A long-standing puzzle in the history of Marxian economic thought concerns Marx’s decision to omit the draft chapter titled “Results of the Immediate Process of Production” from the published version of volume 1 of Capital. A number of authors have explored this puzzle without satisfactorily resolving it. This article addresses the question by linking Marx’s omission to a larger set of revisions made to arguments he developed in earlier drafts of Capital. It identifies two distinct theoretical accounts of the phenomenon of surplus value in these drafts, based respectively on Marx’s historical analysis of developments in capitalist social relations and his treatment of the connection between commodity prices and values, and argues that Marx may have been driven to diminish and obscure his historical account in light of increasingly evident inconsistencies with his value-theoretic account. The argument concludes with a discussion of possible consequences of Marx’s decision for his theoretical legacy in the development of economic thought.

You do not currently have access to this content.