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

By Michael Heinrich

Alex Locascio (trans.)

The worldwide fiscal main issue and recession that all started in 2008 had at the very least one unforeseen end result: a surge in revenues of Karl Marx's Capital. even if mainstream economists and commentators as soon as brushed off Marx's paintings as outdated and mistaken, a few are begrudgingly acknowledging an research that sees capitalism as inherently risky. and naturally, there are these, like Michael Heinrich, who've obvious the worth of Marx all alongside, and are in a special place to give an explanation for the intricacies of Marx's thought.
Heinrich's glossy interpretation of Capital is now to be had to English-speaking readers for the 1st time. It has undergone 9 variations in Germany, is the traditional paintings for Marxist research teams, and is used broadly in German universities. the writer systematically covers all 3 volumes of Capital and explains the entire easy points of Marx's critique of capitalism in a fashion that's transparent and concise. He offers history details at the highbrow and political milieu during which Marx labored, and appears at an important matters past the scope of Capital, comparable to type fight, the connection among capital and the nation, accusations of old determinism, and Marx's realizing of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the financial personality of Marx's paintings, as well as the conventional emphasis at the hard work conception of price, this highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of economic explosions and implosions.

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3. ) but in regard to the qualifications of the required labor power. “Simple labour-power” is “the labour-power possessed in his bodily organism by every ordinary man, on the average, without being developed in any special way” (Capital, 1:135). Exactly what counts as a qualification belonging to the simple average labor force and whether, for example, reading and writing or computer skills are counted among these qualifications varies from country to country and among different cultural epochs but remains firmly established within a particular country at a particular point in time.

In a society based upon commodity exchange, everyone must follow the logic of exchange if he or she wants to survive. It is not merely the result of my “utility maximizing” behavior if I want to sell my own commodities dearly and buy other commodities cheaply. Rather, I have no other choice (unless I am so rich that I can choose to ignore exchange relationships). ” When the majority behaves in the manner indicated, they also reproduce the social relations that commodity exchange is based upon, and therefore the compulsion for every individual to continue to behave accordingly.

In one sense, dialectics is considered to be, according to Engel’s text Anti-Dühring, “the science of the general laws of motion and development of nature, human society and thought” (MECW, 25:131). ”6 Whereas Engels was clear that with such general statements nothing is understood about individual processes,7 this was anything but clear within the framework of worldview Marxism; “dialectics,” understood as the general science of development, was often viewed as a sort of Rosetta Stone with which everything could be explained.

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