Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works




Download Commentary (190 KB)


A brief commentary prepared by Alex Macleod, PhD, Lecturer, English, on the following work:

Karl Marx
Das Kapital: Kritik der politischen Oekonomie (Capital: A Critique of Political Economy)
Hamburg, 1867; volume 1; first edition


Capital has made a comeback in recent years, working into the national conversation on the Great Recession, income inequality, the “1 percent,” and the minimum wage. Political economy, which economists once considered a dinosaur of a genre, has likewise made a surprise return, most notably with Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (2014).

Its premise is rather simple: that profit is only possible in a capitalist economy through the exploitation and impoverishment of workers. To be clear, according to Marx, exploitation is not a by-product or a regrettable consequence of profitmaking under capitalism, but rather its defining feature. Capitalism is able to generate surplus value precisely because it has produced a commodity (labor power) that, as it is used, creates more value than it costs.

Permission Statement

This item and all others in the Imprints and Impressions collection are licensed for research, educational and private use. Proper attribution must be used when downloading or reproducing this content. If you wish to use the materials for other purposes, please contact University of Dayton Libraries to obtain permission: 937-229-4221.

Marx: ‘Das Kapital’


View Images