4 days left. Reading-capitalst Reading-capital-front Reading Capital. by Louis Althusser and Etienne Balibar Translated by Ben Brewster. Reading Capital (Radical Thinkers) [Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Ben Brewster] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Establishing a. Reading Capital: The Complete Edition [Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Jacques Ranciere, Pierre Macherey] on *FREE*.

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Louis Althusser was born in Algeria in and died in France in He taught philosophy for many years at the Ecole Normale Superieur in Paris, ballbar was a leading intellectual in the French Communist Party.

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Reading Capital

A Companion to Marx’s Capital. Verso; Later Printing edition June 9, Language: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review.

Balibat of 7 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a baliar filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. The Verso version of this book the “Radical Thinkers” paperback is teeming with typographical errors. The machine, as is to be expected, has made various mistakes. These have largely not been corrected by Verso’s editor. This is incredibly sloppy work on the publisher’s behalf and makes for a very serious shortcoming of this book.

Some of the errors are relatively harmless, but others create ambiguities e. For this reason, I would not recommend using this edition of the book as a reference or for serious study purposes.

Immediately after publishing For Marx, Althusser returned to lecturing on Marx’s Das Kapital to his students in an ongoing series of seminars in These seminars were bqlibar compiled and revised into essays that were published in a French language text in titled Captal Capital. Besides the lectures by Althusser, this version contained essays by various noted French Marxist scholars: In the English language text released inthe non-Althusserian articles were dropped.

Reading Capital was written in three parts.

The first part was a single lengthy essay called “From Capital to Marx’s Philosophy. The inner purpose of Reading Capital was similar to that of For Marx: A secondary purpose was to set out the parameters for a newly devised series of bases of knowledge that emphasized a deterministic view of the means of production.


Much of Reading Capital relates to a spirited attack by Althusser on the empiricist epistemology of those contemporaries of Marx who sought to place an explanation for the emergence of the means of production in a humanist framework.

Althusser writes of a Marx who simultaneously foresaw and then overcame structuralist-based paradigms that touted humanism as a key component in centering the worker within the larger framework of the means of production.

In order to depose humanism as the cornerstone of pre-Marxist thought, Althusser describes what he terms a “structure in dominance” which roughly means that a capitalist society must not be seen as an interdependent totalizing entity composed of a smoothly integrated series of interlocking elements.

Reading Capital by Louis Althusser

Rather these elements must be classified as both autonomous and reciprocal. The dominant part of Marx’s superstructure would be mostly economic with the political and ideological aspects competing in a fluid hierarchy for balibsr dominance.

Marx re-defined ideology from its previous connotation of “false consciousness” to the novel view that ideology is inherent from birth and includes all aspects of a worker’s life. There would be then nothing outside of ideology. Althusser’s essay on ideological state apparatuses permitted society to re-shape an individual into any shape desired. It is this subtle yet all pervasive aspect of mind control that imbues Reading Capital with the same relevance that it had on its original publication.

It is so rigorous, so precise and so keen that one is often astonished by balubar attention devoted to seemingly trivial minutiae. Yet these subtleties make all the difference when readimg Marx, and Althusser makes one feel like a bit of an idiot for being so careless in one’s reading habits.

What makes this althuser so stunning is the fact that it never veers into pedantry, despite its stringent meticulousness. The understated elegance of Althusser’s exposition contrasts with the impact that it registers upon even the most seasoned readers of Marx.

In classically French style, the iconoclastic force of its content is dissimulated by its sober, clinical language.

This lacuna prevents Althusser from elaborating a truly materialist dialectic yet is it really the case that the Marxist fixation on ‘political economy’ should be dismissed as a retrograde essentialism? Aothusser get a tentative grasp on Althusser, I would suggest that you read, as preliminary preparation, the entirety of For Marx, especially his discussions on overdetermined contradiction and the Marxist dialectic.

Badiou’s typology of situations, bwlibar attempts to break with every sort of naturalism and metaphysics altogether even the Spinozist vitalism of Deleuzewould be altogether unthinkable without Althusser’s retrieval of Mao and Lenin. Althusser’s greatest contribution to Marxism, I think was his concerted, unflinching effort to purge it of every trace of idealism and historicism. More importantly, he tried to develop a consummately materialist dialectic, one that would require unsparing scientific effort and analysis on the part of militant intellectuals.


We may not agree with Althusser’s conclusions, but we cannot help but thank him for his conscientiousness.

Oh, Balibar’s section is brilliant too, and of great import for sociology in althksser. However, I wanted to dedicate this review to Louis Althusser, one of the great thinkers of the 20th Century. Althusser’s reading of Capital is a althuusser exegesis of the act of reading a body of work itself. Althusser deals with the complexity halibar the Marxian project with all the tools of the structuralist tool-box, arguing in favor of a synchronic analysis of the array of concepts.

Additionally, Althusser makes significant epistemological bwlibar to the our understanding of the fetishism of the commodity; he argues that there is an epistemological block inherent to capital, that the system by its nature obscures itself. However, Althusser establishes his own epistemology which identifies two worlds-the object and the object of knowledge-which he is never able to adequately resolve. Still, this remains a crucial text in the reception of Marx’s philosophical status.

One person found this helpful. See all 7 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Alrhusser Capital Radical Thinkers.

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