Furthermore, there were a vast group of manuscripts that Marx worked on in the course of his life reflecting his work on Capital, and along with Marx’s published economic writings and those published by Engels we can list all these works as follows:
(1) Marx, Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie (Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy), manuscript, 1857–1858.There were also these revised English translations of volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Capital by Ernest Untermann in the early 1900s:
About 800 manuscript pages by Marx on political economy which were not even published until 1939 (Wheen 2001: 227). This formed the basis of A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859) (Sperber 2014: 421). Around this time Marx began to develop his mature economic ideas (Mandel 1990: 70).
(2) Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859).
This was Marx’s initial, long-awaited work on political economy, but was a great disappointment to most of his followers (Wheen 2001: 237–238). Much of it was incorporated into the first volume of Capital.
(3) Manuscript of 1861–1863
A large manuscript of 1,500 pages (Wheen 2001: 258) which included Marx’s analysis of the history of economy thought which later appeared as Theories of Surplus Value.
(4) First Draft of Capital:
Manuscript of 1863–1865
A first draft of Capital. Marx took the first 40% and revised it in a fresh draft and published the first German edition of Capital from it in 1867 (Sperber 2014: 421).
(5) volume 1 of Capital in German published in a first edition of 1867 (by Meissner, Hamburg). This is available here:
The first German edition seems to be here:Marx, Karl. 1867. Das Kapital: Kritik der politischen Oekonomie (1st edn.). O. Meissner, Hamburg; L. W. Schmidt, New York.(6) Second Draft of Capital:
Manuscript II for Book II (1868–1870)
Manuscripts for Books II and III (1867–1871)
(7) volume 1 of Capital in German published in a second edition of 1872–1873 with additions and changes by Marx.
(8) volume 1 of Capital in a French translation in 1875, with a number of changes to and corrections of the first German edition by Marx.
(9) third Draft of Capital:
Manuscripts for Book III (1874–1878)
Manuscripts for Book II (1877–1881)
(10) volume 1 of Capital in a third German edition with corrections and notes from the manuscripts of Marx and from the French translation edited and published by Engels in 1883.
(11) volume 2 of Capital edited and published by Engels in July 1885 in German.
(12) the first English translation of volume 1 of Capital in two parts in 1887 after Marx’s death in this edition:Marx, Karl. 1887. Capital. A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production. Volume I (in 2 volumes; trans. from 3rd German edn. by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling). Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co., London.There seems to be a reprint of the first part (that is, vol. 1) of the 1887 English edition of volume 1 of Capital but published in 1889 here:Marx, Karl. 1889. Capital. A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production. Volume I (trans. from 3rd German edn. by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling; ed. Friedrich Engels). Appleton & Co., New York, and S. Sonnenschein & Co., London.The second part (that is, vol. 2) of the 1887 English edition translated by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling seems to be available here:
https://archive.org/details/capitalcriticala00marxMarx, Karl. 1887. Capital. A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production. Volume I (vol. 2; trans. from 3rd German edn. by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling; ed. Friedrich Engels). Appleton & Co., New York, and S. Sonnenschein & Co., London.(13) volume 1 of Capital in a fourth German edition edited by Engels using the English edition of 1887 and published in 1890.
(14) volume 3 of Capital edited and published by Engels in November 1894 in German.
(15) Theories of Surplus Value, part of the Manuscript of 1861–1863 but which was first published in 1905–1910 and which is considered Volume 4 of Capital.
Marx, Karl. 1906. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy (vol. 1; rev. trans. by Ernest Untermann from 4th German edn.). The Modern Library, New York.Furthermore, a widely used modern English translation of Capital was the Penguin edition translated by Ben Fowkes and David Fernbach:
Marx, Karl. 1907. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. The Process of the Circulation of Capital (vol. 2; trans. by Ernst Untermann from 2nd German edn.). Charles H. Kerr & Co., Chicago, and Swan Sonnenschein & Co., London.
Marx, Karl. 1909. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy (vol. 3; trans. Ernst Untermann from 1st German edn.). Charles H. Kerr & Co., Chicago.
Marx, Karl. 1990. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume One (trans. Ben Fowkes). Penguin Books, London.Let us review the circumstances preceding the publication of the first volume of Capital.
Marx, Karl. 1992. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume Two (trans. David Fernbach). Penguin Books, London.
Marx, Karl. 1991. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume Three (trans. David Fernbach). Penguin Books, London.
In 1863 Marx abandoned his Manuscript of 1861–1863 (from which was later taken the Theories of Surplus Value) and started the new Manuscript of 1863–1865 which was a first draft of volumes 1, 2 and 3 of Capital. However, Marx then abandoned the first draft of volume 1 and started again in 1865, so that the published volume 1 was written after drafts of volumes 2 and 3, as Marx himself says in a letter to Sigmund Schott of 3 November, 1877:
Dear Sir,In 1865 Marx completed a first draft of volume 3 (McLellan 1995: 304) and then turned to a fresh draft of volume 1, which was in fact a second draft of that first volume (as pointed by Michael Heinrich here).
My best thanks for the packages. Your offer to arrange for other material to be sent to me from France, Italy, Switzerland, etc. is exceedingly welcome, although I feel reluctant to make undue claims on you. I don't at all mind waiting, by the by, nor will this in any way hold up my work, for I am applying myself to various parts of the book in turn. In fact, privatim, I began by writing Capital in a sequence (starting with the 3rd, historical section) quite the reverse of that in which it was presented to the public, saving only that the first volume—the last I tackled—was got ready for the press straight away, whereas the two others remained in the rough form which all research originally assumes. ….
Your most obedient Servant,
(letter from Marx to Sigmund Schott of 3 November, 1877; Marx and Engels 1992: 287).
In February 1866 after being pressed by Engels, Marx agreed to finish and publish volume 1 first (McLellan 1995: 306). He promised to send the first parts of the manuscript to the publisher in November 1866 (McLellan 1995: 306) but took the full manuscript to Hamburg himself in April 1867 (McLellan 1995: 306).
It is likely that, under pressure from Engels to produce a work in defence of communism, Marx’s ideological commitments skewed volume 1 so that it presented capitalism in the worst light possible and an extreme and dogmatic defence of the labour theory of value, which, in view of his work on the draft of volume 3 of Capital, he knew to have severe problems, such as the transformation problem.
As has been pointed out time and again, Marx never bothered to publish volume 2 and 3 of Capital in his lifetime, and the suspicion is that he never did so because he was unsatisfied with his attempts to defend the labour theory in volume 3.
At any rate, Marxists argue the following about volume 1:
(1) in volume 1 Marx assumes that all commodities exchange at their labour value (Mandel 1990: 31). But this can hardly be true in Chapter 1 where Marx is trying to prove the labour theory, for otherwise Marx’s argument would be circular and would commit the begging the question fallacy;Marx also stated that the substance of his earlier work A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859) was used in Chapter 1 of the first edition of volume 1 of Capital, which was later expanded to three chapters in later editions (Marx 1990: 89). Also, in the introduction to the first edition of volume 1 of Capital (1867), Marx actually proposed four volumes, as follows:
(2) Marx went beyond Ricardo and proposed a distinction between (1) qualitative concrete labour which produces different use values and (2) quantitative abstract socially necessary simple units of labour that produce labour value (Mandel 1990: 42). He regarded this as one of his major discoveries (Fraser and Wilde 2011: 171);
(3) Marx thought that money profit is the form that surplus labour value takes, and that the concept of surplus value as an explanation of profits was one of his main discoveries (Mandel 1990: 51).
(4) in addition, Marx thought that profit, rent and interest all arise from surplus labour value (Fraser and Wilde 2011: 171).
“The second volume of this work will treat of the process of the circulation of capital (Book II.), and of the varied forms assumed by capital in the course of its development (Book III.) the third and last volume (Book IV.), the history of the theory.” (Marx 1906: 16).Volume 4 of course never appeared, and even Engels thought it was not worth publishing. It was Karl Kautsky who in 1905–1910 first published a version of the proposed volume 4 as Theories of Surplus Value from the Manuscript of 1861–1863.
In a celebrated passage in the introduction to the second edition of volume 1, Marx described his debt to Hegel’s philosophy:
“My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of ‘the Idea,’ he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of ‘the Idea.’ With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.The use of a materialist version of Hegelian dialectical logic is indeed evident in Chapter 1 of Capital, but, given the flawed nature of Marx’s arguments there, its use was hardly something to boast about.
The mystifying side of Hegelian dialectic I criticised nearly thirty years ago, at a time when it was still the fashion. But just as I was working at the first volume of ‘Das Kapital,’ it was the good pleasure of the peevish, arrogant, mediocre Επίγονοι now talk large in cultured Germany, to treat Hegel in the same way as the brave Moses Mendelssohn in Lessing’s time treated Spinoza, i.e., as a ‘dead dog.’ I therefore openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker, and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the modes of expression peculiar to him. The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.
In its mystified form, dialectic became the fashion in Germany, because it seemed to transfigure and to glorify the existing state of things. In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.” (Marx 1906: 25–26).
Now Volume 2 of Capital was published by Engels in German in 1885, but even though Marx had revised Volume 2 in the early years of the 1870s Engels preferred to use the first draft of 1864–1865.
What of Volume 3? The manuscripts for Volume 3 from 1864–1865 were in a draft and fragmentary form (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 68). Engels began editing volume 3 for publication around 1885 but it took him nearly 10 years before that volume was published in 1894 (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 40). In 1993, Marx’s main 1864–1865 manuscript for volume 3 of Capital which Engels used was published and allowed scholars to compare this with what Engels published in 1894 (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 36).
Vollgraf and Jungnickel (2002) analyse Engel’s editing and the changes he made to the text, and some of their results are as follows:
(1) Engels’ changes to Marx’s material on the law of the falling rate of profit, including his three chapters and subdivisions, suggested that this work was much more structured and complete than it in fact was (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 47, 62). The way Engels’ editing obscured Marx’s views on the falling rate of profit is also described by Michael Heinrich here. Heinrich argues that the idea that Marx’s theory of crisis was based on the law of the falling rate of profit is a misinterpretation of Marx’s thought that has arisen from Engels’ editing of the third volume of Capital.Vollgraf and Jungnickel (2002: 68–69) argue that, given Engels’ additions and modifications to volume 3, the authorship of that work should be rightly ascribed to both Marx and Engels.
(2) in Chapter 7 Engels missed a number of pages of Marx’s discussion (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 48).
(3) Engels transformed Marx’s tentative notes for further development into the main text of volume 3, giving the impression that some statements were Marx’s final views on certain issues when they were not (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 49).
(4) Engels added a considerable amount of material: the material that is marked by Engels as his own comes to about 6% of the main text (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 53), but there is also material added by Engels but not marked as by him. Engels added Chapter 4, a large part of Chapter 43, additions on the profit rate, historical data from after the 1860s, illustrations from newspapers, and source references (Vollgraf and Jungnickel 2002: 53).
Finally, for the study of Capital, there are a number of dictionaries both in print and online that are also useful as follows:
Bottomore, Tom. 1991. A Dictionary of Marxist Thought (2nd edn.). Blackwell, Cambridge, MA.Also relevant are these works on Capital:
Fraser, Ian and Lawrence Wilde. 2011. The Marx Dictionary. Continuum, London and New York.
Carver, Terrell. 1987. A Marx Dictionary. Polity Press, Cambridge.
Walker, David and Daniel Gray. 2007. Historical Dictionary of Marxism. Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD.
Encyclopedia of Marxism
Cleaver, Harry. 1979. Reading Capital Politically. Harvester Press, Brighton.BIBLIOGRAPHY
Brewer, Anthony. 1984. A Guide to Marx’s Capital. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Foley, Duncan K. 1986. Understanding Capital: Marx’s Economic Theory. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. and London.
Wheen, Francis. 2006. Marx’s Das Kapital: A Biography. Grove Press, New York.
Bidet, Jacques. 2007. Exploring Marx’s Capital: Philosophical, Economic and Political Dimensions (trans. David Fernbach). Brill, Leiden and Boston.
Harvey, David. 2010. A Companion to Marx’s Capital. Verso, London and New York.
Harvey, David. 2013. A Companion to Marx’s Capital. Volume Two. Verso, London and New York.
Smith, Kenneth. 2012. A Guide to Marx’s Capital Vols. I–III. Anthem Press, London and New York, NY.
Harry Cleaver, Study Guide to Capital Volume I
Desai, Meghnad. 2002. Marx’s Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism. Verso, London. pp. 74-83
Fraser, Ian and Lawrence Wilde. 2011. The Marx Dictionary. Continuum, London and New York.
Heinrich, Michael. 2013. “Crisis Theory, the Law of the Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall, and Marx’s Studies in the 1870s,” Monthly Review 64.11 (April).
Levine, Norman. 1975. The Tragic Deception: Marx contra Engels. Clio Books, Oxford and Santa Barbara.
McLellan, David. 1995. Karl Marx: A Biography (3rd edn.). Macmillan, London.
Mandel, Ernest. 1990. “Introduction,” in Karl Marx, Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume One (trans. Ben Fowkes). Penguin Books, London. 11–86.
Marx, Karl. 1906. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy (vol. 1; rev. trans. by Ernest Untermann from 4th German edn.). The Modern Library, New York.
Marx, Karl. 1990. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume One (trans. Ben Fowkes). Penguin Books, London.
Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. 1992. Collected Works. Volume 45. Marx and Engels 1874–1879. Lawrence & Wishart, London.
Mehring, Franz. 1962. Karl Marx: The Story of His Life (trans. Edward Fitzgerald). University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
Müller, Manfred, Jungnickel, Jürgen, Lietz, Barbara, Sander, Christel and Artur Schnickmann. 2002. “General Commentary to Marx’s Manuscript of ‘Capital’, Book 3 (1864/65),” International Journal of Political Economy 32.1: 14–34.
Sperber, Jonathan. 2014. Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life. Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York.
Vollgraf, Carl-Erich and Jürgen Jungnickel. 2002. “‘Marx in Marx’s Words’? On Engels’s Edition of the Main Manuscript of Book 3 of ‘Capital,’” International Journal of Political Economy 32.1: 35–78.
Vygodskii, Vitalii. 2002. “Discussion: What was it actually that Engels published in the years 1885 and 1894? On the Article by Carl-Erich Vollgraf and Jürgen Jungnickel Entitled ‘Marx in Marx’s Words?’” International Journal of Political Economy32.1: 79–82.
Wheen, Francis. 2000. Karl Marx. Fourth Estate, London.