Owing to an interchange with somebody on Twitter, I have felt inspired to read Marx’s Capital. I haven’t gotten through the introduction yet, and I’m already horrified.
The version of Capital that I’m reading is the Penguin Classics edition, © 2004, with an introduction by Ernest Mandel, which was apparently written in 1974. Mandel is definitely on the bandwagon, and he keeps going on about the Labor theory of Value, which is both the most insightful thing ever, and also completely misunderstood by anybody who disagrees with it in any way.
Capitalism, or maybe surplus value of labor, exists in a world where the owners of the land on which a factory exists are not the owners of the company that works the factory. Apparently land owners are titled lords who own vast estates and rent that land to the factory owners, rather than selling. Similarly factory owners are singular entities, rather than shareholders. The owners of factories do no work of any kind. The only work that is done is people with actual wrenches, who pull levers on machines.