Theories of Surplus Value, Marx 1861-3

[Chapter XXIV]  Richard Jones

1.  Reverend Richard Jones, “An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth, and on the Sources of Taxation,” London, 1831, Part I, Rent [Elements of a Historical Interpretation of Rent. Jones’s Superiority over Ricardo in particular Questions of the Theory of Rent and His Mistakes in This Field]

Even this first work on rent is distinguished by what has been lacking in all English economists since Sir James Steuart, namely, a sense of the historical differences in modes of production.  (Such a correct distinction of historical forms generally speaking is not contradicted by the very important archaeological, philological and historical blunders attributed to Jones.  See, for example, The Edinburgh Review, Vol. LIV, Article IV.

He found that the modern economists after Ricardo define rent as surplus profit, a definition which presupposes that the farmer is a capitalist (or a farming capitalist who exploits the land), who expects average profit on the capital which he invests in this particular sphere, and that agriculture itself has been subordinated to the capitalist mode of production.  In short, landed property is conceived only in its modern bourgeois form, that is, in the modified form which it has been given by capital, the dominant relation of production in society.  Jones by no means shares the illusion that capital has been in existence since the beginning of the world.

His views on the origin of rent in general are summarised in the following passages:

“The power of the earth to yield, even to the rudest labours of mankind, more than is necessary for the subsistence of the cultivator himself, enables him to pay […] a tribute: hence the origin of rent” ([Richard Jones, An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth,] p. 4).

“… rent has usually originated in the appropriation of the soil, at a time when the bulk of the people must cultivate it on such terms as they can obtain, or starve; and when their scanty capital of implements, seeds, etc., being utterly insufficient to secure their maintenance in any other occupation than that of agriculture, is chained with themselves to the land by an overpowering necessity” (op. cit., p. 11).

Jones traces rent throughout all its changes, from its crudest form, performance of labour services, to modern farmer’s rent.  He finds that everywhere a specific form of rent, i.e., of landed property, corresponds to a definite form of labour and of the conditions of labour.  Thus, labour rents or serf rents, the change from labour rent to produce rent, metayer rents, ryot rents, etc., are examined in turn, a development the details of which do not concern us here.  In all previous forms, it is the landed proprietor, not the capitalist, who directly appropriates the surplus labour of other people.  Rent (as the Physiocrats conceive it by reminiscence [of feudal conditions]) appears historically (and still on the largest scale among the Asiatic peoples) as the general form of surplus labour, of labour performed without payment in return.  The appropriation of this surplus labour is here not mediated by exchange, as is the case in capitalist society, but its basis is the forcible domination of one section of society over the other.  (There is, accordingly, direct slavery, serfdom or political dependence.)

Since we are only considering landed property here insofar as an understanding of it contributes to an understanding of capital, we shall leave Jones’s analysis and proceed directly to his result—which distinguishes him from, and shows his superiority over, all his predecessors.

But first a few incidental remarks.

In discussing forced labour and the forms of serfdom (or slavery) which correspond to it more or less ||1122| , Jones unconsciously emphasises the two forms to which all surplus-value (surplus labour) can be reduced.  It is characteristic that, in general, real forced labour displays in the most brutal form, most clearly the essential features of wage-labour.

Under these conditions <where there is serf labour> rent can only be increased either by the more skilful and effective utilisation of the labour of the tenantry <relative surplus labour>, this however is hampered by the inability of the proprietors to advance the science of agriculture, or by an increase in the total quantity of the labour exacted, and in this case, while the lands of the proprietors will be better tilled, those of the serfs, from which labour has been withdrawn, all the Worse.[a] (Op. cit., Chapter II.)

What distinguishes this book on rent by Jones from his Syllabus to be mentioned in section 2—is this: in the first work he proceeds from the various forms of landed property as a given fact; in the second, from the Various forms of labour to which they correspond.

Jones also shows how different stages in the development of the productive power of social labour correspond to these different production relations.

Serf-labour (just as slave-labour) has this in common with wage-labour, in respect of rent, that the latter is paid in labour not in products, still less in money.

As far as metayer rent is concerned “… the advance of stock by the proprietor, and the abandonment of the management of cultivation to the actual laborers, indicate[b] the continued absence of an intermediate class of capitalists…” (op. cit., p. 74).

“Ryot rents are […] produce rents paid by a laborer, raising his own wages from the soil, to the sovereign as its proprietor” (op. cit., Chapter IV, [p. 109]).  (In Asia especially) “… Ryot rents […] are sometimes mixed up with […] labor rents and metayer rents” (p. 136 et seq.).  [Under this system] the sovereign is the chief landlord.  “… the prosperity, or rather the existence, of the towns of Asia, proceeds from[c] the local expenditure of the government” (p. 138).

“Under cottier rents we may include all rents contracted to be paid in money, by peasant tenants, extracting their own maintenance from the soil” (p. 143).  (Ireland.)  Over the greater part of the globe, no money rents are paid[d] [loc. cit.].

“All the forms”[e] (serf, ryot, metayer, cottier, etc., in short, peasant rents) prevent “the full development of the productive powers of the earth” [p. 157].

“… the difference which exists in the productiveness of the industry” [depends] “first, on the quantity of contrivance used in applying manual labour: secondly, on the extent to which the mere physical exertions […] are assisted by the accumulated results of past labour: in other words, on the different quantities of skill, knowledge, and capital, brought to the task of production….” [pp. 157-58].

Small Numbers of the Non-Agricultural Classes.  It is obvious, that the relative numbers of those persons who can be maintained without agricultural labor, must be measured wholly by the productive powers of the cultivators” (Chapter VI [pp. 159-60]).

“In England, the tenants who on the disuse of the labor of the serf tenantry, took charge of the cultivation of the domains of the proprietors, were found on the land; they were yeomen” (op. cit. [p. 166]).

We now come finally to the point which is of decisive interest to us here—farmers’ rents.  It is here that Jones’s superiority is most striking, for he shows that what Ricardo and others regard as the eternal form of landed property, is its bourgeois form, which, after all, only develops, firstly, when landed property has ceased to be the dominant relation in production and, consequently, in society; secondly, when agriculture itself is carried on in a capitalist way, which presupposes the development of large-scale industry (at least of manufacture) in the towns.  Jones shows that rent in the Ricardian sense only exists in a ||1123| society the basis of which is the capitalist mode of production.  As a consequence of the transformation of rent into surplus profit, the direct influence of landed property on wages ceases, which, in other words, merely means that the landed proprietor ceases to be the direct appropriator of surplus labour, this role being now assumed by the capitalist.  The relative size of the rent affects only the division of surplus-value between capitalist and proprietor, not the exaction of that surplus labour itself.  This conclusion in fact emerges from Jones’s analysis, though it is not explicitly stated.

Jones marks a substantial advance on Ricardo, in his historical explanation as well as in the economic details.  We shall follow his theory step by step.  Blunders, of course, occur.

In the following passages, Jones correctly explains the historical and economic conditions under which rent is equivalent to surplus profit, that is the expression of modern landed property.

Farmers’ Rents […] can only exist when the most important relations of the different classes of society have ceased to originate in the ownership and occupation of the soil” (op. cit., p. 185).

The capitalist mode of production begins with manufacture and only later subjugates agriculture.

“… it is the artizans and the handicraftsmen who first range themselves under the management of capitalists…” (p. 187).

“One of the immediate consequences of this change[f] is the power of moving at pleasure the labor and capital employed in agriculture, to other occupations.”

<And only with this power can there be any question of equalisation of agricultural and industrial profit.>

“While the tenant was himself a laboring peasant, forced, in the absence of other funds for his maintenance, to extract it himself from the soil, he was chained to that soil by necessity; […] the little stock he might possess, since it was not sufficient to procure him a maintenance unless used for the single purposes of cultivation, was virtually chained to the soil with its master.” [With the capitalist master] “this dependance on the soil is broken: and unless as much can be gained by employing the working class on the land, as from their exertions in various other employments, which in such a state of society abound, the business of cultivation will be abandoned.  Rent, in such a case, necessarily consists merely of surplus profits…” (loc. cit., p. 188).  Rent ceases to have any influence on wages.  “When the engagement of the laborer is with a capitalist, this dependance on the landlord is dissolved…” (p. 189).

As we shall see later, Jones does not really explain how surplus profit arises, or rather, he explains it only in Ricardian fashion, i.e., by the difference in the degrees of natural fertility of different soils.

When rents consist of surplus profits, there are three causes from which the rent of a particular spot of ground may increase:

“First, an increase of the produce from the accumulation of larger quantities of capital in its cultivation;

“Secondly, the more efficient application of capital already employed;

“Thirdly, (the capital and produce remaining the same) the diminution of the share of the producing classes in that produce, and a corresponding increase of the share of the landlord.

“These causes may combine in different proportions…” (p. 189).

We shall see what is involved by these different causes.  First of all they all presuppose that rent consists of surplus profit; and then there is not the slightest doubt that the first cause to which Ricardo alludes only once and then only incidentally, is correct.  When the capital employed in agriculture increases, the amount of rent increases as well, even though the price of corn, etc., does not rise and no other change whatever takes place.  It is clear that, in this case, the price of land rises, although corn prices do not and no change whatever takes place in them.

Jones declares rent on the worst soil to be monopoly price.  He therefore restricts the real source of rent either to monopoly price (in the same way as Buchanan, Sismondi, Hopkins, and others) if it is absolute rent (not arising from differences in the fertility of the different kinds of soil) or to differential rent (in the Ricardian sense).

<As regards absolute rent, let us take a gold mine.  We assume that the capital employed is £100, the average profit £10, rent £10, and that half the capital consists of constant capital (in this case, machinery and auxiliary materials) and half of variable capital.  The £50 of constant capital means nothing more than that it contains the same amount of labour-time as ||1124| is embodied in £50 worth of gold.  That part of the product which is worth £50 therefore replaces this constant capital.  If the rest of the product is worth £70 and if 50 workers are set to work with the £50 of variable capital (assuming a working-day of 12 hours), then the labour of these 50 workers must be expressed in £70 worth of gold, of which £50 goes to pay wages and £20 represents unpaid labour.  The value of the products of all capitals of the same composition will then be 120; the product will then consist of 50c and 70, [the 70] corresponding to 50 working-days, that is, 50v plus 20s.  A capital of 100, utilising more constant capital and a smaller number of workers, would produce a product of less value.  However, all ordinary industrial capitals, although the value of their products would, in these circumstances, amount to 120, would only sell them at their production price of 110.  But in the case of the gold mine, this is impossible quite apart from the ownership of land, because in this case the value is expressed in the product in kind.  A rent of £10 would therefore of necessity arise.>

“Corn may he selling […] at a monopoly price, that is, at a price which more than pays the costs and profits of those who grow it under the least favourable circumstances; or at such a price as will only repay their[g] common profits.” In the first case “abstracting from all difference of fertility in the soils cultivated”, (the) “increased produce obtained by increased capital (prices remaining the same) may increase the rents, in proportion to the increased capital laid out.” “Let[h] 10 per cent be the ordinary rate of profit.  If the corn produced […] by £100 sold for £115, the rent would be £5.  If in the progress of improvement the capital employed on the same land were doubled, and the produce doubled, then £200 would yield £230 and […] £10 would be rent and the rent will be doubled” (op. cit., p. 191).

<This applies to absolute rent as well as to differential rent.>

“In small communities corn may be constantly at a monopoly price…  In larger countries too […] corn may […] he at a monopoly price,[i] provided the increase of population keeps steadily ahead of the increase of tillage [… ] however […] monopoly price of corn is […] unusual in countries of considerable extent and great variety of soil.  In such countries, if the produce of the soils in cultivation sells for more than will realise the usual rate of profit on the capital employed, other[j] lands are cultivated; or more capital laid out on the old bands, till the cultivator finds he can barely get the ordinary profit on his outlay.  Then […] tillage will stop, and in such countries […] corn is usually sold at a price not more than sufficient to replace the capital employed under the least favorable circumstances, and the ordinary rate of profit on it: and the rent paid on the better soils is then measured by the excess of their produce over that of the poorest soil cultivated by similar capitals” (loc. cit., pp. 191-92).

“All […] that is necessary to effect a rise of rents over the surface of a country possessing soils of unequal goodness, is this: that the better soils should yield to the additional capital employed upon them in the progress of cultivation, something more than the soils confessedly inferior to them; for then while the means can be found of employing fresh capital on any soil between the extremes A and Z, at the ordinary rate of profit, rents will rise on all the soils superior to that particular soil” (p. 195).

“Let A have been […] cultivated with £100 yielding annually £110, £10 being the ordinary profits […] and B with £100 yielding £115: and C with £100 yielding £120: and so on to Z [… ] the rent of B would be £5, and that of C £10 [… ] each of these qualities of soil be cultivated with a capital of £200 […] A will produce £220, B £230, C £240…  The rent of B, therefore, will have become £10, that of C £20” (p. 193).

“… the general accumulation of the capital employed in cultivation, while it augments the produce of all gradations of soil, somewhat in proportion to their original goodness, must of itself raise rents; without reference to any progressive diminution in the return to the labor and capital employed, and, indeed, quite independently of any other cause whatever” (p. 195).

It is one of Jones’s merits, that he is the first who clearly brings out the fact that once rent has come into being, its growth will on the whole <provided no revolution in the mode of production takes place> result from the increase of agricultural capital, that is, of capital employed on land.  This may be the case not only if prices remain the same but even when they fall below their former level.

||1125| In opposition to the view that productivity [in agriculture] gradually diminishes, Jones remarks:

“The average corn produce of England at one time did not exceed 12 bushels per acre; it is now about double” (p. 199).

“… every successive portion of capital and labor concentrated on the land, may be more economically and efficiently applied than the last” (pp. 199-200).

Rent will double, triple and quadruple, and so on, if the capital invested in the old band is doubled, tripled, quadrupled,[k] “without a diminished return, and without altering the relative fertility of the soils cultivated” p. 204).

This is therefore the first point on which Jones is in advance of Ricardo.  Once rent exists, it may increase as a result of the mere increase in the amount of capital employed on the land, irrespective of any change either in the relative fertility of the soils, or in the returns yielded by the successive doses of capital employed, or any alteration whatever in the price of agricultural produce.

Jones’s next point is this:

“… it is not essential to the rise that the proportion between the fertility of the soils should be exactly stationary” (p. 205).

<Here Jones overlooks the fact that conversely, an increasing disparity, even when the whole agricultural capital is more productively employed, must and will increase the amount of the differential rent.  On the other hand, a diminution in the differences of the fertility of the various soils must diminish differential rent, i.e., rent arising from those differences.  By taking away the cause you take away the effect.  Nevertheless, rent (apart from absolute rent) may increase, but in that case only in consequence of an in crease of the agricultural capital employed.>

“… Mr. Ricardo […] had […] overlooked the necessarily unequal effects of additional capitol on soils of unequal fertility” (l.c., [p. 205]).

(This means nothing more than that the employment of additional capital adds to the differences of relative fertility, and, in that way, to differential rent.)

“If […] numbers, bearing a certain proportion to each other, are multiplied by the same number […] the proportion […] will be the same as those of the original numbers; yet the difference between[l] the amounts of the several products, will increase at each step of the process.  If 10, 15, 20, be multiplied by 2 or 4, and become 20, 30, 40, or 40, 60, 80, their relative proportions will not be disturbed: 80 and 60 bear the same proportion to 40, as 20 and 15 to 10: but the differences between the amounts of their products will have increased at each operation, and from being 5 and 10, become 10 and 20, and then 20 and 40” (pp. 206-07).

This law works out simply as follows:

5 10
1. 10, 15, 20. The difference 5 [and 10]. Sum of the differences15.
10 20
2. 20, 30, 40. " " 10 [and 20]. " " 30.
20 40
3. 40, 60, 80. " " 20 [and 40]. " " 60.
[40] [80]
4. 80, 120, 160. [" " 40 and 80. " " 120.]

The difference between the terms is doubled in 2 and quadrupled in 3. The sum of the differences is likewise doubled in 2 and quadrupled in 3.

This therefore is the second law.

The first law (applied by Jones only to differential rent) is that the amount of rent increases with the increase of the amount of capital employed.  If rent is 5 for 100, then it is 10 for 200.

||1126| The second law.  All other circumstances remaining the same, and the proportional difference between the capitals employed on different soils remaining the same, the amount of that difference, and hence the amount of the aggregate rent or the sum of those differences increases, as the absolute quantity of that difference—resulting from the increase of the capitals employed—increases.  Hence the second law is: the amount of differential rent increases in proportion as the differences of the products increase when the relative fertility remains the same, but capital employed on the different soils is increased uniformly.

Further: “If £100 be employed on classes A, B and C, with a produce of £110, £115, £120, and subsequently £200, with returns of £220, £228 and £235, the relative differences of the products will have diminished, and the soils will have approximated in fertility; still the difference of the amounts of their products will be increased from £5 and £10 to £8 and £15, and rents will have risen accordingly.  Improvements, therefore, which tend to approximate the degrees of fertility of the cultivated soils, may very well raise rents, and that without the co-operation of any other cause” (loc. cit., p.208).

“The turnip and sheep husbandry, and the fresh capital employed to carry it on, produced a greater alteration in the fertility of the poor soils than in that of the better; still it increased the absolute produce of each, and, therefore, it raised rents, while it diminished the differences in the fertility of the soils cultivated” (loc. cit.).

With regard to Ricardo’s view that improvements may cause rents to fall , “it is only necessary to remember the slowly progressive manner in which agricultural improvements are practically discovered, completed, and spread…” (p. 211).

<This last passage is only of practical interest and does not affect the problem as such, but refers only to the fact that improvements do not proceed so rapidly as to considerably augment supply in regard to demand and thus to reduce market prices.>

Originally we have:

a b c
1. 10 15 20

The capital employed in each class amounts to 100; the product to 110, 115, 120.  The difference amounts to 5+10=15.

As a result of improvements made, twice as much capital is employed, that is, [£]200 instead of [£]100 in each of the classes a, b and c.  But the capital has a different effect in the different classes and the products yielded are 220 (that is, double that of a), 228 and 235.  Thus:

a b c
2. 20 28 35

£200 capital is employed in each class.  The products amount to [£]220, [£] 228 and [£]235.  The difference amounts to [£] 8+ [£]15=[£]23.  But the rate of difference has been reduced.  5:10 (i.e., [the ratio of the differences] b-a [to a] in the first case)=1/2 and 10:10=1, whereas 8:20 is only 8/20 or 2/5 and 15:20= 15/20 or 3/4.  The rate of difference has declined but its amount has increased.  This does not, however, constitute a new law, but only shows that the increase of capital employed leads to an increase in rent as in the first law, although the increase in a, b and c is not proportional to their original differences of fertility.  If prices were to fall as a consequence of this increased fertility (which is however [relatively] diminished fertility for b and c, for otherwise their product would have to be 230 and 240 respectively), it would by no means be necessary for the rent to rise or even to remain stationary.

||1127| As a consequence, a sequel, of the second law, a further application of it can be considered:

The third law—if “improvements in the efficiency of the capital employed in cultivation” increase the surplus profits realised on particular spots of land, they increase rent.

The following passages (together with the earlier ones) refer to this.

“…the[m] first source […] of a rise of farmers’ rents, namely,[n] the progressive accumulation and unequal effects of capital on all gradations of soils” (p. 234).

<This, however, can only refer to improvements which relate directly to the fertility of the soil as, for instance, manures, rotation of crops, etc.>

“Improvements […] in the efficiency of the capital employed in cultivation, raise rents by increasing the surplus profits realised on particular spots of land.  They invariably produce this increase of surplus profits, unless they augment the moss of raw produce so rapidly as to outstrip the progress of demand […] Such improvements in the efficiency of the capital employed, do usually occur in the progress of agricultural skill, and of the accumulation of greater masses of auxiliary capital” (constant capital).  “A rise of rents from this cause, is generally followed by the spread of tillage to inferior soils, without any diminution[o] in the returns to agricultural capital on the worst spots reclaimed” (p. 244).

<Jones very correctly declares that a fall in profits does not prove decreasing efficiency of agricultural industry.  But he himself explains most inadequately how such a fall can come about.  [According to him] either the amount produced or its division between labourers and capitalists may change.  Jones has as yet not the faintest notion of the real law of declining rate of profit.

“A fall of Profits is no Proof of the decreasing Efficiency of agricultural Industry” (p. 257).

“… profits depend partly on the amount of the produce of labor, partly on the division of that produce between the laborers and capitalists; and […] their amount, therefore, might vary from a change in either of these particulars” (p. 260).

This is the reason for the incorrect law which he elaborates:

“When, abstracting from the effects of taxation, an apparent diminution takes place in the revenues of the producing classes considered jointly” (what revenue means is not explained here, [whether ] value in use or value in exchange, amount of profit or rate [of profit]), “when there is a fall in the rote of profits, not compensated by a rise of wages, or a fall of wages not compensated by a rise in the rate of profits”,[p] (that is precisely what Ricardo’s law says, and it is wrong) “there has been, it may be argued, some decrease in the productive power of labor and capital”… (p. 273).>

Jones correctly grasps that a relative increase [in the value] of agricultural produce as compared to [that of] industrial produce may take place in the progress of society although in point of fact, agriculture is progressing absolutely.

“In the progress of nations, an increase of manufacturing power and skill usually occurs, greater than that which can be expected in the agriculture of an increasing people.  This is an unquestionable […] truth.  A rise in the relative value of raw produce may, therefore, be expected in the advance of nations, and this from a cause quite distinct from[q] any positive decrease in the efficiency of agriculture” (p. 265).

But this does not explain the positive rise in the money prices of raw produce, unless a fall in the value of gold takes place which in manufacture is balanced and more than balanced by a still greater fall in the [value of] commodities produced, while in agriculture it is not balanced in this way.  This may happen, even ||1128| if no general fall in the value of gold (money) takes place, but when a particular nation, for instance, buys more money with a day’s work than the competing nations do.

Jones explains his reasons for not believing that in England the Ricardian law operates, the abstract possibility of which he does admit however.

“If rents […] should ever rise from that cause alone, which has been so confidently stated by Mr. Ricardo […] ‘the employment of an additional quantity of labor with a proportionally less return’, and a consequent transfer to the landlords of a part of the produce […] obtained on the better soils; then the average proportion of the gross produce taken by the landlords as rent, will necessarily increase.” Secondly, “the industry of a larger proportion of the population must be devoted to agriculture” (pp. 280 and 281).

(This last statement is not quite correct.  It is possible that a greater portion of indirect labour is employed—i.e., more commodities provided by industry and commerce enter the agricultural process, without increasing the gross product proportionally, and without the employment of more immediate labour.  There may be even less employed.)

“The statistical history of England presents to us […] three facts […] a spread of tillage accompanied by a rise in the general rental of the country […] a diminution of the proportion of people employed in agriculture […] a decrease in the landlord’s proportion of the produce” (p. 282).

(This last development, just as the decline in the rate of profit, is due to the increase in that part of the product which replaces constant capital.  At the same time, rent can increase in both amount and value.)

“Adam Smith […] goes on to say […] ‘In the progress of improvement, rent, though it increases in proportion to the extent, diminishes in proportion to the produce of the land’” (p. 284).

Jones calls constant capital “auxiliary capital”.

“It appears from various returns made at different times to the Board of Agriculture, that the whole capital agriculturally employed in England, is to that applied to the support of labourers, as 5 to 1; that is, there are four times as much auxiliary capital used, as there is of capital applied to the maintenance of the labor used directly in tillage.  In France, […] more than twice” (p. 223).

“… when a given quantity of additional capital is applied in the shape of the results of past labor, to assist the laborers actually employed, a less annual return will suffice to make the employment of such capital profitable, and, therefore, permanently practicable, than if the same quantity of fresh capital were expended in the support of additional laborers…” (p. 224).

“Let us suppose £100 employed upon the soil[r] in the maintenance of three men, producing their own wages, and 10 per cent profit on them, or £110.  Let the capital employed […] be doubled.  And first let the fresh capital support three additional laborers.  In that case, the increased produce must consist of the full amount of their wages, and the ordinary rate of profit on them.  It must consist, therefore, of the whole £100, and the profit on it; or of £110.  Next let the same additional capital of £100 be applied in the shape of implements, manures, or any results of past labor, while the number of actual laborers remains the same […] this auxiliary capital to last on the average for five years: the annual return to repay the capitalist must now consist of £10 his profit, and of £20 the annual wear and tear of his capital: or £30 will be the annual return, necessary to make the continuous employment of the second £100 profitable, instead of £110, the amount necessary when direct labor was employed by it.  It will be obvious, therefore, that the accumulation of auxiliary capital in cultivation, will be practicable when the employment of the same amount of capital in the support of additional labor has ceased to he so: and that the accumulation of such capital […] may go on for an indefinite period…” (pp. 224-25).

“… the progress[s] of auxiliary capital both increases the command of man over the powers of the soil, relatively to the ||1129| amount of labor directly or indirectly employed upon it; and diminishes the annual return necessary to make the progressive employment of given quantities of fresh capital profitable…” (p. 227).

“If we suppose any capital (£100 for instance) employed upon the soil, wholly in paying the wages of labor, and yielding 10 per cent profit, the revenue of the farmer will […] be one-tenth that of the laborers.  If the capital be doubled[t] […] then the revenue of the farmers will continue to bear the same proportion to that of the laborers.  But if the number of laborers remaining the same, the amount of capital is doubled, profits […] become £20, or one-fifth of the revenue [… ] If the capital be quadrupled, profits become £40, or two-fifths of the revenue of the laborers: if the capital be increased to £500, profits would become £50, or half the revenue of the laborers.  And the wealth, the influence, and probably to some extent, the numbers of the capitalists in the community, would be proportionably increased…  A great increase of capital […] usually makes the employment of some additional direct labor necessary.  This circumstance, however, will not prevent the steady progress of the relative increase of the auxiliary capital” (pp. 231-32).

The first important point in this passage is that, with the increase in capital, the auxiliary capital increases in comparison to the variable capital, in other words, that the latter declines relatively in comparison with the constant capital.

The fact that the annual returns decline in proportion to the capital advanced if there is an increase in that part of the auxiliary capital which consists of fixed capital, that is, if its turnover period extends over several years—its value only entering into the product annually in the form of depreciation—is not a phenomenon peculiar to agriculture, but a general one.  Although, in industry, the raw material worked up during the year increases even more rapidly than the size of the fixed capital.  Compare, for example, the amount of raw cotton which a spinning-jenny consumes weekly or annually with that used up by a spinning-wheel.  But suppose, for example, that in (large-scale) tailoring the same amount of raw material in terms of value is worked up (although not the same physical amount, the raw material being dearer than that used in spinning), then the annual return in tailoring will be considerably larger than in spinning, because a greater part of the (fixed) capital laid out in the latter only enters into the product as annual depreciation.

The value of the annual return in agriculture (where what one can regard as the raw material, the seed, does not increase in the same proportion as the other elements of constant capital, especially fixed capital) is naturally smaller if the capital increases as a result of an increase in the constant capital only and not in the variable.  For the variable capital must be entirely replaced in the product, the other [constant capital] only insofar as it is consumed annually.  If it is assumed that the price of grain is given, when a quarter is equal to l0s., 220 quarters are required to replace a capital of £100 at a profit of 10 per cent, whereas only 60 quarters (£30) are required to replace a wear and tear amounting to £20 and a profit of £10.  A smaller absolute return yields the same profit (as is the case in industry in similar circumstances).  Jones’s reasoning, however, contains several fallacies.

First of all, it cannot be asserted (on the assumptions made) that the productive powers of the soil have increased.  They have increased in comparison with the labour employed directly, but not compared with the total capital employed.  All that can be said is that less gross produce is necessary in order to yield the same net produce, i.e., the same profit as before.

||1130| Further, the increase in the farmer’s revenue in comparison to that of the labourers, is important in this special sphere insofar as here the part of the total product which constitutes profit increases, and goes on increasing, relatively to that part which goes to the labourers.  As a result, the wealth and influence of the farming capitalist as compared to his labourers undoubtedly grow and expand.  But Jones seems to make the following calculation: [£]10 on [£]100 is 1/10.  £20 on £120 (i.e., £100 expended in labour and £20 depreciation) is 1/6 and the £20 is 1/5 of the sum paid out to the workers, etc.  But nothing is more fallacious than that, generally speaking, the rate of profit can increase while the amount of capital laid out on labour declines.  Exactly the opposite takes place.  Proportionally less surplus-value is produced, and the rate of profit therefore falls.  As regards the farmer specifically (and also each particular enterprise taken in isolation) the rate of profit may remain the same whether he employs three workers or six workers with a capital of £200.

The fact that rent is equal to surplus profit, i.e., to the excess over and above the average profit, presupposes not only that agriculture is formally subordinated to capitalist production, but also that equalisation of rates of profit takes place in the various spheres of production, specifically also between agriculture and industry.  If this is not the case rent (like profit) may be equal to the surplus over wages.  It may even represent a part of profit or be a deduction from wages.


2.  Richard Jones, “An Introductory Lecture on Political Economy etc.” [The Concept of the “Economical Structure of Nations”.  Jones’s Confusion with regard to the “Labor Fund”]

Richard Jones, An Introductory Lecture on Political Economy, delivered at King’s College, London, 27th February, 1833.  To which is added a Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on the Wages of Labor, London, 1833.

[In the Introductory Lecture, Jones says: ]

“… property in the soil almost universally rests, at one time of a people’s career, either in the general government, or in persons deriving their interest from it” (p. 14).

“… by economical structure of nations, I mean those relations between the different classes which are established in the first instance by the institution of property in the soil, and by the distribution of its surplus produce; afterwards modified and changed (to a greater or less extent) by the introduction of capitalists as agents in producing and exchanging wealth, and in feeding and employing the labouring population” (pp. 21-22).  |1130||

||1130| By “labour fund” Jones understands:

“…the aggregate amount of the revenues consumed by the laborers, whatever be the source of those revenues” ([Syllabus,] p. 44).

The main point (the term “labor fund” probably comes from Malthus?)  in Jones’s work is that the whole economic structure of society revolves around the form of labour, in other words, the form in which the worker appropriates his means of subsistence, or that part of his product upon which he lives.  This labour fund has various forms and capital is merely one of them, it is a form which arises rather late in the historical development.  It is only in Richard Jones’s work that the important differentiation—between labour that is paid out of capital and labour paid directly out of revenue—made by Adam Smith receives the full elaboration of which it is capable and becomes a major key for understanding the various economic formations of society.  And with it disappears the absurd notion that, because in capital the worker’s revenue first takes the form of something appropriated, alias saved, by the capitalist, this signifies more than a formal difference.

“Even when we travel westward and observe the more advanced European nations […] we can […] trace[u] the effects of […] the social conformation which results from the peculiar mode of distributing the produce of their land and labor, established in the early period ||1131| of the existence of agricultural nations” (p. 10) (namely a class of agricultural labourers, secondly landlords, thirdly menials, retainers and artisans who participate in the consumption of the revenue of the landlords either directly or indirectly).

Capital, that is, accumulated wealth employed for the purpose of obtaining profit is the great agent, the motive power which causes the changes that take place in this economic conformation.[v]

“Let me assure you […] that … in analysing the respective productive powers of different nations,[w] you will find the distinct division of wealth here pointed out, acting a most important part in modifying the ties which connect the different classes of the community, and in determining their productive power” [p. 17].

“In Asia, and in part of Europe, (it was formerly the case throughout Europe,) the non-agricultural classes are almost wholly maintained from the incomes of the other classes; principally from the incomes of the landholders.  If you want the labour of an artisan, you provide him with materials; he comes to your house, you feed and pay him his wages.  After a time, the capitalist steps in, he provides the materials, he advances the wages of the workman, he becomes his employer, and he is the owner of the article produced, which he exchanges for your money…  An intermediate class appears between the landowners and a portion of the non-agriculturists, upon which intermediate class, those non-agriculturists are dependent for employment and subsistence.  The ties which formerly bound the community together are worn out and fall to pieces; other bonds, other principles of cohesion, connect its different classes: new economical relations spring into being…  Not only is the[x] great body of non-agriculturists almost wholly in[y] the pay of capitalists, but even the labouring cultivators of the soil […] are their servants too” (loc. cit., pp. 18-19).

The Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on the Wages of Labor differs from the book on rent in this: the book examines the different forms of landed property to which different social forms of labour correspond.  In the Syllabus, these different forms of labour are the point of departure and both the different forms of landed property and capital are regarded as their offspring.  The determinate social form of the worker’s labour corresponds to the form which the conditions of labour—that is, in particular, the land, nature, since this relationship embraces all others—assume in respect of the worker.  But the former is in fact merely the objective expression of the latter.

We shall see, therefore, that the different forms of the labour fund correspond to the different ways in which the worker confronts his own conditions of production.  The manner in which he appropriates his product (or part of it) depends on his relations to his conditions of production.

The “Labor Fund,” says Jones, “may be divided […] into three […] classes.

“1st.—Revenues which are produced by the laborers who consume them, and never belong to any other persons.” (In this case, quite irrespective of the particular form, the worker must in fact be the owner of his instruments of production.)

“2nd.—Revenues belonging to classes distinct from the laborers, and expended by those classes in the direct maintenance of labor.

3rd.—Capital in its […] proper sense […]

“These distinct branches of the Labor Fund may all be observed in our own country; but when we look abroad, we see those parts of that Fund, which are the most limited here, constituting elsewhere the main sources of subsistence to the population […] and determining the character and position of the majority of the people…” (pp. 45-46).

To point 1. “… the wages of laboring cultivators, or occupying peasantsLaboring[z] cultivators, or peasants, may be divided into three groups[aa]hereditary occupiers, proprietors, tenants.  The […] tenants may be subdivided into[bb] serfs, me layers, cottiers; the last […] peculiar to Ireland.  Something which may be called rent, or something which may be called profit, is often[cc] mixed up with the revenues of peasant cultivators of all classes; but when ‘their subsistence is essentially dependent on the reward of their manual labor’, they come within the limits of our present inquiry”[dd] (p. 46).

“Thus, among the labouring peasants there are:

α) “Hereditary occupiers, who are laboring cultivators; ||1132| […] ancient Greece, modern Asia, more especially India” (p. 46).

β) [peasant] “… proprietors […] France, Germany, America, Australia […] state of Ancient Palestine”.

γ) “cottiers” (pp.  46-48).

The characteristic feature of these groups is that the worker reproduces the labour fund for himself.  It is not transformed into capital.  Just as the worker directly produces the labour fund, so he appropriates it directly, although his surplus labour may be appropriated either wholly or in part by him himself or may be appropriated entirely by other classes, depending on the particular form which his relation to his conditions of production assumes.  It is entirely due to economic prejudice that Jones describes this category as wage-labourers.  Nothing which characterises wage-labourers exists amongst them.  It is a pretty bourgeois economic fancy that, because that part of the product which the worker appropriates to himself under capitalism appears as wages, the part of his product which the worker himself consumes must be wages.

With regard to point 2. “The laborers so maintained are now limited in England to[ee] menial servants, soldiers […] sailors, and a few artizans working on their own account, and paid out of the incomes of their employers.  Over a considerable portion of the earth this branch of the General Labor Fund maintains nearly the whole of the non-agricultural laborers [… ] Former prevalence of this Fund in England.  Warwick the king-maker.  The English gentry.  Present prevalence in the East.  Mechanics, menials.  Large bodies of troops so maintained.  Consequences of the concentration of this Fund throughout Asia in the hands of the sovereign.  Sudden rise of cities; sudden desertion.  Samarcand; Candahar, and others” (pp. 48-49).

Jones overlooks two main forms: the Asiatic communal system with its unity of agriculture and industry.  And secondly, the urban craft guild system of the Middle Ages, [which] also [existed] partially in the Ancient World.

With regard to point 3. Capital “should never be confounded with the General Labor Fund of the world—of which a large proportion consists of […] revenues [… ] All branches of a nation’s revenues … contribute to the accumulations by which capital is formed.  They contribute in different proportions in different countries and different stages of society.  When wages and rents contribute the most” (p. 50).

Because surplus labour is converted into capital (instead of being exchanged directly as revenue for labour), capital seems to appear as something saved out of revenue.  Jones considers it mainly from this point of view.  And in the progress of society the great mass of capital does, in fact, consist of revenue reconverted in this way.  But in the capitalist mode of production the original labour fund itself likewise appears as something saved by the capitalist.  The reproduced labour fund does not remain in the possession of the worker as in case 1), but appears as the property of the capitalist and confronts the worker as the property of someone else.  And this point is not elaborated by Jones.

What Jones has to say about the rate of profits and its influence on accumulation in the Course [of Lectures]  is rather inadequate:

All other things being equal, the power of a nation to save from its profits varies with the rate of profits: is great when they are high, less when low; but as the rate of profits decline, all other things do not remain equal.  The quantities of capital employed relatively to the numbers of the population may increase” [p. 50].

<What Jones does not understand is how, as a result of the “may” increase, the rate of profits sinks because “the quantities of capital employed relatively to the numbers of the population have increased”.  But he approaches close to the correct view.>

“Inducements and facilities to accumulate may increase…  a low rate of profits is ordinarily accompanied by a rapid rate of accumulation, relatively to the numbers of the people, as in England, and a high rate of profit by a slower rate of accumulation, relatively to the numbers of […] people, ||1133| as in Poland, Russia, India, etc…” (pp. 50-51).

Where the rate of profit is high (apart from cases where, as in North America, there is capitalist production on the one hand and, on the other hand, the value of all agricultural produce is low) it is generally due to the fact that capital consists mainly of variable capital, that is, direct labour predominates.  Assume a capital of 100, of which 1/5 is variable capital.  And assume further that the surplus labour amounts to a third of a working-day.  In this case, profit would amount to 10 per cent.  Assume [on the other hand] that 4/5 of the capital consists of variable capital and that surplus labour amounts to 1/6 of the working-day.  In this case, profit would amount to 16 per cent.

“Error of the doctrine, that whenever, in the progress of nations, the rate of profit declines, the means of providing subsistence for an increasing population must be becoming less.  Foundations of this error:  1st. A mistaken notion, that accumulation from profits must be slow where the rate of profits is low, and rapid where it is high.  2d. A mistaken belief that profits are the only source of accumulation.  3d. A mistaken belief that all the laborers of the earth subsist on accumulations and savings from revenue, and never on revenue itself” (p. 51).

[Jones speaks of]

“Alterations which take place in the economical structure of nations when capital assumes the task of advancing the wages of labour”. |1133||

||1157| Richard Jones sums up correctly in the following passage: |1157||

||1133|The amount of capital devoted to the maintenance of labour may vary, independently of any changes in the whole amount of capital.” (This proposition is important.)  “Great fluctuations in the amount of employment and great suffering […] may sometimes be observed to become more frequent as capital itself becomes more plentiful” (p. 52).  |1133||

||1157| The total amount of capital may remain the same and a change (decline especially) may take place in the variable capital.  A change in the proportion between the two constituent parts of capital does not necessarily involve a change in the size of the total [capital].

An increase in the total capital, on the other hand, may be accompanied not only by a relative, but by an absolute diminution of variable capital and is always connected with violent fluctuations in the variable capital and consequently with “fluctuations in the amount of employment”.  |1157||

[Later on in the Syllabus, Jones writes: ]

||1133|Periods of gradual transition of the laborers from dependence on one fund to dependence on another…  Transfer of the laboring cultivators to the pay of capitalists…  Transfer of non-agricultural classes to the employ of capitalists”… (pp. 52-53).

What Jones calls “transfer” here, is what I call “primitive accumulation”.  This is merely a formal difference.  It is also in contradiction to the absurd notion of “savings”.


Slavery: “Slaves may be divided into pastoral—predial—domestic— slaves of a mixed character, between predial and domestic…  We find them[ff] as cultivating peasants;—as menials or artisans, maintained from the incomes of the rich;—as laborers maintained from capital” (p. 59).

But so long as slavery is predominant, the capital relationship can only be sporadic and subordinate, never dominant.


3.  Richard Jones, “Text-book of Lectures on the Political Economy of Nations”, Hertford, 1852

[a) Jones’s Views Of Capital and the Problem of Productive and Unproductive Labour]

[Jones writes in the Text-book of Lectures on the Political Economy of Nations:]

“The productiveness of the industry of nations really depends […] on two circumstances.  First, on the fertility or barrenness of the original sources”(land and water) “of the wealth they produce.  Secondly, on the efficiency of the labour they apply in dealing with those sources, or fashioning the commodities they obtained from them” (p. 4).

“… the efficiency of human labor will depend—

1st.—On the continuity with which it is exerted.

2ndly.—On the knowledge and skill with which it is applied, to effect the purpose of the producer.

“3rdly.—On the mechanical power by which it is aided…” (p. 6).

“The power exerted by human labourers in producing wealth … may be increased [… ]

“1st.—By enlisting in their service, motive forces greater than their own… 

“2ndly.—By employing any amount or kind of motive ||1134| forces at their command, with increased mechanical advantage [… ] Let a steam-engine with a motive force of 40 horses be attached to a loaded train on a common turnpike road [and it will make but little way: level the road perfectly… and it will move at a rapid pace[gg]]” (p. 8.)

“The best form of a plough […] will do as much work, and as well, with two horses, as the worst with four” (p. 9).

“The steam-engine is not a mere tool, it gives additional motive force, not merely the means of using forces the labourer already possesses, with a greater mechanical advantage” (p. 10, note).

This is, therefore, according to Jones, the difference between a tool and machinery.  The former provides the worker with means for employing the power he possesses to a greater mechanical advantage, the latter provides an increase of motive force. (?)

Capital … consists of wealth saved from revenue, and used with a view to profit” (p. 16).  “The possible sources of capital […] are obviously, all the revenues of all the individuals composing a community, from which revenues it is possible that any saving can be made.  The particular classes of income which yield the most abundantly to the progress of national capital, change at different stages of their progress, and are therefore found entirely different in nations occupying different positions in that progress” (p. 16).

Profit is therefore by no means the only source from which capital is formed or augmented: it is even an unimportant source of accumulation, compared with wages and rents, in the earlier stages of society[hh] (p. 20).

“… when a considerable advance in the powers of national industry has actually taken place, profits rise into comparative importance as a source of accumulation” (p. 21).

According to this, capital is a part of the wealth which constitutes revenue, the part which is expended not as revenue but for the purpose of producing profit.  Profit is already a form of surplus-value which specifically presupposes capital.  If the capitalist mode of production, i.e., capital, is postulated, then the explanation is correct; in other words, if one postulates what has to be explained.  But here Jones means all revenue spent, not as revenue, but with the aim of enrichment, that is, productively.

Two aspects are, however, important in this context.

First: To a certain extent accumulation of wealth takes place in all stages of economic development, that is, partly an expansion of the scale of production and partly, the accumulation of treasure, etc.  As long as wages and rents predominate—that is, according to what was said earlier, as long as the greater part of the surplus labour and surplus product which does not accrue to the worker himself, goes to the landowner (the State in Asia) and, on the other hand, the worker reproduces his labour fund himself, i.e., he not only produces his own wages himself, but pays them to himself, usually, moreover, (almost always in that state of society) he is also able to appropriate at least a part of his surplus labour and his surplus product—in this state of society, wages and rent are the main sources of accumulation as well.  (In these circumstances profit is restricted to merchants, etc.)  Only when the capitalist mode of production has become predominant, when it does not merely exist sporadically, but has subordinated to itself the mode of production of society; when in fact the capitalist directly appropriates the whole surplus labour and surplus product in the first instance, although he has to hand over portions of it to the landowner, etc.—only then does profit become the principal source of capital, of accumulation, of wealth saved from revenue and used with a view to profit.  This at the same time presupposes (as is implicit in the domination of the capitalist mode of production) that “a considerable advance in the power of national industry has actually taken place”.

Jones thus answers those asses who imagine that no accumulation can take place without the profit yielded by capital or who justify profit by saying that the capitalist makes a sacrifice in order to save from his revenue for productive purposes, by pointing out that in this particular (capitalist) mode of production the function “of accumulating” devolves principally on the capitalist whereas, in previous modes of production, it was the labourer himself and, in part, the landlord who played the chief roles in this process and profit played hardly any part in it.

Naturally the function [of accumulating] always devolves on those, 1) who pocket the surplus-value and, 2) among those who pocket the surplus-value in particular on the person who also acts as agent in the production process itself.  By saying, therefore, ||1135| that profit is justified by the fact that the capitalist “saves” his capital out of profit and that he fulfils the function of accumulating, one merely says that the capitalist mode of production is justified because it exists—this, however, applies equally to the modes of production which preceded it and those which will succeed it.  If one says that otherwise accumulation would be impossible, then one forgets that this particular method of accumulation through the agency of the capitalist has come into existence at a certain historical stage and is moving towards the historical date when it will cease to exist.

Secondly, once so much accumulated wealth has been concentrated in the hands of capitalists per fas et nefas[ii] that they can dominate production, then the greater part of existing capital—after a certain lapse of time—can be considered as having been derived only from profit (revenue), that is, from capitalised surplus-value.

A point which Jones does not sufficiently emphasise, and which he really only implies tacitly, is this: If the labouring producer pays himself his own wages and if his product does not at first assume the “shape” of other people’s revenue from which savings are made and then paid back by these people to the labourer, it is necessary that the labourer be in possession of his conditions of production (as property owner, or tenant, or hereditary occupier, etc.).  In order that his wages and consequently the labour fund can confront him as alien capital, these conditions of production must have been lost to him and have assumed the shape of alien property.  Only after his conditions of production together with his labour fund have been wrested from him and when, as capital, they are rendered independent in relation to him, does the further process begin, which is not concerned with the mere reproduction of these original conditions of production, but with their further development so that both the conditions of production and the labour fund confront the labourer as something “saved” from other people’s revenue in order to be converted into capital.  By losing possession of his conditions of production, and hence, of his labour fund, the labourer also loses the function of accumulating, and every addition he makes to wealth appears in the shape of other people’s revenue which must first be “saved” by these people, that is to say, it must not be spent as revenue, if it is to perform the functions of capital and labour fund for the labourer.

Since Jones himself describes a state of affairs in which things have not yet reached this stage and where unity prevails, he certainly should have described this “separation” as the real generation process of capital.  Once this separation exists, this process does indeed take place and it continues and extends, since the surplus labour of the worker always confronts him as the revenue of others, through the saving of which alone wealth can be accumulated and the scale of production extended.

The reconversion of revenue into capital.  If capital (i.e., the separation of the conditions of production from the labourer) is the source of profit (i.e., of the fact that surplus labour appears as the revenue of capital and not of labour) then profit becomes the source of capital, of new capital formation, i.e., of the fact that the additional conditions of production confront the worker as capital, as a means for maintaining him as a worker and of appropriating his surplus labour anew.  The original unity between the worker and the conditions of production <abstracting from slavery, where the labourer himself belongs to the objective conditions of production> has two main forms: the Asiatic communal system (primitive communism) and small-scale agriculture based on the family (and linked with domestic industry) in one form or another.  Both are embryonic forms and both are equally unfitted to develop labour as social labour and the productive power of social labour.  Hence the necessity for the separation, for the rupture, for the antithesis of labour and property (by which property in the conditions of production is to be understood).  The most extreme form of this rupture, and the one in which the productive forces of social labour are also most powerfully developed, is capital.  The original unity can be reestablished only on the material foundation which capital creates and by means of the revolutions which, in the process of this creation, the working class and the whole society undergo.

Another point which Jones does not sufficiently emphasise is this:

Revenue which is exchanged as such against labour—if it is not the revenue of a labourer who works himself and employs an additional workman—is the revenue of the landowner, itself derived from the rent which the labourer pays him, and which the landlord does not entirely consume in kind, either by himself or together with his menials and retainers, but a part of which he uses to buy the products or services of additional workmen and so on.  This always presupposes the first relationship.

||1136| <In the same way as part of the profit is classified as interest, even if the industrial capitalist employs only his own capital, because this form [of revenue] has a separate mode of existence, so, given the capitalist mode of production, even if the labourer—who does not employ any other labourers—owns his means of production, they are regarded as capital and the part of his own labour realised by him over and above the ordinary wage appears to be profit yielded by his capital.  He himself is then divided up into different economic categories.  As his own workman, he gets his wages, and as capitalist, he gets his profits.  This observation belongs to the chapter “Revenue and Its Sources”.>

“… there is a difference between the influence, on the productive powers of nations, of that wealth which has been saved, and is dispensed as wages with a view to profit; and of that wealth which is advanced out of revenue for the support of labour.  With a view to this distinction, I use the word capital to denote that portion of wealth exclusively which has been saved from revenue, and is used with a view to profit” (op. cit., pp. 36-37).

“We might … comprise, under the […] term, capital, all the wealth devoted to the maintenance of labour, whether it has gone through any previous process of saving or not…  we must, then, in tracing the position of the labouring classes and of their paymasters in different nations and under different circumstances, distinguish between capital which has been saved, and capital which has undergone no process of accumulation; between, in short, capital which is revenue, and capital which is not revenue…”(p. 36).  “… in every country[jj] of the Old World, except England and Holland, the wages of the agriculturists are not advanced out of funds which have been saved and accumulated from revenues, but are produced by the labourers themselves, and never exist in any other shape than that of a stock for their own immediate consumption” (p. 37).

What distinguishes Jones from the other economists (except perhaps Sismondi) is that he emphasises that the essential feature of capital is its socially determined form, and that he reduces the whole difference between the capitalist and other modes of production to this distinct form.  It is that labour is directly converted into capital and that, on the other hand, this capital buys labour not for the sake of its use-value, but in order to increase its own value, to create surplus-value (i.e., a larger amount of exchange-value) and to use it “with a view to profit”.

This shows, however, at the same time that the saving of revenue in order to convert it into capital and “accumulation” are distinguished from other methods only through the form in which “wealth is devoted to the maintenance of labour.”  The agricultural labourers in England and Holland who receive wages which are “advanced” by capital produce “their wages themselves” just like the French peasant or the self-supporting Russian serf.  If the production process is considered in its continuity, then the capitalist advances the labourer as “wages” today only a part of the product which the labourer produced yesterday.  Thus the difference [between the capitalist and other modes of production] does not lie in the fact that, in one case, the labourer produces his own wages and in the other case he does not produce them.  The difference lies in the fact that [in one case] his product appears as wages; that in this case, the worker’s product (i.e., the part of the product produced by the worker which makes up the labour fund) 1) appears as the revenue of others; 2) that then, however, it is not expended as revenue, and not spent on labour by means of which revenue is directly consumed, but, 3) that it confronts the worker as capital which returns to him this portion of the product, in exchange not merely for an equivalent but for more labour than the product he receives contains.  Thus his product appears in the first place as revenue of others, secondly, as something which is “saved” from revenue in order to be employed in the purchase of labour with a view to profit; in other words it is employed as capital.

And this process in which his own product confronts him as capital, is what is described as the labour fund, which “has gone through a previous process of saving”, which “…has undergone a process of accumulation” prior to being converted into the labourer’s means of subsistence, “…exists in another shape” (here it is expressly stated that merely a change of form takes place) “than that of a stock for their” (the labourers’) “immediate consumption”.  The whole difference lies in the transformation which the labour fund produced by the worker undergoes before it comes back to him in the form of wages.  In the case of peasants or independent artisans, it therefore never assumes the form of “wages”.

||1137| “Saving” and “accumulation”—as far as the labour fund is concerned—are mere names here for the transformations which the worker’s product undergoes.  The labourer working on his own account consumes his product just like the wage-labourer, or rather, the latter does so just like the former.  But in the case of the wage-earner, his product appears to be something saved or accumulated from the revenue of someone else, i.e., from the revenue of the capitalist.  In fact, however, it is this process that makes it possible for the capitalist to “save” or “accumulate” the labourer’s surplus labour for his own purposes, and this is the reason why Jones places such great emphasis on the fact that, in non-capitalist modes of production, accumulation does not arise from profit, but from wages, in other words, from the income of the self-supporting cultivator or the artisan who exchanges his labour directly for revenue (otherwise how could the middle class have arisen out of the latter?) and from the rent of the landlord.  But for the labour fund to undergo these transformations, the conditions of production must confront the labourer as capital, which is not the case in the other modes of production.  The expansion of wealth does not appear to be due to the labourer in the latter case [the capitalist mode of production ], but to the saving of profit, the reconversion of surplus-value into capital, in the same way as the labour fund itself (before its expansion as a result of new accumulation) confronts the labourer as capital.

“Saving”, taken literally, only makes sense with regard to the capitalist who capitalises his revenue, in contrast to the capitalist who consumes his revenue, i.e., spends it as revenue, but it is meaningless when applied to relations between capitalist and labourer.

Two cardinal facts about capitalist production:

[First,] concentration of the means of production in a few hands so that they no longer appear as the immediate property of the individual labourer, but as factors of social production, even though in the first instance they appear as the property of the non-working capitalists, who are their trustees in bourgeois society and enjoy all the fruits of this trusteeship.

Second: Organisation of labour itself as social labour brought about by co-operation, division of labour and the linking of labour with the results of social domination over natural forces.

In both these ways, capitalist production eliminates private property and private labour, even though as yet in antagonistic forms.

The main difference between productive and unproductive labour noted by Adam Smith, is that the former is exchanged directly for capital and the latter for revenue—and the full meaning of this difference emerges first in Jones.  His work shows that the first kind of labour is characteristic of the capitalist mode of production, and the second—where it is predominant—belongs to earlier modes of production, and, where it merely plays a subordinate role, is restricted (or ought to be restricted) to spheres which are not directly concerned with the production of wealth.

“… capital is the instrument through which all the causes which augment the efficiency of human labour, and the productive powers of nations, are brought into play…  Capital is the stored-up results of past labour used to produce some effect in some part of the task of producing wealth” (p. 35).

(In the note on page 35, he says:

“It will be convenient, and it is reasonable, to consider the act of production as incomplete till the commodity produced has been placed in the hands of the person who is to consume it; all done previously has that point in view.  The grocer’s horse and cart which brings up our tea from Hertford to the College, is as essential to our possession of it for the purposes of consumption, as the labour of the Chinese who picked and dried the leaves.”)

“But … this capital … does not perform in every community all the tasks it is capable of performing.  It takes them up gradually and successively in all cases; and it is a remarkable and an all-important fact, that the one special function, the performance of which is essential to the serious advance of the power of capital in all its other functions, is exactly that which, in the case of the greater portion of the labourers of mankind, capital has never yet fulfilled at all” (pp. 35-36).

“I allude to the advance of the wages of labour” (p. 36).

The wages of labour are advanced by capitalists in the case of less than one-fourth of the labourers of the earth [….] this fact … of vital importance in accounting for the comparative progress of nations” (loc. cit.)

||1138| “Capital, or accumulated stock, after performing various other functions in the production of wealth, only takes up late that of advancing to the labourer his wages” (p. 79).

In the last sentence on page 79, capital is indeed described as a “relation”, not merely as “accumulated stock” but as a quite definite relation of production.  The “stock” cannot “take up the function of advancing wages”.  Jones, moreover, emphasises that it is the basic form of capital—the form which gives the whole process of social production its distinctive character, dominates it, leads to a quite new development of the productive forces of social labour, and revolutionises all social and political relationships—that confronts wage-labour, and pays wages.  He emphasises that before capital performs this function, which is of decisive importance, it fulfils other functions and, appears in other, subordinate and historically earlier forms, but that its “power in all its functions” only develops fully when it steps forth as industrial capital.  On the other hand, in the third lecture “On the gradual manner in which capital or capitalists” <there’s the rub in this “or”; accumulated stock becomes capital only because of this personification> “undertake successive functions in the production of wealth”, Jones does not indicate what the previous functions are.  They can indeed only be those of capital engaged in commerce or banking.  But although Jones comes so close to the correct concept and even expresses it in a certain fashion, nevertheless, being an economist, he is so enmeshed in bourgeois fetishism that not even the devil could be certain that he does not mean that “accumulated stock” as such, can perform different functions.

The sentence:

“Capital, or accumulated stock, after performing various other functions in the production of wealth, only takes up late that of advancing to the labourer his wages” (p. 79)

is the most complete expression of the contradiction; on the one hand, it expresses a correct historical conception of capital, but, on the other hand, a shadow is cast over it by the narrow-minded notion of the economist that “stock” as such is capital.  Hence “the accumulated stock” becomes a person who “performs the function of advancing wages” to men.  Jones is still rooted in economic prejudice when he solves [the problem], a solution becomes necessary as soon as the capitalist mode of production is regarded as a determinate historical category and no longer as an eternal natural relation of production.

One can see what a great leap forward there was from Ramsay to Jones.  Ramsay regards precisely that function of capital which makes it capital—the advancing of wages—as accidental, due only to the poverty of the people, and irrelevant to the production process as such.  In this narrow circumscribed manner, Ramsay denies the necessity for the capitalist mode of production.  Jones, on the other hand, <strange that they were both priests of the Established Church.  The ministers of the English Church seem to think more than their continental brethren> demonstrates that it is precisely this function that makes capital capital and gives rise to the most characteristic features of the capitalist mode of production.  He shows how this form occurs only at a certain level of development of the productive forces and that it then creates an entirely new material basis.  Consequently, however, his comprehension of the fact that this form “can be superseded” and of the merely transitory historical necessity for this form, is quite different from that of Ramsay and more profound.  He by no means regards capitalist relations as eternal.

“… a state of things may hereafter exist, and parts of the world may be approaching to it, under which the labourers and the owners of accumulated stock, may be identical; but in the progress of nations … this has never yet been the case, and to trace and understand that progress, we must observe the labourers gradually transferred from the hands of a body of customers, who pay them out of their revenues, to those of a body of employers, who pay them by advances of capital out of the returns to which the owners aim at realizing a distinct revenue.  This may not be as desirable a state of things as that in which labourers and capitalists are identified, but we must still accept it as constituting a stage in the march of industry, which has hitherto marked the progress of advancing nations.  At that stage the people of Asia have not yet arrived” (p. 73).

||1139| Here Jones states quite explicitly that capital and the capitalist mode of production are to be “accepted” merely as a transitional phase in the development of social production, a phase which, if one considers the development of the productive forces of social labour, constitutes a gigantic advance on all preceding forms, but which is by no means the end result; on the contrary, the necessity of its destruction is contained in the antagonism between “owners of accumulated wealth” and the “actual labourers”.

Jones was a professor of political economy at Haileybury and the successor to Malthus.  One can see here how the real science of political economy ends by regarding the bourgeois production relations as merely historical ones, leading to higher relations in which the antagonism on which they are based is resolved.  By analysing them political economy breaks down the apparently mutually independent forms in which wealth appears.  This analysis (even in Ricardo’s works) goes so far that:

1) The independent, material form of wealth disappears and wealth is shown to be simply the activity of men.  Everything which is not the result of human activity, of labour, is nature and, as such, is not social wealth.  The phantom of the world of goods fades away and it is seen to be simply a continually disappearing and continually reproduced objectivisation of human labour.  All solid material wealth is only transitory materialisation of social labour, crystallisation of the production process whose measure is time, the measure of a movement itself.

2) The manifold forms in which the various component parts of wealth are distributed amongst different sections of society lose their apparent independence.  Interest is merely a part of profit, rent is merely surplus profit.  Both are consequently merged in profit, which itself can be reduced to surplus-value, that is, to unpaid labour.  The value of the commodity itself, however, can only be reduced to labour-time.  The Ricardian school reaches the point where it rejects one of the forms of appropriation of this surplus-value—landed property (rent)—as useless, insofar as it is pocketed by private individuals.  It rejects the idea that the landowner can play a part in capitalist production.  The antithesis is thus reduced to that between capitalist and wage-labourer.  This relationship, however, is regarded by the Ricardian school as given, as a natural law, on which the production process itself is based.  The later economists go one step further and, like Jones, admit only the historical justification for this relationship.  But from the moment that the bourgeois mode of production and the conditions of production and distribution which correspond to it are recognised as historical, the delusion of regarding them as natural laws of production vanishes and the prospect opens up of a new society, [a new] economic social formation, to which capitalism is only the transition.  |1139||

||1139| We still have to consider a number of things in Jones’s work.

1) In what way, in particular, the capitalist mode of production—the advancing of wages by capital—alters the form and the productive forces.

2) His observations regarding accumulation and the rate of profit.

But, first of all, another point has to be emphasised.

||1140| “He[kk] has been but an agent to give the labourers the benefit of the expenditure of the revenues of the surrounding customers, in a new form and under new circumstances…” (p. 79).

This refers to the non-agricultural labourers, whose earnings previously came direct from the revenue of the landowners, etc.  Whereas previously they exchanged their labour (or the product of their labour) directly for that revenue, the capitalist exchanges the product of their labour—collected and concentrated in his hands—for that revenue, in other words, revenue is transformed into, exchanged for capital, in that it constitutes the returns on capital.  Instead of being direct returns for labour, it constitutes direct returns for the capital that employs the labourers.  |1140||

||1144| After describing capital as a specific relation of production, the essence of which is that accumulated wealth takes over the function of advancing wages, and the labour fund itself appears as “wealth saved from revenue and used with a view to profit”, Jones outlines the changes in the development of the productive forces characteristic of this mode of production.  How the (economic) relations and consequently the social, moral and political state of nations changes with the change in the material powers of production, is very well explained.

“As communities change their powers of production, they necessarily change their habits too” (p. 48).  “During their progress in advance, all the different classes of the community find that they are connected with other classes by new relations, are assuming new positions, and are surrounded by new moral and social dangers, and new conditions of social and political excellence” (loc. cit.).

He describes the influence of the capitalist form of production on the development of the productive forces in the following way.  But before coming to this, a few passages connected with those already quoted.

“Great political, social, moral and intellectual changes, accompany changes in the economical organization of communities, and the agencies and the means, affluent or scanty, by which the tasks of industry are carried on. These changes necessarily exercise a commanding influence over the different political and social elements to be found in the populations where they take place; that influence extends to the intellectual character, to the habits, manners, morals, and happiness of nations” (p. 45).

“England is the only great country which has taken … the first step in advance towards perfection as a producing machine; the only country in which the population, agricultural as well as non-agricultural, is ranged under the direction of capitalists, and where the effects of their means and of the peculiar functions they can alone perform, are extensively felt, not only in the enormous growth of her wealth, but also in all the economical relations and positions of her population.

“Now England, I say it with regret, but without the very slightest hesitation, is not to be taken as a safe specimen ||1145| of the career of a people so developing their productive forces” (pp. 48-49).

“The general labour fund consists 1st.—Of wages which the labourers themselves produce.  2ndly.—Of the revenues of other classes expended in the maintenance of labour.  3rdly.—Of capital, or of a portion of wealth saved from revenue and employed in advancing wages with a view to profit.  Those maintained on the first division of the labour fund we will call unhired labourers.  Those on the second, paid dependants.  Those on the third, hired workmen” (wage-labourers).  “The receipt of wages from any one of these divisions of the labour fund determines the relations of the labourer with the other classes of society, and so determines sometimes directly, sometimes more or less indirectly, the degree of continuity, skill, and power with which the tasks of industry are carried on” (pp. 51-52).

“The first division, self-produced wages, maintains more than half, probably more than two-thirds, of the labouring population of the earth.  These labourers consist everywhere of peasants who occupy the soil and labour on it [… ] The second division of the labour fund, revenue expended in maintaining labour, supports by far the greater part of the productive non-agricultural labourers of the East.  It is of some importance on the continent of Europe; while in England, again, it comprises only a few jobbing mechanics, the relics of a larger body…  The third division of the labour fund, capital, is seen in England employing the great majority of her labourers, while it maintains but a small body of individuals in Asia: and in continental Europe, maintains only the non-agricultural labourers; not amounting, probably, on the whole, to a quarter of the productive population” (p. 52).

“I have not … made any distinction as to slave-labour…  The civil rights of labourers do not affect their economical position.  Slaves, as well as freemen, may be observed subsisting on each branch of the general fund” (p. 53).

Although the civil rights of the labourers do not affect “their economical position”, their economical position does affect their civil rights.  Wage-labour on a national scale—and consequently, the capitalist mode of production as well—is only possible where the workers are personally free.  It is based on the personal freedom of the workers.

Jones quite correctly reduces Smith’s productive and nonproductive labour to its essence—capitalist and non-capitalist labour—by correctly applying the distinction made by Smith between labourers paid by capital and those paid out of revenue.  Jones himself, however, apparently understands by productive and unproductive labour, labour which enters into the production of material [wealth] and that which does not.  This follows from the passage quoted, where he speaks of the productive labourers who depend on revenue expended to maintain them [p. 52].


“The portion of the community which is unproductive of material wealth may be useful, or it may be useless” (p. 42).

“… it is reasonable, to consider the act of production as incomplete till the commodity produced has been placed in the hands of the person who is to consume it…” (p. 35, note).

The distinction made between the labourers who live on capital and those who live on revenue is concerned with the form of labour.  It expresses the whole difference between capitalist and non-capitalist modes of production.  On the other hand, the terms productive and unproductive labourers in the narrow sense [are concerned with] labour which enters into the production of commodities (production here embraces all operations which the commodity has to undergo from the first producer to the consumer) no matter what kind of labour is applied, whether it is manual labour or not ([including] scientific labour), and labour which does not enter into, and whose aim and purpose is not, the production of commodities.  This difference must be kept in mind and the fact that all other sorts of activity influence material production and vice versa in no way affects the necessity for making this distinction.

[b) Jones on the Influence Which the Capitalist Mode of Production Exerts on the Development of the Productive Forces.  Concerning the Conditions for the Applicability of Additional Fixed Capital]

||1146| We now come to the development of the productive forces by the capitalist mode of production.

[Jones writes:]

“It may be as well to point out here how this fact” <of the wages being advanced by capital> “affects their powers of production, or the continuity, the knowledge, and the power, with which labour is exerted…  The capitalist who pays a workman may assist the continuity of his labour.  First, by making such continuity possible; secondly, by superintending and enforcing it.  Many large bodies of workmen throughout the world ply the street for customers, and depend for wages on the casual wants of persons who happen at the moment to require their services, or to want the articles they can supply.  The early missionaries found this the case in China.  ‘The artizans run about the towns from morning to night to seek custom.  The greater part of Chinese workmen work in private houses.  Are clothes wanted, for example?  The tailor comes to you in the morning and goes home at night.  It is the same with all other artizans.  They are continually running about the streets in search of work, even the smiths, who carry about their hammer and their furnace for ordinary jobs.  The barbers, too… walk about the streets with an armchair on their shoulders, and a basin and boiler for hot water in their hands.’ This continues to be the case very generally throughout the East, and partially in the Western World.

“Now these workmen cannot for any length of time work continuously.  They must ply like a hackney coachman, and when no customer happens to present himself they must be idle.  If in the progress of time a change takes place in their economical position, if they become the workmen of a capitalist who advances their wages beforehand, two things take place.  First, they can now labour continuously; and, secondly, an agent is provided, whose office and whose interest it will be, to see that they do labour continuously…  the capitalist […] has resources … to wait for a customer…  Here, then, is an increased continuity in the labour of all this class of persons.  They labour daily from morning to night, and are not interrupted by waiting for or seeking the customer, who is ultimately to consume the article they work on.

“But the continuity of their labour, thus made possible, is secured and improved by the superintendence of the capitalist.  He has advanced their wages; he is la receive the products of their labour.  It is his interest and his privilege to see that they do not labour interruptedly or dilatorily.

“The continuity of labour thus far secured, the effect even of this change on the productive power of labour is very great…  the power is doubled.  Two workmen steadily employed from morning to night, and from year’s and to year’s end, will probably produce more than four desultory workmen, who consume much of their time in running after customers, and in recommencing suspended labour” (pp. 37-38).

[With regard to the passages quoted]

Firstly.  The transition from labourers who perform casual services—making clothes, coats, trousers, etc., in the landowner’s house—to workers employed by capital, is already very well described by Turgot.

Second.  Although continuity certainly distinguishes capitalist labour from the form described by Jones, it does not distinguish capitalist labour from slave production carried on on a large scale.

Third.  It is incorrect to describe the increased amount of labour brought about by its long duration and continuity as an increase in productive power or the power of labour.  This [occurs] only insofar as the continuity augments the personal skill of the labourers.  By [increased] power, we understand the greater productivity of a given quantity of labour employed, not any change in the quantity employed.  The latter belongs rather to the formal subordination of labour to capital and it only evolves fully with the development of fixed capital.  (We shall deal with this soon.)

Jones correctly emphasises the fact that the capitalist regards labour as his property, no part of which must be wasted.  With regard to labour which is maintained directly by revenue, this is a matter of the use-value of labour only.

||1147| Furthermore, Jones correctly emphasises that the continuous labour of the non-agricultural labourers lasting from morning to night is by no means something which arises spontaneously, but is itself a product of economic development.  In contrast to the Asiatic form and to the Western form of labour (prevailing in former times, partly even today) in the countryside, the urban labour of the Middle Ages already constitutes a great advance and serves as a preparatory school for the capitalist mode of production, as regards the continuity and steadiness of labour.

<About this continuity of labour:

“The capitalist, too, keeps, as it were, an echo-office for labour; he insures against the uncertainty of finding a vent for labour, which uncertainty would, but for him, prevent the labour, in many cases, from being undertaken.  The trouble of looking for a purchaser, and of going to a market, is reduced, by his means, to a comparatively small compass” (An Inquiry into those Principles, respecting the Nature of Demand and the Necessity of Consumption, lately advocated by Mr. Malthus etc., London, 1821, p. 102).

In the same work:

“… where the capital is in a great degree fixed, or where it is sunk on land…  the trader is obliged to continue to employ, much more nearly (than if there had been less fixed capital) the same amount of circulating capital as he did before, in order not to cease to derive any profits from the part that is fixed” (op. cit., p. 73).>

< [Jones says further:]

“… of the state of manners to which the dependence of the workmen on the revenues of their customers has given birth in China, you would, perhaps, get the most striking picture, in the Chinese Exhibition, so long kept open by its American proprietor in London.  It is thronged with figures of artizans with their small packs of tools, plying for customers, and idle when none appear—painting vividly to the eye the necessary absence, in their case, of that continuity of labour which is one of the three great elements of its productiveness, and indicating sufficiently, to any well-informed observer, the absence also of fixed capital and machinery, hardly less important elements of the fruitfulness of industry” (Richard Jones, [Text-book of Lectures on the Political Economy of Nations, Hertford, 1852,] p. 73).

In India, where the admixture of Europeans has not changed the scene, a like spectacle may be seen in the towns.  The artizans in rural districts are, however, provided for there in a peculiar manner…  Such handicraftsmen and other non-agriculturists as were actually necessary in a village were maintained by an assignment of a portion of the joint revenues of the villagers, and throughout the country bands of hereditary workmen existed on this fund, whose industry supplied the simple wants and tastes which the cultivators did not provide for by their own hands.  The position and rights of these rural artizans soon became, like all rights in the East, hereditary.  The band found its customers in the other villagers.  The villagers were stationary and abiding, and so were their handicraftsmen.

“The artizans of the towns were and are in a very different position.  They received their wages from what was substantially the same fund—surplus revenue from land—but modified in its mode of distribution and its distributors, so as to destroy their sedentary permanence, and produce frequent and usually disastrous migrations…  such artizans are not confined to any location by dependence on masses of fixed capital” (as in Europe, for example, where cotton and other manufactories are “fixed in districts in which water-power, or the fuel which produces steam, are reasonably abundant, and […] considerable masses of wealth have been converted into buildings and machinery” etc.).  “… the case is different when the ||1148| sole dependence of the labourers is on the direct receipt of part of the revenues of the persons who consume the commodities the artizans produce… They are not confined to the neighbourhood of any fixed capital.  If their customers change their location for long—nay, sometimes for very short—periods, the non-agricultural labourers must follow them, or starve” (pp. 73-74).

“… the […] greater part of that[ll] fund” for the handicraftsmen in Asia is “distributed by the State and its officers.  The capital was, necessarily, the principal centre of distribution…” (p. 75).

“From Samarcand, southward to Beejapoor and Seringapatam, we can trace the ruins of vanishing capitals, of which the population left them suddenly” (and not as in other countries [as a result of a gradual] decline) “as soon as new centres of distribution of the royal revenues, that is, of the whole of the surplus revenues of the soil, were established” (p. 76).

See Dr. Bernier, who compares the Indian towns to army camps.  This is due to the form of landed property which exists in Asia.>


We now proceed from the continuity to the division of labour, [the development of] knowledge, use of machinery, etc.

[Jones writes:]

“But the effect of the change of paymasters on the continuity of labour is by no means yet exhausted.  The different tasks of industry may now be further divided…  if he” (the capitalist) “employ more than one man, he can divide the task between them; he can keep each individual steadily at work at the portion of the common task which he performs the best…  if the capitalist be rich, and keep a sufficient number of workmen, then the task may be subdivided as far as it is capable of subdivision.  The continuity of labour is then complete…  Capital, by assuming the function of advancing the wages of labour, has now, by successive steps, perfected its continuity.  It, at the same time, increases the knowledge and skill by which such labour is applied to produce any given effect.

“The class of capitalists are from the first partially, and they become ultimately completely, discharged from the necessity of manual labour.  Their interest is that the productive powers of the labourers they employ should be the greatest possible.  On promoting that power their attention is fixed, and almost exclusively fixed.  More thought is brought to bear on the best means of effecting all the purposes of human industry; knowledge extends, multiplies its fields of action, and assists industry in almost every branch… 

“But further still, as to mechanical power.  Capital employed not to pay, but to assist labour, we will call auxiliary capital.”

<He therefore means by this term the part of constant capital which is not made up of raw material.>

“The national mass of auxiliary capital may, certain conditions being fulfilled, increase indefinitely: the number of labourers remaining the same.  At every step of such increase, there is an increase in the third element of the efficiency of human labour, namely, its mechanical power…  auxiliary capital thus increases its mass relatively to the population…  What conditions, then, must be fulfilled that the mass of auxiliary capital employed to assist them” <the workers employed by the capitalist> “may increase?

“There must concur three things —

“1st. The means of saving the additional mass of capital.

“2ndly. The will to save it.

“3rdly. Some invention by which it may be made possible, through the use of such capital, that the productive powers of labour may be increased; and increased to an extent which will make it, in addition to the wealth it before produced, reproduce the additional auxiliary capital used, as fast as destroyed, and also some profit on it… 

“When the full amount of auxiliary capital, that in the actual state of knowledge can be used profitably, has already been suppliedan increased range of knowledge can alone point out the means of employing more.  Further, such employment is […] only practicable if the means discovered increase the power of labour sufficiently to reproduce the additional capital in the time it wastes away.  If this be not the case, the capitalist must lose his wealth.  But the increased efficiency of the labourers must, besides this, produce some profit, or he would have no motive for employing his capital in production at all…, all the while, that by employing fresh masses of auxiliary capital these two objects can be effected, there is no definite and final limit to the progressive employment of such fresh masses of capital.  They may go on increasing co-extensively with the increase of knowledge.  But knowledge is never stationary; and, as it extends itself from hour to hour in all directions, from hour to hour some new implement, some new machine, some new motive force may present itself, which will enable the community profitably to add something to the mass of auxiliary capital by which it assists its industry, and so increase the difference between the productiveness of its labour and that of poorer and less skilful nations” (loc. cit., pp. 38-41).

||1149| First, with regard to the statement that the inventions, or appliances or contrivances must be of such a kind, “that the productive powers of labour may be increased; and increased to an extent which will make it,[mm] in addition to the wealth it before produced, reproduce the additional auxiliary capital used, as fast as it is destroyed…”, or “reproduce the additional capital in the lime it wastes away”.  This means nothing more than that the wear and tear is replaced as it takes place, or, that on the average the additional capital is replaced in the same period during which it is consumed.  A portion of the value of the product, or, what amounts to the same thing, a portion of the product, must replace the consumed auxiliary capital, and, at such a rate that if, in a given period of time, it is wholly consumed, it is reproduced wholly, or that a new capital of the same kind takes the place of the capital used up.  But what is the condition for this?  The productivity of labour must rise to such an extent through the application of the additional auxiliary capital that a part of the product can be deducted to replace this component part either in kind or by exchange.

The reproduction of the auxiliary capital takes place if the productivity is so great, in other words, if the increased amount of output produced during the working-day of the same length is such that a unit of a particular commodity is cheaper than a unit produced by the former method, although the aggregate price of the total output covers (for example) the annual depreciation of the machinery, that is, the amount of depreciation calculated per unit of the commodity is insignificant.  If the part which replaces the depreciation, and secondly the part which replaces the value of raw material, are deducted from the total product, then there remains a part which pays for the wages and a part which covers the profit and even yields more surplus-value although the price [per unit] remains the same as it was previously.

An increase in the product could take place without fulfilling this condition.  If, for example, the numbers of pounds of twist were to increase tenfold (instead of a hundredfold, etc.) and if the value of the wear and tear of the machinery which has to be added to the price were to drop from one-sixth to one-tenth, then the twist spun by machinery would be dearer than that produced by spindle.  If an additional £100 of capital in the form of guano were used in agriculture and if this guano had to be replaced in a year, and if the value of a quarter (produced by the old method) were £2, then 50 additional quarters would have to be produced merely to replace the depreciation.  And without this the guano could not be used (profit is here disregarded).

Jones’s remark that the additional capital must be “reproduced” (of course from the sale of the product or in kind), “in the time it wastes away” simply means that the commodity must replace the wear and tear embodied in it.  In order to begin production anew, all the value elements contained in the commodity must be replaced by the time when its reproduction is to begin again.  In agriculture, this reproduction time is given as a result of natural conditions, and the period of time in which the wear and tear must be replaced is given, in exactly the same way as the time in which all the other value elements of grain, for example, have to be replaced.

In order that the reproduction process can begin, i.e., that the renewal of the real process of production can take place, the commodity must pass through the process of circulation, that is, the commodity must be sold (insofar as it is not replaced in kind, like the seeds) and the money for which it is sold converted into elements of production again.  In the case of grain and other agricultural products, there are certain specific periods for this reproduction dictated by the seasons, that is, extreme limits, definite limits are set to the duration of the process of circulation.

Second: Such definite limits to the circulation process arise in general from the nature of commodities as use-values.  All commodities deteriorate sooner or later, although the extreme limit of their existence varies.  If they are not consumed by people (either in the production process or individually), then they are consumed by elemental natural forces.  They decay, and finally they disintegrate.  If their use-value is destroyed, then their exchange-value goes down the drain and that puts an end to their reproduction.  The final limits of their circulation time are therefore determined by the natural times and periods of reproduction proper to them as use-values.

Third: In order that the production process of the commodities may be continuous, ||1150| that is, so that one part of capital may be continuously in the production process and the other continuously in the process of circulation, very varied divisions of capital must take place, in accordance with the natural limits of the periods of reproduction, or the limits [of existence] of the different use-values, or the different spheres of operation of capital.

Fourth: This applies to all the value elements of the commodity simultaneously.  But, in the case of commodities in the production of which a great deal of fixed capital is employed, there is, in addition to the limits which their own use-values impose on the circulation process, another determining factor, namely, the use-value of fixed capital.  It wastes away in a certain time and, therefore, must be reproduced in a given period.  Let us assume, for example, that a ship lasts ten years, or a spinning-machine twelve.  The freight carried during the ten years, or the twist sold during the twelve years, must be sufficient for a new ship to replace the old one after ten years and for a new spinning-machine to replace the old one after twelve.  If the fixed capital is used up in six months, then the product must be returned from circulation in this period.

Besides the natural mortality periods for commodities as use-values—periods which vary greatly amongst different use-values— and besides the requirements of the continuity of the production process, which set even more varied final limits to the circulation time, according to whether the commodities must remain in the production sphere or can remain in the circulation sphere for a longer or shorter period of time, a third factor is thus added, namely, the different mortality periods, and therefore different requirements of reproduction, of the auxiliary capital used in the production of commodities.

Jones declares that the second condition [for the use of auxiliary capital] is the “profit” which the auxiliary capital must produce, and this is the conditio sine qua non for all capitalist production, regardless of the particular form in which the capital is employed.  Nowhere does Jones explain how he conceives the genesis of this profit.  But since he merely derives it from labour, and the profit yielded by the auxiliary capital simply from the increased efficiency of the labour of the workmen, it must consist of absolute or relative surplus labour.  It arises in general from the fact that after deducting the part of the product which either in kind or by exchange replaces the constituent parts of capital which consist either of raw materials or of means of production, the capitalist, firstly, pays wages from the remainder of the product, and secondly, appropriates a part of it as surplus product, which he either sells or consumes in kind.  (This latter is not a significant factor in capitalist production and occurs only in a few exceptional cases, when the capitalist directly produces necessary means of subsistence.)  This surplus product, however, just as the other parts of the product, consists of the workers’ materialised labour, but labour which is not paid for; this product of labour is appropriated by the capitalist without any equivalent.

What is new in Jones’s presentation is that the increase in the auxiliary capital over and above a certain level is contingent on an increase of knowledge.  Jones declares that the necessary conditions are: 1) the means to save the additional capital, 2) the will to save it, 3) some inventions by means of which the productive power of labour is increased sufficiently to produce the additional capital and to produce a profit on it.

What is necessary above all is that there should be a surplus product, either in kind or converted into money.

In the production of cotton, for example, the planters in America (like those in India at the present time) were able to plant large areas, but did not have the means for converting the raw cotton into cotton by means of cleaning at the right time.  Part of the cotton rotted in the fields.  This kind of thing was ended by the invention of the cotton gin.  Part of the product is now converted into cotton gin.  But the cotton gin does not merely replace its own cost; it also increases the surplus product.  New markets have the same effect; for instance, furthering the conversion of skins into money (likewise improved transport).

Each new machine which consumes coal is a means for converting surplus product existing in the shape of coal into capital.  The conversion of a part of the surplus product into auxiliary capital can take place in two ways: [firstly,] increase in the auxiliary capital already in existence, that is, its reproduction on a larger scale; [secondly,] discovery of new use-values or of a new use for well-known use-values, and new inventions of machinery or of motive power leading to the creation of new kinds of auxiliary capital.  In this context, extension of knowledge is obviously one of the conditions for increasing the auxiliary capital or, what amounts to the same thing, for the conversion of surplus product or surplus money (foreign trade is important in this connection) into additional auxiliary capital.  For example, the telegraph opens up a whole new field for the investment of auxiliary capital, so do the railways, etc., and so does the whole gutta-percha and India rubber production.

||1151| This point about the extension of knowledge is important.

Consequently, accumulation does not have to set new labour in motion, it may simply direct the labour previously employed into new channels.  For example, the same machine workshop which previously made hand-looms now makes power-looms, and some of the weavers are taken over by [mills using] the changed methods of production while the others are thrown on to the street.

When a machine replaces labour, it always demands less new labour (for its own production) than it replaces.  Perhaps the old labour is simply given a new direction.  In any case, labour is freed, which after a greater or lesser amount of trials and tribulations may be used in other ways.  The human material for a new sphere of production is thus provided.  As far as the direct freeing of capital is concerned, it is not the capital which buys the machine which becomes free, because it is invested in it.  And even assuming that the machine is cheaper than the amount of wages it replaces, more raw material, etc., will be required.  If the workers now dismissed previously cost £500 and the new machine costs £500 too, then the capitalist previously had an outlay of £500 every year, whereas the machine may perhaps last ten years, so that in fact he now has an outlay of only £50 a year.  But what at any rate becomes free (after deducting the [expenditure for] the larger number of workers employed in the manufacture of the machine and in auxiliary matters connected with it, such as coal [production], etc.) is the capital which constituted the income of the [dismissed] workers or that employed in the production of commodities which these workers bought with their wages.  This continues to exist as it did previously.  If workers are simply replaced as motive power without [the machinery] itself being substantially altered, for example, if wind or water [now operate the machinery] where this was done previously [by workers], two lots of capital are freed, the capital previously spent on paying the workers and the capital for which their money income was exchanged.  This is an example used by Ricardo.

But one part of the product previously converted into wages is now always reproduced as auxiliary capital.

A large part of the labour previously used directly in the production of means of subsistence is now used in the production of auxiliary capital.  This too is in contradiction to Adam Smith’s view, according to which the accumulation of capital is synonymous with the employment of more productive labour.  Apart from the examples considered above, the result may be merely a change in the application of labour and a withdrawal of labour from the direct production of means of subsistence and its transfer to the production of means of production, railways, bridges, machinery, canals and so on.


<How important the existing amount of means of production and the existing scale of production are for accumulation [is described in the following]:

“The astonishing expedition with which a great cotton factory, comprehending spinning and weaving, can be erected in Lancashire, arises from the vast collection of patterns of every variety from those of gigantic steam engines, water wheels, iron girders and joists, down to the smallest member of a throstle or loom in possession of the engineers, mill-wrights, and machine makers.  In the course of last year Mr. Fairbairn equipped water wheels equivalent to 700 horses power and steam engines to 400 horses power from his engineer factory alone, independent of his mill-wright and steam-boiler establishment.  Hence, whenever capital comes forward to take advantage of improved demand for goods, the means of fructifying it are provided with such rapidity, that it may realise its own amount in profit, ere an analagous factory could be set a-going in France, Belgium or Germany” (Andrew Ure, [Philosophy of Manufactures, London, 1835, p. 39,] Philosophie des Manufactures etc., tome I, Paris, 1836, pp. 61-62).[nn]

||1152| With development, machinery becomes cheaper, partly relatively—in comparison with its power—and partly absolutely; at the same time, however, a massive concentration of machinery takes place in the workshop, so that its value increases in proportion to the living labour employed, although the value of its individual components declines:

The driving force—the machine which produces the motive power—becomes cheaper as the machinery which transmits the power and the machine which the power operates, are improved, as friction is reduced, etc.

“The facilities resulting from the employment of self-acting tools have not only improved the accuracy and accelerated the construction of the machinery of a mill, but have also lowered its cost and increased its mobility in a remarkable degree.  At present a throstle frame, made in the past manner, may be had complete at the rate of 9s. 6d. per spindle, and a self-actor at about 8s. per spindle including the patent licence for the latter.  The spindles in cotton factories move with so little friction that 1 horse power drives 500 on the fine hand mule, 300 on the self-actor mule, and 180 on the throstle; which power includes all the subsidiary preparation machines as carding, roving, etc., a power of three horses is adequate to drive 30 large looms with their dressing machines” (Andrew Ure, [Philosophy of Manufactures, p.40,] Philosophie des Manufactures etc., tome I, Paris, 1836, pp. 62-63).>


[Jones says further:]

“Over by far the greater part of the globe, the great majority of the labouring classes do not even receive their wages from capitalists; they either produce them themselves, or receive them from the revenue of their customers.  The great primary step has not been taken which secures the continuity of their labour; they are aided by such knowledge only, and such an amount of mechanical power as may be found in the possession of persons labouring with their own hands for their subsistence.  The skill and science of more advanced countries, the giant motive forces, the accumulated tools and machines which those forces may set in motion, are absent from the tasks of the industry which is carried on by such agents alone” ([Richard Jones, Text-book of Lectures on the Political Economy of Nations,] p. 43).

<In England herself:

“Take agriculture…  A knowledge of good farming is spread thinly, and with wide intervals, over the country.  A very small part of the agricultural population is aided by all the capital which … might be available in this branch of the national industry…  the working in these” (great manufactories) “is the occupation of only a small portion of our non-agricultural labourers.  In country workshops, in the case of all handicraftsmen and mechanics who carry on their separate task with little combination, there the division of labour is incomplete, and its continuity consequently imperfect…  Abandon the great towns, observe the broad surface of the country, and you will see what a large portion of the national industry is lagging at a long distance from perfection, in either continuity, skill, or power” (loc. cit., p. 44).

Capitalist production leads to separation of science from labour and at the same time to the use of science in material production.


With regard to rent, Jones remarks correctly:

Rent, in the modern sense of the term, which depends entirely on profit, presupposes:

“… the power of moving capital and labour from one occupation to others[oo]the ‘mobility’ of capital and labour, and in countries where agricultural capital and labour have no such mobility … we cannot expect to observe any of the results which we see to arise here from that mobility exclusively” (loc. cit., p.59.)

This “mobility of capital and labour” is, in general, the real prerequisite for establishing the average rate of profit.  It presupposes indifference to the specific form of labour.  In reality friction takes place (at the expense of the working class) between the one-sided character which the division of labour and machinery impose on labour-power on the one hand, while on the other hand, it confronts capital <which is thereby differentiated from its undeveloped form in craft-build industry> merely as the living potentiality of any type of labour in general, which is given this or that direction according to the profit that can be made in this or that sphere of production, so that different masses of labour are transferable from one sphere to another.

In Asia, etc., “the body of the population consists […] of labouring […] peasants; systems of cultivation imperfectly developed, ||1153| afford long intervals of leisure.  As the peasant produces his own food […] he also produces most of the other primary necessities which he consumes—his dress, his implements, his furniture, even his buildings: for there is in his class little division of occupations.  The fashions and habits of such a people do not change; they are handed down from parents to children; there is nothing to alter or disturb them” (p. 97).

On the other hand, the capitalist mode of production, whose characteristic features are mobility of capital and labour and continual revolutions in the methods of production, and therefore in the relations of production and commerce and the way of life, leads to great mobility in the habits, modes of thinking, etc., of the people.

Compare the following with the above-quoted passage about “the intervals of leisure” and the “imperfectly developed systems of cultivation”.

1. Where a steam engine is employed on a farm; it forms part of a system which employs most labourers in agriculture, and is in all cases [associated] with a reduction [in the number] of horses[pp] (“On the Forces used in Agriculture”.  A Paper read by Mr. John C. Morton at the Society of Arts on December 7, 1859).

2. “… the difference of time required to complete the products of agriculture, and of other species of labour,” is “the main cause of the great dependence of the agriculturists.  They cannot bring their commodities to market in less time than a year.  For that whole period they are obliged to borrow of the shoemaker, the tailor, the smith, the wheelwright, and the various other labourers, whose products they cannot dispense with, but which[qq] are completed in a few days or weeks.  Owing to this natural circumstance, and owing to the more rapid increase of the wealth produced by other labour than that of agriculture, the monopolizers of all the land, though they have also monopolized legislation, have not been able to save[rr] themselves and their servants, the farmers, from becoming the most dependent class of men in the community” (Thomas Hodgskin, Popular Political Economy, London, 1827, p. 147, note).

The capitalist differs from capital in that he must live, and therefore must consume part of the surplus-value as revenue, daily and hourly.  Thus, the longer the period of production before the capitalist can bring his commodity to market, or the longer the period of time before he receives the proceeds from the sale of his commodities, the longer he must live either on credit during the intervening time—a matter we are not discussing here—or the larger must be the stock of money in his possession which he can expend as revenue.  He must advance his own revenue for a longer period.  His capital must be larger.  He is obliged to leave a part of it always unused, as a consumption fund.

<In small-scale farming, therefore, domestic industry is combined with agriculture; supplies for the year, etc.>

[c) Jones on Accumulation and Rate of Profit.  On the Source of Surplus-value]

We now come to Jones’s teaching on accumulation.  His original contribution so far has been that it is by no means necessary for accumulation to arise from profit; and secondly, that the accumulation of auxiliary capital depends upon the advance of knowledge.  He limits the latter to the discovery of new mechanical appliances, motive forces, etc.  But it is true in general.  For example, if corn is used as raw material in the preparation of spirits, then a new source of accumulation is opened up, because the surplus product may be converted into new forms, satisfy new wants and enter as a productive element into a new sphere of production.  The same applies if starch, etc., is prepared from corn.  The sphere of exchange of these particular commodities and of all commodities is thereby expanded.  The same takes place when coal is used for lighting, etc.

Foreign trade, too, is of course an important factor in the process of accumulation, because it tends to increase the variety of use-values and the volume of commodities.

What Jones says first of all is concerned with the, connection between accumulation and the rate of profit.  (He is by no means very clear about the origin of the latter.)

“The power of a nation to accumulate capital from profits does not vary with the rate of profit… on the contrary, the power to accumulate capital from profits, ordinarily varies inversely as the rate of profit, that is, it is great where the rate of profit is low, and small where the rate of profit is high” ([Jones, Text-book of Lectures,] p. 21).

Adam Smith says: ||1154| “Though that part of the revenue of the inhabitants which is derived from the profits of stock is always much greater in rich, than in poor, countries, it is because the stock is much greater; in proportion to the stock, the profits are generally much less” (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Vol. II, Chapter 3 [quoted by Richard Jones in the Text-book of Lectures, p. 21, note]).

“In England and Holland, the rate of profit is lower than in any other part of Europe” ([Jones, loc. cit.,] p. 21).

“… during the period in which her” (England’s) “wealth and capital have been increasing the most rapidly, the rate of profits has been gradually declining…” (pp. 21-22).

“… the relative masses of the profits produced … depend not alone on the rate of profit … but on the rate of profit taken in combination with the relative quantities of capital employed” (p. 22).

“The increasing quantity of capital of the richer nation … is also usually accompanied by a decrease in the rate of profits, or a decrease in the proportion, which the annual revenue derived from the capital employed, bears to its gross amount” (loc. cit.).

“If it be said that all other things being equal, the rate of profit will determine the power of accumulating from profit, the answer is, that the case, if practically possible, is too rare to deserve consideration.  We know, from observation, that a declining rate of profit is the usual accompaniment of increasing differences in the mass of capital employed by different nations, and that, therefore, while the rate of profits in the richer nations declines, all other things are not equal.

“If it be asserted that the decline of profits may be great enough to make it impossible to accumulate from profits at all, the answer […] is that it would be foolish to argue on the assumption of such a decline, because long before the rate of profits had reached such a point, capital would go abroad to realize greater profits elsewhere, and that the power of exporting will always establish some limit below which profits will never fall in any one country, while there are others in which the rate of profit is greater” (pp. 22-23).

Apart from the primary sources of accumulation, there are derivative ones, such as, for example, the owners of the national debt, officials, etc.[ss]

All this is fine and good.  It is quite correct that the amounts accumulated by no means depend solely on the rate of profit, but on the rate of profit multiplied by the capital employed, that is, just as much on the size of the capital advanced.  If we call the capital employed C, and the rate of profit r, then accumulation will be Cr, and it is clear that this product can increase if C grows more quickly than r declines.  And this is indeed a fact derived from observation.  But this does not explain the cause, the raison d’être of this fact.  Jones himself came very near to it when he made the observation that the auxiliary capital continuously increases relatively to the working population by which it is put into motion.

Insofar as the decline in [the rate of] profit is due to the cause mentioned by Ricardo—the rise of rent—the ratio of the total surplus-value to the capital employed remains unchanged.  But one part of it—rent—increases, at the expense of the other part i.e., of profit; this leaves the proportion of the total surplus-value, of which profit, interest and rent are only categories, [to the total capital] unchanged.  Thus, in fact, Ricardo denies the phenomenon itself.

On the other hand, the mere decline in the rate of interest proves nothing in itself, just as its rise proves nothing, although it does indeed always indicate the minimum rate below which profit cannot fall.  For profit must always be higher than the average rate of interest.

||1155| Apart from the terror which the law of the declining rate of profit inspires in the economists, its most important corollary is the presupposition of a constantly increasing concentration of capitals, that is, a constantly increasing decapitalisation of the smaller capitalists.  This, on the whole, is the result of all laws of capitalist production.  And if we strip this fact of the contradictory character which, on the basis of capitalist production, is typical of it, what does this fact, this trend towards centralisation, indicate?  Only that production loses its private character and becomes a social process, not formally—in the sense that all production subject to exchange is social because of the absolute dependence of the producers on one another and the necessity for presenting their labour as abstract social labour ( [by means of] money)—but in actual fact.  For the means of production are employed as communal, social means of production and therefore not [determined] by [the fact that they are] the property of an individual, but by their relation to production, and the labour likewise is performed on a social scale.

A separate section in Jones’s work is headed “On the causes which determine the inclination to accumulate”.  [He mentions the following]:

“… 1st.—Differences of temperament and disposition in the people.

“2ndly.—Differences in the proportions in which the national revenues are divided among the different classes of the population.

“3rdly.—Different degrees of security for the safe enjoyment of the capital saved.

“4thly.—Different degrees of facility in investing profitably, as well as safely, successive savings.

“5thly.—Differences in the opportunities offered to the different ranks of the population to better their position by means of savings” (p. 24).

All these five causes, in fact, boil down to this—that accumulation depends on the stage of the capitalist mode of production reached by a particular nation.

To begin with No. 2.  Where capitalist production exists in a developed form, profit constitutes the chief source of accumulation, that is, the capitalists have concentrated the greater part of the national revenue in their hands and even a section of the landowners seeks to capitalise [their revenue].

No. 3.  Security (in the legal and police sense) increases in proportion to the degree to which the capitalists secure control of the State administration.

No. 4.  As capital develops, the spheres of production increase on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the organisation of credit [develops] in order to collect every farthing in the hands of the money-lenders (hankers).

No. 5.  In capitalist production, the improvement of one’s position depends solely on money, and everyone can delude himself into believing that he can become a Rothschild.

There remains No. 1.  All people do not have the same predisposition towards capitalist production.  Some primitive peoples, such as the Turks, have neither the temperament nor the inclination for it.  But these are exceptions.  The development of capitalist production creates an average level of bourgeois society and therefore an average level of temperament and disposition amongst the most varied peoples.  It is as truly cosmopolitan as Christianity.  This is why Christianity is likewise the special religion of capital.  In both it is only men who count.  One man in the abstract is worth just as much or as little as the next man.  In the one case, all depends on whether or not he has faith, in the other, on whether or not he has credit.  In addition, however, in the one case, predestination has to be added, and in the other case, the accident of whether or not a man is born with a silver spoon in his mouth.


The source of surplus-value and primitive rent:

“When land has been appropriated and cultivated, such land yields, in almost every case, to the labour employed on it, more than is necessary to continue the kind of cultivation already bestowed upon it.  Whatever it produces beyond this, ||1156| we will call its surplus produce.  Now this surplus produce is the source of primitive rents, and limits the extent of such revenues, as can be continuously derived from the land by its owners, as distinct from its occupiers” (p. 19).

These primitive rents are the first social form in which surplus-value is represented, and this is the obscure conception which forms the foundation of the theory of the Physiocrats.

Both absolute and relative surplus-value have this in common that they presuppose a certain level of the productive power of labour.  If the entire working-day (available labour-time) of a man (any man) were only sufficient to feed himself (and at best his family as well), then there would be no surplus labour, surplus-value and surplus produce.  This prerequisite of a certain level of productivity is based on the natural productiveness of land and water, the natural sources of wealth.  It is different in different countries, etc.  Needs are simple and crude in early times and the minimum produce required for the maintenance of the producers themselves is consequently small, and so is the surplus product.  On the other hand, the number of people who live off the surplus product in those circumstances is likewise very small, so that they receive the sum total of the small amounts of surplus product obtained from a relatively large number of producers.

The basis for absolute surplus-value—that is, the real precondition for its existence—is the natural fertility of the land, of nature, whereas relative surplus-value depends on the development of the social productive forces.

And with this we finish with Jones|XVIII-1156||

[a] Marx is not quoting here but paraphrasing.—mainly in German—a paragraph from p.61 of Jones’s book.—Ed.

[b] The manuscript has “shows”.—Ed. 

[c] The manuscript has “proceeds entirely from”.—Ed.

[d]Marx here paraphrases (in German) the idea developed by Jones on p. 143 of his book.—Ed.

[e] The manuscript has “All these forms”.—Ed.

[f] The manuscript has “system”.—Ed.

[g] The manuscript has “the”.—Ed.

[h] The manuscript has “For example”.—Ed.

[i] The manuscript has “This is possible in larger countries too”.—Ed.

[j] In the manuscript this part of the sentenc is condensed and reads: “When prices rise steeply more.”—Ed.

[k]The first part of the sentence up to “quadrupled” is not a quotation but Marx’s paraphrase of the passage.—Ed.

[l] In the manuscript, “of”.—Ed.

[m] The manuscript has “Thus the”.—Ed.

[n] The manuscript has “are”.—Ed.

[o] The manuscript has “decrease”.—Ed.

[p] The manuscript has “and vice versa” instead of “or a fall of wages not compensated by a rise in the rate of profits”.—Ed.

[q] The manuscript has “without” instead of “and this from a cause quite distinct from”.—Ed.

[r] In the manuscript, “land”.—Ed.

[s] In the manuscript, “thus the increase”.—Ed.

[t] In the manuscript, “trebled and so on.”—Ed.

[u] In the manuscript, “Even among the Western European nations we still find.”—Ed.

[v] This is a summary by Marx, in his own words (mostly in English), of a much longer passage on pages 16-17 of Jones’s book.—Ed.

[w] Instead of the first part of the sentence, in the manuscript “Among all nations”.—Ed.

[x] In the manuscript, “Here in England not only the”.—Ed.

[y] In the manuscript, “depend on”.—Ed.

[z] In the manuscript, “these laboring”.—Ed.

[aa] Instead of “may be divided into three groups”, in the manuscript “are”.—Ed.

[bb] Instead of “may be subdivided into”, in the manuscript “are”.—Ed.

[cc]The first part of this sentence is shortened by Marx and reads in the manuscript “Something resembling rent or profit is often.”—Ed.

[dd] In the manuscript, “they may be regarded as wage-labourers”.—Ed.

[ee] In the manuscript the first part of the sentence reads “In England limited to”.—Ed.

[ff] In the manuscript, “slaves”.—Ed

[gg] This part of the sentence is summarised by Marx.—Ed.

[hh] This paragraph represents a summary by Marx of the ideas outlined by Jones on p. 20 of his book.  It is written almost entirely in English.—Ed.

[ii] By fair means or foul.—Ed.

[jj] In the manuscript, “nation.”—Ed.

[kk] In the manuscript, “the capitalist”.—Ed.

[ll] In the manuscript, “this”.—Ed.

[mm] In the manuscript, “the productive powers of labour are increased to such an extent as to make it”.—Ed.

[nn] This and the following quotation were taken by Marx from the French edition of A. Ure’s work.—Ed.

[oo] In the manuscript, “to another”.—Ed.

[pp] This is not a quotation, but a summary of a passage from Morton’s paper, which was published in the Journal of the Society of Arts, December 9, 1859, pp. 53-61.—Ed.

[qq] In the manuscript, “whose products they need, and which”.—Ed.

[rr] In the manuscript, “are unable to save”.—Ed.

[ss] This last sentence is a summary by Marx of an idea outlined by Jones on p. 23 of his book.—Ed.