Grundrisse: Notebook III / IV – The Chapter on Capital

Surplus value and productive force. Relation when these increase. – Result. – Productive force of labour is productive force of capital. – In proportion as necessary labour is already diminished, the realization of capital becomes more difficult

We have seen: The worker needs to work only e.g. half a working day in order to live a whole one; and hence to be able to begin the same process again the next day. Only half a day’s work is objectified in his labouring capacity – to the extent that it exists in him as someone alive, or as a living instrument of labour. The worker’s entire living day (day of life) is the static result, the objectification of half a day’s work. By appropriating the entire day’s work and then consuming it in the production process with the materials of which his capital consists, but by giving in exchange only the labour objectified in the worker – i.e. half a day’s work – the capitalist creates the surplus value of his capital; in this case, half a day of objectified labour. Now suppose that the productive powers of labour double, i.e. that the same labour creates double the use value in the same time. (For the moment, use value is defined in the present relation as only that which the worker consumes in order to stay alive as a worker; the quantity of the means of life for which, through the mediation of money, he exchanges the labour objectified in his living labouring capacity.) The worker would then have to work only 1/4 day in order to live a full day; the capitalist then needs to give the worker only 1/4 day’s objectified labour in exchange, in order to increase his surplus value in the production process from 1/2 to 3/4; so that he would gain 3/4 day’s objectified labour instead of 1/2. At the end of the production process, the value of the capital would have risen by 3/4 instead of by 2/4. Thus the capitalist would have to make the workers work only 3/4 day, in order to add the same surplus value – that of 1/2 or 2/4 objectified labour – to his capital. However, as representative of the general form of wealth – money – capital is the endless and limitless drive to go beyond its limiting barrier. Every boundary [Grenze] is and has to be a barrier [Schranke] for it. [48] Else it would cease to be capital – money as self-reproductive. If ever it perceived a certain boundary not as a barrier, but became comfortable within it as a boundary, it would itself have declined from exchange value to use value, from the general form of wealth to a specific, substantial mode of the same. Capital as such creates a specific surplus value because it cannot create an infinite one all at once; but it is the constant movement to create more of the same. The quantitative boundary of the surplus value appears to it as a mere natural barrier, as a necessity which it constantly tries to violate and beyond which it constantly seeks to go. * Therefore (quite apart from the factors entering in later, competition, prices etc.) the capitalist will make the worker work not only 3/4 day, because the 3/4 day bring him the same surplus value as the whole day did before, but rather he will make him work the full day; and the increase in the productive force which allows the worker to work for 1/4 day and live a whole day now expresses itself simply in that he now has to work 3/4 day for capital, whereas before he worked for it only 2/4 day. The increased productive force of his labour, to the extent that it is a shortening of the time required to replace the labour objectified in him (for use value, subsistence), appears as a lengthening of the time he labours for the realization of capital (for exchange value). From the worker’s standpoint, he now has to do a surplus labour of 3/4 day in order to live a full day, while before he only had to do a surplus labour of 2/4 day. The increase, the doubling of the productive force, has increased his surplus labour by 1/4 [day]. One remark here: the productive force has doubled, the surplus labour the worker has to do has not doubled, but has only grown by 1/4 [day]; nor has capital’s surplus value doubled; but it, too, has grown by only 1/4 [day]. This shows, then, that surplus labour (from the worker’s standpoint) or surplus value (from capital’s standpoint) does not grow in the same numerical proportion as the productive force. Why? The doubling in the productive force is the reduction of necessary labour (for the worker) by 1/4 [day], hence also the [increase of the] production of surplus value by 1/4, because the original relation was posited as 1/2. If the worker had to work, originally, 2/3 day in order to live one full day, then the surplus value would have been 1/3, and the surplus labour the same. The doubling in the productive force of labour would then have enabled the worker to restrict his necessary labour to half of 2/3 or 2/(3 × 2), 2/6 or 1/3 day, and the capitalist would have gained 1/3 [day] of value. But the total surplus labour would have become 2/3 [day]. The doubling of the productive force, which resulted in 1/4 [day] surplus value and surplus labour in the first example, would now result in 1/3 [day] surplus value or surplus labour. The multiplier of the productive force – the number by which it is multiplied – is therefore not the multiplier of surplus labour or of surplus value; but rather, if the original relation of the labour objectified in the labour price was 1/2 of the labour objectified in 1 working day, which always appears as the limit, then the doubling is equal to the division of 1/2 by 2 (in the original relation), i.e. 1/4. If the original relation was 2/3, then the doubling equals the division of 2/3 by 2 = 2/6 or 1/3. The multiplier of the productive force is thus never the multiplier but always the divisor of the original relation, not the multiplier of its numerator but of its denominator. If it were the former, then the multiplication of the productive force would correspond to the multiplication of the surplus value. Instead, the surplus value is always equal to the division of the original relation by the multiplier of the productive force. If the original relation was 8/9, i.e. the worker needs 8/9 of a working day to live, so that capital gains only 1/9 in its exchange with living labour, if surplus labour equals 1/9, then the worker can now live from half of 8/9 of a working day, i.e. with 8/18 = 4/9 (whether we divide the numerator or multiply the denominator the same thing), and the capitalist, who orders a full day’s work, would have a total surplus value of 4/9 working day; subtracting the original surplus value of 1/9 from this leaves 3/9 or 1/3. The doubling of the productive force therefore = here an increase in surplus value or surplus time by 1/3. This is simply because the surplus value is always equal to the relation between the whole working day and that part of the working day necessary to keep the worker alive. The unit in which surplus value is calculated is always a fraction, i.e. the given part of a day which exactly represents the price of labour. If that is = 1/2, then the increase in the productive force = the reduction of necessary labour to 1/4; if it is = 1/3, then reduction of necessary labour to 1/6; hence in the first, the total surplus value = 3/4; in the second = 5/6; the relative surplus value, i.e. relative to that present before, in the first case = 1/4, in the second = 2/6 or 1/3. Therefore the value of capital does not grow in the same proportion as the productive force increases, but in the proportion in which the increase in the productive force, the multiplier of productive force, divides the fraction of the working day which expresses the part of the day belonging to the worker. The extent to which the productive force of labour increases the value of capital thus depends on the original relation between the portion of labour objectified in the worker and his living labour. This portion is always expressed as a fractional part of the whole working day, 1/3, 2/3, etc. The increase in productive force, i.e. its multiplication by a given amount, is equal to a division of the numerator or the multiplication of the denominator of this fraction by the same amount. Thus the largeness or smallness of the increase of value depends not only on the number which expresses the multiplication of the productive force, but equally on the previously given relation which makes up the part of the work day belonging to the price of labour. If this relation is 1/3, then the doubling of the productive force of the working day = a reduction of the same to 1/6; if it is 2/3, then reduction to 2/6. The objectified labour contained in the price of labour is always equal to a fractional part of the whole day; always arithmetically expressed as a fraction; always a relation between numbers, never a simple number. If the productive force doubles, multiplies by 2, then the worker has to work only 1/2 of the previous time in order to get the price of labour out of it; but how much labour time he still needs for this purpose depends on the first, given relation, namely on the time which was required before the increase in productive force. The multiplier of the productive force is the divisor of this original fraction. Value or surplus labour therefore does not increase in the same numerical relation as productive force. If the original relation is 1/2 and the productive force is doubled, then the necessary (for the worker) labour time reduces itself to 1/4 and the surplus value grows by only 1/4. If the productive force is quadrupled, then the original relation becomes 1/8 and the value grows by only 1/8. The value can never be equal to the entire working day; i.e. a certain part of the working day must always be exchanged for the labour objectified in the worker. Surplus value in general is only the relation of living labour to that objectified in the worker; one member of the relation must therefore always remain. A certain relation between increase in productive force and increase of value is already given in the fact that the relation is constant as a relation, although its factors vary. We see therefore, on one side, that relative surplus value is exactly equal to relative surplus labour; if the working day was 1/2 and the productive force doubles, then the part belonging to the worker, necessary labour, reduces itself to 1/4 and the new value is also exactly 1/4; but the total value is now 3/4. While surplus value rose by 1/4, i.e. in the relation of 1:4, the total surplus value = 3/4 = 3:4. Now if we assume that 1/4 was the original necessary working day, and a doubling in productive force took place, then necessary labour is reduced to 1/8 and surplus labour or surplus value exactly = 1/8 = 1:8. The total surplus value by contrast = 7:8. In the first example the original total surplus value = 1:2 (1/2) and then rose to 3:4; in the second case the original total surplus value was 3/4 and has now risen to 7:8 (7/8). In the first case it has grown from 1/2 or 2/4 to 3/4; in the second from 3/4 or 6/8 to 7/8; in the first case by 1/4, in the second by 1/8; i.e. in the first case it rose twice as much as in the second: but in the first case the total surplus value is only 3/4 or 6/8 while it is 7/8 in the second, i.e. 1/8 more.

* The barrier appears as an accident which has to be conquered. This is apparent on even the most superficial inspection. If capital increases from 100 to 1,000, then 1,000 is now the point of departure, from which the increase has to begin; the tenfold multiplication, by 1,000% counts for nothing; profit and interest themselves become capital in turn. What appeared as surplus value now appears us simple presupposition etc., as included in its simple composition.

Messrs the manufacturers have, however, also prolonged it into the night, ten hours’ bill. See the report of Leonard Horner. [49] The working day itself does not recognize daylight as a limit; it can be lengthened deep into the night; this belongs to the chapter on wages.

Let necessary labour be 1/16, then total surplus value = 15/16; which was 5/8 = 10/16 in the previous relation; thus the total surplus value presupposed is by 5/16 higher than in the previous case. [50] Now let the productive force double, then necessary labour = 1/32; which was previously = 2/32 (1/16); hence surplus time has risen by 1/32, surplus value by the same proportion. As regards the total surplus value, which was 15/16 or 30/32, this is now 31/32. Compared to the earlier relation (where necessary labour was 1/4 or 8/32), the total surplus value is now 31/32, whereas it was only 30/32 earlier, hence grew by 1/32. But regarded relatively, the doubling of production increased it in the first case by 1/8 or 4/32, while it has now increased by only 1/32, i.e. by 3/32 less.

If necessary labour had already been reduced to 1/1,000, then the total surplus value would be = 999/1,000. Now if the productive force increased a thousandfold, then necessary labour would decline to 1/1,000,000 working day and the total surplus value would amount to 999,999/1,000,000 of a working day; whereas before this increase in productive force it amounted to only 999/1,000 or 999,000/1,000,000; it would thus have grown by 999/1,000,000 = 1/11 (with the addition of 1/(11 + 1/999), [51] i.e. the thousandfold increase in productive force would have increased the total surplus by not even 1/11, i.e. not even by 3/33, whereas in the previous case it rose by 1/32 owing to a mere doubling of the productive force. If necessary labour falls from 1/1,000 to 1/1,000,000, then it falls by exactly 999/1,000,000 (for 1/1,000 = 1,000/1,000,000), i.e. by the surplus value.

If we summarize this, we find:

Firstly: The increase in the productive force of living labour increases the value of capital (or diminishes the value of the worker) not because it increases the quantity of products or use values created by the same labour – the productive force of labour is its natural force – but rather because it diminishes necessary labour, hence, in the same relation as it diminishes the former, it creates surplus labour or, what amounts to the same thing, surplus value; because the surplus value which capital obtains through the production process consists only of the excess of surplus labour over necessary labour. The increase in productive force can increase surplus labour – i.e. the excess of labour objectified in capital as product over the labour objectified in the exchange value of the working day – only to the extent that it diminishes the relation of necessary labour to surplus labour, and only in the proportion in which it diminishes this relation. Surplus value is exactly equal to surplus labour; the increase of the one [is] exactly measured by the diminution of necessary labour.

Secondly: The surplus value of capital does not increase as does the multiplier of the productive force, i.e. the amount to which the productive force (posited as unity, as multiplicand) increases; but by the surplus of the fraction of the living work day which originally represents necessary labour, in excess over this same fraction divided by the multiplier of the productive force. Thus if necessary labour = 1/4 of the living work day and the productive force doubles, then the value of capital does not double, but grows by 1/8; which is equal to 1/4 or 2/8 (the original fraction of the work day which represents necessary labour) − 1/4 divided by 2, or = 2/8 minus 1/8 = 1/8. (That value doubles itself can also be expressed, it grows 4/2 [-fold] or 16/8 [-fold]. Its growth would relate to that of the productive force by 1:16. (That is it!) [52] If the fraction was 1/1,000 and the productive force increases a thousandfold, then the value of capital does not grow a thousandfold, but rather by far less than 1/11; it grows by 1/1,000 − 1/1,000,000, i.e. by 1,000/1,000,000 − 1/1,000,000 = 999/1,000,000.)

Thus the absolute sum by which capital increases its value through a given increase of the productive force depends on the given fractional part of the working day, on the fractional part of the working day which represents necessary labour, and which therefore expresses the original relation of necessary labour to the living work day. The increase in productive force in a given relation can therefore increase the value of capital differently e.g. in the different countries. A general increase of productive force in a given relation can increase the value of capital differently in the different branches of industry, and will do so, depending on the different relation of necessary labour to the living work day in these branches. This relation would naturally be the same in all branches of business in a system of free competition, if labour were simple labour everywhere, hence necessary labour the same. (If it represented the same amount of objectified labour.)

Thirdly: The larger the surplus value of capital before the increase of productive force, the larger the amount of presupposed surplus labour or surplus value of capital; or, the smaller the fractional part of the working day which forms the equivalent of the worker, which expresses necessary labour, the smaller is the increase in surplus value which capital obtains from the increase of productive force. Its surplus value rises, but in an ever smaller relation to the development of the productive force. Thus the more developed capital already is, the more surplus labour it has created, the more terribly must it develop the productive force in order to realize itself in only smaller proportion, i.e. to add surplus value – because its barrier always remains the relation between the fractional part of the day which expresses necessary labour, and the entire working day. It can move only within these boundaries. The smaller already the fractional part falling to necessary labour, the greater the surplus labour, the less can any increase in productive force perceptibly diminish necessary labour; since the denominator has grown enormously. The self-realization of capital becomes more difficult to the extent that it has already been realized. The increase of productive force would become irrelevant to capital; realization itself would become irrelevant, because its proportions have become minimal, and it would have ceased to be capital. If necessary labour were 1/1,000 and the productive force tripled, then it would fall to only 1/3,000 or surplus labour would have increased by only 2/3,000. But this happens not because wages have increased or the share of labour in the product, but because it has already fallen so low, regarded in its relation to the product of labour or to the living work day. *

* The labour objectified in the worker here shows itself as a fraction of his own living work day; for that is the same as [the proportion] in which the objectified labour which he obtains from capital as wages stands to the entire working day.

(All these statements correct only in this abstraction for the relation from the present standpoint. Additional relations will enter which modify them significantly. The whole, to the extent that it proceeds entirely in generalities, actually already belongs in the doctrine of profit.)

So much in general for the time being: the development of the productive force of labour – first the positing of surplus labour – is a necessary condition for the growth of value or the realization of capital. As the infinite urge to wealth, it strives consistently towards infinite increase of the productive forces of labour and calls them into being. But on the other hand, every increase in the productive force of labour – leaving aside the fact that it increases the use values for the capitalist – is an increase in the productive force of capital and, from the present standpoint, is a productive force of labour only in so far as it is a productive force of capital.

Concerning increases in the value of capital

This much is already clear, can at least be mentioned in anticipation: the increase in the productive force does not in and by itself increase prices. For example the bushel of wheat. If a half of a working day objectifies itself in one bushel of wheat, and if this is the worker’s price, then the surplus labour can only produce 2 bushels of wheat. Thus 2 bushels of wheat [is] the value of one working day, and if that = 26s. in money, = 26s. Each bushel = 13s. Now if the productive force doubles, then the bushel of wheat no more than = 1/4 working day; = 6 1/2s. With the productive force, the price of this fractional part of the commodity fell. But the total price remained; but now a surplus of 3/4 working day. Every fourth = 1 bushel wheat = 6 1/2s. Thus the total product = 26s. = 4 bushels. Same as before. The value of the capital increased from 13s. to 19 1/2s. The value of labour diminished from 13s. to 6 1/2s.; material production rose from 2 bushels to 4. Now 19 1/2. [53] Now, if the force of production were to double also in gold production, so that, if 13s. were the product of half a working day and this half a day were the necessary labour before; now 1/4 [working day] produces 52s. or 52 − 13 = 39s. more. 1 bushel of wheat now = 13s.; the same fractional price afterwards as before; but the total product = 52s.; before only = 26s. On the other hand, the 52s. would now buy 4 bushels, while the 26, earlier, bought only 2.

Well. First of all it is clear that if capital has already raised surplus labour to the point where the entire living work day is consumed in the production process (and we here assume the working day to be the natural amount of labour time which the worker is able to put at the disposal of capital; this is always only for a specific time, i.e. specific labour time), then an increase in the productive force cannot increase labour time, nor, therefore, objectified labour time. The product objectifies one working day, whether the necessary time of labour is represented by 6 or 3 hours, by 1/2 or 1/4 of the working day. The surplus value of capital has grown; i.e. its value relative to the worker – for if it was only = 2/4 before, it is now = to 3/4 of objectified labour time; but its value increased not because the absolute but because the relative amount of labour grew; i.e. the total amount of labour did not grow; the working day is as long before as after; hence no absolute increase in surplus time (surplus labour time); rather the amount of necessary labour decreased, and that is how relative surplus labour increased. The worker in fact worked a whole day before, but only 1/2 day of surplus time; afterwards, as before, he works the whole day, but 3/4 of a day of surplus time. To that extent, therefore, the price (presupposing this as its gold and silver value), or the exchange value of capital, has not increased with the doubling of the productive force. This therefore concerns the rate of profit, not the price of the product or the value of the capital, which became a commodity again in the product. But in fact the absolute values also increase in this manner, because that part of wealth which is posited as capital – as self-realizing value – also increases. (Accumulation of capitals.) Take our earlier example. Let capital = 100 thalers, and let it decompose in the production process into the following parts: 50 thalers cotton, 40 thalers wages, 10 thalers instrument. Assume at the same time, in order to simplify the arithmetic, that the entire instrument of labour is consumed in one act of production (and this is quite beside the point here, so far), so that its entire value would reappear in the form of the product. Suppose in this case that the 40 thalers which go to labour express a labour time objectified in living labouring capacity of, say, 4 hours, giving capital 8 hours. Presupposing the instrument and the raw material, the total product would amount to 100 thalers, if the worker works only 4 hours, i.e. if the raw material and the instrument were his property and he worked for 4 hours only. He would increase the 60 thalers by 40, which he could consume, since firstly he replaces the 60 thalers in raw material and instrument required for production, and then adds a surplus value of 40 thalers as reproduction of his own living labour capacity or of the time objectified in him. He could repeat the work again and again, since he would have reproduced the value of the raw material and of the instrument as well as of the labouring capacity; the latter by constantly increasing the value of the former by 4 hours of objectified labour. But now let him receive the 40 thalers in wages only by working 8 hours, so that he would add to the material and instrument of labour, which now confront him as capital, a surplus value of 80 thalers; while the former surplus value of 40 thalers, which he added, is only exactly the value of his labour. He would thus add a surplus value exactly = to the surplus labour or surplus time. * The value of capital would thus have increased from 100 thalers to 140.

* It is not in the least necessary at this point to assume that the material and instrument also has to increase along with surplus labour or surplus time. How surplus labour by itself increases the raw material, see Babbage, e.g. the working of gold wire etc. [54]

Assume further that raw material doubles and the instrument of labour (for the sake of simpler arithmetic) increases by one-half. Then capital costs would amount to 100 thalers cotton, 20 thalers instrument, i.e. 120 thalers; for labour, now as then, 40 thalers; altogether 160 thalers. If a surplus labour of 4 hours increases 100 thalers by 40%, then it increases 160 thalers by 64 thalers. Hence the total product = 224 thalers. We here have presupposed, further, that the rate of profit does not vary with the size of capital; and material and instrument of labour are not regarded as being themselves realizations, capitalizations of surplus labour; as we saw, the greater the already posited surplus time, i.e. the size of capital as such, the more is it presupposed that an absolute increase of labour time is impossible, and that a relative increase, resulting from an increase in the productive force, declines in geometric proportion.

Now, capital regarded as simple exchange value would be absolutely greater, 140 thalers instead of 100; but in fact, a new value would merely have been created, i.e. a value which is not merely necessary to replace the 60 thalers in advances for the materials and the instrument of labour and the 40 thalers for labour, a new value of 40 thalers. The values in circulation would have been increased by 80 thalers, by 40 thalers of additional objectified labour time.

Now assume the same presupposition. 100 thalers capital; specifically, 50 for cotton, 40 for labour, 10 for instrument of production; let the surplus labour time remain as before, i.e. 4 hours, and the total labour time 8 hours. Thus in all cases the product only = 8 hours labour time = 140 thalers. Now suppose the productive force of labour doubles; i.e. 2 hours would be enough for the worker to realize raw materials and instrument to the extent required to maintain his labouring capacity. If 40 thalers were an objectified labour time of 4 hours, then 20 thalers would be the objectified labour time of 2 hours. These 20 thalers now express the same use value as the 40 thalers before. The exchange value of labouring capacity has diminished by half, because half of the original labour time creates the same use value, while the exchange value of the use value is measured purely by the labour time objectified in it. But the capitalist makes the workers work 8 hours now as before, and his product therefore represents now as before a labour time of 8 hours = 80 thalers of labour time, while the value of raw material and material remain the same, namely 60 thalers; altogether, as before, 140 thalers. (In order to live, the worker himself would have had to add to the 60 thalers of raw material and instrument a value of no more than 20 thalers, he would thus have created a value of only 80 thalers. The total value of his product would have diminished, by the doubling of production, from 100 to 80, by 20 thalers, i.e. by 1/5 of 100 = 20%.) But the surplus time or surplus value for capital is now 6 hours instead of 4, or 60 thalers instead of 40. Its increment is 2 hours, 20 thalers. His accounts would now show the following: for raw material, 50; for labour, 20; for instrument, 10; costs = 80 thalers. Gain = 60 thalers. Now as before he would sell the product for 140 thalers, but would show a gain of 60 thalers instead of 40 as before. On one side, therefore, he throws only the same exchange value into circulation as before, 140 thalers. But the surplus value of his capital has grown by 20 thalers. Accordingly, only the share he gets of the 140 thalers [is] the rate of his profit. The worker in fact worked 2 hours more for him free of charge, i.e. 6 hours instead of 4, and this is the same for him as if he had worked 10 hours instead of 8 in the earlier relation, had increased his absolute labour time. But indeed a new value has arisen also; namely 20 additional thalers are posited as autonomous value, as objectified labour which has become free, unbound from the task of serving only in exchange for earlier labour power [Arbeitskraft]. This can present itself in two ways. Either the 20 thalers set as much additional labour into motion as becomes capital and creates larger exchange value: make more objectified labour into the point of departure for the new production process; or the capitalist exchanges the 20 thalers as money for commodities other than those which he needs in its production as industrial capital; all commodities other than labour and money themselves thus are exchanged for 20 more thalers, for 2 more hours of objectified labour time. Their exchange value has thus increased by just this liberated sum. In fact, 140 thalers are 140 thalers, as the very ‘perceptive’ French publisher of the Physiocrats remarks against Boisguillebert. [55] But it is false that these 140 thalers only represent more use value; they represent a greater amount of independent exchange value, of money, of latent capital; i.e. of wealth posited as wealth. The economists themselves admit this later when they allow the accumulation of capitals to accumulate not only the mass of use values, but that of exchange values too; for, according to Ricardo himself, the element of the accumulation of capitals is posited just as completely with relative surplus labour as with absolute – impossible any other way. [56] On the other side, it is already implicit in the thesis best developed by Ricardo, that these excess 20 thalers, which are created purely by the increase in productive force, can become capital again. Earlier, only 40 of the 140 thalers (leaving capital’s consumption aside for now) could become new capital; 100 do not become capital but remain capital; now 60 [can], i.e. the present capital is greater by an exchange value of 20 thalers. Thus, exchange value, wealth as such, has increased, although the total sum of the same has not directly increased. Why has it increased? Because that part of the total sum has increased which was not a mere medium of circulation, but money; or which was not merely equivalent, but exchange value for-itself [für sich seiend]. Either the liberated 20 thalers were accumulated as money, i.e. added to the stock of exchange values in general (abstract) exchange value form; or they all circulated, and then the prices of the commodities bought with them rise; they all represent more money, as well as, since the production cost of gold has not fallen (rather, risen relative to the commodity produced by the more productive capital), more objectified labour (because of this, the excess production, which at first only appeared on the side of the one producing capital, now appears on the side of the others, which produce the more expensive commodities); or the 20 thalers are directly used up as capital by the originally circulating capital. Thus a new capital of 20 thalers is posited – a sum of self-preserving and self-realizing wealth. Capital has risen by the exchange value of 20 thalers. (Circulation actually does not yet concern us here, since we are here dealing with capital in general, and circulation can only mediate between capital in the form of money and capital in its form as capital; the first capital may realize money as such, i.e. exchange it for commodities, consume more than before; but in the hand of the producer of these commodities this money becomes capital. Thus it becomes capital directly in the hands of the first capital, or, via a detour, [in those] of another capital. But the other capital is always in turn capital as such; and we are concerned here with capital as such, [let us] say the capital of the whole society. The differentiation etc. of capitals does not concern us yet.) In general, these 20 thalers can appear only in a double form. As money, so that capital again exists in the character of money which has not yet become capital – its point of departure; the abstract-autonomous form of exchange value or of general wealth; or itself in turn as capital, as a new domination of objectified labour over living labour. * (Every increase in the mass of capital employed can increase the productive force not only at an arithmetical but at a geometrical rate; although it can increase profit at the same time – as increase of productive force – only at a much lower rate. The influence of the increase of capital on the increase of productive force is thus infinitely greater than that of the increase of the productive force on the growth of capital.) As general wealth, materialized in the form of money (of the thing, in its mere abstractness), or of new living labour. The capitalist consumes, say, 20 of the 140 thalers as use values for himself, through the mediation of money as means of circulation. Thus, in the first presupposition, he could begin the process of self-realization only with a larger capital, a larger use value of 120 (as against 100). After the doubling in the productive forces, he can do it with 140 thalers without restricting his consumption. A larger part of the exchange values solidifies as exchange value, instead of vanishing in use value (whether it solidifies as such, through production, directly or indirectly). To create a larger capital means to create a larger exchange value; although exchange value in its direct form as simple exchange value has not been increased by the growth of productivity, it has in its intensified form as capital. This larger capital of 140 thalers represents, absolutely, more objectified labour than the earlier capital of 120 thalers. It therefore also, at least relatively, sets more living labour into motion and therefore also ultimately reproduces more simple exchange value. The capital of 120 thalers at 40% produced a product or simple exchange value of 60 thalers at 40%; the capital of 140 thalers a simple exchange value of 64 thalers. Here, then, the increase in exchange value in the form of capital is still posited directly as an increase in exchange value in its simple form. It is of the highest importance to remember this. It is not enough to say, like Ricardo, that exchange value does not increase; i.e. the abstract form of wealth; but only exchange value as capital. [57] In saying this he is looking only at the original production process. But if relative surplus labour increases – and capital therefore increases absolutely – then there is necessarily also an increase within circulation also of relative exchange value existing as exchange value, money as such, and therefore, through the mediation of the production process, absolute exchange value. In other words, of this same amount of exchange value – or money – and the product of the realization process appears in this simple form – the product is surplus value only relative to capital, to value such as it existed before the production process; for itself, regarded as an independent existence, it is merely quantitatively defined exchange value – a part has become liberated, which does not exist as equivalent for already present exchange values or for already present labour time. If it is exchanged for those already present, it gives them not an equivalent but more than an equivalent, and thus liberates a part of the exchange value on their side. In a static state, this liberated exchange value by which society has become richer can only be money, in which case only the abstract form of wealth has increased; [is] in motion: [it] can realize itself only in new living labour (whether labour which had been dormant is set into motion, or new workers are created (population [growth] is accelerated) or again a new circle of exchange values, of exchange values in circulation, is expanded, which can occur on the production side if the liberated exchange value opens up a new branch of production, i.e. a new object of exchange, objectified labour in the form of a new use value; or the same is achieved when objectified labour is put in the sphere of circulation in a new country, by an expansion of trade). The latter must then be created.

* In the example given, the productive force has doubled, risen by 100%, the value of capital has risen by 20%.

The form in which Ricardo attempts to clarify the matter for himself (and he is very unclear in this regard) says at bottom nothing more than that he just introduces a certain relation, instead of saying, simply, that out of the same sum of simple exchange values a smaller part posits itself in the form of simple exchange value (equivalent) and a larger part in the form of money (money as the original, antediluvian form out of which capital always arises anew; money in its character as money, not as coin etc.); that therefore the part posited as exchange value for-itself, i.e. as value, increases, i.e. wealth in the form of wealth (whereas he comes to just the mistaken conclusion that it increases only in the form of material, physical wealth as use value). The origin of wealth as such, in so far as it arises not from rent, i.e., according to him, not from the increase in productive force, but rather from the decrease of the same, is therefore totally incomprehensible to him, and he entangles himself in the wildest contradictions. Let us take the form of the matter. [58] Capital 1,000 sets 50 workers into motion; or 50 living work days; through a doubling of the productive force, it could set 100 working days into motion. But these latter do not exist in the presupposition, and are introduced arbitrarily, because otherwise – unless more real working days are introduced – he does not grasp the increase in exchange value which arises from increased productivity. At the same time, the growth of population is never developed by him as an element in the increase of exchange values; never clearly and definitely stated. Let the presupposition be capital 1,000 and workers 50. The correct deduction, which he himself also draws (see Notebook) [59] : capital 500 with 25 workers can produce the same use value as before; the other 500 with the other 25 workers establish a new business and likewise produce an exchange value of 500. The profit remains the same, since it arises not from the exchange of 500 for 500, but from the proportions in which profit and wages originally divide in the 500, and since exchange deals in equivalents, which can no more increase value than external trade can, which Ricardo explicitly demonstrates. Since the exchange of equivalents just means nothing more than that the value in the hands of A before the exchange with B still exists in his hands after the exchange with B. The total value or wealth has remained the same. Use value, however, or the material of wealth, has doubled. Now, there is absolutely no reason here why wealth should grow as wealth, exchange value as such – as far as the increase in the productive forces is concerned. If the productive forces again double in both branches, then capital A can again divide into two of 250 with 12 1/2 working days each, capital B can do the same. [60] There are now four capitals with the same total exchange value of £1,000, consuming 50 living work days as before, * producing four times as much use value as before the doubling of consumption value. Ricardo is too classical to commit absurdities, like those who claim to improve on him, who derive the larger value after the increase in productive force from one party selling at a higher price within circulation. As soon as the capital of 500 has become commodity, simple exchange value, instead of exchanging it for 500, he exchanges it for 550 (at 10%), but then the other party obviously only gets 450 in exchange value instead of 500 and the total sum remains 1,000 as before. This happens often enough in commerce, but explains the profit made by one capital only by the loss of the other capital, and not the profit of capital; and without this presupposition there can be profit neither on one nor on the other side. Ricardo’s process can therefore go on without any other limit than the increase of the productive force (and this is again physical, located outside the economic relation itself) possible with a capital of 1,000 and 50 workers. See the following passage: ‘Capital is that part of the wealth of a country which is employed with a view to future production, and may be increased in the same manner as wealth.[61] (Wealth for him the abundance of use values; and, seen from the standpoint of simple exchange, the identical objectified labour can express itself in limitless use values and constantly remain the same exchange value, as long as it remains the same amount of objectified labour, for its equivalent is measured not by the mass of use value in which it exists, but rather by its own amount.) ‘An additional capital will be equally efficacious in the formation of future wealth, whether it be obtained from improvements of skill or machinery, or from using more revenue productively; for wealth’ (use value) ‘always depends on the quantity of commodities produced’ (also somewhat on their variety, it seems), ‘without regard to the facility with which the instruments employed in production may have been produced’ (i.e. the labour time objectified in them). ‘A certain quantity of clothes and provisions will maintain and employ the same number of men; but they will be of twice the value’ (exchange value) ‘if 200 have been employed on their production.’ If, owing to an increase in the productive force, 100 produce as much in use values as 200 earlier, then: ‘of the 200, half are let go, so that the remaining 100 produce as much as the 200 did before. Thus a half of the capital can be withdrawn from this branch of business; as much capital has become free as labour. And since one half of the capital now does quite the same service as did the whole, two capitals have now been formed etc.’ (cf. 39, 40 ibid. on national trade, [62] to which we must return). Ricardo does not speak here about the working day; [the fact] that, if the capitalist earlier exchanged half of an objectified working day for the worker’s entire living work day, [he] thus at bottom gains only half a living work day, since he gives the other half in objectified form to the worker, and obtains it from him in the living form, i.e. pays the worker a half of the working day, instead of in the form of simultaneous working days, i.e. of different workers; this does not alter the matter, only its expression. Each one of these working days furnishes so much more surplus time. If the capitalist, before, had the working day as limit, he now has 50 working days etc. As has been said, this form does not posit an increase in exchange values with an increase in the number of capitals through productivity, and, according to Ricardo, it would also be possible for the population to fall from, say, 10,000,000 to 10,000, without a decrease in exchange values or the quantity of use values (see conclusion of his book). [63] We are the last to deny that capital contains contradictions. Our purpose, rather, is to develop them fully. But Ricardo does not develop them, but rather shifts them off by considering the value in exchange as indifferent for the formation of wealth. That is to say, he contends that in a society based upon the value of exchange, and wealth resulting from such value, the contradictions to which this form of wealth is driven with the development of productive powers etc. do not exist, and that a progress of value is not necessary in such a society to secure the progress of wealth, consequently that value as the form of wealth does not at all affect that wealth itself and its development, i.e. he regards exchange value as merely formal. Then, however, he remembers (1) that the capitalists are concerned with value, (2) that, historically, with the progress of the productive forces (of international trade too, he should have noted), there is a growth in wealth as such, i.e. the sum of values. Now, how to explain this? Capitals accumulate faster than the population; thus wages rise; thus population; thus grain prices; thus the difficulty of production and hence the exchange values. The latter are then finally reached by a detour. We will here entirely omit the moment of rent, since we are not yet concerned with increased difficulty of production but rather with its opposite, with increase in the productive forces. With the accumulation of capitals, wages rise unless population grows simultaneously; the worker marries, production is spurred on or his children live better, do not die before their time etc. In short, the population grows. Its growth, however, gives rise to competition among the workers, and thereby forces the worker to sell his labour power to the capitalist at its value again, or momentarily even below it. Now the accumulated capital, which has meanwhile grown up more slowly, again has the surplus which it earlier spent in the form of wages, i.e. as coin, in order to buy the use value of labour, available to it in the form of money, in order to realize it as capital in living labour, and, since it now also disposes over a greater amount of working days, its exchange value grows in turn. (Even this not really developed in Ricardo, but mixed up with the theory of rent; since the surplus which capital earlier lost in the form of wages is now lost to it in the form of rent, owing to the growth of population.) But even the growth of population is not really comprehensible in his theory. At no time has he shown that there is an inherent relation between the whole of the labour objectified in capital and the living work day (whether the latter is represented as one working day of 50 × 12 hours, or as 12 hours of labour by 50 workers, is the same thing as far as the relation goes), and that this inherent relation is just the relation between the fractional part of the living work day, or that between the equivalent of the objectified labour with which the worker is paid, and the living working day; where the whole is the day itself, and the inherent relation is the variable relation (the day itself is a constant) between the fractional part of the necessary hours of labour and the hours of surplus labour. And, just because he has not developed this relation, he has also not developed [the point] (which did not concern us up to now, since we were concerned with capital as such and introduced the development of the productive forces as an external relation) that the development of the productive forces itself presupposes both the increase of capital and the increase of simultaneous working days, which, however, within the given barrier of a capital that sets one working day into motion (even if it be a day of 50 × 12 hours, 600 hours), is itself the barrier to the development of its productive force. The wage covers not only the worker, but also his reproduction; so that when this specimen of the working class dies, another replaces it; after the 50 workers are dead, 50 new ones are there to replace them. The 50 workers themselves – as living labour capacities – represent not only the costs of their own production, but also the costs which had to be paid to their parents above and beyond their wages as individuals, in order to replace themselves with 50 new individuals. Thus the population progresses even without a rise in wages. But now, why does it not progress rapidly enough? and why does it need a special stimulus? Surely only because the aim of capital is not served merely by obtaining more ‘wealth’ in the Ricardian sense, but because it wants more value, to command more objectified labour. But indeed, according to him, it can command the latter only if wages fall; i.e. if more living work days are exchanged for the same capital with objectified labour, and hence a greater value is created. In order to make wages fall, he presupposes increase of population. And in order to prove increase of population here, he presupposes that the demand for working days increases, in other words, that capital can buy more objectified labour (objectified in labouring capacity), hence that its value has grown. Originally, however, he proceeded from just the contrary presupposition, and took the detour only because that is where he began. If £1,000 was able to buy 500 working days, and the productive force increases, then either it can proceed to employ the 500 in the same branch of work, or it can divide up and employ 250 in one branch of work, 250 in another, so that this capital splits into 2 capitals of 500 each. But it can never command more than 500 working days, since otherwise, according to Ricardo, not only the use values it produces but also their exchange value must have multiplied itself, the objectified labour time over which it exercises command. Thus, given his presupposition, an increased demand for labour cannot take place. But if it does take place, then capital’s exchange value has grown. Compare Malthus on value, who senses the contradictions, but falls flat when he himself tries to develop them. [64]

* It is at bottom false to say that living labour consumes capital; capital (objectified labour) consumes the living in the production process.

Labour does not reproduce the value of the material in which, and of the instrument with which, it works. It preserves their value simply by relating to them in the labour process as to their objective conditions. This animating and preserving force costs capital nothing; appears, rather, as its own force etc.

We have always spoken only about the two elements of capital, the two parts of the living work day, of which one represents wages, the other profit; one, necessary labour, the other, surplus labour. But what about the other two parts of capital, which are realized in the material of labour and the instrument of labour? As far as the simple production process is concerned, labour presupposes the existence of an instrument which facilitates the work, and of a material in which it presents itself, which it forms. This form gives it its use value. This use value becomes exchange value through exchange, to the extent that it contains objectified labour. But are they, as components of capital, values which labour must replace? Thus in the above example (and such objections [were] heaped on Ricardo; that he regarded profit and wages only as components of production costs, not the machine and the material), it seems that if the capital is 100, divided 50 for cotton, 40 for wages, 10 for instrument; and if the wages, of 40 thalers, = 4 hours of objectified labour, and capital orders a working day of 8 hours, then the worker who has to reproduce 40 thalers for wages, 40 thalers surplus time (profit), 10 thalers instrument, 50 thalers cotton = 140 thalers, reproduces only 80 thalers. For 40 thalers are the product of half a working day; 40 are the other, surplus half. But the value of the two other component parts of capital is 60 thalers. Since the worker’s real product is 80 thalers, he can reproduce only 80, not 140. He would have, instead, decreased the value of the 60; since 40 of the 80 [is] replacement for his wages; and the remaining 40 of surplus labour [is] smaller by 20 than 60. Instead of a profit of 40, the capitalist would have a loss of 20 on the part of his original capital consisting of instrument and material. How is the worker supposed to create still another 60 on top of the 80 thalers of value, since one half of his working day, as his wages show, creates only 40 thalers out of the instrument and the material; the other half only the same; and he disposes of only one working day, cannot work two days in one? Suppose the 50 thalers in material = x lb. of cotton yarn; the 10 thalers in instrument = spindle. Now, first, as regards the use value, it is clear that if the cotton did not already have the form of yarn and wood and iron the form of the spindle, then the worker could produce no fabric, no higher use value. For him himself, the 50 thalers and the 10 thalers in the production process are nothing but yarn and spindle, not exchange values. His labour has given them a higher use value, and added objectified labour to the amount of 80 thalers to them, i.e. 40 thalers to reproduce his wages, 40 surplus time. The use value – the fabric – contains one additional working day, half of which, however, replaces only that part of capital for which the disposition over the labouring capacity has been exchanged. The worker has not created the objectified labour contained in yarn and spindle, which form a part of the value of the product; for him they were and remain material to which he gave another form and into which he incorporated new labour. The only condition is that he should not waste them, and this he did not do, in so far as his product has use value, and a higher use value than before. It now contains objectified labour in two parts – his working day, and that already contained in his material, yarn and spindle, independent of him and before him. The previously objectified labour was the condition of his labour; it was necessary to make his labour what it is, costs him no labour. Suppose they were not already presupposed as components of capital, as values, and had cost him nothing. Then the value of the product, if he worked a whole day, would be 80, if a half day, 40 thalers. It would just = one objectified working day. Indeed, they cost him nothing in production; however, this does not destroy the labour time objectified in them, which remains and merely obtains another form. If, in addition to the fabric, the worker also had to create the yarn and the spindle in the same working day, then the process would be in fact impossible. The fact, therefore, that they call for his labour neither as use values in their original form, nor as exchange values, but are on hand, makes it possible for the addition of a working day by him to create a product of a value higher than one working day. He succeeds in this, however, to the extent that he does not have to create this additional part, but rather finds it on hand as material, as presupposition. It can therefore only be said that he reproduces these values in so far as without labour they would rot, be useless; but without them, labour would be equally useless. In so far as the worker reproduces these values, he does so not by giving them a higher exchange value, or entering into any process with their exchange value at all, but merely by subordinating them to the simple production process, merely by working. But this costs him no additional labour time besides what he needs for their processing and higher realization. It is a situation into which capital has put him so that he may work. He reproduces the values only by giving them a higher value, and this giving of a higher value is = his working day. Otherwise he lets them be as they are. That their old value is preserved happens because a new one is added to them, not that the old is itself reproduced, created. In so far as they are products of previous labour, a product of previous labour, a sum of previously objectified labour remains an element of his product, so that the product contains, in addition to its new value, the old as well. He therefore in fact produces in this product only the day’s work which he adds to it, and the preservation of the old value costs him absolutely nothing apart from what it costs him to add the new. For him it is only a material, and remains that no matter how it changes its form; therefore [it is] something present independently of his labour. That this material, which remains that, since it only obtains a different form, itself already contains labour time is the business of capital, not his own; similarly, it is independent of his labour and continues on after it, just as it existed before it. This so-called reproduction costs him no labour time, but is rather the condition of his labour time, since it is nothing more than positing the substance on hand as the material of his labour, relating to it as material. He therefore replaces the old labour time by the act of working itself, not by the addition of special labour time for this purpose. He replaces it simply by the addition of the new, by means of which the old is preserved in the product and becomes an element of a new product. Thus the worker in his working day does not replace the raw material and the instrument in so far as they are values. The capitalist thus obtains this preservation of the old value just as free of charge as he obtains surplus labour. But he obtains it free of charge, because it costs the worker nothing, and is, instead, the result of the fact that the material and the instrument of labour are already in his hands as presupposition, and the worker cannot work, therefore, without making this already objectified labour, now in the hands of capital, into the material of his own labour, thereby also preserving the labour objectified in this material. The capitalist, then, pays the worker nothing for the fact that the yarn and the spindle – their value – reappear, as far as their value is concerned, in the fabric, and are thus preserved. This preservation takes place simply by the addition of new labour, which adds a higher value. What arises from the original relation between capital and labour, then, is that the same service which living labour as living labour performs for objectified labour costs capital nothing, just as it costs the worker nothing, but merely expresses the relation that the material and the instrument of labour confront the worker as capital, as presuppositions independent of him. The preservation of the old value is not a separate act from the addition of the new, but happens by itself; appears as a natural result of the same. But the fact that this preservation costs capital nothing and costs the worker nothing either is already posited in the relation of capital and labour, which in itself is already the former’s profit and the latter’s wage.

The individual capitalist may imagine (and for his accounts it serves as well) that, if he owns a capital of 100 thalers, 50 thalers in cotton, 40 thalers to buy labour with, 10 thalers in instrument, plus a profit of 10% counted as part of his production costs, then labour has to replace his 50 thalers of cotton, 40 thalers subsistence, 10 thalers instrument plus 10% of 50, of 40 and of 10; so that in his imagination, labour creates 55 thalers of raw material, 44 thalers subsistence and 11 thalers instrument for him, together = 110. But this is a peculiar notion for economists, even though it has been advanced with great pomp as an innovation against Ricardo. If the worker’s working day = 10 hours, and if he can create 40 thalers in 8 hours, i.e. can create his wage, or, what is the same, can maintain and replace his labour capacity, then he needs 4/5 of a day in order to replace his wages for capital, and he gives capital 1/5 in surplus labour, or 10 thalers. In exchange for the 40 thalers in wages, for 8 hours of objectified labour, therefore, capital obtains 10 hours of living labour, and this excess constitutes the entirety of its profit. The total objectified labour which the worker has created, then, is 50 thalers, and, regardless of the costs of the instrument and of the raw materials, more he cannot add, for his day cannot objectify itself in more labour than that; now, the fact that he adds these 50 thalers – 10 hours of labour (of which only 8 replace the wage) – to the 60 thalers contained in raw material and instrument – and thereby has simultaneously preserved the raw material and the instrument – they are preserved just by coming into contact again with living labour, and being used as instrument and as material – this costs him no labour (and he would have no time available in which to do this), nor does the capitalist pay him for it. Like every other natural or social power of labour unless it is the product of previous labour, or of such previous labour as does not need to be repeated (e.g. the historical development of the worker etc.), this natural animating power of labour – namely that, by using the material and instrument, it preserves them in one or another form, including the labour objectified in them, their exchange value – becomes a power of capital, not of labour. Hence not paid for by capital. As little as the worker is paid for the fact that he can think etc.

We have seen the original presupposition of the coming into being of capital is the existence of money as money, i.e. as money which has withdrawn from circulation and asserts itself negatively towards it, i.e. value which has become independent from and against circulation – i.e. the commodity for which the character of exchange value is not merely a formal, vanishing character, [which it possesses only] before being exchanged for another use value and finally disappearing as an object of consumption. On the other side, money (in its third, adequate form) – as value which no longer enters circulation as equivalent, but is not yet potentiated as capital, i.e. value independent of and relating negatively against circulation – is at the same time the result of capital’s product, in so far as that product is not merely its own reproduction (but this reproduction is merely formal, since, of the three parts of its value, only one is really consumed and hence reproduced, namely that which replaces wages; profit, on the other hand, is not reproduction but addition of value, surplus value). Just as money at first appeared as the presupposition, the cause of capital, so it now appears as its effect. In the first movement, money arose out of simple circulation; in the second it arises from the production process of capital. In the first, it makes a transition to capital; in the second it appears as a presupposition of capital posited by capital itself; and is therefore already posited as capital in itself [an sich], already contains the ideal relation towards capital. It does not simply make a transition to capital, but rather, as money, its potential to be transformed into capital is already posited in it.

Absolute surplus labour time. Relative. – It is not the quantity of living labour, but rather its quality as labour which simultaneously preserves the labour time already contained in the material etc. – The change of form and substance in the direct production process. – The preservation of the previous stage of production by the subsequent one is contained in the simple production process etc. – Preservation of the old use value by new labour etc. – Process of production and process of realization. The quantity of objectified labour is preserved because contact with living labour preserves its quality as use value for new labour. – In the real production process, the separation of labour from its objective conditions of existence is suspended. But in this process labour already incorporated in capital etc. Appears as capital’s power of self-preservation. Eternalization of value

The increase of values is therefore the result of the self-realization of capital; [regardless of] whether this self-realization is the result of absolute surplus time or of relative, i.e. of a real increase in absolute labour time or of an increase in relative surplus labour, i.e. of a decrease in the fractional part of the working day which is required as labour time necessary to preserve the labouring capacity, as necessary labour in general.

Living labour time reproduces nothing more than that part of objectified labour time (of capital) which appears as an equivalent for the power of disposition over living labour capacity, and which, therefore, as an equivalent, must replace the labour time objectified in this labouring capacity, i.e. replace the production costs of the living labour capacities, in other words, must keep the workers alive as workers. What it produces in addition to that is not reproduction but rather new creation, and, more specifically, creation of new values, because it is the objectification of new labour time in a use value. That the labour time contained in the raw material and instrument is preserved at the same time is a result not of the quantity of labour, but of its quality of being labour as such; and there is no special payment for this, its general quality, for the fact that labour, as labour, is labour – leaving aside all special qualifications, all specific kinds of labour – because capital has bought this quality as part of its exchange with the worker.

But the equivalent for this quality (for the specific use value of labour) is measured simply by the quantity of labour time which has produced it. Initially the worker’s use of the instrument as an instrument, and his shaping of the raw material, adds to the value of the raw material and of the instrument as much new form as is = to the labour time contained in his own wage; what he adds additionally is surplus labour time, surplus value. For their part, the raw materials and the instrument are preserved not in their form but in their substance, through the simple relation of being used as instrument and being posited as the raw material of labour, the simple process of coming into contact with labour, being posited as its means and object and therefore as objectification of living labour, moments of labour itself; and, viewed economically, their substance is objectified labour time. By being posited as a material mode of existence – means and end [Objekt] – of living labour, objectified labour time ceases to exist in a one-sided, objective form, in which, as a mere thing, it is at the prey of processes of chemical decay etc. There is an indifference on the part of the substance [Stoff] towards the form, which develops out of merely objectified labour time, in whose objective existence labour has become merely the vanished, external form of its natural substance, existing merely in the external form of the substantial [das Stoffliche] (e.g. the form of the table for wood, or the form of the cylinder for iron); [65] no immanent law of reproduction maintains this form in the way in which the tree, for example, maintains its form as a tree (wood maintains itself in the specific form of the tree because this form is a form of the wood; while the form of the table is accidental for wood, and not the intrinsic form of its substance); it exists only as a form external to the substance, or it exists only as a substance [stofflich]. The dissolution to which its substance is prey therefore dissolves the form as well. However, when they are posited as conditions of living labour, they are themselves reanimated. Objectified labour ceases to exist in a dead state as an external, indifferent form on the substance, because it is itself again posited as a moment of living labour; as a relation of living labour to itself in an objective material, as the objectivity of living labour (as means and end [Objekt]) (the objective conditions of living labour). The transformation of the material by living labour, by the realization of living labour in the material – a transformation which, as purpose, determines labour and is its purposeful activation (a transformation which does not only posit the form as external to the inanimate object, as a mere vanishing image of its material consistency) – thus preserves the material in a definite form, and subjugates the transformation of the material to the purpose of labour. Labour is the living, form-giving fire; it is the transitoriness of things, their temporality, as their formation by living time. In the simple production process – leaving aside the realization process – the transitoriness of the forms of things is used to posit their usefulness. When cotton becomes yarn, yarn becomes fabric, fabric becomes printed etc. or dyed etc. fabric, and this becomes, say, a garment, then (1) the substance of cotton has preserved itself in all these forms. (The chemical process, regulated by labour, has everywhere consisted of an exchange of (natural) equivalents etc.); (2) in each of these subsequent processes, the material has obtained a more useful form, a form making it more appropriate to consumption; until it has obtained at the end the form in which it can directly become an object of consumption, when, therefore, the consumption of the material and the suspension of its form satisfies a human need, and its transformation is the same as its use. The substance of cotton preserves itself in all of these processes; it becomes extinct in one form of use value in order to make way for a higher one, until the object is in being as an object of direct consumption. But when cotton is posited, say, as twist, then it is posited in a specific relation to a further kind of labour. If this labour were not to take place, then not only has the form been posited in it uselessly, i.e. the previous labour is not reaffirmed by new labour, but the material is also spoiled, because, in the form of twist, it has a use value only in so far as it is worked on further: it is a use value only in respect of the use which further labour makes of it; is use value only in so far as its form as twist is suspended in the form of fabric; while cotton in its existence as cotton is capable of an infinite number of useful employments. Thus, without further labour, the use value of cotton and twist, material and form, would be botched; it would be destroyed instead of produced. Material as well as form, substance like form, are preserved by further labour – preserved as use value, until they obtain the form of use value as such, whose use is consumption. It is therefore already a part of the simple production process that the earlier stage of production is preserved by the later, and that positing the higher use value preserves the old, or, the old use value is transformed only to the extent that it is raised to a higher use value. It is living labour which preserves the use value of the incomplete product of labour by making it the material of further labour. It preserves it, however, i.e. protects it from uselessness and decay, only by working it in a purposeful way, by making it the object of new living labour. This preservation of the old use value is not a process taking place separately from the increase or the completion of the use value by new labour; it takes place, rather, entirely in this new labour of raising the use value. When the labour of weaving transforms yarn into fabric, i.e. treats yarn as the raw material of weaving (a particular form of living labour) (and twist has a use value only if it is woven into fabric), it thereby preserves the use value which cotton had as such, as well as that which cotton had obtained specifically as yarn. It preserves the product of labour by making it into the raw material of new labour; but what happens is not that it (1) adds new labour and (2) besides that, by means of additional labour, preserves the use value of the raw material. It preserves the utility of cotton as yarn by weaving the yarn into fabric. (All this belongs already in the first chapter on production in general.) Preserves it by weaving it. This preservation of labour as product – of the use value of the product of labour by its becoming the raw material of new labour, being again posited as material objectivity of purposeful living labour – is given with the simple production process. As regards use value, labour has the property of preserving the existing use value by raising it, and it raises it by making it into the object of new labour as defined by an ultimate aim; by changing it in turn from the form of its indifferent consistency into that of objective material, the body of labour. (The same holds for the instrument. A spindle maintains itself as a use value only by being used up for spinning. If it is not, the specific form which is here posited in iron and wood would be spoiled for use, together with the labour which posited it and the material in which it did the positing. The use value of wood and iron, and of their form as well, are preserved only by being posited as a means of living labour, as an objective moment of the existence of labour’s vitality. As an instrument of labour, it is their destiny [Bestimmung] to be used up, but used up in the process of spinning. The increased productivity which it lends to labour creates more use values and thereby replaces the use value eaten up in the consumption of the instrument. This appears most clearly in agriculture, because there the instrument appears most easily, because most anciently, as a use value, directly as a means of life – in contrast to exchange value. If the hoe allows the tiller to grow twice as much grain as before, then he has to spend less time on the production of the hoe itself; he has enough food to make a new hoe.) Now, in the realization process, the value components of capital – the one in the form of the material, the other in the form of instrument – confront the worker, i.e. living labour (for the labourer exists in the process only as such) not as values, but rather as simple moments of the production process; as use values for labour, as the objective conditions of its efficacity, or as its objective moments. It lies in the nature of labour itself to preserve them by using the instrument as instrument and by giving the raw material a higher form of use value. But, as components of capital, the use values thus obtained from labour are exchange values; as such, determined by the costs of production contained in them, the amount of labour objectified in them. (Use value is concerned only with the quality of the labour already objectified.) The quantity of objectified labour is preserved in that its quality is preserved as use value for further labour, through the contact with living labour. The use value of cotton, as well as its use value as yarn, are preserved by being woven; by existing as one of the objective moments (together with the spinning wheel) in the weaving process. The quantity of labour time contained in the cotton and the cotton yarn are therefore also preserved thereby. The preservation of the quality of previous labour in the simple production process, – hence of its material as well – becomes, in the realization process, the preservation of the quantity of labour already objectified. For capital, this preservation is the preservation of the amount of objectified labour by the production process; for living labour itself, it is merely the preservation of the already present use value. Living labour adds a new amount of labour; however, it is not this quantitative addition which preserves the amount of already objectified labour, but rather its quality as living labour, the fact that it relates as labour to the use values in which the previous labour exists. But living labour is not paid for this quality, which it possesses as living labour – if it were not living labour, it would not be bought at all – rather, it is paid for the amount of labour contained in itself. What is paid for is only the price of its use value, like that of all other commodities. It does not receive payment for its specific quality of adding new amounts of labour to the amounts of labour already objectified, and at the same time preserving labour which is already objectified as objectified labour; and this quality does not cost the worker anything either, since it is a natural property of his labouring capacity. Within the production process, the separation of labour from its objective moments of existence – instruments and material – is suspended. The existence of capital and of wage labour rests on this separation. Capital does not pay for the suspension of this separation which proceeds in the real production process – for otherwise work could not go on at all. (Nor does this suspension take place in the process of exchange with the worker; but rather in the process of work itself, during production. But, as ongoing labour, it is itself already incorporated in capital, and a moment of the same. This preserving force of labour therefore appears as the self-preserving force of capital. The worker has merely added new labour; as for previous labour – owing to the existence of capital – this has an eternal existence as value, quite independent of its material existence. This is how the matter appears to capital and to the worker.) If it had to pay for this quality also, then it would just cease to be capital. This is part of the material role which labour plays by its nature in the production process; of its use value. But as use value, labour belongs to the capitalist; it belongs to the worker merely as exchange value. Its living quality of preserving objectified labour time by using it as the objective condition of living labour in the production process is none of the worker’s business. This appropriation, by means of which living labour makes instrument and material in the production process into the body of its soul and thereby resurrects them from the dead, does indeed stand in antithesis to the fact that labour itself is objectless, is a reality only in the immediate vitality of the worker – and that the instrument and material, in capital, exist as beings-for-themselves [für sich selbst seiende]. (Return to this.) The process of the realization of capital proceeds by means of and within the simple production process, by putting living labour into its natural relation with its moments of material being. But to the extent that labour steps into this relation, this relation exists not for itself, but for capital; labour itself has become already a moment of capital.

Capitalist obtains surplus labour free of charge together with the maintenance of the value of material and instrument. Labour, by adding a new value to the old one, at the same time maintains, eternizes [sic] the latter. – The preservation of values in the product costs capital nothing. – By means of the appropriation of ongoing labour, the capitalist already possesses a claim to (and, respectively) appropriation of future labour

We see therefore that the capitalist, by means of the exchange process with the worker – by indeed paying the worker an equivalent for the costs of production contained in his labour capacity, i.e. giving him the means of maintaining his labour capacity, but appropriating living labour for himself – obtains two things free of charge, first the surplus labour which increases the value of his capital; but at the same time, secondly, the quality of living labour which maintains the previous labour materialized in the component parts of capital and thus preserves the previously existing value of capital. But this preservation does not take place as a result of an increase in the amount of labour objectified by living labour, a creation of value, but simply as a result of its existence as living labour in the proper relation with material and instrument, i.e. through its quality as living labour. As such a quality, it is itself a moment of the simple production process and does not cost the capitalist anything, any more than yarn and spindle do, apart from their price, for having also become moments of the production process.

When e.g. in times of stagnations of trade etc. the mills are shut down, then it can indeed be seen that the machinery rusts away and that the yarn is useless ballast and rots, as soon as their connection with living labour ceases. If the capitalist employs labour only in order to create surplus value – to create value in addition to that already present – then it can be seen as soon as he orders work to stop that his already present capital, as well, becomes devalued; that living labour hence not only adds new value, but, by the very act of adding a new value to the old one, maintains, eternizes it. (This shows clearly the absurdity of the charge against Ricardo, that he conceives only profits and wages as necessary components of the cost of production, and not also the part of capital contained in raw materials and instrument. To the extent that the value which they represent is merely preserved, there are no new production costs. But as far as these present values themselves are concerned, they all dissolve again into objectified labour – necessary labour and surplus labour – wages and profit. The purely natural material in which no human labour is objectified, to the extent that it is merely a material that exists independently of labour, has no value, since only objectified labour is value; as little value as is possessed by the common elements as such.) The maintenance of present capital by the labour which realizes it therefore costs capital nothing and hence does not belong among the production costs; although the present values are preserved in the product and equivalents have therefore to be given for them in exchange. But the maintenance of these values in the product costs capital nothing and cannot therefore be cited among the costs of production. Nor are they replaced by labour, since they are not consumed, except in so far as they are consumed apart from and outside labour, i.e. as labour consumes (suspends) their transitoriness. Only the wage is really consumed.

Let us return once more to our example. 100 thalers capital, i.e. 50 thalers raw material, 40 thalers labour, 10 thalers instrument of production. Let the worker require 4 hours in order to create the fraction of production necessary for his maintenance, the 40 thalers representing the means of his life. Let his working day be 8 hours. The capitalist then obtains a surplus of 4 hours free of charge; his surplus value equals 4 objectified hours, 40 thalers; hence his product = 50 + 10 (preserved, not reproduced values; remained constant, unchanged as values) + 40 thalers (wages, reproduced, because consumed in the form of wage) + 40 thalers of surplus value. Sum: 140 thalers. Of these 140, 40 are excess. The capitalist had to live during production and before he began to produce; say 20 thalers. He had to own the latter apart from his capital of 100 thalers; hence equivalents for them had to be present in circulation. (How these arose does not concern us here.) Capital presupposes circulation as a constant magnitude. These equivalents now present again. Thus consumes 20 thalers of his gain. These enter into simple circulation. The 100 thalers also enter into simple circulation, but only in order to be transformed again into the conditions of new production, 50 thalers of raw material, 40 subsistence for workers, 10 instrument. There remains a surplus value, an addition as such, newly created, of 20 thalers. This is money, posited as a negatively independent value against circulation. It cannot enter into circulation as a mere equivalent, in order to exchange for objects of mere consumption, since circulation is presupposed as constant. But the independent, illusory existence of money is suspended; it now only exists in order to be realized, i.e. to become capital. In order to become that, however, it would again have to be exchanged for the moments of the production process, subsistence for workers, raw material and instrument; all these dissolve into objectified labour, can only be posited by living labour. Money, then, in so far as it now already in itself exists as capital, is therefore simply a claim on future (new) labour. It exists, objectively, merely as money. Surplus value, the new growth of objectified labour, to the extent that it exists for itself, is money; but now, it is money which in itself is already capital; and, as such, it is a claim on new labour. Here capital already no longer enters into relation with ongoing labour, but with future labour. And it no longer appears dissolved into its simple elements in the production process, but as money; no longer, however, as money which is merely the abstract form of general wealth, but as a claim on the real possibility of general wealth – labour capacity, and more precisely, labour capacity in the process of becoming [das werdende Arbeitsvermögen]. As a claim, its material existence as money is irrelevant, and can be replaced by any other title. Like the creditor of the state, every capitalist with his newly gained value possesses a claim on future labour, and, by means of the appropriation of ongoing labour has already at the same time appropriated future labour. (This side of capital to be developed to this point. But already here its property of existing as value separately from its substance can be seen. This already lays the basis for credit.) To stockpile it in the form of money is therefore by no means the same as materially to stockpile the material conditions of labour. This is rather a stockpiling of property titles to labour. Posits future labour as wage labour, as use value for capital. No equivalent on hand for the newly created value; its possibility only in new labour.

In this example, then, an absolute surplus labour time of 4 hours created, added to the old values, to the world of available wealth, a new value of 20 thalers money, and money already in connection with its form as capital (already as posited possibility of capital, not as before, becoming the possibility of capital as such only by ceasing to be money as such).

Now if the productive force doubles, so that instead of 4 hours the worker has to put in only 2 hours of necessary labour, and if the capitalist makes him work 8 hours as before, then the accounts are as follows: 50 thalers material, 20 wages, 10 instrument of labour, 60 surplus value (6 hours, 4 before). New growth of absolute surplus value: 2 hours or 20 thalers. Sum: 140 thalers (in the product).

A total of 140 thalers as before; but now 60 of them are surplus value; of which 40 for absolute increase in surplus time as before, 20 for relative. But the simple exchange value only contains 140 thalers as before. Now, is it only the use values which have increased, or has a new value been created? Before, capital had to begin again with 100 in order to realize itself anew at 40%. What happens to the 20 of surplus value? Before, the capitalist ate up 20 of them; he was left with a value of 20. Now he eats up 20 and is left with 40. On another side, the capital entering into production remained 100; now it has become 80. What is gained in value on one side in one form is lost as value on the other side in another form. The first capital re-enters into the production process; again produces a surplus value (capitalist’s consumption deducted) of 20. At the end of this second operation, a newly created value is present without equivalent. 20 thalers together with the first 40. Now let us take the second capital.

Material, 50; wages (2 hours), 20; instrument, 10. But in the 2 hours he produces a value of 8, i.e. 80 thalers (of which 20 for costs of production). Remainder, 60, since 20 reproduce the wage (disappear as wage). 60 + 60 = 120. At the end of this second operation, 20 thalers for consumption; remainder surplus value 20; together with the first operation, 60. In the third operation with the first capital, 60; with the second, 80; in the fourth operation with the first capital 80, with the second, 100. The first capital has increased as value in proportion as its exchange value, as productive capital, has decreased.

Suppose both capitals together with their surplus can be used as capital; i.e. their surplus exchanged for new labour. We then get the following calculation (leaving consumption aside): the first capital produces 40%, the second 60%. 40% of 140 is 56; 60% of 140 (i.e. capital, 80; surplus value, 60) is 84. The total product in the first case 140 + 56 = 196; in the second 140 + 84 = 224. In the second case absolute surplus value 28 higher than in the first. The first capital has 40 thalers with which to buy new labour time; the value of the hour of labour was presupposed at 10 thalers; therefore, his 40 thalers buy 4 new hours of labour, which produce 80 for him (of which 40 go to replace the wages of 8 hours of labour). At the end it was 140 + 80 (i.e. reproduction of the capital of 100: surplus value of 40, or reproduction of 140; or, in the first case, 100 thalers reproduce themselves as 140; the second 40, since they are spent only to buy new labour, hence do not simply replace value – impossible presupposition, by the way) which produce 80. 140 + 80 = 220. The second capital of 140; the 80 produce 40; or the 80 thalers reproduce themselves as 120; the remaining 60, however, reproduce themselves (since they are spent purely for the purchase of labour, and do not therefore simply replace any value, but reproduce out of themselves and posit the surplus) as 180; then 120 + 120 = 240. (Produced 40 thalers more than the first capital, exactly the surplus time of two hours, for the first is a surplus time of 2 hours as assumed in the first case). Thus the result is a greater exchange value, because more labour objectified; 2 hours more surplus labour.

Something else should be noted here as well: 140 thalers at 40% yield 56; capital and interest together = 140 + 56 = 196; but we have obtained 220; according to which the interest on 140 would be not 56 but 84; which would be 60% on 140 (140:84 = 100:x; x = 8,400/140 = 60). Similarly in the second case: 140 at 60% = 84; capital and interest = 140 + 84 = 224; but we obtain 240; according to which the interest on the 140 is not 84 but 100; (140 + 100 = 240); i.e., %, (140:100 = 100:x; x = 10,000/140); [x = 71 3/7%]. Now where does this come from? (In the first case 60% instead of 40; in the second 71 3/7 instead of 60%.) In the first case, where it was 60 instead of 40, hence 20% too much came out; in the second case 71 3/7 instead of 60, i.e. 11 3/7 too much. Why, then, firstly the difference between the two cases and secondly the difference in each case?

In the first case, the original capital was 100 = 60 (material and instrument of labour) plus 40 in labour; 2/5 labour, 3/5 (material). The first 3/5 bring no interest at all; the last 2/5 bring 100%. But computed on the basis of the whole capital, the increase is only 40%; 2/5 of 100 = 40. But the 100% on the latter amount to only 40% on the whole 100; i.e. an increase of 2/5 in the whole. Now, if only 2/5 of the newly arrived capital of 40 had increased by 100%, then this would yield an increase of the whole by 16 [thalers]. 40 + 16 = 56. This together with the 140 = 196; which is then actually 40% on 156, capital and interest reckoned together. 40 increased by 100%, doubled, is 80; 2/5 of 40 increased by 100% is 16. [66] 40 of the 80 replace capital. Gain of 40.

The account then: 100c + 40 interest + 40c + 40i = 220; or, capital of 140 with an interest of 80; but if we had calculated 100c + 40i + 40c + 16i = 196; or, capital of 140 with interest of 56.

An interest of 24 on a capital of 40 is too much; but 24 = 3/5 of 40 (3 × 8 = 24); i.e. in addition to the capital, only 2/5 of the capital grew by 100%; the whole capital therefore by only 2/5, i.e. 16%. [67] The interest computation on 40 is 24% too high (by 100% on 3/5 of the capital); 24 on 24 is 100% on 3 × 8 (3/5 of 40). But on the whole amount of 140, it is 60% instead of 40; i.e. 24 too much out of 40, 24 out of 40 = 60%. Thus we figured 60% too much on a capital of 40 (60 = 3/5 of 100). But we figured 24 too high on 140 (and this is the difference between 220 and 196); this is first 1/5 of 100 then 1/12 of 100 too much; 1/5 of 100 = 20%; 1/12 of 100 = 8 4/12% or 8 1/3%; thus altogether 28 1/3% too high. Thus on the whole not 60%, as on 40, but only 28 1/3% too much; which makes a difference of 31 2/3, depending on whether we figure 24 too many on the 40 [or on] the capital of 140. Similarly in the other example.

In the first 80 which produce 120, 50 + 10 was simply replaced, but 20 reproduced itself threefold: 60 (20 reproduction, 40 surplus).

Hours of labour
If20posit60,making up triple the value, then
 60 180. 


Mid-December 1857 – 22 January, 1858

The Chapter on Capital (continuation)

Confusion of profit and surplus value. Carey’s erroneous calculation. – The capitalist, who does not pay the worker for the preservation of the old value, then demands remuneration for giving the worker permission to preserve the old capital. – Surplus value and profit etc. – Difference between consumption of the instrument and of wages. The former consumed in the production process, the latter outside it. – Increase of surplus value and decrease in rate of profit. (Bastiat)

This highly irksome calculation will not delay us further. The point is simply this: if, as in our first example, material and instrument amount to 3/5 (60 out of 100), and wages 2/5 (40), and if the capital yielded a gain of 40%, then it equals 140 at the end (this 40% gain equal to the fact that the capitalist made the workers put out 12 hours of labour, where 6 were necessary, hence gained 100% on the necessary labour time). Now if the 40 thalers which were gained go to work again as capital with the same presuppositions – and at the present point, the presuppositions have not changed yet – then of the 40 thalers 3/5 i.e. 24 thalers have to be used for material and instrument, and 2/5 for labour; so that the only thing that doubles is the wage of 16 which becomes 32, 16 for reproduction, 16 surplus labour; so that altogether at the end of production 40 + 16 = 56 or 40%. Thus the entire capital of 40 would have produced 196 under the same conditions. It should not be assumed, as happens in most of the economics books, that the 40 thalers are spent purely for wages, to buy living labour, and thus yield 80 thalers at the end of production.

<If it is said: a capital of 100 yields 10% in one period, 5% in another, then nothing is more mistaken than to conclude, as do Carey and consorts, that the share of capital in production was 1/10 and that of labour 9/10 in the first case; in the second case, the share of capital only 1/20 and that of labour 19/20; i.e. that the share of labour rises as the rate of profit falls. [1] From the viewpoint of capital – and capital has no awareness whatever of the nature of its process of realization, and has an interest in having an awareness of it only in times of crisis – a profit of 10% on a capital of 100 looks like a profit on each of its value components – material, instrument, wages – equally and indifferently, as if this capital were simply a sum of 100 thalers of value which had, as such, increased by 10%. But the question is, in fact: (1) what was the relation between the component parts of capital and (2) how much surplus labour did it buy with the wage – with the hours of labour objectified in the wage? If I know the total size of a capital, the relation of its value components to one another (in practice, I would also have to know what part of the instrument of production is used up in the process, i.e. actually enters into it), and if I know the profit, then I know how much surplus labour has been created. If 3/5 of the capital consisted of material (which for the sake of convenience we here suppose to be entirely consumed productively as material of production), i.e. 60 thalers, and wages 40, and if the profit on the 100 thalers is 10, then the labour bought for 40 thalers of objectified labour time has created 50 thalers of objectified labour in the production process, hence has worked a surplus labour time or created a surplus value of 25% = 1/4 of the necessary labour time. Then if the worker works a day of 12 hours, he has worked 3 hours of surplus time, and the labour time necessary to maintain him alive for one day was 9 hours of labour. The new value created in production may only be 10 thalers, but, according to the real rate, these 10 thalers are to be reckoned on the base of the 40, not of the 100. The 60 thalers of value have created no value whatever; the working day has. Thus the worker has increased the part of capital spent for labour capacity by 25%, not by 10%. The total capital has grown by 10%. 10 is 25% of 40; it is only 10% of 100. Thus the profit rate on capital in no way expresses the rate at which living labour increases objective labour; for this increase is merely = to the surplus with which the worker reproduces his wage, i.e. = to the time which he works over and above that which he would have to work in order to reproduce his wages. If the worker in the above example were not a worker for a capitalist, and if he related to the use values contained in the 100 thalers not as to capital but simply as to the objective conditions of his labour, then, before beginning the production process anew, he would possess 40 thalers in subsistence, which he would consume during the working day, and 60 thalers in instrument and material. He would work only 3/4 of a day, 9 hours, and at the end of the day his product would be not 110 thalers but 100, which he would again exchange in the above proportions, beginning the process again and again. But he would also work 3 hours less; i.e. he would save 25% surplus labour = 25% surplus value out of the exchange which he undertakes between 40 thalers in subsistence and his labour time; and if at some time he worked 3 hours extra, because the material and the instrument were there on hand, then it would not occur to him to say that he had created a new value of 10%, but rather one of 25%, because he could buy one fourth additional subsistence, 50 thalers’ worth instead of 40; and, since he is concerned with use values, these items of subsistence by themselves would be of value for him. This illusion that the new value is derived not from the exchange of 9 hours of labour time as objectified in 40 thalers for 12 hours of living labour, i.e. a surplus value of 25% on this part, but that it comes from an even 10% increase in the total capital – 10% of 60 is 6 and of 40 is 4 – this illusion is the basis of the notorious Dr Price’s compound interest calculation, [2] which led the heaven-born Pitt to his sinking fund idiocy. [3] The identity of surplus gain with surplus labour time – absolute and relative – sets a qualitative limit on the accumulation of capital, namely the working day, the amount of time out of 24 hours during which labouring capacity can be active, the degree to which the productive forces are developed, and the population, which expresses the number of simultaneous working days etc. If, on the other side, surplus value is defined merely as interest – i.e. as the relation in which capital increases itself by means of some imaginary sleight of hand, then the limit is merely quantitative, and there is then absolutely no reason why capital cannot every other day convert the interest into capital and thus yield interest on its interest in infinite geometrical progression. Practice has shown the economists that Price’s interest-multiplication is impossible; but they have never discovered the blunder contained in it.

Of the 110 thalers which emerge at the end of production, 60 thalers (material and instrument), in so far as they are values, have remained absolutely unchanged. The worker took nothing away from them and added nothing to them. Of course, from the standpoint of the capitalist, the fact that the worker maintains the value of objectified labour by the very fact of his labour being living labour appears as if the worker still had to pay the capitalist to get permission to enter into the proper relation with the objectified moments, the objective conditions, of labour. Now, as regards the remaining 50 thalers, 40 of them represent not only preservation but actual reproduction, since capital has divested itself of them [von sich entäussert] in the form of wages and the worker has consumed them; 10 thalers represent production above and beyond reproduction, i.e. 1/4 surplus labour (of 3 hours). Only these 50 thalers are a product of the production process. Therefore, if the worker, as is wrongly asserted, divided the product with the capitalist so that the former’s share were 9/10, then he would have to get not 40 thalers (and he has obtained them in advance, in exchange for which he has reproduced them and paid them back in their entirety, as well as maintaining the already existing values for the capitalist free of charge), which is only 8/10 but rather 45, which would leave capital only 5. Then, having begun the production process with 100 thalers, the capitalist would have at the end only 65 thalers as product. But the worker obtains none of the 40 thalers he has reproduced, nor any of the 10 thalers of surplus value. If the 40 thalers which have been reproduced are to serve for the purchase of further living labour, then, as far as the relation is concerned, all that can be said is that an objectified labour of 9 hours (40 thalers) buys living labour for 12 hours (50 thalers) and thus yields a surplus value of 25% of the real product (partly reproduced as wage fund, partly newly produced as surplus value) in the realization process.

Just now the original capital of 100 was: 50 – 10 – 40. [4] Produced surplus gain of 10 thalers (25% surplus time). Altogether 110 thalers.

Now suppose it were: 60 – 20 – 20. The result would be 110 thalers, so says the ordinary economist, and the even more ordinary capitalist says that 10% has been produced in equal proportions by all parts of the capital. Again, 80 thalers of capital would merely be preserved; no change taken place in its value. Only the 20 thalers would have turned into 30; i.e. surplus labour would have increased by 50%, not by 25% as before.

Take the third case: 100: 70 – 20 – 10. Result 110.

Then the invariable value, 90. The new product 20; hence surplus value or surplus time 100%. Here we have three cases in which the profit on the whole capital is always 10, but in the first case the new value created was 25% above the objectified labour spent to buy living labour, in the second case 50%, in the third: 100%.>

The devil take this wrong arithmetic. [5] But never mind. Commençons de nouveau.

In the first case we had:

Invariable valueWage labourSurplus valueTotal

We continue to presuppose a working day = 12 hours. (We could also assume a growing working day, e.g. x hours before, but now x + b hours, while productive force remains constant; or both factors variable.)

If the worker produces in1250 
then in14 1/6 
then in9 3/540
} in 12 hours 50 thalers
then in2 2/510

The worker’s necessary labour then amounts to 9 3/5 hours (40 thalers); hence surplus labour 2 2/5 hours (value of 10 thalers). 2 2/5 hours is 1/5 of the working day. The worker’s surplus labour amounts to 1/5 of the day, i.e. = the value of 10 thalers. Now if we look at these 2 2/5 hours as a percentage which capital has gained above the labour time objectified in 9 3/5 hours, then 2 2/5:9 3/5 = 12/5:48/5, i.e. = 12:48 = 1:4. Thus 1/4 of the capital = 25% of it. Likewise, 10 thalers : 40 thalers = 1:4 = 25%. Now, summarizing the whole result: [6]

No. IOriginal capital:Constant value:Value reproduced for wages: Surplus value from production:Total sum:Surplus time and value:% of objectified labour exchanged:
 1006040101102 2/5 hours or 10. (2 2/5 of labour)25%

(It might be said that the instrument of labour, its value, has to be not only replaced but reproduced; since it is in fact used up, consumed in production. This to be looked at under fixed capital. In actuality the value of the instrument is transposed to that of the material; to the extent that it is objectified labour, it only changes its form. If in the above example the value of the material was 50 and that of the instrument 10, then now, with the instrument used up by 5, the value of the material is 55 and that of the instrument 5; if it disappears altogether, then that of the material has reached 60. This is an element of the simple production process. Unlike wages, the instrument has not been consumed outside the production process.)

Now to the second presupposition:

Original capital: Constant Value: Value reproduced for wages:Surplus value from production:Total sum:

If the worker produces 30 thalers in 12 hours, then in 1 hour 2 2/4 thalers, in 8 hours 20 thalers, in 4 hours 10 thalers. 10 thalers are 50% of 20 thalers; as are 4 hours out of 8 hours; the surplus value = 4 hours, 1/3 of a day, or 10 thalers surplus value.


No. IIOriginal capitalConstant value:Value reproduced for wages: Surplus value from production:Total sum:Surplus time and value:% on capital:
8 hours
101104 hours or 10.
2 working days

In the first case, like the second, the profit on a total capital of 100 = 10%, but in the first case the real surplus value which capital obtains from the production process is 25%, in the second, 50%.

The conditions presupposed in No. II are in themselves as possible as those in No. I. But brought into connection with one another, those of No. II are absurd. Material and instrument have been raised from 60 to 80, the productivity of labour has fallen from 4 1/6 thalers per hour to 2 3/4 and surplus value increased by 100%. (Suppose, however, that the increased expenditure for wages expresses more working days in the first case, fewer in the second, and then the presupposition is correct.) It is in itself irrelevant that necessary wages, i.e. the value of labour expressed in thalers, have fallen. Whether the value of an hour of labour is expressed in 2 thalers or in 4, in both cases the product of 12 hours of labour is exchanged (in circulation) for 12 hours of labour, and in both cases surplus labour appears as surplus value. The absurdity of the presupposition comes from the fact (1) that we have posited 12 hours as the minimum working time; and hence cannot introduce additional or fewer working days; (2) the more we make capital increase on one side, the more we not only make necessary labour decline, but have also to decrease its value, although the value is the same. In the second case, the price would, rather, have to rise. The fact that the worker can live from less work, i.e. that he produces more in the same number of hours, would have to be shown not in a decrease in the thalers for necessary labour, but in the number of necessary hours. If he gets, as e.g. in the first case, 4 1/6 thalers, but if the use value of this value, which has to be constant in order to express value (not price), had multiplied, then he no longer needs 9 3/5 but only 4 hours for the reproduction of his living labouring capacity, and this would have to express itself in the surplus over the value. But the way we have set up the presuppositions, our ‘invariable value’ is variable, while the 10% are invariable, here a constant addition to reproductive labour, although it expresses different percentage parts of the same. In the first case the invariable value is smaller than in the second case, but the total product of labour is larger; since, if one part of 100 is smaller, the other has to be larger; and, since absolute labour time is fixed at the identical amount, and since further the total product of labour becomes smaller, in proportion as ‘invariable value’ becomes larger, and larger as the latter becomes smaller, we therefore obtain less product (absolutely) from the same labour time in proportion as more capital is employed. Now, this would be quite correct, since, if out of a given sum such as 100 more is spent as ‘invariable value’, less can be spent for labour time, and thus, relative to total capital, less new overall value can be created; but then, if capital is to make a profit, one cannot hold labour time constant, as is done here, or, if one holds it constant, the value of the working hour cannot become smaller, as it does here; which is impossible if ‘invariable value’ becomes larger and surplus value becomes larger; the number of working hours would have to become smaller. But that is what we have assumed in the example. We assume in the first case that 50 thalers are produced in 12 hours of labour; in the second case, only 30 thalers. In the first, we make the worker work 9 3/5 hours; in the second only 6, although he produces less per hour. It’s absurd. But, understood differently, is there not after all something correct in these figures? Does not absolute new value decrease despite an increase in the relative, as soon as relatively more material and instrument than labour is introduced into the component parts of capital? Relative to a given capital, less living labour is employed; hence, even if the excess of this living labour above its costs is greater, and therefore the percentage of wages rises, i.e. the percentage relative to capital actually consumed, then the absolute new value does not necessarily become relatively smaller than in the case of a capital which employs less material and instrument (and this is the main point of the change in invariable value, i.e. value unchanged as value in the production process) and relatively more living labour; precisely because relatively more living labour is employed? An increase in the productive force then corresponds to the increase in the instrument, since the surplus value of the instrument does not keep pace, as in the previous mode of production, with its use value, its productive force, and since any increase in productive force creates more surplus value, although by no means in the same numerical proportion. The increase in the productive forces, which has to express itself in an enlargement of the value of the instrument – the space it takes up in capital expenditure – necessarily brings with it an increase in the material, since more material has to be worked in order to produce more product. (The increase in the productive force can, however, also relate to quality; but if that is given, only to quantity; or to quantity if quality is given; or to both.) Now, although there is less (necessary) labour in relation to surplus labour, and absolutely less living labour in relation to capital, is it not possible for its surplus value to rise, although in relation to the capital as a whole it declines, i.e. the so-called rate of profit declines? Take for example a capital of 100. Let material be 30 at first. 30 for instrument. (Together, invariable value of 60.) Wages 40 (4 working days). Profit 10%. Here profit is 25% on wages and 10% on capital as a whole. Now let material become 40 and instrument 40. Let productivity double, so that only 2 working days necessary = 20. Now posit that the absolute profit be smaller than 10; i.e. the profit on total capital. Is it not possible for profit on labour employed to be more than 25%, i.e. in the given case, more than merely a fourth of 20? In fact, a third of 20 is 6 2/3; i.e. less than 10, but 33 1/3% of labour employed, while in the previous case it was only 25%. In this case, we would end up with only 106 2/3, while in the previous case we would have had 110, but still, with the same capital (100) the surplus labour, surplus gain relative to labour employed, would be greater than in the first case; but since 50% less labour was employed, in absolute terms, than in the first case, while the profit on labour employed was only 8 1/3 more than in the first case, it follows that the absolute quantity which results has to be smaller, and the same applies to the profit on total capital. For 20 × 33 1/3 is smaller than 40 × 25. This whole instance is improbable and cannot count as a general example in economics; for an increase in the instrument and an increase in the material worked are both presupposed, while not only the relative but the absolute number of workers has declined. (Of course, when two factors = a third, one has to grow smaller as the other grows larger.) But an increase in the value of the instrument in relation to capital as a whole, and an increase in the value of the material, all in all presuppose a division of labour, hence at least an absolute increase in the number of workers, if not an increase relative to capital as a whole. However, take the case of the lithographing machine, which everyone can use to make lithographs without special skill; suppose the value of the instrument immediately upon its invention to be greater than that which 4 workers absorbed before these handy things were invented; it now requires only 2 workers (here, as with many instrument-like machines, no further division of labour takes place; instead, the qualitative division disappears); let the instruments originally have a value of only 40, but let 4 working days be necessary (necessary, here, for the capitalist to make a profit). (There are machines, e.g. forced air heating ducts, where labour as such disappears altogether except at a single point; the duct is open at one point, and carries heat to the others; no workers are required at all. This the case generally (see Babbage) [7] with energy transmission, where, previously, energy had to be carried in material form by numbers of workers, here firemen, from one point to another – where the transmission from one room to another, which has now become a physical process, appeared as the labour of numbers of workers.) Now, if he uses this lithographing machine as a source of income, as capital, and not as use value, then the material must necessarily increase, since he can put out more lithographs in the same amount of time, which is precisely where this greater profit comes from. Let this lithographer then employ an instrument to the amount of 40, material 40, 2 working days (20) which [give] him 33 1/3%, i.e. 6 2/3 out of an objectified labour time of 20; then his capital, like the other’s, consists of 100, only yields 6 2/3%, but he gains 33 1/3 on labour employed, while the other gains 10 on capital, but only 25% on labour. The value obtained from labour employed may be smaller, but the profits on the whole capital are greater if the other elements of capital are relatively smaller. Despite this, the business at 6 2/3% on the total capital and 33 1/3% on labour could become more profitable than the earlier one based on 25% on labour and 10% profit on the total capital. Suppose e.g. that grain prices etc. rose so that the maintenance of the worker rose by 25% in value. The 4 working days would now cost the first lithographer 50 instead of 40. His instruments and material would remain the same: 60 thalers. He would then have to lay out a capital of 110. With this capital, his profit on the 50 thalers for 4 working days would be 12 (25%). Hence 12 thalers on 110 (i.e. 9 1/6% on the total capital of 110). The other lithographer: machine 40, material 40; but the 2 working days will cost him 25% more than 20, i.e. 25. He would thus have to lay out 105; his surplus value on labour 33 1/3%, i.e. 1/3, is 8 1/3. He would gain then, 8 1/3 on 105; 13 1/8%. Then suppose a 10 year cycle with 5 bad and 5 good harvests at the above average proportions; then the first lithographer would gain 50 thalers of interest on the second during the first 5 years; in the last 5 45 5/6; altogether 95 5/6 thalers; average interest over the 10 years 9 7/12 thalers. The other capitalist would have gained 31 1/3 in the first 5 years, 65 5/8 in the last; 96 23/24 altogether; a 10-year average of 9 84/120. Since No. II uses up more material at the same price, he sells cheaper. It could be said in reply that he sells dearer because he uses up more instrument; especially because he uses up more of the value of the machine in proportion as he uses up more material; however, it is in practice not true that machines wear out and have to be replaced more rapidly as they work more material. But all this is beside the point. Let the relation between the value of the machine and that of the material be constant in both cases.

This example attains significance only if we assume a smaller capital which employs more labour and less material and machinery, but yields a higher percentage on the total capital; and a larger capital employing more machinery and more material, as many working days in absolute numbers but relatively fewer, and a smaller percentage on the whole, because less on labour, being more productive, division of labour used, etc. It also has to be postulated (which was not done above) that the use value of the machine significantly greater than its value; i.e. that its devaluation in the service of production is not proportional to its increasing effect on production.

Thus, as above, a press (first, hand-operated printing press; second, self-acting printing press).

Capital I, 100, uses 30 in material; 30 for the manual press; 4 working days = 40 thalers; gain 10%; hence 25% on living labour (1/4 surplus time).

Capital II, 200, uses 100 in materials; 60 in press, 4 working days (40 thalers); gain on the 4 working days 13 1/3 thalers = 1 working day and 1/3, compared to only 1 working day in the first case; total sum: 213 1/3. I.e. 6 2/3%, compared to 10% in the first case. Nevertheless, the surplus value on the labour which has been employed is 13 1/3 in this second case, as against 10 in the first; in the first, 4 days create 1 surplus day in 4 working days; in the second, 4 days create 1 1/3 surplus days. But the rate of profit on the total capital is 1/3 or 33 1/3% smaller than in the first; the total amount of the gain is 1/3 greater. Now let us suppose that the 30 and the 100 in material are sheets of book paper, and that the instruments wear out in the same space of time, say 10 years or 1/10 per year. Then No. I has to replace 1/10 of 30 in material, i.e. 3; No. II, 1/10 of 60, i.e. 6. The material does not enter further into annual production (which may be regarded as 4 working days of 3 months each) on either side, see above.

Capital I sells 30 sheets at 30 for materials + 3 for instrument + 50 (objectified labour time) (production time) = 83.

Capital II sells 100 sheets at 100, material, + 6, instrument, + 53 1/3 = 159 1/3.

Capital I sells 30 sheets for 83 thalers, 1 sheet at 83/80 thalers = 2 thalers, 23 silver groschen.

Capital II sells 100 sheets for 159 thalers, 10 silver groschen; 1 sheet at

159 thalers 10 silver groscheni.e., 1 thaler, 17 silver groschen, 8 pfennigs.

It is clear then that Capital I is done for, because its selling price is infinitely too high. Now, although in the first case the profit on total capital was 10% and in the second case only 6 2/3%, the first capital only took in 25% on labour time, while the second takes 33 1/3%. With Capital I, necessary labour is greater relative to the total capital; and hence surplus labour, while smaller in absolute terms than with Capital II, shows up as a higher rate of profit on the smaller total capital. 4 working days at 60 are greater than 4 at 160; in the first, 1 working day corresponds to a capital of 15; in the second, 1 working day corresponds to 40. But with the second capital, labour is more productive (which is given both in the greater amount of machinery, hence the greater amount of space that it takes up among the value components of capital; and in the greater amount of material in which a working day, which consists of a greater proportion of surplus time and hence uses more material in the same time, is expressed). It creates more surplus time (relative surplus time, i.e. determined by the development of the force of production). In the first case, surplus time is 1/4, in the second, 1/3. It therefore creates more use values and a higher exchange value in the same amount of time; but the latter not in proportion with the former, since, as we saw, exchange value does not rise in the same numerical proportion as the productivity of labour. The fractional price is therefore smaller than the total production price – i.e. the fractional price multiplied by the amount of fractional prices produced is greater. Now, if we had assumed an absolutely greater number of working days than in No. I, although a relatively smaller number, then the matter would have been even more striking. The profit of the larger capital, working with more machinery, therefore appears smaller than that of the smaller capital working with relatively or absolutely more living labour, precisely because the higher profit on living labour appears as smaller, when calculated on the basis of a total capital in which living labour makes up a lesser proportion of the whole, than the lower profit on living labour which makes up a larger proportion of the smaller total capital. But the fact that No. II can employ more material, and that a larger proportion of the total value is in the instrument, is only the expression of the productivity of labour.

This, then, is the unfortunate Bastiat’s famous riddle; he had firmly convinced himself – to which Mr Proudhon had no answer – that because the rate of profit of the larger and more productive total capital is smaller, it follows that the worker’s share has grown larger, whereas precisely the opposite is the case; his surplus labour has grown larger. [8]

Nor does Ricardo seem to have understood the matter, for otherwise he would not have tried to explain the periodic decline of profit merely by the rise in wages caused by the rise in grain prices (and hence of rent). [9] But at bottom, surplus value – in so far as it is indeed the foundation of profit, but still distinct from profit commonly so-called – has never been developed. The unfortunate Bastiat would have said in the above case that in the first example the profit was 10% (i.e. 1/10), in the second only 6 1/4%, i.e. 1/16 (leaving out the percentage), so that the worker receives 9/10 in the first case, 15/16 in the second. The relation is correct in neither of the two cases, nor is their relation to one another correct. Now, as far as the further relation of the new value of capital to capital as indifferent total value is concerned (and this is how capital as such appeared to us at the beginning, before we moved on into the production process, and it must again appear to us in this way at the end of the process), this is to be developed partly under the rubric of profit, where the new value obtains a new character, and partly under the heading of accumulation. We are here initially concerned only with developing the nature of surplus value as the equivalent of the absolute or relative labour time mobilized by capital above and beyond necessary labour time.

The consumption, in the production process, of the element of value consisting of the instrument cannot in the least [serve to] distinguish the instrument of labour from the material – here, where all that is to be explained is the creation of surplus value, self realization. This is because this consumption is part of the simple production process itself, hence the value of the consumed instrument (whether it be the simple use value of the instrument itself or the exchange value, if production has already progressed to where there is a division of labour and where at least the surplus is exchanged) has to be recovered again in the value (exchange value) or the use value of the product – so that the process can begin anew. The instrument loses its use value in the same proportion as it helps to raise the exchange value of the raw material and serves as a means of labour. This point must, indeed, be examined, because the distinction between the invariable value, the part of capital which is preserved; that which is reproduced (reproduced for capital; from the standpoint of the real production of labour – produced); and that which is newly produced, is of essential importance.

Multiplication of simultaneous working days. (Accumulation of capital.) – Growth of the constant part of capital in relation to the variable part spent on wages = growth of the productivity of labour. – Proportion in which capital has to increase in order to employ the same number of workers if productivity rises

It is now time to finish with the question of the value resulting from the growth of the productive forces. We have seen: this creates a surplus value (not merely a greater use value) just as in the case of an absolute increase in surplus labour. If a certain limit is given, say e.g. that the worker needs only half a day in order to produce his subsistence for a whole day – and if the natural limit has been reached – then an increase of absolute labour time is possible only if more workers are employed at the same time, so that the real working day is simultaneously multiplied instead of only lengthened (in the given conditions, the individual worker can work no more than 12 hours; if a surplus time of 24 hours is to be gained, then there have to be 2 workers). Capital in this case, before entering the self-realization process, has to buy 6 additional hours of labour in the act of exchange with the worker, i.e. has to lay out a greater part of itself; at the same time it has to lay out more for material, on the average (beside the fact that the extra worker has to be available, i.e. that the working population has to have grown). Hence the possibility of this further realization process depends here on a previous accumulation of capital (as regards its material existence). If, however, productivity increases, and hence relative surplus time – at the present point we can still regard capital as always directly engaged in the production of subsistence, raw materials etc. – then less expenditure is necessary for wages and the growth in the material is created by the realization process itself. But this question belongs, rather, with the accumulation of capitals.

We now come to the point where we last broke off. [10] An increase in productivity increases the surplus value, although it does not increase the absolute amount of exchange values. It increases values because it creates a new value as value, i.e. a value which is not merely an equivalent destined for exchange, but which asserts itself as such; in a word, more money. The question is: does it ultimately also increase the amount of exchange values? This is, at bottom, admitted; for even Ricardo admits that along with the accumulation of capitals there is an increase in savings, hence a growth in the exchange values produced. The growth of savings means nothing more than the growth of independent values – of money. But Ricardo’s demonstration contradicts his own assertion.

Our old example. 100 thalers capital; 60 thalers in constant value; 40 in wages; produces 80; hence product = 140. * Let these 40 in surplus value be absolute labour time.

* Here we see again that the surplus value on the whole of the capital = to half of the newly produced value, since a half of the latter = to necessary labour. The relation between this surplus value, which is always equal to surplus time, i.e. = to the worker’s total product minus the part which forms his wage, depends (1) on the relation between the constant part of capital and the productive part; (2) between necessary labour time and surplus time. In the above case, the relation of surplus time to necessary time is 100%; gives 40% on a capital of 100; hence (3) it depends further, not only on the relation given above in (2), but also on the absolute magnitude of necessary labour. If, in a capital of 100, the constant part were 80, then the part exchanged for necessary labour would be = 20, and if this created 100% surplus time, the profit on capital would be 20%. But if the capital were 200 with the same relation between the constant and the variable part (i.e. 3/5 to 2/5), then the total would be 280, which is 40 out of 100. In this case the absolute amount of profit would rise from 40 to 80, but the relation would remain at 40%. However, if out of the 200 the constant element were 120 and the quantity of necessary labour 80, but the latter increased by only 10%, i.e. 8, then the total sum would be = 208, i.e. a profit of 4%; if it increased by only 5, then the total 205, i.e. 2 1/2%.

Now suppose that productivity doubles: then, if a wage of 40 gives 8 hours of necessary labour, the worker could now produce a whole day of living labour in 4 hours. Surplus time would then increase by 1/3 (2/3 of a day to produce a whole day before, now 1/3). 2/3 of the product of the working day would be surplus value, and if the hour of necessary labour = 5 thalers (5 × 8 = 40), then he would now need only 5 × 4 = 20 thalers. For capital, then, a surplus gain of 20, i.e. 60 instead of 40. At the end, 140, of which 60 = the constant value, 20 = the wage and 60 = the surplus gain; together, 140. The capitalist can then begin production anew with 80 thalers of capital:

Let capitalist A on the same stage of old production invest his capital of 140 in new production. Following the original proportions, he needs 3/5 for the invariable part of capital, i.e. 3 × 140/5 = 3 × 28 = 84, leaving 56 for necessary labour. Before, he spent 40 on labour, now 56; 2/5 of 40 additionally. Then at the end, his capital = 84 + 56 + 56 = 196.

Capitalist B on the higher stage of production would similarly employ his 140 thalers for new production. If out of a capital of 80 he needs 60 for invariable value and only 20 for labour, then out of a capital of 60 he needs 45 for invariable value and 15 for labour; thus the total would be = 60 + 20 +20 = 100 in the first and, secondly, 45 + 15 + 15 = 75. Thus his total yield is 175, while that of the first = 196. An increase in the productivity of labour means nothing more than that the same capital creates the same value with less labour, or that less labour creates the same product with more capital. That less necessary labour produces more surplus labour. The necessary labour is smaller in relation to capital; for the process of its realization this is obviously the same as: capital is larger in relation to the necessary labour which it sets into motion; for the same capital sets more surplus labour in motion, hence less necessary labour. *

* If it is postulated, as in our case, that the capital remains the same, i.e. that both begin again with 140 thalers, then in the case of the more productive capital, a larger part has to go to capital (i.e. to its invariable part), while with the less productive capital, a larger part to labour. The first capital of 140 thus sets into motion a necessary labour of 56, and this necessary labour presupposes an invariable part of 84 out of the total capital. The second sets labour in the amount of 20 + 15 = 35 into motion, and an invariable capital of 60 + 45 = 105 (it further follows from what was developed earlier that an increase in the force of production does not proportionately increase value). In the first case, as already shown above, the absolute new value is greater than in the second, because the mass of labour employed is greater in relation to the invariable part; while in the second the former is smaller, precisely because labour is more productive. However (1) the difference between the new value of 60 in one case and 40 in the other means that the first cannot begin production anew with the same capital as the second; for a part of the new value on both sides has to enter into circulation as an equivalent so that the capitalist can live, and live from his capital. If both of them eat up 20 thalers then the first begins anew with a capital of 120, the other also with 120 etc. See above. Return to this whole matter again; [11] but the question of the relation between the new value created by the increased force of production and the new value created by absolute increases in labour belongs in the chapter on accumulation and profit.

It is sometimes said about machinery, therefore, that it saves labour; however, as Lauderdale correctly remarked, the mere saving of labour is not the characteristic thing; [12] for, with the help of machinery, human labour performs actions and creates things which without it would be absolutely impossible of accomplishment. The latter concerns the use value of machinery. What is characteristic is the saving of necessary labour and the creating of surplus labour. The higher productivity of labour is expressed in the fact that capital has to buy a smaller amount of necessary labour in order to create the same value and a greater quantity of use values, or that less necessary labour creates the same exchange value, realizes more material and a greater mass of use values. Thus, if the total value of the capital remains the same, an increase in the productive force means that the constant part of capital (consisting of machinery and material) grows relative to the variable, i.e. to the part of capital which is exchanged for living labour and forms the wage fund. This means at the same time that a smaller quantity of labour sets a larger quantity of capital in motion. If the total value of capital entering into the production process increases, then the wage fund (this variable part of capital) must decrease relatively, compared to the relation if the productivity of labour, i.e. the relation of necessary to surplus labour, had remained the same. Now let us assume in the above case that the capital of 100 is agricultural capital. Then, 40 thalers for seeds, fertilizer etc.; 20 thalers instrument of labour, and 40 thalers wage labour, at the old level of production. (Let these 40 thalers = 4 days of necessary labour.) At the old production level, these create a total of 140. Now let fertility double, owing to improvement either in the instrument or in the fertilizer etc. In this case the product has to = 140 thalers (given that the instrument is entirely consumed). Let fertility double, so that the price of the necessary working day falls by half; so that only 4 necessary half days of work (i.e. 2 whole ones) are necessary in order to produce 8. 2 working days to produce 8 is the same as when 1/4 of each working day (3 hours) is required for necessary labour. Now, instead of 40 thalers, the farmer has to spend only 20 for labour. Thus at the end of the process the component parts of capital have changed; from the original 40 for seed etc., which now have double the use value; 20 for instrument and 20 for labour (2 whole working days). Before the relation of the constant part of capital to the variable = 60:40 = 3:2; now 80:20 = 4:1. Looking at the whole capital, necessary labour was = 2/5; now 1/5. Now, if the farmer wants to continue to use labour in the old relation, then by how much would his capital have to increase? Or – in order to avoid the nefarious presupposition that he continued to operate with a constant capital of 60 and a wage fund of 40 – after a doubling of productive force, which introduces false relations; * because it presupposes that, despite the doubled force of production, capital continued to operate with the same component parts, to employ the same quantity of necessary labour without spending more for raw material and instrument of labour; then, therefore, productivity doubles, so that he now needs to spend only 20 thalers on labour, whereas he needed 40 before. (If it is given that 4 whole working days were necessary, each = 10 thalers, in order to create a surplus of 4 whole working days, and if this surplus is provided for him by the transformation of 40 thalers of cotton into yarn, then he now needs only 2 whole working days in order to create the same value, i.e. that of 8 working days; the value of the yarn expressed a surplus time of 4 working days before, now of 6. Or, each of the workers needed 6 hours of necessary labour time before in order to create 12; now 3. Necessary labour time was 12 × 4 = 48, or 4 days. In each of these days, the surplus time was = 1/2 day (6 hours). It now amounts to only 12 × 2 = 24 or 2 days; 3 hours per day. In order to bring forth the surplus value, each of the 4 workers would have to work 6 × 2 hours; i.e. 1 day; now he needs to work only 3 × 2 hours; i.e. 1/2 day. Now, whether 4 work 1/2 a day or 2 a whole (1) day is the same. The capitalist could dismiss 2 workers. He would even have to dismiss them, since a certain quantity of cotton is only enough to make a certain quantity of yarn; thus he cannot order 4 whole days of work any more, but only 4 half days. But if the worker has to work 12 hours in order to obtain 3 hours, i.e. his necessary wage, then, if he works 6 hours, he will obtain only 1 1/2 hours of exchange value. But if he can live for 12 hours with 3 hours of necessary labour, then with it he can live only 6 hours. Thus if all 4 workers were to be employed, each of the 4 could live only half a day; i.e. the same capital cannot keep all 4 alive as workers, but only 2. The capitalist could pay 4 out of the old fund for 4 half days of work; then he would pay 2 too many and would make the workers a present of the productive force; since he can use only 4 half days of living labour; such ‘possibilities’ neither occur in practice, nor can we deal with them here, where we are concerned with the relation of capital as such.) Now 20 thalers of the capital of 100 are not directly employed in production. The capitalist uses 40 thalers of raw material, 20 for instrument, together 60 as before, but now only 20 thalers for labour (2 working days). Of the whole capital of 80 he uses 3/4 (60) for the constant part and only 1/4 for labour. Then if he employs the remaining 20 in the same way, 3/4 for constant capital, 1/4 for labour; then 15 for the first, 5 for the second. Now since 1 working day = 10 thalers (given), 5 would be only = 6 hours = 1/2 working day. With the new value of 20, gained through productivity, capital could buy only 1/2 a working day more, if it continues to realize itself in the same proportion. It would have to grow threefold (namely, 60) (together with the 20 = 80) in order to employ the 2 dismissed workers for the previous 2 full working days. In the new relation, the capital uses 3/4 in constant capital in order to employ 1/4 as wage fund.

* Although in the case e.g. of the farmer this is quite correct, if the seasons bring a doubling of fertility, and correct for every industrialist if the force of production doubles not in his branch, but in the branch whose output he uses; i.e. if e.g. raw cotton cost 50% less and grain (i.e. wages) and the instrument likewise; he would then continue as before to spend 40 thalers for raw cotton, but in twice the quantity, 20 for machinery, 40 for labour.

Suppose cotton alone doubled in productivity, the machine remains the same, then – this to be examined further.

Thus if 20 is the whole capital, 3/4 i.e. 15 constant and 1/4 labour (i.e. 5) = 1/2 a working day.

With a whole capital of 4 × 20, hence 4 × 15 = 60 constant, hence 4 × 5 = 20 wages = 4/2 working days = 2 working days.

Therefore, if the productive force of labour doubles, so that a capital of 60 thalers in raw materials and instrument now needs only 20 thalers in labour (2 working days) for its realization, whereas it needed 100 before, then the total capital of 100 would have to grow to 160, or the capital of 80 now being dealt with would have to double in order to retain all the labour put out of work. But the doubling of productive force creates a new capital of only 20 thalers = 1/2 of the labour time employed earlier; and this is only enough to employ 1/2 a working day additionally. Before the doubling of the productive force, the capital was 100 and employed 4 working days (on the supposition that 2/5 = wage fund of 40); now, when the wage fund has fallen to 1/5 of 100, to 20 = 2 working days (but to 1/4 of 80, the capital newly entering into the realization process), it would have to rise to 160, by 60%, in order still to be able to employ 4 working days as before. It can only employ 1/2 a new working day with the 20 thalers drawn from the increase in the productive force, if the whole old capital continues operating. Before, it employed with 100, 16/4 (4 days) working days; it could now employ only 5/4. Therefore, when the force of production doubles, capital does not need to double in order to set the same necessary labour into motion, 4 working days; i.e. it does not need to rise to 200, but needs to rise only by double the whole, minus the part deducted from the wage fund. (100 − 20 = 80) × 2 = 160. (By contrast, the first capital, before the increase in productive force, which divided 100 as 60 constant 40 wages (4 working days), in order to employ two additional days, would need to grow from 100 to only 150; i.e. 3/5 constant capital (30) and 2/5 wage fund (20). If it is given that the working day doubles in both cases, then the second would amount to 250 at the end, the first only 160.) Of the part of capital which is withdrawn from the wage fund owing to the increase in the force of production, one part has to be transformed again into raw material and instrument, another part is exchanged for living labour; this can take place only in the proportions between the different parts which are posited by the new productivity. It can no longer take place in the old proportion, for the relation of the wage fund to the constant fund has decreased. If the capital of 100 first used 2/5 for wage fund (40) and, owing to a doubling of productive force, then used only 1/5 (20), then 1/5 of the capital has become free (20 thalers); and the employed part, 80, uses only 1/4 as wage fund. Thus, of the 20, similarly, only 5 thalers (1/2 working day). The whole capital of 100 therefore now employs 2 1/2 working days; or, it would have to grow to 160 in order to employ 4 again.

If the original capital had been 1,000, divided in the same way: 3/5 constant capital, 2/5 wage fund, then 600 + 400 (let 400 equal 40 working days; each working day = 10 thalers). Now double the productive force of labour, i.e. only 20 working days required for the same product (= 200 thalers), then the capital necessary to begin production anew would be = 800; that is 600 + 200; 200 thalers would have been set free. Employed in the same relation, then 3/4 for constant capital = 150 and 1/4 wages = 50. Thus, if the 1,000 thalers are employed in their entirety, then now 750 constant + 250 wage fund = 1,000 thalers. But 250 wage fund would be = 25 working days (i.e. the new fund can employ labour time only in the new relation, i.e. at 1/4; in order to employ the entire labour time as before, it would have to quadruple). The liberated capital of 200 would employ a wage fund of 50 = 5 working days (1/4 of the liberated labour time). (The part of the labour fund disconnected from capital is itself employed as capital at only 1/4 for labour fund; i.e. precisely in the relation in which that part of the new capital which is labour fund stands to the total sum of the capital.) Thus in order to employ 20 working days (4 × 5 working days), this fund would have to grow from 50 to 4 × 50 = 200; i.e. the liberated part would have to grow from 200 to 600, i.e. triple; so that the entire new capital would amount to 800. Then the total capital, 1,600; of this, 1,200 constant part and 400 labour fund. Thus if a capital of 1,000 originally contained a labour fund of 400 (40 working days), and if, owing to a doubling of productive force, it now needs to employ a labour fund of only 200 in order to buy necessary labour, i.e. only 1/2 of the previous labour; then the capital would have to grow by 600 in order to employ all the previous labour in its entirety (in order to gain the same amount of surplus time). It would have to be able to employ twice the labour fund, i.e. 2 × 200 = 400; but, since the relation of the labour fund to the total capital is now = 1/4, this requires a total capital of 4 × 400 = 1,600. *

* The total capital which would be necessary in order to employ the old labour time is therefore = to the old labour fund multiplied by the denominator of the fraction which now expresses the relation of the labour fund to the new total capital. If the doubling of productive force has reduced the latter to 1/4, then multiplied by 4; if to 1/3, then multiplied by 3. If the productive force has doubled, then necessary labour, and thereby the labour fund, is reduced to 1/2 of its earlier value; but this makes up 1/4 relative to the new total capital of 800 or 1/5 relative to the old total capital of 1,000. Or the new total capital is = 2 × the old capital minus the liberated part of the labour fund; (1,000 − 200) × 2 = 800 × 2 = 1,600. The new total capital expresses the total sum of constant and variable capital required in order to employ half of the old labour time (1/3, 1/4, 1/x, etc, depending on whether the force of production increased 3 ×, 4 ×, x × ); 2 × then the capital required to employ all of it (or 3 ×, 4 ×, etc., depending on the relation in which the productive force has grown). The original relation of the parts of capital must here always be given (technologically); on this depends, e.g., in what ratios the multiplication of productive force expresses itself as a division of necessary labour.

Or, which is the same thing, it is = 2 × the new capital which owing to the new productive force replaces the old in production (800 × 2) (thus if the productive force had quadrupled, quintupled etc. = 4 ×, 5 × the new capital etc. If the force of production has doubled, then necessary labour is reduced to 1/2; likewise the labour fund. Thus if it amounted, as in the above case of the old capital of 1,000, to 400, i.e. 2/5 of the total capital, then, afterwards, 1/5 or 200. This relation, by which it is reduced, is the liberated part of the labour fund = 1/5 of the old capital = 200. 1/5 of the old = 1/4 of the new. The new capital is = to the old + 3/5 of the same. These trivia more closely later etc.)

Given the same original relations between the parts of the capital and the same increase in the productive force, the largeness or smallness of the capital is completely irrelevant for the general theses. Quite another question is whether, when capital grows larger, the relations remain the same (but this belongs under accumulation). But, given this, we see how an increase in the force of production changes the relations between the component parts of capital. If in both cases 3/5 was originally constant and 2/5 labour fund, then doubling the productive force acts in the same way on a capital of 100 as on one of 1,000. (The word labour fund is here used only for convenience’s sake; we have not yet developed capital in this specificity [Bestimmtheit]. So far two parts; the one exchanged for commodities (material and instrument), the other for labour capacity.) (The new capital, i.e. the part of the old capital which represents its function, is = the old minus the liberated part of the labour fund; this liberated part, however, = the fraction which used to express necessary labour (or, same thing, the labour fund) divided by the multiplier of the productive force. Thus, if the old capital = 1,000 and the fraction expressing necessary labour or the labour fund = 2/5, and if the force of production doubles, then the new capital which represents the function of the old = 800, i.e. 2/5 of the old capital = 400; this divided by 2, the multiplier of productive force, = 2/10 = 1/5 = 200. Then the new capital = 800 and the liberated part of the labour fund = 200.)

We have seen that under these conditions a capital of 100 thalers has to grow to 160, and a capital of 1,000 to 1,600, in order to retain the same labour time (of 4 or 40 working days) etc.; both have to grow by 60%, i.e. 3/5 of themselves (of the old capital), in order to be able to re-employ the liberated labour time (in the first case 20 thalers, in the second 200) of 1/5 – the liberated labour fund – as such.

Percentage of total capital can express very different relations. – Capital (like property) rests on productivity of labour

<Notabene. We saw above that identical percentages of the total capital can express very different relations in which capital creates its surplus value, i.e. posits surplus labour, relative or absolute. [13] If the relation between the invariable value-part of capital and the variable part (that exchanged for labour) such that the latter = 1/2 the total capital (i.e. capital 100 = 50 (constant) + 50 (variable), then the part exchanged for labour would have to increase by only 50% in order to yield 25% on the capital; i.e. 50 + 50 (+ 25) = 125; while in the above example 75 + 25 (+ 25) = 125; i.e. the part exchanged for living labour increases by 100% in order to yield 25% on the capital. Here we see that, if the relations remain the same, the same percentage on the total capital holds no matter how big or small it may be; i.e. if the relation of the labour fund to the total capital remains the same; thus, above, 1/4. Thus: 100 yields 125, 80 yields 100, 1,000 yields 1,250, 800 yields 1,000, 1,600 yields 2,000 etc., always = 25%. If capitals whose component parts are in different relations, including therefore their forces of production, nevertheless yield the same percentages on total capital, then the real surplus value has to be very different in the different branches.>

<Thus the example is correct, the productive force compared under the same conditions with the same capital before the rise in productive force. Let a capital of 100 employ constant value 50, labour fund = 50. Let the fund increase by 50%, i.e. 1/2; then the total product = 125. Let the labour fund of 50 thalers employ 10 working days, pay 5 thalers per day. Since the new value is 1/2, the surplus time has to be = 5 working days; i.e. the worker who needed to work only 10 working days in order to live for 15 has to work 15 for the capitalist in order to live for 15; and his surplus labour of 5 days constitutes capital’s surplus value. Expressed in hours, if the work day = 12 hours, then surplus labour = 6 per day. Thus in 10 days or 120 hours, the worker works 60 hours = 5 days too many. But now with the doubling of productivity, relations within the 100 thalers would be 75 and 25, i.e. the same capital now needs to employ only 5 workers in order to create the same value of 125; the 5 working days then = 10; doubled; i.e. 5 working days are paid, 10 produced. The worker would need to work only 5 days in order to live 10 (before the increase in productive force he had to work 10 to live 15; thus, if he worked 5, he could live only 7 1/2); but he has to work 10 for the capitalist in order to live 10; the latter thus makes a profit of 5 days; 1 day per day; or, expressed in days, the worker had to work 1/2 to live 1 before (i.e. 6 hours to live 12); now he needs to work only 1/4 to live 1 (i.e. 3 hours). If he worked a whole day, he could live 2; if he worked 12 hours, 24; if he worked 6, 12 hours. But he now has to work 12 hours to live 12. He would need to work only 1/2 in order to live 1; but he has to work 2 × 1/2 = 1 to live 1. In the old state of the productive force, he had to work 10 days to live 15; or 12 hours to live 18; or 1 hour to live 1 1/2, or 8 hours to live 12, i.e. 2/3 of a day to live 3/3. But he has to work 3/3 to live 2/3, i.e. 1/3 too much. The doubling of the productive force increases the relation of surplus time from 1:1 1/2 (i.e. 50%) to 1:2 (i.e. 100%). In the earlier labour time relation: he needed 8 to live 12, i.e. 2/ 3 of the whole day was necessary labour; he now needs only 1/2, i.e. 6, to live 12. That is why capital now employs 5 workers instead of 10. If the 10 (cost 50) produced 75 before, then now the 25, 50: i.e. the former only 50%, the second 100. The workers work 12 hours as before; but in the first case capital bought 10 working days, now merely 5; because the force of production doubled, the 5 produce 5 days of surplus labour; because in the first case 10 working days yielded only 5 days of surplus labour; now, with the force of production doubled, i.e. risen from 50% to 100% – 5, 5; in the first case 120 working hours (= 10 working days) produce 180; in the second, 60, 60; i.e. in the first case, the surplus time is 1/3 of the whole day (50% of necessary labour) (i.e. 4 hours out of 12; necessary time 8); in the second case surplus time is 1/2 the whole day (100% of necessary labour) (i.e. 6 hours out of 12; necessary time 6); hence the 10 days yielded 5 days of surplus time (surplus labour) in the first case, and in the second the 5 yield 5. Thus relative surplus time has doubled; relative to the first relation it grew by only 1/2 compared to 1/3; i.e. by 16 4/6%.>

 constant variable 
10060+40(original relation)
10075+25(+ 25) = 125 (25%)
160120+40(+ 40) = 200 (25%)

Since surplus labour, or surplus time, is the presupposition of capital, it therefore also rests on the fundamental presupposition that there exists a surplus above the labour time necessary for the maintenance and reproduction of the individual; that the individual e.g. needs to work only 6 hours in order to live one day, or 1 day in order to live 2 etc. With the development of the forces of production, necessary labour time decreases and surplus labour time thereby increases. Or, as well, that one individual can work for 2 etc. (‘Wealth is disposable time and nothing more. … If the whole labour of a country were sufficient only to raise the support of the whole population, there would be no surplus labour, consequently nothing that can be allowed to accumulate as capital . . . Truly wealthy a nation, if there is no interest or if the working day is 6 hours rather than 12 … Whatever may be due to the capitalist, he can only receive the surplus labour of the labourer; for the labourer must live.’ (The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties.) [14]

Property. Origin in the productivity of labour. If one can produce only enough for one, everyone worker; there can be no property. When one man’s labour can maintain five, there will be four idle men for one employed in production. Property grows from the improvement in the mode of production … The growth of the property, this greater ability to maintain idle men and unproductive industry = capital … machinery itself can seldom be applied with success to abridge the labours of an individual: more time would be lost in its construction than could be saved by its application. It is only really useful when it acts on great masses, when a single machine can assist the labours of thousands. It is accordingly in the most populous countries where there are most idle men that it is always most abundant. It is not called into action by scarcity of men, but by the facility with which they are brought together … Not 1/4 of the English population provides everything that is consumed by all. Under William the Conqueror for example the amount of those directly participating in production much greater relative to the idle men.’ (Ravenstone, IX, 32.) [15]

Just as capital on one side creates surplus labour, surplus labour is at the same time equally the presupposition of the existence of capital. The whole development of wealth rests on the creation of disposable time. The relation of necessary labour time to the superfluous (such it is, initially, from the standpoint of necessary labour) changes with the different stages in the development of the productive forces. In the less productive [16] stages of exchange, people exchange nothing more than their superfluous labour time; this is the measure of their exchange, which therefore extends only to superfluous products. In production resting on capital, the existence of necessary labour time is conditional on the creation of superfluous labour time. In the lowest stages of production, firstly, few human needs have yet been produced, and thus few to be satisfied. Necessary labour is therefore restricted, not because labour is productive, but because it is not very necessary; and secondly, in all stages of production there is a certain common quality [Gemeinsamkeit] of labour, social character of the same, etc. The force of social production develops later etc. (Return to this.) [17]

Increase of surplus labour time. Increase of simultaneous working days (Population). (Population can increase in proportion as necessary labour time becomes smaller, i.e. the time required to produce living labour capacities decreases.) – Surplus capital and surplus population. – Creation of free time for society

Surplus time is the excess of the working day above that part of it which we call necessary labour time; it exists secondly as the multiplication of simultaneous working days, i.e. of the labouring population. (It can also be created – but this is mentioned here only in passing, belongs in the chapter on wage labour – by means of forcible prolongation of the working day beyond its natural limits; by the addition of women and children to the labouring population.) The first relation, that of the surplus time and the necessary time in the day, can be and is modified by the development of the productive forces, so that necessary labour is restricted to a constantly smaller fractional part. The same thing then holds relatively for the population. A labouring population of, say, 6 million can be regarded as one working day of 6 × 12, i.e. 72 million hours: so that the same laws applicable here.

It is a law of capital, as we saw, to create surplus labour, disposable time; it can do this only by setting necessary labour in motion – i.e. entering into exchange with the worker. It is its tendency, therefore, to create as much labour as possible; just as it is equally its tendency to reduce necessary labour to a minimum. It is therefore equally a tendency of capital to increase the labouring population, as well as constantly to posit a part of it as surplus population – population which is useless until such time as capital can utilize it. (Hence the correctness of the theory of surplus population and surplus capital.) It is equally a tendency of capital to make human labour (relatively) superfluous, so as to drive it, as human labour, towards infinity. Value is nothing but objectified labour, and surplus value (realization of capital) is only the excess above that part of objectified labour which is necessary for the reproduction of labouring capacity. But labour as such is and remains the presupposition, and surplus labour exists only in relation with the necessary, hence only in so far as the latter exists. Capital must therefore constantly posit necessary labour in order to posit surplus labour; it has to multiply it (namely the simultaneous working days) in order to multiply the surplus; but at the same time it must suspend them as necessary, in order to posit them as surplus labour. As regards the single working day, the process is of course simple: (1) to lengthen it up to the limits of natural possibility; (2) to shorten the necessary part of it more and more (i.e. to increase the productive forces without limit). But the working day, regarded spatially – time itself regarded as space – is many working days alongside one another. The more working days capital can enter into exchange with at once, during which it exchanges objectified for living labour, the greater its realization at once. It can leap over the natural limit formed by one individual’s living, working day, at a given stage in the development of the forces of production (and it does not in itself change anything that this stage is changing) only by positing another working day alongside the first at the same time – by the spatial addition of more simultaneous working days. E.g. I can drive the surplus labour of A no higher than 3 hours; but if I add the days of B, C, D etc., then it becomes 12 hours. In place of a surplus time of 3, I have created one of 12. This is why capital solicits the increase of population; and the very process by means of which necessary labour is reduced makes it possible to put new necessary labour (and hence surplus labour) to work. (I.e. the production of workers becomes cheaper, more workers can be produced in the same time, in proportion as necessary labour time becomes smaller or the time required for the production of living labour capacity becomes relatively smaller. These are identical statements.) (This still without regard to the fact that the increase in population increases the productive force of labour, since it makes possible a greater division and combination of labour etc. The increase of population is a natural force of labour, for which nothing is paid. From this standpoint, we use the term natural force to refer to the social force. All natural forces of social labour are themselves historical products.) It is, on the other side, a tendency of capital – just as in the case of the single working day – to reduce the many simultaneous necessary working days (which, as regards their value, can be taken as one working day) to the minimum, i.e. to posit as many as possible of them as not necessary. Just as in the previous case of the single working day it was a tendency of capital to reduce the necessary working hours, so now the necessary working days are reduced in relation to the total amount of objectified labour time. (If 6 are necessary to produce 12 superfluous working hours, then capital works towards the reduction of these 6 to 4. Or 6 working days can be regarded as one working day of 72 hours; if necessary labour time is reduced by 24 hours, then two days of necessary labour fall away – i.e. 2 workers.) At the same time, the newly created surplus capital can be realized as such only by being again exchanged for living labour. Hence the tendency of capital simultaneously to increase the labouring population as well as to reduce constantly its necessary part (constantly to posit a part of it as reserve). And the increase of population itself the chief means for reducing the necessary part. At bottom this is only an application of the relation of the single working day. Here already lie, then, all the contradictions which modern population theory expresses as such, but does not grasp. Capital, as the positing of surplus labour, is equally and in the same moment the positing and the not-positing of necessary labour; it exists only in so far as necessary labour both exists and does not exist. *

If the relation of the necessary working days to the total number of objectified working days was = 9:12 (hence surplus labour = 1/4), then the striving of capital is to reduce it to 6:9 (i.e. 2/3, hence surplus labour = 1/3). (Develop this more closely later; still, the major basic traits here, where we are dealing with the general concept of capital.)

* It does not belong here, but can already be recalled here, that the creation of surplus labour on the one side corresponds to the creation of minus-labour, relative idleness (or not-productive labour at best), on the other. This goes without saying as regards capital itself; but holds then also for the classes with which it shares; hence of the paupers, flunkeys, lickspittles etc. living from the surplus product, in short, the whole train of retainers; the part of the servant [dienenden] class which lives not from capital but from revenue. Essential difference between this servant class and the working class. In relation to the whole of society, the creation of disposable time is then also creation of time for the production of science, art etc. The course of social development is by no means that because one individual has satisfied his need he then proceeds to create a superfluity for himself; but rather because one individual or class of individuals is forced to work more than required for the satisfaction of its need – because surplus labour is on one side, therefore not-labour and surplus wealth are posited on the other. In reality the development of wealth exists only in these opposites [Gegensätze]: in potentiality, its development is the possibility of the suspension of these opposites. [18] Or because an individual can satisfy his own need only by simultaneously satisfying the need of and providing a surplus above that for another individual. This brutal under slavery. Only under the conditions of wage labour does it lead to industry, industrial labour. – Malthus therefore quite consistent when, along with surplus labour and surplus capital, he raises the demand for surplus idlers, consuming without producing, or the necessity of waste, luxury, lavish spending etc.