An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital by Michael Heinrich

By Michael Heinrich

Alex Locascio (trans.)

The international financial challenge and recession that all started in 2008 had not less than one unforeseen consequence: a surge in revenues of Karl Marx's Capital. even if mainstream economists and commentators as soon as brushed aside Marx's paintings as outdated and fallacious, a few are begrudgingly acknowledging an research that sees capitalism as inherently risky. and naturally, there are these, like Michael Heinrich, who've visible the worth of Marx all alongside, and are in a special place to provide an explanation for the intricacies of Marx's thought.
Heinrich's glossy interpretation of Capital is now on hand to English-speaking readers for the 1st time. It has passed through 9 variants in Germany, is the normal paintings for Marxist examine teams, and is used extensively in German universities. the writer systematically covers all 3 volumes of Capital and explains all of the easy elements of Marx's critique of capitalism in a fashion that's transparent and concise. He presents history details at the highbrow and political milieu within which Marx labored, and appears at an important concerns past the scope of Capital, resembling type fight, the connection among capital and the nation, accusations of old determinism, and Marx's knowing of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the financial personality of Marx's paintings, as well as the conventional emphasis at the exertions conception of price, this highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of monetary explosions and implosions.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital

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Or does “critique” make a more comprehensive claim? To formulate things more generally: What does “critique” mean within the framework of the critique of political economy? 1 Theory and History Engels had already suggested a “historical” manner of reading Marx’s account. In a review of the early writing, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy of 1859, he wrote that the “logical” depiction of categories presented by Marx (logical here meaning conceptual, theoretical) is “indeed nothing but the historical method, only stripped of the historical form and of interfering contingencies” (MECW, 16:475).

At the end of the third volume of Capital, Marx can therefore establish that people in bourgeois society inhabit “the bewitched, distorted and upside-down world” and that this “religion of everyday life” (Capital, 3:969) is not only the basis of everyday consciousness, but also constitutes the background for the categories of political economy. The question was posed above as to what “critique” means within the context of the critique of political economy. We are now able to provide a tentative answer: critique aims to break down the theoretical field (meaning the self-evident views and spontaneously arising notions) to which the categories of political economy owe their apparent plausibility; the “absurdity” (Verrücktheit) of political economy should be made clear.

We’ll deal with the first step in this subsection and handle steps 2 and 3 in the following two subsections. ” This is the expression of a commodity’s value in another: x commodity A = y commodity B 58 A N I N T R O D U CT I O N TO K A R L M A R X ’ S C A P I TA L Or Marx’s famous example: 20 yards of linen = 1 coat The value of the linen is expressed, and the coat serves as a means of expressing the value of the linen. Both commodities thus play completely different roles in the form of expression of value, and Marx assigns different terms to these roles.

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