Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Review of Capital, Vol. 3: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics
Intriguing Connections = 1) Learning Economics: Basic to Advanced,

Elaborate Description

In this volume of Capital, Marx adds rate of profit, credit, competition, and rent to the repertoire of economic understanding. Capital becomes distributed between spheres of production due to competition. Competition acts like a gravitational force on profit, trying to equalize the rate of profit. Competition takes into account demand and supply, but demand and supply are rarely equal. The divergences between demand and supply explain why market price and value are not equal.

The so-called law to the rate of profit to fall is actually a tendency. The ‘law’ has counterforces which increase the rate of profit. Marx himself calls it tendency while citing it as a law. It would be no different to make claim of a rate of profit to rise with counterforces. Rate of profit cycles, depending of the use of capital. Values alter the use of various capital, shifting the rate of profit.

The authors bias creates contradictions and enormous confusion in economics. Many economists who follow Marx are mostly anti-capital, but Marx points out that some profit generated by capitalist goes to investments and other important sources which add social value but some profit is purely circular which does not add value. Rather than surplus value being exploitation, it depends on the surplus value’s exploitation. Another contradiction is that in Capital volume 1, it was profit that equaled surplus value, but in this volume, Marx makes the point that profit and rent equal surplus value.

This book should only be read by those dedicated to reading, original sources, or economics. The reading is not the easiest and very laborious. The author says a lot of words, but only a little bit of meaning. Most of the book is explanations upon explanation of a few ideas for which it is easy to get lost in. The first quarter of the book is close to a recitation of the Capital volume 1.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9780140445701
Pages to read:   1041
Publication:     1991
1st Edition:      1894
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability     3
Content          3
Overall           3