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Accumulation of capital, its definition: A century after Lenin and Luxemburg



  • Paul Zarembka



This chapter argues that Marx's definition of “accumulation of capital” is sufficiently ambiguous to lead to troublesome conceptions after his death. It is held that Lenin moved conceptualization in a misleading direction by moving accumulation of capital away from social relations of production. Luxemburg's criticism of Marx's schemes of extended reproduction, on the other hand, is very helpful in moving back towards an emphasis on class relations. To conclude, a definition is offered: accumulation of capital as increase of wage-labor with its associated constant capital. An appendix provides the first English translation of Lenin's marginal notes on Luxemburg's book.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Zarembka, 2000. "Accumulation of capital, its definition: A century after Lenin and Luxemburg," RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, in: Paul Zarembka (ed.),VALUE, CAPITALIST DYNAMICS, AND MONEY, volume 18, chapter 5, pages 183-241, Paul Zarembka.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpe:chaptr:zarembka2000

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    Cited by:

    1. Burkett, Paul, 2004. "Marx's reproduction schemes and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 457-467, August.
    2. Hovardas, Tasos, 2016. "Two paradoxes with one stone: A critical reading of ecological modernization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-7.

    More about this item


    Marx; Lenin; Luxemburg; accumulation; capital;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian


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