For many people, the arguments and analysis of Karl Marx’s three-volume Das Kapital (or Capital: A Critique of Political Economy) are as relevant as ever. For many others, the work is a historical curiosity, dated relic, or worse. Before forming an opinion either way, it’s probably best to read the thing—or as much of the huge set of tomes as you can manage. (Vol. 1, Vol. 2. and Vol. 3.) Few thinkers have been as frequently misquoted or misunderstood, even, or especially, by their own adherents. And as with any dense philosophical text, when embarking on a study of Marx, it’s best to have a guide. One could hardly do better than David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.
Harvey’s work as a geographer focuses on cities, the increasingly predominant mode of human habitation, and he is the author of the highly popular, two-volume Companion to Marx’s Capital. The books grow out of lectures Harvey has delivered in a popular course at the City University. They’re very readable (check them out here and here), but you don’t have to read them—or attend CUNY—to hear Harvey himself deliver the goods. We’ve previously featured his Capital: Volume 1 lectures (at top, preceded by an interview with a colleague). Now Harvey has made his lectures on Capital, Volume II and some of Volume III available. Watch all twelve classes above or view them individually here. As Harvey admits in an interview before the first lecture, the neglected second volume of Marx’s masterwork is “a very difficult volume to get through,” due to its style, structure, and subject matter. With Harvey’s patient, enthusiastic guidance, it’s worth the trouble.
You can view the lectures from Harvey’s course on multiple platforms. Below we provide an easy-to-access list. You can also see all lectures on David Harvey’s website, where you can also download class notes.
Read Marx’s Capital with David Harvey, and Then Help Translate His Free Course Into 36 Languages
Piketty’s Capital in a Nutshell
The Karl Marx Credit Card – When You’re Short of Kapital
Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness
Thank you for sharing this! I bought Capital Volume I a few years ago, and, though I’m no stranger to reading lengthy and sometimes tedious books, I’ve only managed to advance in this a few hundred pages with the greatest effort. Marx’s ideas remain a powerful critique of the world in which we live, and they provide one of the most useful frameworks for making sense of so much that we see. Thank you for helping some of us navigate a very challenging couple of books.
Relevant today!? LOL. Marx would make an excellent Marxist today. A total bum, never had a real job, hated manual labour, lived off of the sweat and generosity of others, drunk and idle for days on end, never took any interest or care of his large family with three children dead before 10 years old due to undernourishment. Marx was never interested in contributing anything productive in society but in destroying it to create a communist Utopia fantasy.
In the absence of a good argument, go straight for the ad hominem attack. If you can’t engage with the ideas, you are a slave to lazy thinking. Your observations on the person detract not one iota from the message of the man.
As Marx put it: ‘Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.’
Marxism today is relevant. Of course. What is not relevant is liberalism and the neoliberal model.
Marx never considers himself a Marxist, ignorant.
Marx worked his life and that is fully demonstrated, the only mentally lazy is you. Marx was not a worker, and it is also false that he hated manual labor. On the contrary, Marx worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, he was director of a newspaper, in addition to all his works on philosophy, economics and history. Marx was not idle and he was not drunk, if so he would never have managed to write those great works that have changed the course of humanity. Marx entered the London library at 7 a.m. and left at 10 p.m. with only a little food. For what you affirm you have invented them or you are simply repeating the lies the useless, ignorant and failed liberals and conservatives. Marx was not bourgeois, nor was he exploited because he did not own any means of production. A little history, asshole.
That Marx never cared for or cared for his large family is false, on the contrary, Marx suffered in poverty and misery, since he was politically persecuted for his writings and works. In no country on the planet can a citizen support a large family if he earns a basic or very low salary, and that does not mean that he is idle, the only idlers who live off the work of others are the capitalist bourgeoisie to which idiots like you You blindly defend If his children appeared from Marx, it is because he never had enough money to support his relative, because in the United Kingdom poverty, misery, hunger and disease reigned for the vast majority of workers, while the capitalist bourgeoisie lived in luxury thanks to exploitation of their workers.
Marx never experienced sweat and generosity, because he survived based on his efforts, but you are a slanderer and a slanderer, because you cannot refute Marx at all, nor the Marxists and the Marxist-Leninists.
Marx did create something productive, he managed to create the tools for the working class to rise up and take power, and he was able to achieve this thanks to the existence of historical materialism and dialectical materialism that is used in science by many scientists, without them realize they use it.
Marx contributed to history, economics, politics, philosophy, sociology, law, journalism, psychology, anthropology, etc. On the other hand, the liberals have contributed absolutely nothing to the working class, that is, their contributions only served the ruling class, which is the capitalist bourgeois class.
Marx did not destroy society to impose a communist fantasy, who destroyed society to impose a liberal fantasy were the liberals themselves and today we see it with neoliberalism that if it is a utopia that defends the non-existent free market, the supposed individual freedom that it only works for the capitalist bourgeoisie, which defends freedom of expression but for the bourgeoisie, which defends private investment for the accumulation of capital, that is, private investment for the purpose of looting, stealing and exploiting in third world countries . That is what the liberals or neoliberals defend, where the bourgeoisie has destroyed society just to sustain its liberal utopia of a perfect world governed by the free market and other liberal stupidities.
It is true that Marx is still valid today, and the ad hominem fallacies show that Marx is too important to understand the world today, and because brainless or brainless people support the capitalist system that robs them, exploits them, deceives, manipulates them and plunders their natural resources and destroys their lives. The days of this capitalist system and its neoliberal model are numbered, because socialism will prevail in many countries of the world, as a result of the class struggle.
Your nonsense and lies that lack any argument do not refute at all what Karl Marx has done and did in favor of humanity.