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7. The Hidden Time of the Commodity

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Chapter Summary

The process of capitalist circulation distinguishes itself from that of simple circulation by the different order and frequency of their terms. The latter designates the act of selling in order to buy (C-M-C), whereas the former designates the act of buying in order to sell (M-C-M'). This chapter concentrates on purely commercial capital. Simple circulation is perhaps an unreliable witness, but it ends up expressing what it knows. The circulation of commercial capital is characterised by the same 'shortage' as simple circulation. Commercial capital hides the modalities of its growth because it is simply a derived form of capital in its fundamental form. The hidden time of the commodity is nothing other than the difference between the necessary labour time for its production and the necessary time for the reproduction of the labour-power that produced this commodity. Simple circulation leads to capitalist circulation, and commercial capital leads to industrial capital.

Keywords: capitalist circulation; commercial capital; commodity; hidden time; labour time

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