Path of Argument (Capital Volume 1)

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The path of argument traces the argumentation used in Volume I of Marx's capital, using a simplified model of Marx’s dialectical method. It was first drawn out by David Harvey in his book A Companion to Marx's Capital, and provides a useful roadmap for navigating Marx's book.

"The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as 'an immense accumulation of commodities,' its unit being a single commodity. Our investigation must therefore begin with the analysis of a commodity."[1]

Path of argument in Capital Volume I
Use-value Concrete labour Equivalent form


Form of exchange-value

Money form
Exchange-value Abstract labour Relative form

Social relations between things Owners (sellers) Measure of value
Money form

Market exchange

Money commodity

Material relations between things Non-owners (buyers) Medium of circulation

Debtors Value-in-process Capital


Buying and selling of labour power

Class struggle
Creditors Profit Labour