Where do I start with Marxian economics lads? I can't see any charts in the recommended reading list. Halp?

Where do I start with Marxian economics lads? I can't see any charts in the recommended reading list. Halp?

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Start with Wage Labor and Capital

What level of knowledge are you at? What level of information are you looking for? If you don't want go straight for Capital there is a manga version and a bunch of youtube videos that i don't have any links for but somebody else might, Wikipedia is fine too if you want the basics.

If you want something more modern, just read the marxian economics section of contending economic theories


there's not much to know about it really. It's just taking money from people and using it how the party sees fit.

The Marxist nations had low taxes you idiot.




I know this is a shitpost but there are Tankies on this very board who literally believe this.

Capital of course.

Capital vol. 1

Don't be a coward. Just do it.

You can start with Capital volume 1. It starts a bit dry but there's nothing else you need to understand it.

Stay away from all guides and other products that tell you what to think about it.

What's your language?

There's no such thing as Marxian economics.

Wage labor and Capital. It's a pretty good critique of Capitalism and is not too hard to read. Relevant to Marx's unholy way of writing.

There is no such thing. Start with Keyens and game theory. Inbe4 I am a Marxist.

He's a britbong.

Watch all this:

Then read capital volume 1-3

Wage Labour and Capital. It's a short and accessible summary of Marx's economic theory. Value, Price and Profit is admittedly a good follow-up in the same vein.
Then if you are still interested, read Capital. Don't let yourself being influenced by David Harvey, Althusser or anyone else, just read it by itself.
If you want more, read Grundrisse, but by that point, you shouldn't need any more advice since you would know more about Marx than the majority of this board including me.

NO! This is the worst thing you can read. Marx wrote it when he had not fully developed his theories. It should ONLY be understood as part of his development as a thinker. To read it as an actual guide to Marx's theories will only confuse the shit out of you when you go to actually read capital or any secondary texts.

Both decent pieces of advice. Look into Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense as well if you are interested in formulations of Marx's theories within a conventional framework.

This is what I would recommend. You will have to read Hegel at some point if you plan on understanding it completely.

What exactly would you say is wrong with wage labor and Capital? I am interested to say the least. I thought it was a good introductory text but to be fair I've only read like three books.

Is capital a particularly dense or hard to understand book?

It starts really hard but it gets easier. Don't try to read it quickly, take your time with it.

You are probably one of these people who spout DUDE START WITH LE GREEKS LMAO on /lit/ all the time.
Nobody said it was the definitive work of Marx on economics. I just think it is good if OP want a quick introduction to Marx before investing time in a 1000-page theoretical book. Both WL&C and VP&P can be read in an afternoon, and I hope no one is retarded enough to believe that any of these short texts is more relevant than Das Kapital when it comes to Marx.
Unless you have good reasons you can disclose to us, you are only discouraging newcomers needlessly.

Tbh the first 100 pages out of the 1000 are just as good an introduction.

once you get past the basic stuff read this
it explains how economic planning works under socialism

Assuming that you don't nothing about political economy: Wage Labor and Capital (1847) and Value, Price and Profit (1865). Just keep in mind that those texts are introductory and not the final form of Marx's theory. If you enjoyed the reading you can begin Capital.

When he wrote these essays, Marx had not yet drawn the distinction between labor and labor power. Engels mentions this in the forward he wrote. The terms he uses for things like cost of production are ambiguous and have changed by the time he wrote Capital. They are both important texts for understanding Marx's development as a theorist, but they cannot provide a firm foundation, and if you have remembered the terms them, Marx's argument will appear inconsistent and confusing when you read Capital.

The first chapter is confusing if you aren't familiar with Hegel's method, but if you take it slow, you should be fine, and everything after the first chapter is much more clear and straightforward than anything in his earlier writings.

No one said you need to read the whole three volumes or even the whole first volume. Capital isn't the kind of book you should treat as something to read all at once. Read one or two chapters at a time. My point is that the beginning of Capital, deals with everything dealt with in these two essays in a much more concise and consistent way then WL&C and VP&P.

I actually recommend The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell as a starting point on /lit/. Plato's Republic isn't a bad place to start either though.

This is a pretty good book as well. I would read it after you have read the first couple of chapters of Capital.

Adhere to this chart.

The "Capital is not a work of economics" meme gets more ebin every time. Sasuga leftcoms.

Fucking this. When will this autism end

Why does it recommend reading paul mason and then cockshott when mason devotes a section to shitting on TANS and says its the wrong way to go?

If you really need a book that reinforces the idea that socialism is central planning. There you go.

masons argument is that central planning would oversimply the economy by not allowing single moms to whore themselves out on webcams, its pretty stupid


this is your brain on leftcommunism

It definitely did break down at the end.

Marxian or Marxist?


Anyway, I think this is the best progression reading list for normies that I've seen yet. Other lists either jump into the deep end straight away or just stay in the kiddie's pool.

Some people make the distinction between the study and advancement of Marx's political economy and the direct political practice based on it.


And some people, although very well aware of the fact that Marx dealt with economy, find such a distinction absurd.

Start with "What Is Property" by Proudhon. It's an older and simpler vision of socialism, and will give you useful context when you later read Marx.

Are you for real? That's a really bad starting point.
Anthony Kenny does a similar thing but 10 times better.
Alternatively you could go with something really meaty like Guthrie's History of Greek philosophy.

Marx's understanding of capitalism was unique and distinct from all other tendencies in economics, yes. Now stop being a fuck head.

Read Rubin, and don't defend the categories of capitalism, except if you just want to re-manage capitalism in a different form.

Marx never attempted put forward anything that is a tendency of economics. It is a critique of political economy as he said himself.

We get it, it is a critique. You won this useless semantic debate, does this make you happy ?
Now, give us tips to get the most out of Capital, which translations and editions are the best, what prerequisites are good to have before tackling it, what to read after (Grundrisse ? Wertkritik ?) and so on or fuck off.

there is no such thing, Marxism is explicitly a chimpout against economics of any kind it is about autistically analyzing all the flaws of all human society and blaming it all on people and organizations with money and/or power and proposes abolishing people and organizations with money and power as a solution

thats not his argument though. What he points out is that central planning is supposed to get societies to a point of post scarcity, and TANS is a perfection of CP. But he points out that the corrosion of the price mechanism suggests post scarcity is soon to arrive anyway, so central planning is pointless.

What is "post-scarcity" supposed to mean anyway?

I'm not the person you replied to, but I just wanted to point out that this isn't a
as you try to dismiss the issue, but is central when debating methodology. If you just see Marx as a left-ricardian, you'll inevitably end up with wolff-tier pleas for "market/coop socialism" (the form [of capitalism]), without questioning the central categories of economic theory (the content [of capitalism]). Endnote's "Communisation and Value-Form Theory" further explains the issue and it's history.

It's a Hegelian critique, which means it is a self-critique of the categories of the system. In order for Marx to do this he had to build a new theory of the system which he critiqued from within and continued to constrict from within. All this does mean that Marx indeed had to pit his theory of capitalism as the theory of capitalism against prior ones. Capital is not Ricardian, Smithian, or Millian,. No, it is Marxist since it is Marx's comprehension of capital as a system and what it truly is. To say there is no Marxist economics is as silly as saying there is no Einsteinian physics because Einstein's theory was a critique of Newtonianism. This would be true if all Marx had done was a negative takedown of the theories that already existed, but this is not what he did. Marx made a whole new and unique theory of capitalism which made predictions and gave explanations for very complex economic phenomena. His final conclusion of communism rests entirely on the assumption that he did make the Hegelian absolute form of capital, and that the developments of the theory necessarily lead to a self-collapsing conclusion to the highest stages of the system.

People who say this kind of silly thing have clearly not read Capital. Marx is obsessive about problems which go way over a normie's head when it comes to how the system ideally works in its best and purest: business cycles, credit, value, rates of profit. Do people really think Marx spent decades of his life just agonizing how best to trar down the theory of others and not what the truth was? In order to critique the real thing you must know the real thing, and Marx knew that no one had yet known the real thing , so it was up to him to craft that true theory as well.

To be fair: the user said "Marxian".

He also never intended to create "marxism" you dolt.

His critique was exactly that political economists DID NOT understand capitalism, and in order to establish exactly what capitalism's tendencies were and how they would lead to socialism he did put forward a positive understanding of capitalism as well as an analysis of it. That is a tendency of economics.

Value-Form theory was without a doubt the most abstract and useless part of Capital, and this was in part due to Marx being forced to operate in his contemporary understanding of what science was. That is that it operated from a starting point of the abstract and moved towards the concrete, whereas any proper materialism must do the exact opposite. In that sense, the insights we get in the later half of capital are much more valuable as the historical development of capitalism.

Because of Dauve's and Endnote's autistic insistence on making value form the basis for their theory, they have essentially made themselves crypto idealists obsessed with metaphysics instead of trying to understand the material world.


Exchange value is. Value, however, is an abstraction, which is why Marx dreamt up the transformation problem, which doesn't exist in the real world.

Value and exchange value are the same thing, as opposed to use-value.

In Marx's dialectics abstractions become concrete.

In reality, yes, leftcoms like to make a slimy distinction between the two.

Scarcity has been present in all human societies – hell, it's a condition of life on Earth, really, as all living things have to struggle to feed themselves. And within capitalism it's a core mechanism. After all, transactions presuppose that each of the parties couldn't just get what they're trading for on his own. If by some miracle someone stumbled on a limitless source of any commodity, like say, iron, he obviously would never need to buy that for the rest of his life. In fact, as this miracle production grows, the worldwide price of iron would cratter, and might even reach zero, as iron becomes avaiable to anyone in whatever amounts. That means that now not just that first guy, but everyone would not need to buy iron, meaning there's no longer a market for it. Iron has reached post-scarcity. Needless to say, Porky wouldn't be happy.

It's supposed that at some point in the future, mankind might reach a technological level where all commodities needed for a person to live a dignified life have reached post-scarcity. This complete elimination of poverty would would obviously be a massive blow to capitalism, as any person can simply opt out of it now. Even farther into the future, every commodity would reach post-scarcity, at which point capitalism can't conceivably exist. Let's hope mankind manages not to extinguish itself before then.

Extra needless paragraph because I couldn't control myself and typed too much: Capitalism necessitates scarcity so much that it willingly creates it as part of its everyday practice. The more abundant a commodity, the lower the price, and Porky wants the opposite of that; but he also wants to sell as much as possible. Ideally, he wants to produce the exact number of units that his customers will buy, because surplus not only is wasted investment, but further decreases the price of all units. So he has to try to reach that ideal number in order to gain maximal profit from sales. The issue being, this number most likely is not the same as the number for, say, maximum production without permanently affecting the environment, or more commonly, it no doubt won't be the most socially useful number. An example: back in Chavez's heyday, he busted a pasta making plant because the porky in question had been hoarding his own product in order to inflate the price and maximize the profit, and got caught because it reached the point people couldn't buy pasta anymore. Do you see the revolting logic inherent in basic capitalism here? He had direct pofit incentive to victmize the populace. If he had been more careful, he probably wouldn't have been caught. And I guarantee you, throttling production just to create scarcity, or hoarding it, or other such methods, are as common as muck.

Kenny's history is indeed better in some ways, but it is four volumes compared to Russell's one volume. What I like about Russell's book in particular, is that it is clearly not meant to be unbiased. Russell is upfront about his opinions, and although I may not agree with all of them, I believe it is better for a new reader to be used to understanding philosophical literature as a dialectic (in the Platonic sense), rather than taking what they read at face value.

That reminds me how after the 1929 crisis there was a movement called "abundancism" (proposed by Jacques Duboin) that preached that a utopian post-scarcity for early 20th century lifestyle needs was already possible.
The reason it had become popular was that people were outraged watching porkies sabotaging their own production or scrapping machinery during the overproduction crisis while people were starving.

Even nowadays, whenever the price of agricultural products drops like a rock because of overproduction, you hear stories about how crops are left to rot in the fields because it's not profitable to harvest and/or transport them to the nearest distribution center. Which is usually bullshit: it's more like strategically inconvenient to flood the market further.
(And where are the vaunted private charities that should be snatching up all the grain at bargain prices to feed the poor according to ancap fairytales?)

The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

pretty straightforward after that part though

Can't I just read a couple of articles on plato.stanford.edu and call it a day?

Actually wait, that would still end up being like 2000 pages.

Read Plato's Republic. It's well written and interesting, even if I disagree with most of it.

This. It's not hard, it's just awkward to read.

never start with the ancients

20 yards of linen + labour = a coat*

Marx called it material super abundance. Its whats supposed to make communism possible. Once prices fall to zero, abundance has been reached.

I'm reading "Looking at Philosophy" by Donald Palmer right now, and it's pretty good.
It succeed at being lighthearted and easy to read while at the same time giving you a broad overview of the history of philosophy and stimulate your curiosity about philosophers you didn't think would interest you. Of course, it is not exhaustive but then you should go to plato.standford.edu and look at the primary sources when you feel you didn't have enough.
It is also used as a textbook by several unis for Phil101 courses, and the PDF of the 4th edition is available for free on libgen : libgen.pw/view.php?id=786389

Here in Brazil after the 1929 crash, the government would buy coffee beans produced by large land owners, and just plain burn it. A very clear case of socializing losses and privatizing profits.