“What I am seeking here is a better understanding of the contradictions of capital, not of capitalism. I want to know how the economic engine of capitalism works the way it does, and why it might stutter and stall and sometimes appear to be on the verge of collapse. I also want to show why this economic engine should be replaced, and with what.” –from the Introduction
Following on from The Enigma of Capital, the world’s leading Marxist thinker explores the hidden workings of capital and reveals the forces that will lead inexorably to the demise of our system.You thought capitalism was permanent? Think again.
David Harvey unravels the contradictions at the heart of capitalism – its drive, for example, to accumulate capital beyond the means of investing it, its imperative to use the cheapest methods of production that leads to consumers with no means of consumption, and its compulsion to exploit nature to the point of extinction. These are the tensions which underpin the persistence of mass unemployment, the downward spirals of Europe and Japan, and the unstable lurches forward of China and India.
Not that the contradictions of capital are all bad: they can lead to the innovations that make capitalism resilient and, it seems, permanent. Yet appearances can deceive: while many of capital’s contradictions can be managed, others will be fatal to our society. This new book is both an incisive guide to the world around us and a manifesto for change.
To modern Western society, capitalism is the air we breathe, and most people rarely think to question it, for good or for ill. But knowing what makes capitalism work–and what makes it fail–is crucial to understanding its long-term health, and the vast implications for the global economy that go along with it.
In Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, the eminent scholar David Harvey, author of A Brief History of Neoliberalism, examines the internal contradictions within the flow of capital that have precipitated recent crises. He contends that while the contradictions have made capitalism flexible and resilient, they also contain the seeds of systemic catastrophe. Many of the contradictions are manageable, but some are fatal: the stress on endless compound growth, the necessity to exploit nature to its limits, and tendency toward universal alienation. Capitalism has always managed to extend the outer limits through “spatial fixes,” expanding the geography of the system to cover nations and people formerly outside of its range. Whether it can continue to expand is an open question, but Harvey thinks it unlikely in the medium term future: the limits cannot extend much further, and the recent financial crisis is a harbinger of this.
David Harvey has long been recognized as one of the world’s most acute critical analysts of the global capitalist system and the injustices that flow from it. In this book, he returns to the foundations of all of his work, dissecting and interrogating the fundamental illogic of our economic system, as well as giving us a look at how human societies are likely to evolve in a post-capitalist world.
Graduate Center geographer David Harvey, author of Rebel Cities; Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, author of Triumph of the City; and Seth W. Pinsky, former president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, debate the economic realities of New York’s creative and knowledge-based industries. Adam Davidson, host of NPR’s Planet Money, moderates.
Why do urban struggles matter in projects of social change? What is the importance of reclaiming public space in social movements? And at this gloomy global moment of extreme urban disparities and social inequalities, how do we re-think what is possible? For insights on these questions, we interviewed David Harvey on 24 October 2013. Harvey is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology & Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)…
In this interview, Harvey illustrates how struggles over urban space and the quality of daily life in neighborhoods are intrinsic to understanding the dynamics of class struggle. He highlights the importance of joining struggles in projects of social change and calls for re-conceptualizing of the working class to include all “those people who produce and reproduce urban life.” The original interview was recorded, and subsequently transcribed by Duncan Wane.
The definitive guide to the second volume of Capital
The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression shows no sign of ending, and Marx’s work remains key to any attempt to understand the ebb and flow of capitalist economies. For nearly forty years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, becoming one of the world’s foremost Marx scholars.
Based on his recent lectures, and following the success of his companion to the first volume of Capital, Harvey turns his attention to Volume 2, aiming to bring his depth of learning to a broader audience, guiding first-time readers through a fascinating and often-neglected text. Whereas Volume 1 focuses on production, Volume 2 looks at how value comes into being through the buying and selling of goods. Harvey also introduces elements from Volume 3 on credit and finance to help illustrate aspects of the contemporary crisis.
This is a must-read for anyone wanting a fuller understanding of Marx’s political economy. David Harvey’s video lecture course on Marx’s Capital can be found here.
From the description: David Harvey visited Brazil for an international seminar on Marx. This is the lecture he gave in Salvador (March 26th) on the publication of the brazilian edition of his A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, by Boitempo. With activities extending throughout three months and six brazilian cities, the seminar featured Slavoj Žižek, Michael Heinrich and some of the most renowned specialists from Brazil and abroad to discuss the relevance of Marxism in times of global crisis.