Karl Marx, Capital, vol. I, New York, Vintage, 1977.

Preface to the First Edition

p. 91       "The country that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less developed, the image of its own future."

p. 92       Follower nations can shorten and lessen the inevitable birth pangs.

Postface to the Second Edition

p. 103     Puts dialectic which, with Hegel, is standing on its head, upright.


Chapter 1: The Commodity

p. 125     Commodities defined: external object which satisfies human needs of whatever kind.

p. 126     Usefulness of a thing makes it a use-value - tied up with its physical properties and independent of labor required to appropriate it. Use-values only realized in use or consumption. Use-values are material bearers of exchange-value; "exchange-value appears first of all as the quantitative relation, the proportion, in which use-values of one kind exchange for use-values of another kind." Exchange-value varies by time and place.

p. 127     Exchange relation of commodities characterized by their abstraction from use-values.

p. 128     Only one property remains in commodities aside from their use-value: their being products of labor: "residue of the products of labor...congealed quantities of homogeneous human labor...crystals of this social substance."

p. 129     A use-value has value only because abstract human labor is objectified or materialized in it: quantity of value determined by socially necessary labor time required to produce it "under the conditions of production normal for a given society and with the average degree of skill and intensity of labor prevalent in that society."

p. 130     However, labor time required to produce a particular commodity varies with time and place: thus value of commodity can change: determined by workers' skill, level of technology, level of organization, conditions in natural environment.

p. 131     A thing can be a use-value without being a value - e.g., air, water. "He who satisfies his own need with the product of his own labor admittedly creates use-values, but not commodities." Latter are social products. Also, if the thing is useless, then so is the labor which went to make it, and so is its exchange-value.

p. 132f   "use-values cannot confront each other as commodities unless the useful labor contained in them is qualitatively different in each case." Implies a social division of labor.

p. 136f   "Contradictory movement" in values: an increase in the quantity of use-values always increases the utility which can be derived from them (2 coats will clothe 2 men), but if the labor required to produce them declines their exchange-value will decline. Productivity of labor is variable: an increase in it will reduce the exchange-value of the commodities produced.

p. 138     Products are only commodities because they have this dual nature.

p. 154     NB Hegelian formulation: commodity A must confront another use-value to see its exchange-value - since latter commodity can be anything which is not A, principle of exchange-value is derived.

p. 159     "The general form of value...can only arise as the joint contribution of the whole world of commodities." This value is social and expressed through whole world of social relations.

p. 160     Money is a commodity which visibly acquires this universal form.

p. 163ff  Commodity fetishism.

p. 164     Relations among men take on the form of "a social relation between the products of labor."

p. 165     "It is nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the fantastic form of a relation between things." Calls this "festishism."

p. 166     Things can be equal in value only if they are unequal in kind - and therefore if the labor in them is unequal, though equal in abstract quantity.

p. 167f   Magnitudes of value vary independently of intentions of their producers, "and these things, far from being under their control, in fact control them."

p. 169     Political economists fond of Robinson Crusoe stories.

p. 170f   Example of medieval Europe: "precisely because relations of personal dependence form the given social foundation, there is no reason for labor and its products to assume a fantastic form different from their reality." Corvee: peasant works part time for himself and part time for his lords temporal and spiritual.

p. 171     Contrast to an association of free men who jointly own means of production.

p. 173     "The veil is not removed from the countenance of the social life-process, i.e. the process of material production, until it becomes production by freely associated men, and stands under their conscious and planned control."

Chapter 2: The Process of Exchange

Chapter 3: Money, or the Circulation of Commodities


Chapter 4: The General Formula for Capital

p. 247     "The circulation of commodities is the starting-point of capital." Depends on world trade, which began in the 16th century.

p. 247f   Direct form of circulation of commodities is C-M-C (commodities - money - commodities): selling in order to buy. Along side this, is the form, M-C-M (money - commodities - money): buying in order to sell.

p. 249     In the form C-M-C, the end desired is use-value, i.e. money to live on, and therefore money is not spent, but merely advanced.

p. 250f   But the other process, M-C-M, aims at exchange-value as the desired end. There is no qualitative difference between the extreme forms, but only quantitative.

p. 251     Thus the complete form of the process is M-C-M', where M'=M+dM (change-M): this increment is called surplus-value.

p. 252     "The value originally advanced, therefore, not only remains intact while in circulation, but increases its magnitude, adds to itself a surplus-value, or is valorized [verwertet sich]. And this movement converts it into capital."

p. 253     Thus, C-M-C, selling in order to buy, has an end outside of circulation, namely satisfaction of needs, use-value. But M-C-M, the circulation of money as capital or valorization, has no other end and is therefore limitless.

p. 254     The bearer of this movement, the possessor of money, is the capitalist - and his aims are never purely use-value.

p. 255     Thus, value is the subject of a process in which it increases its own magnitude, although it constantly changes forms: it valorizes itself independently. Only possesses this form in the shape of money.

Chapter 5: Contradictions in the General Formula

Chapter 6: The Sale and Purchase of Labor-Power

p. 270     The change in value of the money which has to be transformed into capital cannot take place in the money itself. "The money owner must be able to find on the market a commodity whose use-value possesses the peculiar property of being a source of value, whose actual consumption is therefore itself an objectification [Vergegenständlichung] of labor, hence a creation of value." That commodity is labor-power or the capacity for labor.

p. 270f   But labor-power can only be a commodity if its owner, the worker, is free and willing to sell it - to alienate it [veräussern] - for a limited time. If he sold it for good, he would become a slave, and the labor-power would cease to be a commodity.

p. 272f   Also, the worker must be compelled to sell his labor-power, rather than the products of his labor, for his subsistence. The worker must be free to sell labor-power, and free from other commodities to sell.

p. 273     This bifurcation in society is the result of human history, not a natural process.

p. 274     The value of labor-power is determined, as is every other commodity, by the labor-time necessary for the production, and hence the reproduction, of this specific article. "The value of labor-power is the value of the means of subsistence necessary for the maintenance of its owner," the worker.

p. 275     But this level of subsistence is itself a "product of history," depends on "the level of civilization attained by a country," and on the "habits and expectations with which the class of free workers has been formed." I.e., socially relative. Also, must provide for that extra amount above subsistence necessary for procreation, so that "this race of peculiar commodity-owners may perpetuate its presence on the market." (Includes costs of education.)

p. 278     The worker always advances to the capitalist - as credit - the use-value of his labor before he receives payment for it.

p. 279     Money-owner pays full price for this commodity, labor-power; and as with all commodities, he consumes it outside the market or sphere of circulation. However, labor-power is also used in production and thus also creates surplus-value. Thus, we must look outside the sphere of circulation, into the production process.

p. 280     Worker brings "his own hide to market and now has nothing else to expect but - a tanning."


Chapter 7: The Labor Process and the Valorization Process

p. 283     The labor process. Production remains production, whether under capitalism or not. Labor is the process by which man confronts nature and regulates his relations with it. He works on external nature for the purposes of consumption, and in the process changes his own nature - develops potentialities "slumbering within nature."

p. 284     This is more than mere animal activity, however, since it involves the intentions and conceptualizations of the worker: man realizes his own purposes in work and the product of his work. Thus, three elements: purposeful activity (work itself), object on which work is performed, and the instruments of that work.

p. 284f   Some objects of labor, however, are already products of labor. Immediate evolution in instruments of labor [cf. German Ideology].

p. 287     The process of labor comes to an end with the product of labor: "Labor has become bound up in its object: labor has been objectified, the object has been worked on."

p. 290     Product of individual consumption is the consumer himself; result of productive consumption is a product distinct from the consumer.

p. 291f   The labor process as controlled by the capitalist has two aspects: (1) the worker works under the control of the capitalist to whom his labor belongs, and (2) the product is the property of the capitalist and not the worker.

p. 293     The valorization process. The capitalist has two objectives (1) he wants to produce a use-value which has an exchange-value, i.e., an article to be sold, a commodity, and (2) he wants to produce a commodity greater in value than the sum of the values of the commodities used to produce it - means of production, and labor-power.

p. 300     "The fact that half a day's labor is necessary to keep the worker alive during 24 hours does not in any way prevent him from working a whole day. Therefore the value of labor-power, and the value which that labor-power valorizes in the labor-process, are two entirely different magnitudes," and the capitalist derives surplus value from the difference.

p. 301     "This circumstance [the difference in values] is a piece of good luck for the buyer [the capitalist], but by no means an injustice towards the seller [the worker]." "The trick has a last worked: money has been transformed into capital."

p. 301f   All conditions and laws of political economy have been satisfied in the process.

p. 302     The process of creating value is merely the process of valorization carried beyond a definite point - beyond the sphere of circulation.

p. 303f   Further conditions: labor-power must be functioning under normal circumstances, must be of normal effectiveness, wasteful consumption must be avoided.

Chapter 8: Constant Capital and Variable Capital

p. 317     Surplus-value: the difference between the value of the product and the value of the elements consumed in the formation of the product - means of production and labor-power: former called constant capital, latter called variable capital.

Chapter 9: The Rate of Surplus-Value

p. 325     Necessary labor-time: portion of day needed to produce value sufficient to sustain worker; surplus labor-time: portion of day spent working and creating value beyond this. "What distinguishes the various economic formations of society - the distinction between for example a society based on slave-labor and a society based on wage-labor - is the form in which this surplus labor is in each case extorted from the immediate producer, the worker."

p. 327     Rate of s.v equals the degree of exploitation of l.p by capital, or of the worker by the capitalist.

Chapter 10: The Working Day

p. 341     The length of the working day has maximum limits: first due to the physical limits to labor-power, and second to the social requirements of the worker.

p. 342     "Capital is dead labor which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks."

p. 344     The struggle between class of workers and class of capitalists over the length of the working day.

p. 344f   Capital did not invent surplus labor: it exists wherever one part of society possesses a monopoly of the means of production and worker must add his additional labor. However, in economic formations in which use-value predominates over exchange-value, "surplus labor will be restricted by a more or less confined set of needs, and...no boundless thirst for surplus labor will arise from the character of production itself." [345]

p. 411f   Changed material mode of production first gave rise to attempts at unlimited lengthening of the working day, and then to legal limits.

p. 412f   The establishment of a normal working day is the "product of a protracted and more or less concealed civil war between the capitalist class and the working class."

Chapter 11: The Rate and Mass of Surplus-Value

p. 425     The means of production are means for the absorption of the labor of others. Worker does not employ the means of production, but the means of production the worker.


Chapter 12: The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value

p. 429     Possible to increase surplus-value - given a working day of fixed length - only by shortening necessary labor time, the AB part relative to the BC part in: A------B---C.

p. 431f   This is impossible without an increase in the productivity of labor, which in turn is impossible without the mode of production itself ("technical and social conditions") being revolutionized. The portion of the day required for the reproduction of labor-power will then be shortened.

p. 432     Absolute surplus-value: produced by the lengthening of the working day; relative surplus-value: produced by the shortening of necessary labor-time and the consequent alteration in the respective lengths of the two component parts of the working day.

p. 436     Relative surplus-value can only rise through rising productivity when those commodities necessary for reproduction of labor-power are cheapened. Thus, the value of commodities and also the value of labor-power stand in inverse ratio to the productivity of labor; but relative surplus-value is directly proportional to the productivity of labor.

p. 436f   Capital thus tends toward increasing productivity of labor in order to cheapen commodities, and thereby to "cheapen the worker himself." [437]

Chapter 13: Co-operation

p. 447     The productivity of social labor through cooperation is greater than that of individual labor, inasmuch as the worker "strips off the fetters of his individuality and develops the capabilities of his species." This is accomplished by better work organization and economies of scale, and raising animal spirits or rivalry. Also, workers cannot cooperate without being assembled in one place - employed by the same capitalist.

p. 449     "As the number of cooperating workers increases, so too does their resistance to the domination of capital, and, necessarily, the pressure put on by capital to overcome this resistance." This is an "unavoidable antagonism between the exploiter and the raw material of his exploitation."

p. 450     The capitalist mode of production is "in form...purely despotic."

p. 451     The workers are isolated from each other - they enter into relations with the capitalist, but not with each other. Their special productivity, which stems from cooperation, belongs to the capitalist, not to them.

p. 453     Cooperation itself appears as an historical form peculiar to, and specifically distinguishing, the capitalist process of production. Capitalism is thus the historically necessary condition for the transformation of the labor process into a social process - just as this cooperation is a condition for increased labor-power for the sake of capital.

Chapter 14: The Division of Labor and Manufacture

p. 455f   Manufacture originates in one of two ways: a single capitalist bringing together workers of various independent handicrafts; or a capitalist bringing together workers who all do the same thing.

p. 457     Manufacture coincides with the decomposition of a handicraft into its different partial operations.

p. 458     Also this division of labor is a particular sort of cooperation and carries the benefits of cooperation in general.

p. 458     The specialized worker converts his body into the automatic, one-sided implement of that operation, but his productivity is greater.

p. 460     Since his operations are not broken up, his labor is more intensified - also he has better tools.

p. 461     Double character of manufacture: assembly of partial products made independently or due to a series of connected processes and manipulations.

p. 468     The collective worker, formed out of the combination of specialized individual workers, characteristic of manufacturing period.

p. 469     The one-sidedness and even deficiencies of the specialized individual worker become perfections when he is part of the collective worker.

p. 470     Manufacture creates a class of so-called unskilled laborers. The value of labor-power falls.

p. 471     The division of labor within society develops from a different starting point than the division of labor within manufacture: latter is restriction of individuals to particular vocations or callings.

p. 472     Exchange does not create differences between spheres of production but brings them into a relation. NB town and country.

p. 476     "The division of labor within manufacture presupposes a concentration of the means of production in the hands of one capitalist; the division of labor within society presupposes a dispersal of those means among many independent producers of commodities."

p. 479     Rule of guilds deliberately hindered the transformation of the single master into a capitalist.

p. 480     The division of labor in society can exist under many economic formations, but the division of labor in manufacture can exist only under the capitalist mode of production.

p. 480     The division of labor in manufacture makes the increase in the number of workers a technical necessity.

p. 481     Manufacture creates a hierarchical structure among the workers; "it converts the worker into a crippled monstrosity."

p. 483     Cites Adam Smith: worker "becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become."

p. The    division of labor in manufacture is merely a method of creating relative surplus-value - usually described as social wealth or the wealth of nations - at the expense of the worker.

Chapter 15: Machinery and Large-Scale Industry

p. 492     "The machine is a means for producing surplus-value." In manufacture, production takes labor-power as its starting point; in large-scale industry, the instruments of labor are the starting-point.

p. 495     The machine works with tools as the worker once did.

p. 497     The machine requires a larger mechanism to drive it than man.

p. 499     The steam-engine. Next, one must consider the cooperation of a number of machines in a complex system.

p. 501     A real machine system exists when object of labor goes through a connected series of graduated processes.

p. 503     Picture of system of machines as a "mechanical monster" with "demonic power" in "feverish whirl of tis countless working organs."

p. 504     At a certain stage, large-scale industry came into conflict with the handicraft technical basis.

p. 506     Machines create machines.

p. 508     Systems of machines impose a particular division of labor and cooperation on the workers.

p. 510     "Only in large-scale industry has man succeeded in making the product of his past labor, labor which has already been objectified, perform gratuitous service on a large scale, like a force of nature."

p. 513     When it costs as much labor to produce a machine as is saved by the employment of the machine, all that has taken place is a displacement of labor.

p. 515     But even if a machie costs as much as the labor power displaced by it, the labor objectified in it costs less than the living labor it replaces.

p. 517f   Since machinery displaces muscle-power, it enables workers' wives and children to work: result is that - since labor power costs maintenance of worker and his family - whole family (say, four workers) now works for same wages as formerly the worker, but capitalist gets labor of whole family. This raises the degree of exploitation. The worker has now "become a slave-dealer," selling his wife and child. [p 519]

p. 520     This work raises the level of child mortality.

p. 523     The stupification of machine-labor is especially pointed among immature workers - so much so that even the English Parliament acted to require elementary education.

p. 526     Machinery, by its use of female and child labor, breaks the resistance of male workers to the despotism of capital which had existed in the period of manufacture.

p. 526f   Machinery is a means not only for raising the productivity of labor but also for lengthening the working day, since the longer it functions, the more value it produces.

p. 528     Machines depreciate in two senses: physically, and "morally" because they can be produced more cheaply or due to competition from more efficient machines. Incentive to lengthen the working day before "moral" depreciation sets in.

p. 530     This is a transitional period in which the use of a particular machinery remains a sort of monopoly.

p. 530f   Law: surplus-value stems only from variable capital - number of workers and the time they work. But since machinery reduces the number of workers needed, it introduces an immanent contradiction in capitalism that surplus-value is increasingly squeezed. Produces surplus working population.

p. 533     Lengthening of working day is limited by legislation; response is the intensification of labor.

p. 536     Intensification occurs in two ways: speeding up machines, and giving worker more machines to operate.

p. 544     Sum of above. The factory combines all these elements.

p. 545     Insofar as a division of labor re-appears in a factory, it takes the form of a distribution of workers among specialized machines; only simple cooperation occurs among them.

p. 546     Worker learns to adapt his movements to the machine from childhood.

p. 547f   "Machinery is musused in order to transform the worker, from his very childhood, into a part of a specialized machine." Renders the worker dependent on the factory and on the capitalist. The machine makes use of the worker, not vice versa; factory work exhausts the nervous system and confiscates "every atom of freedom," and "deprives work itself of all content." "Capital, dead labor, ...dominates and soaks up living labor power." [548] Labor comes to live under a "barrack-like discipline" under the domination of the capitalist. [549]

p. 552f   The material conditions of factory work, too, are very bad.

p. 553f   Workers struggle not only against capitalists but against the instrument of labor itself, "capital's material mode of existence. He is in revolt against this particular form of the means of production becase it is the material foundation of the capitalist mode of production." [554]

p. 554f   Cites Luddite movement. It took time and experience for workers to distinguish between machinery and its employment by capital.

p. 558     The "temporary" unemployment due to new technology is really permanent since it keeps reoccuring.

p. 562     Machinery can also be used to suppress strikes.


Chapter 16: Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value

p. 647     It is only when men have worked their way out of their initial animal condition and labor has been to some extent socialized, that "the surplus labor of one person [can become] a condition of existence for another."

p. 648     The more favorable the natural conditions, the smaller the labor time needed for reproduction of the producer.

p. 650     But natural conditions can only provide the possibility, not the necessity, of surplus labor, surplus-value, or surplus product.

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

Chapter 18: Different Formulae for the Rate of Surplus-Value


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

Chapter 20: Time-Wages

Chapter 21: Piece-Wages

Chapter 22: National Differences in Wages


p. 709     Surplus-value is not simply appropriated by the employing capitalist, but must be shared with capitalists who fulfill other functions in social production taken as a whole - split up into profit, interest, gains through trade, ground rent, etc. This will be taken up in Volume 3.

Chapter 23: Simple Reproduction

p. 711     Conditions of production are also conditions of reproduction of the means of production.

p. 712f   Worker's wages are the portion of the product he himself continuously reproduces. NB money form of wages does not alter this relationship.

p. 713     Comparison to the peasant liable to do compulsory labor services.

p. 716     A division between the product of labor and labor itself is the real foundation and starting point of capitalist production process. Alienation: Worker enters a process in which his own labor has already been alienated [entfremdet] from him (in capital, owned by the capitalist), and his work is objectified as an alien [fremder] product. Worker continues to create capital, which continually "sucks up the worker's value-creating power," and "dominates and exploits him." Thus, the capitalist produces the worker as a wage-laborer.

p. 717     The worker's consumption is of two kinds: productive consumption in which he creates value - but this belongs to the capitalist; and individual [reproductive] consumption which he uses to live on - and this alone belongs to him. The worker is thus split. NB that the capitalist profits not only from the worker's productive consumption in the labor process, but also from the worker's individual consumption, when he sells the worker his means of subsistence.

p. 718     This is "the production and reproduction of the capitalist's most indispensable means of production: the worker." And the capitalist is only interested in reducing "the worker's individual consumption to the necessary minimum."

p. 719     Reproduction of the working class also implies generational replacement, "the transmission and accumulation of skills from one generation to another."

p. 724     Thus, capitalism not only produces commodities and surplus-value, but also reproduces itself and the capitalist-worker relation.

Chapter 24: The Transformation of Surplus-Value into Capital

Chapter 25: The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation

p. 762     Growing demand for labor-power with accumulation. (NB excursus on theory of population, esp. Malthus, p 766-8.)

p. 763     Ceteris paribus, the demand for workers (labor-power) increases with increases in capital. And if capital increases faster than the labor supply, wages will be driven up.

p. 763f   As capital expands, demand for workers increases; a "multiplication of the proletariat." [764]

p. 770     A rise in the price of labor resulting from accumulation of capital implies either (1) that rising labor costs do not interfere with the process of accumulation, or (2) that accumulation will slacken in order to keep wages limited and to maintain profits.

p. 771f   The relation between capital accumulation and wages is simply the relation between unpaid, stored labor and paid labor. Thus, in order to maintain profits and the system as a whole, the capitalist will simply turn less of the surplus into capital and thereby keep wages down.

p. 772     Reduction of variable capital relative to accumulation and concentration. According to economists (e.g., Adam Smith), high wages depend only on rate of growth of accumulation, not extent.

p. 774     The progress of accumulation reduces labor's share, but not necessarily the absolute size of its share.

p. 775f   A certain accumulation of capital is a precondition for a capitalist mode of production; but thereafter the accelerated accumulation of capital and the capitalist mode of production mutually reinforce each other, and their extent increases. With this process, labor's share continually shrinks relative to accumulated capital.

p. 776     Also with this process, capital (i.e., the means of production) becomes concentrated in the hands of individual capitalists.

p. 777     The many concentrations of capital (i.e., capitalists) compete with each other, but they also expropriate each other, and capital also becomes centralized. This competition is price competition.

p. 780     All points of the economy are drawn into this concentrating and centralizing capitalist system. Accelerated especially by joint stock companies, and this accelerates technological change. With each change, capital needs less labor to set in motion a larger quantity of machinery and raw material.

p. 781     Production of an industrial reserve army.

p. 782     Capitalist accumulation produces a relatively redundant working population. When capital grows on a constant technological basis, it attracts more labor; but when it develops new technologies, it reduces its need for labor and has difficulty absorbing existing working populations.

p. 783     Thus the working population both creates capital and also the means by which it is made superfluous - at an accelerating rate.

p. 784f   This industrial reserve army is an aid to capitalist accumulation: it provides workers for new fields of production without reducing the supply available for existing fields. This process moves in a cyclical fashion.

p. 789     The employed part of the working class is over-worked (long hours, low pay) due to competition from the unemployed segment of the working class, which drives down wages and working conditions.

p. 790     Thus, the industrial cycle causes fluctuations in the relative sizes of employed and unemployed workers, and these fluctuations in turn set wage levels.

p. 793     Unions attempt to combat these economic laws.

p. 794     Forms of surplus population; general law of capitalist accumulation. Floating form of surplus population found among temporarily unemployed workers in industrial centers.

p. 796     Latent form among populations being transformed into proletarians. Stagnant form among the irregularly employed.

p. 797     Finally, there is a more permanently unemployed segment of paupers. Apart from the lumpenproletariat of vagabonds, criminals, prostitutes, there are (a) those able to work, (b) orphans and pauper children, and (c) those unable to work or discouraged.

p. 798     The more productive the working population, the fewer workers are needed, and the more precarious is their existence.

p. 799     Within the capitalist mode of production, all methods for raising social productivity of labor come at the cost of the individual worker: capital becomes means of domination and exploitation of producers; fragments the worker and turns him into an appendage of a machine; alienate him from the intellectual potentialities of the labor process; deform working conditions; drag workers' wives and children "beneath the wheels of the juggernaut of capital." All methods for the production of surplus-value are also methods of accumulation: "It follows therefore that in proportion as capital accumulates, the situation of the worker, be his payment high or low, must grow worse." [Emphasis added.] NB this antagonistic character of capitalist accumulation.

p. 802     Illustrations.


Chapter 26: The Secret of Primitive Accumulation

p. 873     Original accumulation not part of capitalist mode of production.

p. 874     Force plays great role.

p. 874f   So-called primitive accumulation is historical process of divorcing producers from means of production: expropriation.

p. 875     "Written in annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire." Enslavement of the worker: change from feudal exploitation to capitalist exploitation.

p. 876     Begins in 16th century.

Chapter 27: The Expropriation of the Agricultural Population from the Land

p. 877     Free peasant proprietors in Enland.

p. 878     "Free" and unattached proletarians thrown onto labor market by dissolution of bands of feudal retainers at beginning of 16th century. Even larger proletariat created by feudal lords forcibly driving peasantry from the land.

p. 878f   Wool manufacture for foreign markets; transformation of arable land into sheep-walks.

p. 883     Yeomanry disappeared by mid-18th century.

p. 884     "Glorious Revolution" accelerated dispropriation.

p. 885     Enclosure of the Commons.

p. 889     The "clearing of estates."

p. 891     Example of Duchess of Sutherland in Scottish highlands.

p. 895     All this expropriation conquered the land for capitalist agriculture and created free and rightless proletariat for urban industries.

Chapter 28: Bloody Legislation against the Expropriated since the End of the 15th Century. The Forcing Down of Wages by Act of Parliament

p. 896     Inasmuch as urban industries could not absorb this free and rightless proletariat fast enough, great vagabondage was created, and along with it bloody legislation against it.

p. 899     Terroristic laws pressed agricultural folk "into accepting the discipline necessary for the system of wage-labor."

p. 899f   Under mature capitalism, working class believes economic dynamics are natural laws; the rising bourgeoisie, however, needs power of the state to force down wages for capital accumulation.

p. 900     Demand for wage-labor grew faster than labor supply [?? cf. p 896].

Chapter 29: The Genesis of the Capitalist Farmer

p. 905f   Capitalist farmers came from the great landed proprietors.

Chapter 30: Impact of the Agricultural Revolution on Industry. The Creation of a Home Market for Industrial Capital

p. 910     Expropriation of landed population also created the home market.

p. 911     Raw materials and means of subsistence became commodities. Destruction of rural domestic industry created home market which capital needs. New class of small villagers who work in industry and farm on the side.

Chapter 31: The Genesis of Industrial Capital

p. 914     Accumulation of capital described above too slow; occurred faster through usurer's capital or merchant's capital.

p. 915     Money capital prevented from becoming industrial capital by feudal countryside and guilds: struggle against them of new sea-port centers. Different moments of primitive accumulation can be assigned to Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, England: colonies, national debt, modern tax system, system of protection.

p. 915f   All these methods employ the power of the state to speed transformation from feudal to capitalist mode of production. Force as midwife; itself an economic power.

p. 916f   Colonial system. Colonies provided markets [918].

p. 919f   National debts. Gave rise to joint-stock companies and great banks, and international credit system.

p. 921     Modern tax system. Over-taxation not accidental: part of expropriation of lower middle classes.

p. 921f   System of protection. Cut short transition.

Chapter 32: The Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation

p. 927     So-called primitive accumulation is historical process of divorcing producers from means of production: expropriation. Private property of worker is foundation of small-scale industry and for production of free individuality of worker himself.

p. 928     Expropriation of immediate producers accomplished with brutality and greed.

p. 929     Further development: centralization of capitals and expropriation of one capitalist by another (decrease in number of capitalists); growth of emiseration of working class and increase in their numbers and organization under capital. This becomes incompatible with capitalism: "This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated. ...This is the negation of the negation."

Chapter 33: The Modern Theory of Colonization


-- shows that "closure" is needed.

(copyright Frederick Weil)