A Companion to Marx's Capital

David Harvey - 2008
    For nearly forty years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, becoming one of the world’s most foremost Marx scholars.Based on his recent lectures, this current volume aims to bring this depth of learning to a broader audience, guiding first-time readers through a fascinating and deeply rewarding text. A Companion to Marx’s Capital offers fresh, original and sometimes critical interpretations of a book that changed the course of history and, as Harvey intimates, may do so again.David Harvey’s video lecture course can be found here: davidharvey.org/reading-capital/

Marx's Capital

Ben Fine - 2004
    ... thoroughly recommended.' David Harvey

Reading Capital Politically

Harry Cleaver - 1979
    Structuralist, post-structuralist, deconstructed Marxes bloomed in journals and seminar rooms across the US and Europe. These Marxes and their interpreters struggled to interpret the world, and sometimes to interpret Marx himself, losing sight at times of his dictum that the challenge is not to interpret the world but to change it. In 1979, Harry Cleaver tossed an incendiary device called Reading Capital Politically into those seminar rooms. Through a close reading of the first chapter, he shows that Das Kapital was written for the workers, not for academics, and that we need to expand our idea of workers to include housewives, students, the unemployed, and other non-waged workers. Reading Capital Politically provides a theoretical and historical bridge between struggles in Europe in the 60s and 70s and, particularly, the Autonomia of Italy to the Zapatistas of the 90s. His introduction provides a brilliant and succinct overview of working class struggles in the century since Capital was published. Cleaver adds a new preface to the AK Press/Anti-Thesis edition.

Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance

David McNally - 2010
    In developing an account of the crisis as rooted in fundamental features of capitalism, this study challenges the view that capitalism's source lies in financial deregulation, and highlights the emergence of new patterns of world inequality and new centers of accumulation, particularly in East Asia, and the profound economic instabilities these have produced. This original account of the “financialization” of the world economy during this period explores the intricate connections between international financial markets and new forms of debt and dispossession. Analyzing the massive intervention of the world’s central banks to stave off another Great Depression, this study shows that while averting a complete meltdown, this intervention also laid the basis for recurring crises for poor and working class people: job loss, increased poverty and inequality, and cuts in social programs. Taking a global view of these processes, exposing the damage inflicted on countries in the Global South, as well as the intensification of racism and attacks on migrant workers, this book also traces new patterns of social and political resistance—from housing activism and education struggles, to mass strikes and protests in Martinique, Guadeloupe, France, and Puerto Rico—as indicators of the potential for building anticapitalist opposition to the damage that neoliberal capitalism is inflicting on the lives of millions.

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

Michael Heinrich - 2004
    Although mainstream economists and commentators once dismissed Marx's work as outmoded and flawed, some are begrudgingly acknowledging an analysis that sees capitalism as inherently unstable. And of course, there are those, like Michael Heinrich, who have seen the value of Marx all along, and are in a unique position to explain the intricacies of Marx's thought. Heinrich's modern interpretation of Capital is now available to English-speaking readers for the first time. It has gone through nine editions in Germany, is the standard work for Marxist study groups, and is used widely in German universities. The author systematically covers all three volumes of Capital and explains all the basic aspects of Marx's critique of capitalism in a way that is clear and concise. He provides background information on the intellectual and political milieu in which Marx worked, and looks at crucial issues beyond the scope of Capital, such as class struggle, the relationship between capital and the state, accusations of historical determinism, and Marx's understanding of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the monetary character of Marx's work, in addition to the traditional emphasis on the labor theory of value, this highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of financial explosions and implosions.


George Reisman - 2015
    As they see matters, wealth in the form of means of production and wealth in the form of consumers’ goods are essentially indistinguishable. For all practical purposes, they have no awareness of the existence of capital and of its importance. Thus, capitalists are generally depicted as fat men, whose girth allegedly signifies an excessive consumption of food and of wealth in general, while their alleged victims, the wage earners, are typically depicted as substantially underweight, allegedly signifying their inability to consume, thanks to the allegedly starvation wages paid by the capitalists.The truth is that in a capitalist economic system, the wealth of the capitalists is not only overwhelmingly in the form of means of production, such as factory buildings, machinery, farms, mines, stores, warehouses, and means of transportation and communication, but all of this wealth is employed in producing for the market, where its benefit is made available to everyone in the economic system who is able to afford to buy its products.Consider. Whoever can afford to buy an automobile benefits from the existence of the automobile factory and its equipment where that car was made. He also benefits from the existence of all the other automobile factories, whose existence and competition served to reduce the price he had to pay for his automobile. He benefits from the existence of the steel mill that provided the steel for his car, and from the iron mine that provided the iron ore needed for the production of that steel, and, of course, from the existence of all the other steel mills and iron mines whose existence and competition served to hold down the prices of the steel and iron ore that contributed to the production of his car.And, thanks to the great magnitude of wealth employed as capital, the demand for labor, of which capital is the foundation, is great enough and thus wages are high enough that virtually everyone is able to afford to a substantial degree most of the products of the economic system. For the capital of the capitalists is the foundation both of the supply of products that everyone buys and of the demand for the labor that all wage earners sell. More capital—a greater amount of wealth in the possession of the capitalists—means a both a larger and better supply of products for wage earners to buy and a greater demand for the labor that wage earners sell. Everyone, wage earners and capitalists alike, benefits from the wealth of the capitalists, because, as I say, that wealth is the foundation of the supply of the products that everyone buys and of the demand for the labor that all wage earners sell. More capital in the hands of the capitalists always means a more abundant, better quality of goods and services offered for sale and a larger demand for labor. The further effect is lower prices and higher wages, and thus a higher standard of living for wage earners.Furthermore, the combination of the profit motive and competition operates continually to improve the products offered in the market and the efficiency with which they are produced, thus steadily further improving the standard of living of everyone.In the alleged conflict between the so-called 99 percent and the so-called 1 percent, the program of the 99 percent is to seize as far as possible the wealth of the 1 percent and consume it. To the extent that it is enacted, the effect of this program can only be to impoverish everyone, and the 99 percent to a far greater extent than the 1 percent. To the extent that the 1 percent loses its mansions, luxury cars, and champagne and caviar, 99 times as many people lose their houses, run-of-the mill cars, and steak and hamburger.

Late Capitalism

Ernest Mandel - 1973
    It represents, in fact, the only systematic attempt so far ever made to combine the general theory of the “laws of motion” of the capitalist mode of production developed by Marx, with the concrete history of capitalism in the twentieth century.Mandel’s book starts with a challenging discussion of the appropriate methods for studying the capitalist economies. He seeks to show why the classical approaches of Luxemburg, Bukharin, Bauer and Grossman failed to accomplish the further development of Marxist theory whose urgency became evident after Marx’s death. He then sketches the structure of the world market and the variant types of surplus-profit that have characterized its successive stages. On these foundations, Late Capitalism proceeds to advance an extremely bold schema of the “long waves” of expansion and contraction in the history of capitalism, from the Napoleonic Wars to the present. Mandel criticizes and refines Kondratieff’s famous use of the notion.Mandel’s book surveys in turn the main economic characteristics of late capitalism as it has emerged in the contemporary period. The last expansionary long wave, it argues, started with the victory of fascism on the European continent and the advent of the war economies in the US and UK during the 1940s, and produced the record world boom of 1947-72. Mandel discusses the reasons why the dynamic upswing of growth in this period was bound to reach its limits at the turn of the 1970s, and why a long wave of economic stagnation and intensified class struggle has set in today.Late Capitalism is a landmark in Marxist economic literature. Specifically designed to explain the international recession of the 1970s, it is a central guide to understanding the nature of the world economic crisis today.

Economic Philosophy

Joan Robinson - 1962
    It limps along with one foot in untested hypotheses and the other in untestable slogans. Here our task is to sort out as best we may this mixture of ideology and science.- With these provocative words, Joan Robinson introduces this lively and iconoclastic book. -In what follows, - she says, -this theme is illustrated by reference to one or two of the leading ideas of the economists from Adam Smith onwards, not in a learned manner, tracing the development of thought, nor historically, to show how ideas arose out of the problems of each age, but rather an attempt to puzzle out the mysterious way that metaphysical propositions, without any logical content, can yet be a powerful influence on thought and action.- Robinson is responsible for some of the most austerely professional contributions to economic theory, but here in effect she takes the reader behind the scenes and cheerfully exposes the dogmatic content of economic orthodoxy. In its place, she offers the possibility that with obsolete metaphysics cleared out of the way economics can make a substantial advance toward science. .

Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory

Moishe Postone - 1993
    He calls into question many of the presuppositions of traditional Marxist analyses and offers new interpretations of Marx's central arguments. These interpretations lead him to a very different analysis of the nature and problems of capitalism and provide the basis for a critique of "actually existing socialism." According to this new interpretation, Marx identifies the central core of the capitalist system with an impersonal form of social domination generated by labor itself and not simply with market mechanisms and private property. Proletarian labor and the industrial production process are characterized as expressions of domination rather than as means of human emancipation. This reformulation relates the form of economic growth and the structure of social labor in modern society to the alienation and domination at the heart of capitalism. It provides the foundation for a critical social theory that is more adequate to late twentieth-century capitalism.

Foundations of Economic Prosperity

Daniel W. Drezner - 2013
    Professor Drezner takes you behind the headlines and into the debates to dispel common myths about prosperity and get at deeper truths. By taking a broad view of economics that includes psychology, sociology, political science, and history, his lectures lead you to fundamental insights about how the modern world works and a deeper understanding of the functioning of the U.S., European, Chinese, and other major economies, as well as an appreciation for the special problems faced by underdeveloped nations. You'll examine dozens of case histories that illustrate what works and doesn't work in the drive to increase economic growth. You'll also learn about intriguing examples of prosperity won or lost, including the Dutch tulip mania in 1637, the era of globalization that started in the 1850s and lasting through World War I, and Ukraine's economic missteps after the breakup of the Soviet Union. As a start on your own road to greater prosperity, take this step to invest in an unparalleled explanation of the prerequisites to achieve it.

The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

Daniel Bell - 1976
    With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a new world order, this provocative manifesto is more relevant than ever.

Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order

Paul A. Baran - 1966
    This landmark text by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy is a classic of twentieth-century radical thought, a hugely influential book that continues to shape our understanding of modern capitalism.

Representing Capital: A Reading of Volume One

Fredric Jameson - 2011
    The textual landscape that emerges is the setting for paradoxes and contradictions that struggle toward resolution, giving rise to new antinomies and a new forward movement. These immense segments overlap each other to combine and develop on new levels in the same way that capital itself does, stumbling against obstacles that it overcomes by progressive expansions, which are inthemselves so many leaps into the unknown. Marx's fundamental concepts are not presented philosophically, or in social-scientific terms, but rather as a series of figures produced by the development of the text. Jameson grasps Marx's work as a representational problem and an experiment in constructing the figure or model of the inexpressible phenomenon that is capital.

Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence

G.A. Cohen - 1978
    Cohen's masterful application of advanced philosophical techniques in an uncompromising defense of historical materialism commanded widespread admiration. In the ensuing twenty years, the book has served as a flagship of a powerful intellectual movement--analytical Marxism. In this expanded edition, Cohen offers his own account of the history, and the further promise, of analytical Marxism. He also expresses reservations about traditional historical materialism, in the light of which he reconstructs the theory, and he studies the implications for historical materialism of the demise of the Soviet Union.

Reading Capital

Louis Althusser - 1968
    Presided over by the magnetic and intellectually coruscating figure of Althusser, the structuralist Marxists attempted no less than an intellectual revolution against dominant interpretations of Marx. Seeking to cleanse Marx of all Hegelian impurities and recast his thought on a rigorously scientific basis, in this work Althusser and one of his most brilliant students and colleagues, Etienne Balibar, subjected Marx’s method in Capital, his critique of classical political economy, and the fundamental terms of historical materialism, to searching textual analysis and challenging conceptual reconstruction. Inaugurating a new way of reading Marx that was to prove both intensely stimulating and capable of generating fierce controversy, Reading Capital is a work that cannot be bypassed by anyone interested in Marxism, and in theory more generally, in this century.