chapter
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Ways in to the Text

Karl Marx saw capitalism as a social structure that is dedicated to producing commodities in order to create a profit. In Capital, Marx studied the way that capitalism develops and grows, considering the entire historical era of capitalism from its origin to its predicted demise. He shows how that dispossession took many forms, from removing peasants from the land to make way for capitalist agriculture, to the horrors of the slave trade. Marx also describes capitalism as a system that would not last. In the capitalist West, Marx's ideas were now seen as inseparable from their real-world application. "Marxism" had become the way Marx's ideas were co-opted by these authoritarian communist states. Marx investigates the relationship between the individual and society. He studies the nature of human morality. In Capital, Marx asks basic questions about the way that people live and work and think: issues that impact on us all.