No doubt, having read Marx´s “Capital” is a great help to understand Capitalism and its modern neoliberal variant (which is much of early untamed Capitalism). But as someone who wants to understand present day world politics a number of books is indispensable reading stuff. Some of them I would like to recommend here:
I) William Blum, “Killing Hope, US military and CIA Interventions since World War II”
The most powerful actor in World Politics is the United States of America. Not only during the Cold War they were and are practically in most parts of the World intervening. Not to “make the World a better place” for the majority of the people, but literally to kill the hopes of the masses. Even moderate efforts by politicians in office to let the “common man” or woman get a little bit more justice and a fairer part of what they work for are reason enough for the Empire (US) to remove them by media manipulation, bribery, instigating treason or civil war or simple murder. This book gives a voluminous account of most of the deeds coming from the land that calls itself “the Land of the Free”.
II) Naomi Klein, “The Shock Doctrine”
What the US Empire is really after, is well explained by Naomi Klein: they want to push the common people into a state of shock, being unable to realize what is done to them, dictate to their representatives the conditions and let them pay for their own suppression. The blueprint to this is coming from US techniques of individual manipulation of people by “stone age” psychiatric methods like electro shocks. The economic aims were formulated by Milton Friedman and his “Chicago Boys”.
III) C. Wright Mills, “The Power Elite”
Behind the pseudo democratic curtain there are the real decision makers, the Power Elite. Together with the economic power, now coming from a highly concentrated industry, the heads of the political and military sphere make up the Power Elite, in which the economic power has the greatest saying.
IV) Russ Baker, “Family of Secrets”
An insight into one of the “ruling” families and their activities allows this voluminous book, thoroughly researched. You might possibly be astonished to read that grandfather Bush (Prescott) was involved in getting the Nazis into power and to learn how “close” father Bush (“Poppy”) was to Kennedy´s assassination. Not only that he was around during the time of the Dallas shooting but his close friend de Mohrenschild had taken care of Lee Harvey Oswald (the “Patsy”) as a fatherly friend. The involvement of Poppy Bush into the events around Kennedy´s assassination is so scandalous that it´s hard to believe. You´ll also read how that son George W. who doesn´t hesitate to send his country´s sons and daughters into battle in order to kill thousands of other people and possibly die themselves was sneaking away when it came to his own military service!
V) Noam Chomsky, “Media Control”
If you want to know how all such frightening things could be hidden to the public, how crimes against Humanity, against human right and international law could be turned into the opposite in public eyes, then this book of the “Grand Seigneur” of political Analysis is very helpful.
It appears almost impossible to leave these books aside when trying to understand present day politics.