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Capital [Das Kapital] is a ground-breaking work of economic analysis, one of the most significant essays ever devised by the 19th-century economist and philosopher Karl Marx in which he expounded his theory of the capitalist system, its dynamism, and its tendencies toward self-destruction.
Marx’s views about the way social relationships in capitalism are skewed by the power given to objects and the force of economic imperatives led to the economic and political systems that at one time dominated half the earth and for nearly a century kept the world on the brink of war.
He felt that because all profit results from the “exploitation of labor,” the rate of profit—the amount per unit of total capital outlay—depends largely on the number of workers employed.
Even today, more than one billion Chinese citizens live under a regime that proclaims fealty to Marxist ideology.
Capital was the result of thirty years study by Marx on the nature of not only the capitalist economy, but also the social and historical forces that shape interactions among people both within and outside of trade.
This singular global vision provided the economic basis of political systems in Russia, China, Cuba and Eastern Europe, affecting the lives of countless millions of people.
KARL MARX (1818–1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Marx's theories about society, economics and politics—collectively understood as Marxism—held that states are run in the interests of the ruling class but are nonetheless represented as being in favor of the common interest of all, and that human societies develop through conflicts between ruling classes (the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and working classes (the proletariat) that work on these means by selling their labor for wages.