Friday, October 28, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapters 9-11 by Karl Marx

Chapter 9: The Rate of Surplus-Value

  1. C = c+v; "The capital C is made up of two components, one the sum of money c laid out on means of production, and the other the sum of money v expended on labour-power" - 320
  2. C' = (c+v) + s; s being surplus-value
  3. "The new value actually created in the process, the 'value-product', is therefore not the same as the value of the product; it is not...(c+v) + s...but rather v+s...c, the constant capital, = 0"; C = (0+v) = v, C' = v+s --> C'-C = s (322)
  4. v+s = v + change in v; "we know that surplus-value is purely the result of an alteration in the value of v" - 322
  5. rate of surplus value: s/v, "the ratio in which the variable capital has valorized its value" - 324
  6. surplus labour: "During the second period of the labour process, that in which his labour is no longer necessary labour, the worker does indeed expend labour-power, he does work, but his labour is no longer necessary labour...He creates surplus-value which, for the capitalist, has all the charms of something created out of nothing." - 325
  7. s/v ~ surplus labour, necessary labour - 326
  8. rate of surplus value: "the degree of exploitation of labour-power by capital, or of the worker by the capitalist." - 326
  9. Senior's "Last Hour" - "my assertion that in the first 5 3/4 hours he produces his wages, and in the last 5 3/4 hours your net profit, amounts only to this, that you pay him for the former, but not for the latter." - 336
Chapter 10: The Working Day

- The limits of the working day
  1. "The working day is thus not a constant, but a variable quantity...its total amount varies with the duration of the surplus labour. The working day is therefore capable of being determined, but in and for itself indeterminate." - 341
  2. "Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the worker works is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour power he has bought from him. If the worker consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist." - 342
- The voracious appetite for surplus labour. Manufacturer and Boyar.
  1. "Wherever a part of society possesses the monopoly of the means of production, the worker, free or unfree, must add to the labour-time necessary for his own maintenance an extra quantity of labour-time in order to produce the means of subsistence for the owner of the means of production" - 344
  2. "The less business there is, the more profit has to be made on the business done. The less time spent in work, the more of that time has to be turned into surplus labour-time." - 350
- Branches of English industry without legal limits to exploitation

  1. "this slow sacrifice of humanity which takes place in order that veils and collars may be fabricated for the benefit of capitalists" - 354
  2. "The incredible adulteration of bread...was first revealed by the Committee of the House of Commons 'on the adulteration of articles of food'...The Committee itself more or less naively formulated its conviction that free trade essentially meant trade with adulterated, or as the English ingeniously put it, 'sophisticated' goods." - 358
- Day-work and night-work. The shift system
  1. "The prolongation of the working day beyond the limits of the natural day, into the night, only acts as a palliative. It only slightly quenches the vampire thirst for the living blood of labour. Capitalist production therefore drives, by its inherent nature, towards the appropriation of labour throughout the whole of the 24 hours in the day...An alternation becomes necessary, between the labour-power used up by day and those used up by night." - 367
  2. "Steel-making is simply a pretext for profit-making. The steel furnaces, rolling-mills, etc., the buildings, machinery, iron, coal, etc., have something more to do than transform themselves into steel. They are there to absorb surplus labour, and they naturally absorb more in 24 hours than in 12." - 373
- The struggle for a normal working day. Laws for the compulsory extension of the working day, from the middle of the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century
  1. "In every stock-jobbing swindle everyone knows that some time or other the crash must come, but everyone hopes that it may fall on the head of his neighbor, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in secure hands. Apres moi le deluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and every capitalist nation. Capital therefore takes no account of the health and the length of life of the worker, unless society forces it to do so." - 381
  2. "While the modern Factory Acts compulsorily shorten the working day, the earlier ['English Labour'] statutes ['from the fourteenth to well into the middle of the eighteenth'] tried forcibly to lengthen it...the pretensions of capital in its embryonic state...must be aided by the power of the state" - 382
  3. "The more carefully we examine the history of the past, the more reason shall we find to dissent from those who imagine that our age has been fruitful of new social evils...That which is new is the intelligence and the humanity which remedies them." - History of England, Macaulay - 385, footnotes
  4. "Protestantism, by changing almost all the traditional holidays into working days, played an important part in the genesis of capital." - 387, footnotes
- The struggle for a normal working day. Laws for the compulsory limitation of working hours. The English Factory  legislation of 1833-64
  1. "The law-makers were so far from wishing to interfere with the freedom of capital to exploit adult labour-power, or, as they called it, 'the freedom of labour', that they created a special system in order to prevent the Factory Acts from having such a frightful consequence." - 391
  2. "The years 1846 to 1847 are epoch-making in the economic history of England. The Corn Laws were repealed; the duties on cotton and other raw materials were removed; free trade was proclaimed as the guiding star of legislation, in short, the millennium had arrived."  - 395
  3. "the most fundamental right under the law of capital is the equal exploitation of labour-power by all capitalists." - 405
- The struggle for a normal working day. Impact of the English factory legislation on other countries
  1. "Capital's drive towards a boundless and ruthless extension of the working day is satisfied first in those industries which were first to be revolutionized by water-power, steam and machinery,...the spinning and weaving of cotton, wool, flax and silk." - 411
  2. "the worker as 'free' seller of his labour-power, succumbs without resistance once capitalist production has reached a certain stage of maturity. The establishment of a normal working day is therefore the product of a protracted and more or less concealed civil war between the capitalist class and the working class." - 412-3
Chapter 11: The Rate and Mass of Surplus-Value
  1. rate of surplus-value: "the value of labour-power, and therefore the part of the working day necessary for the reproduction or maintenance of that labour-power, is assumed to be a given, constant magnitude. With this presupposition, the rate of surplus-value directly gives us the mass of surplus-value furnished to the capitalist by the worker within a definite period of time." - 417
  2. mass of surplus-value: "determined by the product of the number of labour-powers simultaneously exploited by the same capitalist and the degree of exploitation of each individual labour-power." - 418
  3. "A certain stage of capitalist production necessitates that the capitalist be able to devote the whole of the time during which he functions as a capitalist, i.e. as capital personified, to the appropriation and therefore the control of the labour of others...and to the sale of the products of that labour." - 423

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