[OPE-L:1677] Re: Defining & understanding the accumulation of 1capital

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 19:57:10 -0800

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Duncan wrote:

> It seems to me that Marx distinguishes in theoretical terms between
> simple and expanded reproduction, on the one hand, which are models of
> reproduction of capital without the transformation of the technique of
> production and the organization of capital, and accumulation, on the
> other hand, which embraces all of the qualitative changes that accompany
> the reproduction of capital (revolutionizing of the techniques of
> production, concentration, centralization of capital, and so on).

What makes possible the extended reproduction of capital?

On one side, *increased production of surplus value* makes extended
reproduction and accumulation of capital *possible*. Surplus value can be
increased by increasing absolute surplus value and relative surplus
value, including an increase in the productivity of labor via
increasing intensity of labor and/or technical change (we had an
interesting discussion a few months back on PEN-L regarding whether
increasing intensity of labor could be viewed as increased production of
relative surplus value and increased productivity. This might make an
interesting subject for discussion on this list as well). So, it is
possible to increase accumulation without increasing technical change
(although there are natural and social limits to increasing the
production of absolute s and intensity of labor which Marx discusses).
This, of course, could be incorporated into Duncan's phrase "organization
of capital."

For there to be accumulation, however, increased production of s is a
necessary but not a sufficient condition. I.e., surplus value can take the
form of revenue (s individually consumed by capitalists) and capital (s
which is reinvested in production). This distinction, of course, is
relevant to the distinctions between simple and extended reproduction and
"unproductive" and "productive" consumption of surplus value.

I view the increased concentration and centralization of capital as
processes that happen alongside the accumulation of capital and are
manifestations of the accumulation process.

To what extent do we agree or disagree?

In OPE-L Solidarity,