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Book review: Capital - in Manga!
'Capital - in Manga!' is a Japanese style illustrated story about a cheese-maker, Robin, who sets up a factory with a loan from a financial speculator.
The story shows Robin's conflict of morality between making profit to pay back the loan and the exploitation of his workers.
As it follows other characters, it shows different perspectives of class struggle and its effects on different layers of society.
One character is a worker who begins to understand the exploitation. The book shows attempts to fight back against the system.
But another character, Robin's childhood friend, is forced into prostitution to support her family.
The book's main purpose is as an introduction to some key concepts in volume 1 of Karl Marx's Capital.
The basic terminology is explained as different concepts are explained to Robin by those around him.
It begins by explaining the process of capitalist production, the concept of value and the sale and purchase of labour power and how this inevitably leads to exploitation of the working class, who will then in turn fight against the system that exploits them.
While having nowhere near the same detail as Capital, Capital - in Manga! is a less daunting introduction to some of Marx's theories.
It is worth reading as a prelude to Capital or just as a good story illustrating some of capitalism's fundamental flaws and the resulting struggles.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
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In The Socialist 11 September 2013:
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