Social Scientist. v 5, no. 53 (Dec 1976) p. 47.

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Marxian Political Economy


WE NOW begin our exposition of Marx's analysis of the process of capitalist accumulation. Before proceeding to the analysis proper., let us briefly7 recall the conditions under which* the problem of accumulation is being analyzed. We consider only the production phase of the circuit of capital, CPC'. The phases MC and C'M' belong to circulation, and we abstract for the time being from the problems arising in the sphere of circulation or commodity exchange. Specifically, we assume that the phases of circulation, that is, the conversion of money into commodities and vice versa, are effected without any interruption, and that commodities continue to exchange at their values. We are thus focusing solely on the production phase, and wish to examine the laws governing the operation of this phase.

We had examined the phase GPC9 in our analysis of the capitalist labour process, and found that it was in this phase that surplus value originated. We shall now examine the phase CPCT, not in terms of the circuit of an individual labour process (involving one capitalist and the workers hired by him), but in terms of total social capital. The best way to do this is to examine how the process of creation of surplus value from capital is reproduced in society, year after year. What we shall study, then, is social reproduction. Here we may distinguish

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