In Economics Manuscripts 1857-1858, in addition to the discussion of historical formation and social role of the capital, Marx also pointed out that capital is a live monster that is fruitful and multiplies. This means that while capital plays a great catalytic role in the development of the modern capitalist society, it has an intrinsic contradiction. That is the limitation of its development, which contradicts the orientation of the capital for unlimited expansion of labor and value creation.
With this kind of understanding of the limitation of capital, on the one hand, Marx analyzed the positive role of capital to push the world forward; on the other hand, he observed that the development of capital exceeds its limit and turns into an endless desire to obtain surplus value, which leads to the fundamental political opposition between proletariat and bourgeoisie, and causes a surplus crisis in social production. The measures for these problems must rely on the proletarian revolution, and must use capital to destroy capital.
Before discussing the limitation of capital in Chinese discourses, two things must be clarified. First, gain a scientific understanding of the role of capital in the development of contemporary China. Second, clarify that the capital in Chinese discourses has a fundamentally difference from the initial definition of capital in the classical political economics（including early economics）and the interpretation of live monster by Marx. In classical political economics, capital is interpreted within the domain of things, and humans too are regarded as capital. That leads to a conclusion that labor and capital are equal, ultimately failing to explain the gap between rich and poor in reality. In contemporary western economics, capital is understood within the domain of factors, and the mobility of capital is driven to the maximum extent around the world. That covers the exploiting relationship between humans, and does not transcend the domain of humans and things in the classical era.
Having criticized the concept of capital in classical political economics（including early economic thought）, Marx reinterpreted the understanding of capital. According to him, the form of capital is expressed as money, rather than things; and in essence, it is a relationship, and can only be a relation of production. Taking this as premise, he discussed the theory of the conversion of money into capital, and of the original formation of capital. In conclusion, he pointed out that in capitalist society, the limitation of capital’s development is inseparable from the social relationship featuring the opposition between workers and capitalists. From this, he further argued that the more severe the contradiction between two classes is, the closer the development of capital reaches to the limit that it can bear.
The limitation of capital in Chinese discourses find its core principle in that in the long run of social development, capital will manifest itself as a state of the completion of historical mission, and will perish as it reaches to the limitation of its own development, thereby justifying Marx’s idea of using capital to destroy capital. However, considering the current situation, we must recognize the positive role of capital to advance social development while not ignoring the unity of people and means of production. We shall not analyze the role of capital from the theory of Marx on the opposition between workers and capitalists. The bottom line for the limitation of capital in Chinese discourses shall be that within the analytical framework of the basic economic system and the basic political system, the profit-seeking nature of capital must not deviate from the essence of socialism.