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Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics)


Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics) Cover


Table of Contents

Introduction (Notebook M) 1. Production in general

2. General relation between production, distribution, exchange and consumption

3. The method of political economy

4. Means (forces) of production and relations of production, relations of production and relations of circulation

The Chapter on Money (Notebooks I and II, pp. 1-7) Darimon's theory of crises

Gold export and crises

Convertibility and note circulation

Value and price

Transformation of the commodity into exchange value; money

Contradictions in the money relation:

(1) Contradiction between commodity as product and commodity as exchange value

(2) Contradiction between purchase and sale

(3) Contradiction between exchange for the sake of exchange and exchange for the sake of commodities

(4) Contradiction between money as particular commodity and money as general commodity (The Economist and the Morning Star on money)

Attempts to overcome the contradictions by the issue of time-chits

Exchange value as mediation of private interests

Exchange value (money) as social bond

Social relations which create an undeveloped system of exchange

The product becomes a commodity; the commodity becomes exchange value; the exchange value of the commodity becomes money

Money as measure

Money as objectification of general labour time (Incidental remark on gold and silver)

Distinction between particular labor time and general labour time

Distinction between planned distribution of labour time and measurement of exchange values by labour time (Strabo on money among the Albanians)

The precious metals as subjects of the money relation:

(a) Gold and silver in relation to the other metals

(b) Fluctuations in the value-relations between the different metals

(c) and (d) (headings only): Sources of gold and silver; money as coin

Circulation of money and opposite circulation of commodities

General concept of circulation:

(a) Circulation circulates exchange values in the form of prices (Distinction between real money and accounting money)

(b) Money as the medium of exchange (What determines the quantity of money required for circulation) (Comment on (a))

Commodity circulation requires appropriation through alienation

Circulation as an endlessly repeated process

The price as external to and independent of the commodity: Creation of general medium of exchange; exchange as a special business

Double motion of circulation: C-M; M-C, and M-C; C-M

Three contradictory functions of money:

(1) Money as general material of contracts, as measuring unit of exchange values

(2) Money as medium of exchange and realizer of prices

(Money, as representative of price, allows commodities to be exchanged at equivalent prices)

(An example of confusion between the contradictory functions of money)

(Money as particular commodity and money as general commodity)

(3) Money as money: as material representative of wealth (accumulation of money)

(Dissolution of ancient communities through money)

(Money, unlike coin, has a universal character)

(Money in its third function is the negation #negative unity# of its character as medium of circulation and measure)

(Money in its metallic being; accumulation of gold and silver)

(Headings on money, to be elaborated later)

The Chapter on Capital (Notebooks II pp. 8-28, III, IV, V, VI and VII) The Chapter on Money as Capital:

Difficulty in grasping money in its fully developed character as money

Simple exchange: relations between the exchangers (Critique of socialists and harmonizers: Bastiat, Proudhon)

Section One: The Production Process of Capital

Nothing is expressed when capital is characterized merely as a sum of values

Landed property and capital

Capital comes from circulation; its content is exchange value; merchant capital, money capital, and money interest

Circulation presupposes another process; motion between presupposed extremes

Transition from circulation to capitalist production

"Capital is accumulated labour (etc.)"

"Capital is a sum of values used for the production of values"

Circulation, and exchange value deriving from circulation, the presupposition of capital

Exchange value emerging from circulation, a presupposition of ciruclation, preserving and multiplying itself in it by means of labour

Product and capital. Value and capital. Proudhon

Capital and labour. Exchange value and use value for exchange value

Money and its use value (labour) in this relation capital: Self-multiplication of value is its only movement

Capital, as regards substance, objectified labour. Its antithesis, living, productive labour

Productive labour and labour as performance of a service

Productive and unproductive labour. A. Smith etc.

The two different processes in the exchange of capital with labour

Capital and modern landed property

The market

Exchange between capital and labour. Piecework wages

Value of labour power

Share of the wage labourer in general wealth determined only quantitatively

Money is the worker's equivalent; he thus confronts capital as an equal

But the aim of his exchange is satisfaction of his need. Money for him is only medium of circulation

Savings, self-denial as means of the worker's enrichment

Valuelessness and devaluation of the worker a condition of capital

(Labour power as capital!)

Wages not productive

The exchange between capital and labour belongs within simple circulation, does not enrich the worker

Separation of labour and property the precondition of this exchange

Labour as object absolute poverty, labour as subject general possibility of wealth

Labour without particular specificity confronts capital

Labour process absorbed into capital

(Capital and capitalist)

Production process as content of capital

The worker relates to his labour as exchange value, the capitalist as use value

The worker divests himself of labour as the wealth-producing power; capital appropriates it as such

Tranformation of labour into capital

Realization process

(Costs of production)

Mere self-preservation, non-multiplication of value contradicts the essence of capital

Capital enters the cost of production as capital. Interest bearing capital (Parentheses on: original accumulation of capital, historic presuppositions of capital, production in general)

Surplus value. Surplus labour time

Value of labour. How it is determined

Conditions for the self-realization of capital

Capital is productive as creator of surplus labour

But this is only a historical and transitory phenomenon

Theories of surplus value (Ricardo; the Physiocrats; Adam Smith; Ricardo again)

Surplus value and productive force. Relation when these increase

Result: in proportion as necessary labour is already diminished, the realization of capital becomes more difficult

Concerning increases in the value of capital

Labour does not reproduce the value of material and instrument, but rather preserves it by relating to them in the labour process as to their objective conditions

Absolute surplus labour time. Relative

It is not the quantity of living labour, but rather its quality as labour which preserves the labour time already contained in the material

The change of form and substance in the direct production process

It is inherent in the simple production process that the previous stage of production is preserved through the subsequent one

Preservation of the old use value by new labour

The quantity of objectified labour is preserved because contact with living labour preserves its quality as use value for new labour

In the real production process, the separation of labour from its objective moments of existence is suspended. But in this process labour is already incorporated in capital

The capitalist obtains surplus labour free of charge together with the maintenance of the value of material and instrument

Through the appropriation of present labour, capital already possesses a claim to the appropriation of future labour

Confusion of profit and surplus value. Carey's erroneous calculation

The capitalist, who does not pay the worker for the preservation of the old value, then demands remuneration for giving the worker permission to preserve the old capital

Surplus Value and Profit

Difference between consumption of the instrument and of wages. The former consumed in the production process, the latter outside it

Increase of surplus value and decrease in rate of profit

Multiplication of simultaneous working days


Growth of the constant part of capital in relation to the variable part spent on wages=growth of the productivity of labour

Proportion in which capital has to increase in order to employ the same number of workers if productivity rises

Percentage of total capital can express very different relations

Capital (like property in general) rests on the productivity of labour

Increase of surplus labour time. Increase of simultaneous working days. (Population)

(Population can increase in proportion as necessary labour time becomes smaller)

Transition from the process of the production of capital into the process of circulation

Section Two: The Circulation Process of Capital

Devaluation of capital itself owing to increase of productive forces


Capital as unity and contradiction of the production process and the realization process

Capital as limit to production. Overproduction

Demand by the workers themselves

Barriers to capitalist production

OVerproduction; Proudhon

Price of the commodity and labour time

The capitalist does not sell too dear; but still above what the thing costs him

Price can fall below value without damage to capital

Number and unit (measure) important in the multiplication of prices

Specific accumulation of capital. (Transformation of surplus labour into capital)

The determination of value and of prices

The general rate of profit

If the capitalist merely sells at his own cost of production, then it is a transfer to another capitalist. The worker gains almost nothing thereby

Barrier of capitalist production. Relation of surplus labour to necessary labour. Proportion of the surplus consumed by capital to that transformed into capital

Devaluation during crises

Capital coming out of the production process becomes money again

(Parenthesis on capital in general)

Surplus Labour or Surplus Value Becomes Surplus Capital

All the determinants of capitalist production now appear as the result of (wage) labour itself

The realization process of labour at the same time its de-realization process

Formation of surplus capital I

Surplus capital II

Inversion of the law of appropriation

Chief result of the production and realization process

Original accumulation of capital

Once developed historically, capital itself creates the conditions of its existence

(Performance of personal services, as opposed to wage labour)

(Parenthesis on inversion of the law of property, real alien relation of the worker to his product, division of labour, machinery)

Forms which precede capitalist production. (Concerning the process which precedes the formation of the capital relation or of original accumulation)

Exchange of labour for labour rests on the worker's propertylessness

Circulation of capital and circulation of money

Production process and circulation process moments of production. The productivity of the different capitals (branches of industry) determines that of the individual capital

Circulation period. Velocity of circulation substitutes for volume of capital. Mutual dependence of capitals in the velocity of their circulation

The four moments in the turnover of capital

Moment II to be considered here: transformation of the product into money; duration of this operation. Transport costs. Circulation costs. Means of communication and transport

Division of the branches of labour

Concentration of many workers; productive force of this concentration

General as distinct from particular conditions of production

Transport to market (spatial condition of circulation) belongs in the production process

Credit, the temporal moment of circulation

Capital is circulating capital

Influence of circulation on the determination of value; circulation time=time of devaluation

Difference between the capitalist mode of production and all earlier ones (universality, propagandistic nature)

(Capital itself is the contradiction)

Circulation and creation of value

Capital not a source of value-creation

Continuity of production presupposes suspension of circulation time

Theories of Surplus Value

Ramsay's view that capital is its own source of profit

No surplus value according to Ricardo's law

Ricardo's theory of value. Wages and profit



Wakefield. Conditions of capitalist production in colonies

Surplus value and profit. Example (Malthus)

Difference between labour and labour capacity

Carey's theory of the cheapening of capital for the worker

Carey's theory of the decline of the rate of profit

Wakefield on the contradiction between Ricardo's theories of wage labour and of value

Bailey on dormant capital and increase of production without previous increase of capital

Wade's explanation of capital. Capital, collective force. Capital, civilization.

Rossi. What is capital? Is raw material capital? Are wages necessary for it?

Malthus. Theory of value and of wages

Aim of capitalist production value (money), not commodity, use value etc. Chalmers

Difference in return. Interruption of the production process. Total duration of the production process. Unequal periods of production

The concept of the free labourer contains the pauper. Population and overpopulation

Necessary labour. Surplus labour. Surplus population. Surplus capital

Adam Smith: work as sacrifice

Adam Smith: the origin of profit

Surplus labour. Profit. Wages

Immovable capital. Return of capital. Fixed capital. John Stuart Mill

Turnover of capital. Circulation process. Production process. Circulation costs. Circulation time

Capital's change of form and of substance; different forms of capital; circulation capital as general character of capital

Fixed (tied down) capital and circulating capital

Constant and variable capital


Surplus value. Production time. Circulation time. Turnover time

Competition (continued)

Part of capital in production time, part in circulation time

Surplus value and production phase. Number of reproductions of capital = number of turnovers

Change of form and of matter in the circulation of capital. C-M-C. M-C-M

Difference between production time and labour time

Formation of a mercantile estate; credit

Small-scale circulation. The process of exchange between capital and labour capacity generally

Threefold character, or mode, of circulation

Fixed capital and circulating capital

Influence of fixed capital on the total turnover time of capital

Fixed capital. Means of labour. Machine

Transposition of powers of labour into powers of capital both in fixed and in circulatin capital

To what extent fixed capital (machine) creates value

Fixed capital and continuity of the production process. Machinery and living labour.

Contradiction between the foundation of bourgeois production (value as measure) and its development

Significance of the development of fixed capital (for the development of capital generally)

The chief role of capital is to create disposable time; contradictory form of this in capital

Durability of fixed capital

Real saving (economy)=saving of labour time=development of productive force

True conception of the process of social production

Owen's historical conception of industrial (capitalist) production

Capital and value of natural agencies

Scope of fixed capital indicates the level of capitalist production

Is money fixed capital or circulating capital?

Turnover time of capital consisting of fixed capital and circulating capital. Reproduction time of fixed capital

The same commodity sometimes circulating capital, sometimes fixed capital

Every moment which is a presupposition of production is at the same time its result, in that it reproductes its own conditions

The counter-value of circulating capital must be produced within the year. Not so for fixed capital. It engages the production of subsequent years

Maintanence costs of fixed capital

Revenue of fixed capital and circulating capital

Free labour=latent pauperism. Eden

The smaller the value of fixed capital in relation to its product, the more useful

Movable and immovable, fixed and circulating

Connection of circulation and reproduction

Section Three: Capital as Fructiferous. Tranformation of Surplus Value into Profit

Rate of profit. Fall of the rate of profit

Surplus value as profit always expresses a lesser proportion

Wakefield, Carey and Bastiat on the rate of profit

Capital and revenue (profit). Production and distribution. Sismondi

Transformation of surplus value into profit

Laws of this and transformation

Surplus value=relation of surplus labour to necessary labour

Value of fixed capital and its productive power

Machinery and surplus labour. Recapitulation of the doctrine of surplus value generally

Relation between the objective conditions of production. Change in the proportion of the component parts of capital


Money and fixed capital: presupposes a certain amount of wealth. Relation of fixed capital and circulating capital (Economist)

Slavery and wage labour; profit upon alienation (Steuart)

Steuart, Montanari and Gouge on money

The wool industry in England since Elizabeth; silk-manufacture; iron; cotton

Origin of free wage labour. Vagabondage. (Tuckett)

Blake on accumulation and rate of profit; dormant capital

Domestic agriculture at the beginning of the sixteenth century. (Tuckett)

Profit. Interest. Influence of machinery on the wage fund. (Westminster Review)

Money as measure of values and yardstick of prices. Critique of theories of the standard measure of money

Transformation of the medium of circulation into money. Formation of treasures. Means of payment. Prices of commodities and quantity of circulating money. Value of money

Capital, not labour, determines the value of money (Torrens)

The minimum of wages

Cotton machinery and working men in 1826. (Hodgskin)

How the machine creates raw material. (Economist)

Machinery and surplus labour

Capital and profit. Relation of the worker to the conditions of labour in capitalist production. All parts of capital bring a profit

Tendency of the machine to prolong labour

Cotton factories in England. Example for machinery and surplus labour

Examples from Glasgow for the rate of profit

Alienation of the conditions of labour with the development of capital. Inversion

Merivale. Natural dependence of the worker in colonies to be replaced by artificial restrictions

How the machine saves material. Bread. Dureau de la Malle

Development of money and interest

Productive consumpion. Newman. Transformations of capital. Economic cycle

Dr. Price. Innate power of capital

Proudhon. Capital and simple exchange. Surplus

Necessity of the worker's propertylessness


Theory of savings. Storch

MacCulloch. Surplus. Profit

Arnd. Natural interest

Interest and profit. Carey

How merchant takes the place of master

Merchant wealth

Commerce with equivalents impossible. Opdyke

Principal and interest

Double standard

On money

James Mill's false theory of prices

Ricardo on currency

On money

Theory of foreign trade. Two nations may exchange according to the law of profit in such a way that both gain, but one is always defrauded

Money in its third role, as money

(I) Value (This section to be brought forward)

Bastiat and Carey

Bastiat's economic harmonies

Bastiat on wages

Product Details

Nickolaus, Martin
Nicolaus, Martin
Nickolaus, Martin
Nicolaus, Martin
Marx, Karl
Nicolaus, Martin
Penguin Books
Communism & Socialism
Marxian economics
Political Ideologies - Communism & Socialism
Free Enterprise
Politics-Leftist Studies
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
117. Heft
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.88x5.14x2.17 in. 1.64 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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