Perhaps one of the most consequential works of all time, “Capital” is the German treatise on political economy by Karl Marx that critically analyzes capitalism. First published in 1867 as the beginning of an ambitious but unfinished six-volume series, Marx would only see the first volume published in his lifetime with two more published posthumously by Friedrich Engels, this work extensively attempts to expose and explain the capitalist mode of production and the class struggles embedded within it.
“Capital” was written while Marx was exiled in England, and many of the examples he uses to illustrate private property and its social relations are derived from his time there. Ultimately, this work argues that capitalism would create a divide between wealth and general welfare, and the solution was the replacement of capitalism with a system of common possession in regards to the means of production. Marx’s work gained wide readership in a very short span of time, proving highly influential in Russia, Europe, and eventually the rest of the world.