Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Egypt/Tunisia Meeting & Next Volume I group

1) Volume I Group: 'Labour & Valorization - Constant Capital and Variable Capital'

Last week's Volume I reading session introduced by Ruth Lorimer on 'The Transformation of Money into Capital' is available at:

Next week we have Tony Phillips intoducing a discussion on 'Labour & Valorization - Constant Capital and Variable Capital' - All welcome!

Wednesday 23rd February
Room S3.32
Strand Building
King's College London

N.B. We will be reading Vol.I chapters 7-9 for this session.

"The labour-process, resolved as above into its simple elementary factors, is human action with a view to the production of use-values, appropriation of natural substances to human requirements; it is the necessary condition for effecting exchange of matter between man and Nature; it is the everlasting Nature-imposed condition of human existence, and therefore is independent of every social phase of that existence, or rather, is common to every such phase."

"The labour-process, turned into the process by which the capitalist consumes labour-power, exhibits two characteristic phenomena. First, the labourer works under the control of the capitalist to whom his labour belongs...Secondly, the product is the property of the capitalist and not that of the labourer, its immediate producer."

"It must be borne in mind, that we are now dealing with the production of commodities, and that, up to this point, we have only considered one aspect of the process. Just as commodities are, at the same time, use-values and values, so the process of producing them must be a labour-process, and at the same time, a process of creating value."

"That part of capital then, which is represented by the means of production, by the raw material, auxiliary material and the instruments of labour does not, in the process of production, undergo any quantitative alteration of value. I therefore call it the constant part of capital, or, more shortly, constant capital."

"On the other hand, that part of capital, represented by labour-power, does, in the process of production, undergo an alteration of value. It both reproduces the equivalent of its own value, and also produces an excess, a surplus-value, which may itself vary, may be more or less according to circumstances. This part of capital is continually being transformed from a constant into a variable magnitude. I therefore call it the variable part of capital, or, shortly, variable capital."

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2) Volume II Group:

Our previous session discussing Vol.II chapter 17: 'The Circulation of Surplus-Value' will be available on the blog soon.

The Volume II group is moving on to read Part III on 'The Reproduction and Circulation of the Aggregate Social Capital'. We will not be holding fortnightly meetings for the time being, but hope to return with a special event later in the year.

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3) Upcoming events:

- Egypt, Tunisia and Revolution in the 21st Century

International Socialism seminar - hosted by the quarterly journal of socialist theory

Revolution in the 21st century is a reality. In less than two months, two dictators have been overthrown. In both revolutions, the entrance of the working class onto the stage of history proved decisive. The myths that the Arab world is incapable of democracy and that regime change can be achieved only through foreign intervention lie in tatters.

with Gilbert Achcar
(Professor SOAS, author of The Arabs and the Holocaust and The Clash of Barbarisms)
and Anne Alexander
(Research fellow Cambridge, author of Nasser: His Life and Times and contributor to Egypt: the Moment of Change)

Tuesday 22 February, 6.30pm
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church,
235 Shaftesbury Avenue,
London, WC2H 8EP
Near Tottenham Court Road Tube (
Free entry - All welcome

- Birkbeck Reading Capital Meeting:

Friday February the 18th at 6:30 pm
Nicole Pepperell (author of a forthcoming book on Marx's Capital and of the blog and researcher at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology).

Her paper will discuss, among other things, Marx’s “standpoint of critique” – that is, whether and how Marx is able to engage immanently with the object of critique. It will touch lightly on the narrative structure of the first four chapters of Volume I of Capital and give us the latest on Nicole's research for her forthcoming book.

There will be some wine served up. Could you let know know if you would like to attend?

- Eric Hobsbawm on his latest book:

How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism.

7pm, Friday 25th February 2011.
Bishopsgate Institute, Liverpool Street.
Send your details to to confirm your place.

- Taking Control Conference:

SOAS, University of London 12th March 2011
Keynote: Professor Jodi Dean
Other speakers include: Professor Peter Hallward, Dr Alberto Toscano,
Dr Paul Blackledge
For more information see

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KCL Reading Capital

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