The Valoristation Process in 1861-63

I include what follows because of its stress on the objectivity of the alien forms and their place in the valorization process:

The term “valorisation process” is not to be taken in its previous sense as a process of the formation of value, but as a process of the formation of surplus value.This result is however brought about to the extent that the amount of living labour which the worker has to perform, and which therefore is objectified in the product of his labour, is greater than the amount of labour contained in the variable capital or laid out in wages, or, and this is the same thing, is greater than the amount of labour required for the reproduction of labour capacity. In so far as the value advanced becomes capital through the production of surplus value alone, the origin of capital itself, like the capitalist production process, depends above all on 2 moments:

Firstly, the sale and purchase of labour capacity, an act which falls within the sphere of circulation, but from the point of view of the capitalist production process as a whole constitutes not only a moment and a presupposition, but also the constant result of the process. This sale and purchase of labour capacity implies the separation of the objective conditions of labour — hence of the means of subsistence and the means of production — from living labour capacity itself, so that the latter forms the only property which the worker has at his disposal, and the only commodity he has to sell. This separation proceeds so far that the conditions of labour confront the worker as independent persons, for the capitalist, as owner of the conditions of labour, is only their personification in opposition to the worker as the mere owner of labour capacity. This separation and this achievement of an independent position by the conditions of labour is presupposed before the sale and purchase of labour capacity can take place, hence before living labour can be incorporated into dead labour as means for the latter’s self-preservation and self-multiplication, hence its self- valorisation. Without the exchange of variable capital for labour capacity, no self- valorisation of capital as a whole could take place, and therefore no capital formation or conversion of means of production and means of subsistence into capital. The second moment is the real production process, i.e. the real consumption process of the labour capacity purchased by the owner of money or commodities.†*)

In the real production process, the objective conditions of labour — material and means of labour — not only serve to allow living labour to objectify itself, but also to allow more labour to be objectified than was contained in the variable capital. They therefore serve as means for absorbing and squeezing out surplus labour, which is expressed in surplus value (and SURPLUS PRODUCE). Hence if one considers both moments together, firstly the exchange of labour capacity for variable capital, and secondly the real production process (in which living labour is incorporated into capital as an agens†a), the process as a whole appears as one in which 1) less objectified labour is exchanged for more living labour, in that what the capitalist in reality receives in return for the wage is living labour; and 2) the objective forms which directly represent capital in the labour process, the means of production (hence objectified labour once again), serve as means for squeezing out and absorbing this living labour. The whole thing appears as a process taking place between objectified and living labour, a process which not only converts living into objectified labour, but also at the same time converts objectified labour, and therefore living labour as well, into capital. It is therefore a process in which not only a commodity is produced, but also surplus value, and therefore capital.” MECW 34 p. 348-50

About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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