Marx Reading Challenge Completed!

It’s definitely been an interesting two weeks!  For the most part, I’ve been off the computer, due to home improvement projects and doing a bit of reading and family stuff.  It’s been relaxing to have been offline for a bit, but now I’m back, and hope to be blogging more frequently.

As I mentioned two weeks ago, I had set a goal of completing the final volume of Karl Marx’s Capital this month.  I’m glad to say that I’ve completed it!  Earlier this morning I completed the final 30 pages.  I must say, this final volume was probably the most difficult of the set to read.  Part of the reason could be is that this final volume was left incomplete upon Marx’s death.  Frederich Engels had to compose some of the text and fill in the holes where Marx didn’t have complete details.

Something important that I’ve learned over the course of the year reading all this Marx is that I am severely lacking knowledge in a lot of political economic theory that Marx was working so hard to disprove in his seminal work.  Between Proudhoun, Malthus, etc, I found that I didn’t have that foundational knowledge to fully understand what Marx was arguing against.  I felt similarly when I was reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, that I didn’t have the necessary background information.

I definitely learned a lot from reading Grundrisse and Capital.  I’m glad I undertook this challenge.  Reading these books has definitely stretched and challenged my way of thinking about economics, and I definitely understand Marx’s argument better.  He clearly pointed out the flaws involved with a capitalistic system, and I now also understand how a capitalistic economy’s pressure points can cause failure and total collapse.

These books are definitely not for the faint of heart or if you’re not afraid to stretch your reading and intellectual limits.  It was time well invested, but now I’m ready to move on to much lighter fare and complete The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and read a bit more fiction.

If you’ve read Capital or other works by Marx, I’d love to hear what you thought of them.  I’d also love to know what you’ve been reading this week and what you might have coming up for this week!


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!

4 Responses to “Marx Reading Challenge Completed!”

  1. I haven’t ventured into Marxist works…or even Dante…although I have read a few Russian authors, like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky….also, not for the faint of heart. The names alone boggle the mind.

    Kudos and congrats to you on finishing the challenge and adding to your knowledge base. And congrats on finishing home projects, too.


  2. I can’t remember if we read all of Capital in grad school. I remember being surprised by all the math. And even though I teach sociology, that’s about all that stuck with me. I like the more cultural direction a lot of subsequent Marxist folks went….people like Antonio Gramsci.

  3. It’s an area of thought that I’ve completely missed. So good for you!

  4. Congrats on completing the challenge you set for yourself (and for getting those home improvement projects done!)

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