(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.
By David Harvey
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.Continue reading
[Revised March 22, 2020] [Listen as podcast]
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.Continue reading
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.
- Class 1: Introduction, pages 83-111
- Class 2: The Chapter on Money, Pages 115-238
- Class 3: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 239-304
- Class 4: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 304-370
- Class 5: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 373-423
- Class 6: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 423-515
- Class 7: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 516-594
- Class 8: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 595-668
- Class 9: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 668-706
- Class 10: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 707-758
- Class 11: The Chapter on Capital, Pages 759-880
- Class 12: Bastiat and Carey, Pages 881-893 & Reprise
The Importance of Municipal Socialism to Reclaim Cities
The Future is Public: Democratic Ownership of the Economy
December 4, 2019
[event starts at 2:00]
In this lecture, David Harvey offers a close reading of Volume III of Karl Marx’s Capital to distinguish the rate of growth versus the mass of growth. Most economists, policy makers, politicians, and the financial press are very concerned about the rate of growth. The rate of growth is in turn critical to the formulation of policy. Yet the mass of growth is actually more significant, and deserves careful analysis. This lecture will devote special attention to the mass of growth. It will ask: What is the mass of growth? Who controls the mass of wealth? What are we going to do with the mass that is produced?
Thursday, October 3, 2019
The People’s Forum
New York City
Interviewer: John Fraser Hart
Sponsor: Association of American Geographers, 1972
Library of Congress
A close reading of the text of Karl Marx’s Capital Volume I in 12 lectures by Professor David Harvey. Recorded at The People’s Forum in New York City in 2019.
Podcast available on Spotify, iTunes, and RSS. New episodes every Thursday.
Also available on YouTube.
The Persistence of Neoliberalism Despite its Loss of Legitimacy (1/2)
The Limits of Social Democracy and of the Welfare State (2/2)
The Real News Network
July 8, 2019
Neoliberalism continues in national and transnational institutions, even though it has lost legitimacy as an ideology and has even penetrated progressive thinking, argues Prof. David Harvey
The main alternative to neoliberalism is the proposed renewal of social democracy, such as in the form of Bernie Sanders’ proposals. But to move forward we need to discuss the limits of a welfare state that ultimately does not change class relations, says David Harvey