Draft of Capital, Book I. The Process of Production of Capital

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Introductory note from MECW[edit source]

In August 1863, Marx embarked on a new stage in his work on Capital: he proceeded to “make a fair copy of the political economy for the printers (and give it a final polish)” (MECW, Vol. 41, p. 474). However, rather than being a fair copy, the resultant manuscript — produced between the summer of 1863 and the summer of 1864—became a third rought draft of Book One of Capital, based on the plan Marx had made in December 1862 (see MECW, Vol. 33, p. 347). The bulk of the manuscript has not reached us. What has survived are “Chapter Six. Results of the Direct Production Process”, a number of separate pages from other chapters, and several unplaced footnotes. Marx did not date the manuscript. However, the manufacturer’s watermarks and the imprint “1864” on the paper, and also a comparison of the text of this manuscript with that of the first manuscript of Book Two of Capital, completed at the beginning of 1865, give an idea of the time it was written. The separate pages precede Chapter Six. Their pagination and content indicate that they belong to the first five chapters. That they were written earlier is also evident from the watermarks and the imprint “1863” on pp. 24 and 25 as well as on pp. 96-107, which were later incorporated into Chapter Six.

The unplaced footnotes, given at the end of this volume, also throw light on the contents of Book One of Capital. There is no indication of the period when they were written apart from the fact that in one of the notes Marx quotes a source dated 1866 (see MECW Vol. 34, p. 469).