Japanese readers turn to Marx amid pandemic


Books related to “Capital” by Karl Marx are selling well in Japan. The editors say people may be more aware of social issues, such as economic inequality and environmental destruction, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The German philosopher and economist Karl Marx published “Das Kapital” in 1867. He studies the mechanism of capitalism and analyzes its problems. This has had a huge impact on the development of global economic systems.

Books related to “Capital” have become popular in Japan in recent months. One of them was published by Associate Professor Saito Kohei of Osaka University last September.

He argues that it will be difficult for capitalism, which pursues economic growth while placing a burden on the environment, to resolve the problems of global warming or the economic divide. The book sold 300,000 copies.

Other related works, including commentaries on “Capital” and analytical reports on work systems in modern society, also appeal to readers.

Staff at a large Tokyo bookstore expressed surprise at the growing interest in Marx among young people. They say more people seem to see inequalities and environmental degradation as impending problems and wonder if current social systems can solve these problems.

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