[OPE-L:1697] Re: Defining & understanding the accumulation of 1capital

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 00:39:08 -0800

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On Wed, 3 Apr 1996 glevy@acnet.pratt.edu wrote:

> 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?

As long as the rate of surplus value is positive, capital can accumulate
simply from the reinvestment of past realized surplus value. This
wouldn't require absolute or relative surplus value increases.

> 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."

My intervention concerned just plain old "accumulation", not necessarily
"increasing accumulation".

> 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.

This is how I take Marx on the relation between accumulation,
centralization and concentration.

> To what extent do we agree or disagree?
> In OPE-L Solidarity,
> Jerry