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Capital (Das Kapital series Book 3) by [Marx, Karl]
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Capital (Das Kapital series Book 3) 3rd , Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in Das Kapital Series (3 Book Series)

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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.'

Translated by David Fernbach with an introduction by Ernest Mandel

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1857 KB
  • Print Length: 1092 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140445706
  • Publisher: Penguin; 3 edition (27 Aug. 1992)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002XHNN7K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The third volume of Karl Marx's Capital was first published in 1894. Under the editorship of Friedrich Engels, the book was assembled from a vast manuscript varying in quality. As Engels states in his Preface, the draft's 'ever longer and more intricate' (p.92-3) sentences made the work 'more and more difficult and eventually, at times, quite impossible' (p.93) to follow. So Engels decided to let the work sink or swim as it was, leaving himself with the tedious duty of tidying up the syntax and deciphering the digressions. But sometimes even this method was unworkable. And so, worrying about the mass of suggestive yet unfinished ideas in the text, and their possible misinterpretation, Engels dedicatedly filled in the blanks (and even wrote an entire chapter, Chapter 4, 'The Effect of the Turnover on the Rate of Profit'). Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of its midwife, Volume III is a hit-and-miss affair, although it's one frequently redeemed by Marx's breathtaking insights into the capitalist mode of production, insights that easily match any of the famous declarations ringing from the pages of Volume I.

If Volume I dealt with the generation of surplus-value in the factory (supply), and Volume II the distribution and consumption of those goods on the market (demand), then Volume III, in Ernest Mandel's words, seeks to elucidate 'capitalist economy in its totality' (p.10). So cue the inevitable question: can anyone really synthesise such a wild and shapeshifting system? Can Marx? In a word, no. But despite the ramshackle nature of Volume III, Marx goes further than most, and it's this revolutionary spirit that continues to cause controversy in the staid world of political economy, or, to use its modern moniker, economics. But just what was he trying to communicate?
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The reason I wanted to read the text in English was an effort to understand in depth the concepts of the marxist thought. The problem with the Greek translations is that they have been made under the guidance of the Greek communist party. As regards, their political views and limitations, in several cases, do not allow the average reader to comprehent the depth and the uniqueness of the thoughts of Marx, neither their universal applications. Nevertheless, the British Edition was very helpfull in order to complete the translation of the book "A companion to Marx's Capital" by David Harvey, which is full of references concerning the Pentguin Edition of The Capital
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Format: Paperback
A seminal work of Western political economy that through its three volumes sets out a gothic vision of "the whole devilish machinery" of capitalism. Marx puts economists such as Adam Smith - the hero of unreconstructed capitalist apologists - in the shade. There is a real philosophical underpinning in Marx that makes him a worthy successor to and developer of Hegel. But behind the dry economics and formulae there is a magnificent visionary drive combining science and art. Finishing Volume I, this is the only recent occasion where I wanted to read a work right through again. Attempts to rubbish Marx's achievement by equating it with the Soviet system simply show prejudice and ignorance. If anything the Soviet system merely degenerated into state capitalism and came to the same end Marx ultimately predicts for capitalism in its historic form. In a time (2012) of ever-widening social and economic divisions and the collapse of high finance, which survives only by courtesy of state bailouts - a hidden form of the nationalization that conservative apologists claim to reject - Marx's vision shines through again. This precisely reflects the ever-worsening downward spiral of crisis and collapse inherent in the flawed capitalist system and the need to evolve from the economic jungle to a planned economy managed in the interests of all, not just a greedy few countries and a greedy rich elite within them. A work for all time.
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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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