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File: 1aba33ae097dc87⋯.jpg (30.71 KB, 258x300, 43:50, 1-karl-marx-russian-school.jpg)

 No.7739

Seeming as /leftypol/ is useless for the this kind of thread, this will be the designated Capital reading thread. The gist is that people new to Marx, like me, will be able to ask here questions specifically regarding the volumes of Capital.

Starting on page 63 (in the PDF arranged by marxists.org), I run into this long and confusing paragraph:

>In a given country there take place every day at the same time, but in different localities, numerous one-sided metamorphoses of commodities, or, in other words, numerous sales and numerous purchases. The commodities are equated beforehand in imagination, by their prices, to definite quantities of money.

So far so good.

>And since, in the form of circulation now under consideration, money and commodities always come bodily face to face, one at the positive pole of purchase, the other at the negative pole of sale,

>it is clear that the amount of the means of circulation required, is determined beforehand by the sum of the prices of all these commodities. As a matter of fact, the money in reality represents the quantity or sum of gold ideally expressed beforehand by the sum of the prices of the commodities. The equality of these two sums is therefore self-evident.

What exactly did he mean by "determined beforehand" and "ideally"? As some platonic sum of prices that should be if it's converted to money or the literal equality of value of the the amount of prices to the circulating currency? Judging by the paragraph on the next page I'm inclined to think of the former.

>We know, however, that, the values of commodities remaining constant, their prices vary with the value of gold (the material of money), rising in proportion as it falls, and falling in proportion as it rises. Now if, in consequence of such a rise or fall in the value of gold, the sum of the prices of commodities fall or rise, the quantity of money in currency must fall or rise to the same extent.

>The change in the quantity of the circulating medium is, in this case, it is true, caused by the money itself, yet not in virtue of its function as a medium of circulation, but of its function as a measure of value.

If I understand this correctly, Marx is saying that more money has entered (or "left") the economy due to its value falling/raising, which happens in this case because of easier/harder mined gold and therefore larger/smaller quantity. Correct?

>First, the price of the commodities varies inversely as the value of the money, and then the quantity of the medium of circulation varies directly as the price of the commodities.

>Exactly the same thing would happen if, for instance, instead of the value of gold falling, gold were replaced by silver as the measure of value, or if, instead of the value of silver rising, gold were to thrust silver out from being the measure of value.

>In the one case, more silver would be current than gold was before; in the other case, less gold would be current than silver was before.

How do these 3 quotes come fall in together? This specific part has been cracking my skull for the past few days.

>In each case the value of the material of money, i.e., the value of the commodity that serves as the measure of value, would have undergone a change, and therefore so, too, would the prices of commodities which express their values in money, and so, too, would the quantity of money current whose function it is to realise those prices. We have already seen, that the sphere of circulation has an opening through which gold (or the material of money generally) enters into it as a commodity with a given value.

>Hence, when money enters on its functions as a measure of value, when it expresses prices, its value is already determined. If now its value fall, this fact is first evidenced by a change in the prices of those commodities that are directly bartered for the precious metals at the sources of their production. The greater part of all other commodities, especially in the imperfectly developed stages of civil society, will continue for a long time to be estimated by the former antiquated and illusory value of the measure of value.

This seems fairly straightforward to me. Gold has pre-established value before it is accepted as a currency, any change in that value creates a chain reaction in the entire economy.

1/2

 No.7740

>Nevertheless, one commodity infects another through their common value-relation, so that their prices, expressed in gold or in silver, gradually settle down into the proportions determined by their comparative values, until finally the values of all commodities are estimated in terms of the new value of the metal that constitutes money. This process is accompanied by the continued increase in the quantity of the precious metals, an increase caused by their streaming in to replace the articles directly bartered for them at their sources of production. In proportion therefore as commodities in general acquire their true prices, in proportion as their values become estimated according to the fallen value of the precious metal, in the same proportion the quantity of that metal necessary for realising those new prices is provided beforehand.

"True prices" as in the labor value proportionate to other commodities/money labor value? Is this what could be called an equilibrium?

>A one-sided observation of the results that followed upon the discovery of fresh supplies of gold and silver, led some economists in the 17th, and particularly in the 18th century, to the false conclusion, that the prices of commodities had gone up in consequence of the increased quantity of gold and silver serving as means of circulation. Hence momentarily whenever we estimate the price of a commodity.

Why wasn't this conclusion correct? Or is Marx saying that it was superficial ("one sided") as in it only considered the streaming of more currency into the economy, rather than its socially necessary labor time falling and therefore its value?

>On this supposition then, the quantity of the medium of circulation is determined by the sum of the prices that have to be realised. If now we further suppose the price of each commodity to be given, the sum of the prices clearly depends on the mass of commodities in circulation. It requires but little racking of brains to comprehend that if one quarter of wheat costs £2, 100 quarters will cost £200, 200 quarters £400, and so on, that consequently the quantity of money that changes place with the wheat, when sold, must increase with the quantity of that wheat.

I am uncertain of the significance of this last sentence.

2/2


 No.7741

>>7740

>I am uncertain of the significance of this last sentence.

I should add, a lot of the content in certain chapters is repeated several times in different form. My only guess is that Marx wanted to be as clear and specific as possible, but sometimes I'm not sure if I'm missing something or not.

I've read the next two paragraphs but it didn't clear much either. If you could tell me how they connect with this one I will be grateful.


 No.7742


 No.7744

>>7739

>How do these 3 quotes come fall in together? This specific part has been cracking my skull for the past few days.

Well, I've re-read the paragraph today and it clicked. Tho I'm still not sure in what way the old economists reached wrong conclusions.


 No.7745


 No.7751

Good thread. I don't particularly like the version of Capital available on marxists.org, but it's free so...

>What exactly did he mean by "determined beforehand" and "ideally"?

I believe he meant that the sum of money in circulation must equal the sum of prices of goods being traded. I.e. we assume that if there were $1,000 of goods traded in a market that there was also $1,000 in money available to be circulated. If there were less money then the total sum of prices would by necessity be less as well. (It might be more correct to qualify this idea by including credit + money.)

>"True prices" as in the labor value proportionate to other commodities/money labor value? Is this what could be called an equilibrium?

Based on the context I would assume that by "true prices" he meant "updated" in the sense that a change in the value of the money commodity take time to filter through the market. For a while parts of the market would be trading under the "old price" even though it might be out of date.

>Why wasn't this conclusion correct? Or is Marx saying that it was superficial ("one sided") as in it only considered the streaming of more currency into the economy, rather than its socially necessary labor time falling and therefore its value?

he is saying that economists thought the price of commodities was increasing without realizing it was just an increase in the money supply, i think.

>I am uncertain of the significance of this last sentence.

It's the same point he made before about the sum of prices for goods traded requiring an equal sum of money in circulation.


 No.7752

>>7751

also, i haven't read Capital in years so it's kind of interesting to re-read these passages now knowing what I do today about modern monetary policy & finance.


 No.7761

>>7751

>I don't particularly like the version of Capital available on marxists.org

Do you have a better one? The language is too archaic to understand anything clearly, I have a Penguin translation but shows up botched on Kindle.

>the sum of money in circulation must equal the sum of prices of goods being traded

That doesn't seem to be consistent with the followup paragraph (page 64):

>Suppose the circulation of the 4 articles takes a day. The sum of the prices to be realised in the day is £8, the number of moves of the two pieces of money is four, and the quantity of money circulating is £2. Hence, for a given interval of time during the process of circulation, we have the following relation:

>the quantity of money functioning as the circulating medium is equal to the sum of the prices of the commodities divided by the number of moves made by coins of the same denomination.


 No.7771

>>7761

I have a paperback Penguin edition. It's good because it places the notes below every page rather than at the end of the chapter like the online version. I never buy e-books because they're almost universally bad and not worth the money.

>>7761

OK, let me re-read this section. Will reply in a minute.


 No.7773

I'm not sure where you grabbed your pdf because the one I'm looking at from marxists.org starts this section on p77. (And it has horrible wall-of-text formatting, ugh.)

>>7761

>That doesn't seem to be consistent with the followup paragraph (page 64):

That's because he's giving two different examples.

Example A: Unrelated transactions in a market exchanging different quantities of money for different goods.

Example B: A chain of transactions in a market exchanging the same quantity of money for different goods.

Here's my summary:

a) Marx explains that the circulation of commodities is a transfer of value or "change of form." This circulation is always paired with money in buyer-seller transactions. These commodities are constantly being consumed and removed from circulation while the money continues moving. (p77)

b) He then goes into a long (and kind of dense) explanation how value is actually changing shape as it moves through the economy, changing from "commodity form" to "money form" to use-value ready for consumption, etc. He then concludes that the movement of money is actually expressing the movement of commodities as they change form.(p78)

c) Marx continues by stating that for commodities to circulate, it follows that the sum of prices for all commodities must always equal the sum of money being simultaneously circulated, since in each transaction money and commodities must change hands. (p79)

d) Marx then takes a slight digression to remind us that the value of money is ultimately (in his time, at least) determined by the money-commodity which it represents. Gold, silver, etc. He then discusses how changes in the value of this commodity will also affect prices of other commodities due the relationship he just mentioned. (p79)

e) He then repeats that the sum of all prices being realized equals the sum of money being circulated, and how an increase of commodity prices means an increase in the sum of price which necessitates an increase in the sum of money being circulated to realize transactions.(p80)

f) Marx then discusses two examples. The first example is of independent transactions. The second is a chain of related transactions in which the same 2pounds are being exchanged for different goods one after the other. In this case the total money in circulation is only 2pounds, no matter how many times it changes hands.(p80)


 No.7783

File: 391dd419e17c6b2⋯.pdf (2.71 MB, Capital Vol. 1 - The Proce….pdf)

>>7773

Thanks. This is the one I'm using, I found it on /leftypol/ a long time ago.

The rest of the paragraphs are clear to me, but there this one bit I don't quite understand:

>Since the quantity of money capable of being absorbed by the circulation is given for a given mean velocity of currency,

<all that is necessary in order to abstract a given number of sovereigns from the circulation is to throw the same number of one-pound notes into it,

<a trick well known to all bankers.

What did he mean by "abstracting sovereigns" and what's this one weird trick the banks don't want you to know?


 No.7786

>>7783

So, today it's quite different but in that time there were gold/silver coins plus "bank notes" which functioned like paper money EXCEPT those bank notes were usually redeemable for gold or another precious metal.

The banks could then remove (or "abstract") gold coins from circulation by simply issuing more bank notes. The trick is probably that they manipulate the money supply in order to acquire gold or "real money" while everyone else is stuck holding paper backed by nothing.


 No.7805

So I'm at chapter 6, from the 2nd part the book becomes surprisingly clear with little room for misunderstanding. I have a particular quote in mind that I wanted an explanation on but forgot to mark, anyway, what it made me wonder about is supply and demand, specifically economies of scale. How does an economy of scale fall into the LTV?

Let's say Moneybags has 100 units of some product, he must make at least 70$ to make the cut. To make matters short, let's say he sold every unit for 0.8$ because less would be unprofitable and more would be unsalable. What exactly am I missing in the actual chemistry of capital here below the superficial trade and calculation?


 No.7809

>>7805

so your question is why does the LTV matter if supply and demand dictate prices/production ?


 No.7839

>>7805

Do not forget that value in essence is the social-necessary labour time, he can sell his products at any price he want, but go too far from the social normal price then he will just fucked himself up.

Or you want to say that Moneybag undercut his price to 0.6$ in hope that he would sell 200 units instead of 100 units, and then get super-profit? In that case, it is because that the production cost for 200 units is not as 2x of 100 units, but only 1.5x, for example. That means his individual labour-time is better than the social-necessary time, therefore he pocket the difference. However, we know that social-necessary labour time only stays stable if the social production condition is stable. But the Moneybag new production line, that producing 200 units more efficiently than just producing 100 units, is what disrupts the old condition. His new method will spread to everyone, and eventually his individual labour time will become the social-necessary labour time. He cannot get super profit forever.

So the essence of problem is not that he change the price so he will get more profit, it is the fact that he has found a new method that produces 200 units with less cost per units than just old way of producing 100 units. Without it, doubling the units and selling cheaper only ruin himself. The superficial trade and calculation only hiding the fact that the sophistication of production, the labour efficiency has become better. In Marx word, that the "force of production" has developed.


 No.7840

>>7809

No, I was curious as to what Marx has to say on economics of scale.

>>7839

Not quite what I was going for. More in the sense that selling a large sum of units is profitable while a small sum is unprofitable. It makes sense as long as there is some periphery/production cost that would cost all the same whether it is 5 or 100 units, like a supply truck, or a production line consuming all the same amount of energy whether it has 1 product or a thousand one its way. Or more simply, an oven baking a cookie or a bunch of cookies. Did Marx ever cover something like this and how it's interwoven into capitalist production and its advancement?

There's another thing I was curious about but didn't save the location of the line at the time. Why did Marx write that the time spent waiting in the market goes into its production cost?

Now for something more serious (pages 108-109 in the PDF I posted)

>The value of labour-power is determined, as in the case of every other commodity, by the labour-time necessary for the production, and consequently also the reproduction, of this special article. So far as it has value, it represents no more than a definite quantity of the average labour of society incorporated in it. Labour-power exists only as a capacity, or power of the living individual. Its production consequently pre-supposes his existence. Given the individual, the production of labour-power consists in his reproduction of himself or his maintenance. For his maintenance he requires a given quantity of the means of subsistence.

>Therefore the labour-time requisite for the production of labour-power reduces itself to that necessary for the production of those means of subsistence; in other words, the value of labour-power is the value of the means of subsistence necessary for the maintenance of the labourer. Labour-power, however, becomes a reality only by its exercise; it sets itself in action only by working. But thereby a definite quantity of human muscle, nerve. brain, &c., is wasted, and these require to be restored. This increased expenditure demands a larger income.

So according to Marx I'd probably have a little racking of brains because I am not sure how this all falls together. Here he says income (which I assume he means value because we are speaking of its true value as income) depends on the intensity of the work, which means we're no longer talking about quantitative abstract labor but labor qualitative by its intensity. Now, I don't think this would necessary undermine Marx's base idea, as in work that requires the same amount of intensity would still fall under the LTV, but wouldn't work of different intensity be determined then by its sustenance requirements? Whether replacing the LTV or somehow interwoven into it, for example shouldn't it be predicated on specifically sustenance producing labor rather than any labor?

>The minimum limit of the value of labour-power is determined by the value of the commodities, without the daily supply of which the labourer cannot renew his vital energy, consequently by the value of those means of subsistence that are physically indispensable. If the price of labour power fall to this minimum, it falls below its value, since under such circumstances it can be maintained and developed only in a crippled state.

>But the value of every commodity is determined by the labour-time requisite to turn it out so as to be of normal quality.

The second paragraph is more understandable, but if he's saying that the value of labor is the average labor time required in order to produce sustenance (which makes sense) wouldn't that mean we could arrive at the value of all other industries based on the agricultural industry?

Also, what if the average is reduced to the minimum?

The rest of the chapters six and seven were quite clear but it's these two specific passages that I find confusing in how they relate to the bigger picture.


 No.7841

>>7840

>economies of scale

I don't recall specifics on this topic in Volume 1, but I'll admit it's been probably 8 years since I studied the book. What you're talking about is probably best described in Volume 3 where Marx discusses the famous "Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall." Essentially, he discusses what happens when constant capital (i.e. machinery) begins to increase relative to variable capital (i.e. labor.) The increasing amount of capital invested in production input and machinery relative to labor results in, according to Marx, a tendency of the rate of profit to fall. When a country begins industrialization its economic growth is rapid and significant, while industralized economies experienced much slower growth.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch13.htm


 No.7842

>>7840

Why did Marx write that the time spent waiting in the market goes into its production cost?

Can't recall that bit.

>Whether replacing the LTV or somehow interwoven into it, for example shouldn't it be predicated on specifically sustenance producing labor rather than any labor?

I think you're overthinking this. The idea is that the value of labor in a given time and place depends on the quantity of labor necessary to reproduce it, i.e. the standard of living or cost of living, in a sense. In a developed country this cost will be pretty high since most developed countries provide considerable services to people in the form of education, healthcare, and other public goods. In a less developed country the reproduction of labor is less costly.

>the average labor time required in order to produce sustenance

Yes, but not only sustenance but also all those costs put into the reproduction of human labor, including food, housing, healthcare, education, etc.

>wouldn't that mean we could arrive at the value of all other industries based on the agricultural industry?

It's funny you say this. Lyndon Larouche's organization (which is mostly composed of ex-Marxists or post-Marxists) came to define economic development as "relative potential population density." That is, economic development was defined largely as the relative output of agriculture to population, which in industrial societies is huge.

>Also, what if the average is reduced to the minimum?

IMO, the reduction of the value of labor to a minimum results in what we see today: shrinking markets, concentration of capital, low wages, fewer opportunities, less technological advancement, etc.


 No.7843

>>7840

Not quite what I was going for. More in the sense that selling a large sum of units is profitable while a small sum is unprofitable. It makes sense as long as there is some periphery/production cost that would cost all the same whether it is 5 or 100 units, like a supply truck, or a production line consuming all the same amount of energy whether it has 1 product or a thousand one its way. Or more simply, an oven baking a cookie or a bunch of cookies. Did Marx ever cover something like this and how it's interwoven into capitalist production and its advancement?

I think the first chapter of Kapital can answer those kind of questions. Of course an oven baking a bunch of cookies is more labour-saving than only baking a cookie. But that's not enough to determine the value of a cookie. The essence is how many cookies everyone normally bake in an oven. If everyone usually bake 50 cookies but a particular baker bakes only 20 cookies and those cookies are the same as everyone, for example, then he cannot say his cookies have more value than everyone.


 No.7844

I've finished chapter 8.

I am not sure what to make of this footnote:

>[7] In an American compendium that has gone through, perhaps, 20 editions, this passage occurs: "It matters not in what form capital re-appears;" then after a lengthy enumeration of all the possible ingredients of production whose value re-appears in the product, the passage concludes thus: "The various kinds of food, clothing, and shelter, necessary for the existence and comfort of the human being, are also changed. They are consumed from time to time, and their value re-appears in that new vigour imparted to his body and mind, forming fresh capital, to be employed again in the work of production." (F. Wayland, l. c., pp. 31, 32.) Without noticing any other oddities, it suffices to observe, that what re-appears in the fresh vigour, is not the bread's price, but its bloodforming substances.

>What, on the other hand, re-appears in the value of that vigour, is not the means of subsistence, but their value. The same necessaries of life, at half the price, would form just as much muscle and bone, just as much vigour, but not vigour of the same value.

>This confusion of "value" and "vigour" coupled with our author's pharisaical indefiniteness, mark an attempt, futile for all that, to thrash out an explanation of surplus-value from a mere re-appearance of pre-existing values.

Is Marx basically saying (in my emboldening) that vigor from more and less sustenance, despite its equal quality, is of different quantity? I'm not sure how to understand this.


 No.7845

>>7844

I mean, it has a different value but holds the same weight as sustenance. That is very weird.


 No.7857

>>7844

Looks like he's using that example to point out that use-value and abstract economic value are two very different things, and that the price (a reflection of value) has nothing to do with the physical properties of food or how much energy it gives workers.


 No.7878

Chapter 11

I need a translator from Marxian to plain English.

The first two paragraphs are quite clear, but everything after them and to the point Marx talks about the quantitative-qualitative transition from medieval guilds to modern capital, is confusing.

>In the same way, if a variable capital of 3s., being the daily value of one labour-power, produce a daily surplusvalue of 3s., a variable capital of 300s. will produce a daily surplusvalue of 300s., and one of n times 3s. a daily surplusvalue of n x 3s. The mass of the surplusvalue produced is therefore equal to the surplusvalue which the workingday of one labourer supplies multiplied by the number of labourers employed.

>But as further the mass of surplusvalue which a single labourer produces, the value of labour-power being given, is determined by the rate of the surplusvalue, this law follows: the mass of the surplusvalue produced is equal to the amount of the variable capital advanced, multiplied by the rate of surplusvalue, in other words: it is determined by the compound ratio between the number of labour-powers exploited simultaneously by the same capitalist and the degree of exploitation of each individual labour-power.

"But as further the mass of surplusvalue which a single labourer produces... is determined by the rate of the surplusvalue" why is that and why does the consequent law follow?

>Let the mass of the surplusvalue be S, the surplusvalue supplied by the individual labourer in the average day s the variable capital daily advanced in the purchase of one individual labour-power v, the sum total of the variable capital V,

This is understandable.

>the value of an average labour-power P, its degree of exploitation a'(surplus-labor)/a(necessary labour)

That is also understandable until the next equation which is

/ (s/v)*V

S = |

\ P*(a'/a)*n

First, does this equation mean that S is attainable through either calculation or that there is an interaction between the two in order to produce S?

Second, if P is, as was said above just before the equation, is a'/a, then wouldn't P*(a'/a) just be P*P? Obviously Marx wouldn't write something so pointless, so what am I missing?

A paragraph down...

>Within certain limits therefore the supply of labour exploitable by capital is independent of the supply of labourers.

What did he mean by this?

...Some more.

>The absolute limit of the average workingday — this being by nature always less than 24 hours — sets an absolute limit to the compensation of a reduction of variable capital by a higher rate of surplusvalue, or of the decrease of the number of labourers exploited by a higher degree of exploitation of labour-power. This palpable law is of importance for the clearing up of many phenomena, arising from a tendency (to be worked out later on) of capital to reduce as much as possible the number of labourers employed by it, or its variable constituent transformed into labour-power, in contradiction to its other tendency to produce the greatest possible mass of surplusvalue. On the other hand, if the mass of labour-power employed, or the amount of variable capital, increases, but not in proportion to the fall in the rate of surplusvalue, the mass of the surplusvalue produced, falls.

Beyond the fact that I have no idea what has been said, I am somewhat surprised to see "The absolute limit of the average workingday — this being by nature always less than 24 hours — sets an absolute limit to the compensation of a reduction of variable capital by a higher rate of surplusvalue" considering that in chapter 10 he brought evidence on how capitalists did just that. What am I missing?

>The law demonstrated above now, therefore, takes this form: the masses of value and of surplusvalue produced by different capitals — the value of labour-power being given and its degree of exploitation being equal — vary directly as the amounts of the variable constituents of these capitals, i.e., as their constituents transformed into living labour-power.

Perhaps I'm just tired at the moment, but I can't understand this either, tho I recognize the terms.


 No.7879

>>7878

>First, does this equation mean that S is attainable through either calculation

I did the math, and yes - they are just two ways of expressing the "mass surplus" from an enterprise on a given day.

>Second, if P is, as was said above just before the equation, is a'/a, then wouldn't P*(a'/a) just be P*P? Obviously Marx wouldn't write something so pointless, so what am I missing?

P corresponds to v. It's the daily wage paid to a worker, I think. The difference is that in the second equation Marx introduces the exploitation rate.

Equation 1: Surplus and variable capital

(s/v)*V = S

(20/80)*400 = 100

Equation 2: Surplus and Exploitation rates

P*(a'/a)*n = S

80*(1/4)*5 = 100

In both cases

Daily wage: $80

Surplus produced per worker: $20

Total workers: 5

Total value produced: 400

Surplus value created: 100


 No.7880

>>7878

>Within certain limits therefore the supply of labour exploitable by capital is independent of the supply of labourers.

He meant that a capitalist can maintain the same mass of surplus extraction by increasing exploitation of workers. I.e., increasing the length of the work day.

>On the other hand, if the mass of labour-power employed, or the amount of variable capital, increases, but not in proportion to the fall in the rate of surplusvalue, the mass of the surplusvalue produced, falls.

Sounds like he's describing something like the law of diminishing returns.

Like above,

$80 x (1/4) x 5workers = 100surplus

Now, we increase variable capital by hiring more workers but the ratio of surplus labor to necessary labor begins to drop (due to diminishing returns). If the rate of surplus value drops too quickly it will actually reduce the capitalist's overall surplus.

$80 x (1/8) x 8workers = 80

Above we see that the number of workers increased by 60% but the amount of surplus labor supplied by each worker fell by half, reducing the total surplus to less than previously.


 No.7882

>>7878

>Perhaps I'm just tired at the moment, but I can't understand this either, tho I recognize the terms.

It seems like his point is that varying industries and activities will produce surpluses at different rates depending on how costly it is to transform variable capital into functioning labor power as such.


 No.7887

>>7843

Well here's where he talks about it, chapter 13.

>A room where twenty weavers work at twenty looms must be larger than the room of a single weaver with two assistants. But it costs less labour to build one workshop for twenty persons than to build ten to accommodate two weavers each; thus the value of the means of production that are concentrated for use in common on a large scale does not increase in direct proportion to the expansion and to the increased useful effect of those means. When consumed in common, they give up a smaller part of their value to each single product; partly because the total value they part with is spread over a greater quantity of products, and partly because their value, though absolutely greater, is, having regard to their sphere of action in the process, relatively less than the value of isolated means of production.

Why does he consider a building/housing as a means of production? Of course it's necessary to have it in order to have production, but why would it go into the price of production if it's a one time auxiliary purchase that doesn't affect production? If there is no debt to be paid for the purchase, no taxes or rent, then logically it shouldn't be included, considering that the capitalist only wants to lower the exchange-value to undersell. Even its "wear and tear" shouldn't be factored considering how long buildings remain. Perhaps cleaning or keeping utility in the building, but that isn't what Marx was going for here (or did he?).

Also,

>[A]ll individual differences in the labour vanish, and that consequently any given five adult farm labourers taken together, will in the same time do as much work as any other five.

Are there any works in economics dealing with this sort of topic? Statistical labor or whatever wold describe it. Interestingly, the footnote citing Burke reminds of Parenti's 20/80 principle.


 No.7903

>>7887

Later on in the same chapter there's this passage:

>That a capitalist should command on the field of production, is now as indispensable as that a general should command on the field of battle... All combined labour on a large scale requires, more or less, a directing authority, in order to secure the harmonious working of the individual activities

Yet he quotes a report claiming that

>"[Co-operative experiments] showed that associations of workmen could manage shops, mills, and almost all forms of industry with success, and they immediately improved the condition of the men; but then they did not leave a clear place for masters."

Also, I need some clearing on the term "co-operation" - Marx clearly uses it in the general sense of people co-operating together, but it seems he gives it another meaning under capitalism, namely:

>The capitalistic form, on the contrary, pre-supposes from first to last, the free wage-labourer, who sells his labour-power to capital.... From the standpoint of these, capitalistic co-operation does not manifest itself as a particular historical form of co-operation, but co-operation itself appears to be a historical form peculiar to, and specifically distinguishing, the capitalist process of production.

Further down

>Simple co-operation is always the prevailing form, in those branches of production in which capital operates on a large scale, and division of labour and machinery play but a subordinate part.

What is this "simple co-operation" as opposed to the specific capitalist one?


 No.7912

>>7887

>Why does he consider a building/housing as a means of production? Of course it's necessary to have it in order to have production, but why would it go into the price of production if it's a one time auxiliary purchase that doesn't affect production?

It doesn't matter if it's a one-time payment or something distributed over several years. The cost of the building/property is necessary for housing whatever tools & machinery are used so it's included in the cost of production. In addition, I would imagine that most capitalists don't actually own the property they use but rather rent or possibly make payments over a period of several years via paying with a loan. This means that part of the operating costs for most capitalists would include the monthly payments of rent/interest. Those payments will have to be included in the total costs of production on an ongoing basis.

>Are there any works in economics dealing with this sort of topic?

Good question, but I don't know.

>Directing/Authority vs Cooperation

I haven't checked that particular passage but it's not really contradictory. The complexity of modern production means that there will need to be someone (or a group) managing and directing production to keep things in order.

>What is this "simple co-operation" as opposed to the specific capitalist one?

Hm... I'm busy now but I'll check this later.


 No.8054

>>7903

Ok so,

Cooperation between humans has always existed. For example, the cooperation of a primitive tribe of hunters when they attempt to catch wild game. This most basic form of cooperation is defined by the fact that the division of labor is either very simple or non-existence. By that I mean, the hunters are hunting as a group to multiply their chance of success but they don't have clearly established jobs. In addition, property is typically viewed as belonging to the whole tribe and not so much to individuals.

Under capitalism this cooperation takes a different form in that typically each man in an industry (or even a farm) will have different tasks specifically assigned to him by the manager of the enterprise (i.e. a strict division of labor) and the laborers will enter this agreement on the basis of being unattached to the enterprise in the long term. They can apply for a job, earn a wage, and then move on if it suits them. So the proceeds of the surplus gained in the activity are divided privately and not held in common.

The more simple forms of cooperation can still exist in industries where labor is used extensively rather than intensively and there is no strict division of labor. This was probably far more common in Marx's time than today. Even manual labor in developed countries is typically organized into a complex system of cooperation.

>All combined labour on a large scale requires, more or less, a directing authority, in order to secure the harmonious working of the individual activities

Marx makes the point that any complex organization of production will require leadership and management. The reality is that under capitalism the leadership is automatically given over to the capitalist simply by dint of controlling the capital and thus production. His point is that workers could often organize themselves as well or better than a capitalist without abandoning a system of cooperation.


 No.8063

>>7887

>Why does he consider a building/housing as a means of production? Of course it's necessary to have it in order to have production, but why would it go into the price of production if it's a one time auxiliary purchase that doesn't affect production? If there is no debt to be paid for the purchase, no taxes or rent, then logically it shouldn't be included, considering that the capitalist only wants to lower the exchange-value to undersell. Even its "wear and tear" shouldn't be factored considering how long buildings remain. Perhaps cleaning or keeping utility in the building, but that isn't what Marx was going for here (or did he?).

Well, it's a fallacy comrade. You recognised that it's necessary to have it in order to have production, but it's not directly involving in production right? Means of production, however, must included things both directly and indirectly necessary to production process.

You cannot say that if the capitalist didn't have debt to be paid for purchase, no taxes or rent then it should be factored out, because it doesn't affect the fact that building/housing is a necessary component of production (indirectly). Evidently, without it, production cannot start.


 No.8069

Thanks for the help comrades. I've just finished chapter fifteen, it's was fairly clear but just the last footnote is confusing:

>It is, however, to be regretted that he ventures on such haphazard assertions as the following: "By greater pulverising and more frequent ploughing, the circulation of air in the interior of porous soil is aided, and the surface exposed to the action of the atmosphere is increased and renewed; but it is easily seen that the increased yield of the land cannot be proportional to the labour spent on that land, but increases in a much smaller proportion. This law," adds Liebig, "was first enunciated by John Stuart Mill in his 'Principles of Pol. Econ.,' Vol. 1, p. 17, as follows: 'That the produce of land increases, caeteris paribus, in a diminishing ratio to the increase of the labourers employed' (Mill here introduces in an erroneous form the law enunciated by Ricardo's school, for since the 'decrease of the labourers employed,' kept even pace in England with the advance of agriculture, the law discovered in, and applied to, England, could have no application to that country, at all events), 'is the universal law of agricultural industry.'

If I got this right, Mill misinterpreted Ricardo's school's law of agriculture, which is wrong to begin with? Did Marx mean "decrease of the labourers employed" was proportional to the advance of agriculture or something else?


 No.8081

I've just finished part VI (wages) and I am somewhat lost, I'll probably need to reread it. I don't have specific quotes, so if someone could help me out with the main ideas of the chapters I'd be grateful.

CHAPTER 19:

>THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE VALUE (AND RESPECTIVE PRICE) OF LABOUR-POWER INTO WAGES

I did not understand the the transformation taking place. I understood his criticism of the other economists that equate wage with "its price," and that "value of labor" is senseless because labor is value. But I didn't quite catch what Marx himself meant by the value of labor in wages (that is, that equilibrium Marx criticized the others for practically ignoring). Of course it's labor's reproduction, but the chapter said more than that. Am I correct to say that if labor has its value in its reproduction i.e. in the time it takes to produce some amount of consumable commodities so the laborer can survive, then the wage of the unskilled laborer would be equivalent to the time it takes for him to directly produce the means of subsistence himself?

CHAPTER 20 & 21:

>TIME-WAGES

>PIECE-WAGES

Why does he say that piece wages are actually less profitable for the worker? Why is the lengthening of the working day guarantees a lower wage?

I know, he talks about this in length, but I still just don't understand the reasoning.

CHAPTER 22:

>NATIONAL DIFFERENCES OF WAGES

So if I understood it right, despite that wages in the richer countries are relatively higher than those in poor countries, real wages can actually buy more means of subsistence in poorer ones?

Also, not as important but was curious about it, what exactly is this "social anarchy" that Marx talk about?

Lastly, what is the difference between "labor" and "labor-power"?


 No.8082

>>8081

>the wage of the unskilled laborer would be equivalent to the time it takes for him to directly produce the means of subsistence himself?

I should clarify, by this I mean that, for example, if it takes 6 hours to produce 1 ounce of gold, 6 hours to produce whatever variety of food for a man that would suffice for a day, and 6 hours to produce a product(s), then the wage for each hour of the 6 will amount to 1/6 ounces of gold. Is this the correct way to view production?


 No.8085

>>8081

>Lastly, what is the difference between "labor" and "labor-power"?

Never mind, I've checked this bit.


 No.8086

File: b3a720f7bfc4273⋯.jpeg (77.25 KB, 750x537, 250:179, cybsoc.jpeg)

>>8081

I'll give it a look Monday.


 No.8101

>>8069

First of all I think this is a tricky area and the whole problems involved in transformation of labor into wage and price is, if i understand correctly, one of the big criticisms leveled against Marx apart from criticisms of the basic concept of the LTV.

I'm going to begin by attempting to summarize the main points of Chapter 19, like here: >>7773


 No.8104

>>8101

Summary of chapter 19:

a) Marx begins by mentioning the the wage of the laborer is what appears to be the value of labor. The fluctuating prices tending to oscillate around a normal or "natural" price.

b) Marx then digresses and notes that the value of a commodity is measured by the quantity of socially-necessary labor utilized in its production. It would be tautological to apply this to labor itself.

c) In order to be sold, labor must exist in a raw unrealized form, otherwise laborers would simply sell some type of commodity rather than labor itself.

d) Based on the above, Marx moves onto the following point, which is that if equivalent units of value were exchanged there would be no accumulation of surpluses, and thus no "law of value" at all.

e) Here Marx states that what happens during production is that the laborer works partly for himself, and partly for the capitalist. That is, if the working day is 12 hours the laborer will earn a wage expressing the value of say, 6 hours, while the remaining 6 hours of value remains with the capitalist.

f) Another digression. The value of a commodity is determined by the quantity of living labor expended in production and not the total realized labor that may be stored up in machinery or some type of invention. If a machine reduces the socially-necessary labor-time by half, the value of the commodity likewise falls by half.

g) The laborer sells his labor-power, not his labor. Labor itself has no value.

h) Marx then engages in a long criticism of explanations of value based upon supply and demand, which only seem to explain fluctuations in price without actually explaining the underlying value.

i) The value of labor must always be less than the value it produces. If the laborer is paid X amount for his day's work, then that corresponds to the amount of necessary for its own reproduction. In feudalism the serf worked so many days for the lord and so many days for himself, and the division was obvious. In a system of wage-labor it appears that all labor is paid for even though the old division still exists.

j) The use-value supplied by the laborer is actually not his labor-power but its function, i.e. tailoring, shoemaking, spinning, etc.

k) The value of labor is not constant, but can fluctuate.

l) If the capitalist truly paid the full value of labor he would possess no capital since no surplus would accumulate.

m) Marx then re-emphasizes that what has value is labor-power and not labor, then addresses several arguments.


 No.8106

Summary of Chapter 20: Time wages

a) Wages can take different forms, the two of which Marx discusses are time-wages and piece-wages.

b) Marx discusses the difference between nominal and real wages. The nominal wage is the sum of money a laborer receives for his daily or weekly labor. He then discusses how the nominal wages may fluctuate despite laborers working the same number of hours and likewise the possibility of laborers working less or even more hours while earning the same nominal wage.

c) The standard unit for time-wages is the hourly price of labor, or a day's pay divided by the number of working hours. Marx then repeats that the nominal wage can increase for laborers in their working hours are increased although they are paid at the same rate.

d) Generally, longer working days are accompanied by a lower price of labor. Increasing labor productivity increases the supply of labor and therefore tends to lower its demand and price, leading to competition between laborers. Capitalists will also compete between one another in order to offer commodities of a lower price which are made possible by increased labor productivity.


 No.8107

Summary of Chapter 21: Piece-wages

a) Piece-wages are simply another form of time-wages. These two different forms can occur side by side in the same time and place. The different types of wage all bear the same essential nature.

b) Piece-wages take the form of wages paid for units produced per amount of labor-time.

c) Piece-wages allow the capitalist to more fully exploit labor since they provide him with a means of obtaining exact measures for the productivity of labor. Supervision of labor becomes less necessary since each laborer will be paid based upon productivity rather than time, eliminating the possibility of less efficient workers receiving equal pay for their labor-time. This wage system also tends to allow the introduction of labor subcontractors that can profit by the difference paid by the capitalist and that which the laborer receives from the contractor. (Marx's term: "sub-letting of labor.")

d) Because piece-wages are paid based upon productivity, the individual labor has an incentive to work harder and compete against his fellow laborers. Therefore piece-wages will allow individual wages to rise above average while lowering the average on the whole. Piece-wages, according to Marx, are the form of wages "most in harmony with the capitalist mode of production."

e) Piece-wages, like time-wages, are also affected by a growth in the productivity of labor due to reducing the amount of time required for producing each unit. Increased productivity on part of labor as a whole becomes a focal point for the conflict between laborers and capitalists for the division of wages and profits.


 No.8109

Summary of Chapter 22: National Differences of Wages

a) To compare the wages between different countries one must take into account a myriad of factors which include the "price of prime necessities of life", cost of training of labor, labor of women and children, labor productivity, extensiveness and intensiveness of labor, and finally a comparison of the actual piece-wages between countries for like commodities.

b) The average intensity of labor, and its value, will vary from country to country. The development of capitalist production in a country also tends to increase the national intensity and productivity of labor. Nominal wages will be higher in more developed countries but not necessarily real wages (i.e. the means of subsistence placed at the disposal of the laborer), and the relative value of money will be less in a developed country. Marx then notes that it is frequently found that wages are frequently higher in a developed country while in a less developed country the price of labor tends to be higher relative to surplus-value and the value of the product.

c) Marx then attacks the theory that national differences in wages rise and fall in proportion to the degree of productiveness in national working-days.


 No.8110

>>8069

>If I got this right, Mill misinterpreted Ricardo's school's law of agriculture, which is wrong to begin with?

I think that was his meaning, yes.

>Did Marx mean "decrease of the labourers employed" was proportional to the advance of agriculture or something else?

His point seems to be that the theory put forward was simply irrelevant because agricultural employment actually reduced as its output increased. The result being that the idea of diminishing marginal returns for agriculture doesn't even apply to the real world. (I think.)

>>8081

Read the summary I provided. I think it will clarify.

>the wage of the unskilled laborer would be equivalent to the time it takes for him to directly produce the means of subsistence himself?

Right, so I think this is basically what Marx meant. Bear in mind that one shouldn't have a strict interpretation of this, because I think Marx himself argued against the so-called "iron law of wages".

>Why does he say that piece wages are actually less profitable for the worker?

They're not by nature less profitable, but piece-wages introduce a dynamic which creates a tendency for lower wages on average due to competition between workers and the ability of capitalists to more accurately measure the productivity of labor.

>Why is the lengthening of the working day guarantees a lower wage?

All else being equal the lengthening of the working day simply increases the supply of labor, resulting in lower demand.

>despite that wages in the richer countries are relatively higher than those in poor countries

Wages in developed countries will be nominally higher. i.e. English workers earn 100pounds while Indians earn 5pounds.

>real wages can actually buy more means of subsistence in poorer ones?

This statement would depend on many factors. The fundamental difference is that in less developed countries the price of labor will be higher relative to the value of the surplus and the product.

The last bit can get a bit confusing when thinking about global capitalism today since a large part of international trade is simply taking advantage of arbitrage in the national price of labor while using, locally, the same technology and means of production regardless of a country's average level of development. In this case the price of labor relative to the surplus and value of the product actually drops because one can take advantage of cheap labor without sacrificing modern methods of production.

>>8082

I think you're making it overcomplicated. The laborer must work enough to create a level of value to pay for his own subsistence, whatever that level might be. That value/price is going to take the form of money, but this in turn might be affected by other factors that don't reflect the actual division of necessary and surplus labor due to market fluctuations or what-have-you.


 No.8211

>>8106

>>8104

>>8107

>>8109

>>8110

Thank you for the explanation, comrade. Unfortunately due to technical issues I had to pause reading Capital for two weeks and only today I was able to come back to it.

I've just reread chapter 19 and I am not so certain about the issues at hand. If I understood it right, the "transformation problem" is how does the value of labor-power transform into wages, and Marx was unable to provide the explanation, only point out the difference between

>"value and price of labour," or "wages," as contrasted with the essential relation manifested therein, viz., the value and price of labour-power,

In a nutshell and put in plain language, it is said in the chapter that the value of the potential for labor (labor-power) determines the value of a wage (labor) - that is to say, the full compensation of the labor determines the partial compensation received after the surplus-value is extracted. Correct?

Overall, I am somewhat confused about the supposed insight. Isn't he just repeating what has been established in previous sections?

Also, why exactly is the iron law of wages incorrect? It is rejected by both mainstream economy and Marx, yet it makes sense that minimum wage would tend only to the absolute necessities of life if the capitalist wants to received as much profit as possible. The only resolve I can think of is that increased productivity both allow for and necessitate a higher real wage for continuous expansion while still keeping it at the relative minimum e.g. the poor in America "can afford fridges and phones" yet they still need to work 60-80 hours a week in two jobs, in other words, while the amount of items that would count as basic necessities expands relative to the technological advancement (as Marx said), the capitalist would still try to suppress it to a minimum. Thus it both rises in real terms relative to previous eras yet is consistent with the tendency of capitalism to extract as much as possible.


 No.8212

>>8211

> the value of the potential for labor (labor-power) determines the value of a wage (labor)

The price of labor-power is the wage, which is commonly referred to as "the value of labor" although it's not very accurate to say it that way. Marx gets very picky about terminology here because he wants to emphasize the different dynamics in the labor/capital dynamic. I.e., the exchange-value of labor-power is separate from the use-value it produces which depends how well the capitalist can utilize the time workers are giving up. This terminology (while also being semantically correct) makes it easier to grasp the idea that wages are only paid for part of the workday and not the whole workday as could be assumed.

>the full compensation of the labor determines the partial compensation received after the surplus-value is extracted. Correct?

I'm not sure what you mean by "full compensation of labor." And yes, he probably repeats things from earlier chapters. Marx often chose to belabor the point. (pardon the expression)

>Why is the iron law of wages incorrect?

The minimum wage will indeed tend toward subsistence levels but a majority of workers have everywhere and always earned more than the minimum. The tendency of capitalists to lower wages is offset by other factors, including competition between capitalists for workers.

>real wages vs subsistence etc

Right, so as productivity rises the real-wages can rise as well because more is being produced by each worker. But, all else being equal, workers become unnecessary and are now thrown back into the job market which means more competition between workers. This increased competition puts downward pressure on wages over time. Plus, so long as labor is plentiful to begin with, employers have no need to give workers a greater share of the surplus. In a country like the United States there was growing productivity for decades and yet real wages remained stagnant. I can say from personal experience that even nominal wages in some industries remained stagnant between 2007 and 2016, which actually represents a 20-30% decrease in real wages when you factor in things like inflation.


 No.8213

The really interesting stuff (for me) starts about Chapter 25, because that's when Marx begins to discuss the centralisation of capital, or as he calls it, "the expropriation of capitalist by capitalist." It is here that Marx anticipates what happens in contemporary society with corporate mergers, buyouts, leveraged buyouts, etc.


 No.8329

I've just finished chapter 25.

Three questions regarding Ireland:

- Why is it that dwindling population causes a worsening of conditions the same as a rising/condensing population?

- Why is it that it's in the interest of the bourgeois to dwindle the population when in England it is quite the opposite?

- Why did rents rise in a dwindling population? (I understood why the profit for farmer rose, but not why the rents)


 No.8348

File: 51a58d0efa3f236⋯.jpg (74.93 KB, 800x558, 400:279, rm_10_859.jpg)

File: e0dcd1aa1c88067⋯.pdf (243.27 KB, Marxist Economics Intro.pdf)

File: 56bff927ff089b1⋯.pdf (593.05 KB, Introduction to Marxist Ec….pdf)

I have finished Capital

I am going to write tomorrow a short summary with commentary on the book in order to pen down whatever I managed to remember and understand. If anyone is willing, I would like to be given feedback. Is anyone interested?

>>8329

Also please someone answer me here

>>8347

None. I haven't read anything from Marx himself before reading Capital. You're better off reading several introductions to Marx and his economic theory. Here are the two text I read before Capital, I think they do a good job in introducing you to it, maybe Ismail could recommend something better. Other than that, I have a list of other scholarly works that cover Marx that I intend to read after I finish the 3rd volume. I suppose it depends on how you plan to study it, I myself intend to seriously study it rather than just have a check on another "canon" book.

>Does this work cover all of the basic concepts or would it be better to read his simpler works such as "Wage Labour and Capital" and "Value, Price and Profit" first?

I really doubt Marx would forget to include anything important in his magnum opus from his previous works. I've also seen people say these two particular texts are outdated in comparison to Capital, I personally wouldn't bother with them.


 No.8350

>>8329

will answer by tomorrow afternoon. been busy


 No.8365

>>8329

>- Why is it that dwindling population causes a worsening of conditions the same as a rising/condensing population?

Giving a quick look at the chapter it seems that one of the problems in Ireland was that, as Marx says, despite depopulation the surplus population remained relatively the same due to advanced in industry and agriculture. That's to say, you only needed x amount of people work and farm the land, but Ireland had x'. The older conditions of small farmers owning a piece of property and being able to sustain themselves mostly from its productivity was replaced now by improved agriculture organized according to capitalist methods. And their goal of course wasn't to maintain a large number of people but simply to produce the most output while sustaining a profit.

>- Why is it that it's in the interest of the bourgeois to dwindle the population when in England it is quite the opposite?

There's a brief mention that Ireland's "one great industry" was linen-manufacture, but this required relatively few workers. Quite simply I imagine that given Ireland's status as a mere agricultural province of the British Empire there was no need for surplus population, and whatever demand for industrial labor would have been absorbed by England itself.

>- Why did rents rise in a dwindling population? (I understood why the profit for farmer rose, but not why the rents)

Good question. I imagine that something like this happened:

1. Crisis occurs, small farmers forced to sell their land

2. Land becomes centralized in hands of big farmers

3. Previous small farmers are now forced to find full-time employment and pay rent.

4. Increase in demand for rented property creates upward pressure on rents.

5. The loss of their farms, rise in rents, and lack of employment drives people to emigrate abroad.

Also, I look forward to whatever summary or critique you write. I'm glad you made this thread.


 No.8385

File: dfe7dbbb73b5243⋯.pdf (158.57 KB, CAPITAL - Commentary and S….pdf)

>>8365

Thanks for the answers. Here is the summary.

Writing it I realized that I'll need to reread the work several times to get all of the pieces together, I was unable to give full evaluation of the entire book and had to stick to only summarizing the LTV and several other points. Still, I think remembered the important parts and did a good job on explaining it. I'd like some feedback from you and hopefully Ismail and other others if they pay attention to this thread.

Also, a list of the things I did not remember and excluded from the summary of the LTV:

- The circulation of commodities

- The circulation of money (gold)

- Ratio of exploitation and other equations

- Crises of capitalism

- Alienation

- Commodity fetishism

- The particularities of “labor” in contrast to “labor-power” and vice versa

- Use-value


 No.8386

>>8385

By feedback I mean both what I should ex/include from what I know and also on the formatting. If the font is uncomfortable or the page could use more widening let me know and I'll edit the Word file.


 No.8387

>>8386

>>8385

And yeah, also of course if what I wrote is accurate/makes sense and what needs a change/update. Also a crucial thing which I still did not understand is the "transformation problem", I don't really see the issue in translating value into prices.


 No.8398

File: e6a2a715e02840f⋯.pdf (160.88 KB, CAPITAL - Commentary and S….pdf)

>>8386

>>8385

>>8387

Ok, I've corrected a paragraph and added some more. Read this file instead.


 No.8400

>>8398

Very nice, anon.

Do you agree with Marx's analysis? Are there points you disagree with or see as being no longer relevant?


 No.8402

>>8400

Everything I've summarized I think he's right on the money, I'm not so sure about the things I didn't understand tho, like commodity fetishism and alienation. Before reading Marx I've looked into "basic economics" and compared to his insight it's childish and superficial, other than that I don't have other theories to compare his ideas to.


 No.8412

File: 86dedbcbe58f0bc⋯.png (41.39 KB, 614x492, 307:246, marx_expropriators.png)

>>8402

Pretty much agree.

I first read Capital vol.1 about 9 years ago after the financial crisis. Within the first couple chapters he addressed all the common criticisms against the LTV. By the end of the book he shows how unfettered market capitalism leads to the conditions of its own demise over time. Pic related.

I have two criticisms:

1. Marx presents too-neat a picture of the disappearance of petit-bourgeoisie, artisans, and the middle strata of society. There is a tendency for this to occur but it isn't an iron law of history. Welfare states, subsidies, trust-busting, and all manner of government intervention have been enacted to protect the middle strata from disappearing. The tendency of centralisation is met by a counter-tendency in the political sphere to protect the middle strata and prevent a polarization of society. (Which could only lead to a revolution.)

2. He does not discuss the possibility that a "third way" system could develop out of capitalism which is neither classical industrial capitalism nor worker-led socialism. This could result in the bourgeoisie reorganizing itself on the basis of a fascist economy which effectively ends private property but continues class-based exploitation on the basis of socialized production. Or, it could also result in the emergence of a new exploiting class in a "degenerated workers state" as Trotsky called it.

The oversimplification of Marx's theories leads most Marxist parties to get caught with their pants down when a genuine revolutionary moment occurs and simultaneously too rigid in their defense of "socialist" governments which gave up on socialism long ago.


 No.8423

>>8412

>Or, it could also result in the emergence of a new exploiting class in a "degenerated workers state" as Trotsky called it.

Just for clarification, in Trotsky's view the USSR had a "bureaucratic caste" lording over the workers, not a new exploiting class.

He claimed that Stalin and friends were compelled to hold onto the dictatorship of the proletariat in order to protect their own privileges, and likened it to how a corrupt trade union boss doesn't want the trade union destroyed, but instead wants to come to an unprincipled accommodation with the capitalists in order to maintain himself in power.

Thus he claimed that the USSR "betrayed" China, Spain, etc. in order to make nice with the capitalist states and to prevent workers' revolutions whose positive examples could inspire Soviet workers to get rid of the "bureaucracy" lording over themselves.

So the traditional Trotskyist narrative of Soviet foreign policy is a long series of opportunistic slogans, vacillations, and blunders as the "bureaucracy" tries to get on the good side of world capitalism, whereas the bourgeoisie distrusts the USSR by virtue of it being a workers' state whose planned economy (despite inherent distortions so long as the "Stalinist bureaucracy" remains in charge) is a challenge to capitalism.

I'm not a Trot, so I consider all this rather simplistic.

Post last edited at

 No.8438

I've began reading vol. 2

Why does Marx say that P...P is the focal point of capitalist production? He doesn't really describe it that way, but basically that P...P is more characteristic of capitalism than M...M' or M-C or whatnot.


 No.8442

File: e6d8f99263f03fb⋯.png (11.16 KB, 578x445, 578:445, capital2_processes.png)

>>8438

Are you thinking of a specific passage?

In Marx's day capitalism's defining feature was the formation and expansion of industrial-capital. So not only does production lead to surplus and profit but production also tends toward an increase in productive capacity. In previous epochs production increased extensively, but under capitalism it increased intensively as the productivity of labor rises. (Side note: economist Michael Hudson believes that today this process has reversed itself and industrial-capital is no longer dominant, but rather subordinate to money-capital and finance.)

A few notes for chapter 1 & 2:

p22

"The specific manner in which this union [of labourers and means of production] is accomplished distinguishes the different economic epochs of the structure of society from one another."

p31

"Industrial capital is the only mode of existence of capital in which not only the appropriation of surplus-value, or surplus-product, but simultaneously its creation is a function of capital. Therefore with it the capitalist character of production is a necessity. Its existence implies the class antagonism between capitalists and wage-labourers. To the extent that it seizes control of social production, the technique and social organisation of the labour-process are revolutionised and with them the economico-historical type of society. The other kinds of capital, which appeared before industrial capital amid conditions of social production that have receded into the past or are now succumbing, are not only subordinated to it and the mechanism of their functions altered in conformity with it, but move solely with it as their basis, hence live and die, stand and fall with this basis. Money-capital and commodity-capital, so far as they function as vehicles of particular branches of business, side by side with industrial capital, are nothing but modes of existence of the different functional forms now assumed, now discarded by industrial capital in the sphere of circulation - modes which, due to social division of labour, have attained independence existence and been developed one-sidedly.

p32

"...exchange-value, not use-value, is the determining aim of this movement... the form of circulation M ... M', the initial and terminal points of which are real money, expresses most graphically the compelling motive of capitalist production - money-making. The process of production appears merely as an unavoidable intermediate link, as a necessary evil for the sake of money-making. All nations with a capitalist mode of production are therefore seized periodically by a feverish attempt to make money without the intervention of the process of production."

p35

"The general form of the circuit of industrial capital is the circuit of money-capital, whenever the capitalist mode of production is taken for granted, hence in social conditions determined by capitalist production."

p43

"The commodity-capitals compete with one another for a place in the market. Late-comers, to sell at all, sell at lower prices. The former streams have not yet been disposed of when payment for them falls due. Their owners must declare their insolvency or sell at any price to meet their obligations. This sale has nothing whatever to do with the actual state of the demand. It only concerns the demand for payment, the pressing necessity of transforming commodities into money. Then a crisis breaks out. It becomes visible not in the direct decrease of consumer demand, the demand for individual consumption, but in the decrease of exchanges of capital for capital, of the reproductive process of capital."


 No.8445

File: 6738f6a13963989⋯.jpg (86.48 KB, 640x471, 640:471, 1506454867516.jpg)

Can someone help me make sense of this part?

>Whenever the law limits the labour of children to 6 hours in industries not before interfered with, the complaints of the manufacturers are always renewed. They allege that numbers of the parents withdraw their children from the industry brought under the Act, in order to sell them where “freedom of labour” still rules, i.e., where children under 13 years are compelled to work like grown-up people, and therefore can be got rid of at a higher price. But since capital is by nature a leveller, since it exacts in every sphere of production equality in the conditions of the exploitation of labour, the limitation by law of children’s labour, in one branch of industry, becomes the cause of its limitation in others.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch15.htm#S3a

How exactly does restriction of child labour in one branch of industry lead to restriction in another?


 No.8446

>>8445

It's because we assume that all industries share the same market for labor. Better pay or working conditions in Industry A will also put pressure on Industry B as they attempt to compete for workers. This of course assumes a static working population.

He explains some of this earlier in the chapter:

In some branches of the woollen manufacture in England the employment of children has during recent years been considerably diminished, and in some cases has been entirely abolished. Why? Because the Factory Acts made two sets of children necessary, one working six hours, the other four, or each working five hours. But the parents refused to sell the “half-timers” cheaper than the “full-timers.” Hence the substitution of machinery for the “half-timers.” [34] Before the labour of women and of children under 10 years of age was forbidden in mines, capitalists considered the employment of naked women and girls, often in company with men, so far sanctioned by their moral code, and especially by their ledgers, that it was only after the passing of the Act that they had recourse to machinery.

Note that above machinery is introduced to offset the higher cost of labor. It's the opposite of what capitalists are doing in developed countries today. They want to compete against cheap global labor by slashing pay and benefits rather than by introducing new technology.


 No.8447

>>8446

>Better pay or working conditions in Industry A will also put pressure on Industry B as they attempt to compete for workers.

But this assumes that workers have room for negotiation. If labour power were a rare commodity, sure, but the fact is that capitalism keeps a reserve army of labour and there's almost always more workers than jobs unless under conditions of extreme economic growth.


 No.8448

>>8447

Which is why I specified that we're assuming a static working population and a shared labor market between Industry A and Industry B. By inducing an artificial labor shortage in one industry you create the incentive for them to introduce more efficient methods of production, allowing them to compete against hitherto unregulated industries.

This is why Marx's quote makes clear that the introduction of machinery to mines came after a labor shortage was introduced via the Factory Acts.

>capitalism keeps a reserve army of labour and there's almost always more workers than jobs

Yes, but we're discussing the case of regulation where access to labor-power is being artificially restricted, i.e. fewer working hours or complete removal of women & children from some industry. The labor market is not infinite. In Marx's day most countries would under no circumstance have allowed their industries to relocate overseas nor would their labor organizations have allowed the yearly immigration of hundreds of thousands or millions of foreign workers. It was probably unthinkable at the time. The use of a few thousand Chinese laborers in the American West led to rioting and violence on part of labor organizations due to the perceived threat.

Today the situation reverses itself. There is no point in regulating labor or raising wages in a country when those same companies can simply relocate to India or China. In Marx's day this would have been prevented via tariffs. Today's reality of mass migration coupled with unrestrained global capital is what's responsible for the impossibility of labor to negotiate.


 No.8592

>>8442

Thanks. I'm using the marxists.org version of vol. 2 by the way.

Can anyone help me figuring out the following passages?

P. 48-49:

>Thus the labourer receives, in the money which is paid to him in wages, the converted form of his own future labour or that of other labourers.

>By giving the labourer a part of his past labour, the capitalist gives him a draft on his own future labour. It is the labourer's own simultaneous or future labour that constitutes the not yet existing supply out of which he will be paid for his past labour. In this case the idea of hoarding disappears altogether.

I do not understand what Marx means in the second quote.

P. 50:

>The transformation of money-capital into productive capital is the purchase of commodities for the production of commodities. Consumption falls within the circuit of capital itself only in so far as it is productive consumption; its premise is that surplus-value is produced by means of the commodities so consumed. And this is something very different from production and even commodity production, which has for its end the existence of the producer. A replacement -- commodity by commodity -- thus contingent on the production of surplus-value is quite a different matter from the bare exchange of products brought about merely by means of money.

>But the economists take this matter as proof that no overproduction is possible.

How exactly does the 2nd quote tie into the first.

On the same note, can someone explain to me how and why crises and monopoly occur in capitalism?

In vol. 1 he barely touched the matter. The only two comments I remember is that an oversupply creates a glut, forces the smaller capitalists out of business, and when the crisis is resolved the minimum capital for entry into the market is higher than before due to advanced production and technology. This is one way monopoly happens, the second way is government legislation and regulation that cause smaller proprietors to go out of business.

On page 51 he more or less gives a description of a crisis that happens due to overproduction, but I'm still not sure how or why does it occur.

>Thus the production of surplus-value, and with it the individual consumption of the capitalist, may increase, the entire process of reproduction may be in a flourishing condition, and yet a large part of the commodities may have entered into consumption only apparently, while in reality they may still remain unsold in the hands of dealers, may in fact still be lying in the market.

It seems to me that he describes it as mere chance. What is the actual cause for the process described below?

>Now one stream of commodities follows another, and finally it is discovered that the previous streams had been absorbed only apparently by consumption. The commodity-capitals compete with one another for a place in the market. Late-comers, to sell at all, sell at lower prices. The former streams have not yet been disposed of when payment for them falls due. Their owners must declare their insolvency or sell at any price to meet to meet their obligations. This sale has nothing whatever to do with the actual state of the demand. It only concerns the demand for payment, the pressing necessity of transforming commodities into money. Then a crisis breaks out. It becomes visible not in the direct decrease of consumer demand, the demand for individual consumption, but in the decrease of exchanges of capital for capital, of the reproductive process of capital.

1/2


 No.8593

>>8592

P. 56:

>However this accumulation-fund can also perform special services of a subordinate nature, that is to say can enter into capital's movement in circuits without this process assuming the form of P ... P', hence without an expansion of capitalist reproduction.

what are these "special services of subordinate nature"? Does he talk about it later in the book?

P. 66:

>The fact that the social capital is equal to the sum of the individual capitals (including the joint-stock capital or the state capital, so far as governments employ productive wage-labour in mines, railways, etc., perform the function of industrial capitalists)...

Would this passage imply that Marx would have accepted with the concept of "state capitalism" as referred to socialist states? Are there any other places where he considers the state as a capitalist mechanism? I assume he considers it here as a capitalist mechanism since he says it employs wage-labor.

P. 72-73:

>If social capital experiences a revolution in value, it may happen that the capital of the individual capitalist succumbs to it and fails, because it cannot adapt itself to the conditions of this movement of values. The more acute and frequent such revolutions in value become, the more does the automatic movement of the now independent value operate with the elemental force of a natural process, against the foresight and calculation of the individual capitalist, the more does the course of normal production become subservient to abnormal speculation, and the greater is the danger that threatens the existence of the individual capitals.

>These periodical revolutions in value therefore corroborate what they are supposed to refute, namely, that value as capital acquires independent existence, which it maintains and accentuates through its movement.

I have been stuck on this for the past few days. What does he mean here by "independent" value? The 2nd quote is particularly confusing.

In the next paragraph:

>This succession of the metamorphoses of capital in process includes continuous comparison of the change in the magnitude of value of the capital brought about in the circuit with the original value.

So this is still pretty clear. But what fallows

>If value's acquisition of independence of the value-creating power , labour-power, is inaugurated by the act M---L (purchase of labour-power) and is effected during the process of production as exploitation of labour-power , this acquisition of independence on the part of value does not re-appear in that circuit, in which money, commodities, and elements of production are merely alternating forms of capital-value in process, and the former magnitude of value is compared with capital's present changed magnitude of value.

I'm not sure what he's talking about here. It doesn't even seem to be consistent with what he talked about in the previous paragraph. My best interpretation is that by "independent", in this paragraph, he means that the value created by labor is no longer independent (or distinguishable) from other added value in the circuit, i.e. in the same sense the M' is not treated like M+m but as purely M. But I'm still not sure about it, now what Bailey talks about or what Marx criticizes about Bailey in the paragraph that follows.

2/2


 No.8594

>>8593

i'll look at this. probably reply sat or sunday


 No.8673

File: f4a1f1e54c691eb⋯.jpg (25.92 KB, 500x380, 25:19, marx-engels institute.jpg)

>>8592

>>8593

OK let's look at this.

>p48-49

OK so my understanding of this quote is that he's referring to the fact that sometimes money accumulates in the process of production which is not actually part of the surplus but rather a temporary amount that is going to be spent on existing or future goods. Like, if you have $800 in the bank but have to pay $700 in rent this month, so really your cash reserves are only $100. The wording of this section is a bit odd to me, but basically that's what Marx is saying.

It might help to think of the fact that only realized goods can be consumed. So, it's possible you have money in the bank you're going to use to buy something but that thing doesn't exist yet, so that money sits in your bank account until the exchange can be made.

>p50

Marx is making a reference to Say's Law which claims that a crisis of overproduction is basically impossible. I'll give you an Engels quote about crises in my next post.

>p56

Basically he's saying that if sales are delayed for whatever reason, the cost of production can be covered by the already accumulated money reserves until the products are sold. His point is that the accumulated money is acting like a rainy-day fund instead of an investment fund.

>66

In this example Marx is talking about a very specific situation in which the state directly owns some type of industry, such as mines or railroads. Concrete examples might be Mexico's nationalized oil company PEMEX. But yes, it is implied in some of Marx's writing that some form of state-capitalism could arise. I'll try to find some quotes in my next post.

>p72

This is part of a long section in which Marx is talking about the inner logic of capital itself being "independent." Quote:

"...capitalist production exists and can endure only so long as capital-value is made to create surplus-value, that is, so long as it describes its circuit as a value that has gained independence..."

This leads to a situation in which value itself seems to rise or fall as if it were some natural phenomena unconnected with human behavior, such as during market booms and busts, in which individual capitalists can only react but usually not anticipate, leading to market speculation and other behaviors. Value itself, and the self-increasing nature of capital values, seems to act as an independent force and not as a simple consequence of embodying X amount of labor-power. Rather than labor-power being independent, it is now subordinated to the overall goal of increasing value both within a circuit of production and between different circruits in the economy as a whole.

At least I think that's what he was saying.


 No.8676

File: 5f5508107643afb⋯.png (196.7 KB, 526x600, 263:300, engels_crisis.png)

>>8592

>Can someone explain to me how and why crises and monopoly occur in capitalism?

Quote from Engels' Anti-Duhring explaining how a crisis happens. Pic related.

>monopolies

When Marx talks about monopoly in volume 1 he typically does so when referring to state-enforced monopolies. But, chapter 25 discusses the tendency of centralisation of capital. This describes how not only do competing capitals attempt to expand in order to out-compete one another, but also the tendency of individual capitals to combine forces and for larger capitals to absorb smaller ones to become even more competitive. This, to me, represents a "natural" tendency towards monopoly in capitalism. Even without state protection, in each industry there will be a tendency for one capital to absorb the rest.


 No.8679

File: 101350e983ade3f⋯.jpg (397.16 KB, 1772x1374, 886:687, moscow-palace-of-soviets-3.jpg)

1/2

>>8593

>Are there any other places where he considers the state as a capitalist mechanism?

I think that, in general, Marx's argument was that the state existed to protect the ruling class and its interests in general. If it chose to intervene in the economy it would be, rightly or wrongly, trying to do so in the interest of the ruling class.

From Engels' Anti-Duhring:

"But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution."

>Would this passage imply that Marx would have accepted with the concept of "state capitalism" as referred to socialist states?

I think whether you call it state-capitalism or not Marx would have been very opposed to calling any 20th century states "socialist."

If you read Marx's short work Critique of the Gotha Programme he is extremely critical of advocating the use of state-aid to form co-operative worker societies. He implies this isn't socialism at all and argues that worker co-operatives, if they have any value, should arise from the workers themselves and not the state. Marx states, "But the whole program, for all its democratic clang, is tainted through and through by the Lassallean sect's servile belief in the state, or, what is no better, by a democratic belief in miracles; or rather it is a compromise between these two kinds of belief in miracles, both equally remote from socialism." Marx also criticizes the belief that in Germany a democratic state could implement a socialist transition despite the fact that a majority of people were peasants and not proletarians, and the working class "neither rules nor is ripe for ruling."

What was the Russian Empire? What was China? Backwards semi-feudal countries with peasant majorities. All of Marx's criticisms would have applied to these countries.


 No.8680

File: bb5b40580a524e0⋯.jpg (497.15 KB, 1772x1406, 886:703, moscow-palace-of-soviets-4.jpg)

2/2

>>8679

Also from Anti-Duhring:

"This rebellion of the productive forces, as they grow more and more powerful, against their quality as capital, this stronger and stronger command that their social character shall be recognised, forces the capitalist class itself to treat them more and more as social productive forces, so far as this is possible under capitalist conditions. The period of industrial high pressure, with its unbounded inflation of credit, not less than the crash itself, by the collapse of great capitalist establishments, tends to bring about that form of the socialisation of great masses of means of production which we meet with in the different kinds of joint-stock companies. Many of these means of production and of communication are, from the outset, so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalistic exploitation. At a further stage of evolution this form also becomes insufficient: the official representative of capitalist society — the state — will ultimately have to *10 undertake the direction of production. This necessity for conversion into state property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication — the post office, the telegraphs, the railways."

"*10 I say "have to". For only when the means of production and distribution have actually outgrown the form of management by joint-stock companies, and when, therefore, the taking them over by the state has become economically inevitable, only then — even if it is the state of today that effects this — is there an economic advance, the attainment of another step preliminary to the taking over of all productive forces by society itself. But of late, since Bismarck went in for state-ownership of industrial establishments, a kind of spurious socialism has arisen, degenerating, now and again, into something of flunkeyism, that without more ado declares all state ownership, even of the Bismarckian sort, to be socialistic. Certainly, if the taking over by the state of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of socialism. If the Belgian state, for quite ordinary political and financial reasons, itself constructed its chief railway lines; if Bismarck, not under any economic compulsion, took over for the state the chief Prussian lines, simply to be the better able to have them in hand in case of war, to bring up the railway employees as voting cattle for the government, and especially to create for himself a new source of income independent of parliamentary votes — this was, in no sense, a socialistic measure, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Otherwise, the Royal Maritime Company, [116] the Royal porcelain manufacture, and even the regimental tailor of the army would also be socialistic institutions."


 No.8684

>>8673

>But yes, it is implied in some of Marx's writing that some form of state-capitalism could arise. I'll try to find some quotes in my next post.

Here's the relevant quote from Capital volume one, chapter 25:

"Centralisation may result from a mere change in the distribution of capitals already existing, from a simple alteration in the quantitative grouping of the component parts of social capital. Here capital can grow into powerful masses in a single hand because there it has been withdrawn from many individual hands. In any given branch of industry centralisation would reach its extreme limit if all the individual capitals invested in it were fused into a single capital. [12] In a given society the limit would be reached only when the entire social capital was united in the hands of either a single capitalist or a single capitalist company."

"12. Note in the 4th German edition. — The latest English and American “trusts” are already striving to attain this goal by attempting to unite at least all the large-scale concerns in one branch of industry into one great joint-stock company with a practical monopoly. F. E."


 No.8871

File: 4891a7c591c2be4⋯.jpg (54.54 KB, 702x800, 351:400, brainlet2.jpg)

Absolute fucken dropdead retard prole here, just started Capital.

On exchange value:

>What does this equation signify? It signifies that a common element of identical magnitude exists in two different things, in 1 quarter of corn and similarly in x cwt of iron. Both are therefore equal to a third thing, which in itself is neither the one nor the other.

So in regards to this "third thing", is he talking about money here or what?

Also:

>If then we disregard the use-value of commodities, only one property remains, that of being products of labour. But even the product of labour has already been transformed in our hands. If we make abstraction from its use-value, we abstract also from the material constituents and forms which make it a use-value. It is no longer a table, a house, a piece of yarn or any other useful thing. All its sensuous characteristics are extinguished. Nor is it any longer the product of the labour of the joiner, the mason or the spinner, or of any other particular kind of productive labour. With the disappearance of the useful character of the products of labour, the useful character of the kinds of labour embodied in them also disappears; this in turn entails the disappearance of the different concrete forms of labour. They can no longer be distinguished, but are all together reduced to the same kind of labour, human labour in the abstract.

Disregard use-value and we can see that a commodity is reducable to abstract human labour. Cool.

But:

>A use-value, or useful article, therefore, has value only because abstract human labour is objectified [vergegenständlicht] or materialized in it.

I must be misunderstanding because in order to reduce a commodity to abstract human labour we had to disregard the use-value of it whereas here he's saying that abstract human labour is already present.


 No.8883

>>8871

>So in regards to this "third thing", is he talking about money here or what?

He's talking about a common denominator, which is later revealed to be abstract labor, specifically socially necessary labor.

>Disregard use-value and we can see that a commodity is reducable to abstract human labour. Cool.

That is the answer to the above.

>I must be misunderstanding because in order to reduce a commodity to abstract human labour we had to disregard the use-value of it whereas here he's saying that abstract human labour is already present.

By disregarding its use-value he means that it doesn't matter for what purpose it is made in order to measure its value.


 No.8884

Capital Vol. 3 Chapter 14 Section 6 (https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch14.htm):

>With the progress of capitalist production, which goes hand in hand with accelerated accumulation, a portion of capital is calculated and applied only as interest-bearing capital. Not in the sense in which every capitalist who lends out capital is satisfied with interest, while the industrial capitalist pockets the investor's profit. This has no bearing on the level of the general rate of profit, because for the latter profit = interest + profit of all kinds + ground rent, the division into these particular categories being immaterial to it. But in the sense that these capitals, although invested in large productive enterprises, yield only large or small amounts of interest, so-called dividends, after all costs have been deducted.

I don't see the difference between interests and dividends and why the latter are relevant to the rate of profit while the first aren't.


 No.8921

>>8883

Good explanation.

>>8884

I'm not familiar with volume 3 but I think the key idea in this passage is how one calculates the general rate of profit. Marx gives the formula:

General rate of profit = interest + profits (all types) + ground rent

Since interests are included they form part of the average. In that sense they are relevant, I think. But dividends are not included since those are normally considered simply a fraction of profits. If you consider net profits only after paying out dividends, then those will actually lower the general rate since they lower net profits.

Basically it's a question of what specifically is included in profit and what isn't. I think.


 No.9030

File: a3f4ddcee4eb476⋯.jpg (311.54 KB, 1920x1080, 16:9, marx breaking chains.jpg)

I have finished volume 2

I've saved all of the questions for last. In retrospect this might have been a bad idea because I don't remember as clearly what was the issue with some of Marx's passages. Anyway, in chapter 6 in general, why don't periphery costs such as bookkeeping and retailing don't enter into the price of the commodities? While it isn't an essential part of production in the sense that it produces anything, it does, in the same way that transport, add value, no? I mean, it's a perfectly reasonable for a capitalist to include and spread the cost over many commodities, as is the case with transport for example. Why isn't transport a cost of circulation then when, if I recall correctly, Marx counted it in the prices of production? And how would you differentiate costs of circulation and essential periphery costs like security?

P. 94 (Marxists.org edition)

>Costs of circulation, which originate in a mere change of form of value, in circulation, ideally considered, do not enter into the value of commodities. The parts of capital expended as such costs are merely deductions from the productively expended capital so far as the capitalist is concerned.

If I understand this right, Marx says that costs of circulation cannot enter into the price of the product and they are deducted from the starting capital as if the capitalist had started with less money. And this portion can only be recovered by surplus value, right?

P. 99

>With the development of capitalist production, the scale of production is determined less and less by the direct demand for the product and more and more by the amount of capital available in the hands of the individual capitalist, by the urge of self-expansion inherent in his capital and by the need of continuity and expansion of the process of production. Thus in each particular branch of production there is a necessary increase in the mass of products available in the market in the shape of commodities, i.e., in search of buyers. The amount of capital fixed for a shorter or longer period in the form of commodity-capital grows. Hence the commodity-supply also grows.

I've never read Say but would this apply to his maxim that "supply creates demand" or does his law mean something completely different from what Marx here wrote?

And besides that, does Marx here basically imply that the more a commodity is available the more people would buy it by the sheer fact that it's available rather than any previous need? I doesn't seem wrong to me, but does this actually reflect marketing decisions in the business world?

1/?


 No.9032

>>9030

Here is what I've been talking about, p. 102:

>Quantities of products are not increased by transportation. Nor, with a few exceptions, is the possible alteration of their natural qualities, brought about by transportation, an intentional useful effect; it is rather an unavoidable evil. But the use-value of things is materialised only in their consumption, and their consumption may necessitate a change of location of these things, hence may require an additional process of production, in the transport industry. The productive capital invested in this industry imparts value to the transported products, partly by transferring value from the means of transportation, partly by adding value through the labour performed in transport. This last-named increment of value consists, as it does in all capitalist production, of a replacement of wages and of surplus-value.

P. 119

>This depends largely on the available space. In the case of some buildings additional storeys may be built; in the case of others lateral extension, hence more land, is required. Within capitalist production there is on the one side much waste of material, on the other much impracticable lateral extension of this sort (partly to the injury of the labour-power) in the gradual expansion of the business, because nothing is undertaken according to a social plan, but everything depends on the infinitely different conditions, means, etc., with which the individual capitalist operates. This results in a great waste of the productive forces.

Are there any examples of this supposed waste in production? The only thing I could think of is when overproduction occurs and the capitalist has to destroy his stock.

P. 169

>Due to the difference between working time and production time, the time of employment of the applied fixed capital is of course likewise continually interrupted for a longer or shorter time, for instance in agriculture in the case of working cattle, implements and machines. In so far as this fixed capital consists of draught animals, it requires continually the same, or nearly the same, expenditure for feed, etc., as it does during the time they work. In the case of dead stock non-use also brings on a certain amount of depreciation.

>Hence the product is in general increasing in price, since the transfer of value to it is not calculated according to the time during which the fixed capital functions but according to the time during which it depreciates in value.

So how exactly does the price increase if it depreciates? Is it because the animal is fed and value is thrust into it?

2/?


 No.9033

>>9032

P. 175

>In the same way the same circumstances may alter the relative distance of places of production from the larger markets, which explains the deterioration of old and the rise of new centres of production because of changes in communication and transportation facilities.

>(To this must be added the circumstances that long hauls are relatively cheaper than short ones.)

Why are longer hauls cheaper than short ones?

P. 225

>In the manuscript, the following note is here inserted for future amplification: "Contradiction in the capitalist mode of production: the labourers as buyers of commodities are important for the market. But as sellers of their own commodity -- labour-power -- capitalist society tends to keep them down to the minimum price.

Didn't Marx reject the iron law of wages?

Speaking of, why exactly did he reject it?

P. 254

>These vouchers are not money. They do not circulate.

There's a paragraph before that. But why wouldn't vouchers circulate? What exactly material conditions will prevent from people circulating vouchers or accumulation of vouchers? It's perfectly sensible to expect someone to trade in private a voucher in exchange for some service, and then the seller of the service will have two vouchers which he could spend on the social produce or trade further.

P. 268

>Since the value of labour-power -- i.e., the adequate selling price of this commodity -- is determined by the quantity of labour required for its reproduction, and this quantity of labour itself is here determined by that needed for the production of the necessary means of subsistence of the labourer, hence for the maintenance of his existence, the wages become the revenue on which the labourer has to live.

This pretty much confirms what I suspected since the 1st volume. But I don't think Marx went far enough with this, because this idea has implications on the relation between the food production of a society and its wealth. I think the fact that there are countries that cannot produce enough food to feed themselves have to import food would complicate this. Has any economist ever dealt with food production and wealth, besides LaRouche?

P. 273

>A further conclusion is that commodity-value is composed of, or "resolves itself" into, revenues of various kinds, so that the revenues do not consist of commodity-values but the commodity-value consists of "revenues."

I don't understand this

3/?


 No.9034

>>9033

The entire second half of the book was very confusing to me. I'm not sure what were all of his issues with Adam Smith and I couldn't follow the reasoning of either or the critique of the latter. The sentences were not smooth to read, Engels fucked here up. Besides that, what's the difference between constant & variant capital and fixed and circulating capital?

Constant is MoP (machines+materials) and variable is wages

fixed is rarely replaced and circulating is often replaced

Correct?

P. 289

>It is sheer tautology to say that crises are caused by the scarcity of effective consumption, or of effective consumers. The capitalist system does not know any other modes of consumption than effective ones, except that of sub forma pauperis or of the swindler. That commodities are unsaleable means only that no effective purchasers have been found for them, i.e., consumers (since commodities are bought in the final analysis for productive or individual consumption). But if one were to attempt to give this tautology the semblance of a profounder justification by saying that the working-class receives too small a portion of its own product and the evil would be remedied as soon as it receives a larger share of it and its wages increase in consequence, one could only remark that crises are always prepared by precisely a period in which wages rise generally and the working-class actually gets a larger share of that part of the annual product which is intended for consumption. From the point of view of these advocates of sound and "simple" (!) common sense, such a period should rather remove the crisis. It appears, then, that capitalist production comprises conditions independent of good or bad will, conditions which permit the working-class to enjoy that relative prosperity only momentarily, and at that always only as the harbinger of a coming crisis.

So why is it periods of prosperity that bring forth a crisis?

P. 328

>...This sort of over-production is tantamount to control by society over the material means of its own reproduction.

>But within capitalist society it is an element of anarchy.

Why does he call it anarchy? Does he use it in some specialized way? I though anarchy in the 19th century was only referred to as socialistic.

P. 336

>This is also the rule with capitalists offering fixed capital (houses, machinery, etc.) for rent. Mere household slaves, whether they perform necessary services or are kept as luxuries for show, are not considered here. They correspond to the modern servant class.

Does he use here "class" in the context of his theory or is it just a casual way to categorize them?

Also how do non-productive jobs (doctors, servants, etc) figure in the LTV?

My best estimation is that it is what was quoted on page 268 and any additional value is added according to the time it takes to specialize in something.

P. 353

>Actual accumulation can take place only on this assumption. That accumulation should take place at the expense of consumption is, couched in such general terms, an illusion contradicting the nature of capitalist production. For it takes for granted that the aim and compelling motive of capitalist production is consumption, and not the snatching of surplus-value and its capitalisation, i.e., accumulation.

Am I right to understand this as the illusion being that the aim of capaitalist production is consumption?


 No.9035

>>8676

Thanks for the answers, but that quote still doesn't explain how crises happen. In the last few chapters of vol. 2 Marx intertwined the development of crises with the turnover and the reproduction on an extended scale. It was too confusing for me to understand.

Throughout all of this I have found one thing I think Marx is wrong about and that is the transfer of value of things like buildings (or only, I'm not sure there is anything that could resemble the function of a building in the way that it supposedly transfers value). I see no reason why a building would transfer its value to a product - its utilities and costs like lighting, air conditioning, rent etc, yes, but not the building itself, repairs would be deducted from surplus(? I don't quite remember how Marx calculated repairs of machines and other things, whether as deductions from the surplus or additions to the value), but just because funds went into purchasing it does not mean it has to be included in the value, there is no causation (I'm not sure this is the right word but you get what I mean) between the process of production and the fact its done in a building. How would that even be calculated? And even if it were a necessary part of value, a building could very much stand for a hundred years long after the capitalist died, if so he could just undersell his rivals since unlike machines which value he has to take into account in order to replace in 10 years, a building he could neglect save for necessary repairs, not including a single fraction of its value in the commodity.

>>8679

>>8680

He sounds like a leftcom there.

Well, Ismail here >>8707 provides a source where Marx endorses nationalization of the MoP.

The paper was written in 1869, six years before the Critique. Maybe he changed his position or maybe there is a way to reconcile it.

Ismail

Help me out here, how do these seemingly contradictory positions Marx expressed reconcile?


 No.9042

>>9032

>Are there any examples of this supposed waste in production?

Because the productive capacity is split up between many, there is waste due to the limit this compartmentalization puts on rearranging what we have. E. g. some identical machines owned by many people sometimes become unusable due to damage, but the defects can be in different parts, so one could cannibalize one defect one to make another fully functional again, but two machines that could be paired up like that might be owned by different people, so they both get destroyed.

>>9033

>Why are longer hauls cheaper than short ones?

I think this is not meant as an always correct law, just that long routes that are regularly taken tend to have lower costs per mile; going over the ocean has very low cost per mile compared to zigzagging through city streets.

>LaRouche

Lyndon LaRouche??? If you got anything from him I hope that it was from a period before a more eccentric phase.


 No.9043

>>7842

>>9042

>Lyndon LaRouche??? If you got anything from him I hope that it was from a period before a more eccentric phase.

No I just meant this reply I got earlier in the thread >>7842

I've never read LaRouche.


 No.9044

>>9035

The guy you're responding to totally misinterprets what Marx means by "state-aid." He's criticizing the followers of Lassalle who wanted to pressure the bourgeois state to set up cooperatives for the benefit of the working-class. It'd be similar to American communists calling on Trump to enact a law for the US government to establish and finance cooperatives.

The Marxist position toward cooperatives can be seen in a January 20, 1886 letter from Engels to August Bebel:

>The measure for which we must press [for the rural proletariat in the Baltic provinces], come what may, so long as big estates continue to exist there, and which we must ourselves put into practice the moment we come to the helm, is as follows: the transfer—initially on lease—of large estates to autonomous cooperatives under state management and effected in such a way that the State retains ownership of the land. . .

>The matter has nothing whatever to do either with Schulze-Delitzsch or with Lassalle. Both supported small cooperatives, in one case with, in the other without, state aid; but in neither were the cooperatives to take possession of the already extant means of production; rather they were to introduce new cooperative production alongside already extant capitalist production. My proposal envisages the introduction of cooperatives into existing production. They are to be given land which would otherwise be exploited along capitalist lines; just as the Paris Commune demanded that the workers should manage cooperatively the factories closed down by the manufacturers. Therein lies the great distinction. Nor have Marx and I ever doubted that, in the course of transition to a wholly communist economy, widespread use would have to be made of cooperative management as an intermediate stage. Only it will mean so organising things that society, i.e. initially the State, retains ownership of the means of production and thus prevents the particular interests of the cooperatives from taking precedence over those of society as a whole.

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 No.9058

I'll look at the other stuff later.

>>9035

>Well, Ismail here >>8707 provides a source where Marx endorses nationalization of the MoP.

>The paper was written in 1869, six years before the Critique. Maybe he changed his position or maybe there is a way to reconcile it.

It's important to bear in mind that when Marx & co. imagined the nationalization of industry, centralization of credit, economic planning, etc. it was all in a society in which the state had been transformed into a radical democracy controlled directly by workers and not by a state apparatus "above" them. When they spoke about the state taking control of everything they meant a state composed of all working persons. Not a government bureaucracy managed by elected politicians every 4 years but ordinary working people. Some of whom might be elected on a short-term basis and subject to immediate recall. This state would be the one that would expropriate the capitalists, nationalize property, and build socialism.

...the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves...

https://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1864/rules.htm

The time of surprise attacks, of revolutions carried through by small conscious minorities at the head of unconscious masses, is past. Where it is a question of a complete transformation of the social organization, the masses themselves must also be in it, must themselves already have grasped what is at stake, what they are going in for [with body and soul]. The history of the last fifty years has taught us that.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1850/class-struggles-france/intro.htm

Against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society – an inevitable transformation in all previous states – the Commune made use of two infallible expedients. In this first place, it filled all posts – administrative, judicial, and educational – by election on the basis of universal suffrage of all concerned, with the right of the same electors to recall their delegate at any time. And in the second place, all officials, high or low, were paid only the wages received by other workers.

[...]

Look at the Paris Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/civil-war-france/postscript.htm

Marx did support nationalization of land and production. Marx did support the transition to planning. But all of this was meant to take place under a radical worker's democracy. Not a bureaucratic state with unelected public servants who pursue their own material interests at the expense of those who work in the productive economy.

>>9044

>The guy you're responding to totally misinterprets what Marx means

No, I don't.

>He's criticizing the followers of Lassalle who wanted to pressure the bourgeois state to set up cooperatives

Which is exactly what I described.


 No.9059

>>9058

>it was all in a society in which the state had been transformed into a radical democracy controlled directly by workers and not by a state apparatus "above" them.

What else is the workers' state but an apparatus "above" individuals and acting on behalf of society?

You yourself seem to admit that bureaucrats weren't a class. I would also add that the bulk of them came directly from the ranks of workers or peasants. You can certainly criticize the fact that these figures accumulated privileges for themselves, but to make the question of whether the USSR was socialist or not dependent on whether or not said bureaucrats existed pretty dumb. It basically means the socialist mode of production can peacefully cease to exist the minute someone abuses his or her authority.

>the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves

>The time of surprise attacks, of revolutions carried through by small conscious minorities at the head of unconscious masses, is past.

I don't see why you bring up these quotes, unless you think the October Revolution (for example) was done in isolation from the working-class.

According to Volkogonov (i.e. no fan of Lenin), "on the eve of the October coup, eighty per cent of the Petrograd Bolshevik organization consisted of workers. . . Writing to Pavel Axelrod on 19 November 1917, Martov admitted that 'nearly the entire proletariat is on Lenin's side and expects that the coup will lead to their social emancipation'." (Lenin: A New Biography, 1994, pp. 330-331.)

>it filled all posts – administrative, judicial, and educational – by election on the basis of universal suffrage of all concerned, with the right of the same electors to recall their delegate at any time. And in the second place, all officials, high or low, were paid only the wages received by other workers.

It was precisely the Soviet state that had the right to recall elected representatives, and these representatives remained at their original jobs once elected and drew no special salary.

>Which is exactly what I described.

Bullshit. You explicitly wrote that "Marx would have been very opposed to calling any 20th century states 'socialist'" and then proceeded to quote Marx ridiculing the Lassalleans for wanting to achieve "socialism" from the likes of Bismarck by encouraging him to set up cooperative ventures on behalf of the working-class.

You didn't once mention the context of Marx criticizing the "state-aid" schemes of the Lassalleans, or the fact that Marx was making fun of the worshipful and prettifying attitude Lassalle's followers had toward bourgeois democracy and the "democratic state" of Prussian junkerdom.

The Bolsheviks didn't petition the Tsar or Provisional Government to set up and subsidize cooperatives alongside existing capitalist enterprises, nor have any other Marxist-Leninist parties. So why bring up something obviously unrelated to the question of whether the USSR, etc. were socialist countries?


 No.9061

>>9059

>What else is the workers' state but an apparatus "above" individuals and acting on behalf of society?

The point is not to end the exploitation of individuals by society but rather end exploitation of workers by the ruling class. You know, like I was talking about?

A fine conclusion! If useful labor is possible only in society and through society, the proceeds of labor belong to society – and only so much therefrom accrues to the individual worker as is not required to maintain the "condition" of labor, society. In fact, this proposition has at all times been made use of by the champions of the state of society prevailing at any given time.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm

>You yourself seem to admit that bureaucrats weren't a class.

I would argue they were a class based on Marx's flexible use of the word. If one wants to refine his use to a workable definition one could refer to the idea of class-qua-surplus.

>I would also add that the bulk of them came directly from the ranks of workers or peasants.

This means nothing. If a worker rises into the ranks of the bourgeoisie it does not disprove the existence of classes within society.

>I don't see why you bring up these quotes, unless you think the October Revolution (for example) was done in isolation from the working-class.

Winning the October Revolution does not equal building socialism no matter how many people supported the action. Even legally nationalizing all industry is simply a political decree. It does not change the underlying material conditions.

>...the socialist mode of production can peacefully cease to exist the minute someone abuses his or her authority.

No, you're just playing dumb. The reason why the USSR did not have socialism was due to the fact that they retained all elements of capitalist production in nationalized form. It is also important to note that even when producers technically controlled their own surplus, as in the case of collective farms, this meant very little considering that the Soviet state would force them to sell that surplus at prices set by the government, thereby appropriating that surplus.

>It was precisely the Soviet state that had the right to recall elected representatives, and these representatives remained at their original jobs once elected and drew no special salary.

The Soviet state did not resemble the Paris Commune, dude.

>So why bring up something obviously unrelated to the question of whether the USSR, etc. were socialist countries?

The answer is at the end of my post which you conveniently ignore:

>Marx also criticizes the belief that in Germany a democratic state could implement a socialist transition despite the fact that a majority of people were peasants and not proletarians, and the working class "neither rules nor is ripe for ruling."

>What was the Russian Empire? What was China? Backwards semi-feudal countries with peasant majorities. All of Marx's criticisms would have applied to these countries.


 No.9062

>>9061

>The point is not to end the exploitation of individuals by society but rather end exploitation of workers by the ruling class.

And there was no such ruling class in the USSR. You have to be very "flexible" indeed to argue that it was.

>This means nothing. If a worker rises into the ranks of the bourgeoisie it does not disprove the existence of classes within society.

And yet the actual process of class formation was absent in the USSR. Not only were Soviet state officials not a class, but they didn't even "live" as a class in terms of sociology, as Szymanski showed in chapter 4 of his book: https://archive.org/details/IsTheRedFlagFlying

>Winning the October Revolution does not equal building socialism

Nor did I claim it did. The process of building socialism began a decade later. You evaded my question.

>The reason why the USSR did not have socialism was due to the fact that they retained all elements of capitalist production in nationalized form.

I already pointed out the stupidity of your allegation in another thread: >>8976

>even when producers technically controlled their own surplus, as in the case of collective farms, this meant very little considering that the Soviet state would force them to sell that surplus at prices set by the government, thereby appropriating that surplus.

"The state" is not a class.

You seem to be suggesting that agriculture be totally exempt from planning and that cooperatives (including collective farms) have the "freedom" to sell their entire product however they'd like independently of the socialist state. This helps explain why you intentionally misconstrued Marx's words on the subject of cooperatives.

Your idea of a "socialist" society is more akin to the Proudhonist portion of the Paris Commune than the scientific socialism of Marx and Engels.

>The Soviet state did not resemble the Paris Commune, dude.

As Marx pointed out, "apart from the fact that this was merely the rising of a town under exceptional conditions, the majority of the Commune was in no sense socialist, nor could it be."

The idea that the landmass of the former Russian Empire is required to exactly resemble the Paris Commune is ridiculous, and you're turning socialism into a form of government rather than a mode of production.

>The answer is at the end of my post

No it isn't, because you either dishonestly or ignorantly implied that the Bolsheviks or CPC presided over a "democratic" (i.e. bourgeois) state, rather than having smashed the existing machinery operated by the bourgeoisie.

Marx's phrase "neither rules nor is ripe for ruling" was mocking the Lassallean demand for "state-aid" from the bourgeoisie, hence the context in which Marx used it: "these demands that ['the toiling people' in Lassallean terminology] puts to the state, expresses its full consciousness that it neither rules nor is ripe for ruling!" In other words, if that was the great demand of the German working-class, clearly it wasn't in a position to become a ruling class any time soon.

You conveniently ignored that Marx was criticizing the Lassalleans for submerging the proletariat under talk about "the people" or "the toiling people." They were ignoring the specific role of the working-class, whom (as Marx noted) would need to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the context of his talk about the majority of the population being peasants.

The majority of Germany and France consisted of peasants, yet that obviously didn't preclude Marx and Engels from advocating for socialism in these countries.

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 No.9079

>>9062

>You evaded my question.

>you intentionally misconstrued Marx's words

>the stupidity of your allegation

>you either dishonestly or ignorantly implied

>You conveniently ignored

"Everyone who disagrees with me is simply dishonest."

This childish attitude makes it pointless to debate anything with you.

>...you either dishonestly or ignorantly implied that the Bolsheviks or CPC presided over a "democratic" (i.e. bourgeois) state, rather than having smashed the existing machinery operated by the bourgeoisie.

Lenin said,

It is said that a united apparatus was needed. Where did that assurance come from? Did it not come from that same Russian apparatus which, as I pointed out in one of the preceding sections of my diary, we took over from tsarism and slightly anointed with Soviet oil?

...

There is no doubt that that measure should have been delayed somewhat until we could say that we vouched for our apparatus as our own. But now, we must, in all conscience, admit the contrary; the apparatus we call ours is, in fact, still quite alien to us; it is a bourgeois and tsarist hotch-potch and there has been no possibility of getting rid of it in the course of the past five years without the help of other countries and because we have been "busy" most of the time with military engagements and the fight against famine.

...

...the union of socialist republics must be retained for its diplomatic apparatus. By the way, this apparatus is an exceptional component of our state apparatus. We have not allowed a single influential person from the old tsarist apparatus into it. All sections with any authority are composed of Communists. That is why it has already won for itself (this may be said boldly) the name of a reliable communist apparatus purged to an incomparably greater extent of the old tsarist, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois elements than that which we have had to make do with in other People's Commissariats.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/dec/testamnt/autonomy.htm

Two main tasks confront us, which constitute the epoch—to reorganize our machinery of state, which is utterly useless, in which we took over in its entirety from the preceding epoch; during the past five years of struggle we did not, and could not, drastically reorganize it.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1923/jan/06.htm

With the exception of the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, our state apparatus is to a considerable extent a survival of the past and has undergone hardly any serious change. It has only been slightly touched up on the surface, but in all other respects it is a most typical relic of our old state machine.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1923/jan/23.htm

The most harmful thing would be to rely on the assumption that we know at least something, or that we have any considerable number of elements necessary for the building of a really new state apparatus, one really worthy to be called socialist, Soviet, etc.

...

We must reduce our state apparatus to the utmost degree of economy. We must banish from it all traces of extravagance, of which so much has been left over from Tsarist Russia, from its bureaucratic capitalist state machine.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1923/mar/02.htm

I could disprove your other statements as well, but there's no point.


 No.9080

>>9079

>"Everyone who disagrees with me is simply dishonest."

You're either dishonest or profoundly ignorant, and from what I've seen (e.g. writing that "winning the October Revolution does not equal building socialism" as if I had ever claimed it did) you tend toward the former.

I don't see the purpose in giving those Lenin quotes. In the first years after the revolution there were plenty of ex-Tsarists and other non-communists working in the state apparatus at a time when new communist cadres had yet to be trained to replace them. What does that have to do with the USSR of the 1930s-80s?

As Lenin pointed out, "We know very well that there are still many defects in the organisation of Soviet power in this country. Soviet power is not a miracle-working talisman. It does not, overnight, heal all the evils of the past—illiteracy, lack of culture, the consequences of a barbarous war, the aftermath of predatory capitalism. But it does pave the way to socialism. It gives those who were formerly oppressed the chance to straighten their backs and to an ever-increasing degree to take the whole government of the country, the whole administration of the economy, the whole management of production, into their own hands."

You're showing yet more dishonesty by selectively quoting Lenin's last writings in such a way as to imply that he thinks the October Revolution somehow created a bourgeois state apparatus. But that clearly isn't the case if you read all four works you linked to in their entirety, e.g. in regard to "Better Fewer, But Better" he explicitly writes that what exists is a workers' government with "heaps of the old lumber still lying around." He adds that the Bolsheviks "lack enough civilisation [i.e. culture, technical expertise] to enable us to pass straight on to socialism, although we do have the political requisites for it."

It is clear what he has in mind is improving the existing apparatus by removing its defects which were huge in 1923. That's why he writes, "Our state apparatus is so deplorable, not to say wretched, that we must first think very carefully how to combat its defects, bearing in mind that these defects are rooted in the past. . . Of course, it could not be otherwise in a revolutionary epoch, when development proceeded at such break-neck speed that in a matter of five years we passed from tsarism to the Soviet system."

Lenin pointing out the shortcomings of the Soviet system at a time when it was still recovering from economic breakdown and when many civil servants were of dubious loyalty to Soviet power due to their pre-October service to the bourgeoisie or Tsardom has next to nothing to do with your earlier criticisms. It does not prove the USSR from the 30s onward was capitalist, nor does it prove that sons of the working-class and peasantry like Khrushchev or Brezhnev constituted a new exploiting class by virtue of occupying party or state positions.

As for your whining about my tone, it was you who first accused me of having "conveniently ignored" something you wrote.

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 No.9081

File: 465465a1f41b235⋯.jpg (16.5 KB, 330x258, 55:43, 465465a1f41b235e0b968aad00….jpg)

>>9080

>You're either dishonest or profoundly ignorant, and from what I've seen (e.g. writing that "winning the October Revolution does not equal building socialism" as if I had ever claimed it did) you tend toward the former.

So uh, I'm the one who has been attempting to look up passages and help people understand Capital in this thread. The grand total of your posts related to Capital here has been zero. All you've done is derail, which you continue to do. And now you're making the exchange unproductive by engaging in personal attacks.

Guess what? You can answer questions on Capital from now on. I'm out. Bye.


 No.9083

>>9081

I only posted in the thread because I was requested to do so about a specific subject unrelated to Capital: >>9035

If you're wrong and resort to cherry-picking quotations on the subject of the USSR, that doesn't necessarily mean you are incapable of explaining aspects of Capital to newbies. For example, David Harvey is good at explaining Capital even if his actual politics leave much to be desired. Noam Chomsky is basically fine when discussing US foreign policy and the media, but turns into an idiot whenever the subject of socialism comes up (e.g. he's referred to Lenin as a "proto-fascist" and denounced Vietnam for its "aggression" against the Khmer Rouge.)

But if you want to throw a temper tantrum on a subject unrelated to Capital, and use that as an rationale to bail out of the thread altogether, I can't do anything about that.


 No.9203

bump for answers


 No.9266

File: 5ca1d0ef8519613⋯.jpg (5.35 KB, 175x182, 25:26, 1527261318071.jpg)

>>7739

this thread should be pinned


 No.9445

File: 5a081bba0726502⋯.jpg (10.79 KB, 250x339, 250:339, Marx1.jpg)

Still counting on someone to answer my questions about volume 2. Gonna start volume 3 in a few days.


 No.9732

File: 16e595ef7b9745e⋯.jpg (45.33 KB, 903x960, 301:320, brainlet3.jpg)

retard here. Just started chapter 3.

When he starts babbling on about exponents it just flies right over my head. So, what I've gathered from section 1:

Price is the form of appearance of value, a real thing taking the form of an abstract thing.

The exchange ratio is the relation between price and value. It's at this point that there's a measurable difference between the two?

"...whose laws can only assert themselves as blindly operating averages between constant irregularities."

Is he saying here that prices tend to average around value?

"...with the result that price ceases altogether to express value"

And now it doesn't because muh qualitative contradiction?

Help me make sense of all this pls


 No.9735

>>9732

I'll be honest I remember the least from the first chapters of volume 1 and I came in understanding the LTV from other introductory texts, so take of my answers what you will. Which translation of Capital are you reading anyway?

>The exchange ratio is the relation between price and value.

The exchange ratio is the socially necessary labor time ratio between commodity X and commodity Y.

1 coat: 20 linen

I don't recall he talked much about prices in volume 1 besides a few remarks. In most, if not all, of the scenarios he presents he preemptively states that the price is equal to the value, to avoid complications. If my answer isn't what you meant then I've completely forgotten this part. Post the part where he talks about it.

>Is he saying here that prices tend to average around value?

I couldn't find the quote you posted in my version and I'm not sure about the context of that cut-off sentence, so my best reference is to volume 3 where he explains much more lucidly about the nature of prices.

To put it simply and shortly, the value of a commodity (i.e. its socially necessary labor time) is the average around which prices fluctuate, and only over time does a trend emerge.

>And now it doesn't because muh qualitative contradiction?

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Looking at the half-quote I'm guessing (and really there's nothing else to guess but that) he meant that under certain conditions price does not represent value anymore. He gives several explanations in vol. 3.


 No.9777

>>9735

>To put it simply and shortly, the value of a commodity (i.e. its socially necessary labor time) is the average around which prices fluctuate, and only over time does a trend emerge.

That's what I figured Marx was saying.

>I couldn't find the quote you posted in my version

Sorry, here's the full passage. Section 1 of chapter 3:

>The possibility, therefore, of a quantitative incongruity between price and magnitude of value, i.e. the possibility that the price may diverge from the magnitude of value, is inherent in the price-form itself. This is not a defect, but, on the contrary, it makes this form the adequate one for a mode of production whose laws can only assert themselves as blindly operating averages between constant irregularities.

The price-form, however, is not only compatible with the possibility of a quantitative incongruity between magnitude of value and price, i.e. between the magnitude of value and its own expression in money, but it may also harbour a qualitative contradiction, with the result that price ceases altogether to express value, despite the fact that money is nothing but the value-form of commodities. Things which in and for themselves are not commodities, things such as conscience, honour, etc., can be offered for sale by their holders, and thus acquire the form of commodities through their price.

>volume 3 where he explains much more lucidly about the nature of prices.

>he meant that under certain conditions price does not represent value anymore. He gives several explanations in vol. 3.

Ok, I'll try to not overthink prices too much 'til I get to volume 3.

Thanks mate.


 No.10233

So I've been reading volume 3 for a while now, most of my notes were wiped from my e-reader but I still have a few from a recent chapter I read.

Chapter 17 - Commercial Profit

So overall I understand what he's talking about but I can't comprehend what he means towards the end of the chapter about B+K+b + profit on B+K+b

- B is the cost of production he's covering and the profit which the merchant receives is merely selling the commodity at its full value instead of the industrialist's discount for the merchant. So that's quite obvious.

- K is the necessary advancement of constant capital for circulation. The cost is then added to the commodity, which is normal, but why is there a profit on constant capital?

- b is the necessary advancement of variable capital for circulation. But since it creates no value, its only way to create surplus value is to reduce the pay even blow the price of reproduction. Marx doesn't seem to mention it explicitly, he only writes that the employees will be paid less.

P. 202 (from Marxists.org)

>B merely recovers the purchase price and adds nothing to it but the profit on B. K adds the profit on K, and K itself; but K + the profit on K, the part of the circulation costs advanced in the form of constant capital + the corresponding average profit, would be larger in the hands of the industrial capitalist than in the merchant's. The shrinking of the average profit appears in the form of the full average profit calculated after deducting B + K from the advanced industrial capital, with the deduction from the average profit on B + K paid to the merchant, so that this deduction appears as the profit of a specific capital, merchant's capital.

P. 203

>But if b were not invested by the merchant in wages — since b is paid only for commercial labour, hence labour required, to realise the value of the commodity — capital thrown on the market by industrial capital — the matter would stand as follows: to buy or sell for B = 100, the merchant would devote his time, and we wish to assume that this is the only time at his disposal.

>The commercial labour represented by b, or 10, if paid for by profit instead of wages, would presuppose another merchant's capital = 100, since at 10% this makes b = 10. This second B = 100 would not additionally go into the price of commodities, but the 10% would. There would, hence, be two operations at 100 = 200, that would buy commodities at 200 + 20 = 220.

I have no idea what he's saying in the second quote. Why does it presuppose another merchant's capital.

P. 204

>The commercial worker produces no surplus-value directly. But the price of his labour is determined by the value of his labour-power, hence by its costs of production, while the application of this labour-power, its exertion, expenditure of energy, and wear and tear, is as in the ease of every other wage-labourer by no means limited by its value. His wage, therefore, is not necessarily proportionate to the mass of profit which he helps the capitalist to realise. What he costs the capitalist and what he brings in for him, are two different things. He creates no direct surplus-value, but adds to the capitalist's income by helping him to reduce the cost of realising surplus-value, inasmuch as he performs partly unpaid labour.


 No.10651

File: 4791b2161eed46c⋯.jpg (123.94 KB, 532x800, 133:200, 4791b2161eed46c53607e270a4….jpg)

I HAVE FINISHED VOLUME 3

To say the least, the book was only a draft and everything in it could be up to change. My biggest (and only) problem was the difficulty of following and tying up every proposition with the rest of the book. It's nigh impossible to understand how everything fits together, where could there be contradictions (e.g. the transformation problem which Engels addresses at the end), how it ties in with the other two books. Nonetheless, probably the most important volume of them all.


 No.10655

Not sure if anyone will ever answer these, but I might as well lay out these questions/notes:

I am particularly interested in interest heh

Marx says that there is not actual law which determines interest except arbitrary convention, but he still lays out several things which influence it. Sometimes supply and demand, and rate of profit (page 249 Marxists.org edition). If I remember correctly he only means the rate of profit determines it in so far as its limit, but does it affect in any other way? On 258 he says interest has dependence on the rate of profit.

Other than that, has any Marxist after Marx tackled interest? Elaborating or disproving Marx? Finding some law which does regulate it?

And now for something different:

P. 251

>(Note for later elaboration.) A specific form of credit: It is known that when money serves as a means of payment instead of a means of purchase, the commodity is alienated, but its value is realised only later. If payment is not made until after the commodity has again been sold, this sale does not appear as the result of the purchase; rather it is through this sale that the purchase is realised. In other words, the sale becomes a means of purchase.

What does he mean "the sale becomes a means of purchase"? This paragraph is unreadable. Does he elaborate anywhere?

P. 262

>On the other hand, this form of interest lends the other portion of profit the qualitative form of profit of enterprise, and further of wages of superintendence. The specific functions which the capitalist as such has to perform, and which fall to him as distinct from and opposed to the labourer, are presented as mere functions of labour. He creates surplus-value not because he works as a capitalist, but because he also works, regardless of his capacity of capitalist. This portion of surplus-value is thus no longer surplus-value, but its opposite, an equivalent for labour performed.

[...]

>On the one hand, all labour in which many individuals co-operate necessarily requires a commanding will to co-ordinate and unify the process, and functions which apply not to partial operations but to the total activity of the workshop, much as that of an orchestra conductor. This is a productive job, which must be performed in every combined mode of production.

So administrative function is labour. How exactly does it go into the value of the product? I can see how it could just be added, given the minimum of sustenance+his surplus hours, but it doesn't seem as a job that actually contributes to the direct production e.g. just like the merchant can't add storage costs to the product. In another place, which I didn't mark down, Marx says the laborers of cooperative factories pay a hired manager out of their own surplus-value. Were there any Marxists that addressed the administrative role in production?


 No.10659

I should add, the points which I will be going over will be mostly fragmentary because of how the book is organized.

>>10655

Another related quote:

P. 265

>It is manifest from the public accounts of the co-operative factories in England [6] that -- after deducting the manager's wages, which form a part of the invested variable capital much the same as wages of other labourers....

Back to interest:

P. 353

>we have already shown that the average interest over a long period of years, other conditions remaining equal, is determined by the average rate of profit

Does he mean here anything other than the cap posed by the rate of profit to interest, or does he mean something else? I looks like he means something else.

Another question. How does fiat money fall into Marxist economics? Did Marx talk about it anywhere? My only hint is on page 275 where he writes "government-issued paper money" as contrast to metallic money. What was his opinion of the gold standard anyway?

My impression of Marx's idea of transition to socialism (what I infer from "associated producers") is rather a natural one rather than a literal revolution. Or, at least, the conditions must be furnished in such a way that any motive which contributes to it isn't one that is done within a grand scope of things, but more as social forces which are driven by self-interest.

P. 302

>In stock companies the function is divorced from capital ownership, hence also labour is entirely divorced from ownership of means of production and surplus-labour. This result of the ultimate development of capitalist production is a necessary transitional phase towards the reconversion of capital into the property of producers, although no longer as the private property of the individual producers, but rather as the property of associated producers, as outright social property. On the other hand, the stock company is a transition toward the conversion of all functions in the reproduction process which still remain linked with capitalist property, into mere functions of associated producers, into social functions.


 No.10662

P. 356-7

>In commercial credit, the interest -- as the difference between credit price and cash price -- enters into the price of commodities only in so far as the bills of exchange have a longer than ordinary running time. Otherwise it does not. And this is explained by the fact that everyone takes credit with one hand and gives it with the other. [This does not agree with my experience. -- F.E.]

Does Engels or any other writer elaborate here? Where did Marx go wrong?

P. 417

>But it should always be borne in mind that, in the first place, money-in the form of precious metal-remains the foundation from which the credit system, by its very nature, can never detach itself.

He was clearly wrong. Why did he think this?

Again about transition to socialism, page 417

>Finally, there is no doubt that the credit system will serve as a powerful lever during the transition from the capitalist mode of production to the mode of production of associated labour; but only as one element in connection with other great organic revolutions of the mode of production itself.

P. 431

>"The labourers were beginning to emigrate, and the farmers were already beginning to complain that they would not be able to pay such high rents as they have been accustomed to pay, because labour was becoming dearer in consequence of emigration."

>Here, then, high ground-rent is directly identified with low wages. And in so far as the level of land prices is determined by this circumstance-increasing rent-a rise in the value of land is identical with a depreciation of labour, the high price of land is identical with the low price of labour.

I don't understand how high ground-rent is linked with low wages. And if labour was becoming dearer then shouldn't labour's price rise? Maybe I'm just missing something from earlier in the paragraph or the preceding paragraphs. Can someone explain it to me?

P. 449

>It is not the agricultural profit which determines industrial profit, but vice versa

What did he mean by this?

More on transitions of modes of production, page 536

>At the same time, however, the characteristic feature of the interested merchants and manufacturers of that period, which is in keeping with the stage of capitalist development represented by them, is that the transformation of feudal agricultural societies into industrial ones and the corresponding industrial struggle of nations on the world-market depends on an accelerated development of capital, which is not to be arrived at along the so-called natural path, but rather by means of coercive measures. It makes a tremendous difference whether national capital is gradually and slowly transformed into industrial capital, or whether this development is accelerated by means of a tax which they impose through protective duties mainly upon landowners, middle and small peasants, and handicraftsmen, by way of accelerated expropriation of the independent direct producers, and through the violently accelerated accumulation and concentration of capital, in short by means of the accelerated establishment of conditions of capitalist production.

So it is coercive (as was also demonstrated in volume 1), but it is merely accelerated. The actors aren't particularly aware of where their actions will lead in the grand scheme of things. He also mentions later on in the book how most of the actions within the market which lead to its laws, like the equalization of the rate of profit, are unconscious and driven by self-interest due to the conditions of competition.


 No.10663

P. 543-4

>In its further development money-rent must lead -- aside from all intermediate forms, e.g., the small peasant tenant farmer -- either to the transformation of land into peasants’ freehold, or to the form corresponding to the capitalist mode of production, that is, to rent paid by the capitalist tenant farmer.

So here's a particularly interesting passage. I would say possibly one of the most important ones in the entire book. Further down Marx goes over this intermediate form and how it develops into the capitalist mode of production, while also, if I remember correctly, discusses how peasants' freehold ties into both. I don't remember how much he discusses the latter, my memory of this part (and really any specific part of this book) is fuzzy and general, but if I'm not mistaken he mostly -or only- talks of the tenant farmer. What I infer from this passage is that peasants' freehold is a possible alternative mode of production to capitalism, which in a way could be compared to his description of the Australian conditions of production at the end of volume 1 (although capitalism eventually triumphed, through what I would assume importation of the necessary conditions - capital, reserve army of labor, credit, etc - from Britain).

But even if I'm wrong and peasants' freehold really is just another phase, does Marx suggest anywhere how the development of a mode of production could take different routes (on a general scale obviously, not everywhere, pockets of archaic or peculiar modes would continue to exist, which he doesn't deny)? How do dialectics tie into this?

P. 551

>We have seen that, in the case of a given ground-rent, the price of land is regulated by the interest rate. If the rate is low, then the price of land is high, and vice versa.

Someone explain this.

P. 595

>Of course, if wages are reduced to their general basis, namely, to that portion of the product of the producer’s own labour which passes over into the individual consumption of the labourer; if we relieve this portion of its capitalist limitations and extend it to that volume of consumption which is permitted, on the one hand, by the existing productivity of society (that is, the social productivity of his own individual labour as actually social), and which, on the other hand, the full development of the individuality requires; if, furthermore, we reduce the surplus-labour and surplus-product to that measure which is required under prevailing conditions of production of society, on the one side to create an insurance and reserve fund, and on the other to constantly expand reproduction to the extent dictated by social needs

This paragraph seems unintelligible to me. Someone explain?

P. 597

>...ingeniously developed communism of the Peruvians...

Anyone got a source on this? What does he mean and where can I read on it?

Fin.


 No.10697

One last thing which I forgot.

Marx talks at a certain chapter about how to conceive of prices as wage+profit+rent is nonsensical because it's circular logic. He also asks how could the laborer buy his product if the wage is below the sum of the prices? Reproduction could not take place. But isn't in the end the same thing is with the LTV? How could the laborers buy the entirety of the product of society, given the capitalists either save or invest, rather than blow it all on consumer products?

Maybe he explains it somewhere else and I just missed, like in the chapters on circulation in vol. 1 & 2. If that's the case someone please point it out to me. Otherwise, if he doesn't solve that, it seems to me that the fact that the laborer can't buy out his product in its entirety is what leads to overproduction and then a crisis.


 No.10795

>>10663

>This paragraph seems unintelligible to me.

The paragraph right before that one is about how under capitalism, an independent producer with his own land is basically his own worker and boss and landlord, and how this seems to show how capitalism is natural, since he can still reckon in the typical capitalist categories (though it's a bit weird): his salary and profit and rental income. But the reason these categories still make sense to the independent guy is because, even while not having a boss or landlord above him, he is still living in the capitalist class society. A post-capitalist society wouldn't have profit and capitalist investment, but it would still have a notion of what's necessary to cover the physical minimum, and that some work should go into a safety buffer and developing technology.


 No.10803

>>10663

<...ingeniously developed communism of the Peruvians...

>Anyone got a source on this? What does he mean and where can I read on it?

Google provides some articles, and when you skim over the Wikipedia article about the Incan economy, you can see:

1. The Incas had a centrally planned economy with no domestic exchange, just foreign trade

2. The Incas had labour vouchers which they accounted for with labour time, they made knots in strings hanging from a central building in the village for every single hour of work done


 No.10822

>>10655

>>(Note for later elaboration.) A specific form of credit: It is known that when money serves as a means of payment instead of a means of purchase, the commodity is alienated, but its value is realised only later. If payment is not made until after the commodity has again been sold, this sale does not appear as the result of the purchase; rather it is through this sale that the purchase is realised. In other words, the sale becomes a means of purchase.

IIRC Marx distinguishes means of purchase/circulation and means of payment in that means of purchase/circulation is the term for direct real-time correspondence between paying for an item AND receiving the ownership right AND physically obtaining it AND (I think) using it, consuming it. Means of payment is the term for just the money changing hands and other aspects can happen in a delayed way. So...

>when money serves as a means of payment

The money changes hands, but the thing is not immediately consumed on the spot.

>the commodity is alienated

The item changes ownership legally, perhaps also physically, but we are not talking about consuming it.

>but its value is realised only later

It is only used later, it probably hasn't reached the person that will actually consume it (or if we are talking about a machine that is used in production, the machine hasn't reached the business that will actually physically make use of it).

>If payment is not made until after the commodity has again been sold, this sale does not appear as the result of the purchase

Person A gives ownership rights of an item to B (perhaps the item also moves physically from A to B). If payment by B to A is not made until B has sold the item to C, B selling it to C does not appear as the result of B buying it from A...

>rather it is through this sale that the purchase is realised

...rather it is through B selling to C, C being the one actually using/consuming the item, that B's purchase from A is realized. Value is only realized in consumption.

Unnfff. This is some seriously shitty writing. I blame reading Hegel.


 No.11383

Is there any good summary of Marx's rent theories? His chapters on the subject are extremely confusing in vol. 3.

Has any Marxist economist expanded on the subject of rent from Marx?

Seriously, his theories of rent are almost never discussed. Neither for not against.


 No.11424

File: 97474f947eb8564⋯.pdf (1.56 MB, Rent Theory and Working Cl….pdf)

>>11383

I've attached an article "Rent Theory and Working Class Strategy" from 1977 that goes over different theories on rent (Ricardo, George, Proudhon, Marx). The rent on residential real estate in the form of mortgages of course played a central role in the panic of 2007-09... but "real estate" is a hybrid economic category which involves both the value and price of the buildings as commodities and the rents of the land on which the buildings are built which are two different categories mixed together under the title of "real estate."

Some excerpts from the article:

>Absolute rent can reduce surplus value by forcing up the value of labor power, as well as taking part of the surplus value produced from the capitalists. (Differential rent only does the latter). Monopoly of land is thus a problem for the capitalists, who, Marx suggested, might take to the sort of scheme suggested by Henry George, nationalizing land or taxing rents and using the proceeds for the benefit of their own class. Such a reform could abolish absolute rent, forcing all land into use. But it would only transform differential rent from a payment to a landed class to one to an organ of the bourgeoisie. The reform might be urged on labor as a means of reducing food prices, but gains from this reform would, in Marx’s view, be limited because capital could later seek to capture the rest of the benefit through wage reductions. These would be possible because the reform would do nothing to alter the primary way in which land ownership bound labor, namely by preventing the free access of labor to one of the means of production. The British enclosures had first enforced this separation, which was necessary to capitalism. George’s reforms - or the credit reforms of Proudhon which would redistribute land somewhat from a landed class to small businessmen, would not end this situation.

>Engels adds the point that the ownership of housing fails to provide workers with access to the means of production (the owner of a home is still dependent on wages for survival), and that it also ties workers down and divides their interests, tying their small investments to the fate of particular pieces of property as well as to the strength of their class.

>Engels argues that in all capitalist situations reforms affecting the cost of living cannot help the working class. "Either they become general and then they are followed by a corresponding reduction of wages, or they remain quite isolated experiments, and then their very existence as isolated exceptions proves that their realization on a general scale is incompatible with the existing capitalist mode of production."

>"Municipal socialism": In most cases, the large investors who were directly affected by reforms managed to shift the burdens to small investors, by selling off watered stock in utilities or by selling tenements to immigrant investors before controls became effective or inner-city rents began to yield less.45 Public policies often shifted the costs of suburban utilities to inner-city tax bases. When possible, bourgeois reformers linked utility regulation or municipal ownership to political reform proposals designed to limit working class power over elected officials. But urban reform’s corrupt and conservative sides do not negate that many workers’ housing conditions did improve.

>Engels was right in that suburbanization weakened rather than strengthening labor militancy.


 No.12108

>>10822

>Means of payment is the term for just the money changing hands and other aspects can happen in a delayed way.

Or the other way around, first physical transfer of whatever thing and then money. It's "means of payment" whenever the transfer of money and thing or service don't happen simultaneously.


 No.12109

>>12108 (me)

>Or the other way around, first physical transfer of whatever thing and then money

Just went ctrl-f through a bunch of Marx and actually all the examples I found where of the type of delayed payment.




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