Capital by Karl Marx in PDF

This is a free version of Capital by Karl Marx for download below in PDF. It is not just the book Volume I,  that are found on other websites, nor an on-line version where you have to scroll through endless pages in your browser, rather this is Volume I, II and III in one book in a downloadable format. Further, the edition is free, based on public domain copyright. Therefore, please download my complete version of Capital by Karl Marx for free.

Das Kapital downloads in the following formats:

Capital Karl Marx PDF

Capital Karl Marx ePub

Capital Karl Marx MOBI

The books are above, it is a simple download link.

I zipped the files because of the size. All files contain all three volumes of his works and a short introduction by me. My downloads are secure and virus free. My name is Mark Biernat and I am a college Economics professor. I am providing the works of great Economics of the past because I love Economic theory and the history of Economics.

Volume I - 1876, Volume II - 1885 Volume III - 1894
Above are the links for the three volumes of in one book: Critique of Political Economy, The Process of Circulation of Capital and The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole.

The world is a war of ideas – Schopenhauer

Karl Marx’s ideas were perceived as so dangerous that the Germans shipped him in a sealed boxcar to Russia because they were afraid of his economic theory spreading.

What were Marx’s ideas and why were they so powerful?

Although his theories are not largely recognized today as valid, there are some truths in his theory. Even in our democratic mix economies, there are some aspects of this theory that have insights into how markets operate and fail. Further, as times change his ideas may become more relevant and even more valid depending on the course of the future.

I know this sounds crazy right? However, with population growth and limited resources in a future Malthusian world scenario, stratification of wealth and Gini coefficients of income distributions skewed, Marxist ideas might have greater value in understanding human nature and the social science of economics. I believe in capitalism’s production and allocation efficiencies and I do not believe religion is an opium of the masses, however, a further examination of Marxist ideas is worth anyone study.

  • Karl Marx was a classical economist and wrote in a time that echoes our times in a strange twist of irony.

For example, my family came from Eastern Europe, and before the communist revolution. At that time, most people worked their whole life, yes their whole life for one guy who lived in a big house and owned the land granted to him by some ancient government. Is that what you want from your one existence here on this planet? Yes, you could have a house and a small field but most of your wealth a productive activity when to the owner.

However, how much different is that than today? Unless you are the owner of a business, you are part of the working class. Even if you have a salary of 65k you still are working for the company, bank to pay the mortgage, insurance, medical and all the other expenses. Your boss has great leverage over you because he knows you have bills to pay.  It is not exactly like you are sharing in the wealth of your productive efforts proportionally or a free man.  A free person is someone who has everything paid off, savings and economic rewards are equal to productive efforts. You basically are allowed to live in a house on a tiny piece of land for working your life away.

You can see that Marxist ideas have emotional appeal as well as some theoretical truth based on the time. I and my family have always been unrepentant capitalists, as Marxist theory is not only economic but also has an anti-religious partiality. However, the economic theory alone, as articulated in Capital is a worthy read. In one sense, understanding Marx will better make you be able to defend your own capitalist ideals. At the very least it is a fascinating read of history.

Capitalist life
The cliché capitalist life only exists in movies, in reality, most people work hard and when they achieve they give back through charity

The Irony of Karl Marx

Marx wrote against the exploitation of the worker by the capitalist. However, could not his ideas have some validity if you replace the ‘oppression of the capitalist’ with the ‘burden of government’ and excess taxation? Is not the oppression of today, not the entrepreneurs who create Facebook or Google, or Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who gave away his fortune to charity, but a government that keeps about half your productive efforts in a year, creates an inefficient distribution of wealth and “deadweight loss” decreasing consumer surplus and producer surplus? The feudal lord only required 1/3 of your productive time.

Marx lived from 1830 to 1883, however, if you substitute the players in his book with a modern interpretation (such a big company or government, you will find a relevant view you can relate to.

Is there a new theory for Marx?

The paradigms of ideas shift when old ideas are looked at in a new way. I recommend reading Capital because you might find something that was not looked at before. Something that is valid and meaningful that has been overlooked. These discoveries happen all the time.

If you are Marxist or leaning to the left, try to see where the theory in Das Kapital is still valid and where it is outdated.

I teach economics in a college setting. Although I personally have libertarian capitalistic views,  I want the academic space I teach in to be a forum for the exchange of open ideas as no one has a monopoly on the truth. Therefore, I offer the works of Karl Marx free for download and suspend my preconceived notions.

Adam Smith contrasted with Karl Marx

While Adam Smith believed capitalism was motivated by enlightened self-interest, people create value to satiate demand. When people pursue enlightened self-interest society as a whole benefit in ways that could never be imagined or engineered. Marx has a different view.

Karl Marx’s theory was the exploitation of labor, that is to create producer surplus, from uncompensated worker effort. The owner of the production could claim surplus value because of legal protection. The ruling regime granted capitalist property rights.

What was the theory of Marx?

If we understand what Marx believed was wrong with capitalism we can create a better capitalism model.

Marx articulated

  • Alienation (Entfernung) – Marx believed the work was a fundamental source of happiness in people. However, people needed to see their work in the objects they created. Since the modern world and capitalism is focused on specialization this alienates the worker’s product from the worker. Marx believes this alienation or entfernung was the first wrong of capitalism.
  • Modern work is insecure – Workers are inputs that can be replaced.
  • Primitive accumulation (Ursprünglich) – Workers are unfairly compensated for the value the create. He discussed the theory of “primitive accumulation”. Marx saw profit as a thief of worker surplus. Profit is another term for the exploitation of talent and effort.
  • Capitalism is unstable – Because of the boom and bust cycle which are endemic and caused by a crisis of overproduction and abundance from the efficiency of specialization. This overabundance causes unemployment as not everyone is needed. His answer was redistributing the wealth of producer surplus to worker surplus.
  • Commodity fetishism (Warenfetischismus) – Capitalism puts emotional strain on capitalistic – Whether it is marriage or the internal struggles they go through. Their economic interest overrides humanistic concerns.

Marx believed a capitalist ideology was created because society is brainwashed to attribute value judgments on things that do not matter.

So is Marx correct?

He makes some points relevant to his time and important to continue to improve our time. Some ideas he had was free education, free libraries, public transportation and roads, progressive income tax. These ideas have all come to fruition and as capitalism evolves in our mixed economy more of his ideas are ironically become manifest through capitalism.

Marx is a conflict theory because one group of society is not in competition but conflict and oppression with another group in society. It sociology is one model that is not common. More common is cooperation, competition or isolation. Marx’s idea is this conflict is between the rich and the poor. Class conflict was the basis of his theory.

Marx’s goal was justice. He did not envision the totalitarian oppression of Communism, which to the Soviets was seen as a transitional state towards the path to Utopia. He wanted to create an equal society in terms of economic opportunity to actualize their lives through intellectual endeavors.

In the context of his time, Marx was writing about, a transition from feudalism to industrialization. During feudalism, people had rights to have their own animals and farm in the commons. However, with the passage of the Enclosure Acts in the 18th century in England, land ownership and use became restrictive and migration to the cities limited workers to factory work for making a means of employment.

This set up Marx’s model of workers and capitalists which is elaborated on in his theories on capitalist ideology. In the factories, factory workers were employed at substance wages and children were used as cheap labor.

The classes were the factory owners or the Bourgeoisie and the workers or the proletariat. The capitalist system is based on a system that encourages inequality. Through education of the proletariat and eventual revolution that would over thought the system, a new system where all people were treated equally. Further, the capital and businesses were community-owned, this system was called communism. It was the abolition of private property.

Marx eventually had to flee Germany and reside in London. Marx cooperated with Engels.

Marx used Hegelian logic, dialectical materialism in his theory. In another twist of irony, in one sense Marx was the first hyper consumer, as all that exists in the world was material, rather than spiritual transcendence and meaning. Therefore, his system of happiness (util maximization) was based on satiation through material equality and intellectual pursuits, not a soulful transcendence.

  • Although scarcity is the fundamental problem of economics, it is not the meaning of life or the answer to the human condition, take a look around you.

Marx was incorrect on two basic points

  • This labor theory of value – which stated that the value of any object is the amount of labor input into its creation is the basis of price.

Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarce any thing; scarce any thing can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarce any value in use; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it – Adam Smith

Value is not determined by labor input or any objective measure but by supply and demand, it is subjective, whatever value people ascribe value to it.

  • Free movement of labor and capital – in modern society makes working in one place or profession a choice rather than a fate. Further, there is intellectual capital which has little to no barriers to entry in contrast to the ideas of the early industrial age.

If you do not like your job quit

I personally live semi-off the grid (or at least off the matrix) by growing my own food and creating my own businesses. You are not as indentured to your job and your career as you think.

dialectical materialism
All roads in capitalism are not paved with gold

The big picture – Freedom and equality

These are seen as the two social values that are parlayed to create a society that is just. Justice as the ultimate good. They have to be balanced with both equality and freedom which are limited goods. You do not want the freedom to yell fire in a crowded movie if it was not true, or allow children to smoke. Nor do you want to make everyone so equal that it crushes the human spirit. Society as a whole should strive to maximize justice.

Marx had an inordinate emphasis on equality which brought societies which espouse his ideology to a lower social medium. Compare North Korea to South Korea. What was once West Berlin or East Berlin? Hong Kong to mainland China before China became a mixed economy. If you believe that humans are naturally good then, if you maximize freedom justice will prevail. If you believe that humans are fundamentally exploitive (rather than competitive), than Marx’s ideas might appeal to you.

I believe humans are both good and competitive, not in aggregate exploitative. In aggregate you will find exceptions, but not a rule. Understanding the difference between healthy competition and straight exploitation is something that you have to decide. I would recommend looking at the people who live next to you or you are in a relationship with. Are they fundamentally bad people or someone like yourself, someone with dreams and hopes that they are trying to actualize?

Does self-actualization go beyond the tangible goods and economic prosperity, perhaps faith and God is the center rather than material goods like Marx theorized?

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12 responses to “Capital by Karl Marx in PDF”

  1. Alejandro Pareja

    I’d say that it was Lenin who was sent to Russia in a sealed carriage.

  2. Hakan YUKSEL

    Well Mr, Have you not read the Communist Manifesto?! Marx has nothing to do with equal society. On the contrary, what he proposes is quite simple: Some are born to work while some are luckier to exploit because of the existing conditions of the (any) old social system. Therefore; working people or the labor class who inevitably have to work must attack any old system (when they are strong enough) and build a system of their own.

    1. Mark Biernat

      What would be that system?

  3. Why is volume 1 missing chapters 5-33?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I will have to check this and correct it.

  4. venkatesh

    socialism, and he also questions how the old society came, read his other books origin of family and private property, and read on the so called primitive accumulation in the Das Capital

  5. venkatesh

    and to the author, Ricardo was the person who gave labour theory, that labour creates wealth. please read ricardo , ant this is evident that you havent read either marx or ricardo

    1. Mark Biernat

      Ricardo, Smith, and Marx were classical economists that were grappling with the issues of value. This is why the Dimond Water Paradox was explained later. They all had similar views from one vantage point because this was before the marginal revolution. It was the marginal revolution (Carl Menger etc that better addresses this). I am not denying that Ricardo and Smith had LTV in their ideas, I make a point of this in my class, however, it was Marx who ran with it.

  6. vox arcana

    Thank you for providing the downloads for Capital. I am planning on running a reading group for it and pending review that the links contain all the material relevent for Vol.1, I will tell people to go here to get a free copy if they need one. I appreciate that while you don’t subscribe to Marx’s ideas that you still provide this link and are open about your disagreements.

    With that said, I enjoy a good back and forth over political economy, and would like to respond to your interpretation and take on Marx’s Labor Theory of Value.
    It seems that you have misinterpreted what Marx means by value here. He means value in the sense that it is something which another human being desires. This is not the same thing as exchange value, which, assuming a commodity of exchange of some currency, is the same as price. I believe you have confused value with exchange value, but they are not the same thing. Labor is the only source of value, as any commodity traded or exchanged with among human requires a non-zero amount of work by a human to produce. Commodities do not simply pop into existence within someone’s hands, a human has to do some amount of physical & mental effort to produce it. Until we create completely self-sufficient, self-maintaining, and self-replicating universal robots that are totally independent of human beings & can perform the same physical/mental tasks as a human being, the Labor Theory of Value holds. Interpreting LTV this way, we can distill political economy down to how society decides to allocate human labor.

    Of note here is the 1983 book, “Laws of Chaos,” which takes a probabilistic approach to capitalist political economy. By modeling a capitalist system with mathematics from statistical mechanics, Marx’s Labor Theory of Value emerges. Basically, if we imagine our capitalist society as a cloud of gas where we are all single atoms of said cloud, Labor is equivalent to heat. IE: the more heat in the gas, the more it’s atoms will move around, and the more the cloud will expand. The modeling in this book reveals the relationship between labor and value, and why ONLY labor can create value.

    Thanks for your time & have a great day!

  7. carlton

    The so-called Laws of Supply and Demand are in reality skewed by the state acting in the interests of capital. A typical example would be the early colonising by charter companies under the notions of Terra Nullius, then backed up by the military might of their states of origin. Classical imperialism… this is then further exacerbated by succeeding change towards pseudo- independence, of the vassal states, always with the working class subjugated by capital, all the while capital relying on the state to maintain the exploitation and regulating the balance of supply and demands upon the whims of capital,acting against the broader interests of the workers and peasants….

  8. Jesse James

    You make several errors in your defense of capital. You ask your reader to look to neighbors as proof that people are not “aggregate exploitive.” But capital does not require, and Marx does not write, that even a majority of people are exploitive: just the capital class. This class is not just “the rich” because someone can own a small business and be a capitalist or can be a millionaire (e.g. pro-football player) who is still in the proletariat because their money is not capital. One need only look at history since Marx to see he was right: Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Pullman; Enron, Lehmann Bros.

    Your position about being semi-off the grid does not account for the vast number of people around the States or globe that cannot accumulate savings fast enough to move to their own home because of predatory rent, predatory and discriminatory lending, suppressed wages, and the legal roadblocks stopping workers from assembling (but allowing capitalists). “I can do it, therefore everyone else can” does not account for inherited generational wealth or educational opportunities available to a given individual. Only 10% or so of people are business owners like yourself. It would be impossible for all 100% — or even 50% — to become owners; laborers are needed (hence LTV). Further, as more Americans become business owners, as capitalists they increasingly seek to exploit labor in poorer countries (Nestle still uses child and slave labor) and through mass incarceration (the exception to the ‘end’ of slavery in the 13th Amendment). Prison labor alone nets over 2 Billion dollars annually in product.

    Totalitarianism can exist under capital. It basically exists in the States, yet in a livable condition. Freedoms of the peasants exist until private industry needs something: then private industry always wins. The U.S. has broken treaties, toppled democratically elected governments, nullified congressional laws protecting wages, and taken land from American citizens for private profit.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Marx was big on exploitation. I know this is your theme here, but most people do not feel exploited. People I know are just living their lives and working and going to the beach and having fun. I live near the beach and there are a lot of enjoyable things to do. Are you not feeling this way in your life? On little land, you can grow most of your food or even hydroponically and vertically if you do not have land. I do not care others make millions, its their problem. As long as there are clear property rights than what is the issue?

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