Houston DSA Reading Group: Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason

January 15, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Midtown Bar & Grill
415 W Gray St
. Houston TX 77019

The Houston DSA Socialist Reading Group will be on break for the holidays, but we thought this would be a good opportunity to do some long form reading.  And what better way to spend the break then to refresh ourselves with the basic tenets of Marxian theory?  

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We will reconvene on January 15, 2018 to begin discussing David Harvey’s new book Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason.  It is relatively short (~200 pages) and, for those who haven’t read or listened to him before, Harvey is a great and accessible guide to navigating Marx’s economics.  The book promises to be a great introduction to the topic and is a summation of a short class Harvey gave last year that was recorded and is available online from his website or as a podcast.

We will begin by discussing the first three chapters.


Marx’s Capital is one of the most important texts of the modern era. The three volumes, published between 1867 and 1883, changed the destiny of countries, politics and people across the world – and continue to resonate today. In this book, David Harvey lays out their key arguments.

In clear and concise language, Harvey describes the architecture of capital according to Marx, placing his observations in the context of capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. He considers the degree to which technological, economic and industrial change during the last 150 years means Marx’s analysis and its application may need to be modified.

Marx’s trilogy concerns the circulation of capital: volume I, how labour increases the value of capital, which he called valorisation; volume II, on the realisation of this value, by selling it and turning it into money or credit; volume III, on what happens to the value next in processes of distribution.

The three volumes contain the core of Marx’s thinking on the workings and history of capital and capitalism. David Harvey explains and illustrates the profound insights and enormous analytical power they continue to offer in terms that, without compromising their depth and complexity, will appeal to a wide range of readers, including those coming to the work for the first time.

David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School where he has taught since 2001. His books The Enigma of CapitalSeventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism and The Ways of the World were published by Profile in 2010, 2014 and 2016 to international acclaim.
The Houston DSA Reading Group is open to members and non-members alike and aims to be accessible to all attendees regardless of background knowledge or expertise.