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The Micawber Solution

The Micawber Solution
David Harvey
August 6, 2014

“Something,” the endearing but eternally indebted Mr Micawber in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield was fond of saying, “is bound to turn up!” “Welcome poverty! Welcome misery, welcome houselessness, welcome hunger, rags, tempest, and beggary!” said he, “Mutual confidence will sustain us to the end!” It sounds like an opening chorus for a Broadway musical called “Austerity Politics,” featuring Paul Ryan and George Osborne dialoguing across the Atlantic backed by a chorus of Republican governors of the United States and IMF officials, with a walk on role for Angela Merkel dressed as Medea poised to sacrifice the children of Europe rather than surrender to the fire-breathing paper dragon of inflation. The collective austerity budgets designed to cure all economic ills would provide a wonderful décor for a cacophonous second act. But in the final act Mr Micawber will stride upon the stage to save the day, with an ingenious solution to the problem of universal indebtedness.

He announces his solution “with much solemnity,” says Dickens, but only after consuming “two glasses of punch in grave succession.” Seeking to clean up his affairs as he readies himself to migrate from London to Australia, here is what Micawber proposes: Continue Reading »

The Limits to Capital and the right to the city
Rio de Janeiro
November 23, 2013
Thanks Boitempo Editorial

Harry Belafonte, Angela Davis and David Harvey: Imagining A World With Transformative Justice: Reform And/Or Revolution Today
Left Forum
New York City
May 31, 2014
Video by Free Speech TV

The history and present condition of Geography: an historical materialist manifesto
Lund University, Sweden
1984

David Harvey

Thomas Piketty has written a book called Capital that has caused quite a stir. He advocates progressive taxation and a global wealth tax as the only way to counter the trend towards the creation of a “patrimonial” form of capitalism marked by what he dubs “terrifying” inequalities of wealth and income. He also documents in excruciating and hard to rebut detail how social inequality of both wealth and income has evolved over the last two centuries, with particular emphasis on the role of wealth. He demolishes the widely-held view that free market capitalism spreads the wealth around and that it is the great bulwark for the defense of individual liberties and freedoms. Free-market capitalism, in the absence of any major redistributive interventions on the part of the state, Piketty shows, produces anti-democratic oligarchies. This demonstration has given sustenance to liberal outrage as it drives the Wall Street Journal apoplectic.

The book has often been presented as a twenty-first century substitute for Karl Marx’s nineteenth century work of the same title. Piketty actually denies this was his intention, which is just as well since his is not a book about capital at all. It does not tell us why the crash of 2008 occurred and why it is taking so long for so many people to get out from under the dual burdens of prolonged unemployment and millions of houses lost to foreclosure. It does not help us understand why growth is currently so sluggish in the US as opposed to China and why Europe is locked down in a politics of austerity and an economy of stagnation. What Piketty does show statistically (and we should be indebted to him and his colleagues for this) is that capital has tended throughout its history to produce ever-greater levels of inequality. This is, for many of us, hardly news. It was, moreover, exactly Marx’s theoretical conclusion in Volume One of his version of Capital. Piketty fails to note this, which is not surprising since he has since claimed, in the face of accusations in the right wing press that he is a Marxist in disguise, not to have read Marx’s Capital.
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Mapping a New Economy

Mapping a New Economy
The geographer David Harvey says fixing inequality will take more than tinkering

The Chronicle Review
By Scott Carlson
May 12, 2014

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism
Bristol Festival of Ideas
11 April 2014

SeventeenContradictions

BOOK REVIEW
‘Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism’; ‘Utopia or Bust’
Review by Martin Sandbu
Financial Times
May 2, 2014

BOOK REVIEW
A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Volume 2
Reviewed by Derek Wall
Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
May 2, 2014

INTERVIEW
Global crisis and alternatives: A conversation with David Harvey
By Patrick Clark
Rabble.ca
April 29, 2014

INTERVIEW
Indebted Students Don’t Protest
By Philip Stalhandske
Lundagård
April 22, 2014

EXCERPT
Austerity schemes and right-wing economic doom
Salon.com
April 19, 2014

INTERVIEW
The End of Capitalism
BBC Radio 4: Thinking Allowed
April 14, 2014

INTERVIEW
The contradictions of capitalism: an interview with David Harvey
by Jonathan Derbyshire
Prospect Magazine
April 11, 2014

INTERVIEW
Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism: David Harvey and Owen Jones
London Review Bookshop
April 10, 2014

EXCERPT
Prospects for a Happy but Contested Future: The Promise of Revolutionary Humanism
The White Review
April 7, 2014

INTERVIEW
Professor David Harvey Q&A
By Valentina Zanca
Profile Books
April 3, 2014

EXCERPT
David Harvey: the crisis of capitalism this time around
Roar Magazine
March 24, 2014


Contradictions of Capitalism: Interview with David Harvey
NovaraMedia
Apr 12, 2014

Aaron Bastani talks to David Harvey about capitalism, crisis and social movements.



Contradictions of Capitalism: In Conversation with David Harvey
Novara, Series 3, Episode 23
Resonance 104.4fm

On this week’s show James Butler and Aaron Bastani are joined by David Harvey.

Interview on the Majority Report with Sam Seder
April 28, 2014

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