Re: [OPE-L] glossary for V1 of _Capital

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue Jan 08 2008 - 10:45:49 EST

I think it is confusing to identify the phrase accumulation of capital
Just the expansion of capitalist social relations of production, which
is what Paul Zs definition does.
It means that one can not properly label what KM called the 'over
accumulation of capital', where the mass of capital increases but the
mass of surplus value does not. In my view there is a real contradiction
here, in that the accumulation of capital follows an exponential law if
a fixed percentage of surplus value is reinvested. This exponential
growth is sustainable so long as capitalist social relations also expand
exponentially. When however the reserve armies of labour are exhausted,
the   accumulation of capital becomes over accumulation and can no
longer follow an exponential law, instead of the capital stock growing
exponentially it grows linearly, with the concomitant of a declining
rate of profit. 

If you say that there is no accumulation of capital in the latter case,
what then are we to call the stock of means of production that
accumulates, if it is not an accumulation of capital what is it?

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Zarembka
Sent: 08 January 2008 12:43
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] glossary for V1 of _Capital

> I am not sure how the various terms you propose fit the case where C
> increases but V does not. If I have you right, you distinguish between
> 'accumulation' which involves increase of C and V and 'accumulation of
> capital', which involves increase of C without increase of V, due to
> either getting workers to work longer hours on more means of
> ('production of absolute surplus value') or getting fewer workers to
> on more productive means of production ('production of relative
> value') so that the organic composition of capital increases or the
> 'materialized composition of capital increases'. Is this what you mean
> say/
> Cheers,
> Ian

Ian, no.

I don't distinguish between two types of 'accumulation of capital', but
rather only one centered around an increase of the proletariat.  I am
interested in a concept involving c/v increasing conditional upon v
constant.  If we want to discuss c/v changing, then we discuss it.  The
deeper point is to have 'accumulation of capital' have a content which
focuses upon the working class.  This is more substantive than using
'accumulation of capital' thrown all over as a sort of high-sounding
pretty much meaning 'capitalism'.

I believe this is consistent with the Marx's deeper intent, but there is
certain ambiguity in his language which I address.

Hope this helps, Paul

(Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001  --  U.S. softcover forthcoming
           video summary from Snowshoe Films at

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