Capital, the Communist Manifesto and Other Writings

By Karl Marx; Max Eastman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

assumed, and abstraction being made of individual differences which disappear anyhow, seeing that each time we have only the average composition of the whole branch before us. The individual capitalist, whose horizon is limited, rightly believes that his profit does not derive exclusively from the labour employed by him personally or in his branch of industry. This is quite right in so far as his average profit is concerned. But he is wholly ignorant as to how far this profit is adjusted by the total exploitation of labour by the total capital, i. e. by all his capitalist comrades; and he is all the more ignorant of this, seeing that the bourgeois theorists themselves, the professors of political economy, have up to now not revealed it. Economy of labour--not only of the labour necessary to produce a given commodity, but also of the number of labourers employed--and increased utilisation of dead labour (i. e. constant capital), appear as economically justifiable operations. How could therefore live labour be the only source of profit, seeing that the reduction of the quantity of labour necessary for production appears under certain circumstances as the primary source of the increase of profit--at any rate for the individual capitalist?


(Extracted from vol. I, ch. 10, 11, 12.)

SURPLUS-VALUE is produced by the employment of labour power. Capital buys the labour power and pays the wages for it. By means of his work the labourer creates new value which does not belong to him, but to the capitalist. He must work a certain time merely in order to reproduce the equivalent value of his wages. But when this equivalent value has been returned, he does not cease work, but continues to do so for some further hours. The new value which he produces during this extra time, and which exceeds in consequence the amount of his wage, constitutes surplus-value.

Capital thus extorts surplus-value in the first place simply


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Capital, the Communist Manifesto and Other Writings
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 430

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?