From wages we turn to profits, the other category through which the value relations of capitalism make themselves known — or perhaps we should say unknown. For like wages, profits present these relations in a way that masks their nature. We have seen how this happens with the wage-form; how the value of labour-power appears as the value of labour and the knowledge of surplus value disappears behind the illusion that all labour is paid labour. Profit deepens the fog with which wages envelop exploitation. By relating it to total capital advanced, \(\frac{s}{{c + v}}\), the rate of profit makes surplus value appear as much the product of the means of production bought with constant capital as of labour-power bought with variable capital. From here it is a short step to the conclusion that profit is the product of capital as such — a return to capital just as wages are a payment for labour. Orthodox economics, which takes wages and profits as self-evident categories, inevitably adopts this position; as one economist put it, exploitation is a noise rather than a noun.


Social Capital Individual Firm Capitalist Production Cost Price Capitalist Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Geoffrey Kay 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Kay
    • 1
  1. 1.The City UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations