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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still many good points
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...
Published on June 28 2000 by O. B. Makhubela

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should not be abridged.
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...
Published on Jan. 14 2001 by C. E. R. Mendonça


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still many good points, June 28 2000
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This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most influential books ever written., March 15 2004
By 
Roberto P. De Ferraz "ferraz9" (Sao Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should not be abridged., Jan. 14 2001
By 
C. E. R. Mendonça "Carlos Eduardo Rebello de ... (Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The highest point of classical political economy, April 5 2000
By 
jyotirmoy (Delhi, India) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Misunderstood Classic, June 6 2007
By 
William C. Roberts (Montreal, QC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
Many reviewers (including Saulius Muliolis) are incapable of reading Marx's arguments on their own terms, but must read them throgh the beer goggles of neo-classical economics. Marx is certainly engaged in a different project than are economists--in that sense it is right to say he is not doing economics at all. Rather, he is engaged in a "critique of political economy"--as he declares in the subtitle. Marginal utility is not the same concept as use-value. It's not clear that marginal utility is a real concept at all. What is clear is that Marx's Capital provides an indispensible guide to modern life--there is simply no other book that so fully and accurately describes the workings of capitalism. If you have not read Capital, you almost certainly do not grasp the forces that shape our world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the eidetic gollywog, March 8 2001
By 
Carrero Blanco (Over a church somewhere) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
for reconstructing phylogenies or organisms and for modelling trait evolution on phylogenies. Maximum Likelihood (ML) evaluation of candidate phylogenetic trees is widely used owing to its accuracy and use of biologically motivated models of evolution. Novel methods developed in the fields of artifical intelligence and optimisation hold the promise of substantially improving the speed and accuracy of ML searching. The studentship will also explore the use of the candidate optimisation methods in combination with Markov-chain monte carlo (MCMC) approaches for randomly sampling the universe of possible phylogenetic trees. A further goal of this research will be to incorporate analysis of trait evolution (e.g., rates of change, ancestral states) into the MCMC framework. The performace of the new methods will be compared to existing methods. The student should have skills in computer programming and some background or aptitude for learning maximum likelihood statistical methods
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4.0 out of 5 stars Das Kapital, Does Kapture, Feb. 4 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
Albeit, not wholly prophetic Das Kapital holds it's own. With all the high interest rates, M&As, Enron, etc. Capitalism has appeared to be the best method but Marx reveals (though no secret) that Capitalism can easily be infested with greed and exploitation when devoid of ethics and "dehumanitization" for the economic gain of a few carried out by those order to do so for the gain of the former. A great book to not be taken lightly nor to strickly adhered to. A book which may begin to reveal (as in epiphany) a not-too-pretty picture of division within our own borders. I re-read this book during the 9-11 timframe and during the subsequent airline and other semi-demises (including the "big one" - Enron) and sent a chill up my spine. A capitalist culture without compassion and ethics is doom to fall. Read this book (choose your chapter) and see for yourself!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Das Kapital, Does Kapture, Feb. 4 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
Albeit, not wholly prophetic Das Kapital holds it's own. With all the high interest rates, M&As, Enron, etc. Capitalism has appeared to be the best method but Marx reveals (though no secret) that Capitalism can easily be infested with greed and exploitation when devoid of ethics and "dehumanitization" for the economic gain of a few carried out by those order to do so for the gain of the former. A great book to not be taken lightly nor to strickly adhered to. A book which may begin to reveal (as in epiphany) a not-too-pretty picture of division within our own borders. I re-read this book during the 9-11 timframe and during the subsequent airline and other semi-demises (including the "big one" - Enron) and sent a chill up my spine. A capitalist culture without compassion and ethics is doom to fall. Read this book (choose your chapter) and see for yourself!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy This Edition, Sept. 17 2013
By 
Mary Margaret Pringle (Athabasca AB Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Das Kapital (Hardcover)
This is a poorly done facsimile of the first volume only. I had to order the three Penguin Classics volumes to get what I needed to take part in a study group on these works. This was a really stupid choice.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings, Sept. 29 2001
By 
M. Horak "JustAnotherIdiot" (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
This review is limited by Amazon to 1,000 words. For Marx, that's about two sentences. I had been warned that Marx's prose is "difficult," but Holy Smokes I had no idea how difficult prose could get. Perhaps it's just the English translation, but this is one tough read.
Having said that, it is a fascinating book. It is easily one of the most influential books of modern times, and has influenced history to an outstanding degree. Moreover, it provides a critical insight into the thought of Marxist socialism in particular and anti-capitalists generally.
Kapital is as much a political work as an economic one, as it examines the then-current economic system within the then-current politcal context.
As an economic work, I believe it fails early in putting forth a theory of commodity value whereby a commodity is said to be "worth" the amount of labor that went into it. In truth, there is no rational basis for that belief - he mistakes cost with value. But it is an easy mistake to make and is frequently made even today by those who, rightly or wrongly, see workers who they believe are unfairly compensated.
From that flawed premise, he builds a theory of capital accumulation and allocation which, though also flawed, will similarly appeal to many. Finally, he calls for state appropration of capital from capitalists.
As a political work, it discusses labor and enterprise within the context of class struggle, as he sees a labor class struggling under the oppression of a capitalist class. It is this struggle - countless seemingly powerless workers fighting to survive in a society politically dominated by a few wealthy industrialists - which I believe Marx was really trying to solve.
Marx saw a change to state-controlled socialism to be the answer, which is why he wrote Das Kapital. Other observers might have found an answer in religious revival or elsewhere.
Marx is not the first - nor the last - to have many of the ideas put forth in this book. But he has certainly become an icon for those ideas. Through Kapital, he has influenced the course of history and affected the lives of many millions. The book is worth a read. Just don't expect it to be pleasant.
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Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy
Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx (Paperback - July 1 1996)
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