Notes for a study session on chapter 3

Click here to download pdf. Continue reading

Harvey ch.11; Capital ch.26-33

Compared to the feudal serf, the wage worker is more free in a straightforward sense. And also more free in a sarcastic or ironic sense. Continue reading

Harvey ch.10-11; Capital ch.25 (and ch.32)

I think chapter 32 is best read as a summary postscript to chapter 25, though Harvey discusses in his ch.11. Continue reading

Harvey ch.09; Capital ch. 16-24

Productive labour produces surplus-value for capital. In chapter 16 Marx defines another category of labour, which is social labour, and abstract labour, and labour for capital, but from which capital does not extract surplus value. Continue reading

Harvey ch.06: Capital ch.12-14

Marx identifies three stages of development of capitalist production prior to machine industry. Continue reading

28-35: Banking, money, and credit

These chapters are messy. A big part is played by often-repetitious discussions of the 1847 crisis and economists’ controversies about it. Continue reading

27: How credit reshapes society

Marx concludes this chapter by declaring: “The credit system… develop[s] the incentive of capitalist production, enrichment through exploitation of the labour of others, to the purest and most colossal form of gambling and swindling, and… reduce[s] more and more the number of the few who exploit the social wealth; on the other hand, constitute[s] the form of transition to a new mode of production”. Continue reading

20: Merchant capital before capitalist production

Merchant capital is older than capitalist production. For its existence it requires only the more or less extensive circulation of commodities, irrespective of how those commodities are produced. Continue reading

19 and 21-26: Interest-bearing capital

Chapter 20, about merchant capital before capitalist production, comes in between these chapters, but really their argument is continuous. Continue reading

36: Money-lending in precapitalist societies

Capital exists long before the capitalist mode of production. It exists in the “antediluvian forms” of usurer’s and merchant’s capital. It reached its highest development in Rome. Continue reading