A Critical Study of Das Kapital

Commodity's Exchange and Profit's Source

by Huang ji

Abstract and Table of contents


In this study, it is found that the essential motive of exchanging of commodities is not to get the things needed, but to save labor.

Anyone can get the thing that he needs by producing it himself, only when the exchanging can save his labor or cut his cost, he chooses exchanging with other people.

For the things too complicated to be produced oneself, we can think the labor time needed for him to produce them is infinity, so exchanging also saves labor.

Therefore, Karl Marx' basic idea of "exchanging with the same value of labor" is no longer true, and in the other hand, "selling dear" (the price higher than the value of labor needed in the production of the commodities) is totally acceptable. The capitalist can get profit by selling dear.

Although the price is higher than the value of labor needed in production, but because specialized large scale production greatly reduces the value of labor needed, the buyers of the commodities can still save great amount of labor (please see below).

the value of labor needed in large scale production (L1)
is smaller than price (P)
and the P is lower than the value of labor needed in possible small amount production by consumer (L2)

i.e., L1 < P < L2

the producer can get profit amounting P minus L1 (P - L1)
the buyer can save labor amounting L2 minus P (L2 - P)

Obviously, this kind of profit is not the result of exploiting the workers.

Marx' theory of surplus value says that all of the profit (100 percent) of the capitalists comes from exploitation. This studies show this theory is wrong.

Above conclusion is supported by other studies in the book, such as machines can labor and produce value in the place of human being, taking the risks in the production is also a sort of human labor -- mental labor, the value produced of an enterprise is in direct proportion with its productivity, and so on.

The study does not deny the existence of exploitation, it does prove that there are non-exploitation ways for capitalists to get their profit.

The first edition of the book A Critical Study of Das Kapital, has been available in internet, in simplified Chinese (GB coded) and in traditional Chinese (Big 5 coded), in the web address: www.nows.com/z since January 2000.

And the second edition of the book was published in Taibei in traditional Chinese characters in June 2003.

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A Critical Study of Das Kapital by Huang ji

Table of contents

Chapter 1

The essential motive of commodity exchanging is saving labor, not geting the things the exchangers do not have before the exchanging

Chapter 2

It is impossible to determine the proportion of exchanging with only one factor: the labor time needed in productions

Chapter 3

The subjective factors, such as the evaluation to the different kinds of labor and the degrees of imminency to the commodities, finally determines the proportion of exchanging

Chapter 4

There is not contravention in the general formula of capital

Chapter 5

Commodities can be steady sold dear in long-term. "Consumers' reward" is one of the non-exploitation sources of the profit of capital

Chapter 6

The surplus time of labor of workers may be negative

Chapter 7

Materialized labors can labor in the place of human being, they can produce value too

Chapter 8

The total amount of the value produced by an enterprise is in direct proportion with its productivity

Chapter 9

There might be non-productive labor. Bearing of risks is also a kind of labor which is necessary in commodity production. The third kind of human labor -- mental labor

Chapter 10:

Capital itself is productive. It produces value too.

Chapter 11:

Keeping an equilibrium between the Left and the Right

The author's e-mail: jhuang@comm.ecnu.edu.cn
Address: School of Communication, East China Normal University
No.3663 Zhong Shan Bei Road, Putuo District, Shanghai, China (200062)

A Critical Study of Das Kapital
by Huang ji

2000-12-15, 2006-11-14