Studying society for the working class: Marx’s first preface to “Capital”

Derek Ford

Liberation School | July 25, 2022

“Karl Marx, painted portrait,” by thierry ehrmann. Source: Wikimedia.

Introduction

In the preface to the first edition of volume one of Capital, dated July 25, 1867, Marx introduces the book’s “ultimate aim”: “to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society” [1]. Looking back 155 years later, it’s clear the book not only accomplished that aim but continues to do so today.

In a few short pages, Marx introduces the method he used to study and present his research into the dynamics of capitalism, explains the reasons why he focused on England, distinguishes between modes of production and social formations (and by doing so refutes any accusations of his theory of history as progressing linearly through successive stages), identifies the capacities he’s assuming of the reader, affirms he’s interested in critiquing the structures of capital and not the individuals within it, and explains that the main function of the book is to help our class intervene in the constantly changing capitalist system.

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The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation in Latin America and Beyond

Actuality and Pertinence

EDITED BY LORENZO FUSARO AND LEINAD JOHAN ALCALÁ SANDOVAL – CONTRIBUTIONS BY ROSSANA CILLO; LUIS FELIPE DOCOA; ROBERTO FINESCHI; ABELARDO MARIÑA FLORES; LORENZO FUSARO; CARLOS ALBERTO DUQUE GARCÍA; SERGIO CÁMARA IZQUIERDO; MATARI PIERRE MANIGAT; LUCIA PRADELLA; WILLIAM I. ROBINSON; SIBYL ITALIA PINEDA SALAZAR AND LEINAD JOHAN ALCALÁ SANDOVAL

This edited collection engages with Marx’s General Law of Capitalist Accumulation, examining the relevance and actuality of Marx’s propositions for the analysis of contemporary capitalism in Latin America and beyond. The contributors offer an original and updated interpretation of Marx while also examining important topics in political economy. The contributors bring critical insights into scholarly debates on imperialism, exploitation, labor, and development.

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Karl Marx: Historian of Social Times and Spaces

Red May TV | May 13, 2022

Drawing on current perspectives in philosophy of history and a rigorous reading of Karl Marx’s oeuvre, George Garcia-Quesada’s recent book, Karl Marx, Historian of Social Times and Spaces, demolishes the all-too-common portrayal of Marx as an evolutionary determinist. By unpacking Marx’s concepts of social space and social time, he highlights the ways it can explain dynamics of complex multilinear development of human societies and of capitalism in particular. Cordelia Belton and Edwad, hosts of the podcast REEL ABSTRACTION, lead an inquiry into the book and consult with Massimiliano Tomba, whose own book, Marx’s Temporalities shows that an adequate historiographical paradigm for capitalism must consider the plurality of temporal layers that come into conflict in modernity.

George Garcia Quesada, Massimiliano Tomba, Edwad, Cordelia Belton

SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rswhe2trn8A

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THAT OF ITS AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE JOP]

Marx’s Capital Lecture 1 Historical Introduction and Overview

Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice | February 09, 2022

363 views Feb 9, 2022 The Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) is pleased to host a series of public lectures on Volume 1 of Marx’s Capital, given by the political economist and activist Andy Higginbottom. This is the first lecture of the Marx’s Capital Lecture series, held on 7th February 2022.

To sign up for CSSGJ events, please go to our website http://www.cssgj.org

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Engels on Industry

POLITSTURM | November 13, 2021

Engels on Industry

A few days in my “old man’s” factory have sufficed to bring me face to face with this beastliness, which I had rather overlooked. …, it is impossible to carry on communist propaganda on a large scale and at the same time engage in huckstering and industry.

Frederick Engels, “Letter to Marx. January 20 1845”

SOURCE: https://us.politsturm.com/engels-on-industry/

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE]

HM Online 2021: Marxist Theory and Philosophy

Hikmet Kıvılcımlı’s Contribution to the Marxist Theory of History
Muzaffer Kaya, Ph.D. University of Potsdam, Germany.

Arendt, Marx and the Modern Challenge to Tradition
Dr Michael Lazarus, Monash University, Australia

Marx’s Forgotten Transformation Solution
Bill Jefferies SOAS, UK

This event is co-sponsored by Historical Materialism and Haymarket Books. While all events for HM Online are free to register, the organizers ask comrades who are able to please consider making a donation, which would help enormously in covering the costs of putting together this programme of events. Like all left organisations, HM had a very tough period from the beginning of 2020 and our budgets are very stretched and bank balance is sinking all the time, with very little revenue coming in. If you can make a contribution to help keep us afloat, please don’t hesitate!
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SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blAQbqInL6A

[THIS IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE.]

New Book: Karl Marx, Capital, Volume One: A Glossary of Concepts

David E Lowes

thesis eleven | June 07, 2021

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume One: A Glossary of Concepts
(Independently published, 2021)

This book aims to assist anyone wishing to read and understand volume one of Karl Marx’s Capital. It contains over 100 entries, each of which provides a concise definition of a particular concept and employs a system of cross-referencing to indicate related entries. A variety of books have been written about Capital, and this in itself is testimony to an enduring interest in the critique of capitalist society, but the approach adopted here is unique. The alphabetical format and explanation of concepts is designed to be accessible to the broadest possible audience, including the politically active, the academic community and those with general interest in the subject matter. Furthermore, it can be used with either the Lawrence and Wishart or Penguin Classics editions, as references are given for both.

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Twilight Capitalism

Fernwood Publishing | Streamed live on May 11, 2021

Fernwood Publishing presents the launch of Twilight Capitalism: Karl Marx and the Decay of the Profit System . This event will feature a panel discussion with authors, Murray E.G. Smith, Jonah Butovsky and Josh J. Watterton, moderated by Tim Hayslip. This event is part of Radical May, an international festival of books and authors.

Purchase a copy of Twilight Capitalism: Karl Marx and the Decay of the Profit System here: https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/tw…

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REMEMBERING KARL MARX

Frederick Engels’ Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx

Highgate Cemetery, London. March 17, 1883

Marx's gravestone in Highgate cemetry

On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep — but for ever.

An immeasurable loss has been sustained both by the militant proletariat of Europe and America, and by historical science, in the death of this man. The gap that has been left by the departure of this mighty spirit will soon enough make itself felt.

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.Read More »