’Let us finally imagine, for a change, an association of free men, working with the means of production held in common’
One of the most notorious works of modern times, as well as one of the most influentinal, Capital is an critique of private propertly and the social relations it generates. Living in exile in England, where this work was largely written, Marx drew on a wide-ranging knowledge of its society to support his analysis and create fresh insights. Arguing that capitalism would cause an ever-increasing division in wealth and welfare, he predicted its abolition and replacement by a system with common ownership of the means of production. Capital rapidly acquired readership among the leaders of social democratic parties, particularly in Russia and Germany, and ultimately throughout the world, to become a work described by Marx’s friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels as ’the Bible of the working class.’
In his introduction, Ernest Mandel illuminates a revolutionary theory whose impact on the turbulent events of the twentieth century has become ever more apparent.