[Marxism] Circulation of capital

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun May 12 17:33:41 MDT 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Now Back to our Subject: Pardon the Extrusion, 2

I.  Now back to our subject. Marx, concludes his Notebook VI of the 
Grundrisse with an extended discussion of circulation,  the impact of 
fixed assets, machinery, on the turnover of capital,  the impact of 
fixed capital on the labor process, and the impact of circulation time 
on the reproduction of capital.  Writes our friend Karl:

     The circulation of capital is the change of forms by means of which 
value passes through different phases.  The time which this process 
lasts or costs to bring about belongs among the production costs of 
circulation, of the division of labor of production based on exchange. 
(Grundrisse, Penguin Books, 1973, p. 626).

Pretty straightforward, right?  The physical commodity, for the 
capitalist owner,  is but the bearer of the surplus value appropriated 
in production.  It represents cost plus- value -which was, at one time, 
money without the plus.  Now the commodity has to circulate, prove 
itself exchangeable, in order to perform the magic of its 
transubstantiation, in its simultaneous disappearing and realization 
act, materializing as mo' money.  This transformation is both physical 
and "beyond" physical.  It is social.  The transformation requires some 
time.  Time isn't always money.  But the appropriation of  labor time 
cannot be sustained without its conversion into money. Money is the 
alienation of time.

The process by which any single capitalist realizes the expanded value 
in commodity production requires that capital as a social organization 
expand; that the markets "officiate" at the process of 
transubstantiation for all, or most, or a really good portion of the 

The economic metamorphosis requires social time and space. The movement 
of value through different phases is  accompanied by the movement of the 
commodities through space.

The longer the circulation time, the slower the turnover of capital, 
then the more encumbered is the original production process as its rate 
of realization, its rate of return drags upon the need for uninterrupted 
production to maximize the efficiency of, and circulate the overhanging 
costs of the increased fixed assets.

Full at:  http://thewolfatthedoor.blogspot.com

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