Defining Capital

Capital is both

  1. stored up labor (as labor produces capital goods), and
  2. power to command labor:

The capitalist possesses this power not on account of his personal or human properties but in so far as he is an owner of capital. His power is the purchasing power of his capital, which nothing can withstand.

Consider Capital profit and labor wage as fundamentally different products:

  • profits are in proportion to the amount of capital, but
  • wage is determined by the amount of required subsistence:

Firstly, the profits of capital are regulated altogether by the value of the stock employed, […] Furthermore, in many large factories the whole labour of this kind is committed to some principal clerk, whose wages never bear any regular proportion to the capital of which he oversees the management.

[Laborer] becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance,