The Challenge of the Incompleteness of the Third Volume of Capital for Theoretical and Political Work Today

  • Judith Dellheim
  • Frieder Otto Wolf
Part of the Luxemburg International Studies in Political Economy book series (LISPE)


This chapter aims to make reading the third volume of Capital a challenge and a productive resource for contemporary debates. To do so, it combines a careful consideration of the sources made available by the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA2) edition with an insistent interrogation of Marx’s reasons for not finishing Capital in the ‘aesthetic form’ he originally planned. From here, it goes on to look at the reception of Capital and its third and concluding volume, in particular, in Marxist politics (singling out the theoretical efforts of Lenin and Gramsci). The work ‘invested’ in order to make Capital in its entirety, as presented in a theoretically integrated way in Volume III, useful for a politics of overcoming the domination of capital is then discussed, while focusing on the relation of science and politics. This is then turned into an appeal to present debates making full use of the scientific and analytical resources Capital as a whole still has to offer. In this way, we hope to address an invitation—to readers, but also to our authors—to continue the debate on how to scientifically grasp the structures, mechanisms and tendencies of the domination of the capitalist mode of production, and how to make use of such insights to turn anti-capitalist struggles into a forceful reality again.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Dellheim
    • 1
  • Frieder Otto Wolf
    • 2
  1. 1.Rosa Luxemburg FoundationBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of PhilosophyFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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