Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

Marx's 'Das Kapital' comic finds new fans in Japan


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2008/9 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

“I think people are looking to Marx for answers to the problems with the capitalist society,”

After reading Marx they should read modern history for China, North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Albania, East Germany and the Eastern Bloc countries to see how well Karl's ideas were put to practical application by people. Just for a hint as to what might happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First we have a presidential candidate quoting Marx and getting elected and now we have a comic book version of "Das Kapital". Can we look forward to a new "Workers paradise"??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great book. About time it was introduced to a wider readership.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its the best fiction book... all fantasy, all impossible, all lies. The human being is selfish and egoist, communism will never work well with us.. in case... communist leaders always tend to turn in dictators who forget the people and are only interested in money and power... isnt it?, Communist axioma: "In a communist society everybody is equal, we all are the same... excluding me (the dictator), my family, my relatives, my friends and the members of the party". With Castro, Chavez (the venezuelan gorilla), Evo Morales (Chavez girlfriend) and the other red puppets we have enough to sell books about that stupid fantasies to children or teenagers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The best defence against communism is a vibrant democracy and healthy capitalism. Unfortunately, that hasn't been happening in America under Bush. His has done more to promote radicalism than anyone in at least a generation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A "fictionalized version" of Marx's Kapital? What's next? Einstein's theory of relativity - the musical? What a load of cods!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet these publishers are only out to make a profit!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Borscht - never let a good story get in the way of the facts, eh? Omarbabilon is equally lop-sided. Marx wasn't a 'Marxist' because he saw the fatal flaws in all systems theories: the 'vanguard' must eventually wither away along with the State, leading to a true 'dictatorship of the proletariat', arising spontaneously and independently. Previous 'socialist' states have never gotten past the first stage because the annointed leaders (Stalin, Castro, Chavez, etc.) never let go of the prize. But all you salon-marxist fear-mongers now have great difficulty explaining why the State needs to bail-out corporate capitalism. If the state owns or invests in the banks/finance corporations and car companies then that is socialism under a corporate guise. As Marx predicted, the capitalists will manufacture and sell to the socialists the very rope used to hang them! I can't wait . . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"system isn’t working properly"

Hyper-extending the money supply, leveraging dubious assets to encourage more debt spending and borrowing against future "gains" to pay for immediate gratification and selfish consumerism wants ultimately leaves you in need. The system is working properly. Marx is just the Grim Reaper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

send it to America -ObamaRX will sell well. Some people need a firm hand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bokway, Thanks for your comments.

Yes, in theory Marxism works and I realize the previous vanguard never let go of the prize but that is the point I was trying to make. If Marxism worked as Marx wanted, people would have to change. And that hasn't happened in the last 20,000 years and I doubt it will happen in the next 20. (Although it has happened in smaller communities - perhaps the Amish)

(Also, I hope you weren't lumping me in with other 'capitalists' who want to bail out banks and car companies; I'm against that, too, except if the money goes to the workers and not, as has already occurred, to the CEOs.)

Nor do I 'fear' Marxism - having been one in my youth - I would like to see the person who actually does the labor get the biggest share of the profit - which is why I try to buy Fair Trade goods when I can. I just don't think we can trust our leaders to give up the prize when the time comes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Borscht - Thanks for responding. I can't accept your premise that people cannot change or that they haven't done so in the last 20,000 years. Clearly for you the agrarian, industrial and democratic revolutions never occured or had no real consequence for human development? Hmn . . .and you were reminding us to read history?

The issue here is really about awareness - especially of alternatives. Consciousness (what passes for awareness) is typically false: the masses have no real objective understanding of their location in society or history. Capitalism is less than 400 years old and you need to read some history (try Max Weber - Economy and Society)to become more familiar with the path of economic and societal development and decline. So-called 'modernisation' is far more insidious than socialism - it blandly homogenises, neutralises and eradicates alternatives, kills all ideologies, and leaves its adherants smugly unaware of their collective imprisonment in history. Thanks for making me think, Borscht. Wanna take this discussion to the Forum? Some may find it useful. Compliments of the Season to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dumbing down the topic for the proletariat? I wonder if old Karl would see the irony in this? Seriously, I have never understood the Japanese fascination with comic books. No matter how many Japanese friends have told me that comics tackle "serious subjects," I just cannot shake the feeling that comics represent dumbing down targeted at the lowest branches of the tree of evolution, more specifically, Japanese salarymen. to the lowest common denominator.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Oh, god, Max Weber. I forgot about him and his book. I guess I'll, er, dip into it again.

By people changing, I mean each person wants to get the best for him or her and their family. I.e. the pre-industrial crafts person would work long hours in order to make things that they should sell; post-industrial people would work long hours in order to make money to buy things. Or were pre-industrial revolution people more altruistic and the industrial revolution turned people away from being altruistic into money-grubbers? I'll go see what Weber wrote.

Seasons greetings to you, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The greatest propaganda victory of the cold war was the corruption of the words "socialism" and "communism". Although neither ever truly existed in any country, the words were attached to "State Capitalism" and have lost their value.

None of the so called "Red" nations ever achieved socialism or communism. All achieved a form of dictatorial state capitolism that we, and they, called socialism and communism. If you look at what Marx and others are suggesting, it has never existed as an economic paradigm for any nation that exists or has existed.

A lot of what Marx suggests can work. And if we are to save the enviroment, we need to shift away from the capitalism model that must consume non-stop to stay affloat. This is no longer sustainable and will eventually collapse or bring on the destruction of the enviroment and humanity.

We need a system that is less consumer driven, more focused upon economic, social and political equality. We can learn a lot from Marx and Lenin's writings for this. We can learn a lot from Jefferson and Adams on political equality and freedom.

If humanity is to survive and all workers and people have the opportunity to stable and secure lives, we need to merge the many concepts of democracy and political equality with the economic value of a non-capitalistic and environmentally responsivel global economy if we are to move into the next era of human development.

This can be achieved, but at the cost of closing the doors to greed, excess and waste. And by closing the political doors to the priviledged classes and instead opening new political doors that treat all equally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"After reading Marx they should read modern history for China, North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Albania, East Germany and the Eastern Bloc countries to see how well Karl's ideas were put to practical application by people. Just for a hint as to what might happen."

And which one of those countries did indeed put into practice Karl's ideas?

Yup, none of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Or were pre-industrial revolution people more altruistic and the industrial revolution turned people away from being altruistic into money-grubbers? I'll go see what Weber wrote."

Borscht - well done. You are quite right:altruism was destroyed by the emergence of the market economy and its need for a new doctrine - Consumerism. This latter is easily transcribed to the rabid egocentrism - 'me first' mentality that so readily characterises all modern societies. Both Marx and Weber are clear about the preconditions and 'costs' associated with the emergence of early English capitalism, and the English case was, in essence, the model exported to the rest of the World along with Imperial Colonialism. Enjoy your encounter with Max!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As Altria noted above, something tells me the publishers won't be giving the book away. Just as I'm certain that 99.9% of modern day Marxist apologists wouldn't last a week under "true" Marxism if they really had to share all their labor and worldly possessions with their fellow man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"You are quite right:altruism was destroyed by the emergence of the market economy"

Bokway - Before the market economy there was the idea of dependence on one another. Where everyone in a town depended on each other for sustainability, both for livelihood and profit (mainly through the lack of mobility of goods). So it was in your best interest to watch out for your fellow townfolk. Which in turn is not what altruism is. So you cant say altruism died when it never existed in this circumstance in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does it feature the tentacled monstrosity of the many-armed capitalist system undoing the panties of the innocent workers? Just asking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Uh, oh.

One can only hope the new Japanese audience will reject Marx with the same speed as Brits rejected the real Karl Marx when he was alive.

After he sped his rear-end back to Germany, he gave up on the Brits.

Lucky Brits.

There's still some that haven't learned this stuff doesn't work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites