On the Laws of Concentration and Centralisation of Capital
"THE laws of . . .centralisation of capitals . . . cannot be developed here. A brief hint at a few facts must suffice." So said Marx in the course of enunciating the general law of capitalist production.1 And it appears that he did not return anywhere else to develop this important theme. Marx assigns a crucial place to the centralisation of capitals in his theory of capitalism. He calls the laws of centralization the "immanent laws of capitalist production itself."3 He describes the climax of capitalism in these ringing phrases:
"Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. Thus (the) integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated."3 So, it is the centralization of capital that paves the way for socialist revolution. Yet the laws of centralization still remain to be developed. The scope of the present paper is modest and at the same time ambitious—modest, for it only brings together Marx's hints and scattered remarks to knit them into a full-fledged theory of centralization; ambitious, for it then strives to go beyond that.
Self-expansion of Capital
There are three circuits in the total circulation process of capital: I) the circuit of money capital, M . . . M7, II) the circuit