Formal and real subsumption
With the distinction between formal and real subsumption of labor under capital , Karl Marx points out in his Critique of Political Economy that the concrete labor process is continuously changed by the capital relationship.
Subsumption means that the work or the work process is subordinated to the purpose of capital.
Formal subsumption means that labor activities that do not take place under the capital ratio are initially subordinated to it, but without substantially changing the activity itself. However, the intensity, continuity and orderliness of the work can change. With the historical genesis of the capitalist economy, for example, the means of production were expropriated from the producers and the workers became wage workers . So the work is formal "because the worker works for a capitalist instead of for himself, without changing the mode of production." The production of added value can only be increased by extending the working day.
Building on the formal , the real subsumption begins . This changes labor activity and the means of production in such a way that they are best used in accordance with the valorisation principles of capital, "through cooperation, the division of labor within the studio, the use of machinery, and generally the transformation of the production process into the conscious use of natural science , Mechanics, chemistry etc., for specific purposes, technology etc. "
According to Marx, real subsumption is primarily intended through the production of a relative surplus value , which remains largely unaffected by the state limitation of the working day. The real subsumption has a disciplining process of working a result, with the effect that "regularity, uniformity, order, continuity and energy work wonderfully increases" will.
Formal subsumption precedes real subsumption and, according to Marx, is “the general form of all capitalist production processes; but at the same time it is a special form in addition to the developed, specifically capitalist mode of production, because the latter does not necessarily involve the latter, but the latter by no means necessarily involves the latter. ”However, the formal and the real subsumption are not limited to the historical genesis of capitalist economy, but rather represents an enduring feature of the capitalist mode of production. The formal subsumption becomes visible wherever fields of activity in society that function independently of the capital relationship are incorporated into it. The real subsumption is not limited to newly integrated fields of activity, but represents a continuous process of change in all subsumed fields of work intended by the production of relative surplus value. Marx states: “The production of relative surplus value revolutionizes through and through the technical processes of work and the social groups ”.
- Karl Marx: Results of the Immediate Production Process. Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe II / 4.1, pp. 24–138 (different edition as PDF file )
- Rudi Schmiede : Real subsumption as a social-theoretical category , in: Wilhelm Schumm (Hrsg.): On the development dynamics of modern capitalism. Contributions to social theory, industrial sociology and trade union research. Symposium for Gerhard Brandt , 1989, ISBN 3-593-34110-7 . (PDF; 97 kB)
- Sebastian Herkommer: formal / real subsumption, in: Wolfgang Fritz Haug (Hrsg.): Historical-critical dictionary of Marxism . Volume 4. 1999, columns 680-687
- Sebastian Herkommer: formal / real subsumption. In: Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism. Volume 4, 1999, p. 681
- Marx Engels Complete Edition. Volume II / 4.1 M: Economic Manuscripts 1863–1867. Part 1. (Manuscripts 1864/65 for the 1st and 2nd book of “Capital”, lecture “Value, price and profit”) 2. unchanged. Edition 2011, p. 95
- K. Marx: Das Kapital . I. In: Marx-Engels works . Volume 23, 1986, p. 433
- Marx Engels Complete Edition. Volume II / 4.1 M: Economic Manuscripts 1863–1867. Part 1. (Manuscripts 1864/65 for the 1st and 2nd book of “Capital”, lecture “Value, price and profit”) 2. unchanged. Edition 2011, p. 91
- K. Marx: Das Kapital. I. In: Marx-Engels works. Volume 23, 1986, pp. 532f.