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El capital: Crítica de la economía política: Tomo I: El proceso de producción del capital (Das Kapital #1)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  4,533 ratings  ·  241 reviews
Pocos libros han sido discutidos con tanta pasion como El capital. Desde que vio la luz publica fue censurado y elogiado practicamente en todo el mundo y sigue siendolo hasta nuestros dias. Sin embargo, la base de la polemica radica en su contexto social, pues figura desde hace tiempo como tema fundamental de investigacion economica entre las obras clasicas de la materia.
Paperback, 849 pages
Published by Fondo de Cultura Económica (first published 1867)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 21, 2007 Jacob marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cute Marxist girls (call me)
I bought two copies of this book. I gave one copy to my girlfriend. We agreed to read it together. We never did. We broke up. I still have a copy. And so does she. Karl Marx ruins relationships by putting undue pressure on them to perform. I think, if I am ever to be in real a relationship again, I will have to work out my problems with Marxism first. I will post an ad on craigslist. It will say this:

Man with commitment issues and problems understanding the causal relationship between labour and
anique Halliday
Do you know how many pages this is? 1152. And worth every leaf on the tree. A must read for anyone willing or wanting to wax grand about capitalism.

Picture it: My first semester in graduate school. Day two. My professor goes over the syllabus, week one: Das Kapital (Marx)/ chps. 1 - 15, 22, 27 etc. I cry for three days lamenting the decision to pursue higher education. Then I read that shit and my little world changes.
Erik Graff
Dec 29, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: David Schweickart
I had long avoided reading Das Kapital because I thought it would be too mathematically advanced for me. Taking courses with the Marxist philosopher and mathematician, David Schweickart, induced me to make the effort since his assignments and my own readings of Marx had already become pretty extensive and the avoidance of his most important text seemed silly. So, on my own now, I began carrying the tome about in my backpack, reading most of it at Jim's Deli across Sheridan Road from the Lake Sho ...more
I have to say, this joint is bangin'. I find it useful when I'm in the club. P.S. Check out the total or expanded form of value. It's defective!
Elle O'rourke
'Let us finally imagine, for a change, an association of free men, working with the means of production held in common.'
Marx was a man badly in need of an editor. For all of the financial, amiable, and intellectual support provided by Engels, one wishes that Engels had only he had been more ruthless is cutting the fat from his partner's work. This would have been easy enough at the time, but by now Marx’s writing has acquired a sacred aura.

The main meat of this bloated tome is all in the first few hundred pages. Marx actually lays out his ideas in a very pleasing and pithy manner. I wish the rest of the book was
I have been reading this book for way too long. However, it has been a worthwhile experience, revealing the provenance of many leftist values that I may have had sympathy for, but admittedly did not fully understand because I lacked an understanding of origin. Not saying I'm a doctrinaire Marxist now, but that is exactly the whole point of reading Marx at this juncture in the state of leftist social theory/politics... To read it from an non-dogmatic perspective. I think if you do this, Marx has ...more
Chelsea Szendi
Vampires, monsters, fetishes! Stick with Marx through the saga of the coat and the M-C-M' and the rewards are so rich. When he guides you from the realm of exchange into the realm of production, I dare you not to feel like you are involved in cracking an incredible mystery. Because you are.
Fug o' Slavia
"First you get the primitive accumulation then you get the Linen, Then you get the Coats, Then you get the Capital, Then you Get the Labour, Then you get The Surplus Value, then you get the mechanization, then you get more Surplus Value" - Tony Montana
Oct 24, 2007 Savuth4u added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Political Economy
This is the most important book for economist
I don't remember when I started reading Capital with the assistance of David Harvey (, but its been a greater education than I could have imagined. I cannot help but keeping many of Marx's theories in mind throughout my daily life. Fetishism of the commodity, production of surplus value, class struggle over the working day, division of labor, struggle between labor and technology, creation of a surplus labor army, process of capital accumulation, primitive accumulation (or ac ...more
Krishna Avendaño
El problema con El Capital no es tanto lo pesada que puede resultar su lectura - que lo es -, sino el hecho de que la teoría marxista, a la luz de la realidad, y como lo demostraran varias generaciones de economistas austríacos, tales como Menger, Böhm-Bawerk y Mises, resulta un error teórico. No sólo su análisis sobre la dinámica capitalista es malo - partiendo del equívoco de una teoría del valor-trabajo que ha sido demostrada falsa -, sino que sus ideas conducen a un entendimiento pobre de lo ...more
In the beginning, God (the first commodity) created the heavens (exchange-value) and the earth (use-value). And so begins the materialist Bible, Das Kapital, which, if its abstract theoretical model is to be believed, and I think the case is much stronger for than against, it is the most important book of the industrial, i.e. our, epoch. The two greatest intellectual merits of this work are the discoveries of socially necessary labor-time and the precise nature of surplus value, that is, that it ...more

I think one of the great misconceptions about Capital is that it is dry and difficult. Many people seem to think that reading it would be a chore. Not true. I think if you were to read it on your own or in a study group, you’d find it funny, engaging and not all that hard. It assumes perhaps a small amount of understanding of classical political economy (Malthus, Smith, Ricardo, etc) but not much. I’d say if you’re going to read it, read it in a group, because some of the ideas need to be worked
Nandakishore Varma
I have not read this book, but am familiar with the gist of it. Until recently, even though I share Marx's aversion of Big Capital in the hands of a Few Individuals, I had not appreciated the real impact.

Every product has two values: the intrinsic value of the product, created by the poor labourer, and the exchange value, which the capitalist sells it for: usually much higher than the intrinsic value. The capitalist pockets the difference, and grows fat like a leech on the life-blood of the poor
Cassandra Kay Silva
I made the absolute horror of a mistake of listening to this on audio! Once I started I just couldn't put it down (due partly to the amazing nature of the book, and partly to my own neuroses).

The reasons not to listen to this on audio:
1. Too many citations to juggle easily on the audio format!
2. Multiple readers is irritating (no thank you librovox)
3. You will hear the words cotton, capital, trade, exchange, sterling, and Loco Cito so many times on the audio book that you will be saying them
A friend of mine dissed me to another friend, said I read this book the way some people read the bible. I do think it's a super important book, historically and in helping us understand capitalism in the present. An Italian writer who I like, Antonio Negri, said that one of the best reasons to read this book is for the sense of class hatred it instills. Of course, there other sources for that, but this is a useful one.

Capital volume one is the only volume Marx finished himself. The other volume
Karlo Mikhail
Best way to start the year is finally reading the full text of Capital Vol.1. Previously read only bits and pieces of Marx's magnus opus eclectically (notably the first chapter on commodities, the second part on the transformation of money into capital, the chapters on the labor process and the rate of surplus value, and the last part on primitive accumulation). A great work that not only lays bare the workings of capitalism but also presents a forceful argument for the overthrow of such an expl ...more
J'étais circonspect avant de commencer, mais au final, le capital est un livre tout à fait lisible et édifiant. Marx s'inscrit dans la continuité des études classiques, prend la peine de définir des catégories et étaye avec une culture solide une étude historique qu'il complète par une analyse des statistiques de l'Angleterre. C'est le fruit de longues veilles, d'années de travail minutieux et acharné. Il est difficile de rester calme à la lecture des terribles abus dont furent victimes ces ouvr ...more
This is the third time I've read this book, and I'm confident there will be a fourth, fifth, and even sixth reading. This is the quintessential text for explaining how capitalism is predicated upon the rapacious exploitation of the working class.

Although the review written below contains many errors, and was written during a state of extreme inebriation, I feel no compulsion to edit it.

Fair warning, I’m writing this hung over.

The first time I read this, I gave the book 4
Mark Oppenlander
Karl Marx was an angry man. This book is an economic dissertation, and a political one as well, to some extent. But more than anything else, it is a polemic against the abuses and excesses of the capitalistic system of economic production and distribution.

The book begins with a section that outlines Marx's basic theories of economics. He defines what commodities are, distinguishing between their "utility value" (what they can be used for) and their "exchange value" (what they can be traded for).
Czarny Pies
Oct 05, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone having successfully completed an accounting course.
Recommended to Czarny by: Several peabrains who had taken the Marxist line, hook and sinker.
Shelves: political-theory
Dear Goodreads members, since the software on this site appears to prevent CPAs from signing up, I feel that the duty falls upon me as a CFA charterholder to explain to you just exactly which is wrong with this book which is weirder than Joseph Smith's book of Mormon but more spiritually intense.

Marx comes up with the doctrine of surplus value to justify the violent overthrow of the bourgeois state which he explains with the following example.

-1- a capitalist purchases $100 worth of wood and $10
Jun 11, 2007 Zach rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Capitalists
I bought this at the school book store, read the first part on Commodities and Money. I read Capital on those mornings when I get up early to fish, except never make it outside, so not making much of a profit with no fish. The next best thing to making a living is reading about Capital, although the book is really a tragedy and makes me sad.
Rocco Christian
If you can get through it with its companion by David Harvey than it's well worth reading. The critical analysis of the Capitalist mode of production is pervasive and comes from all angles. Marx explores the Capitalist economy from the perspective of it existing in it's own self-proclaimed perfect conditions, and shows how even in the most perfect, utopian version of Capitalism inequality, division, and exploitation are a necessity. Marx explores how private ownership of the means of production ...more
David Anderson
I had only read excerpts of Marx's Magnum Opus in the past, despite considering myself a Marxist. It was well worth the effort. The literary quality of the text is higher, less dry and more entertaining than you might expect (Gothic references to vampires and spirits abound). Nor is Marx the narrow economic determinist that he is often portrayed to be; his thinking is more nuanced and complex than that. In fact, I think I now have a much better appreciation for the dialectical method than I did ...more
It seems silly to review a book like this (just as it did the “Manifesto,” earlier), but it’s worth saying a few things.

“Capital” is a book that put to words – a lot of them, really – a feeling I’ve always had: that everyone is making money off of me all of the time. Marx’s epic analysis of capitalism shows that, essentially, if profit exists in a capitalist situation, then someone is being exploited. To explore this, Marx presents an idealized version of capitalism and shows that even as it wor
Tombom P
A masterpiece (although I guess it'd be weird if I said otherwise, given that I consider myself a Marxist. WHATEVER) It's sometimes tough to read - which is kind of inevitable given the subject - and sometimes I feel that it could have used a good editor to help fix a few minor issues with chapter ordering and stuff (I'm sure Marx would have appreciated an editor and more time to work on it too) but taken overall it's incredible, enlightening and, even for a relatively into it Marxist, constantl ...more
Arjun Ravichandran
Such a crucial, vitally important book for humanity ; yet so, so boring. You wish Engels had written this instead of the genius but literally-challenged Marx.
For a much shorter, and clearer text that gives you the concentrated gist of Marx's analysis of capitalism, get 'Reading Capital Politically' ; there is no real need to revisit this book, other than as a historical curiosity, when others have summarized and clarified Marx's wandering thesis.
Although I have marked the date as September 2007, I first read this years ago. I *always* enjoy reading Marx, especially when he gets all "economist" on everything. Better than the actual book is debating this book's concepts with super-critical folks (critical from a simply ideological point of view as opposed to being critical in a more rational or "theory-based" way) who know nothing about economic concepts... they're like sitting ducks.
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(Arabic: كارل ماركس)
In 1818, Karl Marx, descended from a long line of rabbis, was born in Prussian Rhineland. Marx's' father converted to Protestantism shortly before Karl's birth. Educated at the Universities of Bonn, Jena, and Berlin, Marx founded the Socialist newspaper Vorwarts in 1844 in Paris. After being expelled from France at the urging of the Prussian government, which "banished" Marx in
More about Karl Marx...

Other Books in the Series

Das Kapital (3 books)
  • Capital, Vol 2: The Process of Circulation of Capital
  • Capital, Vol 3: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole
The Communist Manifesto The Marx-Engels Reader Das Kapital The German Ideology The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

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