accumulation or expanded

accumulation (or expanded or extended reproduction) of capital

(MARXISM) the process by which capitalism expands by employing labour to create SURPLUS VALUE in order to create new CAPITAL, which in turn is used to create further surplus value and further new capital, leading, in the long run, to a continuous increase in the overall volume of capital.

For Marx, accumulation is the most central imperative and motor of change within a capitalist economy. Unlike Weber, Marx does not see accumulation primarily as a motivational predisposition of capitalists (compare PROTESTANT ETHIC). Rather, it is the essence of capitalism that accumulation must occur, and this is essential for capitalism as a system to survive. Thus any longterm threat to this accumulation is also a threat to capitalism. See also CAPITALISM AND CAPITALIST MODE OF PRODUCTION, CIRCUITS OF CAPITAL, PRIMITIVE ACCUMULATION, CONTRADICTION, CRISES OF CAPITALISM.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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