Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
18 September 2017
Description from LSE:
Leading Marxist scholar David Harvey discusses the profound insights and enormous power Marx’s analysis continues to offer 150 years after the first volume of Capital was published. His latest book is Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason.
David Harvey (@profdavidharvey) is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School and an Honorary Graduate of LSE. His course on Marx’s Capital, developed with students over thirty years, has been downloaded by people from all over the world.
Hyun Bang Shin (@urbancommune) is Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at LSE.
The LSE Department of Geography & Environment (@LSEGeography) is a center of international academic excellence in economic, urban and development geography, environmental social science and climate change.
Editor’s note from LSE Podcasts: We regret to say that owing to a technical problem the first few minutes of the lecture are missing from the podcast.
“Marx’s Capital is one of the most important texts of the modern era. The three volumes, published between 1867 and 1883, changed the destiny of countries, politics and people across the world – and continue to resonate today. In this book, David Harvey lays out their key arguments.In clear and concise language, Harvey describes the architecture of capital according to Marx, placing his observations in the context of capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. He considers the degree to which technological, economic and industrial change during the last 150 years means Marx’s analysis and its application may need to be modified. Marx’s trilogy concerns the circulation of capital: volume I, how labour increases the value of capital, which he called valorisation; volume II, on the realisation of this value, by selling it and turning it into money or credit; volume III, on what happens to the value next in processes of distribution. The three volumes contain the core of Marx’s thinking on the workings and history of capital and capitalism. David Harvey explains and illustrates the profound insights and enormous analytical power they continue to offer in terms that, without compromising their depth and complexity, will appeal to a wide range of readers, including those coming to the work for the first time.”
“Karl Marx’s Capital is one of the most important texts written in the modern era. Since 1867, when the first of its three volumes was published, it has had a profound effect on politics and economics in theory and practice throughout the world. But Marx wrote in the context of capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century: his assumptions and analysis need to be updated in order to address to the technological, economic, and industrial change that has followed Capital’s initial publication.
In Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey not only provides a concise distillation of his famous course on Capital, but also makes the text relevant to the twenty-first century’s continued processes of globalization. Harvey shows the work’s continuing analytical power, doing so in the clearest and simplest terms but never compromising its depth and complexity.
Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason provides an accessible window into Harvey’s unique approach to Marxism and takes readers on a riveting roller coaster ride through recent global history. It demonstrates how and why Capital remains a living, breathing document with an outsized influence on contemporary social thought.”