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basis, although not
absolutely attainable. Let us see, then, what passes in real-
ity. While the 10,000 lbs. of yarn appear on the market as
commodity-capital and are transformed into money (re-
gaxdless of whether it is a paying, purchasing, or calculating
medium), new cotton, coal, etc., take the place of the yarn
in the process of production, having been reconverted from
the form of money and commodities into that of productive
capital and performing its functions. At the time when
these 10,000 lbs. of yarn are converted into money, the pre-
Diagrams of the Process of Circulation. 117
ceding 10,000 lbs. are going through the second stage of
circulation and are reconverted from money _nto the ele-
ments of productive capital. All parts of capital pass suc-
cessively through the process of rotation and arc simultane-
ously in its different stages. The industrial capital thus
exists simultaneously in all the successive stages of its rota-
tion and in the various forms corresponding to its functions.
That part of industrial capital, which is for the first time
converted from commodity-capital into money, begins the
cycle C'...C', while industrial capital as a rotating body of
aggregates, has passed through it. One hand advances money,
the other receives it. The inauguration of the cycle M...M'
at one place coincides with its return to the starting point of
another. The same is true 6f productive capital.
The actual rotation of industrial capital in its continuity
is therefore not alone the unity of the processes of produc-
tion and circulation, but also the unity of its three cycles.
But it can be such a unity only, if every individual part of
capital can go successively through the various stages of the
rotation, pass from one phase and from one functional form
to another, so that the industrial capital, being the aggregate
of all these parts, is found simultaneously in its various
phases and functions and describes all three cycles at the
same time. The succession of these parts is conditioned on
their simultaneous existence side by side, .that is to say, on
the division of capital. In a systematized manufacture, the
product is as much ubiquitous in the various stages of its
process of formation, as it is in the transition from one phase
of production to another. As the individual industrial capt.
tal has a definite volume which does not merely depend on
the means of the capitalist and which has a minimum mag-
nitude for every branch of production, it follows that its
division must proceed according to definite proportions. The
magnitude of the available capital determines the volume of
the process of production, and this, again, determines the
size of the commodity-capital and money-capital which per-
form their functions simultaneously with the process of pro-
duction. The simultaneous functions, which enable the pro-
duction to proceed continuously, are only due to the rota_
118 Capital.
tion of the various parts of capital which pass successively
through their different stages. The simultaneousness is mere-
ly the result of the succession. For if tile rotation of one
phase, for instance of C'--M', is interruptcd for one of the
parts of capital, if the commodity cannot be sold,-then the
cycle of this part is broken and the reproduction of its ele-
ments of production cannot take place ; the succeeding parts,
which come out of the process of production in the shape of
C', find the conversion of their function blocked by their
predecessors. If this is continued for some time, production
is restricted and the entire process arrested. Every stop of
_he succession carries disorder into the simultaneousness of
the cycles, every obstruction of one stage causes more or less
obstruotdon in the entire rotation, not. only of the o_tructed
part of capital, but of the total individual capital.
The next form, in which the process presents itself, is
that of a succession of phases, so that the transition of capi-
tal into a new phase is conditioned on its departure from
another. Every special cycle ,has therefore one of the func-
tional forms of capital for its point of departure or return.
On the other hand, the aggregate process is indeed the unity
of its three cycles, which are the different forms in which
the continuity of the process expresses itself: The total rota-
tion appears as its own specific cycle to every functional form
of capital, and every one of these cycles contributes to the
continuity of the process. The rotation of one functional
form requires that of the others. This is the inevitable re-
quirement for the aggregate process of production, especially
for the social capital, that it is at the same time a process
of reproduction, and thus a rotation of each one of its ele-
ments. Different aliquot pal,ts of capital pass successively
through the various stages and functional forms. By this
means, every functional form passes simultaneously with the
others through its own cycles, although other parts of capi-
tal are continuously presented by each form. One part of
capital, continually changing, continually reproduced, exists
as a commodity-capital which is converted into money; an-
other as money-capital converted into productive capital;
and a third as productive capital converted into commodity-
capital. The continuous existence of all three forms is
Diagrams o[ the Process o[ Circulation. 119
brought about by the rotation of the aggregate cycle through
these three phases.
Capital as a whole, then, exists simultaneously side by
side in its different phases. But every part passes continu-
ously and successively from one phase and functional form
into the next one and performs a function in all of them.
Its forms are fluid and their simultaneousness is brought
about by their succession. Every .form follows and precedes
another, so tha_ the return of one capi.tal part .to a certain
form is conditioned on the return of another part to some
other form. Every part describes continuously_ its own
cycle, but it is always another part which assumes a certain
form, and these special cycles are simultaneous and succes-
sive parts of the aggregate rotation.
The continuity of the aggregate process is realized only by
the unity of the three cycles, and would be impossible _:ith
the above-mentioned interruptions. The social capital always
has this continuity and its process always rests on the unity
of the three cycles.
The continuity of the reproduction is more or less inter-
rupted so far as the individual capitals are concerned. In
the first place, the masses of value are frequently distributed
at various periods and in unequal ,portions over .the various
stages and functional forms. In the second place, these por-
tions may be differently d.istributed, according to the charac-
ter of the commodity, which is to be produced. In the third
place, the continuity may be more or less interrupted in
those branches of production, which are dependent on the
seasons, either on account of natural causes, such as agricul-
ture, fish.ing, etc., or on accoun_ of convention'al circumstance
_ch as the so-called season-work. The process proceeds most
regularly and uniformly in the factories and in mining. But
this difference of the various branches of production does
not cause any difference in the general forms of the proc-
ess of rotation.
Capital, as a value creating more value, is not merely con-
ditioned on _lass-rel_ions, on a definite social sys.tom rest-
ing on the exristence of labor in 4he form of wage-labor.. It
i, also a movement, a rotation through various stages, com-
prising three different cycles. Therefore it can be understood
120 Capital.
only as a thing in motion, not as a thing at rest. Those who
look upon the self-development of value as a mere abstraction
forget that the movement of industrial capital is the realiza-