A Capital Mid-Week Review!


Whoa!  It sure does seem like the week is going by at a pretty decent clip so far!  In my post, earlier this week, Capital – The Week Ahead, I indicated that I’ve begun the penultimate part of Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume I.  As I reach the mid-way point of the week, I find that I’ve completed my reading of Chapters 23 and 24, and am about 20 pages or so through the 25th chapter.

The 25th chapter, The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation, is the longest remaining chapter in the book.  The chapter is 120 pages long and has multiple sections.  Some of the concepts I’m kind of scratching my head on, but they aren’t overly difficult to grasp.  At the rate that I’m reading, I’m expecting to finish the chapter hopefully by the end of the weekend, especially if I’m going at a 20 page a clip day for this chapter.

If I continue to move along at this pace, I’m hoping to complete my reading of Capital, Volume I, either late next week, or early on in the first full week of April.  It’s definitely been some pretty deep reading, and I’m looking forward to reading a book, maybe two, that aren’t nearly as deep.  At that point, I’ll be half-way completed with my “Marx Reading Challenge.”

In Chapter 24, The Transformation of Surplus-Value into Capital, I found a rather interesting footnote to the text.  It stood out to me because I felt that Marx was discussing the differences in wages, and costs of living in places such as Holland and France.  I found this particular section of the chapter to be fascinating, because, having had the blessing of living in various areas of our great country, I definitely have some first hand experience with costs of living and their differences.  Here’s the footnote that appears on page 749:

Today, thanks to the competition on the world market which has grown up since then, we have advanced much further. ‘If China,’ says Mr Stapleton, M.P., to his constituents, ‘should become a great manufacturing country, I do not see how the manufacturing population of Europe could sustain the contest without descending to the level of their competitors’ (The Times, 3 September 1873, p.8).  The desired goal of English capital is no longer Continental wages, oh no, it is Chinese wages!

I find this statement could definitely apply today, especially with the globalization of our economy, and how we have many companies with factories in areas of the world with lower wages, to increase profit margins, and to also keep costs low.  I find it fascinating, even though the world economy wasn’t as globalized in Marx’s time as it is now, how he was able to foresee, not only this point about wages, but overall, how the capitalist system works.  It’s absolutely fascinating.

Just additional reinforcement of how much I’m learning and/or seeing from reading this book.

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

2 Responses to “A Capital Mid-Week Review!”

  1. You’re making me want to read this book. If I do, I may have to cut back on my blogging activity.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  2. Capital has definitely been an interesting read. It also has been a significant time commitment as well. I have also found that I’ve been able to keep up with posting here at least once a day as well though, even if it’s just short posts. I truly think you’d find it a very rewarding experience.

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