Capital remains the fundamental text for understanding how capitalism works. By unraveling the commoditized forms of our interactions with nature and each other, it provides tools to understand capitalism’s astounding innovativeness and productivity, intertwined with growing inequality and misery, alienation, stunting of human potential, and ecological destruction all over the globe.
From the book: “...a potential tendency for capital in searching to maximise its monetary profit to be drawn to invest in areas that produce no value or surplus value at all. Taken to extremes, either of these tendencies [the first being the problem of technology reducing value creation] could be fatal to the reproduction of capital. In combination, and the contemporary evidence is that both trends are discernible, they could be catastrophic” (Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey, Oxford University Press, p.105).
CAPITAL is the indispensable sourcebook on Marx’s method for analyzing the economy, politics and struggles. Many of us have less time to study it because, as Marx predicted, we have to work longer hours— and often more than one job—in order to survive. Fortunately, even a basic familiarity with the key concepts of Volume I offers many tools for understanding capitalism’s dynamics.