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Capital
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy | Karl Marx
One of the most notorious works of modern times, as well as one of the most influential, Capital is an incisive critique of private property and the social relations it generates. Living in exile in England, where this work was largely written, Marx drew on a wide-ranging knowledge of its society to support his analysis and generate fresh insights. Arguing that capitalism would create an ever-increasing division in wealth and welfare, he predicted its abolition and replacement by a system with common ownership of the means of production. Capital rapidly acquired readership among the leaders of social democratic parties, particularly in Russia and Germany, and ultimately throughout the world, to become a work described by Marx's friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels as 'the Bible of the Working Class'
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Amiable
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Way to go, Sarah! Great job tackling this chunkster to the ground. :)

#ChunksterChallenge2021
@shortsarahrose

BarkingMadRead Wow!! Nicely done @shortsarahrose 1y
rockpools Wow, that‘s *really* impressive! Great stuff @shortsarahrose 1y
See All 9 Comments
GinaKButler Wow! Congrats! 1y
Megabooks Congratulations @shortsarahrose !! Wow!! 1y
Mollyanna Wonderful job! Congrats @shortsarahrose 1y
Bookwormjillk Congratulations 🎉 I‘m impressed. 1y
Ash.on.the.line Congrats @shortsarahrose 🎉🎉🎉 1y
CoverToCoverGirl Congratulations!! 🎉🥳 1y
52 likes9 comments
review
shortsarahrose
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Pickpick

Although originally published in the 1867, this is still a timely analysis of the development of capitalism and what capitalism has become. While the overthrow of that system has not (yet) come to pass, that is not a reason to discount this book. I kept finding myself reading a section and being like “oh, today that looks like [fill in contemporary capitalist horror here]” - different names for the same thing, basically. A super necessary read.

16 likes2 comments
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shortsarahrose
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“The definition of productive labour (and hence of its opposite, unproductive labour) is based on the fact that the production of capital is the production of surplus-value and the labour it employs is labour that produces surplus-value.”

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shortsarahrose
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“Should the worker prove more or less incapable of this versatility, he still regards it as open to the next generation, and the new generation of workers is infinitely distributable among, and adaptable to, new or expanding branches of industry. We can see this versatility, this perfect indifference towards the particular content of work and the free transition from one branch of industry to the next, most obviously in North America...”

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shortsarahrose
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“One further point remains to be made about value or money as the objectification of an average measure of general social labour. If we take spinning, for example, we see that it may be performed at a rate that either falls below or rises above the social average. That is to say, a certain quantity of spinning may be equal to, greater or less than the same quantity of the average...”

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shortsarahrose
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“Tantae molis erat [so great was the effort] to unleash the ‘eternal natural laws‘ of the capitalist mode of production, to complete the process of separation between the workers and the conditions of their labour, to transform, at one pole, the social means of production and subsistence into capital, and at the opposite pole, the mass of the population into wage-labourers, into the free ‘labouring poor‘, that artificial product...”

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shortsarahrose
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“[The gang-system] exists for the enrichment of the large-scale farmers and indirectly for the landowners. For the farmer, there is no more ingenious method of keeping his labourers well below the normal level, and yet of always having an extra hand ready for extra work, of extracting the greatest possible amount of labour with the least possible expenditure of money, and of making adult male labour ‘redundant.‘”

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shortsarahrose
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“There are 930,000 families in Belgium, of whom, according to the official statistics, 90,000 are wealthy and on the list of voters, i.e. 450,000 persons; 390,000 families of the lower middle class in towns and villages, the greater part of them constantly sinking into the proletariat, i.e. 1,950,000 persons. Finally, 450,000 working-class families, i.e. 2,250,000 persons, of whom the model ones enjoy the good fortune depicted by Ducpétiaux.”

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shortsarahrose
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“But on the other hand, as soon as (in the colonies, for example) adverse circumstances prevent the creation of an industrial reserve army, and with it the absolute dependence of the working class upon the capitalist class, capital, along with its platitudinous Sancho Panza, rebels against the ‘sacred‘ law of supply and demand, and tries to make up for its inadequacies by forcible means.”

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shortsarahrose
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“On the other hand, in those provinces where English rule has least disturbed the old system, the non-agricultural workers are directly employed by the magnates, to whom a portion of the agricultural surplus product is rendered in the shape of tribute or rent. One part of this product is consumed by the magnates in its natural form, another part is converted by the workers into articles of luxury and other consumption goods...”

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shortsarahrose
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“We have seen that even in the case of simple reproduction, all capital, whatever its original source, is transformed into accumulated capital, or capitalized surplus-value. But in the flood of production the total capacity originally advanced becomes a vanishing quantity (magnitudo evanescens in the mathematical sense), in comparison with the directly accumulated capital...”

Suet624 Say all of that three times. 🤪 1y
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shortsarahrose
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“The intensity and productivity of labour being given, the part of the social working day necessarily taken up with material production is shorter and, as a consequence, the time at society‘s disposal for the free intellectual and social activity of the individual is greater, in proportion as work is more and more evenly divided among all the able-bodied members of society...”

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shortsarahrose
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“On a level plain, simple mounds look like hills; and the insipid flatness of our present bourgeoisie is to be measured by the altitude of its ‘great intellects.‘”

Honestly, one of my favorite things about this book is whenever Marx roasts other “intellectuals” 😆 I can feel him being like 🙄 here while discussing J.S. Mill.

Currently at p. 655/1141 of vol. 1 #chunksterchallenge

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shortsarahrose
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I had a crazy morning, but it turned out ok because I ended up going to Barnes and Noble and then enjoying pancakes while reading a bit of Capital 🥞 😋 📖

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shortsarahrose
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“Although Ure‘s work appeared in 1835, at a time when the factory system was still comparatively little developed, it remains the classical expression of the spirit of the factory, not only because of its undisguised cynicism, but also because of the naïveté with which it blurts out the thoughtless contradictions of the capitalist brain.”

Suet624 Marx knew what he was talking about. 1y
shortsarahrose @Suet624 he really did. It‘s crazy just how relevant this work still is. 1y
batsy The first time I read Capital vol 1, I was like, "Yes, this absurd world finally makes sense." I haven't read the other two volumes yet and really should! 1y
shortsarahrose @batsy I have the other two volumes on my coffee table waiting for me. It‘s going to be a bit before I finish vol. 1, though! 1y
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shortsarahrose
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“Thus, although the factory inspectors unceasingly, and quite rightly, commend the results of the Acts of 1844 and 1850, they admit that the shortening of the working day has already produced such an intensification of the labour itself as is injurious to the health of the worker and therefore to his labour-power as well.”

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shortsarahrose
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“Hence in every craft it seizes, manufacture creates a class of so-called unskilled labourers, a class strictly excluded by the nature of handicraft industry. If it develops a one-sided speciality to perfection, at the expense of the whole of a man‘s working capacity, it also begins to make a speciality of the absence of all development. Alongside the gradations of the hierarchy, there appears the simple separation of the workers...”

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LapReader
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Pickpick

More book porn from my holiday house.

BarbaraBB Do they look as if they‘ve been read 😉?! 2y
42 likes1 comment
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shortsarahrose
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“Secondly, the product is the property of the capitalist and not that of the worker, its immediate producer. Suppose that a capitalist pays for a day‘s worth of labour-power; then the right to use that power for a day belongs to him, just as much as the right to use any other commodity, such as a horse he had hired for the day. The use of a commodity belongs to its purchaser...”

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shortsarahrose
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“Countries with developed bourgeois production limit the hoards concentrated in the strong rooms of the banks to the minimum required for the performance of their specific functions. Whenever these hoards are strikingly above their average level, this is, with some exceptions, an indication of stagnation in the circulation of commodities, i.e. of an interruption in the flow of their metamorphoses.”

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shortsarahrose
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“This is obviously based upon a misunderstanding of the very nature of the materialist dialectic, which, as Lenin pointed out, requires constant verification through praxis to increase its cognition content.”

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shortsarahrose
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I keep forgetting to post my pre-social isolation #bookhaul. What do I pick to read when I‘m going to stay away from everyone? Big ideas, apparently.

(What have I actually been reading? Harry Potter, mostly)

Scochrane26 😂😂 3y
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batsy
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#SellMeACoat makes me think of Capital vol 1. I loved it except for the parts involving numbers, where Marx goes on about X yards of linen to make Y number of coats to explain money & value. Peter Stallybrass has a fab essay, "Marx's Coat", which talks about Marx's struggles with money & how he had to juggle finances to get back his coat from the pawnshop so that he could be properly attired to be allowed into the British Museum to do his work. ⬇️

batsy One of the quotes from Marx's writings: "Yesterday I pawned a coat dating back to my Liverpool days in order to buy writing paper." He felt the lack of coats & proper clothing for his family most, of course, in the brutal winter months. #WinterWonderland @TrishB @Cinfhen 4y
CarolynM Brilliantly done👏👏👏 4y
Cinfhen I need to share that 👆🏼with my daughter!!!! 4y
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batsy @CarolynM Thank you 💙 4y
batsy @Cinfhen Ahahaha yes! 4y
julesG Very clever choice! 4y
TrishB I love that 💕 and you got Liverpool in! 4y
arlenefinnigan Great pick! 4y
Tanisha_A Love this 4y
mabell Wow! Great post!! 4y
Reggie What a post!! Good job!! 4y
Cathythoughts Brilliant ♥️👍🏻 4y
batsy @TrishB I included that in for you 😁 4y
batsy @julesG @arlenefinnigan @Tanisha_A @mabell @Reggie @Cathythoughts Thanks guys, all of those yards of linen were useful for a Litsy challenge 😆💜 4y
Leftcoastzen Way to go ! 4y
erzascarletbookgasm Well done! 👍❣️ 4y
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batsy
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#truths #maybookflowers (Image credit goes to some genius on Twitter.)
People are led to believe that Marx's writings are impenetrable, but here he writes like the Victorian novelist he could have been, with capitalism as a gothic horror story. The bits where he talks about yards of linen needed to make a coat do send me into a semi-conscious state, but as an explanation & critique of the system we live in, this is unparalleled. @RealLifeReading

saresmoore Yes! So good. It's been way too long since I read this. 6y
batsy @saresmoore I'm hoping to reread it this year, at some point. I really hope 😆 6y
LeahBergen Penguin has really up their cover game for the Asian market. 😉 6y
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Suet624 I read this as an 8th grader. I loved it. I think it might have changed my life. 6y
batsy @Suet624 I know the feeling! It was like the first time I got glasses, to be able to see clearly. Marx is like a pair of glasses you didn't know you needed. 6y
25 likes6 comments