Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason MAY 25, 2017 / DAVID HARVEY

In her latest book, “No is Not Enough”, Naomi Klein analyzes our current predicament as we suffer under the boot of the 1%’s Trump-brand style of neo-fascism and outlines the need for unity amongst progressives and radicals, the importance of minority struggles, and the looming environmental disaster. Importantly, she makes the case that the progressive and radical struggle may be lacking in a sense of history, a broad historical analysis from which a critical theory and practice can develop, and calls for the left to develop a broad view that takes into account the interconnectedness of multiple points of resistance and the interconnectedness of the various offensives the ruling class is waging against the bulk of humanity. She also calls for radicals to embrace so-called “utopian” aspirations for a new world (maybe she’s never read Herbert Marcuse!). Remarkably, she (and many on the left) have failed to study, or have superficially dismissed the contributions Marx and a marxist analysis can make that would provide what she feels is lacking. The historical materialist method, and the Marxist analysis of capital, are CRUCIAL for understanding history AND the manner in which the functioning of capital effects and transforms the world. Through the application of the Marxist dialectic, issues, events, policies, and ideas which at first might seem irrational, random, or the result of individual personalities, and the profound manner in which various apparently distinct struggles and oppressions have played out, readily become understandable, come into sharper focus, and can consequently serve as the foundation for theoretical and practical criticism, and ultimately negation. David Harvey, a brilliant Marxist scholar, has written several books highlighting the value of the Marxist critique and anlysis of capital, and has thoughtfully brought Marx into the 21st century where his ideas can once again be transformed into concrete weapons with which to fight the system. I present the following lecture in the hopes that you might come to value and understand the contribution Marx has made and can make to the struggle against capitalism. Would-be progressives and radicals do a great disservice by relegating Marx to the dustbin of history, dismisiing Marx in order to be fashionable or because of the failure of Soviet-style economics, or by just being intellectually lazy and not bothering to study him. Prof. Harvey, in his many books and lectures not only makes a strong case for the value and power of the marxist analysis of capital, but masterfully shows through application, that the Marxist analysis can go deeper than most, can reveal more than most, and can predict better than most. Naomi Klein is quite correct to emphasize the need for historical vision and thorough analysis and for the development of a position from which to criticze, act, and transform the world (guided by grand utopian vision). A radical critique and consciousness informed by Marx and the works of scholars like David Harvey perfectly fill the gap in radical theory and practice created by ignorance, misunderstanding, or the ultimately reactionary and counter-productive nonsense of postmodernism, and readily suits the need for a grand transformative vision, which ultimately isn’t utopian if one understands and sees through a Marxist lens the unfolding of hiostorical processes. Watch the video. Listen carefully. Then read some of Prof. Harvey’s books. Then read Marx. It’s up to each and every one of us to become a radical theorist and an active radical if we hope to build mass resistance to the insanity of the current system, and if we hope to develop a new transcendent vision of a new world that takes into account the past while looking to the future and making the present more tolerable.

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