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Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy Paperback – Jul 1 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway Editions; Reprint edition (July 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089526711X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895267115
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as "an immense accumulation of commodities," its unit being a single commodity. . . . Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By O. B. Makhubela on June 28 2000
Format: Paperback
As a student in Economics, I always engage in comparative analysis of Economics. Marxian Economics is generally presented as an early critique of classial economy, and a "difficult" one too. As to difficulty, it is not that unconscionably incomprehensible! There are many apsects of Marxian Economics that make a lot of sense (to me). True, Marx is most likely to be appealing to workers and below subsistence income earners, just as much as classical and neoclasscial economics is most likely to appeal to capital owners and free "marketeers". Not to forget Keynes who will garner support from those who prefer reasonable state intervention! So every school of thought has its own target and appeal. In this book, you will find basic concepts of labour theory of value (what determines the value of a commodity); monetary theory (the evolution of money); the Theory of Surplus Value (what is profit and how does it come about - to Marx, profit represents that portion of icome/value "improperly" appropriated by capital owners instead of accruing to workers. Since workers are the sole producers of goods from scratch to end, they should benefit from all income, or at least from most of it, as per Marxian argument); and lastly, the mechanism of production. Trust me, if you read Marxism with an open mind (and not with a bias attitude of it being revolutionary, inefficient, dictatorial and a threat), you will realize it has a very interesting, unique and relatively realistic method of explaning inequality and exploitation generally! Relative poverty does not exist exclusively in poor or so called "third-world" countries, even in UK, for example, there are relatively poor people (who for example cannot afford private schooling), despite its strong economy. As much as Communism/Socilaism is history, the ideas are still alive and very much interesting! Read it to enhance your understanding of this renowned work by Karl Marx!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. E. R. Mendonça on Jan. 14 2001
Format: Paperback
I began reading "Capital" in 1982, and having begun from scratch to read Book One, with the famous Hegelian section on the nature of the commodity as the standard form of social wealth in capitalism - a section skipped by most Anglo-Saxon abridgers, who tend to treat Marx as only a "post-Ricardian", in Samuelson's (in)famous dictum - I should say that I fear any kind of abridgment done to this work.In my view, all abridgments tend to create a more palatable view of the work abridged, therefore skipping the most intersting and controversial passages. Better to read an abridgment than forswearing reading it altogether, but I would strongly recommend anyone interested in Marx to do as I've done and tackle the Penguin complete ed., not forgetting to begin with the huge and superb introductory essay by Ernest Mandel. It won't hurt you, as it will allow one to form his/her personal view. It may be somekind of snobbery from my part, given that I read such a difficult work in a translation not to my mother-language and aided by a lenghty commentary, but after so many years, I still think it paid.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roberto P. De Ferraz on March 15 2004
Format: Paperback
The Capital, written in three volumes by Karl Marx himself and, after his death, by his friend Friedrich Engels, and totalling some 3.000 pages, is the work of a man who surpassed all established standards of his time in what regards the multifaceted knowledge he acquired in many fields and, more important, trough the influence it had over millions of peoples troughout the world, whatever their position in the social spectrum. Of the monumental book and of its author it could be said that not a single human being in the years to come, wherever he/she lived, would escape (for better or for worse) unscathed from what is written in the book.
For it inaugurated a new era in the relationship between men of all social conditions in the whole world and in years to come. It is the book where all the reasons for the downfall of capitalism in the end of the XIX century are pinpointed with a precise and polemical style, trademarks of the German author, and where, for the very first time in the story of History, historical movements are treated coherently as the necessary (deterministic) events of the social movements of humankind since the beginning of civilization, something called historical or dialectical determinism by the author, who borrowed and inverted many concepts from the German philosopher Hegel.
Notwhitdstanding the importance of the book to West and East culture, this is not an easy book to read, given the intricacy of the subjects treated and also its lenght. For me the most attractive feature of the book is the disdain Marx had for anyone who did not agree with him, unabashedly fighting against Political Economists and Historians of all ideological collors. Despite all the rabid polemic, what remains after almost 150 years of the publication of the first volume of Das Kapital is the collapse of the communist world and the strenght of Capitalism, who learned the lessons of survival better than its ideological counterpart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jyotirmoy on April 5 2000
Format: Paperback
Marx's Kapital brings to climax the research programme of classical political economy by its throughgoing analysis of the contradictions inherent in capitalism. Marx's magnum opus shows capitalism to be a historically transitory system which arose from feudalism and which was to necessarily to give way to socialism. Marx set "understanding the laws of motion of capitalism" to be his task and he succeeded much better than many modern theorists.
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