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Literatur zur Politischen Ökonomie
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Passarella (2013): Capital's Pons Asinorum
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Capital's Pons Asinorum
The Rate of Turnover in Karl Marx's Analysis of Capitalist Valorisation
Introduction 3
1. Engels′ editorial work on Volume 2 of Capital 5
2. The mass of surplus-value in Volume 1 and Volume 3 of Capital 7
3. The rate of turnover in Volume 2 of Capital 9
4. Time of production, time of circulation and time of turnover 12
4.1 The time of production 12
4.2 The time of circulation 13
4.3 The total time of turnover 14
5. The costs of circulation 15
5.1 The costs of commodity maintenance 15
5.2 The pure costs of circulation: purchase, sale and financing 16
6. The temporal composition of capital 18
Concluding remarks 22
References 23
Analytical Appendixes 25
a) The single-period general rate of profit in a two-sector economy 25
b) The annual general rate of profit under a simple reproduction regime 25
c) The optimal share of unproductive labour units 26
d) The annual general rate of profit under an expanded reproduction regime 27
Philological Appendix 28

"we find that by a combination of a re-reading of the standard version of Marx′s Capital with the new evidence from the MEGA2 edition, we can arrive at the following results:
i. the work of Friedrich Engels on the original manuscripts of the V2 of Capital must be regarded as more than a simple editing of Marxian manuscripts, because his (Engel′s) work directly affected the analytical core of Marx′s theory, such as the analysis of the role of the turnover of capital;
ii. neither the formula provided by Marx in V3 of Capital nor the one provided by Engels in Chapter 4 of the same volume can be regarded as the general equation of the annual rate of profit;
iii. rather, the usual Marxian formulation should be modified, in the spirit of Marx, not only to explicitly include the impact of the rate of turnover of capital (as Engels does in Chapter 4 of V3), but also to consider both the long-run equalization of the rate of profit and the reinvestment of capitalist firms (that is, the expanded reproduction of capital);
iv. the rate of turnover and therefore the profitability of capital are crucially affected by the conditions of the banking-financial sector, through its effect on the investment activity;
v. insofar as the development of the banking-financial sector (which is usually regarded as an unproductive sector) allows ′industrial′ capitalist firms to increase the speed (or reduce the cost) of turnover of capital, the final effect of an increase in the share of (unproductive) labour units employed in the banking-financial sector on the general rate of profit could be either negative or positive;
vi. this very effect should be regarded as a further (temporary) ′countertendency′ to the well-known (but controversial) Marxian law of the tendential fall of the rate of profit. This is the reason why we think that Marx would perhaps have regarded the process of financialization of the last three decades as the pons asinorum that capitalist firms have eventually gone through to sustain the profitability of capital." (S.22f)

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