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Have you read Das Kapital?

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Have you read Das Kapital?

Yes
19
32%
No
31
53%
Other
9
15%
 
Total votes : 59
Post 06 Feb 2013, 00:17
What throws people off is that Kapital really starts at the absolute basis of human interactions with objects. Marx was a philosopher as much as anything else
Post 07 Feb 2013, 20:07
I'm re-reading it in a study group at the moment.

Mind = blown.

This is the best book ever.
Post 07 Feb 2013, 21:06
I'm approaching the end of vol 3. Ground rent is booooooring! I think these three books are essential if you want to consider yourself a Marxist. How can you call yourself such if you haven't read Marx's magnum opus? It completely changes the way you analyse things and makes you a scientific socialist without even realising it! I've realised I'm going to have to re-read some bits though, especially the controversial stuff (e.g. falling rate of profit and the transformation problem).

I'm still thinking about delving into volume IV after this though that could be incredibly heavy going. Also going to give Grundrisse a go.
Post 19 Feb 2013, 22:25
runequester wrote:
What throws people off is that Kapital really starts at the absolute basis of human interactions with objects. Marx was a philosopher as much as anything else

I usually picture what I'm reading in my mind with images.
The image of linen and coats will never leave my mind.
Post 20 Feb 2013, 05:30
ONE COAT EQUALS TWENTY CUBITS OF LINEN
Post 20 Feb 2013, 17:00
Ha, I read that as lenin.
Post 20 Feb 2013, 18:07
Well vol III is done and I've managed to get hold of Theories of Surplus-Value (part 1 of it at least) aka Capital vol IV in book form. I must say it is much easier so far than vol III.
Post 22 Feb 2013, 16:48
Other - I've just started reading it, and I will read every single page of all volumes. This will take ages, but who cares ...^^
Post 22 Feb 2013, 19:26
Quote:
Other - I've just started reading it, and I will read every single page of all volumes. This will take ages, but who cares ...^^


Exactly. This is the kind of political and economic training we need to do in order to become fully developed Marxists. After vol IV and Grundrisse I'm going to go through the same process with Hegel and Feuerbach so as to get a better understanding of Marx's method. Then I'm going to reread vols I - III again.
Post 10 Mar 2013, 21:37
I have not read it yet but I am certainly going to read it after two years. That is when I will get some free time. Right now I have lot of course books to study.
Post 22 Mar 2013, 16:15
I think that Jenny Marx's assessment of Das Kapital is appropo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SUlybnCfsQ 49:00-52:56 I've tried to read Das Kapital, but found it difficult to understand the formulas Marx gave, due in part to my dyscalculia. He did not call his system of thought "scientific socialism" for nothing.
Post 03 Apr 2013, 13:46
No - Although I would have voted other if it wasn't for the fact that I am having trouble finding a copy that is free of charge, a decent translation, and not abridged. I really want to read Kapital to understand him and the ideology better.
Post 10 Apr 2013, 14:38
I read Capital when I was researching for my dissertation. That was many years ago. The version I used, however, was different. My wife had given me the Modern Library version, which was edited my Max Eastman, whom I later discovered had a connection with Leon Trotsky. More to the point, Eastman wanted to give it a more logical flow, so he used Stepen Trask's translation, which was in Jacob Burkhardt, The People's Marx. Are you with me so far? Thus the chapters are re-arranged and whether this does present the material better I do not know. This was the book I had.

While I can say that it did help change my attitude toward economics and life in general, I would need to refresh my memory on many of his arguments. I remember not being totally satisfied with all arguments. I am more familiar with some of his other works such as The German Ideology and the Civil War in France.

I find Marx's style, at least in the translations to be similar to other German scholar writers of the 19th century. I have read some stuff from Ranke and Seeck and it has a similar flow and word usage. Again, I repeat, I am talking about the translations I am using.
Post 10 Apr 2013, 18:03
Markius Fox wrote:
No - Although I would have voted other if it wasn't for the fact that I am having trouble finding a copy that is free of charge, a decent translation, and not abridged. I really want to read Kapital to understand him and the ideology better.


http://www.marxists.org

Also, shoplifting.

Quote:
I find Marx's style, at least in the translations to be similar to other German scholar writers of the 19th century. I have read some stuff from Ranke and Seeck and it has a similar flow and word usage.


Do translations from modern German seem similar too, or is that a 19th century phenomenon? How about, say, turn-of-the-century literature like late Engels or Max Weber?
Post 10 Apr 2013, 18:41
I finished vol III and am now on vol IV (Theories of Surplus-Value). This is interesting because it's basically Marx going to town on all sorts of classic economists (and pre-classical) and pointing out where they went right and where they went wrong. The most useful part is that he expands and explains some of the key concepts he talks about in vol II and III.
Post 10 Apr 2013, 18:44
Do translations from modern German seem similar too, or is that a 19th century phenomenon? How about, say, turn-of-the-century literature like late Engels or Max Weber?[/quote]

Rambing, run-on, reflecting sentence structure can give me a headache. Latin writers do the same (I am looking at you Ammianus Marcellinus!) I guess these high brow Germans all studied Latin and have incorporated that mode of communication. Or I am wrong, quite possibly. So to answer your question it seems to be a 19th century phenomenon. I have not read either Weber. I read Engels book on the Peasant Revolt, but that was long ago and I do not remember it much. I have read translations of Hans Delbruck and sometimes he can copt this style too. If I remember in one of his excurses he attacks Weber.

By the way, I do enjoy these writings; they are chock full of useful information that I have to mentally chew like a cud. MOOOOOO for me Marx! So please do not take offense. I am not anti-German or anything. As I said, Roman prose writers are worse.

Lulabell III thanks you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmfUQu3TwiI
Post 12 May 2013, 21:48
I've read about 200 pages of volume I. It was boring, tedious, and filled with terms from Hegel. Modern analytic philosophers have attempted to parse Marx's Capital to clarify it so that its assertions might be tested against facts. They have concluded that it is not possible to do this as the book is mostly obscure nonsense. Here is the wiki entry on that attempt by those philosophers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_Marxism

I remain like Switzerland in my neutrality on the issue. Capital is a tedious read but that doesn't mean it's false in its assertions, or that it isn't basically correct. I definitely applaud your tenacity and commitment if you have read all 4 volumes! Hard core Marxists should read all of it, in german preferably.
Post 13 May 2013, 15:02
Quote:
the book is mostly obscure nonsense




No. Care to back up your assertions?
Post 13 May 2013, 20:48
I still haven't been able to slog through it. It just sits there, getting all dusty, and glowering balefully at me, as if to say, "What kind of Socialist are you? Pick me up and read me, damn it!"

Honestly, I've read a thousand and one digests and exegeses, but as for the three (four?) volumes themselves, the barrier of TL/DR is just too treacherous for me to cross.
Post 13 May 2013, 21:50
Quote:
I've read about 200 pages of volume I. It was boring, tedious, and filled with terms from Hegel. Modern analytic philosophers have attempted to parse Marx's Capital to clarify it so that its assertions might be tested against facts. They have concluded that it is not possible to do this as the book is mostly obscure nonsense. Here is the wiki entry on that attempt by those philosophers:


I don't see why you're finding it so difficult. Volume I is by far the most straightforward and is essentially following on from the classical economists in the form of Smith and Ricardo (although improved upon). Value theories were really nothing new here; but Marx based his on the concept of exploitation in the form of surplus-value (although Smith had already drawn similar conclusions).

Quote:
I remain like Switzerland in my neutrality on the issue. Capital is a tedious read but that doesn't mean it's false in its assertions, or that it isn't basically correct. I definitely applaud your tenacity and commitment if you have read all 4 volumes! Hard core Marxists should read all of it, in german preferably.


Well, I'm about a third of the way into book 2 of Volume IV
I'm giving it a break for a bit due to other commitments. It also is a bit tedious in that it often consists of Marx simply disproving his immediate predecessors in the field, many of whom I've never read and never will read.
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