David Harvey: Crises of Capitalism + The Contradictions of Capitalism

Capitalism is Crisis - occupation, St Paul's, London

Image by Chris Beckett via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

theRSAorg | May 6, 2010

Marxist geographer David Harvey asks: is it time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?

RSA ANIMATE: Crises of Capitalism

theRSAorg on Jun 28, 2010

In this RSA Animate, celebrated academic David Harvey looks beyond capitalism towards a new social order. Can we find a more responsible, just, and humane economic system?

Updated: Aug. 17, 2014

RSA Replay – The Contradictions of Capitalism

theRSAorg | Apr 9, 2014

One of the world’s most respected public thinkers visits the RSA to explore the hidden workings of capital. David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School, unravels the paradoxes at the heart of capitalism and offers a manifesto for a new way forward.

Chair: Matthew Taylor, RSA chief executive.

from the archives:

Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (must-see)

25 thoughts on “David Harvey: Crises of Capitalism + The Contradictions of Capitalism

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  21. Consumers are mostly people who depend on a wage paid to them by capitalists (ie, they are workers). The maldistribution of wealth and income that Harvey correctly attributes to capitalists can be countered by organised labour; but it can also be countered by organised *consumers*, who are mostly the same people. Surely both of these social forces should be forged together as a weapon of class war against capital?

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  23. Hmm … according to “Think & Grow Rich” (Napoleon Hill), Capitalism is the system that allows the millions of dollars of globe-spanning work involved in a small breakfast in central New York to only cost the eating New Yorkers a few dollars … he might’ve said “no other system can possibly accomplish such a feat!”

    Where it goes wrong is if you ‘seek ye first the kingdom of thine own’ (rather than ‘the Kingdom of God/Shiva/FlyingSpagettiMonster’) Because ‘seeking to build-up your own kingdom’ in today’s jungle means ‘seeking to knock down any name other than yours.’

    All the money you’re given should go toward ‘making yourself a clearer conduit of service from your source(s) to the consumer-public.’ Unfortunately, that purpose gets sharpened wrong; it SHOULD get sharpened in the direction of ‘clearer conduit of service’ but gets sharpened to ‘making yourself’ instead.

  24. Long back J.M. Keynes declared:”Essays in Persuasion in The End of Laissez-Faire:

    “Let us clear from the ground the metaphysical or general principles upon which, from time to time, laissez-faire has been founded. It is not true that individuals possess a prescriptive “natural liberty” in their economic activities. There is no compact conferring perpetual rights on those who Have or on those who Acquire. The world is not so governed from above that private and social interest always coincide. It is not so managed here below that in practice they coincide. It is not a correct deduction from the Principles of Economics that enlightened self-interest always operates in the public interest. Nor is it true that self-interest generally is enlightened; more often individuals acting separately to promote their own ends are ignorant or too weak to attain even these. Experience does not show that individuals, when they make up a social unit, are always less clear-sighted than when they act separately.”

    This is the politics and economics of social justice. And hence it was natural for the Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi to give a dire warning:

    “Economic equality is the master key to non-violent revolution. A non-violent system of government is clearly an impossibility so long as the wide gulf between the rich and hungry millions persists.The contrast between the palaces of New Delhi and the miserable hovels of the poor, labouring class cannot last one day in a free India in which the poor will enjoy the same power as the richest in the land. A violent and bloody revolution is certainty one day unless there is a voluntary abdication of riches and the power that riches give and sharing them for the common good.”

    Please see my blog: Whither Globalisation?Published in Countercurrents.org 22 February, 2007

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