Full text: Accumulation and Technology

It had however considerable consequences for Marx's theory 
and his anticipations with regard to the further 
development of capitalism. His well known expectation that 
the share of wages in the product would inevitably 
and continuously decline depends entirely on the assumption 
of an increasing capital-output ratio. Indeed if the 
capital-output ratio remained constant wages per man 
could increase in step with productivity without 
diminishing the ratio of surplus to capital and therefor 
the growth of capital. Since surplus would be a constant 
share of product which would be in constant proportion 
to capital, it would be possible to increase capital 
by a constant percentage year by year, provided 
a constant proportion of the surplus would he "capitalised". 
It is only when the capital-output ratio rises that 
an increasing share of surplus ( and a decreasing share of 
wages ) is required in order to keep the rate of proft 
and the rate of growth of capital constant. 
Now to the other feature of technical progress: 
Concentration ♦ This was the most successful prediction 
Marx has made. Concentration of control over private 
business capital has increased tremendously since the time 
of Marx and it has continued to increase also recently. 
We are not so optimistic, it is true, about the ultimate 
happy outcome of this concentration process. But 
whatever our hopes, fears or frustrations, on a purely 
analytical plane there are signs which make us doubtful 
whether we are justified in extrapolating the trend of 
concentration into the future.

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