Part 2: The Ideal Constitution of Capital

In: The Spectre of Capital: Idea and Reality
Christopher J. Arthur
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On the page opposite begins a list of the paragraphs comprising the bulk of this second (and final) part.

The strictly logical presentation of the value-form categories (in Chapters 6–13; 15–16) is organised in paragraph numbers that reflect the logical level of the categories concerned. Because the logic has a triadic movement, the numbers concerned naturally run in threes. However, the logical level of the category concerned is indicated also by the addition of a further number (thus, by adding 1, 2, and 3, ‘§1’ divides into ‘§11’, ‘§12’, ‘§13’; ‘§2’ divides into ‘§21’, ‘§22’, ‘§23’; and so on); where the system becomes very fine-grained the more extended number is broken up with points (‘.’) and slashes (‘/’) (e.g. the category of ‘monetary medium’ is placed at ‘§23.31/32’); these points and slashes have no substantive significance; they are used simply as an aid to scrutiny.

Interpolated into the presentation are ‘Remarks’ not strictly necessary to the argument. Note that the format rule followed is that a Remark is one paragraph, and only one paragraph, long, before the main text resumes. In very rare cases a longer interpolation is headed ‘Remark on …’.

The Presentation of Value Form Categories

Division I Capital in Its Notion




Quality of Being Exchangeable


Being Present in Exchange

Nothing; Being; Nothingness (the Presence of Nothing)


Exchangeableness: Something and Other; Spurious Infinity; True Infinity


An Exchangeable

One; Many; (Relative) Totality (Attraction / Repulsion)


Quantity of Commodities Exchanged


Pure Quantity (Infinite Unity of All Exchangeables)


Number of Commodities Exchanged in a Transaction


Ratio of Exchange


Exchange-Value as the (Specifying) Measure


Rule of Pro-rata Exchange


Series of Exchange-Values (i.e. of Specific Measures)


Infinite Unity of Measure Relations




Value as Immanent Exchangeability


Exchange-Value Reflected into the Commodity


Positing Reflection


External Reflection


Determining Reflection


Reflex-Determinations of Value


Identity (Value Is in the Commodity)


Difference (Value Is Not in the Commodity but Different from It)


Contradiction (Value Is and Is Not in the Commodity)


Value Grounded in the Value Form


Value as Appearance


Value as Existent


Value as (Relational) Property of a ‘Thing’


Form and Content


Value as Law-like in Its Appearance


Forms of Appearance of Value:


Form I Simple Form


Form II Expanded Form


Form III General Form


Correlation of Immediate and Reflected Totalities of Value


Value as Actuality: Money


The Modalities of Equivalent Form: Possibility; Contingency; Necessity; Form IV: Total Form of Value


Money as Absolute Form of Value


Exchangeability-in-Immediacy; Form V: Money Form of Value


Immediate Exchangeability; Form VI: Laying-out of Money


Reciprocity of Form-Determinations of Money


Value as Substance (the Substantiality of Value Exists in Money)


Value as Substance in Immediacy


Substance-in-Itself; Its Oneness (Its Self-Identity)


Substance-for-Itself as a Dimensionally Extended Body of Value


Money as Finite Mode of Value:


Immanent Magnitude


Monetary Medium


Measure Proper Is Given in Units of Money


Value Substance Actualised in a Realm of Finitude: Commodities


Money Is the Real Measure of Value of Commodities


Commodities as ‘Values’


Value as the Substance of Commodities


The Transubstantiation of the Commodity


The Commodity Posited as ‘a Value’


Value as Absolute Relation of Form and Content


Infinite Unity of Value Substance: Form VII: Substantial Form


Interchangeability of Commodities as Values Predicated by Money


Money as Comparator (Unitary Measure of Value)


Merging of Values in a Mass of Value Measured in One Sum




Price (Subjectivity of Value)


Value as Notion


Infinite Value Notion


Universality of Value


Particularity as ‘Amount’


Singularity as ‘an Amount’


Finite Value Notion (Schematised in Money as ‘Measure-Making’)


Value Brought Back to the Infinite: Fungibility of Money.


The Value Judgement (Money Assumes the Role of Measure-Taking)


The Judgement of Worth, ‘This Commodity Is Worth $x’


Standard of Price; Money of Account;


The Unfolding of the Judgement of Worth


The Formal Judgement (Qualitative and Quantitative)


The Categorical Judgement;


The Judgement of the Concept


Transitivity of Price


Syllogism of Abstraction: If A Is Worth $x, and B Is Worth $x, Then A = B


Syllogism of Equality: If A = B, and B = C, Then A = C


Syllogism of Syllogisms:

If A = B & B = C Then A = C;

If C = A & A = B Then C = B;

If B = C & C = A Then B = A (the System Is Closed).


Exchange and Circulation (Objectivity of Value)


Immediate Exchange (Money as Ideal Measure) C–C′


Sale Is Purchase (C–M) ≡ (M–C)


Metamorphoses of Commodities and Money


Sale and Purchase (C–M) + (M–C′)


Metamorphoses of Commodities C–M–C′ (Finite Teleology)


Metamorphoses of Money (Monetary Circulation: Infinite Teleology)


Capital as Concept and Idea


Money as Money (Value as ‘Individuated’)


Money as End of Exchange


Money as Means of Payment


Money as Funds


Money as Capital


Money as Its Own End


‘Life Process’ of Capital: General Formula for Capital


‘Generation’ of Increment of Money


Capital as Idea




Transformation of the Monetary Increment into Capital


Rate of Accumulation as a Measure of Capital by Itself for Itself


The Infinity of Capital


The Formal Determination by Capital of Its Real-World Existence






Idea of Capital Realised in Contradiction

Division II Capital Relation


Capital in Circulation


The Temporality of Capital Accumulation


Ideality and Reality of Circulation


Capital Posited in and through Its Otherness


Merchant Capital




Industrial Capital


Capital in Production


Industrial Capital in Its Notion: Genesis of Value in ‘Time’ (Production) and ‘Space’ (Exchange)


Capital Relation Proper


‘Abstract’ Labour


Formal and Real Subsumption


Constitution of Capital via a Dialectic of Negativity; Alienation of Labour


Self-Valorisation of Capital


Value Added


Genesis of Surplus Value


Wages of Labour


Reproduction of Capital






Results of the Immediate Production Process

Division III The System of Capital


Capital as Universal and Individual


Capital as Subject


Individual Capitals


Capital as One Idea


The System of Industrial Capital in Its Double Determination


Capital as such Reflected into Itself


The Rate of Surplus Value


The Metamorphoses of Capital


Fluidity and Fixity of Capital


Three Circuits of Capital


The Circuit in Its Conceptual Unity


Simple Price and the Rate of Profit


Difference of Capitals


Competition: Absolute and Relative Surplus Value;


Organic Composition of Capital;


Uniform Rate of Profit and Prices of Production


Systemic Unity of Total Social Capital


General Law of Accumulation


Reproduction of Total Capital via Departments of Reproduction


Reproduction Prices and the General Rate of Profit;

Addendum A Note on the Neo-Sraffian System

Addendum A Note on the Tendential Fall in the General Rate of Profit


Absolute Capital


Absolute Capital in Its Notion (ex nihilo Money)


Externalisation of Inner Moments of Capital Circuit






Industrial Production Proper


Capital as Absolute Idea


The Absolute as Individual


The Elliptical Movement of Capital


Capital as Absolute Idea


Capital and Its Others




Internalisation of Capital’s ‘Others’


General Conditions of Existence of Capital

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