Search Menu

Das Kapital

Karl Marx




Karl Marx (1818–1883) was a German philosopher, economist and sociologist, as well as a political revolutionary. Capital was one of his most important works, and Marx spent about thirty years writing it. The first volume (which this study guide focuses on exclusively) was published in 1867. It was the only volume to be completed before his death. Marx's friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels (1820–1895) edited and published volumes two and three after Marx's death.

Marx had several important intellectual influences. One of his primary influences comes from the work of G.W.F. Hegel. Hegel's theory presents history as a process of the world becoming conscious of itself as spirit. Marx took this idea and instead argued that it was man that was alienated from himself in the material world. Escape from this alienation requires a revolution. Marx also responds to the economic theories that were dominant in his time. He addresses several economists by name, such as Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.

Marx's theory should be understood in the context of the hardships suffered by 19th century workers in England, France and Germany. The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries created a seemingly permanent underclass of workers, many of whom lived in poverty under terrible working conditions and with little political representation. Capital was based on thirty years of studying capitalism in England, which was the most advanced industrial society in Marx's time. Based on these observations, Marx developed a complex theory about the structure and function of capitalism.

More Help

Previous Next
essay help

by josephbanks, August 10, 2017

Essay writing was never my forte as English isn’t my first language but because I was good at math so they put me into Honors English. I really couldn’t be assed with reading King Lear and then writing a 5,000 word paper on it so I looked up essay services and

was the first link to come up. I was kind of shocked with the quality of the paper they gave me. I received a very articulate and well-written piece of writing for like $20. Recommended it to a bunch of my foreign friends and now they use it too.