Marxist economic theory

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The Marxist economic theory - the political economy on the basis of the capital of Marx - forms both its scope as to their content even after the bulk of the Marxist (Social Theory Historical Materialism ). It examines the economic functioning of society according to the view of the historical limitation of every social formation . In his opinion, these are essentially driven by the development of the productive forces and characterized by specific relations of production . An essential basic hypothesis is the development of mankind from primitive society to slave-holding society , feudalism and capitalism to socialism . In particular, Marx deals with the theoretical approaches of classical economics , in particular with Adam Smith and David Ricardo . From these he distinguishes the " vulgar economy ", which he rejects in contrast to it because of its superficial views of the economy and the apologetics of the existing conditions. Marxist economic theory itself, like any large-scale economic theory, still has many unanswered questions and controversial points.

"Critique of Political Economy"

The first volume of the trilogy Das Kapital
Manuscript page of the capital

Goal, method and concept of capital

With the title “Capital” Karl Marx clearly expresses what has been the central category of economic theory since the Quesnay Revolution: capital . In his theory-based presentation, Marx also integrates the historical dimension, such as " original accumulation " or labor law in England in the 19th century and the problem history of economic theories. However, it cannot be concluded from this that capital is “essentially a historical work”. Because Marx sees its focus in the analysis and theoretical representation of the laws of motion of the capitalist economy:

“What I have to research in this work is the capitalist mode of production and the corresponding production and traffic conditions. (...) In and of itself it is not a question of the higher or lower degree of development of social antagonisms ”[= opposites],“ which arise from the natural laws of capitalist production. It is about these < natural > laws themselves. "

This is why he says in Volume I of Capital :

"... the ultimate purpose of this work is to reveal the economic law of motion of modern society."

It was about one

"... scientific attempt to revolutionize a science."

In the introduction to the Critique of Political Economy , he described his basic method as ascending from the individual determinations of the economy (such as commodities, exchange value, etc.) to the complex contexts:

“The economists of the 17th century z. B. always begin with the living whole, the population, the nation, state, several states, etc.; But they always end up with the fact that through analysis they find out some determining abstract, general relationships, such as division of labor, money, value, etc. As soon as these individual moments were more or less established and abstracted, the economic systems began, which rose from the simple < moments >, such as work, division of labor, need, exchange value, to the state, exchange of nations and the world market. The latter is obviously the scientifically correct method. "

Theories of Added Value , 1956

This conception of the presentation was also the basis of the original plan for his economic work, which should begin with the “Critique of Political Economy” and encompass the topics “Capital, real estate, wage labor, the state, foreign trade, world market” in six parts initially regarded the first volume of Capital as a continuation of his work On the Critique of Political Economy . Later he changed this concept of his work in favor of the current four-volume presentation of capital (production process of capital in volume I, circulation process of capital in volume II, total process of capital in volume III and the history of theory in the " Theories of surplus value " as volume IV of Capital ), but kept the method. The historical representations served him as an illustration, as he had already written in the introduction to the Critique of Political Economy that the abstract must be developed into the concrete.

This rise from the abstract to the concrete results from Hegel's dialectical method of representation . Marx transferred his theory of categories to economics, which is about economic categories , i.e. H. economic forms , go, as Helmut Reichelt put it in a well-known quote:

“[W] as - one could summarize Marx's approach in the form of a question - is hidden in the categories themselves; what is the peculiar content of the economic form determinations, so the goods form , the money form , capital form , the form of profit, interest, etc.? While bourgeois political economy is generally characterized by the fact that it takes up the categories externally, Marx insists on a strict derivation of the genesis of these forms - a program that is directly reminiscent of Hegel's criticism of the Kantian transcendental philosophy. "

The innovations compared to the classic economy

1.) In his letter to Engels of January 8, 1868, Marx describes the first of the “three fundamentally new elements of the book” [= the 1st volume of “Capital”) that all earlier economics include the parts into which the surplus value is “ Profit ”,“ rent ”and“ interest ”, regarded them as given, while they were first treated by him in the general form of surplus value.

2.) In his work "On the Critique of Political Economy" Marx wrote as early as 1859:

"The analysis of the goods for work in double form:

  • the use value on real work or purposefully productive activity,
  • the exchange value of working time or equal social work,

is the end result of the criticism of more than one and a half centuries of research into classical political economy, which begins in England with William Petty, in France with Boisgilbert, in England with Ricardo, in France with Sismondi. "

And in Volume 1 of "Capital" in 1867 he continues:

"This twofold nature of the work contained in the goods was first critically demonstrated by me."

This distinction is also referred to in his letter to Engels of January 8, 1868, already mentioned, as the second of the “three fundamentally new elements” of capital. He saw this as an essential innovation compared to the classical political economy, which he attributed to himself. On the basis of this distinction, Marx reshaped the categories taken over from classical political economy and considered them separately in terms of their value and their material side. According to Henryk Grossmann, this is where Marx's own innovation lies compared to his predecessors.

3.) As the third of the three innovations in relation to classical economics, Marx states in the aforementioned letter to Engels of January 8, 1868, “for the first time” in the “two forms of wages: time wages and piece wages” wages as an “irrational manifestation of a relationship hidden behind it ”.

4.) In contrast to classical economics, Marx distinguishes between the terms work and labor power . Labor has no value or price, but the workers sell their labor power to the capitalists as a commodity whose value is determined by the labor theory . The capitalist uses the labor power he has bought in the production process, not just until the value of the labor power has been repaid, but longer, so that surplus value arises for him .

5.) An innovation that was neither emphasized by Marx nor by Engels, but which goes back to Marx, consists in his realization in Volume I of Capital that capitalist societies are largely determined by a commodity fetish . Analogous to projection theory , this means the fact that social production relations appear as material properties of the objects of work and therefore historical categories such as commodities and (exchange) values as natural and unchangeable facts.

6.) According to Marx, there is a tendency among economists to understand and present the prevailing relations of production as natural laws, to which he counters with the theory that the economic categories of analysis are only theoretical, abstract expressions of social relations of production and are therefore not eternal are like the relations of production themselves, they are "historical, ephemeral, temporary products."

7.) In Volume I of “Capital”, Marx expressly claims the formation of the “categories: variable and constant capital”. They were already described in terms of content by classical economics, but they were not named and confused with the categories of “fixed” and “circulating capital” formed by Adam Smith.

8.) In his afterword to the second edition of Volume I of “Capital”, Marx points out that the professor of political economy at the University of Kiev, N. Sieber, 1871 in his work “D. Ricardo's theory of value and capital etc. ”certified him for his“ theory of value, money and capital ”and had“ proven ”to be“ in its basic features ”a“ necessary further development of the Smith-Ricardo doctrine ”.

9.) In Volume III of “Capital” Marx then states that “all previous economies” have not succeeded in “discovering” the law of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, or that they “did not know how to explain” it. So it is also an innovation by Marx compared to the classical economy, which he claimed for himself.

10.) Friedrich Engels mentions Conrad Schmidt in “Supplement and addendum to III.Buche des Kapital” 1895, who in an article on Volume 3 of “Capital” in No. 22 of “Sozialpolitisches Centralblatt” dated February 25, 1895 evidence that the

“… Marx's derivation of the average profit from surplus value for the first time provides an answer to the question, which has not even been raised by previous economics, how the level of this average profit rate is determined and how it comes about that they say < n we > 10 or 15 percent and is not 50 or 100 percent < large >. "

11.) Finally, one of the innovations of Marx is the criticism of Ricardo's basic rent theory in Volume III of “Capital” and its further development. In his work "Karl Marx (Brief Biographical Outline with an Explanation of Marxism)", written around 1913, Lenin points out that Marx "completely uncovered Ricardo's error" that the differential rent presupposed a gradual deterioration of the soil. In this context, Marx developed his representation of absolute rent as a result of the monopoly of land ownership.

Value and Money Theory

Adam Smith was a moral philosopher and the founder of classical economics .
David Ricardo was a representative of classical economics.

Exchange value and use value

In “Das Kapital”, Marx first differentiates between the use value and the exchange value of a commodity. The opposition between exchange value and use value arises from the social relationship between private owners who produce privately in order to exchange products. Under these conditions the producers [= the owners of the means of production] have their real interest only in exchange value, the consumers only in use value.

While use value relates to the particular usefulness of the material body of the commodity, which can satisfy certain needs (“The usefulness of a thing makes it use value”), exchange value is an abstract value (“Exchange value is nothing but a relationship between the productive activity of people “), Which only becomes important in (barter) trade . A commodity has a certain value which, if there is a trade, enables it to be exchanged for another commodity made from a completely different material (commodity X is exchanged for so many goods Y). Marx saw this similar value of each commodity as being based on abstract labor - measured in the working time that is socially required on average for the production of each specific commodity - whereby he ties in with earlier British studies:

"The exchange value of them" [= "necessary things in life" = objects of daily use] "is, as soon as they are exchanged one for another, through the mass of the essential and socially necessary for their production" {or: commonly, literally: "commonly "}" Applied work regulated. "

In this context, Marx analyzed the following distinctions in "Das Kapital" Volume I:

  1. "Source of value", value creator = the labor power, the labor capacity, the "epitome of the physical and mental abilities that exist in the corporeality, the living personality of a person and which he sets in motion whenever he produces use values ​​of any kind."
  2. "Value-building substance", value substance = work , "a certain productive expenditure of human muscles, nerves, brain, etc."
  3. The ( immanent ) “measure of value” inherent in goods , measure of value = labor time, temporal measure of labor
  4. Expression of the measure of value, expression of value = money as a historically conditioned, social form of expression of the measure of value inherent in commodities, labor time.

Money and circulation of commodity values ​​("commodity circulation")

Money is a historically conditioned form, since it only arises under certain social conditions and, according to Marx, disappears with them. The prerequisite for its emergence is production no longer for one's own needs (i.e. production of use values, products) and accidental, occasional exchange on the direct basis of spent labor, but production directly for exchange, the market (production of exchange values, goods).

  • The first stage of development (which is still described in Homer), however, was the use of cattle as money, which, due to its universal usability, offered itself as a general equivalent, as Rosa Luxemburg describes in her "Introduction to Political Economy":
"But livestock in any case, as the basis of the economy, secures the existence of society: It provides meat, milk, hides, labor ..."
  • But livestock had the disadvantage of poor transportability and the high cost of its maintenance. Another reason for replacing cattle as money, according to Henri Storch, was that with the growing volume of trade, the money material must not be indispensable for human existence, because the part in (value) circulation is not for consumption is available. Therefore, in the next stage of development, the generally appreciated metals took on the role of money, see Rosa Luxemburg:
“With its increased production and < its > widespread use, metal becomes a general commodity” [what is meant is: general equivalent = money] “and displaces cattle from this role. At first it becomes a general commodity precisely because it is generally useful and sought after because of its natural use - as a material for all kinds of tools. "
And Karl Marx adds that the noble metals were given priority over the base because they were not used as a means of production. He mentioned the advantages of metals:
"Durability, immutability, divisibility and reassembly, relatively easy transportability because they include great exchange value in a small space, all of this makes the precious metals particularly suitable ..."
  • Initially, the originally raw state of the metals as bars with defined weights was changed to coins as value tokens of parts by weight. Metals, however, have the disadvantage that they wear themselves out due to the constant change of hands in their circulation, so that their real value no longer corresponds to their nominal value. The logical next stage of development was therefore the introduction of mere value tokens (bank notes) as money.
  • However, bank notes also have the disadvantage of relatively high production costs (forgery-proof) and their wear and tear, which is why pure calculating money (credit cards) was developed.

Corresponding to the meaning of money, Marx's analysis of the commodity in “Capital” is followed by the analysis of money and the circulation of commodity values ​​with the help of money, whereby Marx “for the sake of simplicity” assumes gold as the monetary commodity. According to the labor value theory, the “immanent measure of value” of the goods is the average societal labor time required to produce the respective goods. The manifestation of this value, however, is money as an expression of the measure or expression of value. The immanent measure of value must necessarily disappear under this manifestation of value (the expression of value in money), since the sum of the labor values ​​of the means of production and labor (including surplus value) is represented in a sum of money.

Money as an independent form of value (general equivalent and treasure)

General equivalent

Since the value does not appear directly on the goods themselves, it must be represented as exchange value in a different use value (a table equals two pieces of gold). The use-value, which expresses the value of all other commodities, is money. Hence, Marx defines the commodity that all other commodities can buy as the "general equivalent", money. Money can only perform this function because it is an independent form of value , that is, its use value consists in being a general exchange value. “Representatives” (for example banknotes that take the place of gold) are also money.

World money

Money that is used internationally across state borders is world money. In practice, according to Marx, gold and silver are used as world money, it is therefore a function of the independent form of value as a general equivalent.
Marx was of the opinion that within national borders the monetary commodity (usually gold or silver) can be replaced by “substitutes”, i.e. banknotes or coins , but internationally trade would remain dependent on gold, or at least on a monetary commodity as world money . Since the central banks have not pegged their currency to gold since 1971 (the end of the Bretton Woods system ), this Marxian concept is often considered outdated. Others point out that the central banks are still not foregoing gold reserves, and see this as evidence that even today's capitalism internationally cannot do without a monetary commodity.
A third opinion is represented by Heinrich, a proven Marx and “capital” expert. He notes that although Marx assumed that the general equivalent is a commodity (the assumption is valid until the 1970s), he has not shown that. Rather, when Marx looks at the capitalist credit system, it becomes clear that “money goods” (gold) is a historical transition state, ie does not correspond to the capitalist mode of production in its ideal average (which is Marx's object of analysis).


Money as an independent form of value also serves to build treasures, that is, it is withdrawn from production and circulation or from consumption and circulation. In the area of ​​production, for example, this happens with the already written-off part of the fixed constant capital until it is fully amortized (see below) or with the surplus value intended for accumulation until it is invested as accumulation capital (see below). The money kept in treasure chests is indeed a related picture, but on the production side (with the exception of any black coffers in industry) it belongs to the outdated feudal production conditions. On the consumption side, too, the savings stocking under the mattress is rather the exception, but it is just as much a treasure as the savings account at the bank.
  • On the side of the producers, in this function as a treasure, money is a means for the maintenance and development of capital (treasury formation as the basis for the creation, maintenance and expansion of companies), in the function of the general equivalent of world money.
  • On the consumer side, it is a general equivalent of a means of preserving and developing life (income as the basis for purchasing food, raising offspring and satisfying cultural needs), as a treasure a reserve for later purchases or unforeseen vicissitudes of life .

Money as capital

Description of the capital

In capital, money only develops in its perfect destiny. However, if one wants to define capital, one must describe its four modes of appearance:
  1. Capital as an object (as money, as a company and as goods),
  2. capital as a process ("utilizing value"),
  3. capital as a social relationship (production relationship) and
  4. capital as historical development (development of the productive forces and the corresponding society).
Like money itself, capital is also a historically conditioned form of a social production relationship that only arises under certain historical conditions and, according to Marx, will be ended again. The condition for its creation is:
  • the exclusive disposal of the means of production of society by a group of people ("capitalists", "entrepreneurs"), see Marx:
"Separation of property < of the means of production > from labor appears to be a necessary law of this exchange between capital and labor."
  • The existence of another group that has no means of production but its bare labor capacity and has to sell this to the owners of the means of production in order to survive ("free wage workers", "dependent employees"), compare Plato in "The State" 371:
"But, I believe, there are also other service providers who ... have sufficient physical strength for all kinds of difficult work, who then sell the use of their forces and call the price of the same wages, but who, I think, are called day laborers," Is not it?"
These groups of people are called "classes" by Marx following earlier British and French historians and economists.

Function of capital

The first form of capital is money, or vice versa: capital is a function of money. Its general formula shows this clearly:
G - W ... P ... W '- G'.
  1. Money G is invested in commodities W: Money becomes commodity or G - W. G and W have the same value. Deviations from this are random. The goods that are bought here consist of the means of production and labor. The purpose of this purchase is not personal consumption, but application in production.
  2. The commodities that consist of means of production are added value in a production process P by the commodities that consist in labor: W ... P ... W '. The goods produced (W ') have a greater value than the goods bought (W) at the beginning of the production process (P). According to Marx, the points ... indicate that this is a process outside of circulation. The increase in value does not take place in the circulation but in the production process.
  3. By selling these goods W 'the profit is realized: W' - G '. The sales proceeds G 'are greater than the original capital G. The sale of goods W' for G 'is, however, again an equivalent exchange, goods are exchanged for money at the same value.
  4. The profit is used for different purposes, the original money becomes a commodity again and the process begins again.
The entrepreneur uses the money G to get G ', i.e. more money. The worker sells his commodity labor for money in order to be able to buy goods with a certain use value. For him, use values ​​are the goal (A - G - W, where A is the commodity labor).
  • In this function as capital, money on the side of the producer is first of all a means of producing exchange values, although this only makes sense for the entrepreneur if the value flowing back is higher than that originally invested, i.e. if surplus value has been created. Therefore, for him it is ultimately a means of producing profits, "utilizing value".
  • Ultimately, however, capital is embodied in commodities, that is, from the consumer's point of view, in use values, which for him are the purpose of production.

Money as a measure of prices (means of purchase and means of payment)

The exchange value of goods in terms of money is their price. Just as their exchange value can be traced back to the labor time objectified in them and on average socially necessary for their production, their price is due to the value of the precious metals (as money), which in turn goes back to the average social labor time necessary for their production. For exchange, therefore, money first has the function of measuring prices. However, it is then not real money (bank notes or pieces of money), but ideal [= imagined] money (a price tag does not have the value that is written on it). It only serves to show the value of different goods in money, to express it in the respective price and to make it comparable.

  • In this function, it also serves as a means of purchase (credit) on the producer's side, because he can provide credit security with the existing value of the goods.
  • When buying, however, the prices of the goods are paid with money, which serves as a means of payment on the consumer's side.

Money as an expression of the measure of value or expression of value (means of (value) circulation and means of circulation)

The entrepreneur buys goods with his capital, puts them into a production process in which value is added to them, sells them for more money than he originally used and starts the cycle again with the money from the sale.

  • Money is here on the side of the producer (value) means of circulation (money), because it serves to circulate the exchange values ​​of the goods back to him in the form of money,
  • On the consumer's side, it is a means of circulation (coin), because it serves him to buy various use values, so it does not return to him.

The total mass of money socially necessary for this function depends

  1. of the total sum of the prices of all goods, services and goods produced,
  2. on the speed of circulation of money (the number of purchases or sales in a certain time).

As a formula:


= the total mass of money in circulation in society
= the sum of all social sales prices (see below under "Price Types")
= the number of all social purchases or sales in a given time

The capital

Capital parts according to their behavior in production

Originally invested capital

“Originally invested capital” is the capital that is invested when starting a business . It includes

  1. the total price of the land purchased, the buildings and machines on the one hand and
  2. of the raw material [= raw materials and / or semi-finished goods] and auxiliary materials [= lubricants, small spare parts, office supplies], including lease (energy, on the other hand, is not paid in advance and therefore, like the employee's wages, - see below - is often not invested in advance, but paid from the sale of the goods produced), on the other hand,

thus the entire fixed and (except for the energy costs, if they are not invested beforehand) circulating constant capital (see below under "Capital parts according to their behavior in (value) circulation").

The variable capital is now no longer applied in advance, because the workers first so have to work and thereby produce the goods, will be paid from the sale then you pay, see already Adam Smith :

“Although the manufacturer ” [the manufacturing worker] “receives his wages advanced from his master, in reality he costs him nothing , since the value of this wage, together with a profit in the increased value of the object, is added to the his work was used, is retained. "

The "advanced" in the quotation does not refer to the beginning of the business (then the following statement in the quotation would be nonsensical), but to the ongoing process of repetitive capital turnover, where the only impression that can arise is that the entrepreneur has the Pay “advanced”. However, this practice shifts the so-called “ operational risk ” (one of the reasons for profit, see below) to the detriment of the employees, which in the event of a company going bankrupt often led to wages being lost for the employees.

In the ongoing process, the size of the originally invested capital results from the addition of the invested capital, the capital just applied and the capital that has already been amortized, i.e.:


= the originally invested capital
= the invested capital (see below)
= the applied capital (see below)
= the amortized capital (see below)

The "originally invested capital" always remains the same numerically as long as the raw material and auxiliary material supply does not change and no major repairs or investments take place. Such changes to the fixed constant capital then form a supplementary capital, which transfers its value to the goods within its depreciation period. A basic distinction must therefore be made between:

  • originally invested fixed constant capital and - if available -
  • additional invested fixed constant capital,
  • originally invested circulating constant capital and - if available -
  • originally invested variable capital.

Invested capital

The " invested capital " (in Marx "advanced capital" although this is also used for the "originally invested capital" and often also for the "applied capital") includes that part of the capital that is invested during a capital turnover , but is not applied. That concerns

  1. the part of the value of land, buildings and machines, i.e. the fixed constant capital, on the one hand, that has not yet been amortized (see below under "amortized capital"), but is also not actually applied, and
  2. the value of the raw material and auxiliary material store, i.e. the invested part of the circulating constant capital, on the other hand.

The former part becomes smaller and smaller in the course of the depreciation period, because an ever larger part of the value of the land, the buildings and machines amortized in their course, that is, transferred to the goods produced and converted back into the original form of money through sale . The part of the raw material and auxiliary material store, however, remains essentially the same.

In addition, the invested capital also includes that part of the capital that becomes necessary when there is a gap between “working time” and “production time” - such as the “maturing time” in cheese production - in order to be able to continue production continuously. The amount of this additional capital is based on the ratio of "maturity" to "working time", ie:


= Grant capital 1
= Maturing time
= Working time
= applied circulation capital it consists of:
= applied circulating part of constant capital
= applied circulating part of the variable capital
= applied fixed part of the variable capital (see under "The fixed capital")
The fixed constant capital is not included in the calculation because it has already been invested, i.e. it does not have to be invested again in the grant capital.

The situation is similar with the grant capital, which is necessary to continuously maintain production during the "circulation period". The size of this additional capital is related to the applied capital like the "circulation time" to the "production time", thus:


= Grant capital 2
= Circulation time
= Production time; it consists of the working time + the possible maturing time, i.e.:
= applied circulation capital (see above)

The “invested capital” therefore becomes smaller and smaller within the depreciation period, because it decreases by the depreciated part of the value of the land, buildings and machines, while additions to the originally invested capital (major repairs or other investments, see above) reduce this value again increase.

Applied capital ("productive capital")

The “applied capital” comprises the value of the parts of the capital that are actually used in production as “productive capital”, that is

  1. that part of the value of land, buildings and machines (i.e. the fixed constant capital ) that is proportionally transferred to the goods produced in the relevant period,
  2. the part of the value of the raw material [= raw materials and / or semi-finished goods] and the auxiliary materials [= lubricants, small spare parts, office supplies] (i.e. the circulating constant capital) that is actually consumed in production (here differently than including the originally invested capital Lease and energy costs) and
  3. that part of the value of labor-power (i.e. of variable capital ) which is actually used in production. In shift work this is calculated:


= the value of the applied variable capital,
= the value of the total variable capital of all employees of the company (the total wage bill), which is composed of the total circulating and fixed variable capital, i.e.:
= the entire circulating part of the variable capital (see below under "The circulating capital")
= the entire fixed part of the variable capital (see below under "The fixed capital")
= the number of production shifts (this then without the normal shift).

The value of the wages of the strata who are not currently working then belongs to the invested capital (Marx examined the difference between invested and applied capital only in relation to total capital and its constant part).

The amount of total capital used is determined by the capital to be used for the working time (see above under "Invested capital") plus any necessary additional capital for the maturity period (see above under "Reife time") and the circulation time (see above under "Circulation time") ). However, since the grant capital is divided into constant and variable capital in the same ratio and within the same into fixed and circulating components as the main capital applied, they can also be viewed as partial amounts of the capital components applied, i.e.:


= the total capital employed in the period under review
= the possibly necessary grant capital 1
= the possibly necessary grant capital 2
= the circulating part of the constant capital applied in the period under review (see below under "The circulating capital")
= the circulating part of the variable capital applied in the period under review (see below under "The circulating capital")
= the fixed part of the variable capital applied in the period under review (see below under "The fixed capital")
= the fixed part of the constant capital applied in the period under review (see below under "The constant capital"). This part of the applied capital is calculated for the individual goods by the originally invested fixed part of the constant capital (the investment amount for land, buildings and machines) divided by the depreciation period = annual depreciation, divided by annual production days, divided by the production hours of a working day ( they can be different due to shift work), divided by the quantity or mass of goods produced in one hour = the value part of the applied fixed part of the constant capital that is allotted to a single good, i.e.:
= the proportion of the applied fixed part of the constant capital that is allotted to an individual commodity
= the originally invested fixed part of the constant capital
= the depreciation time
= the production days of a year
= the production hours of a day
= the quantity or mass of goods produced in one hour
Viewed on an envelope, this capital part is:
= fixed part of the constant capital applied in a capital turnover
= the number of capital turns in a year

The simple distinction between invested and applied capital at the start of a business, considered statically above, becomes more complicated when the capital is considered in motion. The fixed constant capital only turns over once within the depreciation period, but the circulating capital several times. Its value only has to be invested once and then returns to the entrepreneur in the form of money through the sale of the goods produced. Therefore, the actually applied circulation capital consists of the applied circulation capital multiplied by the number of turns within the considered time and the really applied total capital consists of this actually applied circulation capital plus the fixed constant capital applied in the considered period, i.e.:


= see above for total capital applied
= the invested circulation capital
= the number of envelopes in the period under review
= see above for total capital applied
= the circulation capital actually used in the period under review (see below under "Circulation capital")
= see above for total capital applied
= see above for total capital applied
= see above for total capital applied

The "applied capital" usually remains the same (provided no major repairs, rationalization measures or other changes occur) within the depreciation period.

Amortized capital

The " amortized capital" describes the part of the value of the land, the buildings and machines, - that is, the fixed constant capital (see below under "Capital parts according to their behavior in the (value) circulation") - that within the expired depreciation period the goods produced have been transferred and are available to the entrepreneur again in the form of money through the sale and (value) circulation. This part of the capital is thus a "treasure" that grows ever larger within the depreciation period, see Marx in Volume II of "Capital":

“The form of the treasure is only the form of money that is not in < the (value) > circulation, of money that is interrupted in its <( value )> circulation and is therefore kept in its money form. As for the process of hoarding itself, it is part of every commodity production and only plays a role as an end in itself in the undeveloped pre-capitalist forms of the same. "

The first sentence of the quote also applies to the “accumulation capital” (see below under “The extended reproduction of capital”).

This treasure can be obtained from the entrepreneur

  1. for simple reproduction of the capital (see below) or
  2. in addition to the accumulation capital as additional capital for the enlarged reproduction of capital (see below) or
  3. can be used for other purposes, including private ones.

The size of the amortized capital results from the size of the applied fixed part of the constant capital multiplied by the number of turns already made during the past depreciation period, i.e.:


= amortized capital
= fixed part of the constant capital applied in one envelope (see below under "The fixed capital")
= the number of capital turns already made

The part of the amortized capital, which represents the value of the purchased land, can become extra profit (see below under “Profit and types of profit”) if the purchase price of the land is already fully amortized and the goods continue to be sold at the same price.

The composition of the capital

All goods are generally made up of:

This is what Marx calls the composition of capital .

Technical composition of the capital

The past abstract work that is necessary to produce a commodity is now concretely contained in various things that are collectively referred to as the " means of production ". Within production, they form a “technical composition of capital” which describes the material components of capital (including rent and energy) and consists of

  1. the material means of production ,
  2. the living labor force .

Value composition of the capital

The counterpart of the technical composition of capital is the composition of capital in terms of value, consisting of

  1. constant capital , which includes the value of the means of production and, viewed in terms of the individual commodity, is constant within the depreciation period, hence the term “constant capital”; The means of production therefore belong to the technical composition of capital and, as a component of the composition in terms of value, to constant capital;
  2. variable capital , which includes the value of the commodity labor power, the value of which, viewed in terms of the individual commodity, can change due to a variety of circumstances (e.g. due to the increase in labor intensity ), hence the term “variable capital”; labor power therefore belongs to the technical composition of capital and, as a component of the composition in terms of value, to variable capital.

Marx regards this composition of capital in terms of value as a ratio under the designation "organic composition of capital".

Organic composition of capital

In Volume I of Capital, Marx defines the development of the value composition of capital as the “ organic composition of capital ” insofar as it is determined by the “technical composition and reflects its changes”. One cannot simply form the quotient of the means of production and labor, because there is an “aggregation problem” with both quantities. How do I add e.g. B. 3 electric locomotives with 27 drawing pins for the means of production? This problem also exists with the workforce, since the specific work of the machine operator and the payroll clerk is very different. However, since all means of production and labor have an exchange value, which is expressed without distinction in money, such a quotient can be formed on the basis of value.

(Note: such aggregation problems have nothing to do with Marxist economic theory as such, official statistics also use certain methods to calculate fixed assets in constant prices of a base year, in current prices, in replacement prices, etc. - methods with all their advantages and disadvantages have to calculate.)

So if one assumes that the values ​​of the means of production do not change over time, then the following applies:

At the same time, this formula shows the efficiency of human work (also known as the “ productive power of work ”), because it indicates how many times the worker's own work power is set in motion. However, this is only very limited. Since the constant capital can be composed of, depending on the specific type of company

  • more circulating constant capital or
  • more fixed constant capital and this in turn
  1. more land or
  2. more buildings or
  3. more machines,
Does the formula in the form offered by Marx say little about the actual efficiency of human labor: A housing company has z. B. a very large constant capital and a very little variable capital, yet the productive power of labor is very small with him compared, say, with an automobile manufacturer.

Today's economists calculate the organic composition of capital in the form of total capital ( capital stock ) divided by the number of jobs, which they call capital intensity . In this form, the ratio provides information on how much capital must be invested in a particular industry in order to create a job.

Material composition of the means of production

The means of production are now made up of different things:

  • Land ownership, buildings, machines and high-quality spare parts on the one hand and
  • Raw materials and auxiliary materials on the other hand, the latter also including non-material things such as energy and rent.

Since the value of these components behaves differently in the (value) circulation, they are conceptually differentiated.

Parts of capital according to their behavior in the (value) circulation

All components of capital can be divided into two categories on the basis of their different behavior in the (value) circulation:

  1. In those that only turn over once during the depreciation period, and
  2. those that turn over several times during the depreciation period.

This different circulation behavior of the various components of capital led Adam Smith to name it as

  1. " Fixed capital " (is empirically often represented by the fixed assets of the national accounts ), which only turns over once within the depreciation period, ie transfers its value proportionally to the individual goods produced within this period, and
  2. Circulating capital ” that turns over several times within the depreciation period and transfers its value immediately and as a whole to the individual goods produced within one turn of capital.

The classification as such comes from the Physiocrats , who called these capital parts "original advances" and "annual advances" in relation to the annual capital turnover in agriculture.

The fixed capital

Because the constant part of this share of the total value of the goods remains unchangeable [= fixed, fixed] within the depreciation period, this capital component is called " fixed capital ". It consists of:

1. Land ownership (other than leased land that is part of circulating capital ),
2. Buildings,
3. Machines, tools and (even if not generally) higher quality spare parts,
4. Under certain circumstances the costs for research and development, which, however, constitute a special case.
This part of the fixed capital therefore belongs exclusively to the constant capital. This fixed constant capital of the company is at the start (or at an investment applied once an existing business), and transmits its value then within its depreciation period proportionally to the individual commodity. If the high-quality spare parts are added to it at the same time and not only when they are used as grant capital, they transfer their value even if they are not needed for repairs. This part of the capital thus only circulates once or turns over only once and therefore regulates the turnover of the total capital .
Karl Marx (and following him Rosa Luxemburg ) had seen this part of the capital as “ wear and tear ” in his presentation . However, it is not a question of the material fatigue and wear and tear of the land, buildings and machines, but rather that part of their value that is transferred during production to the value of the goods produced. However, since this transfer takes place continuously in the production process within the depreciation period, it forms the "applied fixed constant capital" as a fixed part of the constant capital (see above under "Applied capital"). While land ownership, buildings and the machinery so material can be used only as a whole and operated, they are of value involved only a pro rata basis in the production. Therefore the applied fixed constant capital is only a fraction of the applied fixed constant capital.
In addition to this type of “wear and tear”, there is also “ moral wear and tear ” which devalues ​​the old machines or processes through improved machines or processes. However, for the individual capital it is not a continuous process, but a one-time event.
  • The “employer's share” in the social security (which is, however, passed on to the consumer via the price) can also be viewed as a fixed part of the variable capital, since it is not regulated in collective agreements but rather determined by the state. This component of the variable capital is to be paid by the employer from profit, like the employee's portion from wages. Then it would not perform a circular movement and therefore not belong to the circulating capital like variable capital.

The circulating capital

Since this part of the capital turns over several times during the depreciation period, its movement can be understood as a cycle, hence the designation "circulating capital". Belong to him

  1. the part of the constant capital that consists of raw materials and auxiliary materials (including electricity and lease as "ideal [= non-material] auxiliary materials"), as well as
  2. the variable capital , which includes wages and
  3. the added value, because this arises from the unpaid overtime (see below under “Wages and added value”).

The peculiarity of the surplus value is that it is not created beforehand, but arises in production through the application of labor, i.e. is initially contained in the goods in material form. Only by selling the goods does he take on the form of money and return to the entrepreneur in this form. So to a certain extent it is only carried along by the circulating capital. In classical economics, this peculiarity sometimes led to the surplus value not being derived from production, but from sales, which belong to the (value) circulation.

The variable capital, which consists of wages, and the surplus value as unpaid labor belong to the circulating capital because they also transfer their value immediately and completely as new value ( added value , national income see below under “The new value”) to the goods produced. Thus, unlike fixed capital, circulating capital does not consist solely of means of production. But it follows from this

  • that the fixed and the circulating part of the constant capital behave differently, i.e. must be considered separately (see above),
  • that the constant and the variable capital must be divided into fixed and circulating components.

The controversy surrounding this division

The composition of circulating capital led Marx to reject the necessarily resulting division of constant and variable capital into circulating and fixed components because, in his opinion, this would obscure the creation of surplus value:

"... about the equality of the form that < the > have variable capital and the circulating component of constant capital in the envelope, < is > the same, the essential difference in the recovery process and hiding the formation of surplus value , that is the whole secret of capitalist production even more darkened; by the common name: circulating capital this essential difference is canceled ... "

And then again:

“One can therefore understand why bourgeois political economy instinctively retained A. Smith's confusion of the categories of constant and variable capital with the categories of fixed and circulating capital, and parroted uncritically from generation to generation for a century. The < circulating variable > part of capital invested in wages no longer differs from the < circulating constant > part of capital invested in raw material and only differs formally - whether it is circulated in part or entirely through the commodity - from the < fixed > part constant capital. With this the basis for understanding the real movement of capitalist production and therefore capitalist exploitation is buried in one fell swoop. It is only < still > about the reappearance of invested exchange values. "

With his criticism , Marx follows Ricardo , who has already criticized the division into fixed and circulating capital:

"An insignificant division in which the dividing line" [= between constant and variable capital] "cannot be drawn precisely."

Despite his rejection, Marx used this classification in a few places in Volume III of Capital. If you want to calculate correct values ​​and not just represent relationships, as Marx did, you cannot avoid this division (see for example above under “Organic Composition of Capital”). The merit of having (re) discovered the special distinction between fixed and circulating constant capital goes to Rosa Luxemburg , she wrote as early as 1913 in her work “ The Accumulation of Capital ”:

“The stated constant capital ... is really only part of the constant capital employed by society. The latter is broken down into fixed < constant capital > - buildings, tools, workhorses - which participates in several production periods, but in each only with a part of its value - in relation to its own "[= non-material, see above under" The fixed Capital "]" Wear and tear - which goes into the product, and in circulating < constant capital > - raw materials, auxiliary materials (heating and lighting materials) - which goes into the new commodity with its value in every production period. "

Although Adam Smith presented rent in one place as circulating constant capital (see the criticism in the Adam Smith article ), he did not take the decisive step towards dividing constant and variable capital into fixed and circulating components.

The circulating capital

The term comes from Marx, see Volume II of "Capital":

“What A. Smith defines here as circulating capital is what I want to call circulating capital, capital in the form of the circulation process - the change of form by means of exchange (metabolism and exchange of hands) - in the form belonging to it - that is, commodity capital and money capital Contrasted with its form belonging to the production process - that of productive capital. "

The difference between “circulating capital” and “circulating capital” is that surplus value, unlike the value of wages, raw materials and auxiliary materials, does not perform a whole cycle in the circulation of value (see under “Circulating capital”). The circulation capital therefore comprises only:

  1. the applied circulating constant capital,
  2. the applied circulating variable capital (excluding the surplus value) and
  3. the applied fixed variable capital (for this see the last paragraph under "The fixed capital")

The fixed constant capital is not included because its value is only invested once at the beginning of the company and then continuously "amortized" during the depreciation period, that is, converted back into money.

The circulating capital will

  • applied in production,
  • goes into circulation with the produced goods,
  • converts its exchange value into the form of money in the sale,
  • in which it returns to the entrepreneur in the (value) circulation,
  • who uses it again in production (see above) etc. etc. etc.

Within the depreciation period of the fixed constant capital (which regulates the turnover of the total capital, see above), it executes several turns and a simple reproduction in each individual capital turnover (see below under "The reproduction of capital").

Wages and added value

The value of labor (wages)

The value of the commodity, labor power, is measured, like the value of all other commodities, according to the labor time necessary for their production and reproduction, i.e.:

  1. the production time of the goods which the worker needs to sustain his own life (see wage labor and capital );
  2. the time of training his specific workforce;
  3. the production time of the goods that it needs to maintain its type and
  4. the value of the commodities which, due to the culture of his country and the level of class struggle, enter into his consumption as a general cultural asset.

The time wage, like the piece wage, on the one hand conceals the value of labor as the basis of wages, on the other hand the creation of surplus value:

  • The time wage creates the impression that all of the worker's working hours are paid for and that there is no “unpaid overtime ”. But apart from the fact that the ratio of (for the production of wages) "necessary" and (for the production of the entrepreneur's income) "unpaid extra work" can be applied to every single unit of time (hour, day, week, month) (for example : the worker works 30 minutes for his wages and 30 minutes for the entrepreneur's income), the hourly wage is also calculated by division on the basis of the daily necessities for the worker to survive, which is statistically determined by the state through shopping carts .
  • In the case of piece wages, on the other hand, the impression arises that the worker is being paid for his actual work, while in reality only the value of his labor is divided by the number of goods to be produced by an average worker. If this average increases, the entrepreneur lowers the price that the worker receives for the individual commodity.

Contrary to what they might appear to be, both types of wages are based on the value of the labor force. Accordingly, the worker does not receive the use of labor power - the value of his labor - but only the value of his labor power paid, he gives more than he receives. But since he sells his labor power "as expressing itself", that is, as labor, the price of labor power appears to him "necessarily as the price of labor". If the entrepreneur were only paid for the value of his capital, he would not make a profit . In contrast to the worker, however, he allows himself to be paid for the use of his capital through profit ; he receives more than he gives. So it does not apply to the relationship of the employer to the worker when Marx writes in “ Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy ”:

“As subjects of exchange, their” [= that of the goods owner, here: owner of the means of production and owner of labor] “relationship is therefore that of equality . It is impossible to detect any difference or even opposition between them, not even a difference. "

The added value (the entrepreneur's income)

The surplus value arises within the production process through the application of living labor, because more value is generated than the value of the labor. For example, if a worker works ten hours a day for an entrepreneur, the result is a work value of ten hours every day (see below under new value). In order for the worker to be able to do this on a daily basis, he must buy food in the form of goods, the value of which corresponds, for example, to five hours of his working hours. He doesn't get more wages for his ten hours of work so that he has to go back to work the next day. In this case the worker works half a day to produce the value of his own wages, that is, paid, “ necessary work ”. The other half of the day (in this example) he then works “unpaid overtime” for the entrepreneur's income. Therefore Marx says in "Fundamentals of the Critique of Political Economy":

“If the worker only needs half a working day to live a whole life, he needs only half a day to work to make a living as a worker. The second half of the working day is forced labor, surplus work [= overtime]. "

The exchange value created during the unpaid overtime is called "added value". Since it arises in the production process, it does not exist initially as money, but as part of the value of the goods produced. It only takes on the money form when it is sold (see below under "Price Types"). Marx also distinguishes between two forms of surplus value:

  1. "Absolute added value"; it is determined by the absolute duration of the working hours;
  2. "Relative added value"; it is determined by the relative division of the working day into necessary work and overtime.

If the share of necessary work in the total working day is shortened (by increasing productivity and work intensity), the surplus value increases relatively.

The rate of surplus value

The value that arises during the unpaid overtime is called "added value". Its rate, the "rate of surplus value", is calculated from the ratio of unpaid overtime to necessary labor or of surplus value to variable capital, thus:


= Rate of surplus value
= (to produce the entrepreneur's income) unpaid overtime
= (for the production of wages) necessary work
= Added value (income of the entrepreneur)
= variable capital (wages of the worker)

In the example above, this is 100 percent (five hours of overtime based on five hours of necessary working time).

The new value

If some goods are not consumed privately, but as work equipment, raw materials or auxiliary materials (means of production) in production in order to produce something new (see under "Composition of capital"), their value is transferred to the goods produced and at the same time a New value (also called "value product" or "labor value") added, which consists of:

  1. the average social labor time necessary for their production, expressed in the variable capital V, the wages of the workers, and
  2. the unpaid overtime of the workers (see above under “wages and surplus value”), expressed in surplus value M, the “profit” of the entrepreneur.

This is shown in relation to the total mass of the new value during a capital turnover in the formula:


= New value

From a technical point of view (compare the technical composition of capital), the new value consists of the necessary labor and the surplus labor of the worker, which is in terms of value (compare the composition of capital in terms of value) in variable capital (the wage of the worker) and surplus value (income of the entrepreneur). It arises therefore exclusively from the entire new living labor, while in the production of commodities this only transfers the value of the past dead labor (machines, raw materials and auxiliary materials) objectified in the means of production. Expressed as a formula, all of the newly added living work consists of:


= newly added total work
= necessary work
= Extra work

Profit and types of profit

Thomas Joseph Dunning writes about the importance of profit for capital in "Trades' Unions and strikes: their philosophy and intention":

“Capital has a horror of < the > absence of profit or very small profit, like nature has of emptiness. With a corresponding profit, capital becomes bold. Ten percent sure and you can use it anywhere; 20 percent, it gets lively; 50 percent, positively daring; for 100 percent it stamps all human laws under its feet; 300 percent and there is no crime it does not risk, even at < the > danger of the gallows. "

While classical economics consistently regarded surplus value and profit as synonymous and therefore only spoke of “profit” (compare above under “Critique of Political Economy” the 1st point of “The innovations compared to classical economics”), Marx made a consistent distinction between these two terms :

  • According to Marx, "surplus value" refers to profit based on the wages paid,
  • “Profit” refers to this same profit based on the total originally invested capital (see above under “Originally invested capital”).

The general profit

The surplus value is the actual basis, but under the given circumstances it is an abstract value. The entrepreneur is not interested in the fact that living labor alone produces his income. He sees it as “consideration earned” for “ business risk ” and as “interest” on his originally invested capital. That is why JB Say only speaks of “interest” in relation to profit from capital, which Marx accuses him of in Volume III of “Capital”. There is, however, a huge difference to the interest that a bank pays on its deposits: This is valid for one year (“per annum”, abbreviated to pa), but the “interest” called capital profit for a single capital turnover! Most capitals, however, turn over several times within a year. The entrepreneurs are by no means satisfied with “standard bank interest”. In any case, for this reason they do not relate the mass of surplus value to the wages paid, but to their respective originally invested capital:

“The capitalist expects the same advantage” [= profit] “on all parts of the capital that he advances” [= originally invested].

In Volume III of “Capital” Marx speaks of the fact that profit “is added to the ... capital employed for their [= the commodity] production”, but he emphasizes (at the point marked by dots in the quote) that this should not only mean “the capital consumed in their production”. What he means by this is shown by his example at the place indicated on p. 168: The profit is calculated on the originally invested (i.e. not only on the applied) capital and the profit mass is added to the applied capital (i.e. only for a capital turnover!), and then divided by the quantity or mass of the goods produced to give the price of production.

On the other hand, there is also a difference when calculating the rate of profit if the variable capital has not been invested beforehand (see above under “The invested capital”). Then the originally invested capital would only consist of the originally invested constant capital, not of variable and constant capital. Since nobody seems to be bothered by this practice (not even workers who lost their wages in the bankruptcy of the company sued their entrepreneur for embezzlement), nobody checks whether this part of the capital that is not invested but only used in the calculation of the rate of profit is also added to the originally invested capital.

As a general formula, however, regardless of which capital is used as the basis for calculating the rate of profit:


= Rate of profit
= Mass of surplus value
= general capital

This of course pushes the percentage rate down (especially if the general capital is not understood to mean the capital used but the originally invested capital), so that the assumption of a rate of surplus value of 100 percent is flattered rather than exaggerated.

In addition, due to the different production prices (see below under "Price types") and circulation costs (see below under "Lease" and compare under "Interest"), there is a redistribution of the surplus value, so that in individual cases the profit mass is not equal to the surplus value mass. According to Marx, the same happens through the emergence of the average rate of profit and the average price of production ,

The special profit (capital profit)

Profit in the narrower sense denotes the profit of any kind of business capital: agriculture, trade, commerce, services, industry, banks (for the latter as far as their overall profit is concerned). The special profit (capital profit) differs from the other profit types in that it is produced by the respective business capital, while the other profit types are only deductions from it. This is why Sir James Steuart calls it “positive profit” (see the quote below under “The Centralization of Capital”).

The trade profit

Marx had conceived the profit of commercial capital as a deduction from the profit of producing capital:

“Merchant capital therefore creates neither value nor surplus value, that is, not directly” [but only indirectly increases the surplus value of the producing capital].

What Marx means here is the fact that "merchant capital" does not produce any goods and therefore does not add anything to material social wealth. However, this does not mean that it does not generate any added value, as he claims in the following:

"Since merchant capital itself does not generate any surplus value, it is clear that the surplus value which is allotted to it in the form of average profit forms part of the surplus value generated by the entire productive capital."

Marx thus sees no production of surplus value in commercial capital, while he acknowledged the addition of new value and thus surplus value to goods to the service of the transport taking place between production and trade :

“But the use value of goods is only realized in their consumption, and their consumption may necessitate a change of location, that is, the additional production process” [! which, like commercial capital, consists of a service !] “of the transport industry. The productive capital invested in this thus adds value to the transported commodities, partly through < the > transfer of value from the means of transport, and partly through < the > value addition by means of transport work, value < to exchange value >. This latter addition of value breaks down - as with all capitalist production - into < the > replacement of wages and into < the > surplus value. "

Even in classical bourgeois economy, however, this Marxian view (to deny commercial capital what it conceded to transport capital) was contradicted because commercial capital is also an independent capital whose employees produce added value just like the workers in manufacturing or industry , see e.g. BSP Newman:

“With the existing economic institutions of society, the actual activity of the merchant is ... a transaction” [= a business] “which both facilitates the economic process of the community and adds value to the goods with which it is carried out . ... because the same goods are worth more in the hands of the consumers than in the hands of the producers ”[ what is meant is: they are more expensive for the consumer than the producer sells them to the dealer, because the latter adds new value to them, which Marx understood differently ].

From this point of view, the trade profit would belong to the special profit (capital profit).

The rent / rent

The lease - on the part of the lessor, ground rent or "rent" for short - refers to a fee that has to be paid to the "owner" of a property for its use. It was originally a deduction from the profit of the leasing company, as Ricardo said, who complained about it as one

"Parasitic deduction from the total social product at the expense of profit."

However, Adam Smith had already found in his investigation of the proportions of the capital parts that the rent was at least partially added as an "ideal auxiliary material" to the circulating constant capital (see Adam Smith section Criticism ), a practice which later became part of the " production factor theory " of JB Say was. According to Say's theory, capital, land and labor form equal “factors of production” (that is, they enter into productive capital on an equal footing) and are “compensated” for their interaction through interest (in the sense of capital profit), rent and wages.

In the Soviet Union under Stalin , too , rent was regarded as part of the capital employed and not as a deduction from profit (of the state), see JW Stalin in Pravda No. 60 of March 2, 1930:

"In the agricultural artel the most important means of production, mainly those of the grain industry, are socialized: work land use" [= lease] "machines and other inventory, working cattle , farm buildings ."

The extent to which the lease can be added to the circulating constant capital in a specific case depends on the extent to which the price of goods (see below under “Sales price”) would increase compared to the competition, which could lead to a loss of market share and defeat in the competition . In this case, the lease would still have to be treated as a deduction from profit and counted towards the "circulating costs".

The interest

The interest denotes the profit on borrowed money. So it essentially forms part of the overall profit of the banks . If capital borrows money in order to gain an advantage over competition, it can only add interest to the circulating constant capital to the extent that it does not make its commodities more expensive than the competition, otherwise they must be added to the costs of circulation and from their own Profit can be deducted (see above for lease). If, however, such large amounts are involved and the branch of industry is so lucrative that the bank wants to influence the company's business (see Relationship Banking ), the private company is formed into a stock corporation in which the bank is represented on the supervisory board co-determined company policy.

In his letter to Engels of March 5, 1858, Marx quotes the "average illustration" of a yarn spinning mill from the first report of the factory inspectors, which is very interesting in this regard:

“Fixed capital in buildings and machines ........... £ 10,000
Circulating capital ............................................ £ 7,000
.. £ 500 interest on £ 10,000 fixed capital
+ £ 350 ditto for £ 7000 circulating capital
+ £ 150 pension, taxes, duties
= £ 1000
+ £ 650 amortization of 6 percent of fixed capital
= £ 1650
+ £ 1,100 incidental expenses (?), Freight, coal, oil
= £ 2750
+ £ 2,600 wages and salaries
= 5350 lbs
+ £ 10,000 for about 400,000 pounds of raw cotton at 6 pence
= 15,350 pounds
..16,000 < £ > for 363,000 pounds of machine spun yarn. Exchange value 16000 < £ >. Profit 650 < £ > or about 4.2 percent. "

In this “average” example, the spinning mill has no equity, but works with borrowed money. The interest for the fixed and circulating capital is, however, as well as rent, taxes and duties at this time already counted as applied capital, instead of deducting it from profit at the end (the "production factor theory" of JB Say is applied). The actual production costs are not £ 15,350, but only £ 14,350, subtracting the £ 16,000 exchange value of the spun machine yarn results in a value added mass of £ 1,650, i.e. a value added rate of around 63.5 percent and an actual (gross) profit rate of 11.5 percent . From this the £ 1,000 (£ 500 + £ 350 + £ 150) for interest, pension, taxes and duties would have to be deducted. This would result in the stated profit mass of £ 650 and the (net) rate of profit of around 4.5 percent (the specification of 4.2 percent profit results if this calculation is based on the production costs of £ 15,350).

On the other hand, the bank receives 5 percent interest for each of the two capital borrowed (to be borrowed for different periods of time), a total of £ 850 of the total surplus value of £ 1650, that is more than half. If you add the pension, taxes and duties, the producer only has around 39.4 percent of the profit. This explains the interest of the yarn producer in placing this burden on the buyers of the yarn in order to fully enjoy their own profits. Since he added these expenses to the capital employed, they were “reimbursed” to him through the sale, so the statement of his rate of profit as 4.2 percent was a fraud against the factory inspector.

The extra profit ("surplus profit")

In addition to the "normal" profit, a company can also achieve "extra profit", which can be traced back to various causes:

  1. Because the constant capital is particularly small (e.g. raw materials and auxiliary materials can be bought at particularly low prices).
  2. Because the turnover time of the capital is particularly short (by shortening the production time necessary to manufacture a commodity or by shortening the circulation time of the produced commodity and its value)
  3. Because the company has a monopoly position (equal: permanent extra profit) or several large companies form a cartel (e.g. oil companies).
  4. Because an ideal value is added to the exchange value , that is, it is examined through opinion research what a certain commodity of a “ target group ” is worth. Then the goods are sold at a price that is above the production price (see below under “Price types”) and above the market price (see below at the specified location). As a result, the exchange value practically disappears below the ideal value and the "substance of value" and the "measure of value" (see above under "exchange value and use value") can be denied. This is promoted in particular by the subjectivistic [= related to the buyer, not to the goods] value theory of the " marginal utility theory ".
  • In addition, because
  1. wage costs are reduced (e.g. fewer workers are employed or concessions are forced from workers or production is carried out in "low-wage countries" or through above-average labor productivity ) or that
  2. working hours are extended beyond the social average (e.g. through unpaid overtime ).
In these cases, there is extra added value.

All these different methods can be summarized in the common point that the extra profit always arises from the sale of the goods above their own, but below the average production price, i.e. above their exchange value.

Trend in the rate of profit falling

See the full article under Law of the Tendentious Fall of the Rate of Profit

According to the labor value theory, only wage labor can create value (namely use value and exchange value) including surplus value in accordance with its working hours. Raw materials and auxiliary materials on the one hand and land ownership, buildings and machines on the other hand only transfer their value to the goods. The profit orientation in the capitalist production process increases the “relative” and “absolute surplus value” by increasing the labor productivity [= work result per worker] and at the same time increasing the “ labor intensity ”. As a rule, this goes hand in hand with the fact that the productive power of labor [= machinery per worker] is increased through the use of machines. Another option would be to lay off workers. In any case, if not the use of machines, then at least the consumption of material per worker, i.e. the “technical composition of capital” (see above under “technical composition of capital”). Another way to increase the “absolute value added” would be to increase working hours.

If machines now displace wage-earners or fewer workers operate the same machines, less value of labor is applied in relation to the value of the machines used and, as a result, proportionally less surplus value is created. From this, Marx, following Ricardo , concludes that (assuming that goods are sold at their value!) In the long term, the overall economic profit in relation to the capital employed (the “ rate of profit ”) must “tend”, hence the term “ tendency Fall of the rate of profit ”. It does not matter that the mass of profit can grow because it does not change the fundamental trend. However, in Volume III of Capital, Marx cites some counter-tendencies:

  1. The increase in the rate of surplus value by increasing the relative surplus value (see above under “Wages and surplus value”).
  2. The lowering of wages below their value.
  3. The cheapening of the constituents of constant capital.
  4. The relative overpopulation, that is, the unemployed.
  5. Foreign trade, especially with economically less developed countries.
  6. The increase in share capital because this does not go into the equalization of the general rate of profit.
  7. The constant juxtaposition of old and new modes of production in society, which socially slows down the fall in the rate of profit.

About the meaning of the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, Marx says at the given place:

“But considering the great importance this law has for capitalist production, it can be said that it constitutes the mystery around which the whole of political economy has revolved since Adam Smith, and that the difference between the various schools since A. Smith insists in various attempts to find a solution. "

In the dispute (also between Marxist economists) about this law, the increase in the technical composition of capital (which is seen by bourgeois economy in the form of capital intensity [= the ratio of the total capital employed to the number of jobs]) is generally considered empirical Fact not disputed. This also increases the “organic composition”, based on Marx's definition in Volume I of Capital . The dispute concentrates on the question of whether the “composition of the value of capital” must also increase, when the purpose of the whole exercise is to increase labor productivity so that the value of all commodities, including the means of production, continuously decreases. Theoretically - according to the critics - this can offset, if not overcompensate, the increase in the technical composition in terms of value. Marx admitted this theoretical possibility here and there in Volume III, which he could no longer complete himself, but - at least according to the critics - never fully discussed it. Today's models of equilibrium growth include a reciprocal cancellation of the various effects, which is why there is generally no fall in the rate of profit or need to occur.

The reproduction of capital

The simple reproduction of capital

The "amortized capital" enables the entrepreneur to run his business at the end of the depreciation period by purchasing the same buildings and machines at the same stage of development as before and to consume the entire surplus value or profit privately. This is what Marx calls the “simple reproduction of capital”. With regard to total capital, however, he saw them at best as an exception, see his statement in Volume II of "Capital":

“The simple reproduction at a constant stage of development appears to be an abstraction insofar as
  • on the one hand, on < the > basis < of > capitalist < production > < the > absence of all accumulation or reproduction at < an > elevated stage of development is a strange assumption,
  • on the other hand, the conditions under which production takes place do not remain absolutely the same in different years (and this is assumed < in simple reproduction >). "

This is how Rosa Luxemburg understood simple reproduction by writing:

"The deficiency of the scheme of simple reproduction is obvious: it sets out the laws of a form of reproduction that can only take place as an occasional exception under capitalist production relations."

However, neither of them went into the fact that simple reproduction affects not only total capital (in this context it is actually the exception in the market economy), but also the capital parts of fixed constant capital (in which amortization forms a simple reproduction) and of the Circulation capital (which carries out a simple reproduction with each circulation). Marx at least seems to hint at the former when he writes:

"However, is the simple reproduction, as far as < a takes place> accumulation, always a part of, that can be considered for itself and is a real factor of accumulation."

The enlarged reproduction of capital

Marx distinguishes the “extended reproduction of capital” from simple reproduction, that is to say: capital is raised to a higher level of development by

1.) the entrepreneur does not use part of the surplus value or profit as private income, but to expand his business. Marx calls this part of the surplus value or profit not intended for private consumption “accumulation capital”. It forms the first stage of accumulation [= accumulation, in this case: saving ], the accumulation of surplus value or profit.
In commodity production that prepares the expanded reproduction of capital

"... the treasure appears as < a > form of money capital and the formation of a hoard as a process that temporarily accompanies the accumulation of capital,
  • because and insofar as money acts here as latent money capital ;
  • because the formation of the treasure - the state of treasure of the surplus value present in the form of money - is a purposeful preparatory stage that proceeds outside the turnover of capital for the transformation of surplus value into really functioning capital . "

2.) The second stage is the accumulation of capital to accumulated capital for the purpose of expanding business.

In “Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy”, Marx says about the social significance of extended reproduction, without the accumulation of capital

"... the capital can not form the basis of production, as it stagnant" [= constant] "<remain and no element of progress would >, < the > already by the sheer growth of population <etc. needed is >."

Marx distinguishes between two forms of this expansion of the reproduction of capital:

The concentration of capital

The "concentration" denotes the increase of the own company capital C by the accumulation capital c to the accumulated capital C ', thus:

Concentration can take two different forms:

  1. as an increase in the technical development stage of an existing capital ("rationalization investment") and / or
  2. as expansion in the scope of production ("expansion investment").

The first form is the rule, the second the exception.

  • The first form determines survival in the competition ,
  • the second about the level of profit and the fastest accumulation, in exceptional cases also about market shares .

The centralization of capital

Generally speaking, “ centralization ” denotes the growth of a capital through merging with one or more other capital. There are two different forms:

1. the submission of other, already existing capital (the so-called " hostile takeover "). In this case, the accumulation capital (see above under "The extended reproduction of capital") is used to purchase other, already existing capital, so:
The capital and the following are bought by the accumulation capital .
2. the voluntary amalgamation of two or more companies by mutual consent (the " merger "). In this case, no capital has to be invested, because it is usually a merger of two inferior companies that want to survive longer.

Centralization practically always leads to rationalization , which then makes the group even more viable. In either case, centralization is

  • at the beginning the step from an individual company to a " group ",
  • for existing groups the step to a global group
  • with the ultimate goal of a single global corporation [hence: " imperialism " = striving for world domination].

These forms of accumulation of capital correspond in their essence to the three categories that Sir James Steuart distinguished as "types of profit" around ten years before Adam Smith . The first two types of which he called "positive profit" and "relative profit" and wrote:

“Positive profit does not mean a loss to anyone; it arises from an increase in work, industry or skill and has the effect of increasing or swelling social wealth. "

This corresponds to the general profit on a business capital, but as an "investment type" (ie use of profit) but to the concentration, the expansion of production

In contrast, however, he says of relative profit:

“Relative profit means a loss to someone; it indicates a fluctuation in the balance of wealth between the participants, but does not include any increase in the total fund "[= social wealth]."

This corresponds to the speculative profit (mainly on the stock exchange), but as an investment type, to centralization. Marx writes about centralization:

“This is no longer < the > simple concentration of the means of production and < the > command over < the > labor, identical to the accumulation . It is < the > concentration of capital already formed, - < the > abolition of their individual independence, - < the > expropriation of capitalists by capitalists, - < the > transformation of many small capitals into a few larger ones. This process differs from the first in that it <only the presupposes> altered distribution of existing and functioning capital, its scope so the accumulation is not limited by the absolute growth of social wealth or the absolute limits. The capital swells < here > here in one hand to large masses < at > because it is lost there in many hands. It is centralization in contrast to accumulation and concentration. "

Otherwise, however, Marx presents centralization itself only as a special form of the accumulation of capital, which in this respect is therefore also identical with it. Centralization initially (as long as the banks do not come into play) also finds its limit in the accumulated surplus value , but finally in the expansion of the production and distribution of goods over the entire world market .

As a third form, Steuart mentions the mixture of the two main forms, of which he says they could "be inseparably present in one and the same business."

  • If you take this statement narrowly, it would mean that the company sells its goods at the average production price as well as speculating on a rise in sales prices or a fall in purchase prices. With regard to a company's investments, this would mean that they would be used, for example, to modernize its own machinery and take over competitors who have gone bankrupt or threatened with bankruptcy.
  • In a broader interpretation, Steuart's statement would relate to the fluctuation of the production price of one's own goods below and above the average production price. In terms of investments, the constant alternation between concentration and centralization (see below).

Both types of interpretation are possible, but the first is more of an exception to the rule presented in the second interpretation.

The amount of surplus value or profit saved in the accumulation fund (i.e. the proportion of profit destined for conversion into capital in relation to profit destined for personal income of the entrepreneur) and its type of use determine whether a company wins the competition or subject.

The competition

The competition is one of the most important laws of the market (capitalist) production. It is not only an instrument for the displacement of competitors and thus the centralization of capital, but under these conditions also the engine of technical progress and thus the development of society, compare the anonymous work “The Advantages of the East-India Trade to England":

“If my neighbor can sell cheaply by making a lot with little labor, then I must seek to sell as cheaply as he does. So every art, every process or every machine that works with the labor of fewer workers and consequently cheaper creates in others a kind of compulsion and competition to either use the same art, the same process or the same machine, or to invent something similar with it everyone is on the same level and no one can undercut his neighbors. "

The competition arises from:

  1. the lack of plan ("anarchy") of production on the one hand and
  2. the limitation of the market for a particular commodity on the other hand.

The anarchy of production means that every company produces as much as it can, see the " Utopian Socialist " (also called "Early Socialist") Saint-Simon , from whom Marx took this term and some of his ideas:

"Today's anarchy in production, which arises from the fact that economic relationships develop without uniform regulation ..."

The limitation of the market means, however, that the demand for a certain commodity is limited, since it depends on the need for its use value, see Marx in “Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy”:

"As a use value , the product therefore has a limit in itself, precisely the limit of the need for it, which is not measured by the need of the producer, but now < by > the overall need of those who are exchanging."

So more is produced than is needed and this leads to companies competing for the sale of their goods. This competition for sales is initially carried out in the form of a price war (at a higher level this is also a cause of wars), which forces companies to produce as cheaply as possible “on the penalty of failure”. But this leads to the further development of production technology in order to satisfy the interest of companies in making production cheaper. The type of use of the accumulation capital (see above under “The extended reproduction of capital”) depends on the form of competition itself. Marx therefore distinguished two basic forms of competition:

1.) The competition within a production area (with Marx still: for market shares , but see below). This first basic form is divided into two types of competition, which correspond to the two basic forms, namely:
1a) The competition within a production area for the highest profit / the fastest accumulation , see Marx in Volume III of "Capital":
“Competition can only affect the rate of profit insofar as it affects the prices of goods. Competition can only cause producers within the same production sphere to sell their goods at the same < maximum > prices ... "
The competition actually only regulates the maximum common price for all suppliers of a certain commodity, but not only allows for downward deviations, but actually enforces them in order to achieve higher profit and faster accumulation than the competition and to reduce their market share, see Henryk Grossmann:
“Where there is insufficient living space (sales) for all entrepreneurs as a result of overproduction , there is a compulsion for the individual to save himself from destruction at the expense of others. Far from restricting production with falling prices and profits, every entrepreneur who has the necessary means tries to make it cheaper than his own by introducing better, cheaper "[= cheaper producing]" technology and by increasing the level of development Competitors and yet to produce at a profit. ”(See also below under“ The selling price ”).
  • The "concentration of capital" corresponds to the competition within a production area for the highest profit and the fastest accumulation.
1b) the competition within a production area for sales, that is, for market shares, see Marx in Volume I of "Capital":
“The times of prosperity ” [= “ upswing ”] “settled, the fiercest struggle rages between the capitalists for their respective” (with Marx: “individual”) “space share in the market” [= market share].
Compare the French socialist Jules Guesde :
“There are other wars ... that arise every day, wars for sales markets . ... This is the real capitalist war, the war for profit, waged by the capitalists of all countries ... "
  • The "centralization of capital" corresponds to the competition within a production area for market shares.
2.) the competition between the areas of production for the most profitable area of investment for capital.
  • However, the competition between the areas of production leads to a change in the area of ​​investment of capital to the area with a higher average rate of profit . But this reduces competition in the area from which capital flows, and the rate of profit rises there again. This also leads to a concentration of capital in the chosen investment area of ​​capital. Within this area, this in turn leads to a battle for market shares and thus to centralization. The consequence of centralization is then again a concentration, which in turn leads to centralization. However, the rate of profit in this area falls and there is another change in the investment area, etc. etc.

According to Marx, competition results in a compulsion to accumulate and grow for individual companies:

“Furthermore, the development of capitalist production makes a continual increase in the capital invested in an industrial enterprise a necessity, and competition rules on every individual capitalist the immanent laws of the capitalist mode of production as external laws of compulsion. It forces him to continuously expand his capital in order to maintain it, and he can only expand it through progressive accumulation. "

Individual aspects

Price types

If the exchange value of a commodity is expressed in money (commodity X is exchanged in so many monetary units), it represents the price. The price thus determines the amount of money for which a certain commodity can be bought. In the sale, the exchange value of the goods produced in the seller's hands is then separated from their use value. The latter goes into circulation for consumption, that is, into the hands of the buyer, while the exchange value circulates back to the starting point with the seller and a new turnover of capital begins. The difference between circulation and circulation is that only exchange values ​​circulate and matter always goes into circulation, see Marx in “Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy”:

"< It is > to be noted that < it > are exchange values ​​and therefore prices are what the money circulates."

At the same time, money changes its function several times:

  • In the hands of the buyer it is first of all as a “value expression”, “means of circulation” and then changes its function in the purchase as a “measure of prices” to “means of payment” (see above under “Money and circulation of goods”).
  • In the hands of the seller, it is initially a possible “means of purchase” as a “measure of prices” and then converts its function to the “expression of value” as a (value) “means of circulation” (see above at the place indicated).
  • When the money is exchanged when buying or selling, money changes its function from the “yardstick of prices” and “means of payment” in the hands of the buyer to “expression of value” and (value) “means of circulation” in the hands of the seller.

See Marx in Volume III of "Capital":

"However, when considering money as a <( value )> means of circulation, it is assumed that not only a metamorphosis" [= transformation] "takes place in a commodity. Rather, the social intertwining of these metamorphoses is considered. Only in this way do we come to the circulation of money and the development of its function as a <( value )> means of circulation. But as important this relationship for the transition of money < from the operation of the circulating agent and tender > in the function of the <( value )> circulation means and for its consequent change in shape < is >, he is so indifferent to the business' ( in Marx: "the transaction ") "between the individual buyers and sellers."

The cost price

If one takes only the proportionate applied capital divided by the goods produced or (in the case of commercial capital) sold, one obtains the " cost price " (in Marx " cost price "). It is calculated:

It is

= Cost price
= applied capital
= Quantity or mass of goods produced or (in the case of trading capital = ) sold in the period under consideration

For the composition of the capital employed see above under “Capital employed”.

The formula also applies to trading capital, the difference to producing capital is only that the capital components used are used by the trader in his business and he neither changes the material nor produces a new one, but rather

  • only buys goods that have already been produced ,
  • thus incorporating them as [= goods, means of production and labor intended for productive consumption] into his circulating constant and variable capital,
  • adds new value to them through the application of labor
  • and eventually sold them again as more expensive.

The production price

The price of a commodity is now (provided that it is equal to the exchange value, which by no means has to be) composed of the proportionate capital employed and surplus value. Following Ricardo , Marx calls this price the “ production price”. Marx's “ production price ” was

But Marx does not cite the surplus value, but the average profit for this commodity . However, this determination takes place before production begins, because the level of average profit decides in which branch of industry - in Marx: "spheres of production" or (in Volume II of "Capital") "departments of production" - capital is invested, namely in the Area with higher average profit. See Engels' approval of Dr. Conrad Schmidt in the foreword to "Das Kapital" Volume III:

"... that it is competition that creates the average rate of profit by allowing capital from branches of production with underprofit to emigrate to others where overprofit is made" (literally: "emigrates makes").

Therefore, the average profit regulates the amount of surplus value in the production area chosen by the entrepreneur for his capital investment. The "problem" of the calculation of surplus value, which Marx has been partially accused of, is therefore very easy to solve (and even in different ways).

Despite being traced back to the average profit rate, the price of production is different even for the individual companies in the same branch. This arises:

  • on the one hand through the competition, which forces the companies to gain technical advantages in order to survive in the competition,
  • on the other hand due to the different requirements of the companies (e.g. due to different lengths of transport, different interest charges due to different credit dependencies, etc. etc.).

Therefore the own production price of the commodity of a capital is only of interest to this capital itself, otherwise the social average production price of a certain commodity is important, because if it falls below it secures extra profit (see above under “Profit and profit types”), while if it exceeds it, it is subject to competition signals. This average production price is the equivalent of exchange value as a social relationship, since this is formed by the average socially necessary labor time contained in the commodity .

The production price is calculated in general (without specifying the scope of application):


= the production price in general
= applied capital (see above under "applied capital")
= Added value
= Quantity or mass of goods produced or (for trading capital = ) sold in the period under consideration

The market price

The "market price" (also called "average price") shows the average price at which a certain commodity is traded. This is based on the one hand on the average production price (see above) and on the other hand on the relationship between demand and supply, i.e.


= Market price
= (social) average production price of a commodity

If there is a much higher supply than demand, a battle rages for the market share of this commodity, which for the consumer is a “price war”. In this case the price itself can temporarily fall below the cost price (see above). Then one speaks of “ price dumping ”. On the other hand, if the demand is higher than the supply, the price increases proportionally . It is this mechanism that occasionally leads to a deliberate shortage of goods in order to artificially drive up the price. This is also the reason for the reports of grain being held back by "kulaks" during the famine in the Soviet Union under Stalin, a phenomenon that was also observed in the great French Revolution of 1789.

The market price is calculated as the average price


= Average price
= Sales price 1
= Sales price 2
= the sales prices included in the invoice (see below)
= the number of sales prices included in the invoice

But if you look at the individual components of this price, the result is an invoice


= Average price
= (socially) average applied parts of capital
= (socially) average added value
= Quantity or mass of (socially) average produced or (in the case of trading capital = ) goods sold

(See also under “The extra profit”).

The selling price

Finally, there is the "selling price". It can be above the production price (see above) and below the market price (see above) - this is called the “price range” - or even above the production price and above the market price. In both cases, the entrepreneur has made an “extra profit” (see above) by

  • in the first case sold above its own “production price” (see above), but below the social average production price, which means that the goods can be sold cheaper and the company still makes more profit, but also takes market share away from the competition . This extra profit is then (at least in part) at the expense of the competition (to the extent that market shares are wrested from it).
  • The second case can only occur on the basis of the ideal value , in which opinion research is used to determine what a product with certain properties (which are protected by patent law) is worth to the target group of buyers. Then these goods can be sold above the market price of comparable goods.

The "sales price" is calculated


= Selling price
= applied capital (see above under "applied capital")
= Added value
= possible extra profit
= Quantity or mass of goods produced or (in the case of trading capital = ) sold

Schematic representation of capital accumulation

Put into a scheme, the different ways of reproducing capital are related as follows:

I.) Extended reproduction

[= extended capital (accumulation of M / P and C)]

  1. historically as “ original accumulation ” beginning of capitalism;
  2. establishment of a company in the present;
  3. In the ongoing process, expansion of a capital after the depreciation period through reinvestment of the amortization capital (see above under "The expanded reproduction of capital") and / or investment of the accumulation capital c (see at the specified place).
A) accumulation of
1. Amortization capital, as well
2. Added value / profit.
B) accumulation of capital
1. Competition within a production area (average profit rate of the production area).
a) Competition for the highest profit / the fastest accumulation, form of accumulation of capital: “Concentration” (see above under “The Concentration of Capital”).
b) Competition for market shares, form of accumulation of capital: "Centralization" (see above under "The Centralization of Capital").
2. Competition for the most profitable investment area (average profit rates of the various production areas).
a) Competition for the highest profit or the fastest accumulation, form of accumulation of capital: "Concentration" (see under "The Concentration of Capital").
b) Competition for market shares (within each area of ​​production) or a dominant position (monopoly), form of accumulation of capital: "Centralization" (see under "The Centralization of Capital").

II.) Easy reproduction

[= simple capital (given capital size)]

  1. historically the pre-capitalist feudalist mode of production in agriculture;
  2. in the present the social reproduction of a capital on a given technical basis;
  3. in the ongoing process reproduction of a capital;
    • during a capital turnover (raw material, auxiliary materials, wages);
    • during the depreciation period (land, buildings, machines).
A) Accumulation of "Amortization Capital" (see under " Amortization Capital").
B) Reproduction of the written-off capital (see under “The simple reproduction of capital”) by reinvesting the amortization capital from the amortization fund (see under “Amortized capital”).

See also: Labor value theory , law of value

Crisis theory

The revisionism of Eduard Bernstein includes the thesis that modern capitalism had abolished the economic crises. In contrast, Rosa Luxemburg takes the view, which Karl Marx developed in particular in Das Kapital, Volumes I and III, that the crisis-ridden growth is essential for this social formation , i. H. is lawful. Accordingly, crises do not represent an anomaly or are disruptions of a normal economic process, but are its essential moment. This is shown in the fact that capital accumulation - after an expansion of production capacity beyond solvent demand and, as a result, the fall in the rate of profit and the temporary devaluation of product capital and its partial shutdown - is only resumed afterwards under improved capital utilization conditions. The crises are already possible due to the fact that in the market economy production is not for a fixed need, but for potential demand, whereby - according to Marx - no automatism ensures that every produced good finds a buyer and thus returns turned into money. For example, when Marx was working on David Ricardo's theoretical approach , he also dealt with Say's theorem and criticized the fact that Say had chosen his model assumptions in such a way that crises become logically impossible. Even the credit is not an aid to counter this, as Bernstein put it.

"If the crises, as known, arise from the contradiction (...), then the credit (...) is really the special means of causing this contradiction to break out as often as possible. (...) Above all, it increases the expandability of the Production becomes immense and forms the inner driving force to constantly drive it beyond the limits of the market. (...) If he has once conjured up overproduction as a factor in the production process, then during the crisis, in his capacity as a mediator of the exchange of goods, he knocks down the productive forces that he himself has evoked all the more thoroughly. At the first signs of stagnation, credit shrinks, abandons exchange where it is necessary, proves to be ineffective and pointless where it is still available, and thus reduces the ability to consume to the minimum during the crisis. "

The formation of cartels and trusts is also not an auxiliary means because they can only maintain their profit margin at the expense of the other market participants. Here a part of the productive capital is simply shut down in a different way. In share capital , property is separated from personal relationships with production; this is how the capitalist right of property can only be fully developed. Marx never said that in the process the medium-sized enterprises would disappear; Companies of this size emerge "after the periodic mowing of small capital".

"This results in an ever shorter lifespan for individual small capital and an ever faster change in production methods and types of investment, and for the class as a whole, an ever faster social metabolism."

In the development phases of capitalism, tariffs ensured the protection of the emerging industries and became a means of struggle for one national capital group against the other. The war was an indispensable factor in capitalist development by opening up markets. As a result, militarism is increasingly becoming an instrument of the international struggle for distribution. There is thus a dichotomy in the nature of the state between the general interest of society in its economic and social development and the interests of the ruling class, with democratic forms being abolished in cases of doubt.

The dynamic equilibrium according to Marx's reproduction schemes depends on whether the capitalists are ready to make investments that allow their capital to grow at a constant rate r . There is no reason to assume that once investments have left their original unstable path, they should find their way back there. According to Michał Kalecki , an investment theory is needed for this. Marx himself was also aware of the influence of effective demand on the growth dynamics of capitalism:

“The conditions of immediate exploitation and those of its realization are not identical. They fall apart not only in terms of time and place, but also conceptually. Some are limited only by the productive power of society, the others by the proportionality of the various branches of production and by the consumer power of society. But the latter is determined neither by the absolute power of production nor by the absolute power of consumption; but rather through the power of consumption on the basis of antagonistic distributional relationships, which reduces the consumption of the great mass of society to a minimum that can only be changed within more or less narrow limits. It is further limited by the drive to accumulate, the drive to increase capital and to produce surplus-value on an extended scale. This is the law for capitalist production, given by the constant revolutions in the methods of production themselves, the constantly connected devaluation of existing capital, the general competition and the need to improve production and expand its scale, merely as a means of maintenance and as a punishment for Doom. The market must therefore be constantly expanded so that its connections and the conditions that regulate them increasingly take the form of a natural law independent of the producers, becoming more and more uncontrollable. "

Rosa Luxemburg was right to point out the importance of external markets for growth; however, it made the mistake of ascribing investment decisions to the capitalist class as a whole. Tugan-Baranowski, on the other hand, overlooked in his analysis of the proportional correspondence between consumption and investment that the mere possibility that the capitalists could adjust the level of investments to the growth requirements does not provide an explanation that they will actually do it.

In general, the existence of a stable equilibrium is asserted in the relevant business cycle theories, or at least considered possible in principle. It is controversial to what extent state interventions , for example according to Keynesian doctrine , are necessary to achieve an equilibrium path .


Classic representations

  • Karl Marx: Capital . Volumes I - III (MEW 23-25), Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1975.
  • Karl Marx: Theories about surplus value . Volumes I – III (MEW 26.1–26.3), Dietz Verlag Berlin 1965.

Continuation and deepening


  • Political Economy Capitalism Socialism . Dietz Verlag Berlin 1977.
  • Plato : The state . (Works Volume III) Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1987.
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Correspondence . Volume II + IV, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1950.
  • Karl Marx , Friedrich Engels : Manifesto of the Communist Party . (MEW 4) Dietz Verlag, Berlin.
  • Lenin : Open letter to Boris Souvarine . (LW 23) Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1972.
  • Fred Moseley (Ed.): Marx's Method in Capital - A Reexamination. Humanities Press, New Jersey 1993.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Robert E. Eagly: The Structure of Classical Economic Theory. Oxford University Press, New York London Toronto 1974, p. 3.
  2. ^ Karl Kautsky : Karl Marx 'economic teachings. 20th edition. 1921, p. VIII, cit. after Henryk Grossman : Essays on the crisis theory. P. 13.
  3. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 12, inset in angle brackets.
  4. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 15f., Text edited.
  5. Karl Marx: "On the Critique of Political Economy." (MEW 13), p. 21.
  6. Karl Marx: Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 13) p. 632, text edited and inset in angle brackets.
  7. see Karl Marx " On the Critique of Political Economy " (MEW 13), p. 7.
  8. Helmut Reichelt, quoted in: Ken Kubota: The dialectical presentation of the general concept of capital in the light of Hegel's philosophy . For the logical analysis of political economy with special consideration of Adorno and the research results of Rubin , Backhaus , Reichelt , Uno and Sekine . In: Contributions to Marx-Engels research . New series 2009, pp. 199–224, here p. 199.
  9. a b c Marx Engels correspondence. Volume IV, p. 9.
  10. In Marx: "the critical end result"
  11. Karl Marx: On the Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 13) p. 37, text edited.
  12. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 56.
  13. ^ Henryk Grossmann: Marx, the classical economics and the problem of dynamics. P. 22 ff.
  14. See Chapter Volume I, Section 2, Chapter 4.
  15. See e.g. B. Michael Heinrich : The science of value. 3. Edition. 2003, Münster, p. 258.
  16. See Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 86f .:
    "This is what I call" (!) "The fetishism that sticks to work products ..."
  17. Marx: Misery of Philosophy. MEW 4: 130; see. also Marx: Capital. MEW 23: 95 f., Especially footnote 33.
  18. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 638, footnote 67.
  19. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 22, text edited.
  20. a b Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 233.
  21. compare Marx's statement in Das Kapital Volume III (MEW 25), p. 224.
  22. Das Kapital Volume III (MEW 25), p. 904 ( full text ). Text edited, inset in angle brackets.
  23. Lenin: Karl Marx (short biographical outline with an exposition of Marxism). LW 21, p. 56 f.
  24. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 50.
  25. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42) p. 94.
  26. Anonymous: Some Thoughts on the Interest of Money in general, and particularly in the Public Funds etc. London, p. 36f., Published around 1739/40, quoted from: Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 54, footnote 9 to the 2nd edition, own translation.
  27. See Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 181.
  28. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 181. In contrast to the Physiocrats and Adam Smith (compare, for example, Karl Marx: Theories about surplus value. Volume I (MEW 26.1), p. 235), Marx regards labor as characteristic human quality, while he equated working animals with machines and viewed them as things, see e.g. B. "The Capital" Volume II (MEW 24), p. 160:
    "As a working cattle, an ox is fixed capital."
    Marx does not give a critical justification for this change to the Physiocrats and Adam Smith, unless one does not comment on his occasional comments (e.g. “Das Kapital”, Volume II (MEW 24), p. 361) that the equation with the working cattle is a “pleasant one Compliment for the workmen ”and on p. 373 footnote 40, thereby“ the wage worker ”“ for his part ”“ also ”as“ working cattle ”“ is represented ”) as such.
  29. Karl Marx: On the Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 13) p. 18.
  30. ^ Rosa Luxemburg: Introduction to Political Economy (Collected Works V). P. 711 (text edited).
  31. Compare at the place indicated on p. 713.
  32. ^ Henri Storch, quoted in: Karl Marx: Grundrisse zur Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42) p. 154f.
  33. ^ Rosa Luxemburg: Introduction to Political Economy (Collected Works V). P. 723, text edited and insertion in angle brackets.
  34. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42) p. 154f.
  35. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42), p. 99, text edited.
  36. ^ Compare Rosa Luxemburg: Introduction to Political Economy (Collected Works V). P. 723.
  37. ^ Cf. Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 109.
  38. See for example Michael Heinrich .
  39. ^ For example, the explanations in Stephan Krüger: Business cycle and overaccumulation - value, law of value and calculation of value for the Federal Republic of Germany. VSA-Verlag Hamburg 2007, p. 33ff.
  40. See also: Michael Heinrich: The science of value. 2nd Edition. Münster 1999; and: Ingo Stützle : The question of the constitutive relevance of monetary goods in Marx's critique of political economy. In: Jan Hoff u. a. (Ed.): Reread capital. Munster 2006.
  41. Compare Karl Marx: Fundamentals of the Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42) p. 197.
  42. Karl Marx: Fundamentals of the Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42), p. 217, text edited, insertion in angle brackets, in Marx the first part of the sentence is emphasized.
  43. ^ Plato in The State. 371 (Platon Werke Volume III), Akademieverlag Berlin, p. 95, text edited.
  44. See Marx's letter to Joseph Weydemeier of March 5, 1852 (MEW 28), pp. 507f. At the place indicated on p. 504 he cites the “historical works of Thierry, Guizot, John Wade etc.” as examples and on p. 507 for the economists Ricardo is an example.
  45. See Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 161.
  46. In modern economics, in contrast to classical economics, this fact is denied and wages are viewed as compensation for the inconvenience of the worker (to work), but compare the above quote from Plato: The state. 371.
  47. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 32ff. "I. First stage, GW ”, p. 40ff. "II. Second stage. Function of productive capital. "
  48. Compare Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), pp. 118ff. "Medium of circulation."
  49. Quoted from Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume II (MEW 24) p. 370 (text edited, insertions in square brackets in the original, emphasis added).
  50. Marx described the fact as such in Volume II of “Capital”, but neither derived the concept of “maturity” from it, nor examined the extent to which this would necessitate additional capital.
  51. Circulation time = the time from the completion of the goods to the arrival of the money from the sale on the account of the entrepreneur; it is made up of the “circulation time” of the goods up to sale [= storage and transport] and the pure (value) “circulation time” [= payment deadlines and transfer time], which Marx summarized under the term “sales time”. He distinguished from it the “purchase time”, which means the purchase of raw materials and auxiliary materials including the time of their delivery. In his "Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy" (MEW 13, p. 630), however, he assigned the purchase time to production, not to circulation:
    “Firstly, it is clear that the exchange of activities and skills that takes place in production itself belongs directly to it and makes it essential. Second, the same applies to the exchange of products, insofar as it is a means of producing the finished product intended for immediate consumption. So far, the exchange itself is an integral part of production. "
  52. Its size depends on the applied, its function belongs to the invested capital!
  53. ^ In Marx: Das Kapital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 262, the relationship between the total capital and the grant capital, like the turnover time and the circulation time (in his case “circulation time”). However, both the grant capital and the total capital must first be calculated.
  54. For whom the entrepreneur can get interest, since he is fixed for the depreciation period, see Henryk Grossmann: Essays on the Crisis Theory. P. 18:
    "The entrepreneur will not leave this released capital idle, but leave it to the banks for a short time or invest it in easily realizable, fixed-income securities, and thus secure the enjoyment of interest, i.e. of added value."
  55. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 88, text edited and emphasis and an insert in angle brackets added.
  56. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 640.
  57. Hence in terms of content = "technological wear and tear" in contrast to "wear and tear in terms of value" and both together in contrast to "material wear and tear"
  58. Despite the French Physiocrats' view of surplus value as a natural gift, see Marx in Theories of Surplus Value . Volume I (MEW 26.1) on p. 19: “The possibility of surplus labor and surplus value is therefore based on a given productive force of labor , a productive force which enables the labor capacity to generate more than its own value - via that through its life process <offered neediness addition > to produce. And this productivity - this stage of development of productivity, which is assumed as a prerequisite - must first be present ... in agricultural work, thus appears as a gift of nature - < as the productive force of nature "(edited text, insertions in angle brackets ).
  59. The term “national income” goes back to the definition of Adam Smith, who had described profit, rent and wages as sources of all income, whereby he still saw the rent in general as a deduction from profit. In his day, the new value could still be understood as the national income, because all parts of the income were attributable to it. With JB Say's “production factor theory”, rent became part of the applied capital from a deduction from profit. Since then, the term “national income” is no longer applicable to the new value.
  60. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 200; Text edited, insertions and emphasis added in angle brackets.
  61. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 221; Text edited, insertions in angle brackets.
  62. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 225.
  63. ^ For example, Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume III (MEW 25), pp. 227, 271, 276 and more often.
  64. Rosa Luxemburg: The accumulation of capital (Gesammelte Werke V). P. 59, online
  65. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 192 (see also p. 193), text edited.
  66. See also Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 830.
  67. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy . (MEW 42) p. 167, see also p. 166, edited text, emphasis placed on Marx.
  68. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 243f., Text edited.
  69. See also Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 334.
  70. See also Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 534.
  71. The apostrophe 'in Marx's system of signs otherwise means an increase (for example ), so here has a meaning different from the usual usage.
  72. Thomas Joseph Dunning: Trades' Unions and strikes: their philosophy and intention. London 1860, pp. 35f., Quoted from: Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 788, footnote 250, text edited and inserts added in angle brackets.
  73. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume III (MEW 25), pp. 825f.
  74. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 46.
  75. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume III (MEW 25), pp. 167f.
  76. Compare Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 177.
  77. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 291.
  78. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 293; Text edited.
  79. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 151, text edited, inserts in angle brackets -
  80. ^ SP Newman in Elements of Pol. Ec. P. 174; quoted from: Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 290, footnote 38; Text edited, emphasis added.
  81. ^ After: Political Economy Capitalism Socialism. P. 221; The sentence is not marked there as a quote, but in any case represents Ricardo's position in terms of content.
  82. Since then, the rent is no longer a deduction from profit, but part of the capital employed.
  83. "Work" as a means of production! However, variable capital is just as much a part of circulating capital as rent, which Stalin also mentions in this context. He follows the production factor theory of JB Say!
  84. Quoted from: J. Stalin: Questions of Leninism. 1947, (other editions are partly published under the title Problems of Leninism ) p. 367-
  85. Circulating costs = above-average finished goods warehouse, above-average high shrinkage , above-average transport costs , above-average advertising costs , above-average research and development costs , above -average interest payments , any contractual penalties .
  86. ^ In Marx: "first report of the factory commissioners", the information is imprecise. Presumably the “Factories inquiry commission” mentioned in Volume I of “Capital” on p. 886. First report of the central board of His Majesty's commissioners. Ordered, by the House of Commons, to be printed, June 28, 1833 “meant.
  87. It is not clear from the letter whether this question mark comes from Marx or from the report of the factory inspectors. The "ancillary expenses" are expenses for auxiliary materials, specifically for freight, drive the steam engine and heating, lubricants and lighting
  88. ^ Marx Engels correspondence. Volume II, p. 371, all information translated from English, insertions in angle brackets.
  89. Compare Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 209 and as a practical example z. B. Friedrich Engels: The socialism of Mr. Bismarck. (MEW 19) p. 171.
  90. Compare Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 209, last paragraph (relating to agriculture).
  91. Compare to Rosa Luxemburg: The accumulation of capital (Gesammelte Werke V). P. 18, online .
  92. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume III (MEW 25), pp. 242-245.
  93. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 245.
  94. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), pp. 245f.
  95. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), pp. 246f.
  96. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), pp. 247-250.
  97. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 250.
  98. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 273.
  99. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 223, text edited.
  100. For a criticism of the law see z. B. Okishio's theorem
  101. E.g. Capital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 246.
  102. In Marx: "On the one hand, on a capitalist basis, absence of all accumulation or reproduction on an extended scale ..."
  103. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 391f., Text edited and inserts in angle brackets.
  104. Rosa Luxemburg: The accumulation of capital (Gesammelte Werke V). P. 79.
  105. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 394, online
  106. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 88, text edited, insertion in angle brackets, first emphasis by Marx, second added.
  107. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42) p. 358, text edited, insertions added in angle brackets.
  108. The discussion (see Rosa Luxemburg: Gesammelte Werke V. Preface p. 8–12, especially the 2nd paragraph on p. 12) about Rosa Luxemburg's (older) theory of imperialism , that of the saturation of the “ internal market ” and the This necessarily follows a turn to the “ external market”, and Lenin's (more recent) one , who proceeds from the merging of industrial and banking capital into finance capital, revolves around the question of where to place the beginning of imperialism. Lenin answers this question imprecisely empirically (see Lenin: Imperialism as the highest stage in capitalism. In LAW I, pp. 780f., Compare p. 802), Rosa Luxemburg exactly analytical .
  109. a b Quoted from Marx: Theories about surplus value . Volume I (MEW 26.1), p. 7.
  110. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 654 (text edited, inserts in angle brackets).
  111. Eg in theories about surplus value. Volume III (MEW 26.3), p. 309.
  112. ^ Anonymous: The Advantages of the East-India Trade to England. London 1720, p. 67, quoted from: Karl Marx: Das Kapital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 338, footnote 4, text has been edited and inset in angle brackets.
  113. Cited by Schulze-Gaevernitz: Grundriss der Sozialökonomik. P. 146, quoted from: Lenin: Imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. LW 22, p. 309.
  114. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy . (MEW 42) p. 319, emphasis placed by Marx, text edited, insert added in angle brackets.
  115. See also Ralf Netzker “The Dilemma of Extended Reproduction” on .
  116. See Political Economy Capitalism Socialism, pp. 180f.
  117. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume III (MEW 25), p. 872, insertion in angle brackets.
  118. ^ Henryk Grossmann: Marx, the classical economics and the problem of dynamics. P. 78 (text edited, insertion in angle brackets).
  119. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume I (MEW 23), p. 476 (text edited, inserts in angle brackets).
  120. Jules Guesde: On the watch. (“En Garde!”), Paris 1911 p. 175, quoted from: Lenin : Open letter to Boris Souvarine. LW 23, p. 201.
  121. To refute Rosa Luxemburg'sThe Accumulation of Capital ” (in Gesammelte Werke Volume V; see there also the “Anti-Criticism”) Otto Bauer developed a scheme that Henryk Grossmann wrote in: The Accumulation and Collapse Law of the Capitalist System. P. 101, Table 1 is printed. In this scheme, however, Bauer presented the matter as if the capital were investing in an area with a lower rate of profit and simply did not state the rate of profit.
  122. ^ Karl Marx : Das Kapital, Volume 1 . In: Marx-Engels works . No. 23 . Dietz, Berlin 1965, p. 618 ( ).
  123. orbit = distance from the starting point without returning.
  124. ^ Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy. (MEW 42) p. 118, text edited, inset in angle brackets.
  125. ^ Karl Marx: Das Kapital, Volume III (MEW 25), p. 203, text edited and insertions in angle brackets.
  126. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. Volume II (MEW 24), p. 19f., Text edited.
  127. The presentation here follows that given by Marx in Volume I of “Capital” (especially MEW 23, p. 560). In Volume II of his "Theories of Added Value" (MEW 26.2, p. 202f.) He gives a different definition of the market price, but distinguishes from this "market price" (which is identical to his definition of the average production price on which he is based above) a " real market price ”, which corresponds to the presentation in Volume I of“ Capital ”.
  128. ^ Rosa Luxemburg: Social Reform or Revolution? (Review of Bernstein's series of articles: Problems of Socialism. Neue Zeit 1897/98. Special reprint from the Leipziger Volkszeitung 1899). In: Freedom is always only the freedom of those who think differently. Voltmedia Paderborn, ISBN 3-938478-73-X , p. 13 ff.
  129. Theories about surplus value. Volume II, MEW 26.2, p. 495 ff.
  130. Rosa Luxemburg: Freedom is always only the freedom of those who think differently. Voltmedia Paderborn, ISBN 3-938478-73-X , p. 20.
  131. Rosa Luxemburg: Freedom is always only the freedom of those who think differently. Voltmedia Paderborn, ISBN 3-938478-73-X , p. 27.
  132. Michał Kalecki: The Marxian equations of reproduction and modern economics. In: Ders .: Crisis and Prosperity in Capitalism . Selected essays 1933–1971. Metropolis Marburg 1987, ISBN 3-926570-01-6 , pp. 278f.
  133. ^ Karl Marx: The capital. P. 3025 f. Digital Library Volume 11: Marx / Engels, p. 6334f (see MEW Volume 25, p. 254f)
  134. Michał Kalecki: The problem of the effective demand with Tugan-Baranowsky and Rosa Luxemburg. In: Ders .: Crisis and Prosperity in Capitalism. Selected essays 1933–1971. Metropolis, Marburg 1987, ISBN 3-926570-01-6 , p. 287.
  135. A relevant textbook would be e.g. E.g .: RGD Allen: Macro-Economic Theory. A Mathematical Treatment. Macmillan, London / Melbourne / Toronto 1968.