[OPE-L:1805] Re: Accumulation of capital in Ch. 24 & 25

Paul Zarembka (ecopaulz@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu)
Mon, 15 Apr 1996 21:01:24 -0700

[ show plain text ]

On Sun, 14 Apr 1996 glevy@acnet.pratt.edu wrote:

> 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?

If it yields more s with the same living labor time s+v, then v is
declining and the cause is production of relative surplus value. If we
have more s with the same v, then s+v is increasing which would be
accumulation of capital.

> 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?

If the less workers are producing for more hours, it is production of
absolute surplus value. If the same hours, then production of relative
surplus. Or a combination of the two.

Paul Z.