Equivalent values of money are exchanged for equivalent values of means of productions, since both are the result of human-labor.1On the other hand, in capitalist economies, one finds a 1 Means of production, broadly defined as the conditions of production, may not always bear value. The air breathed by workers of a factory, for example, is found naturally in the world and not produced by human labor. It is also not exchangeable, as a result, and therefore not bought with money.
Gao 7peculiar phenomenon: employees of factories and firms treat their capacity to perform labor, or their labor-power, into commodities which they sell to the capitalist for definite amounts of time. The seller of one’s own labor-power sells it voluntarily, and only for a definite amount of time since he/she is not giving ownership of himself/herself to the capitalist for a life-time. Though the temporary use of the worker’s labor-power, after having exchanged it with money, is managed by the capitalist, its ownership still rests with the worker. Also, here too, equivalent values of money are exchanged for equivalent values of labor-power, since both are the result of human-labor. Labor-power is tied with the subsistence and reproduction of the existence of its bearer himself/herself. The value of labor power, then is determined by the amount of labor socially necessary to produce the means of subsistence that keeps alive and well the laborer and his/her labor-power.2After obtaining the necessary conditions—the means of production and labor-power of workers—the capitalist may allow production to occur, out of which emerges new products. In the final stage of the capitalist process, these products, as commodities owned not by the workersbut by the capitalist, are exchanged on the market for money, hence completing one cycle of capitalist production. Hence, the form of capital, in capitalist economy, would seem to be: Money-(Means of Production + Labor Power)--Commodity-Money, or M-(MP+LP)--C-M.3However, if we see the value transferred in every step of the process, then there is missing an incentive to engage in this process; no profit is made! As Marx describes it:Now it is evident that the circulatory process M-C-M would be absurd and empty if the intentions were, by using this roundabout route, to exchange two equal sums of money […] The 2 Since work would take energy out of the worker, the amount of the means of subsistence should be appropriate for the workers when they are realizing their labor-power on the job.3 “-” here signifies exchange, whereas “--” is production and not exchange.
Gao 8miser’s plan would be far simpler and surer: he holds on to his [money] instead of exposing it to the dangers of circulation. (Marx, 248)Instead, the capitalist’s motivations are actually to draw more money from the market than he/she originally put in; it is to result with more value than that which one started off with.