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A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

Karl Marx

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .defines as an existing commodity, gold and silver. Laboring under the ideas of the monetary system, he declares the special branch of labor which is devoted to the production of gold and silver as the labor which determines exchange value. What he really means is that the labor of members of society must producePg 59 not direct use-values, but commodities or use-values which by means of exchange are capable of assuming the form of gold and silver, i. e. of money, i. e. of exchange value, i. e. of embodiments of universal labor. His example, however, shows strikingly that the recognition of labor as the source of material wealth by no means excludes the misconception of the particular social form in which labor constitutes the source of exchange value.

In his turn, Boisguillebert, if not consciously, at any rate actually reduces the exchange value of a commodity to labor-time, since he determines “true value” (la juste valeur) by the. . . Read More

Community Reviews


This review concerns only the famous preface of this book. Having read the three volumes of “The Capital”, I’m not reading this entire book, as it is a first essay on crucial themes later exhaustively covered in Marx’s magnum opus.

Interpreters see what they call a “general theory of History

A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy is an interesting historical and economic text, one which shows Marx in dialogue with his contemporaries and predecessors in the field. However interesting it may be, its current importance is relegated to an exposition of Marx's theories concernin

"A fome é fome, mas a fome que se satisfaz com carne cozida, que se come por meio de uma faca ou de um garfo, é uma fome muito distinta da que devora carne crua com ajuda das mãos, unhas e dentes."

nice intro to some concepts covered in capital

Finally got around finishing this book after 2 months

As many others have already mentioned, not a very essential work wrt Marxist thought. And it is not an easy to read work in any way. Most of its parts are incorporated in the first vol of Das Kapital in a much better and contained way. A huge part

It’s strange that Marx thought the introduction to this was too complex/not worth keeping in, because I thought it was one of the most useful parts of the book, really put the project into perspective and showed exactly where and why he differed from his predecessors

First published in 1859, this pamphlet would later become the first three chapters of Capital: Volume 1. It is here however, that Marx first spells out in analytical detail how the relations of production; that bond between people which is forged out of their joint activity, becomes reified from a r

A Contribution to The Critique of Political Economy is a book about economics by the famous economist Karl Marx. As one would expect, Marx explains his views of how value should be determined, and how money should be used. It was originally written in German, as that is Marx’s native language, so so

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