Marx for the 21st Century with David Harvey

Marx for the 21st Century with David Harvey






For many years I used to teach an introductory geography class and I used to start the class off by asking people. Where did their breakfast come from? But the point about it was to kind of say that very simple things like a breakfast involve millions of people around the world, commodity movements around the world, and it seemed to me it was.

It was useful to ask. Well, how does it move and, of course, in our society it moves because it’s profitable. So, in a sense, all these commodities are sort of taken along by lots of currents and flows of capital.

And so therefore, this notion of capital as a flow and a constant flow, which is very crucial to the reproduction of daily life, started to become very important. To me – and I sort of thought to myself now, how do I visualize a flow of this kind and is there some way I can make a picture of it and my inspiration for this was this diagram at the water cycle and the thing that interested me Most is that, in the same way that capital sometimes takes the form of money, sometimes of commodities, sometimes the productive activity, so in the water cycle, you also get what Marx calls these Metamorpho seas that at one point it’s, a liquid in the Ocean then it becomes a vapor and then it moves around and then it takes on all kinds of different forms of precipitation.

Some of it moves back very fast into the ocean. Some of it gets lost underground, some of it stays sort of in ice caps. Some of it gets taken up by human and animal and vegetable and activities, and it comes back into the atmosphere directly without going through the ocean.

So this is a kind of a cycle and it goes on and on and on and on and on and marks. Actually is often talking about the circulation of capital as this, and and so I thought well, could I make a picture of it, and so what I did was this first start at the bottom there, and you see that there’s, something called money Capital and money capital is part of the money which is used as capital, which is money going to be used to make more money.

Now there’s, a lot of money that doesn’t. Do that so it’s, not all money’s, doing that and in in Marx’s; analysis of industrial capitalism in the capitis mode of production that money capital is used to buy commodities of two sorts, labor power and Means of production now, in order for that to happen, there has to be already a labor market in existence already a sophisticated commodity market, so you can buy your raw materials and your machinery and all that kind of thing, and then the capitalist puts that together in An act of production, a production of commodities and these commodities are going to reproduce the value in the money form in a commodity form through the application of labour and so Marx talks about the application of labour to reproduce value and to produce.

As we’ll see a surplus value in the form of commodities and commodities are of three kinds: wage Goods luxuries means the production. The means of production flow back in wage goods go off to reproduce the labor foul luxuries go off into another market, but the important thing here is that there’s, a movement from production of commodities to the realization of the value of commodities in Money form in the market and now, once it’s, the the value is in money form again, then it can get distributed in various forms.

It’s, hard to distribute the commodities directly, but you can distribute the money and you’re, distributed in the form of wages. Some of it is taken up by taxes and there’s in the profit of industrialists, and there’s.

The merchants who take a profit, then the landlord takes a profit and the bankers and the financier take interest. So you & # 39. Ve got the moments in this process of production, realization and distribution.

Once it’s in the distribution, it’s back in the money form and what gets done with it. Well, some of it is going to flow back in form of demand because the workers need to live and spare and and the state needs to spend and the industrialist need to live so some of it flows back is consumer effective demand, but some of it then Comes back in as a reinvestment in the process again, so there’s reinvestment.

So this is a cycle and it continues on on on, and Marx wrote three volumes of capital. The first volume of capital is all about production and valorisation. The second volume is all about realization and the third volume is about distribution and my argument, a lot of the time to people is, if you might understand Marx’s concept of capital, you’ve, got to read all three volumes of Capital and the problem is that you know in the english-speaking world at least there’s, something which I caught a kind of disease called volume, 1 itis, which says that anybody who reads Marx reads: volume 1 says this is a marvelous piece of literature.

It’s great, they get about 20 pages into volume, 2 and say this is boring. I’ll put it aside, you know and volume 3. They say this is chaotic. I don’t know some of it’s interesting some. It’s. Not so they tend to lay it aside and they don’t.

Do a systematic analysis of what capital looks like from the standpoint of these three volumes of capital? Now Marx actually used a concept of a totality, and the totality here is, in fact, the unification of the three volumes of capital and it’s.

Not really been done very well, so one of the things I’m trying to do is to so take a little crack at unifying the three volumes of capital and then seeing how this process actually then-then-then works.

So my point here is this: that actually that that diagram I had is an interesting way to sort of think about the problems of the global economy. It’s, also an interesting way to think about where crises come from, because there’s, a tendency to sort of say well there’s, only one place where crises come from in the history of capitalism.

Well, no, it’s, not true. If you look at the continuity of that, you say it could come from anywhere. It can come from the reproduction of labour power. It can come from from so you actually have a completely different definition of crisis because, as Mark said, you get crises not because things don’t sell or don’t get realized.

You get crises because they’re, not sold in time, so the temporality of the system, the speedup of this system, becomes significant. There’s, a lot of things you can start to say when you actually have a simple kind of verse and the same waiter.

I think the hydrological cycle was always an incredible force, an incredibly interesting way to look at it say. Okay, now I get it now, I can kind of start to think about. You know many of the things that derive from it.

So I think, by using that diagram, you can start a lot raise all kinds of questions and which to me is the most important thing that an academic can do. [ Applause, ], [, Music, ], [, Music, ]

Source : Youtube

Marx’s ‘Capital’ is one of the most important texts of the modern era and continues to resonate today. Professor David Harvey, the world’s leading expert on Karl Marx, explains the continued importance of Marx’s analysis and how we can apply it to today’s economy and society.

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32 thoughts on “Marx for the 21st Century with David Harvey

    1. “The aspects that people like about Ricardo and Smith are those that don’t require the labor theory of value to be true.”

      Well, exactly. Marx developed the scientific part of their findings, the capitalist economists abandoned that and stuck to the weaker, vulgar and superficial side of their theories.

      “I recommend that you read up on “Karl Marx and the Close of His System” by Eugen Böhm von Bawerk.”

      I’ve read that. It’s a mess. It’s illogical. It’s “unconvincing” to say the least.

    2. Many of Marxs theories do not depend on the labor theory of value at all. There are some subtleties which get misrepresented as well, that’s besides the point though imo.
      My point is just that Marx has value in terms of economics and rejecting his work haphazardly is ill advised. That’s not to say that Marx was without flaws.

    3. Marx’s theory of value has been proven as true. Sorry mate, you should stop reading pseudoscientific libertarian blogs.

      You’ve showed not just that you didn’t read Marx but you didn’t even read those “debunkers” as you said that there are a lot (which is false) and you have difficulties to name them.

      First of all read and understand Marx, then read those “debunkers”. You’ll notice how wronf they are as they didn’t understand him or just misinform to make you believe Marx said sth he didn’t say.

    4. @Masiu I read Marxian theory as a form of methodizing hope for our Future world.

      What pamphlets would you recommend reading?- as I tire of reading through interpretations of other text and seek
      • Definitive
      • Referenced
      • Dialogic
      • Causal
      works on the Material Conditions of today’s world…

      • International Socialist Organization
      World Can’t Wait campaign
      World Socialist WebSite
      Bob Avakian ( of and Revolution Bookstores )
      Don’t display systematic and scientific rigor in their worldviews….it seems that each of them may be more interested in Political Leveraging instead of socioeconomic liberation through organization of class consciousness of workers.

      I seek allies as my researching / gestation period has led me to very Few dedicated thinkers seeking Revolutionary ( Class ) Consciousness….

      (CC) S.S.I. 2019

  1. Read what Marx has to say about how the economy should be structured to find out what is the most effective way to bring a country into poverty and humiliation in the shortest time possible

    1. Until I perfect my english, google translate it is 😀 somethings tells me that you understood what I meant but you don’t like it so you try to shame me for my bad english. Let’s hope artificial intelligence improves faster so we can have proper conversations in english ,until then, have a nice day. 🙂

    2. Can you please be more specific?

      Which writings are you referring to specifically and incontect to what about “economy” Marx wrote about Political-Economy ( you know the stuff Elite people like to us about in artificially separating politics and economics into different domainsin the late 60’s and 70’s )?

  2. The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity. W,B. Yeats

    Then we have good old David here , he sort of just drons on and on and on and on ….

    Karl Marx’s “Captial” is just bad bad writing, poor… or even fradulant “research” by a disfunctional 19 century , emotionally unwell , drunk, maid raping, screwball all of which is well documented. Ever changing “values” , profit values? realization value? please… a laugh track.

    Karl’s incoherent writings model a rhetorically closed self-justifying system, subjective definitions, an absence of natural economic or independent price signals, lack of internal consistency, the pagan religion of “historical materialism”, sectarian intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism a series of rather glaring epistemological problems and so on. Karl was a kook, his nutty writings nonsense.

    Here is a clip that might help in understanding David Harvey,
    It is of Yuri Bezmenov who defected to the west from the former Marxist superpower the “ Soviet Union” remember that bit of stunning stupidity that went on and on for 69 years? At 7.39 he mentions half-baked intellectuals in the west, why would David Harvey the ” world’s leading expert on Karl Marx” flash to mind?

    A very basic Reading List
    Karl Marx, Racist, By Weyl Nathaniel
    The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek
    A World Without Jews. By (the racist) Karl Marx
    The Open Society and its Enemies by Karl popper
    Marx’s Religion of Revolution: Regeneration Through Chaos
    by Gary North PhD.
    Communist Eschatology by Francis Nigel Lee PhD.
    Socialism by Ludwig Von Mises

    1. The ideology of von Mises, Hayek, and the Austrian school leads to authoritarian, capitalist hellholes like those seen with Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. In fact, Thatcher and other ‘free market’ people supported all kinds of capitalist dictatorships throughout Latin America.

      Hundreds of millions more people died from capitalism than communism. See Taiping Rebellion, Dutch East India Company, British East India Company, and the Scramble for Africa. Follow that up with the Native American Genocide and the colonization of Australia. All for money. Capitalism massacred continents of people and dropped the only nuke in history. Socialists never dropped a nuke.

      Stalin had more in common with Putin and Ivan the Terrible than he did with Yeltsin, Gorbachev, and Khrushchev. The biggest opposition to Stalin was Trotsky and the “Left Opposition”. Stalin was culturally conservative in some ways. Most conservatives who opposed Stalin wanted a return to the monarchy of the tsars, not a free-market economy. In Stalin’s Russia, capitalism wasn’t conservative, monarchy was. Capitalism was progressive (liberal) in that environment.

  3. The idea of illustrating the economy like the water cycle is a brilliant one, however he should hire a graphic designer to make his little diagram more legible and visually appealing, it will have more impact that way.

    1. He is not illustrating water cycle for economy. He is illustrating it to explain circulation of money and he does it briefly and brilliantly.

    1. Glorious Bastard claiming that “Communism likes Jihad” based on that single example is ridiculous, it’s an economic model

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