Karl Marx, Capital, first Australian edition
„When the original colony had become established, Australia evolved as a food and raw materials producer for England and as a trading outpost. It was a market for English finished products. Responsible government and ultimate federation also testified to the skill of the English authorities“ (Edward Fowler Hill, “Communism and Australia. Reflections and Reminiscences”, Communist Party of Australia, 1989). The gold rush in the mid-19th century and the First World War boosted the development of the immature Australian capitalism and its working class. The Communist Party of Australia was founded in 1920, the next year it joined the Communist International.
The (World) Socialist Party of Australia was founded in 1930 and existed until 1970. It was part of the World Socialist Movement created by the Marxist but anti-Leninist, impossibilist Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904.
At the end of the Second World War, the Workers’ Literature Bureau in Melbourne published the first Australian edition of volume one of “Capital” by Karl Marx. According to J. A. Dawson, “Trotskyism, Communists, The Labor Party, and Socialism”, (The Workers’ Literature Bureau, Melbourne, ca. 1943, p. 17), “The Workers’ Literature Bureau, in endorsing the Objective and Principles of the Socialist Party of Australia, does so independently, NOT being connected in any way with that organization” (p. 18).
The edition is based on the translation from the third German edition by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, published in London by William Glaisher (p. 13) and originally published by Swan Sonnenschein. It is not only abridged, but the translation is often reformulated.
“This abridgement of the first volume of ‘Capital’ is not so condensed as that made by Otto Ruehle. The first chapter dealing with commodities especially being given a comparatively longer exposition” (S. 5). The final chapter on the “Modern theory of colonisation” is nearly completely reproduced, considering Australia’s colonial history and relations.
The introduction mentions Australian examples: “In 1944 we have an Australian price; an English (sterling) price [...]. In domestic currency the Australian pound has a ratio of approximately £2/12/6 to £1 gold” (p. 9). Most foot notes by Karl Marx are omitted, but not so the one referring to Australia on p. 159. The introduction by “-F.D.” discusses socialism in the Soviet-Union, cites "The living thoughts of Karl Marx" by Leon Trotsky (S. 8) and defends the Socialist Party of Great Britain (p. 10).
Capital, volume I
Workers’ Literature Bureau edition, 1944
CAPITAL A Critique of Political Economy By KARL MARX VOL. I. First Published Hamburg, 1867 ABRIDGED 1944 Workers’ Literature Bureau, P.O. Box 573 D., Melbourne.
5 F. D., Introduction
14 Marx’s Preface to First Edition
18 Chapter one (Waare und Geld)
60 Chapter two The transformation of money into capital
65 Chapter three The production of absolute surplus-value
83 Chapter four Production of relative surplus-value
107 Chapter five (Die Produktion des absoluten und relative Mehrwerths)
115 Chapter six Wages
120 Chapter seven The accumulation of capital
152 Chapter eight (Fünfundzwanzigstes Kapitel) Modern theory of colonisation
Wholly set up and printed by Excelsior Printing Works, 634 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East, E.3.
J. A. Dawson, “Trotskyism, Communists, The Labor Party, and Socialism”, (The Workers’ Literature Bureau, Melbourne, ca. 1943)
Edward Fowler Hill, “Communism and Australia. Reflections and Reminiscences”, Communist Party of Australia, 1989
From the collections of the Karl Marx Memorial Library Luxembourg
Copyright Karl Marx Memorial Library Luxembourg 2018