(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.
A new course featuring David Harvey teaching Karl Marx’s Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft).
Written during the winter of 1857-8, the Grundrisse was considered by Marx to be the first scientific elaboration of communist theory.
Recorded live in 2020 first at The People’s Forum and then in quarantine, these 12 accessible lectures both guide the reader through the major themes of Marx’s seminal text, as well as feature contemporary commentary relating the text to the pandemic and economic crisis.
The text for this course is Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft) by Karl Marx. The page numbers Professor Harvey refers to are from the Penguin Classics edition, translated by Martin Nicolaus, ISBN: 978-0140445756. The text of the Grundrisse can also be found for free on the Marxists Internet Archive.
If you would prefer to read the Grundrisse in the original German, this document, created by a Berlin based reading group, lists the page numbers to the Marx Engels Werke (MEW) German edition, alongside every reference Professor Harvey makes to the Penguin Classics English edition.