Reading period: Feb 2016–Dec 2016

Despite the time I spent with this book (often I felt it’s preventing me from reading a better book), I did not finish it (as per ebook reader estimator, I spent net ~40 hours reading it, and ~3 hours on this report).

The report about this book consists of: summary of presented ideas, notes on form and language and then semi-annotated excerpts from the English publication.


Three kinds of value

  • use value
    • based on utility for individual holders
      • induced idea: be it price on market of availability and wants of an individual
  • the value
    • based on labour spent producing
    • he doesn’t distinguish labour quality, so it’s basically time
      • assumption of all people (labourers) being equal
      • and exchangibility of commodities
    • conserved during circulation
  • price
    • based exchange rates
    • relative to chosen commodity (e.g. gold)
      • generalized as money
    • imaginary price
      • object without value (conscience, hnonr)


  • source of value
  • makes commodities commensurable (cf money)
  • labour power – commodity whose use-value is creation of value
    • its value is given by food, shelter, reproduction, education etc. of the labourer
    • key idea: value(labour power) < value(produced by labour power)
  • various quality of it (discrepancy with definition of value)
  • attributed only to humans
    • i.e. machines don’t create value (by definition)
      • is it the operator?
  • later he implies this feature also on soil


  • circulating money proportional to trading rate
  • sell and purchase separator
  • credit based money not analyzed
  • prerequisite for capital


  • appears in form of money after a successful exchange (i.e. both parties profit) and when money is goal (i.e. not spending money but advancing them)
  • surplus-value
    • one of of labour power produces more value than is it’s value
    • material + labour power = product
    • value(material) + value(labour power) < value(product)
    • rate of surplus-value = surplus-value / value(product)
  • money retrieved by selling surplus-value
  • not well argued desire of capitalist to always increase and hoard capital
    • It would make sense if Marx admitted inflation.

Productiveness and efficiency

  • general change of value is equal to change of productivity
  • the more efficient production, the higher rate of surplus-value
    • until it is the competitive advantage
    • exploiting labour power (child labor)
    • also cooperation
    • importance of tools and machinery


  • referring to science
    • chemistry (materialism)
    • evolution principle
  • many concepts and phenomena still apply today
  • not well defined what commodity is
  • criticizing church (Anglicans)


  • frequent quotations
    • other economists: Stuart Mill, James Mill, Adam Smith, Locke
      • Political Economy
    • social reports
    • statistics
    • even bible
  • antisemitism
  • opposition: moneybags, bourgeois brain
  • no gender neutral pronouns, mostly male
    • one quotation treats capital as femininum



The English Established Church, e.g., will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/39 of its income.

Part 1: Commodities and Money

Chapter 1: Commodities

Lastly nothing can have value, without being an object of utility. If the thing is useless, so is the labour contained in it; the labour does not count as labour, and therefore creates no value.

  • Mixing value and use value explained previously.

Use values cannot confront each other as commodities, unless the useful labour embodied in them is qualitatively different in each of them.

with reference to use value, the labour contained in a commodity counts only qualitatively, with reference to value it counts only quantitatively,

labour, exercised during equal periods of time, always yields equal amounts of value. But it will yield, during equal periods of time, different quantities of values in use; more, if the productive power rise, fewer, if it fall.

value can only manifest itself in the social relation of commodity to commodity.

If the values of all commodities rose or fell simultaneously, and in the same proportion, their relative values would remain unaltered. Their real change of value would appear from the diminished or increased quantity of commodities produced in a given time.

  • assumption of constant labour power

The secret of the expression of value, namely, that all kinds of labour are equal and equivalent, because, and so far as they are human labour in general, cannot be deciphered, until the notion of human equality has already acquired the fixity of a popular prejudice.

Weaving, which is the labour of certain private individuals producing a particular article, linen, acquires in consequence a social character, the character of equality with all other kinds of labour.

Amongst the commodities which, in form B, figure as particular equivalents of the linen, and, in form C, express in common their relative values in linen, this foremost place has been attained by one in particular – namely, gold.

  • This is obsolete now.

labour of the individual asserts itself as a part of the labour of society, only by means of the relations which the act of exchange establishes directly between the products, and indirectly, through them, between the producers.

  • IOW, without exchange, labour couldn’t be stripped of quality.

the product must be not only useful, but useful for others,

[Robinson Crusoe …] commences, like a true-born Briton, to keep a set of books.

The tithe to be rendered to the priest is more matter of fact than his blessing.

  • Church despect.

So far no chemist has ever discovered exchange value either in a pearl or a diamond.

  • Exchange value is just virtual.

All commodities are non-use-values for their owners, and use-values for their non-owners.

  • That’s why exchange is (literally) useful.

[“These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Revelations, 17:13; “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelations, 13:17.] (Apocalypse.)

  • Even biblical quote

Chapter 2: Exchange

In the last decades of the 17th century it had already been shown that money is a commodity,

Chapter 3: Money, Or the Circulation of Commodities

It is not money that renders commodities commensurable. Just the contrary. It is because all commodities, as values, are realised human labour, and therefore commensurable,

  • Importance of previous definition of “unified” labour.

It is owing to this that, in all metallic currencies, the names given to the standards of money or of price were originally taken from the pre-existing names of the standards of weight.

  • Interesting observation (pound, mark).

Hence an object may have a price without having value. The price in that case is imaginary, like certain quantities in mathematics.

  • Does he really mean imaginary numbers? Those are quite orthogonal to reals.

the money in reality represents the quantity or sum of gold ideally expressed beforehand by the sum of the prices of the commodities.

  • Gold standard superseded already.

the quantity of money functioning as the circulating medium is equal to the sum of the prices of the commodities divided by the number of moves made by coins of the same denomination.

  • More trading more money? This is inverse to the quoted relation.

The erroneous opinion that it is, on the contrary, prices that are determined by the quantity of the circulating medium, and that the latter depends on the quantity of the precious metals in a country; this opinion was based by those who first held it, on the absurd hypothesis that commodities are without a price, and money without a value, when they first enter into circulation, and that, once in the circulation, an aliquot part of the medley of commodities is exchanged for an aliquot part of the heap of precious metals.

It has its immediate origin in the metallic currency. Money based upon credit implies on the other hand conditions, which, from our standpoint of the simple circulation of commodities, are as yet totally unknown to us. But we may affirm this much, that just as true paper money takes its rise in the function of money as the circulating medium, so money based upon credit takes root spontaneously in the function of money as the means of payment.

Commodities are thus sold not for the purpose of buying others, but in order to replace their commodity-form by their money-form.

why Indian commodities are so cheap. Answer: Because the Hindus bury their money.

  • He quotes Jacob Vanderlint.

But money itself is a commodity, an external object, capable of becoming the private property of any individual. Thus social power becomes the private power of private persons. The ancients therefore denounced money as subversive of the economic and moral order of things.

Part 2: Transformation of Money into Capital

Chapter 4: The General Formula for Capital

If we abstract from the material substance of the circulation of commodities, that is, from the exchange of the various use-values, and consider only the economic forms produced by this process of circulation, we find its final result to be money: this final product of the circulation of commodities is the first form in which capital appears.

different form: M-C-M, the transformation of money into commodities, and the change of commodities back again into money; or buying in order to sell. Money that circulates in the latter manner is thereby transformed into, becomes capital,

  • Also compare money-power-money, power-money-power. I just think it’s a phase shift.

What, however, first and foremost distinguishes the circuit C-M-C from the circuit M-C-M, is the inverted order of succession of the two phases.

  • What about the terminale phase of investing the money (M)/capital?

The money, therefore, is not spent, it is merely advanced.

The circuit C-M-C starts with one commodity, and finishes with another, which falls out of circulation and into consumption. Consumption, the satisfaction of wants, in one word, use-value, is its end and aim. The circuit M-C-M, on the contrary, commences with money and ends with money. Its leading motive, and the goal that attracts it, is therefore mere exchange-value.

  • That’s true but IMO they are just the same with dualism in place.

As the conscious representative of this movement, the possessor of money becomes a capitalist. His person, or rather his pocket, is the point from which the money starts and to which it returns. The expansion of value, which is the objective basis or main-spring of the circulation M-C-M, becomes his subjective aim, and it is only in so far as the appropriation of ever more and more wealth in the abstract becomes the sole motive of his operations, that he functions as a capitalist, that is, as capital personified and endowed with consciousness and a will.

The restless never-ending process of profit-making alone is what he aims at.

  • I don’t think this is clear from the previous argumentation.

inwardly circumcised Jews,

Chapter 5: Contradictions in the General Formula of Capital

“exchange is a transaction by which both sides gain.”

  • Destutt de Tracy: “Traité de la Volonté et de ses effets.” Paris, 1826

The value of a commodity is expressed in its price before it goes into circulation, and is therefore a precedent condition of circulation, not its result.

  • That would be too rigid.

The value of a thing consists solely in its relation to our wants.

  • So let’s condider use-value as market price where needs are the demand.

“Commerce … adds value to products, for the same products in the hands of consumers, are worth more than in the hands of producers,

  • S. P. Newman: “Elements of Polit. Econ.” Andover and New York, 1835

the upholders of the delusion that surplus-value has its origin in a nominal rise of prices or in the privilege which the seller has of selling too dear, must assume the existence of a class that only buys and does not sell, i.e., only consumes and does not produce. The existence of such a class is inexplicable from the standpoint we have so far reached, viz., that of simple circulation.

  • Simple circulation = conservation of value (the labour based)?

The sum of the values in circulation can clearly not be augmented by any change in their distribution, any more than the quantity of the precious metals in a country by a Jew selling a Queen Anne’s farthing for a guinea.

Turn and twist then as we may, the fact remains unaltered. If equivalents are exchanged, no surplus-value results, and if non-equivalents are exchanged, still no surplus-value.

  • ???

Chapter 6: The Buying and Selling of Labour-Power

Moneybags, must be so lucky as to find, within the sphere of circulation, in the market, a commodity, whose use-value possesses the peculiar property of being a source of value, whose actual consumption, therefore, is itself an embodiment of labour, and, consequently, a creation of value.

The historical conditions of its existence are by no means given with the mere circulation of money and commodities. It can spring into life, only when the owner of the means of production and subsistence meets in the market with the free labourer selling his labour-power.

In contradistinction therefore to the case of other commodities, there enters into the determination of the value of labour-power a historical and moral element.

If his capacity for labour remains unsold, the labourer derives no benefit from it,

  • Wait, the labourer can cretate use-values for themselves, can’t they?

Its [labour power] value, like that of every other commodity, is already fixed before it goes into circulation, since a definite quantity of social labour has been spent upon it;

  • By that rationale all wages should be equal in the same cultural and social context

Part 3: The Production of Absolute Surplus-Value

Chapter 7: The Labour-Process and the Process of Producing Surplus-Value

expend it on something useful, on something capable of satisfying a want of some sort.

Franklin therefore defines man as a tool-making animal.

The distinction between principal substance and accessory vanishes in the true chemical industries, because there none of the raw material re-appears, in its original composition, in the substance of the product.

  • The idea of analyse is so naive, it admittedly stops working for chemical industry already.

A machine which does not serve the purposes of labour, is useless.

  • What a strong statement without any introductory context (probably in terms capitalists use-value).

The product, therefore, of individual consumption, is the consumer himself; the result of productive consumption, is a product distinct from the consumer.

With the keen eye of an expert, he has selected the means of production and the kind of labour-power best adapted to his particular trade,

  • The capitalist also spent his labour power

Though the capitalist have a hobby, and use a gold instead of a steel spindle,

But the sum of the values of the commodities that entered into the process amounts to 27 shillings. The value of the yarn is 30 shillings.

  • how does he determine value of the yarn? shouldn’t it be based on the labour expended + value of input commodities? I don’t see the surplus value

labour-power whose production has cost more time and labour, and which therefore has a higher value, than unskilled or simple labour-power. This power being higher-value, its consumption is labour of a higher class, labour that creates in equal times proportionally higher values than unskilled labour does.

  • So no average social labour that would determine value, labour-based value is ill-defined.

Chapter 8: Constant Capital and Variable Capital

Therefore, the means of production can never add more value to the product than they themselves possess independently of the process in which they assist.

Chapter 9: The Rate of Surplus-Value

But in truth, the rate of surplus-value is not equal to s/C or s/(c+v), but to s/v: thus it is not 90/500 but 90/90 or 100%, which is more than five times the apparent degree of exploitation.

And the Professor calls this an “analysis!”

  • Mocking a scholar (he is actually right on that point).

Now, gentlemen, if you compare the working-time you pay for,

  • calling persons

Chapter 10: The Working day

You preach to me constantly the gospel of “saving” and “abstinence.” Good! I will, like a sensible saving owner, husband my sole wealth, labour-power, and abstain from all foolish waste of it. I will each day spend, set in motion, put into action only as much of it as is compatible with its normal duration, and healthy development. By an unlimited extension of the working day, you may in one day use up a quantity of labour-power greater than I can restore in three. What you gain in labour I lose in substance. The use of my labour-power and the spoliation of it are quite different things. If the average time that (doing a reasonable amount of work) an average labourer can live, is 30 years, the value of my labour-power, which you pay me from day to day is 1/(365×30) or 1/10950 of its total value. But if you consume it in 10 years, you pay me daily 1/10950 instead of 1/3650 of its total value, i.e., only 1/3 of its daily value, and you rob me, therefore, every day of 2/3 of the value of my commodity. You pay me for one day’s labour-power, whilst you use that of 3 days. That is against our contract and the law of exchanges. I demand, therefore, a working day of normal length, and I demand it without any appeal to your heart, for in money matters sentiment is out of place. You may be a model citizen, perhaps a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and in the odour of sanctity to boot; but the thing that you represent face to face with me has no heart in its breast. That which seems to throb there is my own heart-beating. I demand the normal working day because I, like every other seller, demand the value of my commodity.

  • manifesto of working unions ?

in any given economic formation of society, where not the exchange-value but the use-value of the product predominates, surplus labour will be limited by a given set of wants which may be greater or less, and that here no boundless thirst for surplus labour arises from the nature of the production itself.

This corvée soon developed into a servile relationship existing in point of fact, not in point of law, until Russia, the liberator of the world, made it legal under presence of abolishing serfdom.

The ratio of the corvée to the necessary labour 56/84 or 66 2/3 % gives a much smaller rate of surplus-value than that which regulates the labour of the English agricultural or factory labourer.

  • compares peasants in Wallachia with factory workrs

The manufacture of lucifer matches dates from 1833, from the discovery of the method of applying phosphorus to the match itself.

  • heart moving examples of child labor in terrible conditions

is commanded to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow, but they did not know that he had to eat daily in his bread a certain quantity of human perspiration mixed with the discharge of abscesses, cobwebs, dead black-beetles, and putrid German yeast, without counting alum, sand, and other agreeable mineral ingredients.

  • Food industry cheating since ever.

While they fail to do this, their mere existence causes a relative loss to the capitalist, for they represent during the time they lie fallow, a useless advance of capital.

  • tools earn the most when they’re used

Labour is scarce here, and might fall short if there were such a regulation.” (i.e., Ellis Brown & Co. might fall into the fatal perplexity of being obliged to pay labour-power its full value.)

  • joking tone

If then the unnatural extension of the working day, that capital necessarily strives after in its unmeasured passion for self-expansion, shortens the length of life of the individual labourer, and therefore the duration of his labour-power, the forces used up have to be replaced at a more rapid rate and the sum of the expenses for the reproduction of labour-power will be greater;

  • not easy to quantify this

What experience shows to the capitalist generally is a constant excess of population,

  • Applies to developing countries today

principle of natural selection, that works so powerfully amongst them, and only permits the survival of the strongest, are

  • adopting novel ideas

in Austria in 1860, for children between 14 and 16,

  • not only England

Soon after this the June insurrection in Paris and its bloody suppression united, in England as on the Continent, all fractions of the ruling classes, landlords and capitalists, stock-exchange wolves and shop-keepers, Protectionists and Freetraders, government and opposition, priests and freethinkers, young whores and old nuns, under the common cry for the salvation of Property, Religion, the Family and Society.

  • enumeration of Marx enemies

The Lynx eye of Capital discovered that the Act of 1844 did not allow 5 hours’ work before mid-day without a pause of at least 30 minutes for refreshment,

  • personification

That part of capital then, which is represented by the means of production, by the raw material, auxiliary material and the instruments of labour does not, in the process of production, undergo any quantitative alteration of value. I therefore call it the constant part of capital, or, more shortly, constant capital. On the other hand, that part of capital, represented by labour-power, does, in the process of production, undergo an alteration of value. It both reproduces the equivalent of its own value, and also produces an excess, a surplus-value, which may itself vary, may be more or less according to circumstances. This part of capital is continually being transformed from a constant into a variable magnitude. I therefore call it the variable part of capital, or, shortly, variable capital.

Chapter 11: Rate and Mass of Surplus-Value

The guilds of the middle ages therefore tried to prevent by force the transformation of the master of a trade into a capitalist, by limiting the number of labourers that could be employed by one master within a very small maximum.

Furnaces and workshops that stand idle by night, and absorb no living labour, are “a mere loss” to the capitalist. Hence, furnaces and workshops constitute lawful claims upon

bourgeois brain, inheriting the accumulated capitalistic qualities of  “four generations,”

  • disrespectful personification

Part 4: Production of Relative Surplus-Value

Chapter 12: The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value

Despite the important part which this method plays in actual practice, we are excluded from considering it in this place, by our assumption, that all commodities, including labour-power, are bought and sold at their full value. Granted this, it follows that the labour-time necessary for the production of labour-power, or for the reproduction of its value, cannot be lessened by a fall in the labourer’s wages below the value of his labour-power, but only by a fall in this value itself. Given the length of the working day, the prolongation of the surplus labour must of necessity originate in the curtailment of the necessary labour-time; the latter cannot arise from the former. In the example we have taken, it is necessary that the value of labour-power should actually fall by one-tenth, in order that the necessary labour-time may be diminished by one-tenth, i.e., from ten hours to nine, and in order that the surplus labour may consequently be prolonged from two hours to three. Such a fall in the value of labour-power implies, however, that the same necessaries of life which were formerly produced in ten hours, can now be produced in nine hours. But this is impossible without an increase in the productiveness of labour.

  • capitalism also leads to effectiveness

Whenever an individual capitalist cheapens shirts, for instance, by increasing the productiveness of labour he by no means necessarily aims at reducing the value of labour-power and shortening, pro tanto the necessary labour-time. But it is only in so far as he ultimately contributes to this result, that he assists in raising the general rate of surplus-value.

The real value of a commodity is, however, not its individual value, but its social value; that is to say, the real value is not measured by the labour-time that the article in each individual case costs the producer, but by the labour-time socially required for its production.

Relative surplus-value is, on the contrary, directly proportional to that productiveness. It rises with rising and falls with falling productiveness.

  • should read relative productivness

why does the capitalist, whose sole concern is the production of exchange-value, continually strive to depress the exchange-value of commodities

  • He puts that into capitalists mind with no explanation.

Chapter 13: Co-operation

These individual differences, or “errors” as they are called in mathematics,

Thus the laws of the production of value are only fully realised for the individual producer, when he produces as a capitalist, and employs a number of workmen together, whose labour, by its collective nature, is at once stamped as average social labour.

The effect is the same as if the means of production had cost less. The economy in their application is entirely owing to their being consumed in common by a large number of workmen.

their assemblage in one place is a necessary condition of their co-operation.

  • not true anymore

The directing motive, the end and aim of capitalist production, is to extract the greatest possible amount of surplus-value, and consequently to exploit labour-power to the greatest possible extent.

  • why? so that capital isn’t sitting idle

But, when considering the capitalist mode of production, he, on the contrary, treats the work of control made necessary by the co-operative character of the labour-process as identical with the different work of control, necessitated by the capitalist character of that process and the antagonism of interests between capitalist and labourer.

  • managers are result and requirement of the scale! what is he getting at with these antagonists?

He is at liberty to set the 100 men to work, without letting them co-operate. He pays them the value of 100 independent labour-powers, but he does not pay for the combined labour-power of the hundred.

  • he has to pay the managers though

Co-operation ever constitutes the fundamental form of the capitalist mode of production, nevertheless the elementary form of co-operation continues to subsist as a particular form of capitalist production side by side with the more developed forms of that mode of production.

  • interesting I’d associate that rather with socialism

Chapter 14: Division of Labour and Manufacture

On the one hand, therefore, manufacture either introduces division of labour into a process of production, or further develops that division; on the other hand, it unites together handicrafts that were formerly separate.

Whether complex or simple, each operation has to be done by hand, retains the character of a handicraft, and is therefore dependent on the strength, skill, quickness, and sureness, of the individual workman in handling his tools.

  • that must have been obsolete even at his times

Castes and guilds arise from the action of the same natural law, that regulates the differentiation of plants and animals into species and varieties,

  • Another reference to Darwin

It is only the special skill accumulated from generation to generation, and transmitted from father to son, that gives to the Hindu, as it does to the spider, this proficiency.

On the other hand, constant labour of one uniform kind disturbs the intensity and flow of a man’s animal spirits, which find recreation and delight in mere change of activity.

Since the collective labourer has functions, both simple and complex, both high and low, his members, the individual labour-powers, require different degrees of training, and must therefore have different values. Manufacture, therefore, develops a hierarchy of labour-powers, to which there corresponds a scale of wages.

Alongside of the hierarchic gradation there steps the simple separation of the labourers into skilled and unskilled. For the latter, the cost of apprenticeship vanishes; for the former, it diminishes, compared with that of artificers, in consequence of the functions being simplified. In both cases the value of labour-power falls.

  • Does the value really fall? With greater expertise…

A relatively thinly populated country, with well-developed means of communication, has a denser population than a more numerously populated country, with badly-developed means of communication;

  • communication contracts distances

A merchant could buy every kind of commodity, but labour as a commodity he could not buy.

Manufactures, accordingly, prosper most where the mind is least consulted, and where the workshop may … be considered as an engine, the parts of which are men.”

  • this is Marx quoting, he was not the only one who realized that

Chapter 15: Machinery and Modern Industry

“It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being.”

  • When I create script to automate something I do it for others, not myself.

In Germany, they tried at first to make one spinner work two spinning-wheels, that is, to work simultaneously with both hands and both feet. This was too difficult.

Machinery, like every other component of constant capital, creates no new value, but yields up its own value to the product that it serves to beget.

  • Why? Is it the definition of value by work time spent by man?

it must be observed that the machinery, while always entering as a whole into the labour-process, enters into the value-begetting process only by bits.

  • Your Note on Location 5885 Added on Friday, February 26, 2016 9:23:02 AM

value they transmit to the product

  • OK. Labourer needs compensation to restore themselves, similarly the machine compensation is by definition its wear and tear .

machine’s capacity for work, that is, the number of its operating tools, or, where it is a question of force, their mass, the amount of its product will depend on the velocity of its working parts, on the speed, for instance, of the spindles, or on the number of blows given by the hammer in a minute.

  • are there any machines where it doesn’t hold?

development is incomplete, but whose limbs are all the more supple. The labour of women and children was, therefore, the first thing sought for by capitalists

  • Psychological manipulation?

As was shown by an official medical inquiry in the year 1861, the high death-rates are, apart from local causes, principally due to the employment of the mothers away from their homes,

  • social thinking already in that year , when we fought national games

that the certificates of attendance at school were signed by the schoolmaster or schoolmistress with a cross, as they themselves were unable to write.

greater exertion than he can sustain for a constancy.

  • no gender neutral pronouns

Even at the present day, when the system is perfectly organised and its labour lightened to the utmost, it is found nearly impossible to convert persons past the age of puberty, into useful factory hands.”

  • Reading this while gym manager recruited two teen girls as receptionists. #present

This invention confirms the great doctrine already propounded, that when capital enlists science into her service, the refractory hand of labour will always be taught docility.”

  • this is bullshit

That sooner or later, therefore, the capital and the workmen must come together again, and that, then, the compensation is complete. That the sufferings of the workmen displaced by machinery are therefore as transient as are the riches of this world.

this takes place only by the intermediary of a new and additional capital that is seeking investment; not at all by the intermediary of the capital that formerly employed them and was afterwards converted into machinery.

The number of the men condemned to work in coal and metal mines increased enormously owing to the progress of the English factory system; but during the last few decades this increase of number has been less rapid, owing to the use of new machinery in mining.

Ireland, having during the last twenty years reduced its population by nearly one half, is at this moment undergoing the process of still further reducing the number of its inhabitants, so as exactly to suit the requirements of its landlords and of the English woollen manufacturers.

All the persons employed in textile factories and in mines, taken together, number 1,208,442; those employed in textile factories and metal industries, taken together, number 1,039,605; in both cases less than the number of modern domestic slaves. What a splendid result of the capitalist exploitation of machinery!

  • I don’t get this irony.

But we have already seen that, with every advance in the use of machinery, the constant component of capital, that part which consists of machinery, raw material, &c., increases, while the variable component, the part laid out in labour-power, decreases.

finds no hindrance except in the supply of raw material and in the disposal of the produce.

By ruining handicraft production in other countries, machinery forcibly converts them into fields for the supply of its raw material. In this way East India was compelled to produce cotton, wool, hemp, jute, and indigo for Great Britain.

The life of modern industry becomes a series of periods of moderate activity, prosperity, over-production, crisis and stagnation.

  • Economic cycle!

In the Coventry silk weaving industry the experiment of “cottage factories” was tried. In the centre of a square surrounded by rows of cottages, an engine-house was built and the engine connected by shafts with the looms in the cottages. In all cases the power was hired at so much per loom. The rent was payable weekly, whether the looms worked or not. Each cottage held from 2 to 6 looms; some belonged to the weaver, some were bought on credit, some were hired.

This modern so-called domestic industry has nothing, except the name, in common with the old-fashioned domestic industry, the existence of which pre-supposes independent urban handicrafts, independent peasant farming, and above all, a dwelling-house for the labourer and his family.

  • compare with centrally planned economics

These people are so exhausted after the day’s hard work, that neither the rules of health, of cleanliness, nor of decency are in the least observed.

  • I also don’t obey :-)

prescribed by their half-starved mothers. These same mothers often make them work at home, after school

  • What if it is not ripping off of the working class but just low performant economy that couldn’t keep up with the population growth and urbanisation ?

made the saving of time a necessity, and so forced into existence a dipping machine,

  • I wonder if one could still earn fortune in a match factory. The general rule still holds that you have to sell to masses.

Modern industry never looks upon and treats the existing form of a process as final. The technical basis of that industry is therefore revolutionary, while all earlier modes of production were essentially conservative.

This same bourgeois is not ashamed to put this question: “Do you not think that the mine-owner also suffers loss from an explosion?”

Moreover, all progress in capitalistic agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the labourer, but of robbing the soil;

  • Didn’t socialists do the same in Czechoslovakia? (No environmental concerns.)

Part 5: Production of Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value

Chapter 16: Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value

Relative surplus-value is absolute, since it compels the absolute prolongation of the working day beyond the labour-time necessary to the existence of the labourer himself. Absolute surplus-value is relative, since it makes necessary such a development of the productiveness of labour, as will allow of the necessary labour-time being confined to a portion of the working day.

  • pointless observation

It is not the tropics with their luxuriant vegetation, but the temperate zone, that is the mother-country of capital. It is not the mere fertility of the soil, but the differentiation of the soil, the variety of its natural products, the changes of the seasons, which form the physical basis for the social division of labour, and which, by changes in the natural surroundings, spur man on to the multiplication of his wants, his capabilities, his means and modes of labour.

Chapter 17: Changes of Magnitude in the Price of Labour-Power and in Surplus-Value

It follows from this, that an increase in the productiveness of labour causes a fall in the value of labour-power and a consequent rise in surplus-value, while, on the other hand, a decrease in such productiveness causes a rise in the value of labour-power, and a fall in surplus-value.

  • the assumption of constant daily labour price is quite strong here
  • He somehow forgets about lessened value produced. That baloney.

assume that it takes place under the conditions we have here supposed to exist; but in reality the very contrary is the case: a change in the productiveness and intensity of labour either precedes, or immediately follows, a shortening of the working day.

  • At least he admits real applicability.

Increased productiveness and greater intensity of labour,

  • what is intensity? workforce?

Only by suppressing the capitalist form of production could the length of the working day be reduced to the necessary labour time. But, even in that case, the latter would extend its limits. On the one hand, because the notion of “means of subsistence” would considerably expand, and the labourer would lay claim to an altogether different standard of life. On the other hand, because a part of what is now surplus labour, would then count as necessary labour; I mean the labour of forming a fund for reserve and accumulation.

The capitalist mode of production, while on the one hand, enforcing economy in each individual business, on the other hand, begets, by its anarchical system of competition, the most outrageous squandering of labour-power and of the social means of production, not to mention the creation of a vast number of employments, at present indispensable, but in themselves superfluous.

  • signs of centrally planed economy

Chapter 18: Various Formula for the rate of Surplus-Value

Part 6: Wages

Chapter 19: The Transformation of the Value (and Respective Price) of Labour-Power into Wages

It soon recognized that the change in the relations of demand and supply explained in regard to the price of labour, as of all other commodities, nothing except its changes i.e., the oscillations of the market-price above or below a certain mean. If demand and supply balance, the oscillation of prices ceases, all other conditions remaining the same.

always accounts for his profit by simple cheating, by buying under, and selling over the value.

  • negative sentiment

Chapter 20: Time-Wages

Chapter 21: Piece Wages

[…] piece-wage allows the capitalist to make a contract for so much per piece with the head labourer […] The exploitation of the labourer by capital is here effected through the exploitation of the labourer by the labourer.

  • interesting, not only capitalists are evil

Hence, e.g., in 1860 a great strike among the ribbon-weavers of Coventry.

  • No relevant notes on first page of Google results in 2017.

In the workshops under the Factory Acts, piece wages become the general rule, because capital can there only increase the efficacy of the working day by intensifying labour.

Chapter 22: National Differences of Wages

In proportion as capitalist production is developed in a country, in the same proportion do the national intensity and productivity of labour there rise above the international level […] The relative value of money will, therefore, be less in the nation with more developed capitalist mode of production than in the nation with less developed.

  • inflation?

The managers are, of course, English, as the native Russian capitalist is of no use in factory business.

Russian manufacture manages to vegetate only by prohibition of foreign competition.

The whole of our analysis of the production of surplus-value shows the absurdity of this conclusion, even if Carey himself had proved his premises instead of, after his usual uncritical and superficial fashion, shuffling to and fro a confused mass of statistical materials.

Part 7: The Accumulation of Capital

The capitalist who produces surplus-value – i.e., who extracts unpaid labour directly from the labourers, and fixes it in commodities, is, indeed, the first appropriator, but by no means the ultimate owner, of this surplus-value. He has to share it with capitalists, with landowners, &c., who fulfil other functions in the complex of social production. Surplus-value, therefore, splits up into various parts. Its fragments fall to various categories of persons, and take various forms, independent the one of the other, such as profit, interest, merchants’ profit, rent, &c.

Chapter 23: Simple Reproduction

The bourgeois economist whose narrow mind is unable to separate the form of appearance from the thing that appears,

The maintenance and reproduction of the working class is, and must ever be, a necessary condition to the reproduction of capital. But the capitalist may safely leave its fulfilment to the labourer’s instincts of self-preservation and of propagation.

Chapter 24: Conversion of Surplus-Value into Capital

that the capital which is exchanged for labour-power is itself but a portion of the product of others’ labour appropriated without an equivalent;

One party to the contract sells his

  • no gender neutral pronoun

If, therefore, the magnitude of value advanced in wages is not merely found again in the product, but is found there augmented by a surplus-value, this is not because the seller has been defrauded, for he has really received the value of his commodity; it is due solely to the fact that this commodity has been used up by the buyer.

The fact that on this occasion the funds are derived from the unpaid labour of his workers makes absolutely no difference.

  • inconsistent with previous note

For instance, suppose a cloth manufacturer converts £2,000 into capital. One portion he lays out in buying weavers, the other in woollen yarn, machinery, &c. But the people, from whom he buys the yarn and the machinery, pay for labour with a part of the purchase money, and so on until the whole £2,000 are spent in the payment of wages, i.e., until the entire product represented by the £2,000 has been consumed by productive labourers. It is evident that the whole gist of this argument lies in the words “and so on,” which send us from pillar to post.

  • this represents Smith’s error

In the third part of Book II. I shall give the analysis of the real bearings of the facts.

  • Pretty scheduled opus.

For the rest, it is a matter of course, that Political Economy, acting in the interests of the capitalist class, has not failed to exploit the doctrine of Adam Smith, viz., that the whole of that part of the surplus-product which is converted into capital, is consumed by the working class.

Fanatically bent on making value expand itself, he ruthlessly forces the human race to produce for production’s sake; he thus forces the development of the productive powers of society, and creates those material conditions, which alone can form the real basis of a higher form of society, a society in which the full and free development of every individual forms the ruling principle.

It compels him to keep constantly extending his capital, in order to preserve it,

His “Essays” are a cookery book with receipts of all kinds for replacing by some succedaneum the ordinary dear food of the labourer. The following is a particularly successful receipt of this

  • Sometimes too preoccupied with food and diet of labourers .

two primary creators of wealth, labour-power and the land,

But this prejudice was first established as a dogma by the arch-Philistine, Jeremy Bentham, that insipid, pedantic, leather-tongued oracle of the ordinary bourgeois intelligence of the 19th century.

  • What a language about Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism.

Chapter 25: The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation

Accumulation of capital is, therefore, increase of the proletariat.

centres of modern industry – factories, manufactures, ironworks, mines, &c.

When this term is once reached, only a very small number continue to find employment in the same branches of industry, whilst the majority are regularly discharged. This majority forms an element of the floating surplus population,

As soon as capitalist production takes possession of agriculture, and in proportion to the extent to which it does so, the demand for an agricultural labouring population falls absolutely,

this is where I quitted, 57% in the book

Part 8: Primitive Accumulation

  • Chapter 26: The Secret of Primitive Accumulation
  • Chapter 27: Expropriation of the Agricultural Population From the Land
  • Chapter 28: Bloody Legislation Against the Expropriated, from the End of the 15th Century. Forcing Down of Wages by Acts of Parliament
  • Chapter 29: Genesis of the Capitalist Farmer
  • Chapter 30: Reaction of the Agricultural Revolution on Industry. Creation of the Home-Market for Industrial Capital
  • Chapter 31: The Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist
  • Chapter 32: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation
  • Chapter 33: The Modern Theory of Colonisation