"The profits of stock, it may perhaps be thought are only a different name for the wages of a particular sort of labour, the labour of inspection and direction. They are, however, altogether different, are regulated by quite different principles, and bear no proportion to the quantity, the hardship, or the ingenuity of this supposed labour of inspection and direction. They are regulated altogether by the value of the stock employed, and are greater or smaller in proportion to the extent of this stock." (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 6, "Of the Component Parts of the Price of Commodities" ¶ 06).
"Thus the advance made by human labour in converting the product of nature into the manufactured product of nature increases, not the wages of labour, but in part the number of profitable capital investments, and in part the size of every subsequent capital in comparison with the foregoing." (Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, Profit of Capital ¶2 "The Profit of Capital")
But there is nothing in economic theory that requires that result. Indeed, it seems almost a perversion to create coercive structures of law that reinforce this forces transfer of productive value from all to only one class of stakeholder, the holder of capital in either capitalist or Marxist systems. It seems to be time now to begin to reconsider capital as the foundational basis of our economic systems--not to eliminate it or demean its importance, but to de-center it in analysis of the means and ends of deployment of society's productive forces. But that requires a fundamental rethinking of the premises that produce a treatment of capital as something different and apart, of its essence, from other productive forces that contribute to economic activity. Perhaps the day will come when the promise of American corporate law and Marxist theory will come closer to realization, one in which all productive forces might be treated as equivalents, when capital can be hired and labor invested, when trade creditors can be treated as investors and lenders as fiscal labor. There is a hint of the future in stories like this: Billy Gallagher, Stealth Startup Fantex Wants To Make It Possible For Celebrities To IPO, Techcrunch.com, Aug. 31, 2013 ("A stealth startup called Fantex aims to allow celebrities and professional athletes to file for initial public offerings (IPOs). . . .Fantex describes itself as “the world’s first marketplace that lets consumers invest real money in stocks linked to the value and performance of the brands of the world’s top athletes.”"). To achieve this result would not diminish capital so much as it will liberate labor to maximize its return in the process of production.