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Capital (Das Kapital series Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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About the Author

Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, Germany and studied in Bonn and Berlin. Influenced by Hegel, he later reacted against idealist philosophy and began to develop his own theory of historical materialism. He related the state of society to its economic foundations and mode of production, and recommended armed revolution on the part of the proletariat. Together with Engels, who he met in Paris, he wrote the Manifesto of the Communist Party. He lived in England as a refugee until his death in 1888, after participating in an unsuccessful revolution in Germany.

Ernst Mandel was a member of the Belgian TUV from 1954 to 1963 and was chosen for the annual Alfred Marshall Lectures by Cambridge University in 1978. He died in 1995 and the Guardian described him as 'one of the most creative and independent-minded revolutionary Marxist thinkers of the post-war world.'


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1664 KB
  • Print Length: 628 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B000UIR9GA
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2 edition (25 May 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9D2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #254,577 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Karl Marx was born at Trier in 1818 of a German-Jewish family converted to Christianity. As a student in Bonn and Berlin he was influenced by Hegel's dialectic, but he later reacted against idealist philosophy and began to develop his theory of historical materialism. He related the state of society to its economic foundations and mode of production, and recommended armed revolution on the part of the proletariat. In Paris in 1844 Marx met Friedrich Engels, with whom he formed a life-long partnership. Together, they prepared the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) as a statement of the Communist League's policy.

In 1848 Marx returned to Germany and took an active part in the unsuccessful democratic revolution. The following year he arrived in England as a refugee and lived in London until his death in 1883. Helped financially by Engels, Marx and his family nevertheless lived in great poverty. After years of research (mostly carried out in the British Museum), he published in 1867 the first volume of his great work, Capital. From 1864 to 1872 Marx played a leading role in the International Working Men's Association, and his last years saw the development of the first mass workers' parties founded on avowedly Marxist principles.

Besides the two posthumous volumes of Capital compiled by Engels, Karl Marx's other writings include The German Ideology, The Poverty of Philosophy, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, The Civil War in France, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy and Theories of Surplus-value.


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Format: Paperback
The second volume of Karl Marx's Capital is a notoriously difficult text. Compiled by Friedrich Engels after Marx's death, and first published in 1885, the book has a reputation for being a dull and uninspiring economic treatise. Even David Fernbach, in his 'Translator's Preface', admits that it is 'renowned' for 'the arid deserts between its oases' (p.80). Yet he is also quick to point out that Volume II, unlike Volume I, was not prepared for the printer's press by Marx himself. And this is important to remember, because these are only Marx's notes, all of which Engels had the Sisyphean task of collating into an integrated whole. So while we may not be able to enjoy the rhetorical fireworks that made Volume I a 'work of world literature' (ibid), we do have the joy of digesting Marx's thought without its eloquent trimmings, which is an interesting exercise in itself.

Engels states in his 'Preface' that 'Marx's theory of surplus-value burst like a bolt from the blue...in all civilized countries' (p.97). Now this may be a touch exaggerated, given the poor sales of Volume I, but there can be no doubt that its influence steadily grew. But Marx's exposition of the capitalist mode of production would have been severely lopsided if it had only covered the generation of surplus-value in 'the hidden abode of production'. So Marx now takes the products made by the workers in Volume I out into the marketplace, because if a commodity doesn't realise its value then everyone ends up skint. In undertaking such a daunting task, Marx ingeniously establishes the routes the various commodities and capitals take. And while this panorama shows who pays for what and what money goes where, it always returns to the same old question: is it possible to affect equilibrium in a laissez-faire economy?
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Format: Paperback
I have read Volume 1 before coming to this volume, now nearly 2/3 accomplished.

If Volume 1 have successfully converted me to the left, with the most fascinating and groundbreaking content, engrossed by the simplest language and way of expression, that turned my mind and view of the history and now upside down; this volume comparatively lacklustre. Still a good book, but not as fascinating and mind exploding. And you can tell from reading K. Marx's health deteriorated rapidly writing this volume. Wordings and logic chosen became more abstruse and inefficient and I can find the mistakes in writing easily all along. Sometimes I even thought was it the same K Marx who wrote this?

However, you can find out in this volume much more effective in pointing out the structural problem of commodity production and distribution under the capitalism. K Marx stopped pointing blaming finger at the capitalist in exploitation of the labour for surplus value (as it has already been presumed when you are supposed to have finished Volume 1 already), focusing his attention instead, on how the capital production works, and the predicament of capitalists themselves (the credit, the money supply, the wage-profit antithesis, the invisible and evil urge for continuous producing and selling). After all these, you know much better there is no winner under capitalism except capital/money itself.

And I also want to point out that the more you really read the Capital, the more you know it is futile to so-called revolutionize the politics and economy, as you just can't. You have been put in that particular history that you actually can do nothing to steer the ship away from the crush path. You can only watch it crush as a bystander.

I thus suggest you keep your patience to read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
not the literary classic of vol. 1 but a brilliant exposition of money and finance. Where would you find a book written 150 years ago so in tune with contemporary society of today. I suggest reading it with the chapters on money in Vol. 3. I view Vol. 2 very relevant in todays domination of capitalism by finance. It "screams" out(financial sector of capitalism),for a rigorous Marxist analysis.
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Format: Paperback
It should be stressed for the novice to this subject, all three volumes of Capital provide a scientific explanation, as Marx put it, of how the Capitalist system works from the perspective that labor is the underlying essence of all value. If one accepts the basic assumptions made early in Chapter 1 of Capital, Volume 1--that abstract labor is the source of value(1)--Marx's logic flows well, not only through Volume 1, but all the way through Volume 3.

If one is looking to fault Marx's economics based on the works of Capital, one will come up empty not only because Marx's logic is flawless, but as economist and former Marxist Thomas Sowell says, " ...Marx considered the idea of proving a concept to be ridiculous. Moreover, Engels had asserted...that one only proves one's ignorance of dialectics by thinking of it as a means by which things can be proved."(2)

However, there was one instance where Marx let his dialectical guard down, allowing for an empirical objection that would consign all of Marx's works for naught. Sowell himself touches upon the specific passage where Marx cornered himself, but doesn't appreciate the full ramifications of Marx's observation.

In the "The Poverty of Philosophy" (1847) Marx says, "In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The handmill [a productive force] gives you society with the feudal lord, the steam-mill [a productive force], society with the industrial capitalist."(3)

Sowell argues regarding Marx's handmill/steam-mill analogy, "If read literally, these words suggest a one-way causation and explanation of given states of being rather than of transformation.
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