shifts its position. Ricardo doesn’t focus on the work day as Marx does. Marx states that Ricardo is indifferent to exchange value in the formation of wealth. I can’t recall but I suspect Ricardo is of the neutrality of money view in which it is simply a means of trading things efficiency but isn’t of any particular characteristics worthy of note, it is merely a form. But then how to explain the increase in the sum of values?

Ricardo is unable to explain how capital’s exchange value has grown and is able to employ greater amount of labor for production. Because he falls into the same problem of exchange for equivalents where if capital equivalent to 500 working days is, it can only divide it up between industries, it can’t afford any more than that. So when it does expand he is at a loss. But the development of production presupposes the expansion of capital and the total of working days capital can purchase from labourers. Because of it doesn’t expand, then it sets a barrier to development which cannot be surpasses in the same way that one doesn’t create something new through exchange itself. But exchange value expands because it is able to command more objectified labour time and thus expand production and thus expand capital.
Labour does not reproduce the value of the material in which, and of the instrument with which, it works.
Now comes a point that value isn’t reproduced but preserves the value of the objects. The point is to illustrate the significance of these kinds of capital which isn’t based in the workers necessary or surplus labor. The concern is how does the worker preserve their value if in his work he reproduces himself through his necessary labor and then works to add add surplus labor/value. Of the 140 thalers, his 8 hours of work example totaling 80 thalers (40 surplus), what of the other 60 thalers? But their value comes from previously objectified labor to which his labor only adds value (80 thalers) by the higher use-value created by turning cotton into fabric via a spindle. The objectified labor was the condition of his ability to work upon it and turn it into a higher use-value, he needed raw material and tool/s. The worker only engages with them as material things to be worked upon and to which he adds his labor. The point being that a new value is added to them, rather than reproduces them. They came into production with value which isn’t created by the laborer, so he doesn’t have to spend his work day reproducing them because he doesn’t make the tools or the raw material but merely works with them. The value of the things are preserved and thus cost nothing other than their purchase, they do not lose anything in production. I have to admit that I’m not sure if there is great nuance to be drawn in my brief reading here as it seems to be reiterating the same basic point.
Absolute surplus labour time.
The increase of value is the result of the absolute increase in labor time that is the length of the work day or the relative value of surplus labor against the decrease in necessary labor. Here there seems to be a point that the use value of raw materials only exist as far as they are continued down through various forms of production turning a raw material of cotton up until the point it is able to be consumed as clothing. That the product goes through different transformation and increasing its value through each stage of developing a higher use value. The previous use value of cotton as yarn is preserved when it is turned into fabric. Through this process it ends up always the object of new labor until consumption. Without living labor, they cease to have a use value, what is the point of a spindle if it isn’t to be used? The tool has to be used up/consumed through production otherwise it is worthless. The increase in productivity through the tool replaces the use value of itself through use. If a tool means that one can produces twice as much and thus works only half as hard, then he can use the surplus time to reproduce the tool (Marx uses an example of a hoe for crops). The quantity of labor is preserved into the use value. Living labor works upon the use-value of things but is compensated for the quantity/amount of labor. Through the separation of the raw materials and tools from the labourer and reintroduced, it seems to be the power of capital which purchases labor power through exchange value in order to acquire the use value of labor. Labour becomes a moment for capital in its production process and of a specific sort.
Capitalist obtains surplus labour free of charge together with the maintenance of the value of material and instrument.
Marx makes a point that the preservation of value by living labor as distinct from its creation of new value is evident in how if the capitalist stops production because he is no longer profiting and material/tools are left to rot. They become useless, worthless, because if they aren’t to be a moment of pursuing value and profit, then they aren’t any use to the capitalist and living labor is kept away from working on the material. So living labor actually preserves the value of these things in continuing to work. It seems Marx defends Ricardo in not including material and tools as costs of production between besides being exchanged for money, they do not cost anything more other than to be maintained, balanced. So with the 140 thalers example, the 50+10 are preserved values whilst the 40 thalers of wages afford the reproduction of the worker as a worker and another 40 as the surplus labor/value. He introduces into the example that the Capitalist consumes 20 thalers of his surplus of 40 and it goes into circulation. The rest goes into reproducing production, 100 thalers = 50 materials + 10 tools + 40 wages. So out of the 140, 20 is consumed by the capitalist, 100 for reinvestment into production and there remains another 20 thalers. This excess is a claim on future or new labor, it is money which is posited by what it will become.
Marx then continues with the earlier example in which production doubles and the relative surplus value increases to 60 instead of 40 as the necessary labor time is halved. Initially capital entered as 100, there was 20 consumed and 20 as a surplus. Now it enters as 80 with 20 consumed by the capitalist and 40 as surplus. The sum is still 140 for both, but wages are no longer 40 but 20.
Marx considers the % of surplus from the total in order to show how the surplus in purchasing new labor expands value because with more labor, the more value is created and the more labor which can be purchased to get more labor and thus more value.
So in the first case, the surplus is 40, so there is a 40% surplus over the 100 for reproduction. So 40% out of 140 is 56. In the second case, doing the same thing, 60% of 140 is 84.
Total Product 140 +56 = 196
Total product 140 + 84 = 224
Marx moves on. Excluding capitalist private consumption, with the 40 surplus, the capitalist purchases new hours of labor at 10 thalers an hour or 4 hours labor which can double itself as 80, 40 of which go onto to reproduce wages for the 8 hour work day. So there is the reproduction of the 100 thalers as 50 in materials, 10 in tools, 40 in wages.
140 + 80 = 220.
… I’m stuck trying to keep track of what the numbers refer to and am struggling, I think I just suck at math and the concepts that follow it as I keep getting lost in what moments are being described in his examples and the flow of the numbers.
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15106611
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... e/ch07.htm
I’ve been stuck trying to figure out how exactly the numbers move here. This should be simple but whilst I had bene following quite well, I don’t quite get what sort of calculations are being made or how to keep track of it in the way that is stated by Marx.
The first capital has 40 thalers with which to buy new labour time; the value of the hour of labour was presupposed at 10 thalers; therefore, his 40 thalers buy 4 new hours of labour, which produce 80 for him (of which 40 go to replace the wages of 8 hours of labour).
At the end it was 140 + 80 (i.e. reproduction of the capital of 100: surplus value of 40, or reproduction of 140; or, in the first case, 100 thalers reproduce themselves as 140; the second 40, since they are spent only to buy new labour, hence do not simply replace value – impossible presupposition, by the way) which produce 80. 140 + 80 = 220.
The second capital of 140; the 80 produce 40; or the 80 thalers reproduce themselves as 120; the remaining 60, however, reproduce themselves (since they are spent purely for the purchase of labour, and do not therefore simply replace any value, but reproduce out of themselves and posit the surplus) as 180; then 120 + 120 = 240. (Produced 40 thalers more than the first capital, exactly the surplus time of two hours, for the first is a surplus time of 2 hours as assumed in the first case). Thus the result is a greater exchange value, because more labour objectified; 2 hours more surplus labour.

I think I was missing the point that the worker reproduces his value and how the future value invested as capital expands itself, as one starts with the base costs but is able to keep reinvesting the surplus.
½ + ½ 8 Hour Work Day
100 = 50 material, 40 wages, 10 instrument || 100 + 40 surplus = 140
140 = 50 material, 40 wages, 10 instrument + (40 new labor wages) || (Surplus 40+40=80)
140 + 80 surplus = 220
I am not sure if I quite follow Marx’s description, it’s not clear always what the number are referring to, I appear to have a handle on it in the above example but my workings for the later don’t quite follow for the second capital. Like I don’t end up with 120 although I do with the 180 and the 240 as purely surplus, not as the whole total. Like what exactly is this 80 which produces 40 and how does this end up as 120.
¼ + ¾ 8 Hour Work Day
80 = 50 material, 20 wages, 10 instrument || 80 + 60 surplus = 140
140= 50 material, 20 wages, 10 instrument + (60 new labor wages) || 140 (Surplus 60 + 180= 240)
140+ 240 surplus = 380
So I clearly don’t get what is going on because it seems as if my workings on the first capital are a mere coincidence and I’m missing something crucial for the second capital.
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15131524
Something I wish to keep a hold of:

The big question that should be on one’s mind at this point should not be the elaboration of this theory of value, but rather what justifies the claim that labor is the only source of value, the foundational claim of the LTV? There are many that dispute this, and many elaborate theories have been constructed about other things value can just as easily be based on such as physical goods production, etc. There is actually a quite good and simple point that explains why human labor is the sole source of value. Supposing that there is an industry that is completely automated and devoid of human labor inputs of any form, not even occasional maintenance, would the products of this industry have a value? Would anyone pay for the products of this industry directly? Let us be naïve and tentatively say ‘yes’. Who exactly are we paying? The managers of this industry? They’re machines. The workers? They’re machines. But, you may say, how do you know machines don’t produce value? Well, because we don’t recognize the work of machines as something that requires anything in exchange for being done, nor do machines demand us to."

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