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Have you read Das Kapital?

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Have you read Das Kapital?

Total votes : 59
Post 07 Jun 2011, 23:45
And if so, to what extent? Have you browsed through part of it or have you studiously analysed all 3 (or should that be 4?) volumes?

I'm currently settling down with volume I making extensive notes as I go. It's going to be very long and arduous at this rate (I have volumes II and III waiting) but I think it will be useful.

Which brings me onto a second question:

For those who have read it, how useful did you find it?
Post 07 Jun 2011, 23:48
No,only fragments.
I find it pretty hard to read and even harder to comprehend.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 00:32
No I've never read Kapital. Perhaps I will some day, I just never have time to sit down and read it and don't have a good attention span.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 00:51
Voted yes. I've read Part I in its entirety. I got pretty far into Part II, and I've read excerpts of Part III. I mean I'm basically pretty sure I know more or less what the books say.

I never found it particularly hard to read, to be honest. Then again I was about 17 at the time and probably just skimmed over the difficult parts without noticing my failure to really understand stuff. But I remember how the beginning of Part II, in which Marx explains the dialectics of exploitation and class society - not the dialectics within exploitation or class society, but the way in which the class society itself and the phenomenon of explitation are in a dialectical relationship - was absolutely mindblowingly awesome.

I definitely have to reread it.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 01:00
Did you read it in the original German? That might have made it easier for you.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 01:29
Yeah, but it didn't seem much easier to me than the English translation.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 01:42
I've never managed to slog through Das Kapital or the Grundrisse. I've read bits and pieces of both, but mostly concentrated on Wage Labor & Capital/Value, Price, & Profit, a handy two-fer of two much shorter pieces that manages to explain most of Marx's economic theory in a much more easily digestible format. So I'd recommend getting that volume before slogging through the big bulky behemoths.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 02:33
The difference is like calculus vs. real mathematics. The dialectics of the topic isn't presented in detail at all in these works.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 09:17
Hmm..No, I only read the comic version (Das Kapital for Beginners).
Post 08 Jun 2011, 11:10
Finished part I once, but it was so hard I'll probably have to reread it a couple of times before I fully understand.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 12:05
Volumes I, II and III with notes scribbled all over.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 15:19
First few chapters of volume one, before I collapsed in despair at not being able to comprehend anything that I was reading. However I think the copy I had was a particularly awkward translation.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 18:22
lol I don't mean to sound arrogant or anything at all, but how is this hard? I'm sincerely puzzled by that. I mean it gets terribly tedious in the middle, but how is hard to understand?

Especially since most of you guys already know what a commodity is and how capitalist production works ...

Does anybody want to discuss some of these harder parts? I'm starting to wonder if there's anything in them that I've overlooked so far.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 20:05
An older, contemporaneous translation would likely be full of antiquated philosophical and economical terms, as well as plenty of very proper Victorian English, which was a particularly slow moving, fully descriptive sort of prose. So I can see how someone of this century may have problems with its pacing and over-stuffed paragraphing.

Bottom line: read lots of smaller, easier works that are full of concise definitions and easy to grasp language before you try to tackle the big bulky primary volumes. I'm not ashamed to say that's how I finally managed to get a grasp on it all.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 20:10
Mabool wrote:
Especially since most of you guys already know what a commodity is and how capitalist production works ...

That's what confused me the most. I sort of knew what Marx was talking about, but the actual words on the page (well, not page, since I was using a shitty online version) made no sense at all. It's just way too antiquated for me to deal with.

Though I haven't even looked at a copy for years, so maybe I should have another go. Otherwise it's generally accepted that english people suck at english. I'm not surprised you found it easier to read.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 21:23
Maybe I should write a simplified version now that I have infinite free time.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 21:41
Or translate that GDR version that you mentioned a long time ago. Apparently it was more digestable?
Post 08 Jun 2011, 21:43
Yeah but that had 900 pages (since it also deals with socialism).
Post 08 Jun 2011, 21:56
The thing to do would be to translate it into short-attention-span, 21st century internet speak, without losing the definitive quality of the original. It's definitely a task for someone younger than I am.
Post 08 Jun 2011, 22:04
Mabool wrote:
Yeah but that had 900 pages (since it also deals with socialism).

I still want it, it sounded good. How about some of the juicy bits?
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