Karl Marx: Critic of Capitalism & Socialist Revolutionary

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. His famous and influential yet highly controversial book Capital appeared in three volumes, in 1867, 1885 and 1894.

On this page you can find books, articles, videos, links and online courses to learn more about his work and the relevance of his ideas for contemporary debates about free markets, capitalism, business and economics.

Capital by Karl Marx

Relevant Links

Introduction Videos

Below, a 9.5 minute video by The School of Life on key ideas in Marx’s work: (1) modern work is alienating, (2) modern work is insecure, (3) workers get paid little, while capitalists get rich, (4) capitalism is very unstable and prone to crises, (5) capitalism is bad for capitalists, as it leads to commodity fetishism. The video also introduces The Capitalist Manifesto that Marx wrote with Friedrich Engels.

The second video in the slider provides critical comments on the first video. It was made by Steven Crowder, an American-Canadian conservative political commentator, comedian and YouTuber. He is also a former contributor at Fox News.

Alternatively, this 12.5 minute video of the World Library Foundation is also worthwhile; It sketches Marx’s life and the historical context in some more detail and also explains his idea of dialectic materialism:

Want to watch more? Try this lecture on Marx’ theory of capitalism (51 minutes) that is part of an open online Course Moral Foundations of Political Theory from Yale University. Or watch one of the complete online courses on Marx(ism) listed at the bottom of this page.

Articles & Blogs

Hand-picked for you from around the web + original articles published just on the Moral Markets site

Karl Marx’s Life, Ideas, and Influences: A Critical Examination on the Bicentenary – Book Review

“In Karl Marx’s Life, Ideas, and Influences, editors Shaibal Gupta, Marcello Musto and Babak Amini bring together contributors to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth and to discuss the relevance of his theoretical and political legacy today. The book offers an open-minded, informative and thought-provoking collection of contributions that inspires in-depth discussions not only of past Marxian and Marxist legacies, but also of how we learn from them to act upon our present and future world, writes Janaína de Faria.”

Why According to Marx There Can Be No Freedom or Sustainability under Capitalism

Capitalism’s critics are telling us that our economic system has had its day. It has violently uprooted previous ways of life, was spread around the globe by brutal imperialism and colonialism, leaves billions in poverty, and is destroying our environment to an extent that threatens our very survival as a species. Capitalism’s defenders tell us that it has produced high levels of growth, amazing technological innovation, and laid the groundwork we need for a prosperous future. Their positions are, according to Marx, not as far apart as one might think.

What Karl Marx Has to Say about Today’s Environmental Problems

“on Marx’s recent 200th birthday, discussion of his continuing relevance was still dominated by “traditional” understandings of Marxism. Commentators, whether hostile or sympathetic, focused on his critique of the exploitation and inequality of capitalism and imperialism, and the struggle to transform society in a socialist direction. Sadly, there was little – far too little – on Marx’s thinking on the relations between humans and nature.”


Online Courses

  1. Marxism (University of Cambridge)
  2. Marxian Economics (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
  3. Marx and Capital: The Concept, The Book, The History (City University of New York)
  4. Reading Marx’s Capital (City University of New York)

In the video slider you can find the first lecture of each of these courses.

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