[OPE-L:2982] Defining accumulation

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 12:51:38 EDT

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Paul Z wrote (OPE 2977):

> Marx DID define accumulation "Hitherto we have investigated how
> surplus-value emanates from capital; we have now to see how capital arises
> from surplus-value. Employing surplus-value as capital, reconverting it
> into capital, is called accumulation of capital." I argue that this
> definition, however, is ambiguous and that "accumulation of capital" has
> become a almost a "catch-all" phrase (a disservice to scientific thought).
        I don't see an obvious ambiguity here, and I'd like to hear more
about the ways in which "accumulation of capital" has become a catch-all; is
what you have in mind the fact that the physicalist strand in post-Marx
marxism talks as if the phrase referred to ever-bigger heaps of machines,
inventories, etc.?

        If so, isn't the problem more their broad misreading of Marx -- i.e.
they think of the surplus primarily as a pile of goods which in principle
could either be directly consumed or not (in which case they think of it as
having been "accumulated"), not as *value*.

        In this case, I think all those one-commodity corn models have a lot
to answer for....


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