[David Harvey, 2013] Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an interview that ran in Red Pepper and the Irish Left Review in which Harvey sets out some ideas from his new bookon the contradictions of capital. He says creating a post-capitalist world requires changing the monetary system and creating a common property regime.
The Tea Party feted its five-year anniversary last month with three U.S. senators it helped elect, two of them presidential contenders. Now Occupy Wall Street, the other populist movement to emerge from the financial crisis, can claim electoral success: a Seattle city council member.
Omlet, a new privacy-based social media platform launching today at SXSW, has an idea. They call it the "privacy economy." It's a notion that could really only be incubated in Silicon Valley's minor league, but it emerges from deep within the American capitalist psyche: find a problem, then make some money off of it. But, should we really be thinking of a human right as some sort of economy to be exploited for profit?
KILLIS, ON THE TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER (Reuters) – Syrian refugees in this border outpost were delighted to hear their home town of Azaz had been liberated – not from Bashar al-Assad’s troops but from al-Qaeda fighters who subjected them to a regime that included torture and public beheadings.
LSE SU Terra, an indigenous rights group at LSE who I have the pleasure of knowing and sometimes working with, organised Indigenous Genius week last week. There was a string of events- talks on ‘The Dread’ of New Zealand, a meeting with Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an indigenous Amazonian working with Survival International, and a panel debate on whether ‘Development=Progress?’.
Hegel is the ultimate bête noire of the last two centuries of philosophy:proponents of Lebensphilosophie, existentialists from Kierkegaard onwards, materialists, historicists, analytic philosophers and empiricists, Marxists, traditional liberals, religious moralists, deconstructionists and Deleuzians, they alldefine themselves through different modalities of rejecting Hegel. But when enemies start to speak the same language, it is a reliable sign that something is eluding them all. So what if something happens in Hegel, a break-through into a unique dimension of thought which was obliterated, rendered invisible, by the so-called post-metaphysical thought? What if the ridiculous image of Hegel as the absurd “absolute idealist” who “pretended to know everything” is an exemplary case of what Freud called Deck-Erinnerung (screen-memory), a fantasy-formation destined to cover up a traumatic truth? The task of the symposium will be to unearth aspects of this traumatic truth.
There were a number of reasons to be skeptical when I arrived at a very expensive bar in Fort Greene to talk with Benjamin Kunkel about Utopia or Bust, his new collection of introductory essays about contemporary leftist theorists, ranging from the literary critic Fredric Jameson to the anthropologist and prominent Occupy personality David Graeber. The most obvious reason to be skeptical was that we were meeting at a very expensive bar in Fort Greene to talk about Marxism. “An important part of Marxism is blaming others,” Kunkel said—explaining that this bar was the suggestion of a friend. “At least, in good proletarian fashion, we’re just eating French fries.”
My talk at the Texas Bitcoin conference revolved around the Austrian approach to money, and why some Austrians (quite understandably) were uncomfortable with Bitcoin. (Apparently you have to pay $50 if you wantaccess to all of the videos, which is worth doing if you want to learn a lot about Bitcoin. But the content of my particular talk can be cobbled together from other things I’ve written previously.) I concluded that even though there is a superficial tension, Mises’ regression theorem really has no bearing today on whether Bitcoin has the ability to become money.