Capitalization

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Capitalization

 

(1) The conversion of surplus value into capital, that is, the utilization of surplus value for the expansion of capitalist production. The capitalized surplus value forms a fund of capital accumulation that, like capital, is divided in two parts: the additional constant capital, used for the acquisition of additional means of production, and the additional variable capital, used for buying additional labor power.

(2) The process of the formation of fictitious capital. In bourgeois society, each regularly recurrent income (such as ground rent or dividends) is capitalized: it is calculated at the average loan interest rate as if it were income from capital in the form of a loan at this interest rate. Each unearned income received by virtue of the ownership of securities is considered as interest from a certain capital, which in reality does not exist (imaginary capital). The securities issued (shares, bonds of corporations or the state) become capital and bear interest. The increase in the rates of the shares (capitalized dividends), particularly in the period of cyclic upsurge, leads to the accumulation of fictitious capital, which qualitatively and quantitatively differs from the accumulation of real capital and which is determined by its own laws. At the same time, the excessive expansion of fictitious capital and the subsequent stock exchange collapse may seriously affect the process of capital accumulation. Since the whole mass of fictional capital represents a capitalized income, the change of its value does not depend on the value movement of the actual (real) capital that it represents. Capitalization means the further development of the fetishist character of capitalist relations of production, that is, a further development of the treatment of money and things as if they had a kind of magic power over men.

REFERENCES

Marx, K. Kapital, vol. 3. K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch, 2nd ed., vol. 25, chs. 1–2, sees. 5–7.
Novye iavleniia v nakopenii kapitala v imperialisticheskikh stranakh. Moscow, 1967.

I. L. GRIGOR’EVA

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