Something To Think About

I’ll have some proper updates for you tomorrow – a list of what I’m working on as well as a new Compendium entry. I’ve been working very hard this week, but several projects should soon be finished.

Until then, here’s a video I would like you to watch. I know it’s long, and I know it’s all about economics, but this is crucial information about the world we live in. And even if you disagree with it, it might still get you thinking.

Edit: So you want a better reason for why you should watch this? Jeez, people, whatever happened to curiosity? Just think of how many times a week you spend far more time on utter bullshit. Listening to a speech about economics will definitely be more valuable than that, right?

But let me say a few words anyway. The wonderfully bearded man in this video is Prof. David Harvey, a notable Marxist scholar and one of the best and clearest voices speaking out against capitalism today. And when I say “Marxist” please do not imagine some stereotypical fanatic who cannot see past his own dogma, as the media present anyone who thinks outside the box imposed by their owners. Harvey is a serious thinker who approaches economics scientifically; which, after all, is the point of Marxism. (OK, Marxism is a stupid word, as Marx himself also thought. But Harvey prominently uses Marx in his own work.) Thus Harvey’s arguments are hard to refute – they’re based on the mathematical instability of the system.

This video is just one of many you can find. I am particularly fond of it, however, because it addresses several issues that are rarely mentioned these days. Its demonstration of why capitalism cannot and does not work, while not as detailed as others Harvey has provided, contains many important facts about what’s going on in the world of finance that people simply aren’t aware of; it’s an economic critique, not a moral one, and one which is fairly complex, looking also at what countries like China are doing (and why that won’t work either). It genuinely exposes some of the fundamental mathematical/logical problems of the whole setup; it shows what capitalism does, and why, and makes it self-evident that this logic simply cannot be sustained.

As the title suggests, Harvey also speaks about the end of capitalism. This is particularly interesting because so few on the Left do anymore, and that’s disastrous. One of the biggest problems in the world right now, in my opinion, is that people simply cannot imagine that capitalism could come to an end and a different system could be created; we’ve been conditioned to think it’s impossible, as if capitalism had always existed. Which is, historically speaking, utterly absurd. Harvey addresses this peculiar belief. At the end he also spends a bit of time discussing what kind of system could replace capitalism, and how it might be organized. His suggestions on that matter are excellent and thought-provoking; like Marx, he doesn’t actually demonize capitalism, but believes a great deal can be learned from it.

If all of that wasn’t enough, David Harvey is also immensely likeable and funny, and listening to him is very pleasant. I could listen to David Harvey analyzing Das Kapital just to relax.

I’m serious when I say that you need to watch this. The media never provide us with a real critique of capitalism; sometimes, rarely, we hear someone speak out against one excess or another, but always as if it were an individual crime or mistake, something that can easily be fixed with a law or two. And the alternative we usually get is some kind of anti-modern technophobic bullshit about going and living in the wild, eating tofu and drinking homeopathic cocktails. Thus most people end up thinking that capitalism is immoral but unavoidable, the “only system that works.” But a proper critique shows us that it fundamentally does not; not because bankers are evil, but because of the economic processes that underlie it. And such a critique also allows people to start thinking about real change.

Now you have a vague summary, but you don’t have the actual contents, the actual arguments. You need those. So go watch the video.

(You can skip the introduction.)

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