Valorisation - The Mysteries of Capital's Growth

The Mysteries of Capital's Growth

When a worker is put to work on a commercial basis, he initially produces a value equal to what it costs to hire him. But once this value has been created, and the work continues, he begins to valorise capital, i.e. increase its value. Thus, normally a worker works part of the day "for himself" in the sense of producing the equivalent of his wage, and part of the day for the employer of his labour. On average, statistical information suggests the ratio is about 50/50, but it can be more or less.

Marx claims however that this process, whereby capital grows in value through human activity in production, becomes obscured and hidden in the theories of economics. Among other things, the trading (circulation) of products can become to a great extent disconnected from their production in space and time. What the link is between the people who produce products and the people who trade them or own them is often not very clear or even unknown. Beyond that, official economics cannot cope with the idea that wage-labour creates more value than the value it receives in the form of wage payments

The "fetish" of capital reaches its culmination when it appears that capital grows of its own accord without anybody doing anything. In that case, people are no longer able to perceive or comprehend the connection between human activity which forms new value, and the increase in the value of their assets (see also commodity fetishism and fictitious capital).

If Verwertungsprozess is translated as "self-expansion of capital", this actually conveys the exact opposite of what Marx intends: after all, the expansion of capital is not automatic, it requires human work to expand it. As soon as labour is withdrawn, capital not only stops expanding, but may also lose some or all of its value.

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