Book One: The Process of Production of Capital Preface to the First German Edition (Marx, ). Preface to the French Edition (Marx, ). Karl Marx. London. July 25, 1 This is the more necessary, as even the section of . Das Kapital - Capital: Best Online Edition By Karl Marx Frederick Engels Online. Book Details: Language: English Published, Release Date. कार्ल मार्क्स की जीवनी – राहुल सांकृत्यायन | Karl Marx Ki Jivani by Rahul Sankrityayan Hindi Book PDF Free Download.
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This is a free version of Capital by Karl Marx for download below in PDF. It is not just the book Volume I, that are found on other websites, nor. Karl Marx and the Rise of. Communism. What is Communism? Who is Karl Marx? What was Marx's and Marx wrote several books and over 1, letters to. The Communist Manifesto (Hindi Edition) by Karl Marx, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
This economic vandalism resembles a policy of slash and burn on a vast scale. George Soros likens it to the kind of smashing ball used to demolish tall buildings.
But it is not only buildings that are being destroyed but whole economies and states. The slogan of the hour is austerity, cuts and falling living standards. This is not the result of the whims of individual politicians, of ignorance or bad faith although there is plenty of this also but a graphic expression of the blind alley in which the capitalist system finds itself.
This is an expression of the fact that the capitalist system is reaching its limits and is unable to develop the productive forces as it did in the past. Let us take just one example, the automobile sector. This is fundamental because it also involves many other sectors, such as steel, plastic, chemicals and electronics.
The global excess capacity of the automobile industry is approximately thirty percent. This means that Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Renault, Toyota and all the others could close one third of their factories and lay off one third of their workers tomorrow, and they would still not be able to sell all the vehicles they produce at what they consider to be an acceptable rate of profit. A similar position exists in many other sectors. Unless and until this problem of excess capacity is resolved, there can be no real end to the present crisis.
The dilemma of the capitalists can be easily expressed. If China is not producing at the same pace as before, countries like Brazil. Argentina and Australia cannot continue to export their raw materials. The whole world is inseparably interlinked. The crisis of the euro will affect the US economy, which is in a very fragile state, and what happens in the USA will have a decisive effect on the entire world economy. Thus, globalisation manifests itself as a global crisis of capitalism.
Alienation With incredible foresight, the authors of the Manifesto anticipated the conditions which are now being experienced by the working class in all countries. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him.
Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to the cost of production.
In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery, etc. Thus, the general tendencies of capitalism are expressed there in their clearest form. These CEOs now make an average of times more than their employees.
If inflation is taken into account, median wages for male American workers are actually lower today than they were in In this way, the present boom has been largely at the expense of the working class. While millions are compelled to eke out a miserable existence of enforced inactivity, millions of others are forced to have two or even three jobs, and often work 60 hours or more per week with no overtime pay benefits.
In theory, this means that in order to achieve the same standard of living a worker should only have to work just one quarter of the average working week in , or 11 hours per week. Either that, or the standard of living in theory should have risen by four times.
On the contrary, the standard of living has decreased dramatically for the majority, while work-related stress, injuries and disease are increasing. This is reflected in an epidemic of depression, suicides, divorce, child and spousal abuse, mass shootings and other social ills. The same situation exists in Britain, where under the Thatcher government 2.
This has been achieved, not through the introduction of new machinery but through the over-exploitation of British workers. Under capitalism this has been greatly simplified with the polarisation of society into two great antagonistic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
The tremendous development of industry and technology over the last years has led to the increasing the concentration of economic power in a few hands.
For a long time it seemed to many that this idea was outmoded. In the long period of capitalist expansion that followed the Second World War, with full employment in the advanced industrial economies, rising living standards and reforms remember the Welfare State?
Marx predicted that the development of capitalism would lead inexorably to the concentration of capital, an immense accumulation of wealth on the one hand and an equal accumulation of poverty, misery and unbearable toil at the other end of the social spectrum.
For decades this idea was rubbished by the bourgeois economists and university sociologists who insisted that society was becoming ever more egalitarian, that everyone was now becoming middle class. Now all these illusions have been dispelled. The argument, so beloved of bourgeois sociologists, that the working class has ceased to exist has been stood on its head.
In the last period important layers of the working population who previously considered themselves to be middle class have been proletarianised. Teachers, civil servants, bank employees and so on have been drawn into the ranks of the working class and the labour movement, where they make up some of the most militant sections. The old arguments that everybody can advance and we are all middle class have been falsified by events.
In Britain, the US and many other developed countries over the past 20 or 30 years, the opposite has been happening.
Middle-class people used to think life unfolded in an orderly progression of stages in which each is a step up from the last. That is no longer the case. Job security has ceased to exist, the trades and professions of the past have largely disappeared and life-long careers are barely memories.
The ladder has been kicked away and for most people a middle-class existence is no longer even an aspiration. A dwindling minority can count on a pension on which they could comfortably live, and few have significant savings. More and more people live from day to day, with little idea of what the future may bring. If people have any wealth, it is in their houses, but with the contraction of the economy house prices have fallen in many countries and may be stagnant for years.
The idea of a property-owning democracy has been exposed as a mirage. Far from being an asset to help fund a comfortable retirement, home ownership has become a heavy burden. Mortgages must be paid, whether you are in work or not.
Many are trapped in negative equity, with huge debts that can never be paid. There is a growing generation of what can only be described as debt slaves.
This is a devastating condemnation of the capitalist system. However, this process of proletarianisation means that the social reserves of reaction have been sharply reduced as a big section of white collar workers moves closer to the traditional working class. In the recent mass mobilisations, sections that in the past would never have dreamt of striking or even joining a union, such as teachers and civil servants, were in the front line of the class struggle.
Idealism or Materialism? The idealist method sets out from what people think and say about themselves. But Marx explained that ideas do not fall from the sky, but reflect more or less accurately, objective situations, social pressures and contradictions beyond the control of men and women. On the contrary, the progress of society depends on the development of the productive forces, which is not the product of conscious planning, but develops behind the backs of men and women.
For the first time Marx placed socialism on a firm theoretical basis. A scientific understanding of history cannot be based on the distorted images of reality floating like pale and fantastic ghosts in the minds of men and women, but on real social relations. That means beginning with a clarification of the relationship between social and political forms and the mode of production at a given stage of history. This is precisely what is called the historical materialist method of analysis.
Some people will feel irritated by this theory which seems to deprive humankind of the role of protagonists in the historical process. In the same way, the Church and its philosophical apologists were deeply offended by the claims of Galileo that the Sun, not the Earth, was at the centre of the Universe. Later, the same people attacked Darwin for suggesting that humans were not the special creation of God, but the product of natural selection.
Actually, Marxism does not at all deny the importance of the subjective factor in history, the conscious role of humankind in the development of society. Men and women make history, but do not do it entirely in accord with their free will and conscious intentions.
Ideas have no independent existence, nor own historical development. The interrelations between these factors constitute a complex web that is often difficult to see. The study of these relations is the basis of the Marxist theory of history.
Let us cite one example. At the time of the English Revolution, Oliver Cromwell fervently believed that he was fighting for the right of each individual to pray to God according to his conscience. But the further march of history proved that the Cromwellian Revolution was the decisive stage in the irresistible ascent of the English bourgeoisie to power.
The concrete stage of the development of the productive forces in 17th Century England permitted no other outcome. They believed they were fighting for a regime based on the eternal laws of Justice and Reason. However, regardless of their intentions and ideas, the Jacobins were preparing the way for the rule of the bourgeoisie in France.
Again, from a scientific standpoint, no other result was possible at that point of social development. Socialist thinkers before Marx—the utopian socialists—attempted to discover universal laws and formulae that would lay the basis for the triumph of human reason over the injustice of class society. All that was necessary was to discover that idea, and the problems would be solved. This is an idealist approach.
Unlike the Utopians, Marx never attempted to discover the laws of society in general. He analysed the law of movement of a particular society, capitalist society, explaining how it arose, how it evolved and also how it necessarily ceases to exist at a given moment. He performed this huge task in the three volumes of Capital.
Marx and Darwin Charles Darwin, who was an instinctive materialist, explained the evolution of species as a result of the effects of the natural environment. The difference lies, on the one hand, in the enormously complicated character of human society compared to the relative simplicity of nature and, secondly, in the greatly accelerated pace of change in society compared to the extraordinarily slow pace with which evolution by nation selection unfolds.
On the base of the social relations of production—in other words, the relations between social classes—there arises complex legal and political forms with their manifold ideological, cultural and religious reflections.
This complex edifice of forms and ideas is sometimes referred to as the social superstructure. Although it is always based on economic foundations, the superstructure rises above the economic base and interacts upon it, sometimes in a decisive manner. This dialectical relationship between base and superstructure is very complicated and not always very obvious. But in the last analysis, the economic base always turns out to be the decisive force. Property relations are simply the legal expression of the relationships between classes.
At first, these relationships—together with their legal and political expression—assist the development of the productive forces. But the development of productive forces tends to come up against the limitations represented by existing property relations. The latter become an obstacle for the development of production. It is at this point that we enter a period of revolution.
Idealists see human consciousness as the mainspring of all human action, the motor force of history. But all history proves the opposite. Human consciousness in general is not progressive or revolutionary. It is slow to react to circumstances and deeply conservative. Most people do not like change, much less revolutionary change. This innate fear of change is deeply rooted in the collective psyche. It is part of a defence mechanism that has its origins in the remote past of the human species.
As a general rule, we can say that society never decides to take a step forward unless it is obliged to do so under the pressure of extreme necessity.
As long as it is possible to muddle through life on the basis of the old ideas, adapting them imperceptibly to a slowly changing reality, so long will men and women continue to move along the well-worn paths. Like the force of inertia in mechanics, tradition, habit and routine constitute a very heavy burden on human consciousness, which means that ideas always tend to lag behind events.
It requires the hammer blows of great events to overcome this inertia and force people to question the existing society, its ideas and values. All that revolution shows is the fact that the social contradictions engendered by the conflict between economic development and the existing structure of society have become unbearable. This central contradiction can only be resolved by the radical overthrow of the existing order, and its replacement by new social relations that bring the economic base into harmony with the superstructure.
In a revolution the economic foundations of society suffer a radical transformation. Then, the legal and political superstructure undergoes a profound change. In each case, the new, higher relations of production have matured in embryo in the womb of the old society, posing an urgent need for a transition to a new social system.
Historical Materialism Marxism analyses the hidden mainsprings that lie behind the development of human society, from the earliest tribal societies up to the modern day.
The way in which Marxism traces this winding road is called the materialist conception of history. This scientific method enables us to understand history, not as a series of unconnected and unforeseen incidents, but rather as part of a clearly understood and interrelated process.
It is a series of actions and reactions which cover politics, economics and the whole spectrum of social development. To lay bare the complex dialectical relationship between all these phenomena is the task of historical materialism. In essence, the latest post-modernist interpretation of history has not advanced a single step since then. No socio-economic system can be said to be better or worse than any other, and there can therefore be no question of progress or retrogression.
History appears here as an essentially meaningless and inexplicable series of random events or accidents. It is governed by no laws that we can comprehend. To try to understand it would therefore be a pointless exercise.
A variation on this theme is the idea, now very popular in some academic circles, that there is no such thing as higher and lower forms of social development and culture. They claim that there is no such thing as progress, which they consider to be an old fashioned idea left over from the 19th century, when it was popularised by Victorian liberals, Fabian socialists and—Karl Marx.
This denial of progress in history is characteristic of the psychology of the bourgeoisie in the phase of capitalist decline. It is a faithful reflection of the fact that, under capitalism progress has indeed reached its limits and threatens to go into reverse. The bourgeoisie and its intellectual representatives are, quite naturally, unwilling to accept this fact.
Moreover, they are organically incapable of recognising it. Lenin once observed that a man on the edge of a cliff does not reason.
However, they are dimly aware of the real situation, and try to find some kind of a justification for the impasse of their system by denying the possibility of progress altogether. So far has this idea sunk into consciousness that it has even been carried into the realm of non-human evolution.
Even such a brilliant thinker as Stephen Jay Gould, whose dialectical theory of punctuated equilibrium transformed the way that evolution is perceived, argued that it is wrong to speak of progress from lower to higher in evolution, so that microbes must be placed on the same level as human beings.
In one sense it is correct that all living things are related the human genome has conclusively proved this. Humankind is not a special creation of the Almighty, but the product of evolution. Nor is it correct to see evolution as a kind of grand design, the aim of which was to create beings like ourselves teleology—from the Greek telos, meaning an end.
However, in rejecting an incorrect idea, it is not necessary to go to the other extreme, leading to new errors. It is not a question of accepting some kind of preordained plan either related to divine intervention or some kind of teleology, but it is clear that the laws of evolution inherent in nature do in fact determine development from simple forms of life to more complex forms. The earliest forms of life already contain within them the embryo of all future developments. It is possible to explain the development of eyes, legs and other organs without recourse to any preordained plan.
At a certain stage we get the development of a central nervous system and a brain. Finally with homo sapiens, we arrive at human consciousness. Matter becomes conscious of itself. There has been no more important revolution since the development of organic matter life from inorganic matter.
To please our critics, we should perhaps add the phrase from our point of view. Doubtless the microbes, if they were able to have a point of view, would probably raise serious objections. But we are human beings and must necessarily see things through human eyes. And we do assert that evolution does in fact represent the development of simple life forms to more complex and versatile ones—in other words progress from lower to higher forms of life.
To object to such a formulation seems to be somewhat pointless, not scientific but merely scholastic. In saying this, of course, no offence is intended to the microbes, who after all have been around for a lot longer than us, and if the capitalist system is not overthrown, may yet have the last laugh.
The mode of production in ma terial life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence which determines their consciousness. Just as Charles Darwin explains that species are not immutable, and that they possess a past, a present and a future, changing and evolving, so Marx and Engels explain that a given social system is not something eternally fixed.
That is the illusion of every epoch. Every social system believes that it represents the only possible form of existence for human beings, that its institutions, its religion, its morality are the last word that can be spoken. That is what the cannibals, the Egyptian priests, Marie Antoinette and Tsar Nicolas all fervently believed.
The ideas of Darwin, so revolutionary in his day, are accepted almost as a truism. However, evolution is generally understood as a slow and gradual process without interruptions or violent upheavals. In politics, this kind of argument is frequently used as a justification for reformism.
Unfortunately, it is based on a misunderstanding. The real mechanism of evolution even today remains a book sealed by seven seals.
This is hardly surprising since Darwin himself did not understand it. Only in the last decade or so with the new discoveries in palaeontology made by Stephen J. Gould, who discovered the theory of punctuated equilibria, has it been demonstrated that evolution is not a gradual process.
There are long periods in which no big changes are observed, but at a given moment, the line of evolution is broken by an explosion, a veritable biological revolution characterised by the mass extinction of some species and the rapid ascent of others. The analogy between society and nature is, of course, only approximate. But even the most superficial examination of history shows that the gradualist interpretation is baseless. Society, like nature, knows long periods of slow and gradual change, but also here the line is interrupted by explosive developments—wars and revolutions, in which the process of change is enormously accelerated.
In fact, it is these events that act as the main motor force of historical development. And the root cause of revolution is the fact that a particular socio-economic system has reached its limits and is unable to develop the productive forces as before.
A Dynamic View of History Those who deny the existence of any laws governing human social development invariably approach history from a subjective and moralistic standpoint. Like Gibbon but without his extraordinary talent they shake their heads at the unending spectacle of senseless violence, the inhumanity of man against man and woman and so on and so forth.
However, what is required is not a moral sermon but a rational insight. Above and beyond the isolated facts, it is necessary to discern broad tendencies, the transitions from one social system to another, and to work out the fundamental motor forces that determine these transitions.
By applying the method of dialectical materialism to history, it is immediately obvious that human history has its own laws, and that, consequently, the history of humankind is possible to understand it as a process. The rise and fall of different socio-economic formations can be explained scientifically in terms of their ability or inability to develop the means of production, and thereby to push forward the horizons of human culture, and increase the domination of humankind over nature.
But the slightest acquaintance with history shows that this is false. History manifests itself as the rise and fall of different socio-economic systems. Like individual men and women, societies are born, develop, reach their limits, enter into decline and are then finally replaced by a new social formation.
In the last analysis, the viability of a given socio-economic system is determined by its ability to develop the productive forces, since everything else depends on this. Many other factors enter into the complex equation: religion, politics, philosophy, morality, the psychology of different classes and the individual qualities of leaders. But these things do not drop from the clouds, and a careful analysis will show that they are determined—albeit in a contradictory and dialectical way—by the real historical environment, and by tendencies and processes that are independent of the will of men and women.
The outlook of a society that is in a phase of ascent, which is developing the means of production and pushing forward the horizons of culture and civilisation, is very different to the psychology of a society in a state of stagnation and decline.
The general historical context determines everything. It affects the prevailing moral climate, the attitude of men and women towards the existing political and religious institutions. It even affects the quality of individual political leaders. Capitalism in its youth was capable of colossal feats.
It developed the productive forces to an unparalleled degree, and was therefore able to push back the frontiers of human civilisation. People felt that society was advancing, despite all the injustices and exploitation that have always characterised this system.
This feeling gave rise to a general spirit of optimism and progress that was the hall mark of the old liberalism, with its firm conviction that today was better than yesterday and tomorrow would be better than today. The old optimism and blind faith in progress have been replaced by a profound sense of discontent with the present and of pessimism with regard to the future.
This ubiquitous feeling of fear and insecurity is only a psychological reflection of the fact that capitalism is no longer capable of playing any progressive role anywhere. In the 19th century, Liberalism, the main ideology of the bourgeoisie, stood in theory for progress and democracy. But neo-Liberalism in the modern sense is only a mask that covers the ugly reality of the most rapacious exploitation; the rape of the planet, the destruction of the environment without the slightest concern about the fate of future generations.
The sole concern of the boards of the big companies who are the real rulers of the USA and the entire world is to enrich themselves through plunder: asset-stripping, corruption, the theft of public assets through privatisation, parasitism: these are the main features of the bourgeoisie in the phase of its senile decay.
Up to a certain point, social changes are quantitative in character and do not alter the foundations of society, i. But a point is reached when the matured productive forces can no longer contain themselves within the old forms of property; then follows a radical change in the social order, accompanied by shocks.
A common argument against socialism is that it is impossible to change human nature; people are naturally selfish and greedy and so on. In reality, there is no such thing as a supra-historical human nature.
What we think of as human nature has undergone many changes in the course of human evolution. Men and women constantly change nature through labour, and in so doing, change themselves.
As for the argument that people are naturally selfish and greedy, this is disproved by the facts of human evolution. Our earliest ancestors, who were not yet really human, were small in stature and physically weak compared to other animals. They did not have strong teeth or claws. Their upright stance meant that they could not run fast enough to catch the antelope they wished to eat, or to escape from the lion that wished to eat them.
Their brain size was approximately that of a chimpanzee. Wandering on the savannah of East Africa, they were at an extreme disadvantage to every other species—except in one fundamental aspect.
Engels explains in his brilliant essay Labour in the Transition of Ape to Man how the upright stance freed the hands, which had originally evolved as an adaptation for climbing trees, for other purposes. The production of stone tools represented a qualitative leap, giving our ancestors an evolutionary advantage.
But even more important was the strong sense of community, collective production and social life, which in turn was closely connected to the development of language. The extreme vulnerability of human children in comparison to the young of other species meant that our ancestors, whose hunter-gatherer existence compelled them to move from one place to another in search of food, had to develop a strong sense of solidarity to protect their offspring and thus ensure the survival of the tribe or clan.
We can say with absolute certainty that without this powerful sense of co-operation and solidarity, our species would have become extinct before it was even born. We see this even today. If a child is seen to be drowning in a river, most people would try to save it even placing their own life at risk.
Many people have drowned trying to save others. This cannot be explained in terms of egotistical calculation, or by ties of blood relationships in a small tribal group. The people who act in this way do not know who they trying to save, nor do they expect any reward for doing what they do.
This altruistic behaviour is quite spontaneous and comes from a deep-rooted instinct for solidarity. The argument that people are naturally selfish, which is a reflection of the ugly and dehumanised alienation of capitalist society, is a vile label on the human race. For the immense major part of the history of our species, people lived in societies where private property, in the modern sense, did not exist. There was no money, no bosses and workers, no bankers and landlords, no state, no organised religion, no police and no prisons.
Even the family, in our understanding of the word, did not exist. Today, many find it hard to envisage a world without these things; they seem so natural that they could have been ordained by the Almighty. Prior to capitalism, Marx suggested that feudalism existed as a specific set of social relations between lord and peasant classes related to the hand-powered or animal-powered means of production prevalent at the time.
Operating from the premise that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction, his ideas formed the basis of Marxism and served as a theoretical base for communism. Nearly everything Marx wrote was viewed through the lens of the common laborer. From Marx comes the idea that capitalist profits are possible because value is "stolen" from the workers and transferred to the employers.
He was, without question, one of the most important and revolutionary thinkers of his time. Marx studied law in Bonn and Berlin, and at Berlin, was introduced to the philosophy of G.
He became involved in radicalism at a young age through the Young Hegelians, a group of students who criticized the political and religious establishments of the day. Marx received his doctorate from the University of Jena in Personal Life After living in Prussia, Marx lived in France for some time, and that is where he met his lifelong friend Friedrich Engels.
He was expelled from France, and then lived for a brief period in Belgium before moving to London where he spent the rest of his life with his wife.
Marx died of bronchitis and pleurisy in London on March 14, He was buried at Highgate Cemetery in London. His original grave was nondescript, but in , the Communist Party of Great Britain unveiled a large tombstone, including a bust of Marx and the inscription "Workers of all Lands Unite," an Anglicized interpretation of the famous phrase in The Communist Manifesto: "Proletarians of all countries, unite! By far the more academic work, it lays forth Marx's theories on commodities, labor markets, the division of labor and a basic understanding of the rate of return to owners of capital.
The exact origins of the term "capitalism" in English are unclear, it appears that Karl Marx was not the first to use the word "capitalism" in English, although he certainly contributed to the rise of its use. While it's unclear whether either Thackeray or Marx was aware of the other's work, both men meant the word to have a pejorative ring. Still, there are some lessons that even modern economic thinkers can learn from Marx. Though he was the capitalist system's harshest critic, Marx understood that it was far more productive than previous or alternative economic systems.
He believed all countries should become capitalist and develop that productive capacity, and then workers would naturally revolt into communism. But, like Adam Smith and David Ricardo before him, Marx predicted that because of capitalism's relentless pursuit of profit by way of competition and technological progress to lower the costs of production, that the rate of profit in an economy would always be falling over time.
The Labor Theory of Value Like the other classical economists , Karl Marx believed in the labor theory of value to explain relative differences in market prices.