It is in this third volume that Marx sets out his central, epoch-making thesis that "the basic laws of motion of the capitalists mode of production lead to explosive crises and its ultimate collapse". Here we find not only a sustained economic and social description of capitalism as a system and the bourgeoisie as a class but a full statement of why declining rates of profit and periodic crises of overproduction spell the inevitable end of capitalism and the likely birth of a far better society. Published by Engels in 1894, this book has remained a potent source of inspiration ever since.
The third volume of a political treatise that changed the world
Unfinished at the time of Marxs death in 1883 and first published with a preface by Frederick Engels in 1894, the third volume of Capital strives to combine the theories and concepts of the two previous volumes in order to prove conclusively that capitalism is inherently unworkable as a permanent system for society. Here, Marx controversially asserts thatregardless of the efforts of individual capitalists, public authorities or even generous philanthropistsany market economy is inevitably doomed to endure a series of worsening, explosive crises leading finally to complete collapse. But he also offers an inspirational and compelling prediction; that the end of capitalism will culminate in the birth of a far greater form of society.
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Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, Germany and studied in Bonn and Berlin. Influenced by Hegel, he later reacted against idealist philosophy and began to develop his own theory of historical materialism. He related the state of society to its economic foundations and mode of production, and recommended armed revolution on the part of the proletariat. Together with Engels, who he met in Paris, he wrote the Manifesto of the Communist Party. He lived in England as a refugee until his death in 1888, after participating in an unsuccessful revolution in Germany. Ernst Mandel was a member of the Belgian TUV from 1954 to 1963 and was chosen for the annual Alfred Marshall Lectures by Cambridge University in 1978. He died in 1995 and the Guardian described him as 'one of the most creative and independent-minded revolutionary Marxist thinkers of the post-war world.'
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