However, there is this passage in the The German Ideology, written some 30 years before vol III:
Which raises a question. De Botton would not think such misattribution acceptable in a reference to other important writers. So why is it acceptable to be so sloppy when one is writing about Marx? Why does partisanship allow one to abandon minimal standards of scholarship? (As a rule of thumb, any non-German who refers to “Das Kapital” hasn‘t read it.)
What’s more, Marx wasn’t entirely daft. He was presaging a point made 85 years later by Keynes, in his essay (pdf), Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren. In this, he predicted - just as Marx did - that productivity would grow sufficiently to allow our needs to be met with very little labour:
This, though, raises a question. Why is it that the rise in productivity hasn’t had the effects predicted by Marx and Keynes? Why have our “needs” risen as our productive powers have, with the result that the hours we devote to employment haven’t fallen as much as Marx or Keynes forecast? Why is it that so many of us - I count myself fortunate to be a partial exception - haven’t used wealth to free ourselves from alienating labour?
Yes, Marx was wrong, as was Keynes. But their error raises a deep question, which Marx’s illiterate critics have not sufficiently appreciated.