Notes on the Centennial of <em>Das Kapital</em>


  • Leo Huberman
  • Paul M. Sweezy





One hundred years ago—to be exact, in September of 1867—the first volume of Karl Marx's Das Kapital was published in Hamburg, Germany. The event marked a turning point not only in the history of political economy but in the entire scientific-intellectual development of the modem world. The very embodiment of materialist dialectics, Das Kapital presented an indictment of the present and a vision of the future of unprecedented power and passion. Those who recognized in it a revelation of truth—and their number has never ceased to increase—became disciples and followers. The others, much as they might want to, could not ignore it. Many were profoundly influenced, often without their knowledge and sometimes even against their will. And the opponents, for whom it was strictly from the devil, had to fight it as best they could. After a hundred years, Karl Marx and his magnum opus occupy a position in the intellectual life of humanity which is without precedent and without comparison.

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