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8 The Secret of Capital’s Self-Valorisation ‘Laid Bare’: How Hegel Helped Marx to Overturn Ricardo’s Theory of Profit

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Chapter Summary

At the core of Marx's Capital lies his revelation of capital's secret, how capital makes money out of money, or, in Marx's more technical language, how value is valorised. In Marx's theory of surplus-value, capital's secret is 'laid bare': money makes money by appropriating, without needing to violate commercial fair play, the unpaid labour of wage-workers. Marx had already put the labour-theory of value on a new conceptual basis by identifying value as a historically specific social form. In 'The Necessity of Money: How Hegel Helped Marx to Surpass Ricardo's Theory of Value', the author argues that Hegel's Logic of Essence enabled Marx to break with Ricardo's theory of value and concludes that value must appear as money. The author argues that Marx leans on Hegel's Logic of Essence again: surplus-value must appear as profit; profit is the transformed form of surplus-value.

Keywords: Hegel; Marx; Ricardo's theory; surplus-value; variable capital



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