Capital Vol 1 and 2 reading groups

Since the financial crisis it seems there is a new interest emerging in reading Marx' Capital. Yet, for many new readers this encounter is rather brief, since Capital is no easy book to read. Especially the first six chapters present a frustrating hurdle to many readers, such that Karl Marx suggested that some readers should simply skip these.

We disagree. We hold that grasping the concepts of value, exchange and abstract labour presented at the beginning of Volume 1 are indeed crucial for making sense of those later concepts now on everybody's mind such as credit and fictitious capital.

Thus, we are starting a new (bi-)weekly Capital Volume 1 reading group, to provide the opportunity for a thorough engagement with Capital. The point of which is not to admire Marx' writing or to understand his method, but to use this text as a means to understand contemporary capitalism. Put differently, this is not meant as an academic exercise but as an attempt to inform our understanding of the world we live in. Consequently, being a Marxist of some sort is not a prerequisite for taking part. On the contrary, in the interest of understanding modern capitalism, we want to engage with Capital critically.

The aim of this reading group is not to cover as much material as possible per session, but to go as slow as necessary. Questions should be asked and answers, discussions should develop. Thus, we plan to read and discuss the first few chapters paragraph by paragraph together. For later chapters we propose to condense the material a bit (presentations, summaries, etc.)

We will be reading the Penguin edition which was translated by Ben Fowkes. If anyone is unable to secure a copy, let us know and we'll see if we can arrange copies of the first chapter at least.

The reading group will start Mon 12 March 2012, 7pm at:
Red Lion (Upstairs)
41 Hoxton Street
London, N1 6NH

For the first 1-2 months we propose to meet weekly, every Monday evening. Afterwards, we propose to switch to a bi-weekly schedule, partly to make room for a:

Volume 2 Reading Group
Starting from May, we plan to do a bi-weekly Volume 2 reading group as well. Also on Mondays, alternating with the Volume 1 reading group. However, we have no idea how many people would be interested in that. Hence, we would appreciate if those interested could get in touch, so that we know whether there is sufficient demand for such a thing.

Mailing List/Registration
Back to the Volume 1 reading group. No registration is necessary, just stop by on Mon 12 March. However, we would appreciate if people could register their interest with us such that we get a rough idea of how many people to expect. So drop us an e-mail: wineandcheese [at]

Last Words
Of course, everything (schedule, venue, pace, etc.) about this reading group is up to the group to decide. Hence, the above should be understood as our proposal which can be discussed at the first meeting or when the need arises.
Capital Vol 1 and 2 reading groups

Event Title: Capital Vol 1 and 2 reading groups
Postcode: Red Lion (Upstairs), 41 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6NH
Further Details:
- Visit the Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London's website" target="_blank"> - Visit the Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London's website
Contact Email: wineandcheese [at]