Amidst waves of economic crises, class struggle and neo-fascist reaction, few possess the clarity and foresight of world-renowned theorist, David Harvey. Since the publication of his bestselling A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Harvey has been tracking the evolution of the capitalist system as well as tides of radical opposition rising against it. In The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Harvey introduces new ways of understanding the crisis of global capitalism and the struggles for a better world.
While accounting for violence and disaster, Harvey also chronicles hope and possibility. By way of conversations about neoliberalism, capitalism, globalisation, the environment, technology and social movements, he outlines, with characteristic brilliance, how socialist alternatives are being imagined under very difficult circumstances.
In understanding the economic, political and social dimensions of the crisis, Harvey’s analysis in The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles will be of strategic importance to anyone wanting to both understand and change the world.
Host: David Harvey is a Marxist thinker about political economy and has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital for over 40 years. He currently teaches at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Prof. Harvey has written extensively on the significance of Marx’s Capital for understanding contemporary capitalism, and will be presenting this knowledge and more to his podcast audience.
Support: This podcast is made possible by donations to Democracy at Work and/or to Patreon. We are very grateful for your support of David Harvey’s Anti-Capitalist Chronicles even through this difficult and turbulent time. Your contributions helps us compensate the staff and workers it takes to put an episode together. Thank you for being a part of the ACC team.
Release Schedule: Season 3 began in September 2020. ACC is released every other Thursday, both as a podcast, and on Democracy at Work’s YouTube channel. Supporters of ACC on Patreon get access to the new episode and the RSS feed a day in advance. Join Patreon today.
David Harvey and Amna Akbar in conversation about Marx’s idea of human freedom Sponsored by Haymarket Books 11 November 2020
The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for us to think again about Marx’s idea of human freedom. Emergency steps to get through the crisis also show us how we could build a different society that’s not beholden to capital.
Unless we address the root cause of those problems in the structure of our economic system, we’ll never be able to solve them.
This a moment where we can use this socialist imagination to construct an alternative society. This is not utopian. Our needs can only be taken care of through collective action.
David Harvey is a distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His latest books are The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles and The Ways of the World .
Amna Akbar is a professor of law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She writes about policing and social movements, with a focus on grassroots demands for social change.
(Interview in English with Portuguese subtitles) David Harvey talks about the different forms and sites of class struggle today, beyond the classic struggle on the workplace, and reflects on the importance of articulating their particularities into a broad anticapitalist project in this fifth episode of the conversation with his Brazilian translator, Artur Renzo, on Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason. The video belongs to a special 6 episode series on the book produced by TV Boitempo.
(Interview in English with Portuguese subtitles) David Harvey talks about what mainstream economists miss in their analyses of the dynamics of capital accumulation in this fourth episode of the conversation with his Brazilian translator, Artur Renzo, on Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason. The video belongs to a special 6 episode series on the book produced by TV Boitempo.
(spoken in English, subtitled in Portuguese) Third in a series of short clips recorded on the occasion of the publication of the Brazilian edition of Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by Boitempo.
(spoken in English, subtitled in Portuguese) Second in a series of short clips recorded on the occasion of the publication of the Brazilian edition of Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by Boitempo.
(spoken in English, subtitled in Portuguese) First in a series of short clips recorded on the occasion of the publication of the Brazilian edition of Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by Boitempo.
It is quite possible that if and when we collectively emerge from the torments being inflicted by COVID-19, we will find ourselves in a political landscape where the reform of capitalism is very much upon the agenda. Even before the virus struck, there were minor hints of such a transition. Major business leaders who were gathered at Davos, for example, heard that their obsession with profits and market value and neglect of social and environmental impacts was becoming counterproductive. They were advised to take shelter from rising public wrath in some form of “conscience” or “eco-capitalism.”
The lamentable state of society’s public-health defenses against the onslaught of the virus, after forty years of neoliberal politics in many parts of the world, has increased the degree of public agitation. Austerity on anything other than military expenditures or subsidies to supposedly needy — though often filthy rich — corporations left behind a bitter taste, increasingly so after the bank bailout of 2008. In contrast, the collective and state-led measures to address the pandemic that did seem to work have generated more favorable public attitudes towards government.
When trying to interpret,
understand and analyze the daily flow of news, I tend to locate what is
happening against the background of two distinctive but intersecting models of
how capitalism works. The first level is
a mapping of the internal contradictions of the circulation and accumulation of
capital as money value flows in search of profit through the different
“moments” (as Marx calls them) of production, realization (consumption),
distribution, and reinvestment. This is a model of the capitalist economy as
a spiral of endless expansion and growth. It gets pretty complicated as it gets
elaborated through, for example, the lenses of geopolitical rivalries, uneven
geographical developments, financial institutions, state policies, technological
reconfigurations and the ever-changing web of divisions of labour and of social
relations. I envision this model as embedded, however, in a broader context of
social reproduction (in households and communities), in an on-going and
ever-evolving metabolic relation to nature (including the “second nature” of
urbanization and the built environment) and all manner of cultural, scientific
(knowledge-based), religious and contingent social formations that human
populations typically create across space and time. These latter “moments” incorporate the active
expression of human wants, needs and desires, the lust for knowledge and meaning
and the evolving quest for fulfillment against a background of changing institutional
arrangements, political contestations, ideological confrontations, losses, defeats,
frustrations and alienations, all worked out in a world of marked geographical,
cultural, social and political diversity.
This second model constitutes, as it were, my working understanding of global
capitalism as a distinctive social formation, whereas the first is about the contradictions
within the economic engine that powers this social formation along certain pathways
of its historical and geographical evolution.