[OPE-L:1698] Re: Defining & understanding the accumulation of

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 00:39:26 -0800

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On Thu, 4 Apr 1996, Paul Zarembka wrote:

> On Tue, 2 Apr 1996, Duncan K Foley wrote:
> > ...I'm
> > also not sure what Paul Z is driving at: the accumulation of capital is
> > from at least some points of view co-extensive with the reproduction of
> > capitalist social relations on a larger scale, so it has many facets.
> [B
> What I am getting at is the theoretical definition of "accumulation of
> capital". If we want to use the term I'd like to be clear what it means.
> Everything in capitalism has many facets, but we sharpen understanding
> when concepts are not swimming around.

I think this may be asking too much of Marx's mode of investigation and
exposition. As I said in my earlier post, I see him distinguishing fairly
consistently between expanded reproduction as a kind of gedanken
experiment in which capital grows quantitatively without qualitative
change, and accumulation of capital as a real historical phenomenon,
which certainly embraces the reinvestment of surplus value, but also
includes the qualitative changes that accompany it. Maybe if you could
give an example of a "theoretical definition" in the sense you want, it
would help.

> When you write that accumulation is "co-extensive with the reproduction of
> capitalist social relations on larger scale..." what does co-extensive mean?
> What is it other than increase in c AND v, more work hours working with
> more means of production? I mean the DEFINITION, not what causes or
> effects expanded c AND v.
> Is this clearer?
> Paul Z.