Capital (Das Capital) Summary

In the field of political texts, it is known as The Capital. Criticism of political economy to one of the most famous texts by the German philosopher Karl Marx, which was first published in 1867, the year in which only the first book appeared, thanks to the work of the publisher Velag von Otto Meissner.


Much later, in 1885 and 1894, respectively, his friend Friedrich Engels would posthumously order and publish the second book and the third book of The Capital. Criticism of the political economy.

Importance of the work

This text is of great importance to the Western political economy – even though it has also been taken as a philosophical text – since it is believed to be the ideological foundation of both Communism and Socialism, its main theme being the analysis of class relationships, between owners and proletarians, and how there is a constant struggle between them, of the former to oppress the weakest, and the latter to resist and liberate themselves.


In this way, this work becomes the ideological pillar of Marxism, a doctrine on which almost all the revolutionary movements of the left of the twentieth century would be based, such as those that occurred in communist China of Mao Tse Tung, the USSR itself, as well as such as the Cuban Revolution, and even – as his own followers pointed out – of the Bolivarian Revolution that Hugo Chávez brought to power in Venezuela, and to which several Latin American countries seemed to join at some point, during the life of this representative Venezuelan, who is credited with creating 21st-century Socialism.

Capital Summary

With regard to the very content of this book, one can begin to say that it is a work composed of three tomos, each of which analyzes vital phases for capital, such as its production, the way it circulates within society, as well as the globalizing pulses that Capital keeps in its nature. However, in a slightly more detailed view of each of the tomos of this work, you will find the following:

Volume I: The Capital Production Process

During this first volume, Marx will make an exhibition on what he considers the capital creation system, and how the Goods, created by the workers in return for a salary, relate to the money or accumulation of capital that the owner gets to the sell this merchandise. Thus, the first part of capital is a political and economic analysis of how social relations occur around the production of goods, the valorization of goods and the generation of capital gains and accumulation sins in the hands that have not produced dich goods.

Volume II: The Process of Capital Circulation

For his part, this second volume, published posthumously, in 1885, by Friedrich Engels, is considered vital to understand Marx’s vision of the functioning of the capitalism system.

In this way, this German philosopher addresses during the second volume how once the goods are created by the workers, it is returned to the capitalist entrepreneur, who added a value of profit, and places it for sale, converting the workers they have developed it in buyers, thus establishing a process of circulation of capital, where a series of production and consumption relationships also take place that reveal what for Marx is the capitalist market and its behavior.

Volume III: The global process of capitalist production or the capitalist production process as a whole

Being the last part of The Capital, the third volume was edited and completed by Friedrich Engels, also posthumously, coming to light in 1894. In this book, Marx raises how the metabolism of capital itself makes the accumulation of profits not infinite, but that the entrepreneur must invest more and more, without obtaining full reciprocity in his profit, so it occurs from time to time a recession economic crisis, as well as the bankruptcy of many industries.

However, this does not really mean the end of the capitalist system, or its defeat, but a way to accumulate more capital, despite the losses of some elements, to resurface much more strengthened, and to start again a process of producing profits and capital gains, until these turn into average gains, and the cycle is repeated again.

Likewise, Marx, towards the end of the work proposes how two kinds of income would be erected, equally based on the Earth, but from the vision that makes it a commodity, and that well analyzes it then not only by its extent, but also by its fertility, location and even because of the technological level that has been applied to it.

This book has been very controversial because many scholars have accused it of being an impossible issue to implement and as a sophistry of distraction from the plans actually had by Rabbi Karl Marx.

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Picture: Portrait of Karl Marx, Author of The Capital / Source: wikimedia.org

Capital (Das Capital) Summary
Source: Education  
September 21, 2019


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