Reading Capital With Comrades podcast


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Our eleventh episode concentrates on chapter 25, where Marx synthesizes his findings so far to articulate some general laws (or tendencies) of capitalist accumulation. We cover the different compositions of capital before turning to the two models of accumulation Marx proposes, the difference between concentration and centralization, and how the centralization of capital provides the material foundation for communism. We clarify the general law of capitalist accumulation and the absolute general law of capitalist accumulation before examining the impacts they have on the working class, including the production of an industrial reserve army. After examining how the reserve army serves as a lever of capitalist accumulation, we go next to reviewing some of the layers of the industrial reserve army--including the “dangerous classes”--and relating them to our contemporary condition. We draw out that here Marx is insisting that the working class includes all of those who are oppressed and exploited by capitalism and what this means for organizing. Finally, we spend some time on the colonization of Ireland and how Marx’s thought about the relationship between anti-colonial and socialist revolution developed over time.

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