Key Concepts with David Harvey

Mixing timely analysis of capitalism’s biggest trends and timeless insights into capitalism’s function, David Harvey is bringing you a whole new season of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles.

While the Marxist geographer takes a brief summer hiatus, tune into David Harvey’s Anti-Capitalist Chronicles Season 4 to learn from his expertise on modern events (war, shifting economic power and politics) as well as some ever-relevant observations of the way capitalism controls our world.

Technology

Technology has become the largest industry in the world. Prof Harvey has dedicated a few of this season’s episodes to the role of technology in today’s economy, covering topics such as the military, concealed exploitative practices, monetization of access and artificial intelligence. Explore with Harvey today’s forms of competition and technology’s production that shapes our lives for the sake of profit.

“Innovation is not designed to create happiness. It's designed a lot of the time to facilitate one's needs and desires, to stimulate desire and all of those kinds of things. It's certainly about doing all of that, but it's not about making the world better for people. And it's not about improving their lives in any way. It's about trying to actually create a world in which more profit is to be had”

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.


Military

“The one sector of government that doesn’t experience austerity is the military budget.”

Prof. Harvey looks at the role of military expenditures in contemporary capitalism in the US and how it affects the rest of the world- including the money that falls into the hands of weapons manufacturers. Unfortunately, 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. 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. 

“To what degree is competition between states somehow rather related, tightly related, to the competition between capitalists?”


Harvey’s Keys

In a number of episodes this season, Harvey explains key concepts to understanding capitalism such as the coercive laws of competition that control capitalists, how inflation & inequality are used to undercut the working class and the changing geography of economic power. Prof Harvey makes sure to address ongoing crises and conversations while keeping an eye on the future and saying we need a better, alternative system. We need to avoid further climate catastrophe. Socialism can allow more free time for workers. We find hopeful changes in the political landscape of various countries: Colombia, Peru, Brazil and France. 

There is light shining through the cracks of capitalism. 

Tune into David Harvey’s Anti-Capitalist Chronicles Season 4 for all of the famous Marxist geographer’s analysis and insights on this system.


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Showing 1 comment

  • douglas baker
    commented 2022-08-07 13:46:59 -0400
    Military power & de-escalation, demilitarize & negotiate: ongoing, difficult, almost impossible when looking at world history and its autocratic leaders. U.S. and other democratic societies (NATO and/or other) have & have had ongoing negotiation with other “difficult” nations (as much as one can hear/read about from available news & periodical sources). Russia & China, jihadist groups, Islamist fundamentalists, Taliban control, etc will not/probably never give up on militarism. Lack of trust (of who controls), autocratic ruling powers, Russia anti-nato Ukraine real estate as well as China’s intent on Taiwan are main motivators. Also, Russia, China & the U.S. are in extreme competition to create weapons that protect agains others created weapons (i.e. HIMARS, F22, F35, China J20, Russia MIG “checkmate” fighter). Negotiation is there, but control and lack of trust unfortunately will always exist. My 75 year old life, Sociology/anthropology, and accounting/finance background history says this is the way of the world.

    So my hopes for such a concept of de-escalation and negotiation is admirable, desirable, for sure is realistically not possible. With people like Trump and Republicanism from the U.S. perspective, having a John Wayne armament perspective on how to solve world problems, blindness to climate change, even with related scientific support & substantiation, and with no guardrails on industrialization and CO2 emitters, we ain’t going nowhere.
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