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to turn these statements of mine to any controversial advan-
tage, he should remember that he cannot use them against
Marx, but only .against me.
The Circulation ot Capital
The Metamorphoses of Capital and Their Cycles
The circulation process_ of capital takes place in three
stages, which, according to the presentation of the matter
in Volume I, form the following series:
First s_age: The capitalist appears as a buyer on the
commodity and labor market; his money is transformed
into commodities, or it goes through the circulation pro-
cess M-C.
Second stage: Productive consumption of the purchased
commodities by the capitalist. He acts in the capacity of
a capitalist producer of commodities; his capital passes
through the process of production. The result is a com-
modity of more value than that of the elements compos-
ing it.
Third stage: The capitalist returns to the market as a
seller; his commodities are exchanged for money, or they
pass through _he circulation process C-M.
*From Manuscript II.
32 Capital.
Hence the formula for the circulation process of money
capital is: M-C ...P ...C'-M', the dots incliea¢.ing the points
where the process of circulation was interrupted, and C' and
M' designating C and M increased by surplus value.
The first and third stages were discussed in Volume I only
in so far as it was required for an understanding of the sec-
ond stage, the process of production of capital. For this
reason, the various forms which capital assumes in its dif-
ferent stages, and which it either retains or discards in the
repetition of the circulation process, were not considered.
These forms are now the first objects of our study.
In order to conceive of .these forms in their purest state,
we must first of all abstract from all factors which have
nothing to do directly with the discarding or adopting of
any of these forms. It is therefore taken for granted at
this point that the commodities are sold at their value and
that this takes place under .the same conditions through-
out. Abstraction is likewise made of any changes of value
which might occur during the process of circulation.
I. First Stage. M-C."
M-C represents the exchange of a sum of money for
sum of commodities; the purchaser exchanges his money
for commodities, the sellers exchange their commodities for
money. It is not so much the .form of this act of exchange
which renders it simultaneously a part of the general circu-
lation of commodities and a definite organic section in the
independent circulation of some individual capital, as its
substance, that is to say the specific use-values of the com-
modities which are exchanged for money. These commodi-
ties represent on the one hand means of production, on.the
other labor-power, and _hese objective and personal factors
in the production of commodities must naturally correspond
in their peculiarities to the special kind of articles to be
manufactured. If we call labor-power L, and the means
of production Pm, the sum of commodities to be purchased is
C=L+Pm, or more briefly C {_m. M-C, considered as to its
substance, is therefore represented by M-C}_m, that is to
say M-C is composed of M-L and M-Pro. The sum of
2Beginning of Manuscript VII, started July 2, 1878.
The Circulatiol_ of Money-Capital. 33
money M is separated into two parts, one of which buys
labor-power, the _ther mean_ of production. These two
series of purchases belong to entirely different markets, the
one to the commodity-market proper, the other to the labor-
Aside from this qualitative division of the sum of com-
modities into which M is transformed, the formula M-C t_
also represents a very characteristic quantitative relation.
We know that t.he value, or price, of labor-power is paid
to its owner, who offers it for sale as a commodity, in the
form of wages, that is to say it is the price of a sum of labor
eontain4ng surplus-value. Iaor instance, if the daily value of
labor-power is equal to the product of five hours' labor val-
ued at three shillings, this sum figures in the contract be-
tween the buyer and seller of labor power as the price, or
wages, for say, ten hours of labor time. If such a contract
is made, for instance, with 50 laborers, they are supposed
to work 500 hours p_r day for their purchaser, and one-
half of this time, or 250 hours equal to 25 days of labor
of 10 .h_)urs each, represent nothing but surplus-value. The
quantity .and the volume of the commodities to be pur-
chased must be sufficient for the u_iliza¢ion of this labor-
M-CI_,,, then, does not merely express the qualitative
relation represented by the exchange of a certain sum of
money, say 422 pounds sterling, for a corresponding sum
of means of production anal labor-power, but also a quanti-
tative relation between certain parts of that same money
spent for t.he labor-power L and the means of production Pro.
This relation is determined at the outset by the quantity
of surplus-labor to be expended by a certain number of la-
If, for instance, a certain manufacturer pays a weekly
wage of 50 pounds sterling to 50 laborers, he must spend
372 pounds sterling for means of production, if this is the
value of the means of production which a weekly labor
of 3,000 hours, 1,500 of which are surplus-labor, transforms
into factory products.
It is immaterial for the point under discussion, how much
additional value in the form of means of production is re-
84 Capitol.
quired in the various lines of industry by the utilization
of surplus-labor. We merely emphasize the fact that the
amount of money M spent for means of production in the
exchange M-Pro must buy a proportional quantity of them.
The quantity of means of production must suffice for the
absorption of the amount of labor which is to transform
them into products. If the means of production were in-
sufficient, _he surplus-labor available for the purchaser
would not be utilized, and he could not dispose of it. On
the other hand, if there were more means of production
than available labor, they would not be saturated with labor
and would not be transformed into products.
As soon as the process M-CI_m has been completed, the
purchaser has more than simply the means of production
and labor-power required for the manufacture of some use-
ful article. He has also at his disposal a greater supply of
labor-power, or _ greater quantity of labor, _h_n is neces-
sary for the reproduction of the value of this labor-power,
and he has at the same time the means of production re-
quired for the materialization of this quantity of labor. In
other words, he has at his disposal the elements required
for the production of articles of a greater value than these
elements, he has a mass of commodities containing sur-
plus-value. The value advanced by him in the form of
money has then .assumed a natural form in which it can
be incarnated as a value generating more value. In brief,
value exists then in the form of procluctive capital which
has the faculty of ere_ting value and surplus-value. Let us
call capital in this form P.
Now the value of P is equal to that of Lq-Pm, it is equal
to M exchanged for L and Pro. M is the same capital-value
as P, only it has a different form of existence, it is capital
value in the form of money--money-capital.
M-CI_m, or the more general formula M-C, a sum of
purchases of commodities, a process within the general cir-
culation of commodities, is therefore at the same time,
seein_ that it is a stage in the independent circulation of
capital, a process of transforming capi,tal-value from its
money form into its productive form. It is the transforma-
tion of money-capital into productive capital. In the diagram
The Circulatio, of MoJwy-Capital.