Thursday, July 22, 2010

David Harvey on the Financial Crisis

A wonderful animated summary of the current financial crisis based on a talk by prominent social theorist David Harvey (whose web site has a variety of other interesting things, including a 13 part lecture series providing a close reading of Marx's Capital.

For those who want more, the full lecture on which the animation is based is available here. Another of Harveys' talks, Capitalism and Development, is available as a podcast from the BBC, as described below.
"Capital is the lifeblood that flows through the body politic of all those societies we call capitalist, spreading out, sometimes as a trickle and other times as a flood, into every nook and cranny of the inhabited world", writes David Harvey, the world's most cited academic geographer. He gives Laurie a radical critique of what governs that flow of capital and what causes the crises which, he claims, will increasingly disrupt that flow with alarming rapidity. Modern economics has buried its head in detail but ignored the systematic character of capital flow, he claims, and it is time for a restore an understanding of how capital works.
Also on Thinking Allowed is the Cambridge development economist Ha-Joon Chang. In his analysis the detailed global programmes on international development amount to little more than poverty reduction, and the rich world is keeping the less developed countries poor in the name of free trade.


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  2. The entire lecture includes some important issues that were left out of the cartoon sketch, particularly the discussion of [sub]urbanization and the role of real estate development as a last ditch answer to the crisis of growth.

    Here's a related story from FAST COMPANY magazine that focuses on his critique of "New Urbanism" as the suburbanization of the city: