On the occasion of the 156th anniversary of the publication of Marx’s book “Capital”.. Written by: Taj Al-Sir Othman – Sudanile

On the occasion of the 156th anniversary of the publication of Marx’s book “Capital”.. Written by: Taj Al-Sir Othman – Sudanile

Although 156 years have passed since the publication of Karl Marx’s book “Capital” on September 14, 1867 AD, his dissection of capitalist society, its contradictions, and the inevitability of its demise is still vibrant. Despite the transformations that have occurred in the capitalist formation, many have returned to it, especially after the general crisis of capitalism in the year 2008. Which was not treated by palliatives and reforms, but rather worsened, until the world was on the brink of the collapse of World War III after the Russian-Ukrainian war, which led to the destabilization of the global financial and capitalist system.
Crises have also worsened, such as: a decline in global economic growth rates due to high rates of unemployment, inflation, and public indebtedness, class polarization, severe exploitation and displacement of workers, rising prices and inflation, military spending at the expense of health, education, and social security services, and the exacerbation of the conflict between the poles of capitalism: “Japan, The European Union, the United States, and their conflict with capitalist or emerging international capitalist countries such as: “China, Russia, India, South Africa, Brazil, etc.,” and the intensification of the conflict over resources in developing countries, including Sudan.
This is in addition to the rise of the demand and mass movement against unemployment, the Corona crisis that has claimed thousands of citizens, against racism, and the growth of revolutionary parties with their various starting points demanding social security, justice, defending the environment, stopping the arms race and war, respecting human rights, women’s rights, and against global warming that threatens our planet. Free education, health, and medicine, and against privatization and the displacement of workers, and widespread strikes to improve living, economic, and cultural conditions, as well as the growing role of socialist and communist parties.
On the occasion of the 155th anniversary, we republish this article about Marx’s book “Capital.”
The publication of the first volume of Marx’s four-volume work, Capital, was an important turning point in the critique of the political economy of capitalism. I remember that I looked at the first volume in the social services library of the Sudan Railways Authority in Atbara, which is one of the large working cities in Sudan. That was during the summer vacation in 1974 of the last century, and I was a student at the University of Khartoum at the time. The library was located in an old church building. In the “Soudna” neighborhood in Atbara, which was surrounded by gardens and trees of “Ficus” and “Al-Dhanya,” which gave a cool atmosphere to the sweltering summer of Atbara, in addition to the fact that the library was located near the railway workers’ workshops, and that atmosphere was helpful in understanding and assimilating the first volume. In addition to my specialization in mathematics, and an easy and smooth Arabic translation, which was the work of (Muhammad Itani).
The first volume was very interesting to me, and I was impressed by Marx’s dialectical approach, in which he deeply and comprehensively linked the sciences of history, sociology, and economics, in addition to the sublime and sometimes sarcastic literary language. Since that time, I have continued my interest in studying Marxist political economy, which helped me a lot in the research I completed on social history. For Sudan.
Marx wrote in the introduction to the first edition of his book (Capital): (I view the development of the social economic formation as a natural historical process, and the ultimate goal of my book is to discover the economic law of the contemporary movement of society).
Marx continues and says, “Contemporary society is not a solid crystal, but rather an organic entity capable of transformation and is constantly transforming.” This is what was confirmed by the events of the various transformations that the capitalist system went through from the stage of imperialism that Lenin studied in his book (Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916 AD). Until the stage of contemporary capitalism (the stage of globalization), in which capitalism, led by America, increased in ferocity and voraciousness in exhausting workers and plundering the peoples and resources of underdeveloped countries.
In that first volume of (Capital), Marx studied the economic and social conditions in England, which was the most developed capitalist country in his era. He also relied on the scientific conclusions that the classics of bourgeois political economy came out with, such as: Adam Smith, Ricardo, William Petty, and others. Consider it critically.
The fruit of Marx’s concrete study of capitalist society in England was the discovery of the theory of surplus value, which formed the cornerstone of Marx’s economic theory, which gave socialism a scientific character, and clarified to the working class the secret of capitalist exploitation, which is based on the capitalists’ seizure of unpaid labor.
After Marx’s death, his lifelong friend Frederick Engels was able to publish the second volume (1885) and the third volume (1894).
By following Marx’s scientific effort in discovering the basic law of capitalist society, we notice that he made a hard and profound scientific effort to reach that discovery, and this is evident from the following writings of Marx and Engels:
• In 1844 AD, Marx wrote his book (Excerpts from James Mill’s Elements of Political Economy), and in the same year Engels’ book (General Outlines in Criticism of Political Economy) was published, and in the same year Marx’s book (Philosophical and Economic Manuscripts) was published.
• In 1845 AD, Engels’ field study was published on “The Conditions of the Working Class in England,” which accurately described the state of misery and misery they were experiencing.
• In 1846 AD, Marx and Engels’ book (The German Ideology) was published, in which the (materialist concept of history) was formulated, which is considered the methodological basis of Marxist political economy.
• In 1847 AD, Marx’s book (The Poverty of Philosophy) was published, in which he formulated his concepts about wage labor and capital. He also formulated the theory of value and laid out some elements of the theory of surplus value. In the same year, Marx’s pamphlet (Wage Labor and Capital) was published.
• In the year 1848 AD, Marx and Engels’ “The Communist Manifesto” was issued, in which they concluded that socialism is a necessary result of the development of the capitalist method of production, and that scientific proof of this remains necessary.
• After a period of interruption in practical activity in order to change society and organize the working class movement to become aware of its interests and formulate its demands, Marx returned again to researching political economy, and we find him in the year 1858 AD issuing the Grundrisse (Foundations of Criticism of Political Economy – The Initial Draft of Capital).
• In the year 1859 AD, Marx published his book (A Contribution to the Criticism of Political Economy), in which he pointed out the necessity of studying the economic relations of contemporary society. The legal relationship, as well as the forms of the state, as Marx says: cannot be understood through themselves, nor through what is called the general development of thought. Human, rather, it lies in social-material relations and the structure of civil society.
• In the years 1861-1862 AD, Marx’s book (Theories of Surplus Value – Volumes: 1, 2, 3) was published.
• In 1865, Marx’s book (Wages, Prices, and Profit) was published.
• Finally, the fruit of this hard effort was Marx’s book (Capital – Volume One), which was published in the year 1867 AD, which constituted the theoretical weapon of the working class in its struggle to change capitalist society and build socialist society.
Marx was truly a fighter for changing capitalist society and a profound researcher who left his mark on the development of human thought.

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