Radical sociologist 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?
David Harvey is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).
A leading social theorist of international standing, he received his PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited authors in the humanities.
Economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets. Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of mercantilism. It was fostered by the Reformation, which sanctioned hard work and frugality, and by the rise of industry during the Industrial Revolution, especially the English textile industry (16th18th centuries). Unlike earlier systems, capitalism used the excess of production over consumption to enlarge productive capacity rather than investing it in economically unproductive enterprises such as palaces or cathedrals. The strong national states of the mercantilist era provided the social conditions, such as uniform monetary systems and legal codes, necessary for the rise of capitalism. The ideology of classical capitalism was expressed in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776), and Smith's free-market theories were widely adopted in the 19th century. In the 20th century the Great Depression effectively ended laissez-faire economics in most countries, but the demise of the state-run command economies of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (seecommunism) and the adoption of some free-market principles in China left capitalism unrivaled (if not untroubled) by the beginning of the 21st century.
Could you please tell me where true Marxism has ever been practiced?
Neither Russia, nor China, or any other self-professed "communist" state has ever followed Marxism as it was written. They created derivatives of this idea, that were suited to providing power to a select few, and subjecting the masses to this sort of rule. As such, your claim that these ideals have failed is misleading. How can they have failed, if they have never been tried?
I don't know either Marxism (Karl Marx) or Capitalism (Adam Smith), however, during my life time I have seen people, all around me, getting poorer and poorer while working longer and longer...oh yeah, and getting dumber and dumber as the years have gone by. Don't know what is wrong, but is plain as the clouds in skies of London, or the morning sun against the clear skies of California that something is wrong and it has to do with those who have the power.
It's amazing that people confuse concrete problems with abstract ones. Doesn't that just rub you wrong?
It's amazing that people who criticize Marx without having read him tend to speak in hackneyed cliches.
Mark Sullivan, you have to learn more about a "possibility" of steady growth; search you tube "most important video you'll ever see", and educate yourself... If you were a bright guy you'd realize how little you knew and how much you’ve been lied to regarding the growth.
I don't see him revealing himself as being terribly marxist. He does admit that government intervention was partly to blame. He gave a rather great example of government subsidies for tract housing in San Diego, where government entities subsidize the consumer and the developer end in housing matters, forming a sort of ponzi scheme.
Also, Engels, et. al. never really supported government entities within a so-called Capitalist system, per se, because they viewed them with suspicion because of these entities' proximity to "private" power. In other words, they wouldn't view government intervention in private matters as being terribly socialist because they saw government becoming an aspect or tool of Capitalist power.
With that said, however, governments usually intervene when there is concern that a given crisis will spread to the "common" man to help protect him. I do agree with you, however, that the road to disaster is somtimes paved with the best of intentions.
At any rate, I don't see Harvey really taking sides, per se. What I gleaned from his talk is that the nature of Capitalism is that its structure lends itself to continued failures, but the downside is that it doesn't really repair itself; in fact, it simply shifts the failures elsewhere, like global, economic musical chairs.
Also, your little pun at the end there about his lecture fees and contracts actually helps his argument, in that, that's a "true" exchange, i.e.: a service in exchange for a fee or other things, but that is really not taking place in the general, "real" sense in our present global economic situation.
I agree with you partially. I'm suspect of the structure of corporations because when they become too big, they have to constantly seek fictitious markets to sell products and services to in order to maintain their size. This, of course, feeds into the "boom-bust" cycles.
I am stunned after listening to this arrogant, ignorant man. I thought once the truth about Lenin and Uncle Joe came out that people realized what a sham this thinking is. I do not quite know where to begin.
1. He was surprised and never expected to see Greece's economy collapse? What world does he live in? Greece has defaulted on its sovereign debt 12 times in its history. Greece is what happens when this "academic's" ideas are implemented. Then to claim with no fleshing out of the idea or logic that Greece's crisis was simply the United States' crisis transferred to them? Huh?
2. His confusion about Americans who got greedy and purchased homes they could not afford being personally accountable for their mistake was amazing. The sooner these foreclosures are completed, the sooner the market will self correct. To keep people in homes they cannot pay for and forcing either the taxpayer (many who do not own homes) or others pay is immoral. This personal responsibility is a uniquely American trait that makes us a better nation than most. Sadly, this trait is fading. He blamed it on "the system." What system?
3. He believes 3% economic growth is impossible? Does he ever leave the University campus? Has he ever had a private sector job? Does he realize that most of the world is underdeveloped, poor and, worth mentioning - NOT capitalist. China, India and Brazil - nations who have gradually turned away from the failed socialist policies this man advocates, have double digit growth rates. Most of their citizens are still dirt poor and the upside potential, both in terms of financial and investment opportunities for those willing to invest and most importantly, the improvement in the quality of life for these people is exciting. Only a leftist/Marxist could see economic growth and the creation of wealth as a bad thing.
4. Blaming Germans for buying vacation homes in Spain for Spain's poor economy? Spain is drowning in debt just like Greece is. The socialist, collectivist welfare state benefits this "academic" probably believes are the greatest thing in the world are breaking Europe. Progressives in the United States, from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Jimmy Carter and now Obama, want to give able bodied, middle class people these same welfare benefits. It will destroy us as well.
The problem in the financial industry wasn't that institutions and individuals took too much risk, it's that they knew that at the end of the day, there was really no risk at all. With the FDIC, FannieMae, FreddieMac, bailouts - no money was ever at risk. Government intervention into the financial system is the problem. If the risk was genuine - in other words if Goldman Sachs knew that if Mexico defaults on its bonds, they will not get a bailout from the taxpayer - perhaps they would have been more carefully. If mortgage originators knew that they would not be able to bundle loans up and dump them at FannieMae or Freddie Mac, perhaps they would have been more responsible. If banks had true ultimate moral accountability for their customers' deposits, they would be wiser investors. General Motors should have declared bankruptcy. Instead, we have delayed the inevitable and pushed GM's failure into the future because they were not forced to change anything.
This gentleman is still clinging to the Marx/Engels ideas despite the fact that this movement has not only failed everywhere it has been in practice, it has been the cause of the deaths of more innocent souls all over the world than any other movement.
I hope his speaking fee wasn't very high. Wait - he was paid for his service - a free contract between he (the seller of the good or service) and the forum (the buyer). . .hmmm, sounds a lot like this fellow makes a living like a good capitalist. What a "system!"
This Fora.tv video player is useless.
If it crashes in the middle of the video, I have to watch it all from the beginning again. Using the newest version of forefox
For this one where there is no downloadable version, it becomes very frustrating