[Ebook] ↠ Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production Author Karl Marx – Rvtrek.info

Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production I remember seeing a review on here for this book from a guy who said he bought two copies of this book, one for himself and one for his girlfriend and that he didn t have a girlfriend any I m bringing this up because actually my boyfriend got me this book, as one of my birthday gifts none the less, and I have to say for the first three hundred pages it felt like I could really empathize with the other man s girlfriend This was really really annoying to read I m going to be honest I person I remember seeing a review on here for this book from a guy who said he bought two copies of this book, one for himself and one for his girlfriend and that he didn t have a girlfriend any I m bringing this up because actually my boyfriend got me this book, as one of my birthday gifts none the less, and I have to say for the first three hundred pages it felt like I could really empathize with the other man s girlfriend This was really really annoying to read I m going to be honest I personally feel like a lot of my own politics align with the left and I think a lot of the ideas Marx brings up are important and good, especially surplus value But like there s probably a reason people hate reading theory I think that if I have been reading this in the 1860s I would ve liked it a lotbecause all of the things being discussed would be contemporaneous but now I know all this stuff about industrial UK in the late 1800s and I don t know what I would do with that information I think the foreword was really useful and good once again though, and it did suggest not necessarily reading everything in order It also gave some context that made things easier to understand I do think some of the chapters were better than others and are muchuseful for the context of understanding capitalism today I also get why it was organized and structured the way it was originally to build up to the ideas Marx thought were important and wanted to juxtapose with the ideas of the economists of the day.I think I could ve gottenout of this if I knewabout economics honestly, like the whole thing about monetary theory probably went straight over my head Honestly just glad I made it through it and I would just once again like to say that I still think reading source material is overrated and boring, I think we can usually get the best main ideas from older writing in better contemporary formats I had long avoided reading Das Kapital because I thought it would be too mathematically advanced for me Taking courses with the Marxist philosopher and mathematician, David Schweickart, induced me to make the effort since his assignments and my own readings of Marx had already become pretty extensive and the avoidance of his most important text seemed silly So, on my own now, I began carrying the tome about in my backpack, reading most of it at Jim s Deli across Sheridan Road from the Lake Sho I had long avoided reading Das Kapital because I thought it would be too mathematically advanced for me Taking courses with the Marxist philosopher and mathematician, David Schweickart, induced me to make the effort since his assignments and my own readings of Marx had already become pretty extensive and the avoidance of his most important text seemed silly So, on my own now, I began carrying the tome about in my backpack, reading most of it at Jim s Deli across Sheridan Road from the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University Chicago.To my great surprise, the first volume of Capital was actually a rather quick and easy read, none of the formulations requiringthan the most elementary understanding of arithmetic I learned later that Marx himself only got as far as the calculus later in life Additionally, it made sense as an explanation of economic behavior, adding a dimension, that of class, not much appearing in Adam Smith, the only other classical economist I d studied seriously previously Indeed, the section on Primitive Accumulation was, for me, emotionally powerful stuff.Getting over Capital and finding it not only illuminating but fun helped me overcome my fear of economics I went on to read quite a bitin the field and began purchasing and reading the International Publishers fifty volume set of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels as they became available ultimately finishing about half of it before becoming bogged down in his notes of the mid 1860s Do you know how many pages this is 1152 And worth every leaf on the tree A must read for anyone willing or wanting to wax grand about capitalism Picture it My first semester in graduate school Day two My professor goes over the syllabus, week one Das Kapital Marx chps 1 15, 22, 27 etc I cry for three days lamenting the decision to pursue higher education Then I read that shit and my little world changes. Marx was a man badly in need of an editor For all of the financial, amiable, and intellectual support provided by Engels, one wishes that Engels had only he had beenruthless is cutting the fat from his partner s work This would have been easy enough at the time, but by now Marx s writing has acquired a sacred aura The main meat of this bloated tome is all in the first few hundred pages Marx actually lays out his ideas in a very pleasing and pithy manner I wish the rest of the book wa Marx was a man badly in need of an editor For all of the financial, amiable, and intellectual support provided by Engels, one wishes that Engels had only he had beenruthless is cutting the fat from his partner s work This would have been easy enough at the time, but by now Marx s writing has acquired a sacred aura The main meat of this bloated tome is all in the first few hundred pages Marx actually lays out his ideas in a very pleasing and pithy manner I wish the rest of the book was like this By chapter 3, Marx has descended fully into prolix pedantry By the middle of the book, the reader is lost in a sea of irrelevant information Part of this is due to a general lack of integration of Marx s interests Marx s intellect was broad He could write skillfully about philosophy, economics, history, and current events He could write in an ultra precise, actuarial style, or in beautiful literary prose In short, Marx was a rare genius But unlike other rare geniuses who possessed these sweeping talents, Marx seems incapable of making these interests fit under one roof He dons different hats for different chapters, creating abrupt shifts in tone and substance One moment, you are reading sublime, abstract philosophy another moment, the tabloids In some ways, this book is similar to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason Like Kant, Marx is trying to overcome all of human knowledge in one grand sweep Also like Kant, Marx is trying to integrate previously separate and antagonistic traditions Most notably, Marx tries to wed German idealistic philosophy with English political economy But the marriage is strange and unhappy An underlying tension that runs through Capital is between a metaphysical rationalist way of viewing the world, and a materialist empiricist one Of course, Marx is now famous for being a materialist and he did everything in his power to create this impression But one finds traces of his German penchant for metaphysics in his love of theory, which involves examining problems at the highest possible level of abstraction Another continental quality is Marx s use of dialectical reasoning throughout the work The result is that some chapters are just as far from observable fact as anything Hegel could have written But then there s the English side All at once, Marx will set off on his charts and figures and statistics He will include quote after quote from reports, newspapers, speeches, and addresses He will examine specific historical and geographic cases in great detail And when this happens, gone is the abstraction and ideation and dialectic So the text is disorganized But what of the ideas I had high hopes for this book Marx is treated like a religious figure in many circles, and this book is held to be his greatest I was expecting some serious and profound reflections on capitalism But Capital didn t pay This, in my opinion, is almost entirely due to his reliance on the labour theory of value For those who don t know, Marx did not originate this idea one can find the basic form as far back as John Locke s Second Treatise of Government Let me explain Roughly, the idea is that all the value in an economy is ultimately derived from labour This is why cars are worththan toy cars, and those fancy drinks at Starbucks are worththan a cup of coffee At first glance, this seems to hold But theI thought about it, the less it made sense For one, the amount of labour involved in making a cup of coffee at Starbucks is standard Yet, getting a cup in Manhattan is about twenty centsexpensive than getting a cup in Queens Moreover, the price of a cup of coffee varies over time, yet the steps involved in making a cup of coffee have been standard for years So clearly there must beto it than labor Marx responds that he is not interested in superficial fluctuations in price The value he is interested in is the natural price to which fluctuations return So to speak, the signal behind the noise Again, this seems to satisfy But let s think about it a littleTake diamonds Diamonds are now egregiously expensive But the reason for this is not that producing a cut diamond requires an enormous amount of labour It is because a single company controls the supply of diamonds, tightening it to make them artificially rare And at the same time, advertising for diamond rings has substantially increased the demand The price of diamonds has been high for years So where is the signal to the noise The truth is, the labour theory of value is untenable as a theory A commodity s price is determined by A effective demand i.e people who want it that have the resources to get it and B how rare it is This is economics 101, but Marxists would disagree Take this quote from Ernest Mandel s introduction, where he defends the labour theory of value with orthodox vigor Even when thousands of people are dying of hunger, and the intensity of need for bread is certainly a thousand times greater than the intensity of need for aeroplanes, the first commodity will remain immensely cheaper than the second, because much less socially necessary labour has been spent on its production.It is true People are starving every day, yet the price of food shows no sign of approaching the price of jet planes But when people are starving, this is not demand in the economic sense it is not effective demand If they had the resources to get food, then they wouldn t be starving So this defense is fallacious I can sit in my room and profoundly hope for a supermodel to walk in the door But this is not demand on the economic sense Let s take abanal example Say you have a horrendous, intolerable headache You wander into the nearest drug store You are in the touristy part of town, and everything is seriously overpriced You look at the price tag of headache medicine and hesitate But another second and your mind is made up your head hurts so much, you ll pay any price Here s another example Let s say I came into possession of the handwritten manuscript of Marx s Capital I sell it at auction for three million dollars Is that manuscript worth so much because there is three million dollar s worth of labour congealed in it Or because A there s only one, and B people really want it Supply and demand I know I m belaboring this point But I m doing so because the entirety of Marx s analysis rests on this faulty premise Once you reject this theory of value, the entire edifice collapses and you re left with nothing Therefore, I feel confident in saying that I learned nothing about capitalism from this book I would even go so far as to say that accepting this theory of value blinds you to actual problems with capitalism Here s a real contradiction Competition between owners will lead them to competitively cut their worker s pay, in order to maximize profits But if every owner, system wide, is cutting pay, then you have a problem a lack of effective demand And if nobody is buying anything, business will stagnate This demand problem can be temporary circumvented by giving people credit, but then you eventually get yourself into a debt trap, which is what just happened to our economy This is simple enough But even this thought would have been impossible had I accepted the labour theory of value There is another serious flaw in Marx s thinking True to his reputation, this book is about the exploitation of one class by another And it should be said, this class dynamic is integral to capitalism But concentrating exclusively on inter class struggles blinds Marx to the equally important intra class struggles In fact, capitalism is driven by competition between equals Workers compete with workers, bosses with bosses, owners with owners Instead of the homogenized blocks of people that Marx imagines, the economy is heterogenous, filled with individuals who are all employing different strategies So this makes Marx s analysis simplistic So I think there are systematic and serious problems with Marx s thinking He almost completely misses the ball Yet whenever there s an economic crisis in the future, the Marxists will all come out brandishing their copies of Capital and screaming that Marx predicted it By the way, isn t there some sort of statute of limitations on predictions At some point, we have to admit that Marx was wrong Yes, yes, and every time there s a food shortage, we ll have to go screaming back to Malthus I m being very hard on the guy But that s only because I fear some people still take him at his word Please, for the love of Marx, don t get your economic information solely from him and his followers You will get an extraordinarily warped picture of things But there is something charming about Marx s writing Maybe it s his dorkiness Reading through these pages often felt like hearing about the latest conspiracy theory about the Pixar movies It is set forth in such an urgent tone, and such an elaborate argument is built up, that one cannot but help be dazzled I also like Marx s prose It s hard to put your finger on just what s so good about it At first glance it looks ordinary enough But there s always an unexpected turn, a satisfying cadence, or a captivating idea lurking around the corner The man could write I also believe it is valuable to work yourself through an intellectual system such as this If he is mistaken, Marx is at least wonderfully consistent, and builds an impressive theoretical apparatus You can spend hours wandering its recesses, and applying it to new materials It s satisfying intellectual play This book is also a fascinating historical document During its bloated middle section, Marx includes some mind blowing information about the working class in England Conditions were truly horrible, which makes you understand why the man was convinced that capitalism was evil In regards to communism hardly touched upon in this book , I have some frustrations with Marxists I have yet to hear, in any substantial detail, how their perfect utopian system would work All I am told is that it will be utopia But the coup de gr ce is that they use this imagined society, empty of suffering and full of brotherly love, to make our current society look bad But this makes no sense This is to compare an actual state of things with a phantasm of the imagination Even if it is worked out in glorious detail in your mind, it still remains a thought And no communist would point to its failed and horrifying manifestations in history as an example This leaves them groundless I have gone on for far too long I am also a man badly in need of an editor I m both very glad I read this book, and very disappointed with it I am glad because Marx is a charming writer and an original thinker, and because his analysis was so influential But I am disappointed that is is so bankrupt of ideas, and seems to be just as scientific to use a favorite word of his as L Ron Hubbard s Dianetics Capital, at least the first volume anyway, is not the most significant elucidation of a politico economic critique of the past millennia It is not because many governments have been supported by pillars of so called Marxism, or because by some miracle this book has been actually adopted by the working class, or because it s the longest and clearest that anyone would make such a claim, because, in all those aspects, Capital cannot by objective measure be posited to be as such Capital is not a b Capital, at least the first volume anyway, is not the most significant elucidation of a politico economic critique of the past millennia It is not because many governments have been supported by pillars of so called Marxism, or because by some miracle this book has been actually adopted by the working class, or because it s the longest and clearest that anyone would make such a claim, because, in all those aspects, Capital cannot by objective measure be posited to be as such Capital is not a book that appeals to insurgents, or better yet, doesn t appeal to anyone who plans on accelerating history in the here and now In most nations Capital isn t a working class bible, unfortunately And although it is, as indicated by my own high rating, a phenomenal book, it isn t what the alienated would be pulled towards in search of a higher purpose, or even solace But despite all of what I ve said, it remains standing as one of the greatest works of all theoreticians That is because it defies the previous establishment of work that hitherto existed, but it doesn t violently reject things altogether with the ill conceived propagandizing that so many supposedly innovative works rely upon, it engages with premises of political philosophy that precede it while deftly addressing notions taken for granted and left unexamined And because of that splendidly vigorous dedication to not simply adhering to a preconceived moral framework that determines economic evaluation, rather revealing form, then function, then consequences, and only then do we reach any discussion of ethics Capital is cold and clear as ice but that is why it is so substantial, it is first and foremost borne out of unbounded critical capability, not the worship of an idol or a State, but reverence to the value of theoretical commentary I have to say, this joint is bangin I find it useful when I m in the club P.S Check out the total or expanded form of value It s defective READ THE SHIT OUT OF THIS FKN DOORSTOP LONG LIVE SOCIALISM. Capital, One Of Marx S Major And Most Influential Works, Was The Product Of Thirty Years Close Study Of The Capitalist Mode Of Production In England, The Most Advanced Industrial Society Of His Day This New Translation Of Volume One, The Only Volume To Be Completed And Edited By Marx Himself, Avoids Some Of The Mistakes That Have Marred Earlier Versions And Seeks To Do Justice To The Literary Qualities Of The Work The Introduction Is By Ernest Mandel, Author Of Late Capitalism, One Of The Only Comprehensive Attempts To Develop The Theoretical Legacy Of Capital Vampires, monsters, fetishes Stick with Marx through the saga of the coat and the M C M and the rewards are so rich When he guides you from the realm of exchange into the realm of production, I dare you not to feel like you are involved in cracking an incredible mystery Because you are. First you get the primitive accumulation then you get the Linen, Then you get the Coats, Then you get the Capital, Then you Get the Labour, Then you get The Surplus Value, then you get the mechanization, then you getSurplus Value Tony Montana


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