Jan 022015

David_Harvey_on_Subversive_FestivalDavid Harvey via Wikipedia

I came to thought in the 1960s more or less, watched the civil rights conflicts in the US, the Vietnam War, the worldwide student movements; I went on marches, protested this and that (including the premonitory rumblings of Thatcherism under Edward Heath in the UK). I’ve lived a good deal of my life in a mind-set built around that time, a bit of a fossil now, really. Lately, I’ve been trying to crack the shell, nosing around for new ideas and ways of  explaining the force vectors that seem box me in on every side. You all know the feeling; we’re all working harder for less money, finding less security, mystified by the gyrations of governments, the accumulation of money by a few lucky individuals, the general degradation of our cultural experience. Numéro Cinq is part of this venture, a practical experiment into the new world of cyber-publication that has upset the apple cart of traditional publishing economics.

Lately, I’ve discovered the  Anglo-American thinker David Harvey who has written a brilliant series of books on capitalism, neo-liberalism and post-modernity. Last year he published a book called Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. Truth is something difficult to come by, so I always plump for what I call hermeneutic vigor, the capacity of an explanation to creatively and ingeniously organize experience. Harvey has hermeneutic vigor.

To help you ease your way into reading him, I have put together three videos. The first is an edited version of a Harvey lecture done with cartoons. Lovely to watch. The second is, I think, the complete version of the lecture, basically an outline of the most recent crises of capitalism. And the last is a longer lecture plus a question and answer period at the London School of Economics last April, called “The Seventeen Contradictions of Capitalism.”

At least watch the first one. It’s a hoot.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.