Accumulation, according to the Marxian tradition, refers to the process of reproduction of capital. More specifically, it involves the reconversion of surplus-value into capital; that is, the employment of a portion of the revenue as capital (Marx, 1972:365) 20 . In order to accumulate, though, it is necessary to obtain sufficient revenues (surplus-value) to cover the costs of production and then employ the remaining surplus-value for the purchase of additional means of production (labor, raw materials, and machinery). As Marx explained:

To accumulate, it is necessary to convert a portion of the surplus-product into capital. But we cannot, except by a miracle, convert into capital anything but such articles as can be employed in the labor process (i.e., means of production), and such further articles as are suitable for the sustenance of the laborer (i.e., means of sustenance). Consequently, a part of the annual surplus-labor must have been applied to the production of additional means of production and subsistence, over and above the quantity of these things required to replace the capital advanced (1972:366).”

133It follows that accumulation is guaranteed by three related processes. First, it is necessary to provide a means of subsistence to labor; namely, wages sufficient to guarantee the survival and reproduction of labor must be generated through the economic cycle. Second, the costs for the purchase and use of technical elements and raw material necessary for production must be covered. Finally, a profit must be generated and invested in the economic cycle. In the event that one of these processes aoes not take place, accumulation cannot continue to occur.