Why reading Marx’s Das Kapital still matters

Mike Wayne discusses his new book Marx’s Das Kapital for beginners here.

Whether we are talking about obesity epidemics, water shortages amid torrential downpours, or environmental degradation and toxification, the hollowing out of representative democracy, the erosion of workers rights, the growing inequalities between the rich and the rest, the dismantling of the public sector and the destruction of social gains and rights built up over decades; whether we are talking about a lost generation of young people whose skills and potentialities can find no gainful employment; the reduction of education to obedience, conformity and discipline; the transformation of the media from tools of information, connection and creativity to purveyors of ignorance, sensationalism and tired clichés; whether we are talking about the economic violence of the system  or the surveillance society or the decreasing room to peacefully protest without being truncheoned, tasered or worse – all these problems and more can be traced back to the question of capital and unless we name the system within which these problems are developing, public debate, public discourse and policy agendas, are doomed to stay at the surface level, addressing symptoms at best, or making the problems worse by following the same discredited capitalist nostrums and prescriptions that are responsible for the problems in the first place.


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