[OPE-L:1790] Re: Accumulation of capital in Ch. 24 & 25

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sun, 14 Apr 1996 20:39:10 -0700

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Paul Z writes in [OPE-L:1789]:

> No further exploitation is
> gained by using all of s.v. for c only unless it changes s/v--but then we
> are in production of relative surplus value, not accumulation of capital.

Let's step back a step:

What determines the magnitude of accumulation?

"If we assume the proportion in which surplus-value breaks up into
capital and revenue as a given factor, the magnitude of the capital
accumulated depends on the absolute magnitude of the surplus-value.
[....] Hence all the circumstances that determine the mass of
surplus-value operate to determine the magnitude of the accumulation"
(Penguin ed., p. 747).

Let's take an example. Suppose that a given amount of labor is able to
produce a greater magnitude of s through an increase in relative surplus
value via technical change. This will mean that the amount of money capital
available for the purchase of both c and v will increase. Now suppose
that capitalists use that s to purchase more c but the same v in the
next period of production. Why might this happen? If it is supposed that
there is a technological advance in means of production, investing in
more c will yield even more s in the next period even with the same
amount of v since the social productivity of labor will have increased.
Would this be an example, even if is a special case, of the accumulation
of capital?

> The bottom line is that capitalism is a relation of exploitation by
> capital over wage-labor and more surplus-value comes from production of
> absolute surplus value, relative surplus value, and/or accumulation (more
> workers exploited).

To address the implications of the above, I believe we have to move
forward to Sections 2 & 3 of Ch. 25. Is the "general law of capitalist
accumulation" an instance of non-accumulation *if* it means that less
workers are exploited even though those workers who are exploited are
exploited more?

In OPE-L Solidarity