Montag, 7. Mai 2018

Reading Marx’s Das Kapital as a Victorian crime novel / DAVID ABERBACH in: TLS May 1, 2018

The revolutionary impact of Karl Marx's Das Kapital in the twentieth century belies the fact that Marx was born 200 years ago into a comfortable bourgeois world – like Queen Victoria, he married into the German nobility – and had little experience of the working class. An invitation to Buckingham Palace to discuss matters of common concern, including the woes brought by industry, might have saved the world a lot of trouble. Certainly, Marx would have charmed the Queen, as he did practically everyone else, in private. Only in his intellectual life was he a ruthless revolutionary.
To Marx, workers are outcasts, discriminated against, exploited, deprived of their freedom, debased by forces beyond their control. His rage against capitalist predators is most bitter where the victims are young. In page after devastating page of Kapital, particularly in the chapter on “The Working Day”, he attacks child labour in England: in agriculture, in the millinery, lace, pottery, baking, blacksmithing and wallpaper trades; in dangerous and unhealthy factories, in the foul business of making matches, in the spinning mills, and in steel and iron, among others. Other countries, including Germany, the United States, France and Austria, are no better. Like a biblical prophet scourging those who hurt and exploit the defenceless widow and orphan, Marx condemns factory owners: cannibal-like, they devour the workers. ... [mehr]

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