[Marxism] Fwd: Reading Capital Today | Michael Roberts Blog

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 18 06:08:59 MDT 2017

Over the next few months, I shall try to critique Harvey’s and other 
scholars’ analysis as we head towards the Capital.150 symposium.  But 
you can see some of the differences that I and other scholars have 
already raised with Harvey’s views, particularly on the causes of crises 

David Harvey’s contribution to understanding Marx’s great work has been 
invaluable.  But there are other readings that have also made an 
important contribution, if less well known.  For example, out in Los 
Angeles, Frieda Afary, a philosophy MA and librarian, has been 
conducting community-based readings of Capital throughout this year.

But perhaps, the most useful guide in reading Capital today is a new 
book by Joseph Choonara, A Reader’s Guide to Marx’s Capital (not 
published until July).  Choonara takes the reader through each chapter 
of Volume One with some clarifying analysis and relevant comment to 
help.  Choonara says that “It is designed to be read in parallel with 
Capital itself, with each chapter of this book consulted either before 
or after digesting the relevant sections of Marx’s work.”  The aim, 
unlike that of Harvey’s more comprehensive approach in his video 
lectures, is “instead to dwell on those areas that are the most vital to 
an overall understanding of the work and those that most often confuse, 
drawing on my own experience teaching Capital to left-wing audiences of 
students and workers over the past decade”.  For, in Choonara’s view, 
Marx attempted in Capital to see capitalism from the point of view of 
labour and aimed for a working-class audience.  Capital clearly does the 
former, but whether it achieved its aim of reaching working class 
readers is more doubtful.  Choonara’s guide can help here.


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