The proliferation of fixed capital represents the tendency of capitalism to effortlessly apply science (and technology) to production. The status of (manual) labor, already the most volatile and exploited facet of the production process, is reduced. Science (and scientific development) is a productive force in and of itself; it is unique because of its dual active character – productive and historical – that drives forward its own progress as well as the economic, social, and industrial spheres it impacts.
Production and the advancement of technology (so long as that technology relates back to the furthering of science) are pursued simultaneously. Marx: “This in no way means that this use value – machinery as such – is capital, or that its existence as machinery is identical with its existence as capital.” Machines retain an independent use value and a social character that may be destined for something more than production, in theory. The triumph of 21st century capitalism is that our personal computing machines of today produce nothing at all yet work without end.