[Marxism] Circulation of capital
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.
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