David Harvey’s biggest lecture yet! Commenting on the connections underlying the many grassroots resistance experiences drawn from social movements, and the dynamics of capitalism theorized by Marx, David Harvey discusses some of the more pressing issues of our time such as the relationship between capital and politics, urban social movements and democracy.
This lecture took place in Fortaleza on November 17th 2014, during a series of talks entitled “The Political Economy Of Urbanization,” marking the publishing of the second volume of his Companion to Marx’s Capital, by Boitempo. This trip took him also to the cities of Brasília, Recife, Fortaleza and São Paulo. The lectures also celebrated the publishing of Boitempo’s new edition of Volume II of Marx’s Capital – the first edition revised and expanded according to the documents of the MEGA2 project. Recently, Boitempo’s edition of Volume I of Capital was awarded the Jabuti Prize for translation – the most important prize in the brazilian publishing world. All of professor Harvey’s lectures were recorded and are being published on Boitempo’s channel on YouTube.
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. Continue reading
Capital, Volume 3
Part Five: The Division of Profit into Interest and Profit of Enterprise. (Interest-Bearing Capital)
Chapter 21: Interest-Bearing Capital
Chapter 22: Division of Profit. Rate of Interest. ‘Natural’ Rate of Interest.
Chapter 23: Interest and Profit of Enterprise
Chapter 24: Interest-Bearing Capital as the Superficial Form of the Capital Relation
Chapter 25: Credit and Fictitious Capital
Chapter 26: Accumulation of Money-Capital, and its Influence on the Rate of Interest.
The page numbers Professor Harvey refers to are valid for the Penguin Classics editions of Capital Volumes 2 and 3.
Class 6 Files: Video MP4 (442.7 MB) M4V (475.5 MB) | Audio MP3 (87 MB)
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