Well, I finally completed my re-reading of Capital Volume One today. Here is an odd fact. Marx wraps up his long discourse with a dramatic, powerful five page Chapter XXXII entitled "Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation." The mists have dispelled, the veils have parted, and the raw story of the development of modern capitalism is laid before us as clearly as one could desire. The chapter concludes with this marvelous paragraph:
"The transformation of scattered private property, arising from individual labour, into capitalist private property is, naturally, a process incomparably more protracted, violent, and difficult, than the transformation of capitalistic private property, already resting on socialised production, into socialised property. In the former case, we had the expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers; in the latter, we have the expropriation of a few usurpers by the mass of the people."
That ought to be the end of the book, right? But then, unaccountably, Marx adds one more chapter, "The Modern Theory of Colonisation." It is in every way an anticlimax, engendered, so far as I can tell, by Marx's desire to beat up on a wretch named E. G. Wakefield.
When I teach the book next semester, I plan to end with Chapter XXXII.