Professor David Harvey on the crises of capitalism (brilliant animation)

Brilliant animation and description of the continuing crises of capitalism from the respected professor of anthropology, David Harvey.

David Harvey, leading social theorist and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), lays out the crises of capitalism, particularly the monstrous growth of finance capital, in this brilliant and humorous animated video clip to accompany his words.

He traces the growth of finance capital to the 1970s, the extension of home ownership in, first the US, then in Britain and parts of Europe and then the extension of credit which allowed the governments of the US and UK to retain their economic influence over the rest of the world and shows how capitalism shifts its problems around but never solves them. The problem is that, now we are living in a global world, we can no longer ignore the problems created by the systemic failure of finance capitalism.

This is economics unashamedly from a Marxist perspective. Since it is academia, it is far from the reach of Daily Mail country, so Harvey is free to call it as it is. Could an Ed Miliband watch this and accept its analysis as true? Politically, it would be seen as suicide, yet anyone watching this can understand in very simple terms, what has gone wrong economically over the past 30 years.

The problem with Marxism, as it has always been, is that it is brilliant at analysing and dissecting what has gone before. Historical materialism remains a brilliant tool for recognising what has gone wrong with capitalism. But solutions are rarely offered and it falls to idealists to plot a course forward. How do we curb the banks’ financial and political power? If this financial model collapses, will this mean that Britain loses its geopolitical power and must become subject to the growing influence of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China)? Harvey suggests that we get on the street and protest, and that is a beginning. Wall Street has been occupied, and there is a plan to occupy the London Stock Exchange in October (more on this later).

Whatever the outcome, we simply cannot allow this brilliant analysis of the continuing crises of capitalism to be ignored because the analysis is from a – shock, horror – Marxist perspective. I’d love David Harvey to comment on the Guardian about this work. In fact, I’d love this animation to go on the Business section.

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