Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Enigma Of Capital - Professor David Harvey - Part 1 - London School ...

An inspiring talk in 8 parts on youtube which places capitalism at the root of the inter connected problems of environmental crisis and the economic crisis. At the end of the talk D.Harvey answers questions and briefly touches on how to subvert the capitalist system referring to a holistic model based on Marx. He suggests that in order to change the system an approach is needed which includes many parts such as intellectual/changing ideas, social relationships, relationship of humans/society to the environment and industry {which in the 19C used to be seen as an art or medicine which used to be holistic but is now slave to the pharmaceuticals}. By including the evolving society D.Harvey makes reference to sub-cultures networking and collaborating in order to subvert the dysfunctional system.

He begins the talk by illustrating that it is not possible to have capitalism without a debt economy and crisis, and it is always the poorest and the most vulnerable who suffer. He refers to the capitalism making money from the environmental crisis by purchasing carbon debt~ which I find obscene as well as mad but then this is just another debt to make money from. Importantly D.Harvey states we need an anti-wealth movement and how radical that idea is for many.

For me it is extremely timely to have seen this talk today, as we are so near to UK elections. D.Harvey points out that is was not the political party leaders who first appeared on the TV when the last financial crisis hit the public domain. It was key financial figures such as the head of US Treasury. All the political parties in UK are hoping to get voted in next week but they are are all struggling within this system ~ they are bound into and by the system. All saying that the people are going to have to pay for the bankers but are trying to spin this in the most positive light.

So anti-capitalism and social control over the surplus ~ how will it be spent and/or who would have a say in the decision making ~ would mean not being in debt and not swallowing this fantasy dream ie to be home owners; key to perpetuating this dysfunctional system. And for me capitalism and consumerism is addictive and requires a radical change for individuals {emotionally, mentally, physically} and society. Not surprisingly D. Harvey repeatedly makes references to changing what is taught, academia, thinking, intellectualism and ideas. And he also points out that ideas are not enough. Importantly D.Harvey's talk is peppered with concrete illustrations, humour, creativity and optimism.

In his talk D. Harvey makes reference to 9/11 which stopped a large number flying and he says that D.Bush went on to TV asking people to fly. And why ~ coos people were not spending money, were not perpetuating the system. So I find it very interesting that in the alternative sub-cultures that I circulate in, people are talking about Mother Earth sending a message to us humans through the volcano in Iceland. So if I take this idea on what message do I think Mother Earth can be saying? As I think it is interesting that for over a week flights were stopped due to the volcanic ash but due to the economic pressure the flights were brought back on. For me I noticed how people were upset and angry at the inconvenience of not being able to fly. That I was having conversations about having to take slower means of transportation. For a short period of time I had a glimpse of how life might change. And that in fact we are all on this planet together. Not isolated but reliant on one another and Mother Earth. How vast Earth is but also how complex, powerful, fierce and delicate.

So it is with excitement that I watch a talk given at the School of Economics where a man sees links being made between different schools of thought, ethos and sub-cultures. Mirroring one another. I would be interested to hear his thoughts on Transition Towns Projects. As he says we are at a critical crucial time. A cross-roads.


Catrien Ross said...

Silver Fox, thank you for introducing this video and speaker - I will return to spend more time with it. I especially enjoyed the conclusion of your post, where you contemplate integration, and I love your words, "How vast Earth is but also how complex, powerful, fierce and delicate." Thank you for your perceptive encouragement as we stand at the crossroads. And thank you so much for your wonderful comment contributions to my latest blog post on the samurai horse archers. Perhaps we - all of us - can ride out from the crossroads together! Morning greetings to you from the mountains of Japan - Catrien Ross.

Silver Fox said...

Hello Catrien ~ I realized that I wanted and needed to change my blog. Initially I was keeping the garden secret. And I wanted the blog to look aesthetically minimal. Through my journey's and the world being/nearering the cross-roads my gaze is looking outwards and I am seeking the garden in many places. Rather than the garden being hidden. So I have included this youtube element. Thank you very much Catrien :o) XX