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Chapter Summary

Capital appears as a completed and open totality, animated from within by a 'soul'. It is an autonomous organisation of temporalities and rhythms, founded on generalised alienation. The wealth of capitalist societies promises to be an 'immense accumulation of commodities'. The value of the commodity is not 'labour' measured in time, but a specific organisation of time obeying its own immanent logic. Moreover, it is on this point that Marx's approach radically differs from all quantifying formalisms. Marx looks in economic reality for its logic, and the latter is not reduced to the limited language of quantity, whether that of yesterday or today. The contradiction of simple circulation or commercial capital is of a different nature. The development of science and technology makes the contradiction between 'disposable time' and 'surplus labour time' more and more acute, and sets an ultimate limit to the capitalist mode of production.

Keywords: capitalist production; commercial capital; Marx's approach; social disposable time; surplus labour time



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