[OPE-L:3171] Annotations to Karl Marx's *Capital*

Hans Ehrba (ehrbar@marx.econ.utah.edu)
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 11:46:25 -0700 (PDT)

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Some of you know that I have been writing a detailed
set of Annotations to Karl Marx's *Capital*. A
draft of this is available for downloading on the
internet. It is the portion of my notes which I am
using for my class. This is not all the chapters I
have worked on, but it would be a good start for
anyone who might want to look at what I am doing.

I am including here also a standard invitation for
outside observers to my class. The class started on
September 25, but there is still room if anyone wants
to join.

But if you would be interested in discussing issues
in my Annotations without joining the class, I would
be delighted to do so. We could do this on Kent
Palmer's Marx list, which has been mute for some time
(and Kent has given me permission to use it for this
Write the following message to listserv@think.net

sub marx

to join this list which at the moment is pretty much
silent. I announced my class to that list too, and
perhaps we can get a discussion going on that list
around the issues in my Annotations. As a side effect
we may re-surrect this list as a Marxist resource
on the Internet.

Now here is the canned announcement:

Subject: Announcement of Capital Class on the Internet

I am scheduled to teach my email class about Marx's
Capital at the University of Utah three times this
academic year: the first time from September 25 until
December 4, 1996, the second time in Janary - middle of
March, and the third time end of March - beginning of
June 1997.

The University has given me permission to invite
some outside observers into the discussion, since
this makes the discussion more interesting. There
are still some places available, and you are
invited to join.

Even if you do not want to join the class, you may be
interested in taking a look at the study guide. It is
the draft for a book with a new translation and
detailed annotations for selected chapters in Marx's
Capital. It contains Chapters 1, 2, 4 (General Formula
of Capital), 12 (Relative Surplus Value), and 19 (Wage).
I am making very detailed comments, trying to understand
every sentence and every turn in Marx's argument. Much
of it is still tentative, but some explanation can, to
my knowledge, be found nowhere else in the literature.
I would greatly appreciate your help and feedback in
this enterprise. Even after publication, I plan to have
an electronic version legally available for everyone to

The remainder of this message gives more
information (1) how to get the study guide, (2) how
to get the Acrobat reader which is the best program
to print or read this study guide and other
electronic documents, and (3) information for those
who want to take part in the class.


The present draft is available for downloading either as
a postscript file (extension .ps) or in adobe's
"portable document format" (extension .pdf) at the
archives for the marxism list. If you haven't used the
"acrobat reader" for pdf files yet, I recomment to try
it out; in my view, it is the best available format for
electronically exchanging fully formated documents.
Instructions how to get a free acrobat reader follow

The study guide comes in two version: the "blue" version
has Marx's text in English only (187 pages), and the
"green" version has it in German and in English (253
pages). Since the class number is Econ 508, the file
names are

ec508bl.ps blue version (English only) as postscript file
ec508bl.pdf blue version (English only) as pdf file
ec508blv.pdf blue version (English only) as pdf for screen viewing
ec508gr.ps green version (with German) as postscript file
ec508gr.pdf green version (with German) as pdf file

The file ec508blv.pdf has very small pages so that, if
you use the "fit visible" command in the acrobat reader,
the text is fairly well readable on the screen. While
the other files produce a two-column printout, this file
shows only a small part of one column on each page. (It
has therefore many more pages.)

Each of the files is between 1.8 and 2.6 megabytes.

You can get the files on the www by using the URL


for the blue version for instance. If your browser is
properly installed, this will automatically put you into
the acrobat reader and lets you view and print the study

To retrieve these files by ftp, you have to

ftp jefferson.village.virginia.EDU

log in as user "anonymous", and then

cd pub/pubs/listservs/spoons/marxism.archive/papers

Don't forget to give the command "binary" before getting
the pdf files.

If you have no access to the www or ftp, only to
email, but you have the acrobat reader on your computer,
I could cut the study guide into several portions, make
pdf files that are ascii files (this is possible), and
email the pieces to you. Or there might be even other
ways. Please let me know if you are interested. For a
deeper discussion on the internet it is necessary that
we have the capability to exchange documents.


The acrobat readers, which allow you to screen-view and
print the pdf files, are freely available. In order to
get a reader, use the url


The adobe web site also has detailed instructions how to
download things over the net and install them.
Alternatively you may use anonymous ftp to


and go to the directory


>From there it is a nicely sorted directory tree by
operating system and version nunber. The version 3
of the reader is just in beta testing and its final
release will be made in October or so. I recommend
that you get that beta version.


Appendix D of the study guide has a syllabus, with
detailed schedule of the assignments and instructions
how to sign up for the two mailing lists which make up
the class. The outside observers should follow these
instructions, but instead of a student number, they
should write the word "observer".

The class starts on September 25, 1996, but the first
class session is only a technical intro. The answers to
the first set of study questions are due by October 2nd.
This first set is optional and will not be graded,
therefore there will not yet be much internet traffic in
the first week. The students need time to get their
email accounts first, and they are not so interested in
work which does not give them a grade. This would be a
good opportunity for the outside observers to get a good
discussion started.

Even if you are an observer and do not pay for the
class, please do the homeworks and submit them. I will
gladly give you feedback. You will learn much more if
you do the work, and your contributions will also raise
the level of the discussion in the class.

Hans G. Ehrbar
Associate Professor
University of Utah