Anti-Capitalist Chronicles Episode List: Season 4

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Season 4

Season 4 began in February 2022

Mainstreaming Marxism & Redefining Capitalism

December 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 20)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey considers the hostility and glorification of ignorance—a legacy of McCarthyism—towards the teachings of Marx, especially within academia and the mainstream media. Academia has become a money-making institution and even liberal mainstream media, claiming to be tolerant, espouse repressive tolerance. Harvey draws on his experience writing and teaching about Marxism to reject the need to define the current phase of capital. We are not regressing back towards feudalism and we don’t need to find more adjectives to put in front of capitalism. Rather than trying to fit our current conditions into a preconceived notion, we simply need to consider the qualities of the conditions in order to challenge the power of capitalist institutions and move forward. 

ACC_S4_E19.pngPedagogy of the Emancipated Laborer

December 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 19)

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As more and more people begin to recognize the pitfalls of the systems we're entrenched in—capitalism, neoliberalism, consumerism, and more—we are often left without clear directions for instilling change. In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey addresses the question he is so often asked, and often asks himself: “What should we do?” Harvey urges us to begin by looking at our individual situation, particularly five aspects: quality of life in the household, nature of the labor market, experience in the workplace, experience as money manager, and experience as buyer in the money market. The pedagogy of the emancipated laborer involves situating ourselves in those five aspects of society, connecting with others on the local level who are situated around us, and building collectively.

Religion's Impact on Politics

November 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 18)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (ACC), Prof. Harvey considers the role of religion in various political movements with particular attention to the growth and impact of the Evangelical movement in the US today. Religion has often been at the center of political movements, with black churches during the civil rights movement and the Theology of Liberation in Latin America in the 1970s. Harvey explores these histories and considers the importance of theology in building and holding social movements together.  

ACC_S4_E17.pngMetabolic Relations Between Markets and Politics

November 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 17)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (ACC), Prof. Harvey explores the relationship between markets and the state. Drawing on examples such as Britain in the 1970s, France in 1981 under Mitterrand, and Bill Clinton in the 1990s, Harvey argues that, under capitalism, the state is not sovereign and democracy cannot be fully realized, and what you instead have is the eroding of each. As many countries, including the US, move closer to authoritarian democracies, we must first confront this fusion of capital and state and then explore what the socialist response can be.

ACC_S4_E16_(1).pngMetabolic vs. Independent Relations

October 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 16)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (ACC), Prof. Harvey explores the importance of delineating between metabolic and independent relations. Bourgeois economics believes the process of production, distribution, consumption, realization and exchange are all independently related, yet Marx reveals that they are locked in together through the circular concept of metabolic relations. Metabolic relations, unlike independent relations, are harder to break from. Harvey argues that in order for a transition from capitalism to socialism to take place, you have to break apart these interconnected relations that are unique and render them independent.

Marx's Historical Materialism

October 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 15)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (ACC), Prof. Harvey uses Marx’s theory of historical materialism as a means of tackling large societal problems such as climate change. Marx asserts that there are seven distinctive aspects of society which coexist and coevolve in relation to one another. These elements—technology, relationship to nature, labor process of production, reproduction of labor power, mental conceptions of the world, structure of state, and social relations—make up the totality of a society. Historical materialism asks that we not assume one element is a silver bullet answer to a problem, but rather that we look at the ways in which each element would have to shift in order to address the issue.

ACC_S4_E14.pngBeyond Reorganization of Production

September 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 14)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (ACC), Prof. Harvey considers a looming question: is capitalism too big to fail? He speculates on what approaches may lead to a successful socialist alternative. Is it a reorganization of the productive forces? Or redistribution of wealth? Or both?

Facing the Stick of Dynamite in the Ukraine-Russian Conflict

September 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 13)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (ACC), Prof. Harvey reflects on the current Ukraine-Russia conflict and shares his conflicting feelings about the ongoing war.

ACC_S4_E11.pngCapital's Double Consciousness

July 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 12)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey continues his discussion of Brad DeLong’s new book, “Slouching Towards Utopia,” in which DeLong notes the contradiction between an emerging middle class over the last century through technological innovation and stagnant levels of happiness. To explain this dilemma, Harvey looks closer at how these technological advancements shape labor and function under capitalism. He argues that the purpose was never to lighten the load of labor, it was solely to increase profitability. Therein lies the central contradiction of capitalism: capital is great at creating new products, ideas, possibilities, and lifestyles, but it simultaneously produces alienation. It is no wonder that there is a deep dissatisfaction with our society. Alienation is a natural byproduct of capitalism when the ever-growing advancements are designed to produce more surplus rather than improve working people’s lives.

ACC_S4_E11.pngShifts in World Hegemony

July 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 11)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey discusses the new book by Brad Delong, “Slouching Toward Utopia,” which aims to explain the massive creation of wealth over the last 150 years for the upper and middle class, its effect on the world order and why it’s failed to deliver an increasing sense of happiness among that top 50%. Harvey takes us through the history of the various world powers, from Italian city-states to the rise of the US as the global hegemon and the present shift in power that has emerged with China’s rapid economic growth.

Inequality, Ricardian Socialism, and Real Solutions

June 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 10)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey warns that the endless accumulation of capital in a variety of sectors is putting tremendous pressure on our economy, our world, and our very existence. Signs of economic growth—the rising mass of value; centralization of wealth and power in the hands of a small minority; the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere leading to serious climate and biological disruptions; the growing output of plastics; cement production in China; and airline travel and the surplus of liquidity seeking opportunities for investment—are being directed to unproductive activities like military expenditures and the defense industry, ever increasing the threat of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction. Harvey argues that international cooperation is needed and that alternatives must be explored. He discusses the work of Piketty and Ricardian Socialists as a way to address the growing inequality and gross injustices we are living through. He supports Piketty's ideas for the redistribution of income from the top 1% to the bottom 50% of the population and collaborative work models, like those of German and Swedish companies that give power to labor. 

ACC_S4_E9_Path_Dependency.pngPath Dependency, Ukraine, and Nuclear War

June 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 09)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey explores how geopolitical conflicts escalate into war, both historically and today with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Harvey looks at NATO’s role in escalating this crisis, lessons to be learned from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and the looming possibility of nuclear war and its global impact. Mutually assured destruction will continue to be a threat until the West and NATO decide to de-escalate, demilitarize, and negotiate rather than to continually operate offensively. 

ACC_S4_E8.pngThe Evolution of Capitalism

June 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 08)

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n this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey offers his perspective on two questions being debated in leftist circles: are we entering a new kind of capitalism? Is the current capitalism a type of new feudalism? In order to approach these questions, Harvey looks to capitalism’s past and present—at the rentier class, evolving roles and relationships between industrial, market, and finance capitalists, the creation of the stock market, monopsonies, and more. Capitalism is in constant flux and always evolving. Instead of wondering if we are entering a new feudalism or not, Harvey argues we must analyze the current, unique conditions and then consider how we can be anti-capitalist towards this contemporary type of capitalism.

Freedom, Necessity and Anti-Capitalism

May 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 07)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey points to a number of hopeful changes in the political landscape of various countries: Colombia, Peru, Brazil and France. Harvey continues by drawing on Marx’s arguments on the 10-hour work day as a guide for today’s anti-capitalist agenda. Given the current US conditions, the movement should focus on small, incremental changes and mobilize around important issues such as housing and living wages.

ACC_S4_E06.jpegUS Labor - Supply vs. Demand

May 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 06)

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Prof. Harvey looks at the conditions of labor in the US today: the supply and demand as well as the characteristics capital requires from its labor force. If those characteristics are not met, Harvey explains, or can be met for a cheaper wage, capitalists will often seek it out in other countries. This parasitic nature results in an underinvestment and underdevelopment of resources such as health care and education for the domestic workforce. Instead, Harvey argues that we must utilize the surplus labor and surplus capital in the US in order to create a society in which basic needs are met and towards productive work with a social purpose.

Inflation and Class Struggle

April 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 05)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey examines the current US inflationary crisis and suggests that its cause goes beyond the mainstream explanation of supply and demand. He argues that the crisis has been engineered by capital in an effort to protect profits, weaken the power of labor and discipline social movements. Harvey looks back at the inflation of the 1960s and the 1970s and the relationship that existed between wage rate, profit rate and inflation rate. He predicts this current wave of inflation to be with us for some time, and urges us to consider whether the resulting recession is caused by a lack of opportunity, or if it is simply a means for the capitalist class to seize more power and control.

ACC_S4_E4_Capitalist_Growth.pngCapitalist Growth and Finite Resources

April 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 04)

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In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey talks about the ever rising mass - the rising quantity of money, debt, GDP, military expenditures, greenhouse gas emissions, plastic waste, etc. - and asks what are the qualitative transformations and the costs of the ever expanding mass. He cautions that the degree of expansion needed to revive capital to its pre-pandemic levels is not sustainable given the finite resources of our planet and a capitalist economy with its endless drive for profit and accumulation, and argues that an alternative system is desperately needed.

War - Who Benefits From It?

March 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 03)

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“The one sector of government that doesn’t experience austerity is the military budget.” In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey looks at the role of military expenditures in contemporary capitalism in the US and how it affects the rest of the world. From WWII to the Cold War, to the Iraq War, to the current Russian War on Ukraine, the US has consistently found ways to justify expanding the military budget, while shrinking almost every other government sector. But who benefits from this constant expansion? As Harvey reveals, it’s the politicians who represent locales with military bases and the corporations like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, that provide the military supplies and equipment.

ACC_S4_Technology_Becomes_Business.pngWhen Technology Become a Business...

March 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 02)

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Technology has become the largest industry in the world. In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey picks up where he left off from the previous episode to further explore the implications of technology as a business. To do this, Harvey looks closely at Apple as an example—the labor conditions in China, where the product value actually comes from, and the differences in profit rates between the company itself and the production companies further down the supply chain. As the tech sector continues to explode, Harvey begs us to investigate the ways in which it shapes our lives and choices: through concealed exploitative practices, monetization of access, artificial intelligence, and more. 

Technological Dynamism

February 2022 (Season 4 - Episode 01)

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Technological dynamism comes in various forms: the organizational form, used to improve social productivity, such as the just in time system implemented by the automobile industry; the software of production which centers around keeping employees happy and motivated; and the hardware of technological change, via machinery and equipment. Technological change is driven by the coercive laws of competition between individual capitalists. However, Harvey points out that it is also increasingly driven by the coercive laws of competition between states, and between power blocks (China, US, Russia, Europe), yielding new technologies and non-benign forms of competition used for military advantage and for wealth and power. But, Harvey asks, in what ways can we keep pressure on progress and innovation to produce new technologies that will benefit society as a whole.


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