[OPE-L:1784] Re: Accumulation of capital in Ch. 24, V1

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sun, 14 Apr 1996 10:30:12 -0700

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Paul Z wrote in [OPE-L:1783]:

> The paragraphs following the
> opening of Ch. 24 need to be recognized as providing the definition but I
> wasn't suggesting that everything else in the chapter is part of the
> definitional question.
> > In your definition, in response to Duncan, where did you stop? >
> Huh? I don't understand your question.

I gave the definition in the first paragraph of Ch. 24. You said (and say
above) that the following paragraphs (and few pages) are relevant for the
definitional issue. I am asserting that the remainder of the chapter as
well has relevance for our understanding of both the definition and
process of accumulation.

> > What factors *including the division of surplus value into capital and
> > revenue*, determine the extent of accumulation? The separation of s into
> > capital and revenue is discussed in Section 3 (the section that includes
> > the *assumption* of capitalists as "personified capital"). Other factors
> > are discussed in Section 4 (beginning on p. 747, Penguin ed).
> These factors are not definitional issues.

I believe that these sections make it clearer what Marx meant by the
expression accumulation of capital.

Unfortunately (yes, I know I'm raising a controversial question), Marx's
form of presentation does not have the same clear layout as one finds in
Hegel's _Encyclopedia_ or Geert Reuten's and Mike Williams _Value-Form and
the State_. Definitions are not always given clearly, for instance, and
one has to put Marx's words in a logical context to understand their
meaning. In part, I believe this was a consequence of:

a) the fact that _Capital_ was intended to be a critique of political
economy. He, consequently, frequently develops his definitions and
analysis via critique. Note, for instance, his citing of Malthus's
definition of accumulation in a footnote on the first page of Ch. 24.

b) there are many historical sections which could be viewed as
supplementary material which could have been relegated to footnotes or

c) the fact that Marx wanted _Capital_ to be a popular work which would
have a political effect. I believe this consideration affected the form of
presentation and was a reason for both the long historical sections and
some elements of critique.

In OPE-L Solidarity,