Valorisation - Devalorisation

The opposite process is devalorisation ("Entwertung") which refers to the process whereby production capital invested loses part or all of its value, because the labour maintaining the value of capital is withdrawn, or because output cannot be sold, or sold at the intended price, or because more modern production techniques devalue older equipment.

Typically what happens in a severe economic crisis is that the real cost structure of production is realigned with market prices. In Marx's terms, productivity growth has changed product-values in different sectors, but it is only after quite some time that prices adjust to changed underlying values. In that case, devalorisation may occur quite rapidly: capital assets are suddenly worth less, and as soon as capital assets are no longer utilised and maintained by living human labour (because of unemployment), the value of those capital assets begins to deteriorate. In the end, the total withdrawal of human labour leaves nothing but a ghost town.

Devalorisation is not the same as devaluation of capital, because the term "devalorisation" applies specifically only to assets which function as production capital, whereas "devaluation" of capital could refer to the loss in value of any capital asset in any particular form. Devalorization means specifically that means of production lose value because the living labour required to maintain them is withdrawn.

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