Monday, October 17, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapters 7-8 by Karl Marx

Chapter 7: The Labour Process and the Valorization Process

- The labour process
  1. "In order to embody his labour in commodities, he must above all embody it in use-values, things which serve to satisfy needs of one kind or another. Hence what the capitalist sets the worker to produce is a particular use-value, a specific article." - 283
  2. "He develops the potentialities slumbering within nature, and subjects the play of its forces to his own sovereign power." - 283
  3. "The simple elements of the labour-process are": "purposeful activity, that is work itself", "the object on which that work is performed", and "the instruments of that work." - 284
  4. "He makes use of the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of some substances in order to set them to work on other substances as instruments of his power, and in accordance with his purposes." - 285
  5. changing instruments of labor: "The use and construction of instruments of labour, although present in germ among certain species of animals, is characteristic of the specifically human labour process and [Benjamin] Franklin therefore defines man as 'a tool-making animal'...It is not what is made but how, and by what instruments of labour, that distinguishes different economic epochs." - 286
  6. "Although a use-value emerges from the labour process, in the form of a product, other use-values, products of previous labour, enter into it as means of production...Products are therefore not only results of labour, but also its essential conditions." - 287
  7. "the product of individual consumption is the consumer himself; the result of productive consumption is a product distinct from the consumer." - 290
  8. "The labour process...exhibits two characteristics phenomena": "the worker works under the control of the capitalist to whom his labour belongs" - 291, "the product is the property of the capitalist and not that of the worker, its immediate producer." - 292
  9. "By the purchase of labour-power, the capitalist incorporates labour, as a living agent of fermentation, into the lifeless constituents of the product, which also belongs to him...The labour process is a process between things the capitalist has purchases, things which belong to him." - 292
- The valorization process
  1. "Our capitalist has two objectives": "he wants to produce a use-value which has exchange value" and "he wants to produce a commodity greater in value than the sum of the values of the commodities used to produce it" - 293
  2. "If we now compare the process of creating value with the process of valorization, we see that the latter is nothing but the continuation of the former beyond a definite point." - 302
Chapter 8: Constant Capital and Variable Capital

- "the two properties of labour" - 309
  1. preserve and create value - 309
  2. "On the one hand, the longer time necessary to spin a given weight of cotton into yarn, the greater the amount of fresh value added to the cotton; but, on the other hand, the greater the weight of the cotton spun in a given time, the greater is the value preserved, by being transferred from it to the product." - 309
- "The lifetime of an instrument of labour is thus spent in the repetition of a greater or lesser number of similar operations. The instrument suffers the same fate as the man." - 311

- preservation of value: "As regards the means of production, what is really consumed is their use-value, and the consumption of this use-value by labour results in the product. There is in fact no consumption of their value...It is rather preserved...because the use-value in which it originally existed vanishes (although when it vanishes, it does so into another use-value)." - 315

- "We know however from what has gone before that the labour process may continue beyond the time necessary to reproduce and incorporate in the product a mere equivalent for the value of the labour-power...This surplus-value is the difference between the value of the product and the value of the elements consumed in the formation of the product, in other words the means of production and the labour-power." - 317

- constant capital: "That part of capital, therefore, which is turned into means of production, i.e. the raw material, the auxiliary material and the instruments of labour, does not undergo any quantitative alteration of value in the process of production." - 317

- variable capital: "that part of capital which is turned into labour-power does undergo an alteration of value in the process of production...reproduces the equivalent of its own value and...a surplus-value, which may itself vary, and be more or less according to circumstances." - 317

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