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RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, July 11th, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: Economy, education, youtube - Tags:

In this RSA Animate, radical social theorist David Harvey asks if it is 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?

This is based on a lecture at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

It is a hell of an effective way to present an economic argument.

Thanks to the reader who sent this through to The Standard..

22 comments on “RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism ”

  1. just saying 1

    Brilliant.

    “We have a duty to change our mode of thinking”.

  2. As yet, i don’t see this happening any time soon.

  3. deemac 3

    what I love about this is that it’s so concise – it’s no good giving someone a book and saying “read this” but anyone can spare ten minutes to watch a video

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    I would encourage watching this rejoinder Crisis of Capitalism, The Critique

    • Bored 4.1

      Oh dear, libertarian bollocks versus Marxian bullshit, just like two sides of the same coin claiming to be shinier than the other. I note however the anti Marxist really had no ability to argue that capital accumulation is not real and demonstrable. He forgot the golden rule (he who has the gold makes the rules), works whether you are a capitalist or a Marxist.

      • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1

        I note however the anti Marxist really had no ability to argue that capital accumulation is not real and demonstrable.

        Why would he?

        He forgot the golden rule (he who has the gold makes the rules), works whether you are a capitalist or a Marxist.

        I’d say he who has the guns makes the rules.

        Have you got any specific arguments to make about the video. I personally disagree with much of what he’s saying.

        • Bored 4.1.1.1

          Q, I would like you on my side in a debate about the number of saints who can dance on the head of a needle. I think it a little disingenuous to ask why the issue of capital accumulation needs not be answered. I am sure that you are fully aware that this is at the heart of the issue, the mechanics of how it happens is of secondary importance.

          On the second point guns make the rules, there was the famous quote by Mao (?) on political power growing from the barrel of a gun. Personally I dont see that huge amounts of money and lethal force are seperable entities.

          • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.1

            If we have state socialism we’d still have capital accumulation. What you’re talking about is primitive accumulation.

      • loota 4.1.2

        There is quite a lot to critique with “The Critique” video. One thing which stands out is that the narrator of “The Critique” dismisses Harvey’s positing of the explanatory ‘Genres’ for the WFC saying that no real free marketeer would use any of those explanations – but then doesn’t give any explanations of what a ‘real free markteer’ would give.

        It appears at that stage, and throughout the rest of the video, the narrator argues the case (or rather makes pointed assertions without arguing much of a case) based on a hypothetical free market utopia which has never actually occured in practice. E.g. I noticed the narrator making shoot from the hip statements which weren’t followed up by any rationale e.g. free markets have made everyone richer, has cut poverty in India in half, in the 1970’s monetary policy was one of the big problems, Harvey is advocating for policies which will make everyone poorer…

    • lprent 4.2

      Interesting that the idiot critic doesn’t bother to follow his own criticism on his own critique.

      The only point that this neo-lib makes is households have gotten smaller.

      As far as I could see, he skipped from average disposable individual income to absolute household income. In other words, between two unalike sets of numbers.

      If he’d looked at the disposable income per household the story would have been different because many of the costs of a household are inflexible fixed costs – they do not change according to the number of people in the household. So individual disposable income rose and got sucked up in increased costs of living because of changing housing patterns. Of course the family sizes are smaller. But also when was the last time you ran across a family with say 3 adult kids contributing? If they’re at home, then they’re a burden doing tertiary.

      Everything else he says is simply political bullshit unsupported by any evidence and an argument presented as slogans.

      In short, a neolib wanking.

      • Quoth the Raven 4.2.1

        If he’d looked at the disposable income per household the story would have been different because many of the costs of a household are inflexible fixed costs they do not change according to the number of people in the household. So individual disposable income rose and got sucked up in increased costs of living because of changing housing patterns. Of course the family sizes are smaller. But also when was the last time you ran across a family with say 3 adult kids contributing? If they’re at home, then they’re a burden doing tertiary.

        If that’s your argument show me the numbers on living costs over the last few decades.

          • loota 4.2.1.1.1

            The rich poor gap is shrinking in terms of home appliances? That’s a really bizarre 1960’s style measure of ‘living standard’. I have to seriously question the validity; OK you own a cheap as **** made in China 32″ LCD TV worth $749 great tick that box, but you can’t put together a $40,000 deposit for a basic house in Auckland, both yourself and your spouse have to work full time jobs but you still can’t send your kids to university without them accruing a huge amount of student debt. But all the while those at the top end rake accumulate more and more capital year by year and also benefit hugely from tax breaks. This while others struggle to lift their net financial worth above zero.

            But OK you got your cheap-ass LCD TV, probably on a payment plan, so the rich poor gap is shrinking. Yipppeeee.

        • lprent 4.2.1.2

          That was his argument on number of people in the house, not mine. I just looked at the obvious hole (disposable vs absolute income) in it with the brief glimpses of US stats offered (the only verifiable fact or even argument that was offered).

          You offered the critique – you prove it is correct if you want it to be considered as something that shouldn’t be challenged. There is an artform to offering video ‘essays’. If I look at something like the “Weekly Crock” I can track straight back from the sources on the screen back to the sources using Google.

          This idiot didn’t reference what he was using as “evidence” in any form that I could track back to. Effectively he made assertions without a backing context. I’ll treat him as the fool he seems to think that you are….

          But if you look at the single biggest cost in a household, the cost of finance either as mortgage or rent. It doesn’t depend on the number of people living in a house. It depends on the size and location of the house. That is largely inflexible after purchase until sale, typically separated by decades.

          • Quoth the Raven 4.2.1.2.1

            He doesn’t deny that household incomes have stagnated, but you can’t blame ‘neolibs’ for households getting smaller.

            The places he got the wage data from was right there on the screen. It’s government data.

    • Zorr 4.3

      THE STUPID! IT BURNS!

  5. rainman 5

    I like their version of the Rifkin talk on empahty, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AWnfFRc7g
    Kinda like Bob Thurman’s TED talk about how modern connectedness is making us all into buddhists.

  6. deemac 6

    it’s a bit hopeful expecting a closely argued critique in 10 mins!

    • loota 6.1

      Did you mean thirteen and a half minutes?

      I’m sure a pretty damning critique could be made in that time if one had something of vital substance to communicate…

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